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JumpSquares.net - a new kind of bookmark

tl;dr -> Get Started at http://www.jumpsquares.net/

 

I've been working on this project for about 1.5 months and I'm very happy that I can finally share it.

 

So... what is a JumpSquare? Let's start off with Why...

 

We've all been there before:

  • You start a new job and have no idea where anything is located
  • A contractor comes on site and you have to point them to every application
  • You are constantly sending emails asking where an application has been installed because you never bookmarked it
  • You have a very large datacenter environment and can't remember all the virtualization, storage, and network addresses
  • There may be 100+ different applications in your environment and you want to keep track of what's out there.
  • Maintaining excel documents or sharepoint sites suck
  • Browser bookmarks can be messy if you have a lot of them

 

The idea spawned because I had trouble keeping track of 6 VMware environments in our lab. Within those 6 environments, there were 100+ applications consisting of multiple vSphere Web Clients, vCOPs, vClouds, physical assets like switches and arrays. Bookmarks would have been messy and I got tired of sending emails trying to figure out what servers hosted which applications. I got a non-persistent desktop to access the lab environment so  bookmarks didn't stick (don't ask why they can't figure that out), plus those bookmarks are only personalized for me. So if someone goes and installs vCOPs for POD3, I have to go to the web client, open it up, search for the IP address, then try and guess to see if i can remember the port or slew of /'s to find the login page. There had to be a better way.

 

Introducing the JumpSquare (an image)

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Introducing the MonsterRemote for the MonsterShield

I'm pretty excited to release this and make one long blog post out of it. This is not my usual blog posting topic, but this is a good place to keep it so I can maintain it. I'm a pretty big halloween nut, like really big. check out some pictures from 2012 Halloween.

 

Last year, I caught wind of the MonsterShield prop controller. For about $200, you can have a prop controller that can control 16 relays, have 15 different animations, with MP3 cd quality audio, that also has an API. I was completely sold. Over some talk with Jason (the creator of the MonsterShield), I wanted to build something that I could use to trigger the animations that I want. I run a yard haunt, and with over 10,000+ people that come around to see the Halloween decorations on the street, I can't use traditional triggers. Motion detectors means they would be going off constantly. And having it timed means I won't have the correct animations set off for specific parts of the yard depending upon where people are standing. I could use multiple prop controllers, but I like centralization. With 16 relays, I can control everything in my yard from a single spot, so I had to figure out the best possible way to trigger the animations I want to see. This way my wife and I can sit on the porch, drink a beer, and set off the electric chair when people aren't ready for it.

 

I started learning Ruby on Rails earlier this year but didn't have a project, so this became my first go at Ruby on Rails. And thanks to Steven Bryen for lending his ruby expertise from time to time. The great thing about RoR is that you can easily build responsive websites that can be viewed on mobile phones, tablets, as well as desktops. So there is my goal. Using a Raspberry Pi as the Ruby on Rails server, it will send commands to the Arduino to trigger anything I want.

 

Without further ado, I am pleased to introduce the MonsterRemote. The MonsterRemote is aimed at being a remote control for the MonsterShield prop controller that you can use from any mobile device. Utilizing a smartphone with web browsing capabilities, you can trigger any configured animation on the MonsterShield prop controller. This is a free and open source project with no liability or support.

 

Features:

  • Dynamic Home Screen that will only display the animations/slots that have been enabled on the MonsterShield
  • Change the generic names ("0. Scene 00") to any name of your choosing like "0. Ambient Mix" or "0. Scary Jumping Flying Thing"
  • Enable/Disable Animations in the settings page that will Enable/Disable the slot on the MonsterShield and reflect a new or deleted button on the home screen
  • Interrupt and stop a triggered animation after selecting yes on a dialogue box
  • Remotely Shutdown your Raspberry Pi to preserve file integrity of the linux system files
  • Toggle Ambient settings to be On or Off
  • Toggle the Animation mode to be Sequential (0,1,2,3..), Random (5,A,9,1..), or Single after selecting your animation(1,1,1,1..)
  • It's FREE!!

 

Browse the code over at GitHub - monster_remote.

 

An intro video (bad quality on the Flip) and some screenshots:

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About Me

Welcome to KendrickColeman.com! Over the past 7 years, this blog has been dedicated to IT infrastructure, namely virtualization and the evolution of the cloud with VMware. The
only real constant is change, so has my focus. I'm very fortunate that I have a storied past with VMware technologies, but it has led me to learning about the other side of IT, development. I've learned frameworks such as Ruby on Rails and Node.js + Express.js + MongoDB
, all my projects fit into Docker containers, and GitHub is my friend. I try to bring all of these worlds together in a way to share my experiences. I use this blog for publishing solutions to uncommon problems I find in my day to day duties. If I happen to resolve a problem that google can't find, you can expect me to write a blog post about it.

 

About Me: I'm Kenny Coleman (Kendrick is my full name), and live in Louisville, KY. I started my career off as a windows system engineer after graduating from the University of Kentucky, which lead me wanting to get back into networking (I attended Trinity High School in Louisville,KY that had one of the inaugural CCNA courses for high school students) and landed me my first certification, CCNA. As a Cisco and systems engineer, it lead me into my new passion of virtualization. I've been honored by VMware with the vExpert award for my contributions to the VMware community and being a virtualization evangelist. Times change, and so do focuses, so I have been engaged in software development with technologies such as Ruby, Rails, Node.js, Express.js, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, Cassandra, Redis, Python, RabbitMQ, Docker, Kubernetes, Mesos, and much more. I have a broad range of experience with many different technologies. I believe that's what has made me so successful this far into my career. I love diving into new technologies, trying to be a bourbon connoisseur, cheering on #BBN, hanging out with my beautiful wife and daughter, and being around friends.

 

Bio: Kendrick Coleman is a reformed sysadmin/virtualization ninja/cloud junkie turned coder and awaits for an idea to spawn to tackle it with Ruby or Javascript. In his daily role a developer advocate for EMC Code, he works with a team to focus and publish all things open source.

 

If you have any questions or would like to get in contact with me, feel free to email me at kendrickcoleman [@] gmail [d0t] com

 

Disclaimer: I am an employee of EMC and the views expressed here are entirely of my own thoughts and not that of my employer.

 

 

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The Carputer Project

It got to the point where a 6disc cd changer wasn't enough

a 40gb iPod with an iPod adapter isn't enough

so i ran across mp3car.com and that's where it all began

 

My Specs:
I have a spare IBM R40 laptop that I used. 1.4GHz, 512MB RAM, 60gb HDD
My monitor is the Xenarc 700IDT. This is also the NEWEST one with "brighter screen and contrast resolution". I bought this from pandainnovations.com. Great people with an eye for customer satisfaction, check them out. Also have the Garmin GPS18 with iGuidance 4.0

My Plan:
After taking apart the dash once and I looked at the back of the head unit, I found out there is no AUX input. The only way to do this is to either replace the head unit and re-wire the Bose speakers, or to use the existing head unit and turn the tape deck into an AUX input. So i went the easier approach and got a cassette adapter to run to the laptop.

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