Hacks: February 2016

This month, I got back into hacking out some stuff. It wasn’t because I was bored or anything — I just felt the need to start flexing my geek muscles again, and start mucking about with stuff. Really, the goal here is to sharpen my skills/thinking, and to start learning the skillset I need for a go at a larger project I have in mind.

Here’s what I got up to:

iTunes “now playing” to Twitter update. This was a blend of bash scripting (which I never really got into before this month), crontab (which I learned in January), and I guess I could’ve used Applescript to manage the tweets, but I used the command-line app, t. The system checked with iTunes every 5 minutes and when a song was playing, would bang out a quick tweet, detailing what was playing:

https://twitter.com/fontosaurus/status/696936571577233408

Not real complex, but it got me to learn crontab and bash scripting, and reminded me of why I fucking loathe Applescript as much as I do. I took it down due to popular demand. (One friend vocally, a few more via subtle “WTF?” direct messages.) I could reactivate it in a few minutes if I felt particularly saucy.

Issues with this: annoys the heck out of people, apparently.


Desktop screenshot to WordPress widget. This is something I’ve wanted to tackle for awhile — pretty much from the moment that I discovered you could take a screenshot from the command line in OS X. If you look off to the left there, there’s a widget entitled VISUALS. While my laptop is running, it updates every 10 minutes. I built this so that it generates the screenshot and a thumbnail both. Additionally, it also snaps a picture with the built-in iSight camera. I don’t display the photos, just the screenshot. This uses bash scripting again, crontab again, and I installed brew so that I had access to imagemagick and imagesnap.

Issues with this: minor stuff. Need to pretty it up for the quick-edit links in WordPress. Should probably set up some sort of system to “pause” the system when I’m looking at porn, I guess. No one wants to know about that sort of stuff.


Post Status: Idea WordPress plugin. One of my big issues with WordPress has been the main admin list of posts. As ideas occur to me, I have historically just gone ahead and created a draft version. The problem is that is clutters up the main list of posts — there are pages upon pages of Drafts. What I’ve decided to do is create a new registered post status called Idea. It won’t show up in the complete list, but it will appear in it’s own subsection. This was some very light PHP 5 and some slightly heavier jQuery to cover up a hole in WordPress’s register_post_type function. Also learned a ton about WordPress hooks during the process of building this. Feeling more confident about my ability to hash out a large-scale WordPress plugin after writing this.


To-Do in March:

  • debug a SSL certificate install
  • get MongoDB up and running cleanly
  • WordPress/Buddypress/BBpress install
  • transfer fontosaurus.com domain

Image Credits: lmonk72/Creative Commons Zero (CC0).

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