Steffest Digitale Pulptuur

Het winkelcentrum

Er is een nieuw winkelcentrum geopend.
Echt prachtig. Mooie ronde vormen, overal natuurlijk lichtinval, veel aandacht aan de atmosfeer, groenzones, fonteintjes ...
Bijna een klein dorp, met koffieslurp zitjes op de juiste plaatsen en ruime winkelstraten.
Dat is ook belangrijk natuurlijk:  de winkels, want zonder winkels geen klanten - en daar gaat het over.

En winkels zijn er met hopen, wel 4 of 5 verdiepingen boven elkaar.
Mooi hoor! Enkel de coolste en meest trendy merken die zelf ook kosten nog moeite sparen om hun winkel zo aantrekkelijk mogelijk te maken.
Een shoppingparadijs! De toekomst!

Ik had een idee: weet je wat ook trendy is?
Versgeperste biosapjes, met gember en wortel en zo.
Want al die shoppende mensen krijgen dorst en spenderen graag wat euro's extra voor een supergezonde dorstlesser.

Dus ik gaan praten met de eigenaars van het winkelcentrum.
Man man, ze leggen de lat hoog, zeg! Wat een hoop regeltjes waaraan je moet voldoen, en wat een schandalig hoge huurprijzen!
Maar goed, we zijn ondernemend dus we gaan ervoor!
Ik heb een mooi plekje gehuurd en flink geïnvesteerd om er een pareltje van te maken: de perfecte highclass "health and food" bar uit mijn dromen.
Bon, de inkomsten vielen misschien initieel wat tegen, want blijkbaar was ik niet de enige sapjesbar in het winkelcentrum en bovendien heeft het winkelcentrum zelf ook overal mensen rondlopen die gezonde drankjes verkopen.
Ach ja, al bij al mag ik niet klagen en het is goede reclame voor mijn zaak.
Gelukkig heb ik wat vaste klanten dus dat draait wel.

Dan gebeurt er echter wel iets vreemds ... Ik snap het niet zo goed:
Er komt een meneer langs van het winkelcentrum die vertelt dat ze heel blij zijn dat ik zo'n lekkere sapjes maak, en dat ik mijn sapjes voortaan via hun mensen moet verkopen, want dat is toch veel gemakkelijker voor de klanten hé. Ik mag dan zelf in mijn winkel wel niets meer verkopen - dat zou immers verwarrend zijn - en dat alles zou mij maar 30% van mijn omzet kosten, bovenop de huurprijs uiteraard.
Ik moet niet meteen beslissen, hoor, ik mag er even over nadenken, maar ze zeggen er ook wel bij dat als ik niet toestem ze helaas genoodzaakt zijn mijn huurcontract op te zeggen zodat ik hier over 3 maanden weg moet.

Wat vreemd! Ik heb er al met wat mensen over gesproken en blijkbaar kan ik er niet veel aan doen ... Velen zeggen dat ik er zelf voor heb gekozen om iets in dat winkelcentrum te beginnen, en dat het winkelcentrum mag doen wat het wil ... Ik ben immers vrij om te verrekken, zeggen ze dan, maar ja, nu heb ik net alles geïnvesteerd in mijn mooie nieuwe zaak ...
Heel enthousiast ben ik eigenlijk niet meer...

Twas al lang geleden, dat ik wat Apple bashing heb geschreven, want daar  (en hier en hier) gaat het natuurlijk over:
Al die uitgevers die net flink geïnvesteerd hebben in een iPad app, en nu te horen krijgen dat ze zelf hun kranten niet mogen verkopen, maar dat Apple dat voor hen gaat doen, dat is toch immers veel beter voor de klant, nietwaar?  En dat alles voor slechts 30% van hun omzet!
Ik was verbaasd toen ik de commentaren las dat veel mensen dat blijkbaar geen probleem vinden. Er wordt geschermd met leuzes als "beter voor de klant" en "het is Apple's platform, zij bepalen de regels" en "je kiest er toch zelf voor om een Apple te kopen of voor te ontwikkelen"
Onzin allemaal: ja, je kiest zelf als ontwikkelaar voor Apple, het zijn immers coole dingen, die iphones en ipads, maar als Apple zich het recht toeeigend om zomaar de regels en afspraken aan te passen en je eruit te kegelen als het ze niet bevalt? En je geen andere keus laat dan 30% van je inkomsten aan hen af te staan?

