Archive for the ‘web’n’stuff’ Category

Mobile Home Automation Via Android

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

I created this project and my target is improve the comfort of my home. Taking a look around I noticed that home automation solution proposed by the big market player are too much expensive for me and, above all, I should create new wires connections between light, plug, etc.. and the control box.
My idea is use what we already have without spend lot of money to buy a owner solution, so I started with arduino, my android mobile phone, some relays and my home.
I have a nice home, 2 bad rooms, kitchen with living room and it was very nice tka e the control of the lights, gate and door with my mobile phone.

[Mattia] have realized home automation via internet, using:

[...] an Arduino 2009 with ethernet shield and the game is very easy, I send some http message to arduino, he moves some relays and give me back a JSON response. Not so hard, but the hard business is interfacing with the electrical wiring of home, with some patience I found what I need and I linked those wires at the relays.

A chi non è mai capitato di restare chiuso fuori casa senza le chiavi? Beh a noi spesso e ci sarebbe piaciuto aprire il nostro cancello o porta di ingresso usando il telefono cellulare che abbiamo sempre con noi, il bisogno aguzza l’ingegno…ed ecco fatto! Ci siamo guardati un attimo in giro ed abbiamo recuperato un po’ di informazioni su Arduino, la sua filosofia a “brick” ci è sembrata l’ideale per fare quello che avevamo in mente, il mio HTC Hero con Android OS ha fatto il resto.

[Mattia] ha realizzato un progetto di automazione domestica usando Arduino Duemilanove e Ethernet Shield:

[...]Bisogna far comunicare Arduino con il nostro telefono, la soluzione più pulita che mi è balzata in mente era quella di usare il protoccolo http per farsì che la comunicazione avvenga  e JSON per scambiarsi i dati agilemente.

Più informazioni sul sito [nerdyDog]

via [ArduinoForum] source [nerdyDog]


Some blog updatesAlgunas actualizaciones al blog

Sunday, September 12th, 2010


#1: If you follow our twitter feed you will have noticed that we are now posting automagically the title of our blog posts there. In this way you will get to know when there was a new post to the blog without needing to subscribe to our rss feed or similar. If you follow @arduinoteam on twitter you will get our news a little easier.

#2: On the other hand, as mentioned at a previous post, we have invited Davide Gomba to be our first non-team editor and, as a welcome present, we imported all his Arduino related posts as part of our blog. You will see now a lot more posts in the archive. We want to be a good place where to document your projects and this is our first step towards that.

#3: We just activated clean URLs to make our posts more visible. This means that, eventually, our blog will be a little harder to find on search engines and that we are going to be breaking the links from pages that used our previous naming methods. We had to make this change at some point and now felt like the right time to move towards a more comprehensible way to read our posts.

PS. yes, I (dcuartielles) made a mistake today and accidentally posted to twitter for each one of the posts we imported from the other blog. Dudes, I am so so sorry, I cleaned up the mess, but of course if you are hardwired to twitter via some sort of notification-activated app on your phone, I accidentally bombed you … TWICE!! Won’t happen again.




#1: Si es que sigues nuestras notificaciones en twitter habrás notado que ahora posteamos un mensaje cada vez que alguien escribe un artículo en el blog. De esta manera podrás saber cuando ha llegado un nuevo artículo sin necesidad de subscribirte a un RSS o similar. Con sólo atender a @arduinoteam en twitter recibirás noticias nuestras de una forma sencilla.

#2: Por otra parte, tal y como mencionamos en un post anterior, hemos invitado a Davide Gomba a ser nuestro primer editor externo. Como regalo de bienvenida, hemos importado todos sus mensajes de la blog para la que escribía anteriormente, para que sean parte de nuestra blog. Ahora encontraréis muchos más mensajes en nuestros archivos. Queremos convertirnos en un buen lugar donde documentar tus/vuestros proyetis y este es sólo el primer paso para conseguirlo.

#3: Hemos activado la opción “clean URLs” para hacer los títulos de los posts más legibles. Esto implica que nuestra blog va a ser un poco más difícil de encontrar en buscadores y que posiblemente rompamos los links con algunas páginas que apuntan hacia nuestro blog. Necesitamos hacer este cambio en algún momento y sentíamos que era el momento apropiado de cara a tener una mejor manera de dar acceso a nuestros artículos.

