Tag Archives: gnome shell

Synching an Arduino with gnome-shell-pomodoro

Having fallen in love with gnome-shell-pomodoro, I’ve stopped using my good old kitchen timer for the pomodoro sessions. The problem is I used to put the timer on top of my screen, so that my coworkers could see when I was available or not. With a software such as gnome-shell-pomodoro, this is of course not possible anymore. And here came the disturbing questions every 3 minutes…

So first, I tried to use both the software and the timer, starting them (almost) together. It was boring, and as you may guess, I stopped doing that after 2 days. I had to find something better, something lazier & a bit more clever. I therefore decided to hook up an Arduino with a flashy, blue, LCD screen to my computer and started hacking a little sketch for it. Then, I modified gnome-shell-pomodoro to send commands to the serial port when changing its state. The result was a simple, yet effective, way to show to my coworkers when I’m available or not… and in how much time they will be able to ask for a question.

Once it was working, and since I don’t like maintaining forks, I asked the upstream if it was a good idea to add support for this into the software directly, through Dbus. The answer was quite positive, so I’ve started working on adding that, wrote a python daemon and published  the arduino sketch into this repository. It’s still very rough, but usable. I’ll enhance the dbus support and usability on both sides during the next weeks, to match my daily usage and make it cleaner.

If anyone’s willing to add support for another software or enhancing the arduino sketch (it really needs a better timer), then please go ! :-)