Er is een term voor dat soort gedrag: Mafia-praktijken
En nee, dat is uiteindelijk helemaal niet goed voor de klant.

Ik heb niets tegen de AppStore op zich, hoor, en het is normaal dat er een deel van je omzet naar het distributiekanaal gaat, dat is bij boekhandels en supermarkten niet anders.
Het probleem is dat Apple zich komt moeien met het business model van hun leverancier, zelfs NADAT de "verkoop" (de download van de app)  al gebeurd is, en de leverancier geen andere optie laat.

Nee, dank je, ik hoop ten stelligste dat de uitgevers zich hier niet laten doen en andere manieren vinden om hun publicaties digitaal te verkopen.
Ik hoop dat over enkele jaren de bekende slogan wat wordt uitgebreid: "Yes, there's an app for that, but why would you need one?"

Update: Een leuke follow-up post van Jan Seurinck
2 meningen - maar eigenlijk beogen we hetzelfde: Waarom geen goede universele (Mobile) web-app in plaats van een iPad-only app ?

Tags: Apple-bashing, Gezeur, in 't NederlandsGeef je reactie (4)
 

Onbreekbare logica, maar toch kapot

Deze afbeelding in een nieuw scherm openen Ruim 2 jaar geleden schreef ik een blogpost over mijn schuurmachine dat de geest gaf.
Eigenlijk kan zo'n ding niet kapot, want de wetten van (electro)magnetisme zijn doorgaans vrij sterk en meer dan een electromotor is zo'n schuurding niet.
Inderdaad - na wat gefrunnik heb ik er sindsdien nog een half huis mee afgeschuurd.

Tot vanmiddag: Tijdens een schuursessie zei het ding plots PRRRPPPRRRPPPTTRRRRR en toen helemaal niks meer.
Onbreekbare logica, dacht ik weer.
Hup alle 835 schroeven er weer uit, ding open en al snel het euvel gevonden: door de trillingen was er een draadje losgekomen.
Draadje terug vast en hopla: het ding deed het weer.
Tis te zeggen: hij doet het nog steeds, maar dat PRRRPPPRRRPPPTTRRRRR verandert af en toe in RUTUPRRRTKTKKTPRRR.
Niet goed ...

Na wat onderzoek blijkt dat het plastic omhulsel dat de as van de motor op zijn plaats moet houden al die jaren van stof en wrijving niet goed doorstaan heeft.
Het is half weggevreten waardoor de as van de motor soms wat scheef loopt, waardoor het plastic nog sneller weggevreten wordt.

Dus: het ding werkt nog wel maar het is niet meer veilig te gebruiken: na een paar seconden RUTUPRRRTKTKKTPRRR dwarelt de geur van verbrand plastic je tegenmoet.
Jammer: De onbreekbare logica van de electromotor loopt vast op de goedkope verpakking die precies niet gemaakt is om heel lang mee te gaan ...

Een nief en een beter - zoals ze zeggen - alhoewel ... ik heb de indruk dat de meeste "powertools" tegenwoordig van mindere kwaliteit zijn dan pakweg 15 jaar geleden. - Ik verwed er mijn schuurmachine om dat die nieuwe die ik morgen ga halen geen 15 jaar mee zal gaan.

Tags: in 't Nederlands, Lifelog, VerbouwenGeef je reactie (1)
 

My biggest disappointment of 2010

a picture called Photojan03211225.jpg (click to enlarge)

I really try to keep a positive mindset,
but sometimes I have to whine a bit :-)
Looking back at 2010, the biggest disappointment of the year is .... digital magazines.
The future looked so bright:
sexy consumer devices like the iPad would save the publishing industry and everyone would be happy.

Publishing software companies like Adobe rushed out digital publishing solutions like the Digital Publishing suite.
Every publisher and newspaper went head over heals to release some form of iPad app, pushing their digital content to thousands of eager new readers.

