After spending most of this week working with and debugging approximately 8,000 lines of PL/SQL contained in two packages, I want to mention “Refactoring” by Martin Fowler. It’s one of the few books I had to buy in college and have kept since then. If your code smells, clean it up… That is all.
Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
With recent Bitcoin coverage in the news and media, I’ve picked up playing around with it again. One thing that came to mind was something that would make it easier to make payments to addresses found on the web. My first thought was doing the same thing as a MailTo link on the web, click the link and the client opens up with the details in place. Granted copying and pasting the address isn’t that big of a deal, but this makes it easier to send or donate to a website.
Now I have to be honest I wasn’t sure what the correct name for the MailTo link was called. One quick Google search led me to the MailTo URI Scheme Wikipedia page. Another Google search for “Bitcoin URI Scheme” led me to this page with a technical write up of a URI Scheme for sending Bitcoin payments. Lo and behold, the samples on that page work just like I’d expect by opening the local client on my computer with the address filled in. The only problem I can see is that most sites aren’t using this already. I would imagine that this would be a no brainer, where anything that makes it easier to send you money is always a good idea. So here’s my plea to other sites to add the code needed for the bitcoin link.
Just in case anyone needs a refresher, it’s done with the <a> tag and in it’s simplest form would look like this.
<a href="bitcoin:PutPaymentAddressHere">Link text goes here</a>
You may have heard about the Raspberry Pi, which is a low cost ($25 – $35) ARM based computer that has been making the rounds with some geek/technology enthusiasts. Their stated goal is to get more kids interested in programming and computer science by creating a low barrier to entry as possible. There’s been a huge demand for the board from the community and some really cool projects have already been started around them. If I get any, these projects are what I have in mind for them.
- As an “HTPC” probably using Raspbmc. I’ll probably want to use this as a receiver for a more powerful media streaming server.
- Driving a wall mounted LCD as a digital signage type display
- An upgrade would be to drive a touchscreen and make it a “Control Center”
- Home monitoring and automation
- Data Acquisition system – I don’t know what this means yet, but it sounds cool…
- Car computer
- Kitchen computer
- Weather Station
- Of course there’s always the option of using it as an actual computer too…
I think it would be a good fit for any of these type projects, and the low cost makes it ideal for specialty purposes. I’ve seen plenty of people say that they would use it as a NAS and while it would be able to function like one, the performance on it isn’t going to be good at all. The mass storage will be limited to the USB (2.0?) speeds. It could work if you’re wanting to play around with some concepts or as a Pogoplug replacement, but you’ll quickly want a more robust full blown NAS solution when you inevitably scale past the Raspberry Pi’s performance.