Microsoft Outlook mail checker for blink(1)

sajingeo-outlook-blink1Here’s a great way to hook up blink(1) up to Microsoft Outlook.  Github user @sajingeo created a nicely-written Python script “outlook.py” that polls queries Outlook and then calls “blink1-tool”.  You don’t need to be running Blink1Control to get this to work. (if you are, just use the “blink1control-tool” cmdline program instead of “blink1-tool”).  He also includes a handy batch file to start it all off.  Thanks sajingeo!

blink(1) available Seeed Studio, great for AU & Asia folks

blink1-seeed

We’re very excited to announce that our blink(1) USB notification LED is now available via Seeed Studio.  Seeed is a wonderful company based in Shenzhen, China and helped ThingM manufacture blink(1).  And since they’re based in Shenzhen, they’re a much closer source blink(1) from if you’re places like Australia, Japan, or Singapore.  Thanks Seeed!

ThingM at MakerFaire 2015 Bay Area, come join us!

ThingM will once again be at Maker Faire Bay Area.  It’s the 10-year anniversary and we’ve been going since the very beginning (and have had a booth there for 8 years). This year it’s on May 16 & 17 2015.  Come join us!  We’ll be showing off projects made with our blink(1) USB RGB LED and our BlinkM Smart LED family of products.  If you’ve done something neat with ThingM products, come tell us about it.  See you there!

tm_makerfaire_2015_blog500px

Using blink(1) with nagios/nagstamon, and teatime!

nagios-blink1-jacobJacob is a user of nagios, the popular server monitoring tool, and nagstamon, a nagios status monitor tray icon for the desktop. But, as he notes:

Problem is the tray icon is not that present and sometimes I don’t see the notification in time. The blink(1) is the perfect addon for this, I now can see if something is wrong even if my screen is off.

He wrote a quick wrapper script to connect blink(1) to nagios and nagstamon and now he gets visual notifications without peering at a tiny tray icon.

See video of it in action on his blog post.

He also made a great set of command-line aliases for other daily blink(1) uses:
nagios-blink1-jacob-teatime

Thanks Jacob, these are great!

 

Tod interviewed on Embedded.fm

embedded-pumpkin
Tod was recently interviewed for the Embedded.fm podcast, episode #90 “Stick it in a Pumpkin“.  It was a lot of fun.  We talked about blink(1), BlinkM, electronics production, Kickstarter, and a bunch of other things.   You can listen to on iTunes or on the Embedded.fm website.  And if you listen to the end, you’ll hear a special 25% coupon code for blink(1)s. :-)

If you’ve not heard of Embedded.fm, and you’re interested in electronics, you might like it. It’s all about electronics. The host Elecia is awesome and wrote a pretty great book a few years ago called Making Embedded Systems.

Stack of RasPis and blink(1)s for network monitoring

raspiblink1netmon-500

ThingM friend John Tokash made this awesome stack  of Raspberry Pis and blink(1) USB lights to help monitor his company network.

Our network at Curious had some partial outages recently (one portion of the network was down but others weren’t).  I set these up to monitor each portion of the network’s ability to connect to the internet.  Some are connected to switches, others are connected to WAPs.  They each hit a different deadmanssnitch.com url so I can see their status remotely and get notified.

The blink1s are at less than 25% brightness (#005500) to keep heat down and are still plenty bright.

Having a single physical object for each monitored network might seem like overkill at first glance, but for network monitoring this could be ideal: each RasPi is a self-contained full computer with network connection on the net segment in question. The RasPi could perform all sorts of diagnostic tests on a specific Ethernet segment without tricky switch/router configuration changes. A great solution, John!