One slight problem: THEY ALL SUCK !
Really, everybody who's happy about the current state of iPad magazines must have had really low expectations.
Almost all publishers took the fast and easy approach and just whipped up some sort of image viewer offering their existing  print-ready documents to the screen.
Very understandable: it's the safest thing to do with the lowest amount of risky new investments.

As in most cases, the fast and easy approach rarely is the best one.
It results in substandard products that are a mere shadow of what they could have been.

Simply copying the paper based layout to a screen does NOT result in pleasant reading experience: as most readers screens are too small to display one standard printed page in a readable manner, you end up zooming and scrolling in all directions, hunting for the flow of an article.
So called "premium content" mostly consist of making  links clickable  and whacking YouTube video on top of static pages.

And it's such a shame: there's so much great content out there and thousands of people willing to pay for it.
I would gladly pay for a decent magazine, after all creating content is a tough job, there's a reason why there are professional journalists.
Is it too mush to ask for an enjoyable reading experience?
Stop converting paper pages to the screen: it didn't work for the web and it certainly doesn't work for e-readers.

Digital publishing still is a niche, but the only way to expand it is to create a compelling product specifically targeted for e-readers.
To all publishers: take a look a the various eBook readers as they already solved most of you problems

  • offer customizable fonts
  • offer adjustable font sizes and FLOW your text: there's nothing as annoying zooming in and having to scroll from left to right constantly because the text doesn't wrap.
  • provide both landscape and portrait layouts. yes, that's more work for your understaffed design team but it's a need-to-have , not a nice-to-have
  • DON'T publish you magazine as a series of static  image files, unless you're a comic. Keep text as text, images as images.
    This is an example of a zoomed in page of 'The Tijd" newspaper app (which is a series of jpeg images)

    It's hurting my eyes! 
  • integrate multimedia directly from the start into the articles, don't add them later as some form of icing on the cake: don't decorate, design.
  • don't launch your readers outside your magazine with your external links, handle them internally.
  • avoid scrolling, paginate
  • if it's too expensive to design a digital version of your magazine, leave out the design and just offer the articles as text.
    Whatever you do, DON'T simply reuse your paper design.

Reading an eBook on e.g. iBooks, Stanza or a Kindle is relaxing and comfortable because they follow those rules.
Reading a magazine or a newspaper on the iPad is frustrating and annoying.

One shining good example is the Wired tablet app: very well made, good use  of media, optimized layout.
The only thing missing is scalable fonts.

The worst examples are all those Magworld magazines. For example the music magazine OOR. That's one example that is SCREAMING for a digital multimedia version, but in its current offering it's completely crap on a digital device. What a missed opportunity ....

Am I alone in this frustration? Some seem to think so, but again: don't settle for "good enough"
"good enough" won't stick, and ultimately: "good enough" won't keep selling.

Maybe I missed some magazines that DO get it right?
I hope so, please let me know.

Tags: Gezeur, in English, Web 2.0Geef je reactie (2)
 

iMinds - and why I was wrong about Inca

Last year I entered not less then 3 projects for the INCA awards.
This year I didn't participate, citing the usual wrong reasons: no time, no good ideas, no time ...

The main reason I didn't participate perhaps was i couldn't really place the main concept of "inclusive society".
After all, i like to do little creative webprojects just for fun, not for commercial reasons, not for strategic reasons and certainly not to help "save the world".
With all due respect to their creators, lots of "inclusive society" project seem to miss the mark completely, forgetting to ask the question whether an internet-centeric approach is the right one for a society related problem.

One example: "I could Use"
It's a social platform for neighbours, even if you don't now any of them. So if you need something, e.g. borrow a shovel or something, you can post a message on the platform and your neighbours can respond.

With all respect for Kai Aras, the creator, if you want to get to know your neighbours, or get them to borrow you something, maybe sitting behind your computer posting messages on the internet is not most effective, nor the most social approach.

Get out of your house! talk to people! there's a whole world out there where the web is completely irrelevant!
(Again, I have nothing but respect for Kai, Check out his website for some really cool projects)

Thinking about the "inclusive society" I got the feeling I had nothing to offer that would address some "real" problem.

