Arduino Micro Tank

Coming soon... How I made a tank using an Arduino Micro... Bookmark!

How To Find Your Audience On Twitter

Tweet, tweet, tweet... but no results...

How do I find my audience on twitter?

Just a bunch of people randomly posting their thoughts...

Wait... Interesting...

A lot of talking, but who's listening?

If you are, then you or your business could benefit, dare I even say, even profit?

Why you should love to listen to tweets!

Because very few people are listening to other's specific pain points or successes...

"What do you mean?" you say, "I stare at my screen and see a bunch of stuff fly by all day!"...

Yes, I get it, you "think" you are listening, even participating by posting, but you really are not doing nothing more than adding to the pile of tweets cluttering the net...

Be "THAT" Person or Business who provides value

Here are few simple steps to help you get started:

1.) Be Specific - Know who you are targeting, the more exact you are with the people on twitter you are trying to reach the better. Take time to pinpoint the exact trait, question or pain point of the people you want to help.

2.) Be Consistent - You want results? Don't quit, even when you will inevitably be rejected or hazed, be consistent with providing value. Sure your strategy may need to be adjusted from time to time, that's not what I am talking about, if you are going to build an audience who will trust you and accept you as an authority, you are going to have to prove, OVER TIME, that you are worthy of that trust!

3.) Be Congruent - Keep the promises you make, the value you provide must be congruent with the need/pain the user expressed.

Example: Finding The Haters!!!

Let's identify the avatar!

WHO: Developers
WHAT: That hate using Crystal Reports
WHY: Because it's not doing what they want

One of the projects I work on is a training site for "Crystal Reports"...

Being a developer, I know how frustrating software can be...

Developers who use Crystal Reports find themselves at some point saying "I hate Crystal Reports"...

So I do a twitter search for "I hate Crystal Reports", notice I used quotes, this way I get an exact phrase match!

hate-crystal-reports

The results are AWESOME!!! There are some really frustrated developers working with Crystal Reports, take a look below...

hate-crystal-reports-results

Ok, Now What?

Now that we have confirmed a consistent stream of pain exist, we can begin to look for a Consistent Pain Point...

What is a Consistent Pain Point?

Outside of pure hatred in the example above, I continue to read through the list and take note of people that are complaining about something consistently. I am looking for items about formula creation, accounting reports, lack of documentation on a topic...

The Consistent Pain Point could be anything were a certain amount of people need you to help provide a solution or clarity for their pain...

Provide Value

By now you have found a Consistent Pain Point and can either help solve it or you need to get to work on creating a solution to help these people out...

Here are examples of solutions:

+ Free trial for training
+ Free Cheat Sheet
+ Free consulting call
+ Free blog post that shows the solution

You getting the picture?

But you say, "I don't have all this stuff, it's a lot of work, I don't know how"...

Fine, I give you two options, the first is "GET TO WORK ON IT", you stand to benefit from creating the course, video or content, because now you have created value that you can continue to provide others with time and again...

Still too busy? Ok, fine... Then go on the net and find a solution that someone else actually worked hard to make and didn't make excuses about even though they are much busier than you... Sting a bit, yeah, it was meant to...

Look, it's cool to link to other resources, ultimately, if you want to build your own brand or business, you want people coming to you, so get to work on creating value to earn trust and authority.

Here Are Examples

Great companies don't become great, they are great when they start.

Evernote - @evernote

Evernote is something I started using this year, so I tweeted about just using it, not a big deal right? Guess who was listening? How do you think that makes me feel about using their software?

evernote

Lenny and Larry - @lennyandlarrys

These cookies are out of this world, they have protein and are satisfying after a work out. So of course I decided to send out a simple tweet... Guess who was listening? They didn't respond, but instead favorited and retweeted me to their followers and leveraged social currency to boost their brand, trust and authority...

lenny-and-larrys-cookies

I LOVE THESE COOKIES!!!

Recap

Follow these steps:

1.) Find people who love/hate/need and give them greater value than they expected.

2.) If you don't have the resources, create them else risk giving trust and authority away to another brand.

3.) Start now, great companies listen to their people from the start, they treat them like gold, you should too!

Hope this helps you, and if you have any questions or comments, post them below!!

How a RaspberryPi saved my dead 500gb Western Digital HD

So I had a 500gb Western Digital external hard drive that died... It had been going in an out for a few months and then finally just died, no blue ring, nothing...

western digital my book

All of my backup data, including my entire MP3 collection was sitting in a dead external drive....

I decided to buy a thermaltake sata drive reader and use it for network drive using an airport extreme...

thermaltake-duet

SURPRISE! After taking out the drive from the Western Digital enclosure and dropping it in, thinking that it would just magically work... it didn't...

The drive was formatted using linux raid by Western Digital and was not readable by my mac...

Raspberry Pi Time

Let me be honest, it was just sitting there, I hadn't touched it since I gave up trying to make J.A.R.V.I.S. using Jasper, so I figured, it's running linux... worth a shot...

Below is pretty much, step by step what I did to rescue my data using my Raspberry Pi....

So now I have the drive mounted using my usb sata drive reader from thermaltake, I need to share this accross the network to back up the drive...

I am now able to see my drive and it's contents from my mac finder window...

I copy over all the files to my local drive on my laptop...