PS. si, yo (dcuartielles) hice cometí hoy un error y accidentalmente publiqué un mensaje en twitter para cada uno de los artículos que importé en el blog. Muchachos/as, lo siento mucho, he limpiado la cuenta de twitter. Pero claro, aquellos de vosotros que seguís twitter a través de algún dispositivo móvil con notificaciones automáticas,  habéis sido víctimas de un DOBLE ataque de spam por mi parte!! No volverá a suceder.

Note on blog translations (to Spanish)

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

We try keeping our blog as up-to-date as possible at a technical level, like the rest of our online infrastructure. Therefore we upgraded to WordPress 3.0 a couple of days ago. The process was flawless, everything seemed to be in place, except for our translation plugin (called qTranslate). The developer who takes care of it is still working on how to adjust his code to WordPress’ latest enhancements.

If you want to see this happening faster, please visit Qian Qin’s website and contribute to his personal wishlist.

While we wait for qTranslate’s upgrade, the blog will go back to only English.


Intentamos mantener nuestro blog al día tanto como es posible desde un punto de vista técnico. Esto se aplica también al resto de nuestra infraestructura en línea. Es por esto que hace un par de días actualizamos nuestro blog a WordPress 3.0. El proceso funcionó sin errores y todo parece estar en su sitio, excepto por nuestro plugin para traducciones. El desarrollador que lo mantiene está aún trabajando con la adaptación a las últimas mejoras de WordPress.

Si quieres que este proceso se acelere, visita la web de Qian Qin y contribuye a su lista de la compra.

Mientras esperamos a que qTranslate -que es como se llama el plugin en cuestión- sea actualizado, el blog volverá a ser sólo en inglés.

Yeah, we went to NYC!

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

It is now a month since the Arduino Uno meetup at ITP finished, I have been busy as hell (and I still am), but it feels it is time to report back to the community about my share of what happened there. We -the Arduino team- had to meet for our yearly discussion about how to move on with the project. It is just that it was our 5th anniversary, so it felt like we had to make something special. We prepared a selection of talks and topics we felt had to be discussed with everybody and we brought things up to a series of people. We had to chose between making “the Arduino conference” or making something a little more intimate that would gather representatives from the community, the distribution list, the users, teachers, and people developing products on top of our technology.

We tried to get people from all over to NYU (New York University, our host) and spent two days in a series of marathonian sessions about IDE improvements, API enhancements, library compatibility, board redesign ideas, business models, and web 3.0. I am actually really proud of the Spanish speaking community, represented by Igor Gonzalez, from Spain, who gathered everyone’s opinions throughout the forum and brought up important matters that concern the way we should design our new online services to make them more inclusive to non-English speaking people. The meeting closed up with an open day where anyone was welcome to pass by, bring their project along and share with the rest.


Arduino website hits 2006-2010

(c) 2010 the Arduino team



I took the chance to prepare things for the talk about the web, I made sure I had a series of good graphs to show, and those are the ones I really itch to show you guys. The web has experienced an explosion in the amount of visitors since we started, and it feels it will only grow. I think I expressed in an earlier post my personal obsession in having 100% uptime for our web services, so that people can rely on us for education, sharing knowledge with others, and document the outcome of their projects. Looking at this statistics, I started to understand that … if we started to work with high-schools and not only with universities, we should address a completely different set of issues like the size (probably we will multiply by 10 our network use in a matter of months), safety, user privacy (you don’t want your kids’ information to be misused on the internet, right?), and of course: COOLNESS FACTOR!

I added this mission to my list of things to study as part of my PhD at Malmo University and scheduled a meeting at Google, thanks to an ITP alumni (Laura thanks a bunch for arranging it!) where I exposed mine and Arduino’s concerns about our future on the web. During a 1 hour presentation and a 1 hour lunch meeting some people at Google NYC and I came to understand a possible model for bringing Arduino to work on their cloud infrastructure. For those that don’t know about it, Google offers scalable infrastructure on Python and Java for free up to a certain amount of hits/month. As for today we are already over their limit, but they are really flexible when it comes to open source projects.

However, the conversation about the web has just started, and will last for some time. I want to understand the implications of migrating from a VPS/dedicated server structure to a cloud one. I have read a lot in the weeks following to the March meeting in NY and it is my understanding the cloud makes sense up to a point. What would happened if we spent e.g. 1 year developing a whole new web infrastructure and all of the sudden we had to migrate to our own series of dedicated servers because of the size we would have reached. This is when I need to talk more about it, I will go back to the Google people, who have been super helpful so far. But I will also analyze others like Amazon who offer a linux transparent cloud that would allow for faster migrations, at least is how I understood their system.