I was wrong - i often am.

Last week on Tedx it was Rik Torfs that brillantly managed to capture all the presentations in one sentence:
"The ideas that will save the world are rooted in profound lightness, not in empty seriousness"

Exactly: maybe the best projects that will change the world and really help society don't aim to be too serious.
Maybe it's a good aim to "do a cool project" and the part about saving the world will be a nice side effect.

Like Sebastian Thrun, with his driverless cars.
What would have been the driving idea behind this?
"Let's solve the traffic problem, next question: how?" or "let's build a cool robotic car!
Probably the latter, no ?

That's why I was wrong about skipping Inca this year.

Still, the most interesting projects are the ones that form a bridge between the web and the physical world.
Yes, yes, The internet of things is still here.


image
The Inca awards will be presented on iMinds, a part of the Future Internet conference week and guess what the keynote speech of iMinds will be about? Indeed: the internet of things.

I'm totally going - hoping to talk to some Inca participants. I'm especially interested in the Immersive Experiences presentations like the "immersive walk through Brussels" from Philippe Bekaert (and others)

Another event from the Future internet week that I'm looking forward to is the übercool TRONcafé.
Free entrance! What more do you want?
image

Anyway, stuff like this and "innovative" (un)conferences in general are a great way for developers like me to get a boost.

Let me repeat myself, this time for all developers, no matter what your day job is:
Get out of the office sometimes, go talk to people, go visit and participate in conferences, barcamps, usergroups - it's brainporn and you'll love it.

Tags: in English, LifelogGeef je reactie (0)
 

TEDx Brussels 2010

a picture called tedxbrussels2010.jpg (click to enlarge) I was not too fond of TEDX Brussels last year.

Their "We're so cool" attitude really bothered me so i was a bit suspicious for the 2010 edition.

I was wrong: The organization was really strong, everybody was very friendly and I was glad to notice much of the arrogance was gone.

TEDx events are hugely hyped and the expectation of seeing something truly amazing is impossibly high.
But was it a disappointment?

No, not at all. With the fast spreading digital media today it's really hard to bring something new, let alone "mind blowing", but still it is really inspiring to hear a focused person speak with passion about a subject he or she is clearly an expert in.


Sebastian Thrun: Star of the day - without any doubt - was SEBASTIAN THRUN who talked about his kick ass achievements in driverless cars, showing some AMAZING footage of the DARPA Challenge race and his robotic-super-team inventions resulting in working driverless cars TODAY.

the other speakers where


sometimes inspiring

Marc Millis: "Pioneers are people, not organizations"

sometimes too commercial

Dambisa Moyo: "If you want to know the solution to this problem: buy my book"

sometimes funny

Marc Luyckx Gishi: "My career as catholic priest went very well, until i met my wife"
"In that time there was still some good thinking at the European top ... in that time ..."
"Me is Frrt ... you is Heing!! ... so .. .go!"

sometimes predictable

Nicholas Negroponte: some things never change: Nicholas Negroponte still is a self absorbed cocky twad, but he's brilliant and an excellent speaker.

sometimes disregardable

Lynne McTaggart: "let's all hold hands and send our positive thoughts to heal this person"

sometimes on autopilot

William E. Kennard: "The goverment will support you blah blah blah, we need structures, blah blah blah Europe USA partnership blah blah blah"



Rik Torfs: Pleasantly surprising was Rik Torfs, who clearly knows exactly how to play an audience and presented a remarkably insightful closing without his usual tacky jokes.


all in all, TEDx was not life-changing but still one of the best ways to spend your day.

What do I take home from it?
"A believe that as long as brilliant people get the change to do their thing, there's still hope for the human race"
So for me, the TEDx vibes clearly worked this time.
Hooray!

The first picture in this post is by Pieter Baert , who made lot's more of great pics.

