« Archives in August, 2011

Thoughts on working on a different computer when your normal one is not available

So currently my Mac Book Pro is in with Clockwork Leeds getting its Hard Drive replaced as it failed/has failed/is failing.

So currently at work, I am sans my normal Development machine and find myself on the Mac Mini server that sits and does our File Server and System Monitoring.

Its quite odd having to get used to a system that for starts is the Server build of Mac OSX as well as having none of my personal preferences.
Its bringing to light how slightly useless some of the things I have setup on my Personal machine are that I thought were useful.

For example, I’m stuck with a single screen, so no dual screen lovely-ness. So I’m very restricted to the screen real estate I have available.
So not having new Terminal Windows opening to fill half the screen like on my mac is quite useful. Whereas before having the secondary screen with two terminal windows full height, half width was the norm, as well as using a little app I’ve forgotten the name of which allows me to press ctrl + ~ to get a window appear from the top, is a bit of a pain, but resolved now with having three default sized terminals and chrome open.

So far its seemed to work just about fine like that.

I also find myself using Spaces/Expose a lot less, I’m doing a lot less jumping between spaces all the time. But I also don’t have the “App only opens in space x” setup so I get a lot less forced jumping.

Finally tho I miss my music collection, so I’ve switched to plugging my headphones into my iPad and listening to Spotify. Tho I could just plug in my external drive thats in the office and have most of my older music on hand….

I’m also on a different desk which is nice.
I’m not by the door and have the window behind me and I’m in the corner.
I quite like it over here. Seems a bit more separated from everyone else. Which is a good thing and a bad thing in its own right.

I love working with the team, *can’t think of right words to express feelings will just skip to post summary*.

Summary

My Mac is in the repair shop getting fixed.
The hard drive was failing and is pending spare parts from Apple.
Clockwork are amazing for Apple Repairs.
I’m in a corner at work
I have no home machine to really play or work on. (I made my home windoze laptop blue screen just by looking at it….)

I watched last nights Torchwood on my iPad using the BBC iPlayer Application and it worked perfectly.

Finally my local dev environment is shafted as that was my Mac Book Pro. Luckily everything is in offsite repo’s and I have a Server in a Server Room down the corridor to talk to 😀

-End-

My Leeds Hack 2 Project

Thought I would write a blog post about what I built in 24 hours for Leeds Hack 2 last weekend. I kinda got distracted last week and not had the time to write this post.

You can look at all the projects that people finished over on the Leeds Hack Website.

So what did I write

I decided to write something that I had been pondering about for a while. It’s called Spotify Roulette and revolves around the idea of crowd sourcing a new artist or area of music to listen to.

Originally it started off with me posting on Twitter quite a while back asking for something new to listen to, to which @Stanton responded with Hybrid. (I can’t find the original tweet on twitter but it’s here on Spotwitfy) Which are actually quite nice to listen to and I have a nice Spotify playlist to listen to.

I was wondering if there was a way to automate this.

So thru the combination of the Twitter and Spotify Meta Data API’s, means I can post out to Twitter, await a response, parse out the Artist and then pop open Spotify with a random track by that Artist and if the requester wants a playlist can be generated, and thru a limitation in Spotify, drag and dropped into Spotify to listen further to the Artist.

In short

In short its pretty straight forward.
Just a handful of calls to a couple of different API end points to get an Artist ID from the name, then their albums and the tracks on these albums. Chuck in a little GeoIP to hopefully check the tracks are available in the requesters’ region.
Grab the first track, pop open Spotify and grab another 10 tracks to make a playlist.

Finally I used Nerf Guns to help demo! Russian Roulette stylee.

Responses

People on Twitter can either response with text, an artist which we parse out the @user and the hashtag word. Then look that up on Spotify.
Or a response can be either an HTTP open Spotify link or a Spotify protocol link. Either to the artist page, track or album.
if it’s the Artist, I can parse out the artist ID and look for albums and tracks.
Currently not playlist urls, but that’s easy to implement.

Technology

So we used,

  • Twitter API, using @Abraham Twitter oAuth Library
  • Spotify Meta Data API
  • MaxMind GeoIP
  • jQuery and jQuery UI
  • Rick Astley
  • Nerf Guns

Give it a Go

Give it a go and offer me some feedback.
Watch out for Rick Astley tho. He likes to crop up every now and again….

It’s still a little rough round the edges in terms of theme/layout.

Spotify Roulette (http://spotifyroulette.com/)

Future

Hopefully if people like it and use it I can expand further.

Perhaps use Facebook to share playlists, or another way to crowd source a new artist. And if Spotify release a HTTP API for generating and saving playlists then incorporate that too.