Good evening all!
Due to a critical bug in Heavy Sleeper, I've decided to take it offline from the Play store for the moment so that I can get the fix issued. In the update though, I've also decided I'll be adding some new features and making this version a new major release. The current plan for new features;
- Multiple alarm periods
- Tabbed interface
- Log/Console moved to it's own tab
- Settings will be saved
- Preview an audio file from within the file browser
- Android alerts/notifications
The bug that I'm fixing is actually making the alarm sound properly. I'd neglected something very important in the code which meant although the alarm itself would fire, it wouldn't actually sound (which is kind of a big deal ;) ). I believe I've fixed it already but I need to test it out in an actual scenario. I thought it was working already, but it appears not. I decided I'd also push out the features update at the same time rather than releasing 2 updates in quick succession.
The visual style of the application will remain the same by default, but I might add support for different skins. The main changes are related to the layout. I anticipate the new update will be out on Monday, but I might be able get it out before then.
Good evening all!
I'm pleased to announce my first ever Android application is almost ready to go! It isn't VTemp, or WinFlare, or any project I've ever announced or spoken of in the past. This project is something I created in just a few hours. It's known as "Heavy Sleeper" and for lack of a better term, it's an "Alarm Repeater". You see, I have a very strange sleep pattern, where I can still be awake at 7AM in the morning after a night of coding or gaming, and then sleep through until the afternoon. My work shift is late afternoon through to late evening most days.
On those days where I need to be up in the morning, I always find myself having to set many alarms in succession. This is a hassle to maintain - if I want to push the time forward for each alarm or change the sound, I have to manually edit each one. To this end, it hit me this morning that I could create a solution to this problem. Around 6AM this morning, the idea hit me and that was it. I figured it was a quick project to create... and sure enough, less than 2 hours later, it was complete. Of course it's very basic at the moment but it does provide everything you need.
Right now it's being revalidated by Google - I did submit it earlier today and it went live, but there was a small issue surrounding the permissions which means it wouldn't be installable on some devices. This has been corrected and the new installer file/APK is being revalidated. It should be good to go within a few hours. It's only available for Android. I figured that making an Alarm App for Windows wasn't really suitable so I stuck with the platform it's most suitable for.
Any feedback can be submitted on the form at the bottom of the page or using the contact details down there. In the next version you'll be able to submit feedback from within the app itself, but that's going to require some additional work on the API. I'll also be aiming to add support for multiple alarms - for example, allowing you to set alarms to run from 08:00 to 08:30, from 10:00 to 10:15, etc. I'll also be adding support for notifications.
Sticking by my stance, the application is free and supports over 4200 different device models! There's 323 'registered' device models that aren't supported and a large majority of these are probably because they don't meet the hardware requirements or don't run a compatible Android version. Some of the supported devices may not actually support the application - it requires ARMV7 processor with NEON support, Android Gingerbread, Android Ice Cream Sandwich, Android Jelly Bean, or Android KitKat. If you do find a device that isn't compatible despite Google listing it as installable, please do contact me and I'll investigate it!
As I said, at the moment it's being revalidated by Google. Once this is done, you'll be able download it from the projects section below (you'll be redirected to the Google Play store).
"Heavy Sleeper" is now available on the Google Play store!
Good morning all.
Following on from my previous hint about a VTemp announcement, I'm now ready to share my plans. Following much investigation, I've decided that VTemp will work as an additional application alongside OpenHardwareMonitor. What this means is that you'll need to have OHWM running for VTemp to work correctly. OHWM has long provided support for third party applications to read the data it retrieves and most importantly, it provides support for a wide range of hardware and different metrics; voltages, fan speeds, temperatures, clock speeds, etc. of CPU's, GPU's, motherboards, drives, RAM, etc. By utilizing this software to provide the data, I can focus almost exclusively on the UI and on providing that data to the API so you can view it on other devices and systems.