Arduino on Ekstra Bladet

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

Ekstra Bladet is a Danish paper that has a quite large online version. This week they have a small online TV documentary about Arduino’s presence at the OSD conference in Copenhagen last week. We cannot embed their video in our site (they give no chance to do so) but visit this link to see it. If you watch the clip you will notice there is a Pong game made with a series of RGB LED matrixes by the guys at BSD-DK, as well as a whole display of different projects that can be made with Arduino … that was a nice job! For the next Open Source Days, please remember I live just across the Oresund, and send me an invitation, thanks ;-)


Arduino clip on Ekstra Bladet

Arduino clip on Ekstra Bladet March 2010



The National Association for Amateur Radio (US)

Saturday, March 13th, 2010



AARL's Survery for March 2010

AARL's Quiz for March 2010

The AARL is the US National Association for Amateur Radio with over 150.000 members. This month they published a Quiz on their website that included a question about the term “Arduino”. We have been getting some visits to our website from them during the last days. If you are into electronics in general and radio in particular, you should maybe take a look at their website. Here some facts:

By 1914, there were thousands of Amateur Radio operators–hams–in the United States. Hiram Percy Maxim, a leading Hartford, Connecticut, inventor and industrialist saw the need for an organization to band together this fledgling group of radio experimenters. In May 1914 he founded the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) to meet that need.

Today ARRL, with approximately 157,000 members, is the largest organization of radio amateurs in the United States. The ARRL is a not-for-profit organization that:

  • promotes interest in Amateur Radio communications and experimentation


  • represents US radio amateurs in legislative matters, and


  • maintains fraternalism and a high standard of conduct among Amateur Radio operators.

At ARRL headquarters in the Hartford suburb of Newington, a staff of 120 helps serve the needs of members. ARRL is also International Secretariat for the International Amateur Radio Union, which is made up of similar societies in 150 countries around the world.

Forum: 20.000 users cannot be wrong

Friday, February 19th, 2010

over 20.000 registered users on the Arduino Forum

Winter? Ha!

Friday, February 19th, 2010

For being a Spaniard, this -my 10th- winter in Sweden is going to be hard to forget. It has been snowing like never before, I had to start wearing two pairs of socks, stopped having sugar in the coffee because of how much I would drink by the end of the day, couldn’t ride my bike to work for weeks …

Rumor says Linus Torvalds wrote his first Kernel during a very cold winter in Finland, making an analogy, we have spent quite a lot of time troubleshooting the website getting things done slowly, in the shadow. Some changes are more popular than others (I know some of you are not liking the forum’s layout) but we are not done yet. We need your comments to work this out. Jokes about how things look like are good, but much better is constructive criticism and proposals on how to make things better. thanks to all of you contributing in one way or the other.

We have a new collaborator -Davide Gomba- dedicated to clean up the spam and to try things out in the forum, among many other things. He has been with us for more than a week speeding up some of the very annoying tasks when running a website like Arduino’s. Please welcome him to our small family of  prototypers, you will meet him often.

Talking about speed, seems like the last two days things have gone slow in the server during US time. You should know we are monitoring this, it is something we haven’t seen before and we have our service provider -ServInt- looking at it together with us. We hope to have it solved during the weekend. If the error shows up today again, it should be quite simple to debug it. If not … we’ll have to wait until the next time it happens.

There are some other news:

* we included the service addthis for you to add any of the Arduino URLs to your favourite Social Network like Twitter, Facebook, you say it … there are over 200 different services within addthis

* we created friendly error messages for the site. Now if the server times out, you won’t get the white page any longer. It is not as cute as at some other websites, but we featured one of the oldest Arduino boards I could find in my drawer as the official “things are getting slow” picture

* the blog’s twitter module has been updated to the latest version, now it links won’t break the layout any longer, just look at the sidebar on the right

* the forum’s layout is being reworked, please be patient with us, we are going to make it easy to read

* in parallel and thanks to a very friendly French user (X. Hinault) we are going to prepare the new reference in French, I will be porting it to the official soon.

And now, back to the hot pot of coffee.

