Steffest Digitale Pulptuur

Open Source Telenet Digicorder API

a picture called telenetdigicorderAPI.jpg (click to enlarge)

A few months ago, Telenet finally made the jump and opened up their digicorder devices to be controlled through their TV web portal TV.be.

Nice!!!
Finally you could schedule your TV recordings from anywhere using a web browser instead of a infrared remote and the dorky digicorder interface.

Controlling media devices through web interfaces happens to be one of my sweet spots so the first thing I did was firing up Firebug to see what kind of communication was going on between their various web applications.
They've done a really good job, as they created an internal API to talk to the digicorder.
Figuring out how the API works has the same attraction as seeing a crossword puzzle in a newspaper: it tickles your mind but at the same time it's not too hard and with some time and logic the puzzle is quickly solved.

So, let's get to work to create a more open API to control your TV recordings from any software package you want instead of only through the tv.be website.

First step: login
Telenet uses a single-sign-on system, providing a token that authorises you as "logged in" and that you can take with you to other sites.

It sends you on a redirect path towards multiple domains - telling each domain you have logged in.
The script just recreates that path and makes sure to collect and pass all cookies to the next step. (That's really easy in .net - just use the same cookiecontainer for each request)
After that you can use the Telenet remotePVR API from the script as an authenticated user.
One problem though: to schedule a new recording you need the eventID of the program you want to record.
That's where tv.be and some good old screenscraping comes in: a Channel listing for each day is requested on the tv.be website and the EventID codes get extracted and saved to a local cache (so we don't have to hammer the tv.be site more then we need to)
Technically that might be against Telenet's Terms of Use policy, but hey - we're all in favour of free and open data, aren't we?
That's it.
I created a more simple API as .net wrapper class with the following syntax

Dim tvbe as new tvbe
tvbe.login()
tvbe.logout()
tvbe.recordings()
tvbe.reminders()
tvbe.zenders()

In a webapp that translates to URLs as

/login
/logout
/boxes 'gets info on your digiboxes and digicorders
/recordings
'gets a list of your scheduled and completed recordings
/recordings/schedule/ID
' schedules a new recording, ID is an eventID provided by tv.be
/recordings/delete/ID
' deletes a recording, ID is an eventID provided by tvbe/recordings
/reminders/ 'gets a list of your scheduled reminders
/reminders/schedule/ID ' sets a new reminder, ID is an eventID provided by tv.be
/reminders/delete/ID
' deletes a reminder, ID is an eventID provided by tvbe/reminders
/zenders ' (short)list of available channels
/zenders/channelname ' program guide of the channel with name "channelname"
/zenders/channelname?date=dd-mm-yyyy ' program guide of the channel with name "channelname" of a given day 


The sourcecode can be found here.

Update:

After a (very friendly) request from Telenet I'm taking the sourcecode and the demo application offline.
However I do hope I can contribute following their open invitation to help unlock their digital services towards a more open communication (API?) in general and mobile devices in particular.
To be continued ...


As a demo I created a little frontend for the API for use on mobile devices.

http://tv.stef.be it is.

You can use the TV guide without login in, but if you want to manage your recorders you have to create an account at tv.be (and be a Telenet Digital TV customer of course) 
It's a bit of a trust-issue to enter your telenet credentials in a "rogue" app like this, but i can assure you it's safe: your credentials are not stored anywhere and are only used to pass through the Telenet login sequence.
If you're still hesitating to enter your login, you can grab the source and try it on your own machine.

Here are some screenshots.
image image image foto

 


The API still has some holes, mostly because not all tv.be content is easily available.
Most important i would love a simple system to convert EventID's to program names and vica versa, maybe if i ask the tv.be people nicely? :-)
Also it's not really suited if you have more then one digicorder.
A search function would be nice ... maybe I'll implement that.

Of course it works fine as long as Telenet doesn't change their internal API, which is always a risk, but well,  then the cat and mouse game can continue.
I was planning to build an Android app for it but actually http://tv.stef.be works very well on mobile devices and since you still would need a data connection to talk to your digicorder, why would you create a native app when a webapp will do?

Happy recording!

Tags: in English, Mobile, Programming, Scripting, Web 2.0Geef je reactie (12)
 

Cracklin Rosie on a Whole Lotta Mobile Phones



Who said iPhone OS, Android and Windows Mobile don't play well together?