Tags: in English, LifelogGeef je reactie (0)
 

There-I-Fixed-It

a picture called mobile_10_31_42 AM_1124201024112010-IMAG0434.jpg (click to enlarge)

Fixing it in true There-I-Fixed-It-Style: Ducttape Forever!
#spoon #headphones

P.S. Still INSANELY proud I was on it:
(Posted by mobile phone)

Tags: in 't Nederlands, TinkeringGeef je reactie (2)
 

Natte Herstwandelingen

Sommige mensen mag het allemaal iets te nat onder de voeten zijn,
De overvloed aan water zorgt toch ook voor hemels mooie herfstwandelingen ...

14112010-IMAG0427 

14112010-IMAG0429 


Het water van de Mark past nog nèt onder het bruggetje door.
14112010-IMAG0428

Ik ben (sinds kort) overigens fan geworden van in de regen door het bos te wandelen.
Intrigerende weemoedige sfeer, moet ik meer doen!

Tags: in 't Nederlands, LifelogGeef je reactie (1)
 

Ipad Sketchbook

insilencepreview1 insilencepreview2
This is a preview of a little project i'm working on.

2 weeks ago i composed and recorded a new song using only the iPad and its internal microphone.
The goal was to see if and how a "consumer" device like the ipad could be used to "create" content.
Of course it can, and it turned out to be great fun too!

At the time i thought creating the videoclip also entirely on the ipad would be a bit of a stretch but after some fiddling around I got completely hooked on Sketchbook Pro.
As i quite like drawing, I think I tried all the drawing and sketching apps I could find in the AppStore.
In the end there are only a few good ones, and only one that clearly is on top: Autodesks Sketchbook Pro.

Back in the day my favourite sketching material was soft pastels on paper - creating very 16-year-old-stuff when i was 16 years old 
like this
Steffest_DSC_3297_91_thumb


Sketchbook on the iPad  gives me (almost) the same direct finger feeling of pushing and swiping and brushing and smudging with nothing in between you and your sketch. No pencil, no brush, no pen, ... just some color and your fingers.
I tried every tablet since the first tabletpc's in early 2000 but this combination of great finger specific software like sketchbook and great finger specific hardware like the iPad is the first one that really delivers as  intuitive and transparent drawing tool.
As I think of it, sketchbook was also the first drawing application I ever tried on any iOS device: on  @Topanga's iPhone at a twoooze with a very quick sketch of @mathiassbaert.
It was also the first time I thought "hmmm . . . . Maybe those Apple devices have some strong points after all" :-)

Anyway, Now I find myself handdrawing a (small) videoclip - stitching every frame together with ReelDirector
I'm about halfway through with about 80 sketches to go (at an astonishing 1 frame a second).
Thank god for the NMBS and their never-ending train delays which give me plenty of time to doodle along.

I hope to be finished in a week or two.
The biggest problem: blisters on my fingertips!     

Tags: Graphics, in English, MobileGeef je reactie (1)
 

Windows phone 7

a picture called windowsphone7.jpg (click to enlarge)

Soooo... Windows phone 7 is released.
Finally!

If you're already sick of the hype you can skip this because: yes! I have an opinion. :-)

Monday I went to the Belgian launch party at the Microsoft headquarters in Brussels.
Lots of interest, big crowd, but also a very hostile crowd ... I think some of them just came for some childish Microsoft bashing and the free food.
Come on guys, give them SOME credit, At least they had the balls to start over from scratch and come up with something "new", not easy these days when everything has been tried and patented.

And new it is! Fresh even.
The interface with the "living tiles" really is very nice, i think it's the best interface I've seen on a mobile device yet.
Well done.

I predict it's going to be a very influential interface design that will get copied a lot, even on website interfaces and such.

Thank god there where some hands on demo phones, the LG Optimus 7 And the Samsung Omnia 7.
Damn! Those Samsung Super AMOLED screens are gorgeous, especially when they're 4 inch big.
Everything feels very snappy and well integrated.

The LG had a DLNA server on board, also very well integrated allowing you to select a "play to" option with every media file you find, so you can for example select your big ass tv as a display target and just throw images and video to it, straight from your phone. Yes, like apples airplay, but better: using a very broad accepted standard that exists for many years already and that is supported by most high end media stuff.

On the software side everything MS is there and - again - very well integrated.

