node.js and CouchDB for Raspberry-Pi

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nodejs and CouchDBI have been looking at node.js for Javascript on the server and a no-sql DB, CouchDB. Lots of info out there for installing on the raspberry-pi BUT, most info is out of date.  Make sure you check dates and versions before following any compile &/or install instructions!

As of January 21, 2013, I have found the following work for me:

node.js can and should be installed from source.  It compiles and installs correctly for versions > 0.8.10. More general info can be found at node.js. Detailed instructions for installing on the R-Pi are on Jeremy Morgan’s blog.   Most current version is 0.8.18.

CouchDB can be installed via an “apt-get” for raspbian.  The latest version I’ve seen is 1.2.0.  More info on CouchDB is at couchdb.apache.org.

MathTerms for Nook – on the way

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Barnes and Noble is preparing an educational apps initiative.  Seemed like a good time to make sure MathTerms works well on the Nook.  I’ve done a bit of updating to the UI and fixed a couple of minor layout issues.  Should be submitted for the Nook Storefront very soon…

MathTerms for the Nook

Excited to receive a Raspberry Pi® SBC

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Raspberry Pi SBCI ordered a Raspberry Pi Single Board Computer on the first day offered, on leap day, February 29, 2012, and received it on June 4, 2012.  A bit of a wait but I was excited to “play” with a $35, full-blown Linux-running, HDTV 1080p output, computer — and it was all for a great cause.  The Raspberry Pi Foundation is trying to do something about the situation where computers had become so expensive and arcane that programming experimentation on them had to be forbidden by parents; and to find a platform that, like previous generations of home computers, could boot into a programming environment.

I’m planning on using multiple R-Pi SBCs as mini servers and for real-time sensing and control of various devices.  Now, where did I put my soldering iron and multimeter?

MathTerms now available in the Amazon AppStore for Android

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MathTerms available at Amazon App StoreI finally finished the Android version of MathTerms.  Its my first Android app and I had my challenges learning all-things-android as well as wrestling with different versions of the Appcelerator Titanium SDK.  I spent considerable time ensuring that MathTerms would run well on different resolution tablets.  While primarily intended for the very popular Kindle Fire, I did not want to limit the app.  It does not run well on smaller screen phones, however.  It takes a bit of screen real estate to display glossary entries with images while providing search & browse functions.

Check it out at the Amazon AppStore for Android.  I could use some (good) reviews!

MathTerms coming along for Kindle Fire

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MathTerms on Kindle Fire

I’ve been making good progress on porting MathTerms to the Android OS with the goal of running on Amazon’s new Kindle Fire device.  It should also be able to run on the Nook when done — I hope 😉  I have most of the logic and user interface implemented.  Here are a couple of screen shots of the Android emulator running the latest.

Another screenshot can be found after the break…

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Appcelerator Titanium 1.7.2 for Android – frustration!

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Argh!  I wanted to move my MathTerms app to Android — specifically the Kindle Fire.  OK, I can create a new “term” window and make it look and act like an iPad split/detail window.  Not too hard to do but takes effort to make it look nice and act well.  When I went to read my data from some text and html files, though, everything fell on the floor!  I would get hangs or non-repeatable errors.  Titanium Studio would crash erratically.  MAJOR bummer.  I looked at the Appcelerator community support area – and didn’t find any help — at first.  As my frustration grew and my searches became more desperate, I finally found a well-visited Q&A that mentioned this bug is fixed in a nightly build of 1.7.3.  I wasted *days* on this one stupid bug, with no workaround that I could discern.

I am a paid “indie” developer with Appcelerator but can’t read their master bug list.  What’s up with that?  Finding an acknowledgment of the issue and then the fix was beyond frustrating 😉  I am now back on track and excited again.  I still love like Titanium Studio.

MathTerms on Kindle Fire?

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MathTerms was written using Appcelerator Titanium so that I could deploy on iOS devices or Android devices.  It does need substantial screen real estate, however, to see graphics and text — i.e. is really designed for tablets.

Amazon has finally announced the Kindle Fire.  I am in the process of porting to Android.  As Amazon hasn’t disclosed too much info to developers at this point, I can’t be sure of Android version and API level.  This should be disclosed in the next week or two.

Of course, this does not mean Amazon will accept the app into their app store!  I *will* submit as soon as possible — and we’ll see 😉

Coming unhinged

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A while back, I discovered the Miniot Cover for the iPad 2. This cover is made in Holland from a single piece of real wood.  It costs “only” $70, so I ordered one in early April.  It finally showed up June 30th — and it IS beautiful.  I chose a “Standard Series” Padouk wood cover.

When I placed the cover on my iPad 2, however, I noticed the cover did not have a hinge 🙁   I went back to the Miniot website, looked at ad and review photos and, sure enough, the cover does not have hinges and stays in place using a set of magnets.  The cover sometimes moves slightly when being held.  Removing the cover and flipping it to the back of the iPad causes the iPad to shut-off as the magnets are so strong they seem work through the cover and iPad.  Not good!

I looked at my Apple “Smart Cover” and its very sophisticated magnet attachment and articulating hinge and was even more amazed by Apple’s very cool design and ergonomics.  OK, I wanted Miniot’s real wood cover but with Apple’s hinge + magnets.  I decided to do some surgery and grafting.

To make a long story short, I disassembled the Apple cover using an Exacto knife, removed its fiberglass panels but kept the hinge and a few inches of its microfiber cloth.  I carefully pried-up the velvet backing of the Miniot cover and removed the left-side magnets.  I used spray adhesive to attach the cloth with embedded hinge under the velvet of the Miniot cover.  Voila!  I had a beautiful wood cover with the ingeneous Apple hinge.

It took more money, time and effort that I anticipated but I now have a gorgeous, functional and personalized iPad 2 cover.  Did I mention the Miniot cover also comes with free engraving?

Picts, comments and instructions after the break (click more)

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MathTerms now live!

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The iPad appication, “MathTerms” is now live and available on iTunes.  For more information and support, you can use the top navigation menu to go to Apps -> MathTerms.

It took a week after submitting the app to Apple to get into the review queue but only about a day to actually review it.  I’m looking forward to seeing the response…

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