Music apps are a really cool type of mobile application, they let you you unleash your musical creativity wherever you are and are perfect to jot down a quick idea or to jam along.
For years one of my favorite pastimes on the train was to do some retro musictracking with the brilliant Milkytracker, but this time I needed something more.
It turned out to be somewhat geeky, even for my standards :-)

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The Phone Guitar is born out of a presentation I'm going to do next Saturday on MobileCampBrussels about mobile cross development.
To put my money where my mouth is, I decided to create the same mobile app - a small piano/drum sequencer thing -  on 3 mobile platforms: Android, Windows Mobile and iPhone OS.
As a developer I didn't quite succeed: audio latency is a b*tch and building the app from the same source proved to be possible but unusable, so I ended up writing it three times: in java for android, in C# for windows mobile and in Objective-C for iPhone. More on that later, but boy did I have fun playing with it :-)

To play them all at once I just taped them on a piece of wood together with a battery powered speaker.
Add lots of audio cables and TADAAA: a very playable guitar shaped instrument that makes a hell of a noise :-)

I added Pocket Stompbox, a virtual amp with lots of great real time effects and of course the FANTASTIC iShred app from Frontierdesign

In screenshots, the setup looks like this

 imageimagepianopianoimageimage

Instant gratification! Rock on!!!

Tags: Gadgets, Mobile, Tinkering, VideoGeef je reactie (16)
 

Usenet-o-matic for your mobile

"Usenet indexer Newzbin has lost its MPA court case."
Maybe that doesn't ring a bell but anyone who's been digging into to "downloading stuff from the net" will soon find out that Usenet is the place where it's at: your one stop shop for all the movies, TV shows, music and apps you can chew.
The only problem: it's too much and as is the case with the torrent trackers - Usenet is also flooded with crap: virus infested apps, password protected files, DRM loaded pay-movies,... 
Not very easy to find the good stuff.

That's where Newzbin came in: their system of user-generated and verified reports made it a no-brainer to find clean and high quality releases - nicely packaged in so called nzb files,which are a list of all the binary chunks you need to download from a Usenet server in order to rebuild the files you want.
AND they have a very nice API for developers like me so they can script and automate their download flow.
Not anymore: starting from March 31, no new reports are being added. The service is not broken, but without updates it's pretty darn useless.
So there i was: sitting in my bathtub, sipping my red wine and hitting the play button, only to find the latest episode of Lost wasn't there.
No fun!
Especially since I was not in the position to jump up, run to the keyboard and quickly find another source.

As these things go, it's a classic case of  "the King is dead, long live the King".
NZB sites are not hard to find and I quickly updated my scripts to use NZBMAtrix as an alternate source.

One of those scripts is a mobile optimised search tool to quickly find a TV-show (or whatever it is you're looking for) and tell your homePC to download it.
The idea is that you use your mobile phone to initiate a download, your homePC downloads the file using a fast internet connection and streams it back to your mobile phone. Very easy and very fast: e.g. downloading a TV episode takes a minute or 2 after which you can use Relocally - or something like Air Video - to stream it to your device.

The script is called Usenet-o-matic.  It will be part of Relocally, but if you want you can use it yourself.

It's available  at http://usenetomatic.codeplex.com.
In this first release it supports Newzbin and NZBmatrix as index sources and SABnzbd as download server.

This means that in order to get it working, you need a Newzbin premium account or a NZBmatrix VIP account and a SABnzbd installation. (and a decent Usenet provider obviously - like Giganews)
I admit: those are a lot of things to set up (and are not free) so probably the target group of a script like this is pretty narrow, but once you get everything inline, download Walhalla is yours :-)

Sorry, no live demo but here are some screenshots: (Yeah yeah, I know: it looks like crap, I left the design part for you to add :-) )

image  image  imageimage

Tags: in English, Mobile, Programming, ScriptingGeef je reactie (2)
 

en ... GO!

De lente hangt in de lucht.
De Catalpas zijn weer gesnoeid en de tafel staat klaar in de veranda voor het eerste lentezonontbijt.
Ook op de zolder merk je dat je vingers er niet meer afvriezen als je een hamer vastneemt.
Tijd dus om terug in actie te schieten!
Dat die zolderkamers eindelijk eens afgeraken begot.
Het is niet mijn schuld hoor, dat die dingen nog niet klaar zijn, het is de schuld van de goniometrie.
Zoals al eerder gezegd, tis rap bedacht: hop, we trekken hier wat schuine lijnen door, dan krijgen we meer dynamiek in de ruimte die bovendien het beschikbare volume optimaliseert en de natuurlijk flow benadrukt.

