Posts tagged ‘python’

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My First Web App! (work in progress)

I created my first web app! (http://tiempoparacruzar.appspot.com/

The app gives basic information on the USA-Mexico crossing borders like operation time, number of open lanes, and more important, estimated crossing time (very useful for people living near the border or for those who like to do our shopping in the US).

It uses a simple python script to gather information from the cbp.gov website. The website has a publicly available xml file that I download to my server, then my app strips all the useless information and organize all the data that I want to display.

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I made the HTML print outs thinking on mobile devices, so it may (and will) look a little weird on a computer, but it is still usable.

You can compare my site with the original (http://apps.cbp.gov/bwt/), the information is the same, but I present only the information that most people look for. 

Next step would be to optimize load times, but I’ve been thinking about writing an Android/iOS app that does all the work instead of relying on a server but my free time has practically dissapeared between german lessons, online courses and some very good books that I’ve been reading lately, but it’s definitely in my list!

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Music in the Shower!

I’ve been working on this for a long time but I had some trouble geting it out of the breadboard and then iTunes changed the APIs so I’ve been trying to get it working again but for the mean time I’m leaving this video from the initial stage:

I’m using an Arduino to send the commands to the computer via bluetooth (next track, prev, play/pause, volume, random playlist). The computer is running a python script to get the commands and send the appropriate signal to iTunes, and getting the song info back to the Arduino.

The python part changed recently due to the APIs update and it doesn’t seem that I’ll be able to get it working back in the same way.

Right now I got it working again with the API changes with some workarounds with some .app’s created with AppleScript that only send the play/pause, volume, etc., one for each command, but I don’t like this approach so I’m trying to get it working as a service again.

I also want to have a good case for the board but in the mean time I only tossed the circuit inside a ziplock to avoid the water.

I hope to give an update soon.

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Automating a Process

I work as a CNC programmer. We have five 5-axis routers with 2 work tables each at my workplace. We use them for plastic trimming and drilling. The machines aren’t the best in the market but they surely work for our purposes.

To cut the parts we place a thermoformed plastic on a holding fixture in the router. There are several parts that are similar to each with little difference like a cutout or the positions of some holes, so we may use a holding fixture for many different parts/programs.

This generates a lot of problems because sometimes the operators place the wrong fixture on the machine, or the correct fixture but the wrong program. This may cause a crash of the machine with the fixture and it can take up to 10 hours to fix it, depending on the severity of the accident and the skills of the maintenance technician who fixes it. This causes a production halt on the machine and it escalates the problem to other areas where they may need the parts that were about to be produced in order to keep working.

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