Office mobile on WP7 looks and feels great, with the new Word mobile arguably the best rich text editor on a mobile phone. Bing maps is there, Bing search, MSN chat, hotmail and exchange integration, live calendars, skydrive support ... The whole shabang.

But ... Will it be enough?

IOS and Android already have a HUGE head start and windows phone 7 clearly is a first version: there are still severe gaps in functionality : no copy-paste, no HTML 5 browser, no flash and most importantly: very very few third party apps ...

It seems at the moment you're only covered if you fully use the Microsoft products as other parties are barely there.
Instead of trying to bury the competition, why not fully embrace them?
Of course Microsoft has very solid developers tools - arguably the best out there ( i said ARGUABLY !)
They already have a vast developers user base and the "phone development" version of their visual studio suite is free to download, but still ...

In the end, there is little to be smug about: they have made some daring design and developers decisions and sticked to it. No more "fish nor flesh" product line but a clear fresh vision.
The hardware partners too have delivered some great phones.

What they need now is a fast update cycle and some decent developer incentive programs to quickly fill up their app marketplace.

Will I buy one? No.
Will they convert Apple or Android fanboys? No.
Will they sell a lot of phones? Probably not
But at the very least they now have a valid entry in the smartphone market for new buyers, making it clear to the competition that they have to keep innovating to keep their lead.

To Microsoft: well done, now keep your momentum and go create windows phone 7.5

Tags: Gadgets, in English, MobileGeef je reactie (6)
 

The Zen of Hardware Hacking

The 4th Barcamp in Antwerp - And a great one it was.
I gave a talk about "The Zen of hardware-hacking" , indicating that there's a noticeable shift in my attitude towards hardware and software - I still want high-tech everywhere around me, but at the same time it has to be as invisible as possible, completely out of the way if you don't need or want it.

As a hardware demo - to make it a bit more concrete - I made the fantastic KWISKWAT-O-MATIC ! :-)
The technical part is an Arduino with a wifi shield that holds a little webserver.
The beauty is that - once programmed - it runs completely on it's own with VERY low power consummation.
When you access the webserver you can send little commands to control the physical object (the arduino) - in this case toggling some coloured lights.
Physical devices become a part of the web that way and are easy to connect to any webservice out there.
The KWISKWAT-O-MATIC is connected to the Telenet tv.be API I made some time ago: Whenever a new episode of Kwiskwat is aired (and recorded by the Telenet digicorder), the light turns green, if no new unseen episode is available, the light is red.
image image image

Here's the Arduino script - it runs a very (VERY) limited webserver, which is perfect for controlling little hardware devices.

#include

#define WIRELESS_MODE_INFRA    1
#define WIRELESS_MODE_ADHOC    2

unsigned char local_ip[] = {192,168,1,120};    // IP address of WiShield
unsigned char gateway_ip[] = {192,168,1,1};    // router or gateway IP address
unsigned char subnet_mask[] = {255,255,255,0};    // subnet mask for the local network
//const prog_char ssid[] PROGMEM = {"Wireless"};        // max 32 bytes
const prog_char ssid[] PROGMEM = {"HTC network"};        // max 32 bytes

unsigned char security_type = 0;    // 0 - open; 1 - WEP; 2 - WPA; 3 - WPA2

// WPA/WPA2 passphrase
const prog_char security_passphrase[] PROGMEM = {"12345678"};    // max 64 characters

// WEP 128-bit keys
// sample HEX keys
prog_uchar wep_keys[] PROGMEM = {    0x01, 0x02, 0x03, 0x04, 0x05, 0x06, 0x07, 0x08, 0x09, 0x0a, 0x0b, 0x0c, 0x0d,    // Key 0
                                    0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00,    0x00,    // Key 1
                                    0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00,    0x00,    // Key 2
                                    0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00,    0x00    // Key 3
                                };

unsigned char wireless_mode = WIRELESS_MODE_INFRA;
unsigned char ssid_len;
unsigned char security_passphrase_len;

int ledPin =  14;

void setup()
{
        pinMode(14, OUTPUT); 
        pinMode(15, OUTPUT); 
        pinMode(16, OUTPUT);
        digitalWrite(14, 1);
        digitalWrite(15, 1);
        digitalWrite(16, 1); 
    WiFi.init();
}

// This is the webpage that is served up by the webserver
const prog_char webpage[] PROGMEM = {"HTTP/1.1 200 OK\r\nContent-Type: text/html\r\n\r\n"};

void loop()
{
    WiFi.run();
}

-------------------------------------------

/******************************************************************************

  Filename:        webserver.h

******************************************************************************

  Based on the TCP/IP stack and driver for the WiShield 1.0 wireless devices by Async Labs Inc.