Jawadde - maar waar die schuine lijnen in contact komen met de schuine lijnen van het dak, krijg je ware Escher-toestanden.
En dat vertaalt zich dan automatisch in veeeeeel meer werk om daar muren tussen te krijgen en alle hoekjes af te werken.
Plezant - dat wel!
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Tags: in 't Nederlands, Lifelog, VerbouwenGeef je reactie (0)
 

Barcamp Antwerpen podcast

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4416623377_e9e39d078e_o De TECH45 podcast was te gast op Barcamp Antwerpen. Ze namen een hele reeks interviews af tijdens de dag wat een erg interessante impressie opleverde.
Ik mocht de spits afbijten in een informele babbel over mijn presentatie met Maarten Handrickx en Stefaan Lesage.
De podcast kun je hier beluisteren - of door hieronder op de play knop te klikken.
De foto's zijn van Marco Frissen

Of download de .mp3 hier)

 

Anne - de organisater van de barcamp is ondertussen druk bezig geweest een reeks kleine barcamp videoreportages online te plaatsen. 

 
Je kunt ze allemaal bekijken via http://www.barcampantwerpen.org/


Jammer dat je - zoals altijd - niet alle presentaties kunt volgen omdat er meerdere tegelijkertijd doorgaan.
Persoonlijk vond ik de talk van Jan Seurinck over "Verlichte piraten" en de voorstelling van "The Mine Project" van Mathias Baert de 2 interessantste - denk ik.
Het zijn alleszins de 2 die me na een week het meest zijn bijgebleven.

The Mine Project is echt een interessant concept, het sluit goed aan bij het Relocally project: je eigen data verzamelen en zelf bepalen hoe en met wie je dat deelt.
Dat komt vroeg of laat nog wel eens terug in 1 of andere vorm.

Ach - interessante dingen - ze zijn met veel en ze staan steeds te dringen om een paar streepjes aandacht.
Het is haast ondoenbaar om die allemaal in toom te houden :-)

 

Tags: in 't Nederlands, VideoGeef je reactie (0)
 

Barcamp Antwerpen 2010 - Het Masterplan

Barcamps - nog steeds mijn favoriete (un)conferentievorm: Iedereen kan iets komen vertellen over een onderwerp naar keuze en iedereen werkt mee om de dag te laten slagen - en supergeslaagd dat was ie! Meer daarover in een aparte post.

Barcamp voor mij is synoniem aan een extra stimulans om eindelijk eens mijn Vage Visies in een concreet project te gieten. Meestal resulteert dat in een slapeloze nacht ervoor om alles "presentabel" te krijgen.

Mijn presentatie op Barcamp Antwerpen 2010 ging deze keer over "Het masterplan" - een overkoepelend project om al je apparaten aan een gezamenlijke webinterface te koppelen zodat je alles vanaf eender waar kunt bedienen.
Dat project is binnenkort op www.relocally.com terug te vinden.
Het is nog een beetje abstract en om het wat te visualiseren toonde ik de stand van zaken van mijn "tweetshirt V2 in wording".
1 van de concepten van relocally is het "remote screen" : Er zijn een hoop schermen in je huis en relocally wil een soort hub vormen zodat je al die schermen ook kunt aansturen vanop 1 punt. Een video naar je TV, een reeks foto's naar je picture frame, een recept naar het scherm in de keuken of ... een beeld naar je T-shirt - meer bepaald je tweetshirt.
Versie 2 zou een tamelijk groot e-textile scherm moeten worden bestaande uit 256 kleuren leds - Momenteel heb ik 1 paneeltje van 64 leds klaar.
Hieronder een kort  videootje van hoe het eruit ziet.

Hieronder vind je nog de slides van mijn presentatie - zoals gewoonlijk zeggen ze niet veel zonder de uitleg.
Klikken om verder te gaan, in de linker onderhoek klikken om terug te gaan.



Update: Nog wat foto's.

