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Build your own Free SMS to Twitter gateway with open source tools and cheap hardware March 27, 2011

Posted by GuySoft in Crictor, diy, Electronics, Hamakor, IGF, ITU, linux, open source, programming, python.
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SMS Twitter Gateway

SMS Twitter Gateway logo

Hey all,

I am releasing here set of instructions and source that will enable anyone to set up a phone number, that if you SMS it, will post your massage on to your own twitter account. This service is called “Twiter SMS Gate”. The service handles multiple users, and should be easily modified to support other services like statusnet (and with a bit more code maybe even other social networks). The SMS hardware required is any cheap cellphone that can work with gammu-smsd (mine is a fake Nokia from India). Twiter SMS Gate also lets users easily register to it with their own cellphone.

I hope that people that like this idea would start hosting more SMS gates, as we create a wide network of those around the world. SMS Twitter Gate-IL , The Israeli Gate, has been running for a few weeks now and even got covered in the local media here.

The source is written in Python, which includes the phone hardware hooks, webserver, twitter client and database access.

Here is the cellphone used to run my server, just to show you how simple it is to do this, no super-expensive hardware required! (server is also my personal Linux-running PC:

Fake Nokia Cellphone acting as a dedicated SMS server

Fake Nokia Cellphone acting as a dedicated SMS server

If you have any kind of difficulty setting this up, please give me feedback, so we can make it as easy as possible.

Using CHDK to photograph blackboards in University Courses August 5, 2010

Posted by GuySoft in Crictor, diy, Hamakor, ITU, linux, open source, programming, python.
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CHDK in University

CHDK used in university for capturing blackboards

Hi all,
During last semester I developed a set of scripts that lets me photograph pictures of the blackboards during my university courses, categorize them while I am taking them and automatically generate PDF document for each course week. Because physics equations are not the simplest things to input in to a laptop in realtime, I have developed the following method. I am writing the post because I have a feeling this tool could help people in many ways, since it did change how I study in lectures.

You can see my blackboard photographs here (and here is a simple pdf example, if you get lost in the Hebrew).

How it works in a nutshell

The Work Flow

The work flow - photograph, store, generate pdfs

During the lesson I take the photographs of the blackboard with a script I wrote for CHDK. In the script you set the course and week of the semester and this is stored per-picture on the SD card.

Bumble-B and an ADC with OpenGL make an oscilloscope February 22, 2010

Posted by GuySoft in Crictor, diy, Electronics, Hamakor, ITU, linux, open source, programming, python.
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Hi all,

During my small semester break I managed to connect my Bumble-b chip to an analog-digital converter (ADC).

With this I can read voltage changes and send the information to the computer to plot live.

Here is a demonstration video:

How its all connected


Pidgin and X-chat plugins to execute a command on new messages February 14, 2010

Posted by GuySoft in Crictor, Hamakor, ITU, linux, open source, programming, python.
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Hi all,

A while ago, when I coded message alert plugins for pidgin and X-chat so each time I get a new message my bumble-b LED display would flash, so I thought I might release the code here for people to use.

Both plugins will execute a command of your choice when receiving a new message.

Thanks to Simo Mattila who wrote the base code for the pidgin plugin 馃檪

  • Source code for the pidgin plugin
    • You will have to follow the README file and compile the plugin. Then place the created .so file in ~/.purple/plugins/ .
    • In the plugin menu there would be a configuration window to set the command.
  • Source code for the X-chat plugin
    • You will have to set the command inside the python file. Then copy it to ~/.xchat2/
    • The X-chat plugin also is able to return the name of the user that sent the message.

Here is a video of the X-chat plugin in action:

I hope to find more time to posts the things I am doing, but as usual, university takes up all my time. Stay tuned

Connecting a programmable chip to a remote Controlled Car September 11, 2009

Posted by GuySoft in Crictor, Electronics, Hamakor, ITU, linux, open source, programming, Uncategorized, wireless.
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Car and the controller breadboard

Car and the breadboard

Hey all,

I have been playing with electronics the last few days, and I thought I might show you the outcome.

I basically took a remote controlled car, and connected it to a 16F84 programmable chip, and now I can control the car using C code.

Although I am using a car in this guide, you should be able to close and open any kind of switch. Anything under 15 volts.