NOTE: Drag and drop from finder was SUPER slow... so I used rsync top copy over all the data...

Now that the data was copied off the Raspberry Pi shared drive and all of my data is safely on my mac...

I unplugged the thermaltake usb sata reader from the Raspberry Pi and plugged it into my mac...

I then reformatted the 500gb disk using Disk Utility on my mac...

Once the formatting was completed, I simply unplugged the thermaltake usb sata reader from my laptop and plugged it in to my airport extreme...

Configured my airport extreme to share the drive on the network...

Now I have a central network drive!

WOOHOO!

Hope this helps you if you are unfortunate enough to find yourself with a dead Western Digital drive!

Special Thanks

Special thanks to these dudes who provided the references that helped save my stuff!

ModMyPi - http://www.modmypi.com/blog/how-to-mount-an-external-hard-drive-on-the-raspberry-pi-raspian

Khaled from ServerFault - http://serverfault.com/questions/383362/mount-unknown-filesystem-type-linux-raid-member

Kragen from Ubuntu Forums - http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=408461

The Urban Penguin - http://theurbanpenguin.com/wp/index.php/setting-up-a-samba-server-on-raspberry-pi/

Simon the Pi Man - http://www.simonthepiman.com/how_to_setup_windows_file_server.php

Netvizier - http://mybookworld.wikidot.com/forum/t-90514/how-to-recover-data-from-wd-my-book-world-edition-nas-device

NickZa - http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=884556

Graham Miln - http://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/117465/fastest-and-safest-way-to-copy-massive-data-from-one-external-drive-to-another

Choosing “The Right” PHP Framework for SaaS

So many what ifs, features, speed and other consideration go through the mind when mapping out a SaaS app...

The last thing I wanted to do was create a bottleneck with the wrong php framework...

So what is "the right" php framework...

I asked myself this question...

Will the PHP framework be used more as an API or as the complete solution?

IF ==> API: Then you are looking at using a compact, super fast frameworks like Lumen and Slim...

IF ==> Complete: You are looking to solve everything with one framework, you are looking at CodeIgniter and Laravel...

Why I Ruled out CodeIgniter and Laravel

Early on with FeedSumo, I developed a minimal viable product (MVP) using CodeIgniter...

Doing this exposed two very critical items:

Javascript: The front end code was becoming increasingly dependent on jQuery to do User Interface manipulation and API calls. This lead me down the path of AJAX calls, hacky two-way data binding and ultimately converting to AngularJS (might as well do it right!)... but I am getting ahead of myself...

Load Times: Codeigniter and Laravel are fast, they also load many dependencies on each request. A lot of the features CodeIgniter and Laravel include in each request, I would never use and this seemed to me like I was using a sledge hammer to pound a nail, I just needed the framework to handle simple API calls and session management.

So I started to look for a smaller "barebones" PHP framework that would be fast and scalable.

Lumen versus Slim

Making this decision was less about speed and more about the "other stuff"...

Speed: (+1 Lumen) Both frameworks are fast, Slim version 2 was used to compare speed with Lumen, Lumen was recently released and available for use, Slim 3 was still in early development and slower at the time!

Slim vs. Lumen

Community: (+1 Lumen) Researching the frameworks, it felt like there were two camps, the "organized/polished" and the "DIY/patchy" crowds. In my experience, I have benefited adopting new technology from a company with a responsive, organized and large community. Laravel has done a great job of creating a polished product and a community that loves their products. I didn't get that same vibe from Slim.

Slim vs Laravel

Availability: (+1 Lumen) You can tell me all about how great your product is, but where is it? Oh, you are still making it... hmmm... I started development of the FeedSumo MVP in May of 2015, today is August 13, 2015... let's check in on Slim 3...

Slim Framework

Hmmm... I would still be waiting on Slim...

Lumen Was My Choice For PHP Framework

So I am glad I chose Lumen, migrating the code from CodeIgniter was rather easy, more importantly, it enabled me to continue to build my project on a solid framework with great support!

Lumen handles API requests lightning fast without the bloat of it's bigger sibling Laravel.

I since have ditched jQuery and used AngularJS for the presentation layer. The two-way data binding of AngularJS works great with Lumen. Lumen is able to handle simple API calls with hardly any effort.

Hope this helps you save some time picking a PHP framework for your next project.

How to show and hide stuff with AngularJS

Let's not overthink things...

Hiding and showing links, images and other elements is super easy using AngularJS.

Show or Hide based on SCOPE

Starting with a simple div an default value, Angular can hide or show elements. Below shows a div element that is dependent on a SCOPE property to either show or hide.

Show or Hide based on NG-CLICK

Building on our previous code, we can now add an NG-CLICK to an element in our template to control scope state and toggle our div off and on.

Included in the example below, I use NG-CLICK inside a BUTTON and an AHREF. If you notice within the function call, I can pass the $event object. The $event object is used to either prevent default behavior ( $event.preventDefault() ) or to stop the bubble up ( $event.stopPropagation() ).

Keep AngularJS Simple...

There you have it, simple easy way to show and hide a div using AngularJS.

Looking for more examples? Let me know what code samples you want by leaving a comment below.

Who is Cesar Serna?

Located in Southern California, I am a WordPress developer, iOS Game Developer and on rare occasion a Flamenco guitarist.