I'm also ready to share my intent for VTemp 3. The intent is that it'll be built initially as a very complex application with many default queries. For example, if you wanted to display all fan speeds, that can be done. If you want to display all temperatures, no problem. If you want to display all values from your GPU's, that's easy. Further to this, custom querying will be available. For example, if you want to see the clock speed and usage of CPU #0 core #1, and the temperature and voltage of your GPU's, you'll be able to do that.
You will need to know WQL (WMI Query Language) for the most advanced queries, but I'll be adding in a query builder to make it a little easier. I'm very much interested in keeping the simple approach available - I have never changed my stance on all the data being there but without overcrowding the UI. As such, the query builder will provide you with buttons that you toggle on and off each part but it'll also provide you with the actual query itself.
As for the UI, I'm not yet sure on how I want it laid out. Again, taking into the point above about not overcrowding, I'm gonna be carefully considering how I want to design it. I have been looking already, but nothing is definite. It feels like I've been trying to get around to working on it properly for months but I keep finding something cropping up. I want the quality of it to be as high as the work I've done with the API but still trying to innovate. I've already got a few ideas for overall layout, but again, nothing is concrete just yet.
Good morning all!
I've just added a few minor tweaks to the API, namely the ability to show a maintenance or status message at the top of the site. It's a small tweak to both the API and site but should make things a little easier in future - for example if there's planned maintenance that's not yet ongoing. I've updated my Android application to allow me to set this message and toggle it on or off even when I'm not at home. I'm planning to expand the app to include more options but it's still a private app. I'll be using what I've learnt while building it (and the API) when building VTemp Mobile in the next few weeks. I've got an important announcement regarding VTemp in the next few days (perhaps in a week or so), specifically about it's requirements. Stay tuned for full details.
You'll also notice that I've added a donation method at the bottom. This isn't being forced (hence the nature of donations) which is why it's 'out of the way' so to speak. Currently I'm only accepting donations by Litecoin, but I'm considering accepting bitcoin donations as well. I won't be accepting 'real world' currencies - only virtual currencies will be accepted. It's simply because the management, setting up and maintenance of those sorts of contracts with payment processors is a headache and they take a nice cut off the top as well. Then there's the inherent risks involved when we start talking about real money. Virtual/digital currency however, is much more flexible and there's no costs for it - the funds are sent between people instantly. I also place a little more trust in the systems involved in digital currency than I do in the banks.
Any donations are extremely welcome and go towards the yearly cost of running the site and towards creating the various projects I put out there. I'll still be creating projects even without donations but I figured I'd provide the option for those that want to send a little something my way.
That's all for now. I've got a busy few weeks ahead but I'll do my best to keep the updates flowing!
Good morning all!
You'll probably notice there's been a few small changes to the site today. The first one is that you can now filter projects by their platform. At the moment, only 'Windows' and 'Web' are available, but Android will be available once I get some Android applications out there. If you're browsing on mobile, you'll probably also notice the page width isn't broken any more. The project lightboxes are still broken but I'll try and get around to fixing those in the future. You'll also notice that there's a small 'pulse' image in the system status section. This is purely aesthetic at the moment but I might make it change colour if the overall health of the system isn't 100%. What I would like to do eventually is make the status dynamically refresh without needing a page reload, but that's a lot of extra work.
As for the API, I've made a whole bunch of changes at the backend and admin side of things. There's now a basic accounts system in place with regards to the system status. Whenever you're viewing data, you'll be using a public account. This account merely works as a public display for data. I've then got another admin account which will allow me to control many different aspects of the API, website and CDN. Right now, I can put each one into or out of maintenance mode when authed to that account but I'm looking into ways I can expand this control. I'm contemplating making a 'lockdown' system, whereby I can put the API and site into maintenance, increase the CDN security level to the maximum available and perform some extra... tweaks on the backend. That's just a passing thought though and I'm not sure if I'll take things that far. Right now though I'm able to set things to maintenance from a little Android app I built for myself.
