How I Founded a Startup September 20, 2015Posted by GuySoft in open source, Startup.
It’s my 29th birthday this week, and that sorta made me realise no one really knows what I have been doing the past 18 months, so I thought it’s time to tell you how I founded a company. Unlike the tutorials and guides I wrote here, I am not sure this would work for everyone, but it did work for me.
I have started one of my biggest and ambitious projects yet, after collaborating with people around the world bringing OctoPi to the world, I realised that something was missing from the scene of 3D design – a decent version control and collaboration tools.
This was the initial idea, as you will see things played out differently, but what was important with this idea was contagious, I got the feeling everyone I told about it wanted to join me, it was wonderful.
Assembling the team
I’ve been going around the Makerspaces in Tel-Aviv, mostly XLN and T.A.M.I, in some random workshop I came across someone who said “You should write an executive summary, I don’t mind helping you out”. I didn’t even know what an executive summary was at the time, and today it makes me realise how much I learned about fundraising during this year. I later found his name was Ari and he was between companies. We set to meet at Google Campus and write it since we both went to some ecology hackathon that was going on there.
We ended up drunk from exhaustion and pizza, scooting on chairs at the space and we also had a draft. As we wrote it, the idea spread to Ari, and he realized he that he wanted to join. I introduced him to Amit. It took a while to put our trust in Ari, less time than we expected, and today I know ShapeDo would not have reached anything without Ari’s help. Eventually we wrote a few basic agreements on paper and Ari made sure we register a company, ShapeDo was born.
We worked on a new site for 3D printing and launched, we got coverage on 3D printing industry, and the user base grew, but people were not really using the collaboration features. It turns out most people 3D printing share are simple one person designs in one afternoon projects. However, what is special about the 3D printing industry is that there is no 3D CAD tool that was built for it. So you end up meeting designers from mechanical engineering, gamers, architects, programmers and any discipline that has a 3D design program that can export the printable files. We (everything eventually becomes “we”) found that everyone wanted this kind of tool in their workplace, while in 3D printing was not as urgently needed.
Tags: linux, OctoPi, open source, Raspberry Pi, raspbian
OctoPi has got a lot of support, and it has been great to see people are adopting it.
I have released a new version of OctoPi, which has the following new features:
- Support for both Raspberry Pi camera and webcam. Depending on which you plug to the Pi (Thanks to Gina)
- New version of OctoPrint with ACL support
- OctoPrint now runs on HTTPS using HAProxy, allowing secure connection to your printer over the internet
I will note it was pretty nice get in to this release PiCam support, since I have no camera it required collaboration of both Gina and me, meaning we have a distro now that probably can cope with more hardware than you would have in your average personal configuration.
Also thanks Matvin for the storage, and we also have another mirror lined up in case of a overload, which happened last time.
Tags: 3D Printers, debian, OctoPrint, open source, programming, Raspberry Pi, raspbian
Update2: New mirror opened after Dropbox suspended my public links due to traffic. Download the image here.
Update: Dropbox have suspended my Public links due to “extreme traffic activity” so in a few hours I should be syncing the image to other mirrors. Other hosting would be appreciated!
I am happy to say that I am a backer of the Rigidbot 3D printer, (which you can pre-order already), I am expecting it to arrive in August. In the meantime, I have ordered a Raspberry Pi to play with and started visiting a local maker community known as XLN.
This led me to find a really cool project called OctoPrint, which lets you control 3D printers using a Raspberry Pi over a web interface, however people were not installing it on their Pis because there was no out-of-the-box solution. Today I am happy to announce that a solution is here! I give you Octoprint + Rapberry Pi = OctoPi. A raspberry Pi distribution which runs OctoPrint out of the box, with support for time-lapse video on webcams (there is also an experiential version in the works that supports streaming from a raspberry Pi camera).
Just dd the image on to an sd card, put the sd card in your Pi, boot it and connect to the network and printer, then point your browser to http://octopi.local and you have a fully functional 3D printer server! Plug in a webcam and can also make time-lapse videos. Just as simple as that. More details for windows users can be found on OctoPrint’s download page.
Pull requests, forks and issue reports are welcome. Also it would be helpful if someone could help me mirroring, since currently the images are hosted on my Dropbox account.
Share and enjoy,
Running Your Android Phone/Tablet on a virtual machine January 5, 2013Posted by GuySoft in Android, diy, Hamakor, linux, open source, Uncategorized.
Tags: android, howto, open source, titanum, virtualbox
My phone has died, and was sent to repair. And since I have a complete backup of it, as explained in my last post, I thought I might try and emulate it on my laptop.
So in this post I’ll explain how to do just that. And one the side effects is that I can now use whatsapp on my PC!
What you will need
- A backup of your phone that was done with Titanium Backup – Follow my previous post on how to do that. Note that for Titanium Backup to run you need to root your phone.
