Adding Twitter and Facebook widgets in your site

It’s been some time since I last updated my blog, what with all the exams and me working on a dozen projects simultaneously. However, I’d like to take the time to make a small blog post on how to add twitter and facebook buttons on your blog/site.

Twitter is pretty straightforward. You can add a follow button on your page by just adding this little snippet of code.

Now, just replace twitterapi with your account and you’re done :)

As far as facebook goes, you will probably want to add a ‘Like’ button in … Continue Reading

PHP web development and Symfony 2

Good news everyone! Well, everyone who likes PHP and looks for ways to improve his productivity and decrease his developing time, along with his anxiety, coding errors and security vulnerabilities anyway :)

Today I’d like to talk about Symfony 2. Symfony is a PHP web framework, much like Django (Python) and Rails (Ruby), which aims to simplify web development and improve productivity. This is probably why Drupal has announce that they are going to use some parts of Symfony for Drupal 8. Symfony comes in a bunch of independent software libraries, or Bundles as they like to call them, … Continue Reading

Checking fluctuating variables using thresholds, the smart way.

So, here’s the drill. In CS, we frequently need to check a variable compared to a predefined threshold.

Typical uses include checking the light level in a room and controlling the lights when it exceeds or goes below a certain threshold (the same can be done with temperature, essentially like a thermostat), checking the negative votes (vote-downs) for a post and removing it if it exceeds a threshold, e.t.c.

That’s usually easy to do programatically:

if(downvotes > VOTES_THRESHOLD)
{
remove_vote();
}

However, when you work with fluctuating variables, it’s harder to do a proper check. This is a common problem with sensor values, because they tend to … Continue Reading

PMH: State of the überness

For those of you who know me, you already know I’m really psyched about the Arduino platform. One of the things I’m also psyched is home automation. Not the crapy, oldschool home automation we all know and disregard, but the cool, shiny home automation. The kind of thing that you see in Star Trek and go “ooooooooooooooooooh!”. You know, like “Computer, adjust my temperature to 23.56 degrees, unless it’s Sunday with a full moon. Oh, and bring me a burger. And a beer.”, followed by “*bleep*OK*bleep*” and a tasty burger-beverage combination.

The main system I’m working on, mainly as part of … Continue Reading

Clang + Arduino = ♥

So… Clang.

Anyone who codes in C, C++ or Obj-C should know it. If you don’t, read about it. Seriously, stop reading this post and google it. Check my video to see a quick overview of its features.

Now you should know that Clang (+LLVM) is awesome. It’s steadily shaking the still waters of C compilers, and in my opinion, gradually replacing GCC as the de-facto C compiler. I’d like to talk a bit about Clang’s syntax analysis. Let’s assume this sample code:
#include<stdio.h>

int main(void)
{
int myVar = 5
int myVar2 = myVar;
int hello1 = 4;
Continue Reading

FOSSCOMM 2012

It’s been a long time since i last updated my blog, and I hope it won’t take me so long until the next time.

I’d like to start blogging again by mentioning the last open source conference I attended, FOSSCOMM 2012, which took place at my hometown, Serres, Greece. For those unaware, FOSSCOMM is the biggest open source conference in Greece, where people and communities from all over Greece meet annually to exchange ideas and news.

First of all, the conference was very nice, and i congratulate this year’s organizing committee. They did a great job, and the few minor issues that … Continue Reading

We’re on Hack a Day!

Where by ‘we’, I mean P-Space, the local hackerspace in Patras. Recently, I designed an (open source, ofc) system to control our door for entry, using RFID tags an a remote controller. Everyone liked it, so we installed it and I set off to document it on GitHub. We aptly named it Jarvis, after Edwin Jarvis.

To put it simply, Jarvis consists of a remote control that tells the computer to open the door when pressed, the door controller that reads the RFID tags and send the information to the computer, and the computer that validates the RFID information, … Continue Reading

Diffusing LEDs

I’m writing this blog post while sitting at our local hackerspace at 1.15am and working on a new Secret Project™. I’m using a semi-transparent glass and trying to light it up with LEDs from the sides.

Anyone who has used high power LEDs to light a surface could tell you, these things need to be diffused, because the light isn’t distributed evenly to the surface and it looks like crap.

So I was sitting and trying to find something to diffuse the LEDs with, and then it hit me (ouch)! Rolling paper for cigarettes*! After some quick googling i found out that … Continue Reading

Guess who’s a Growl developer

If you’re a mac user, you might have heard about Growl, perhaps you’re even using it. Those of you who know me might have heard me rant about how its greatness. It’s simply such a well thought-out, designed and developed software.

For those of you who have never heard of it, Growl is a notification system and framework for OS X. It’s highly configurable, yet easy to do so. The user can choose the notification style, the position of notification on the screen, set different notification styles and behavior for each program, etc. It’s even possible to have the notification emailed … Continue Reading

Arduino Pro Mini shields!

I’m proud to introduce my latest Arduino-related project. For the past year, I’ve been using the Arduino Pro Mini from Sparkfun extensively, and I’ve come to love it for its small size and awesome XBee connectivity. Since I’m frequently using relays, I’ve been making lots of relay boards, and every time I needed to add or remov a relay to a project, it’s been kind of a pain in the ass, so I devised a smart solution.

First of all, I need to make a small introduction. Using the Stackable Headers from Sparkfun, I made it … Continue Reading

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