*****************************************************************************/

#include "uip.h"
#include
#include "webserver.h"
#include "config.h"

static int handle_connection(struct webserver_state *s);

void webserver_init(void)
{
    uip_listen(HTONS(80));
}

void webserver_appcall(void)
{
    struct webserver_state *s = &(uip_conn->appstate);

    if(uip_connected()) {
        PSOCK_INIT(&s->p, s->inputbuf, sizeof(s->inputbuf));
    }

    handle_connection(s);
}

#define ISO_nl      0x0a
#define ISO_space   0x20
#define ISO_slash   0x2f

#define ISO_R   0x52
#define ISO_G   0x47
#define ISO_B   0x42

#define ISO_O   0x4f

unsigned char ch;

const char http_get[5] = {0x47, 0x45, 0x54, 0x20, };    /* "GET " */

unsigned short fill_buf(void* blk)
{
    unsigned short webpage_len;

    webpage_len = (strlen_P(webpage)>uip_mss())?uip_mss():strlen_P(webpage);

    memcpy_P(uip_appdata, webpage, webpage_len);
    return webpage_len;
}

static int handle_connection(struct webserver_state *s)
{
    PSOCK_BEGIN(&s->p);

    // read incoming data until we read a space character
    PSOCK_READTO(&s->p, ISO_space);

    // parse the data to determine if it was a GET request
    if(strncmp(s->inputbuf, http_get, 4) != 0) {
        PSOCK_CLOSE_EXIT(&s->p);
    }

    // continue reading until the next space character
    PSOCK_READTO(&s->p, ISO_space);

    if(s->inputbuf[0] != ISO_slash) {
        PSOCK_CLOSE_EXIT(&s->p);
    }else{
        if(s->inputbuf[1] != ISO_space) {
                if (s->inputbuf[1] == ISO_R){
                   digitalWrite(14, 0);
                   digitalWrite(15, 1);
                   digitalWrite(16, 1);
                }
                if (s->inputbuf[1] == ISO_G){
                   digitalWrite(14, 1);
                   digitalWrite(15, 1);
                   digitalWrite(16, 0); 
                }
                if (s->inputbuf[1] == ISO_B){
                   digitalWrite(14, 1);
                   digitalWrite(15, 0);
                   digitalWrite(16, 1); 
                }
                if (s->inputbuf[1] == ISO_O){
                   digitalWrite(14, 1);
                   digitalWrite(15, 1);
                   digitalWrite(16, 1); 
                }
        }

    PSOCK_GENERATOR_SEND(&s->p, fill_buf, 0);
          }
        PSOCK_CLOSE(&s->p);
    PSOCK_END(&s->p);
}


The slides of my presentation can be found at http://www.stef.be/barcamp/bca4.html  (click for the next slide)
They are not very usefull without the talk, but still ...

 The Tech45 podcast was also present and made a special Barcamp Antwerp4 edition (with a little interview with yours truely, hopefully online soon)
Marco Frissen made some nice pictures
web_BCA4-0026
More here

 


Thanks @cubus and @ichoosr for a very nice Barcamp, and thanks to the sponsors GVA, Sw�rl, Stad Antwerpen, Krimson, Just-Eat, Digiti, Belgian Cowboys, iChoosr

Tags: Arduino, in English, TinkeringGeef je reactie (2)
 

Webgang

a picture called 88317678_4eb20fc058_z.jpg (click to enlarge)

This thursday I was happy to be invited by  the Webgang team of the wonderfully weird independent radio station Radio Centraal to talk about my contraptions and "The internet of things" in general.
I mostly know Radio Centraal as the perfect audio companion for pulling an all-nighter, helping you to achieve that trance-like mood with their superweird audio collages that helps you get through the night.
During daytime, the air is filled with a broad range of alternative programs, all shouldered by volunteers.
Very pleasant talk!  I plugged the upcoming barcamp a bit too.
I completely forgot to record the audio stream but if you want to know what it was about: get your ass to Antwerp, Saturday september 11th for barcamp, where I'll demo and explain my latest tinker-concepts.