For people who have don’t feel like reading all this (and also for those who do), here is an action-packed video of the outcome:

After you saw that, here is how I did this.

Astrophotography Using Canon Camera’s Hack Development Kit August 16, 2009

Posted by GuySoft in Astronomy, Crictor, diy, Hamakor, ITU, linux, open source, programming.
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CHDK booting

Hi all,

I am going to explain here how I managed to use the Cannon open source hack development kit , known as CHDK, to photograph stars and even create neat movies of the stars motion.

It all started this Monday, I was lucky to see that there is going to be Perseids meteor shower, a day in advance. So I had time getting the code ready before it was too late. I thought I would go somewhere next to Jerusalem and photograph, but in the end, friends of mine (Shy and Anna) from the Israeli Astronomy Association, which I am part of, told me they are going down south to the dessert, far away from light pollution, to take count of the meteors for the IMO. So I joined him, and my data is also available.

Before all the technical stuff, here is a video I made that shows you what this all comes to:

Now back to CHDK, and how this was done.

What is CHDK? And how do I install it?

CHDK is a firmware聽addon for Cannon powershot digital cameras. It supports most of them, mine is a simple powershot A590, costs to date about 700 NIS. Moreover, since its an addon, it will not void warranty, and can’t damage your camera. It has a lot of features (including games and an e-book reader!).


Nokia N810 Running OLPC Sugar May 1, 2009

Posted by GuySoft in Crictor, Hamakor, ITU, linux, Maemo, olpc, open source, python.
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Sugar running on the Nokia N810
Sugar running on the Nokia N810

Hey all,
This past week I managed to do something quite interesting. I got聽sugar, running on my Nokia N810, compiled for armel.

The trick that made it work was thanks to easy Debian chroot, that got me access to installing sugar without a few good hours of compilation for arm (and I did that before).

Touchscreen is cool!

The first thing that I found pretty neat was running sugar on a touchscreen device. It really felt better, since most people that I let play with my XO and flip its screen 180 degrees naturally try touching the screen, expecting it had a touchscreen. Sugar was actually quite good with it on the Nokia.


A trip to the North and some GPS fun April 15, 2009

Posted by GuySoft in Crictor, Hamakor, ITU, linux, Maemo, open source.
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Tracking with the Nokia N810, mapper sees satellites.

Tracking with the Nokia N810.

Hey all,

This Passover, I went on a trip in the North of Israel in the Golan heights.

However, apart from enjoying the beauty of nature I thought I might do a little experiment with my Nokia N810, a Linux device with a GPS receiver.

What I did was switch it on at the beginning of the tour and put it back inside my bag, ignoring it most of the time.

The result was a complete GPX file of our tour.

On the Nokia it looked nice, however I wanted to see if I can extract more data at home with the GPX file.I found 3 tools I could do with it.


OLPC Israel’s New Debian Based System for Pilot February 7, 2009

Posted by GuySoft in Crictor, Hamakor, ITU, linux, olpc, open source.
OLPC Israel Debian running the epiphany browser and a shell

OLPC Israel Debian Desktop View

Hey All,

I am Happy to update we have now a working prototype OS for the OLPC pilot here in Israel.

As explained in my last post, we have only B2/B1 laptops that are not compatible with the current sugar version. Because of this we had to develop our own OS that we will put on SD cards and in to the laptops (in the full project we want to use sugar, we did this for the B2s only really).

This system works well also with the normal OLPC units. And I’d be glad if anyone would like to use it copy, and modify.

The system is based off Debian and runs on XFCE. The B2 laptops work with only 128 RAM so we really reduced the memory usage. The kernel on the system is from build 711, which is the last to work with the B2. Still, it works fine on any OLPC. I hope we will have Kernel Headers for the release someone in the future.
I’d also like to take the opportunity for give a huge thanks to Ram-on Agmon who really got the system up and running.

You can download the latest build here.


Live CD that turns any computer to an OLPC October 14, 2008

Posted by GuySoft in Crictor, Hamakor, linux, open source, programming.
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The OLPC system, now you can try it.

The OLPC system

Hey all,

After a few days work, I have finished Building a LiveCD that, by booting from it. You would get a full sugar system, no installation required.

Where to get?

Here, in the Sugarlabs Wiki 馃檪