I'm also already planning out the design for VTemp web display! I said it when I launched the new design and I'll say it again - the new site allows me a lot of freedom with regards to displaying information and the API is shaping up to be pretty powerful. What I'm looking at is using the 'accordian' style (the same display that's used for news stories) and having 1 for each hardware item. Remember, the new VTemp will be using completely new methods to gather and display hardware information so a lot more info. will be available. I'm already looking at designing the web display to support up to 24-thread CPU's (such as the new top-end Xeon chips) and then hiding any items that aren't used (so for single-core systems, you'll only see 1 core listed). Within each core, you'll have the temperature, clock and voltage. Same applies for other components but obviously displaying relevant stats (e.g. no clock speed for drives).
It's not much of a problem to work that in the website interface or display the data correctly. The problem that I'm most likely to come across will be within VTemp itself. With that said, I've already got an idea of what I need to do to make it work properly (basically set values for 'non existant' cores to some obscure value and then parse that).
That's all I've got for you for now. There's more work to do on the API before I can get back to software projects but hopefully it won't be too long before I've got something new ready to show.
Good morning all!
As you can see, the new ThoughtCloud website has now launched! It's been online for about an hour but I've added some late post-launch tweaks to optimize it a little more and make it more readily accessible. There was a big issue with the launch - our entire CDN went offline. At first I thought it was just the site but navigating to the CDN's site as well showed that it wasn't something on our end. Everything returned to normal within minutes though and the website is all good to go!
Let's compare it against the old site.
The old site was...
- Build to look like the Microsoft Metro dashboard, but failed epicly in being 'modern'
- It was tiled which worked, but even I felt it became too abstract
- Didn't allow much freedom with regards to displaying interesting data
- Too much blue - I like blue, but even I admit it was too much
- Wasn't cross-browser friendly
- Worked with mobile (only just), but only because it didn't do anything different
- Had that disabled API icon in the top for months
...while the new site is...
- Looks truly modern, featuring HTML5 and CSS3
- Uses an easy to navigate layout that just on the line between too minimalistic and overendulging
- Allows easy expansion and integration with the API and other data sources
- A nice blend of colours, primarily greys but with nice touches of colour
- Is cross-browser and cross-platform friendly
- Dynamically adapts many aspects of the page without the need to manual updates
- Allows me to finally integrate the portfolio and profile I've wanted to add to the site for years
- Now allows you to contact me through a web form (that's something I wanted to add to the old site)
Now, the new site isn't perfect. For example, I haven't found an effective way to display previous articles. I can easily expand that area to include more articles if needed, but creating an article list that's not too long is more of a challenge. I may expand it up to 10 articles, I may not, I'm not sure. Overall though, despite that one drawback, it's a major improvement and really does fit in well with the direction I'm taking ThoughtCloud (both in software and on the web).
And before anyone asks, the part about caffeine is true. Ok, maybe it's not quite 95%... maybe it's closer to 92.58%.
That's all for now. I'd like to thank everyone who's visited for putting up with the previous site for so long. Feel free to leave feedback or drop me a message through the form at the bottom.
Scott is extremely interested in software development, coding, and design. He has spent many late nights writing units and designing interfaces that could only be described as modern. He continually strives to improve the interfaces he creates to allow more data to be shown in the same space without overcrowding. He started creating small applications back in 2005, but it wasn't until late 2011 that he started to focus those efforts and create modern software.
Since then, we can't seem to peel him away from his code.
Scott is an avid PC gamer and has been playing many different genres since around 2003. He's played racers, RPG's and tower defense' in the past but tends to stick with FPS and RTS these days. He enjoys single player, multiplayer, co-op, and even single player VS AI (such as in Starcraft 2). His playstyle is typically one of defensive-cover as opposed to offensive-pushing. However, he will adapt his style as appropriate.
Truthfully, he's not very good at games though.
Scott's lifestyle may be laid back, but he finds that even when he's had almost zero sleep in a night, he'll still be able to get through work and projects with a steady stream of Caffeine. VTemp? Caffeine did that. Boiled? Thank Caffeine for that. ThoughtCloud API? That was a week of Caffeine fueled coding. These cartoon images that Scott created? Yeah, Caffeine, a sharpie, some photo paper and a scanner. Oh, and Photoshop too.
And yet, he can't stand Coffee.