(The picture above is by croki

Tags: in English, LifelogGeef je reactie (1)
 

Use your Android phone as SD-card reader for your iPad

I'm loving my iPad - that's easy because it's so lovable, but at the same time there are so many things missing ...
One particularly annoying thing is the absence of USB-ports or SD-card slots.

Yes, sure, you can hook it to your laptop and use iTunes to sync "some" files, but what if you're one the go, or just want to transfer some files when you're at a friends place?

Let's face it: How many times did you mail a file from your iPhone/iPad to yourself or synced it with Dropbox just to get it from one device to another?
That's fine (really?) with small files, but what if you want to transfer several GB of data, like movies or whatever?

Here's what I'm doing when I'm on the move: Using my Android phone as wireless SD-card reader for the iPad.
Works great!
 
If you're on Android 2.2 already, You're phone can act as wifi router for other wifi enabled devices.
android_2-2_froyo_wifi_tethering

This is perfect for the iPad as you don't need the 3G version: the Pad just piggybacks the 3G connection of your phone to get online.
And, as this places the iPad in the same local network as your phone, you can also use it to transfer files.

One way is the share your files with a free app like File Expert for Android
You select the folder you want to share (e.g. your entire SD card) , select the share method and your done.
desktop1 popup_menu s2

Now you can use any browser on any connected device to access your files.
Just point your browser to the url you get from File Expert and there you are.
Granted, it could use some CSS styling but hey: it's Android remember: it's a geek thing.

You can open most media files the iPad can handle directly from the browser, like images,mp3,mp4 video, ...
But for other files it's makes sense to download them to your iPad.
A nice app for this is filer which is basically a browser that let's you save any file. (why this isn't included in the standard mobile safari is beyond me ...)

It works great - even for very large files.
I'm getting transfer rates of about 20 mbit/s.
This is a local wifi network: no other hardware is involved, just the phone and the iPad.

IMG_0015 
IMG_0016

Then you can open them from within the app, or send them to another app that is registered for that specific type of file.
For example: you can copy the eBooks that are on your phone and open them in Stanza on your iPad. 

IMG_0017

If you have to transfer lot's of files at once, it's faster to use FTP sharing with an FTP client like FTPonTheGo or FTP Deluxe
If you want to directly access the files from other apps (like the iWork apps, or the notes, or any other file) you'll have to jailbreak your device and use something like the brilliant iFile which gets you access to your entire iPad file system.

The other way around is also possible of course: to get files off your iPad you could use something like the expensive Air Sharing app or the iFile built in web server to do the reverse: share your iPad files over the web and access them from another device using the web browser.
IMG_0023 8

So:
When I'm on the move I use a MicroSD card in my Nikon D80 to shoot pictures, then insert the SD card in my HTC Desire and copy them all to my iPad.
Or copy some new movies to the iPad for the kids or just exchange files on a meeting or ... whatever.
MicroSD cards are far cheaper then spending €200 extra for the 64GB iPad model and more useful as you can use them in any other device.

My motto still holds up: just stick a web server on anything digital and you can do what you want.
HTTP sharing like this should be standard - and more polished - to any connected device IMHO - the horrible iTunes software  is at the end of it's usefulness and any way to sidestep it is a good move.
Wireless file sharing, syncing and media access is the inevitable future and no doubt Apple will one day have to come up with a proper iTunes-in-the-Cloud solution.

All in all it seems the iPad-Android phone is an excellent combination: use the iPad as the great reader, media consumer and creative toy as it is, and use the Android phone to fill in the (numerous) blanks.

Tags: Gadgets, in EnglishGeef je reactie (0)