January 2010 was a busy month

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

It’s been a month -almost- since I was posting anything to the blog. It has been a busy time looking through things in the server. The team is working hard preparing the NYU March meeting, as Massimo mentioned on the Uno Punto Zero post:

In march, during the NYU spring break, we’ll meet up at ITP in New York to exchange notes and test our assumptions followed by a social event somewhere in town (we’ll have more details about this as we are organising it right now)

Massimo coordinates the action, making sure the event will run smoothly, ITP -the school Tom teaches at- has approved the use of their facilities for the meeting, and we are now working with the specifics of who does what. There are at least two independent teams (one Italian and one Spanish) making video documentaries about Arduino and we hope they will make it to NY to interview both the team and the event participants. Massimo is also coordinating the press for the event, just drop us a line if you work for any kind of media and are interested in documenting the event. We will try to schedule you in somehow.

There has been a lot going on during the silent month. I think it is worth letting people know about it.

Arduino 0018

Dave released Arduino 0018 after a month-long testing process. This latest revision of the software is not just a bug-fix from 0017, but includes a lot of feedback from the developer’s list, as well as from the teacher’s one. Go here to download the latest IDE’s version.

I you want to influence Arduino’s IDE development, you should subscribe to one of those two (or both) discussion lists. There is really a lot of people participating of the creation of the next Arduino, but your opinions are for sure good for us to improve our software, hardware, and documentation materials.

Server operation

The Arduino server reached record levels in performance. We registered almost 14.000.000 hits (344.932 unique visitors) just by moving the downloads from our webserver to a second server. We upgraded to a new version of the OS and will upgrade the forum software. The forum searches are now operated by Google (who already had indexed everything) and the blog is always updated to the latest version.

There is still a list of things to be done, but with the server at its full power, things are much easier. Now we can concentrate in improving the wiki with some requests to make easier the making of new pages, create translations and so on. Give us your opinion of what should be made first on the forum.


Like every other month, one of our distributors comes out with a new contest to invite you guys to share your creations with others while getting a chance to get some free gear. This time, Libelium, one of Arduino’s distributors in Spain, is launching their 3rd Arduino contest. Last year the level went pretty high, I am looking forward to see this year’s outcome to this contest.


One of the reasons I had no time to post on the blog during the last weeks is that I was teaching at Valencia’s Polytechnical University – Arts and Technology Master course (Spanish only). Valencia is one of those places known for being really touristic.

However, there is much more than sandals and sun-glasses in the city. I found out there is a collective dedicated to promote open culture that runs the Generatech events’ series. If you are interested in gender and technology, this is your place. You should take a look at their promotion video, but also these posters #1 y #2 (I am not posting them here because of their explicit content).


The Swedish specialized press has finally discovered us. December’s edition of the magazine “Elektronik” , that is delivered free of charge to anyone that requests it inside Sweden, published a small note about Arduino and last week came out with an interview. Unfortunately it’s just in Swedish, but I think Google translate makes a nice job if you want to see what it says.

Dude it went fine!

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

The migration took much less than expected, what considering we rehearsed it three times was not that strange. 12 hours after finishing the job my DNS in Sweden upgraded its registers and I could access the site again. I got happily surprised when Madworm (one of the Arduino users in forum) sent me this picture showing a performance test he ran on the new server which happens to be about a million times better than one he made about two months ago.


Arduino server performance test

(c) 2010 Madworm, Arduino server performance test

These are good news, we are happy, I am happy. Also, if you are a webadmin and are interested in what we learned from this. Here our 50cents.

- our forum wasn’t really the problem until now, no matter how much load the performance tests were showing, we have been monitoring the website for months and the load on the forum -which is made in perl- was of about 3 requests/second, 5 at most … that is not enough to crash our server (not even the old one)

- our blog and wiki report maximum 20 to 30 requests per second, again … not really a problem

- the downloads from our server, which are reported as httpd processes, generate up to 500GB of hidden traffic in a month, they are up to 90 simultaneous processes, enough not to let the CPU have enough processing power to do anything else

We are going to test this extent by removing the downloads until the end of January to a different server. We like Googlecode and the service they provide us for the software releases, but we still want to have our own copy of our software and documentation for people to get directly from us. And just for the record, here some screenshots I took this morning while doing the doo.


start security copy

(c) 2010 Arduino team, server migration process


(c) 2010 Arduino team, server migration process


copying files to the new server

(c) 2010 Arduino team, server migration process


server migration done

(c) 2010 Arduino team, server migration process