Jonathan's Blog

Jonathan's Blog

Mindful Leadership and Technology (Mostly Software)

TagBig Thinking

IoT Internet of Things Blink(1) Node.js Big Thinking

Blink(1) The Doctor is In Light

Posted on .

I just got my Blink(1) and because my office configuration makes it hard for people to see if I am there or not, I wanted to rig something up so that when I sign in to my computer it turns the light green.

Here is how I accomplished this:

I am running the current version of Blink1Control2, and I activated the server.

Now all I need is two small programs that can be called when the Lock and Unlock events fire.

Enter Node.js and node-libcurl - with them I was able to write two simple programs two flip the light to red and green. Here is the crux of the green light program:

var Curl = require( 'node-libcurl' ).Curl;

var curl = new Curl();

curl.setOpt( 'URL', 'localhost:9997/blink1/fadeToRGB?rgb=%2300FF00' );


Think that's the real port? Guess again!

Lastly you just need a way to call these when you lock or unlock your computer (Windows 10 in my case).

This StackExchange/SuperUser article was very helpful in figuring that out.

After some quick debugging and testing, I locked and unlocked and the light turns red/green. Boom!

All told, it took about an hour, but most of that was figuring out how to plug the pieces together. I was not envisioning using Node to solve this at first, so that took me a minute.

Blink(1) Green Light Image

That was some good fun. When I get it set up in my office I will post a picture of that also.

I don't love running the control program, but I think if I want to go deeper it will take more time and I think what I have will work.


Mindfulness Influence Leadership Technology Big Thinking Thinking Big

Thinking Big Versus Big Thinking

Posted on .

After writing my last post on Seth's blog, I think it is very important for all of us to Think Big and to seek out, encourage, and adopt 'Big Thinking'.

What's the difference you might ask?

  1. Thinking Big is thinking about how we can make a big impact. Many things are changing in the world and every day there are new tools we can apply to do more, make changes, and make things better. It's easy to look around and see big thinking in action:
    Smart phones, internet, airplanes, automobiles. Thinking big is identifying trends and figuring out how they impact you and what to do with them. Hey there's a flying carpet and I want to get on that thing.

  2. Big Thinking is understanding the interconnections between things and identifying relationships. In an ever-more inter-connected world, understanding connection can be the biggest of all big things. It is looking at what makes up the trend (or anything really) and seeing if there is a thread in there that you want to grab a hold of and see how it relates to other things. Hey there's a flying carpet. How did they make that thing? I'm interested in that.

Neither of these skills are easy to improve, but it can be done. Both have potential dead ends and frustrations, and you need to improve resiliency and openness to other ideas.

Both are important, but I think the Thinking Big is the more celebrated and that Big Thinking, which is usually quieter, is the one that most needs improving.

Being able to think curiously about common place things (chairs, concrete, people, etc) allows us to appreciate our lives - it also allows us to see the deep connections that can also lead to lasting value - both emotional and monetary.