YouFeed updates

YouFeed logo

So this happened the other day:

That’s Edwin, the CEO of feedly, saying my YouFeed site is “brilliant”. He wants to integrate the functionality of YouFeed into feedly mini (the Chrome extension). He said that he was considering making feedly mini open source, to allow developers like me to add our own functionality to make feedly better for everybody.

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YouFeed (AKA a thing that I made on the Internet)

TL;DR: Easily subscribe to YouTube channels and playlists on Feedly by using YouFeed, a little Web app that I made.

YouFeed screenshot

I think I started coding this Web app around exam time of my final year at uni. I just wanted to make something simple that would be really useful to people, and what’s simpler than taking a string of text and returning a slightly bigger string of text?

That’s what YouFeed does.

The problem

Let’s say you’re using YouTube to subscribe to an artist’s channel. When that YouTuber uploads a new video, a link to that video appears on the YouTube homepage. But we might not want to watch that video right now – instead we might want to watch it next week. A week passes and you’ve forgotten about the video because it’s no longer on your YouTube homepage.

Instead, you might want to subscribe to that artist using Feedly.

Continue reading “YouFeed (AKA a thing that I made on the Internet)”

TDD is still alive (JSOxford Code Retreat)

Last Sunday I went to The Jam Factory in Oxford with 20 other programmers for ‘Code Retreat’ – an event organised by JSOxford as part of their Summer of Hacks.

The aim of the event was to encourage us to code properly through a variety of techniques. We weren’t expected to finish the set tasks, but the code produced during the tasks should be perfect. Emphasis was put on code quality rather than quantity – different than other hack events.

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Raspberry Pi project #3: Beepy

Before you panic, you haven’t missed my writings about any other Raspberry Pi projects. This is project number 3, but it’s the first one I’ve actually written about.

The reasoning for Beepy came when the family were highlighting programmes in the Christmas edition of What’s On TV. We used to set reminders on the TV, but it’s rubbish – they only remind you if the TV is turned on.

Beepy is an alarm daemon that regularly reads a text file with a list of dates, times, numbers and words. For example, if I needed reminding to watch Doctor Who on BBC One on Christmas day at 17:15 (like I need reminding), the text file would have a line like this:

25/12/2012 17:13 1 Doctor Who

The date and time are obvious, and the ‘1’ represents what sound the alarm makes. If that number was 3, there would be 3 beeps in quick succession followed by a pause, then repeated for a minute. The alarm also speaks any text at the end of the line.

The script makes use of 2 other programs for the Raspberry Pi:

  • mpg321 (to play the alarm noise)
  • festival (used for speech)

You also need to make sure the sound drivers are installed. This tutorial helped me.

In order to make it work as a daemon (i.e. running in the background) you have to modify the startup script at /etc/profile. Add the location of Beepy followed by an ‘&’ (There has to be a better way of doing that). You’ll need to edit the file names in Beepy to wherever you’ve stored it, then reboot, plug in a set of speakers and you’re away!

To add an alarm, edit the text file in the same style as the example. Easy peasy.

A Raspberry Pi, hard drive, speakers and a router

My setup is getting more and more spaghettified. There are speakers and a USB hard drive which I’ll get to some other time.

I’m sure this is the worst way of making a daemon, and the quality of my code is probably shocking. But hey, it works.

If you feel the urge to download this hideous creation, you can click here

iThingy app – JumiMouse+

A couple of years ago, I downloaded an app for my iPod called JumiMouse+. I found it because I was looking for a remote desktop app to control my laptop, and although this wasn’t exactly what I was looking for at the time, it turned out it was better than what I wanted.

In order for the app to work, JumiMouse+ requires a server application, JumiController, to be running on your PC. It can sometimes be problematic connecting the iPod to the PC, but this is usually the fault of the firewall or your router. This app works both internally and externally, meaning your iPhone could be in the same room or in China and it will work just the same.

A few months later, JumiTech released an app called JumiTap, later branded JumiRemotes, which is now integrated into JumiMouse+. This allowed the user to create their own remote controls for specific applications, or download user-submitted remotes from JumiTech’s gallery. Essentially, this means you can plug your laptop into your TV and run Windows Media Center using the remote control I made for it. Or you could play VisualBoyAdvance with a Game Boy controller rather than the keyboard. Or you could present a PowerPoint presentation without the need to go and press a button on the laptop after every slide.

Media Center JumiRemote

I’ve spent a fair amount of time designing the three remotes I mentioned above, plus remotes for Spotify and Windows Live Photo Gallery. There will be more in the making when I get some free time!

VisualBoy Advance JumiRemote    PowerPoint JumiRemote

That’s the VisualBoy Advance remote on the left, and the PowerPoint one on the right.

There are so many uses for this app, and best of all, it’s free! (Though to get rid of the ads you should consider buying JumiMouse+) If there is not a remote to suit your needs, it’s not too difficult to make one yourself if you’re technologically minded.

JumiTech have released JumiRemotes for Android, if you’re that way inclined.

If you want to find out more, visit or go to my other blog at, where I’ve made a semi-useful remote to control the Windows 8 start screen.