- A computer that is running virtual box and virtualbox-fuse – I will show how to do this in Linux, but windows and Mac can do this too.
- A copy of AndoVM – This is the reason we can do this, since android by default does not come with an Ethernet drivers and AndroVM is compiled and distributed to run on virtualbox out of the box (pun intended).
Automatic Nightly Backups for Your Android Device to Your Computer November 1, 2012Posted by GuySoft in Android, diy, linux, open source, Uncategorized, wifi, wireless.
Tags: android, backup, linux, rsync, ssh, titanum backup
Friends keep coming up to me and complaining that they had to wipe all their phone because of some attempt to do something.
However, if you give me a brand-new phone and throw mine out of a high-building window, I won’t stop you, because I have a copy of my phone at home, from that same morning, and I don’t even have to think about it.
Want to feel free again? Not scared that this small thing you carry in your pocket with all your life gets ruined? Well, here is how you do it:
Things you will need
- A computer running Linux you can ssh to with Rsync installed, or windows running cygwin with rsync and ssh installed.
- Your device needs to be rooted – I am afraid thats a requirement for Titanium backup and all programs that back up app data
- Titanium backup – You can use the free version for backing up, but for a single-click restore you will need to pay (I bought it and recommended you do even if its the only thing you ever buy on the play store)
- rsync backup for Android – This will back up all your photos and data that isn’t part of your apps, if you don’t root but this is all you want to back up, this post might help you too!
- Llama – lets you set location profiles
Tags: diy, Electronics, hacking, ham radio, open electroncs, open source
As promised in my last post, I have finally finished designing and building a cheap interface to connect ham radios or any other audio device that does not share audio common ground to a PC, including a PTT interface. Price should be around $17 or 60 NIS. The control is done using a USB interface, so unlike most ham radio hardware that uses serial connections, this one is plug and play in modern PCs. The neat thing is that it uses them same commands as a RigBlaster. So this interface works out of the box with common ham radio programs like Echolink and Svxlink. The interface should also work with soundmodem which can be used for X.25 packet digital communications, without any extra hardware (I am still trying to get this to work). This interface could also be used to connect to other devices that don’t share a common ground. For example like phone lines.
Parts you will need
- TTL USB Serial interface – The main part is a simple CP2102 $4 controller that can be percussed from ebay. It simulates a serial device, meaning you can still work with older pieces of software with it. Note though you need to solder a cable from the RTS pin on the board, because normally they don’t come with a pre-made pin.
- Audio line isolation transformer – This can be easily salvaged from any old dial-up modem. That’s how I get mine, it seems to be much easier to get them off old modems than finding them in electronics shops, plus they are so easily identifiable (just make sure not to break the contacts when you take them out, happened to me twice). If you can’t find any old dial-up modems you can get it from ebay. (more…)
TEDding from the car – gPodder video Plugin for Rockbox April 7, 2011Posted by GuySoft in Crictor, diy, Electronics, ipod, ITU, linux, open source, podcast, programming, python.
Tags: car, diy, ffmpeg, gpodder, mp4, mpeg, open source, python, rockbox, TED, video
After a few weeks of bouncing emails with Thomas Perl I am happy to announce that we have a working plugin for his wonderful podcast application called gPodder. With this plugin installed, any mp4 video podcast that is downloaded with gPodder is automatically converted to a format playable by rockbox MPEG player plugin. Effectively meaning seamless sync of video podcasts to any rockbox enabled device. I am specifically using the Sansa fuze player, but just changing the screen resolution at the top of the plugin should make it work with any other rockbox device, and with the right screen size. The final product for me of all this technical stuff is that I can listen to TED lectures in the car. Or using the verb was coined by my friend Uzair “TEDding” from my car.
How to Install
- First you should have gPodder installed (available also as “apt-get install gpodder” or any other distribution install equivalent).
- Second you will need these packages installed too:
apt-get install python-kaa-metadata ffmpeg python-dbus
- Now all that is left is to copy this script to
mkdir -p ~/.config/gpodder/hooks/ cp rockbox_mp4_convert.py ~/.config/gpodder/hooks/
- If your are using a different player from the Sansa Fuse, modify the first lines to your screen resolution:
DEFAULT_DEVICE_WIDTH = 224.0 DEFAULT_DEVICE_HEIGHT = 176.0
make sure to include the .0 at the end.
- Thats it! Now each time video is download, for example from the TEDTalks Video Podcast it would be converted on arrival, and relinked as the file to be synced.
As usual, I would love to hear feedback from users and suggestions.
Tags: cellphones, gammu, internet, linux, open source, python, release, sms, twitter
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:
- Source is available here on GitHub, along with basic instructions on how to set it up.
- Working example of an SMS Twitter Gate in Israel
- List of working gates (one at the time of writing this)
If you have any kind of difficulty setting this up, please give me feedback, so we can make it as easy as possible.