Tag Archives: tech

Spotify SXSW app

Yesterday, Ben and I (well mostly Ben) built a Spotify app that helps you find bands to see at SXSW who are on your playlists. Yesterday, I also learned how outdated my javascript skills are. The app pulls data from showlistaustin.com (unofficial shows) and sxsw.com (official shows) and cross references that with one or more of your Spotify playlists. The app runs inside of Spotify and at the moment it is ugly, but functional. We may clean it up for next year’s SXSW, but for now it is time to go see some bands!

If you want to give it a try, here is how:

  1. Enable developer access for your Spotify account here.
  2. Create the following folder on your computer:
    ~/Spotify (Mac OS X and Linux)
    “My Documents\Spotify” (Windows)
  3. Pull the code from my github account and place it in the Spotify folder you just created.  You can pull the code either using “git clone” or by downloading the zip file and unzipping it into that folder. You should end up with a folder called “spotify-showlist” inside of your Spotify folder.
  4. Launch Spotify.
  5. Update Spotify if you are not running the latest version.
  6. In the Spotify search box, type the following and press Enter:  spotify:app:showlist
  7. You should now see the app.  You can drag one or more of your playlists to the app, select whether you want to see Official Shows or Unofficial Shows, select a day, then press Filter Shows.
  8. You should now see a list of shows that match your selection.
  9. Spotify doesn’t let you print from inside the app due to a limitation with the Chromium Embeded Framework (I talked w/ the head of Spotify’s developer relations about it at a SXSW party last night), so if you want to print the list of shows you will need to copy & paste it into another app such as MS Word.  Make sure you copy and paste the whole window if you want to retain the font styling for printing.
  10. The Official show listing includes a link to the SXSW site for each band so that you can add shows to your SXSW schedule and sync it to the handy SXSW Go mobile app.

Enjoy!

That’s what she said

Great thread on Quora about how to programmatically parse a sentence and determine if it is appropriate to respond with “That’s what she said”… http://b.qr.ae/jU5woX

Someone should build a speech-to-text iPhone app that you can talk into, which answers with “That’s what she said” when it hears one of these sentences. Build it. You’d make millions! Or not.

I’m running Google Chrome OS

I installed Google’s Chrome operating system on my laptop (Dell Latitude D420).  In fact, I am writing this blog post from Chrome OS.  Pretty cool, huh?

To install, I downloaded the source code and followed the build instructions on the Chromium website.

Here are a few problems I hit, and the resolution:

  • I couldn’t login at first because it wants to validate my Google account credentials against the Google server, however my wireless wasn’t working initially.  So to fix I followed the optional steps listed in the build instructions to “Enable a local user account” and “Set the shared user password”.  Now I can login with the local user account I created, and I can run sudo commands.
  • Wireless wasn’t running.  In a terminal (ctrl-alt-t) I saw this error in the dmesg output:
    iwl3945: iwlwifi-3945-1.ucode firmware file req failed: Reason -2
    iwl3945: Could not read microcode: -2So I copied these driver files from my laptop’s Ubuntu (Karmic) install:
    /lib/firmware/iwlwifi-3945-1.ucode
    /lib/firmware/iwlwifi-3945-2.ucode

Unresolved Problems:

  • Mouse is annoyingly slow by default and changing it didn’t work until I closed the laptop lid and it went to sleep and came back.  But it loses it when I restart.
  • Closing lid makes the laptop hibernate correctly; and it comes back super fast, but then it errors and hibernates again.  Then if I hit the power button it returns and starts working normally (not a reboot).
  • Can download file attachments, but can’t directly open.  Need to manually upload to google docs
  • Have to boot from a USB drive since my laptop doesn’t have a solid state had drive 🙁
  • Booting isn’t that much faster than Ubuntu yet
  • Periodic “A server error occurred. Please contact the administrator” errors with the start menu (its a web page)

In general, this OS is very simple (just a browser) but exactly what most people need… they just don’t know it yet.  Its not reliable enough for normal use yet, but this will become my primary OS sooner than my “Desktop 2015” prediction 4 years ago.

Too many distributed key/value store projects?

I seem to hear about a new distributed non-relational data storage project every few weeks.  While I'll admit that all of them are pretty damn cool, most of the coolness is in their roadmaps.  Richard Jones posted a great overview of many of these open-source projects last week.  Given the fact that there are so many projects each with so much more to develop, and the fact that most of these projects are still early-stage, many will die off before they produce anything you can actually use.  I'd love to see some of these developers get together and start merging their efforts.  What do you think?

Who needs Google Chrome?

While watching College Gameday this morning I decide to make my Firefox act like Google Chrome.  Here is how…

Install these Firefox add-ons:

Speed Dial
– Displays thumbnails of your most frequently accessed sites on new
blank Firefox tabs.  (not automatically populated like Chrome, you must
add sites manually)

Tiny Menu – Lets you collapse your menu to save space.

Locationbar2 – Emphasizes the domain name in the address bar, to reduce risk of being tricked by a spoof site.

Prism – Application shortcuts for online apps.  This one was tricky to get working with Ubuntu.  The firefox add-on didn’t work and v0.9 had some style issues.  To get it working I installed v0.9.1 from Fabien Tassin PPA.. https://launchpad.net/~fta/+archive  …it’s probably much easier in OS X and Windows.

Then you can create Webmail Prism app using URL:
https://beta.mailtrust.com/mailbeta/login.php?user_name=EMAIL&password=PASSWORD
(filling in your email address and password)

Here is the launcher icon I used:
Mailtrust

Not quite as pretty as Chrome, but its a good start…

(oh ya, and I turned my Ubuntu desktop into a Mac.  More on that some other time)