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Natuurlijk kwam Murphy weer langs en werkte het display amper tijdens de presentatie - snel wat on-the-fly herstellingswerken om het te fixen.
De foto is van Marco Frissen


me_tweetshirt125
Hier ben ik het vurig aan het uitleggen en zie je hoe het shirt er in daglicht uitziet.
De foto is van SaraVDV

Tags: Arduino, in 't Nederlands, Tinkering, TweetshirtGeef je reactie (0)
 

Opera mini at MWC

a picture called mobile_3_49_10 PM_2152010IMAG0072.jpg (click to enlarge) Opera mini is waiting for S. Jobs - Everybody else arriving at Barcelona airport today probably has tweeted this, but still, nice marketing stunt at the ckeckout gates :-) #MWC
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How to be a full time Tech Blogger

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Today I'm proudly introducing the first ever guest posting on this blog.
It's my good friend @zeursteffest!
His motto is "I'm whining about it so you don't have to"
I got to know him after @inferis pointed me in the right direction.
Normally I don't like negative people all that much but it became clear that he had some refreshing insights to share.
So without further due - @zeursteffest: the keyboard is yours.

Thank you @steffest for the opportunity.
So, I've noticed you don't blog all that often and I've decided to help you out a bit.
Your blog is crap - it's rubbish - It's going nowhere - so here are some tips.

First: where are the ads, man? How do you expect to get some ROI without advertisement? For Pete's sake, put some Google adwords between your posts, that's basic stuff!

Second: start hyping up your posts: start using words like boobs and sex and free beer and babes and nude cars and stuff, don't you know anything about SEO?

Third: I've read every single technology and gadget blog the last 2 weeks and made a detailed analysis of how things work around the scene. I've written a bling book about it, but I'm giving - that's right: GIVING you this wicked sick flowchart FOR FREE so even you get to be a full time Tech Blogger. (Once you put some ads on here, that is)
Don't thank me now, thank me when you ... err ... well, just don't and get your act together.

Tags: Apple-bashing, Gezeur, in EnglishGeef je reactie (0)
 

Whiskytasting the sequel

Na de vorige twhiskey hadden wat twooozers de smaak te pakken en werd een vervolgvoorstel zeer enthousiast onthaalt.
En waar kun je beter een whiskytasting doen dan in Anverness?
Peter is een wandelende whisky encyclopedie, fantastisch om te zien hoe een sympathieke mens over zijn passie verteld zonder daarbij betweterig over te komen. Je moet vooral zelf proeven en in mijn geval - bij gebrek aan talent - komt de smaak door veeeeeeeeeeel te oefenen :-)

Daar zorgen we voor.

 

twhisky2-1Een whisky wordt meestal van gerst gemaakt, maar Peter wilde graag tonen dat andere granen ook een prima whisky kunnen vormen en bracht als aperitief een Single Grain whisky van Greenore.

Net zoals bij de Belgische bieren zijn veel variaties historisch ontstaan door inventieve lokale distilleerders en brouwerijen die de  taxen, opgelegd door de "bezetter", wilden ontlopen.
Belgen en Ieren zijn op dat punt precies hetzelfde :-)
 


Na deze opwarming presenteerde Peter de volgende 6 whiskys.

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De Amerikaanse Sazerac Rye was een verrassing: erg lekker, oorspronkelijk gemaakt om in cocktails te gebruiken maar dat lijkt me een beetje zonde.
Het hoogtepunt was wellicht de 33 jaar oude single cask Islay whisky Bunnahabhain van 52%.
Echt een smaakbommetje dat afgaat in je mond.
De laatste was een experimentje: een 12 jaar oude Islay whisky van Carn Mor. Hij geurt naar plakkaatverf (echt!) maar de smaak was perfect voor mij: erg peaty dus ik heb zo'n Carn Mor flesje maar mee naar huis genomen, Ik moet oefenen, niet waar?

Bedankt @cubus voor het initiatief en natuurlijk een dikke merci aan Peter De Decker van Anverness

 

Tags: in 't Nederlands, LifelogGeef je reactie (1)
 

The best Spy phone in the world

Well, here's something you don't see often: the very "sexy" Windows Mobile being used for its coolness factor.
Ahem:
What's more: without even knowing it, I seem to have the most bad-ass Spy phone in the world.
Woohoo!
The HTC Touch pro and other HTC phone models are the weapon of choice of the super candoall robinhood good/bad guys of Leverage.

See there?
htc4

That's my phone, man, and you know what's he doing there?
He's hacking into the main server room of a multi billion dollar company, from where he relay-hacks into the cellphone of the bad guy (sitting in the server room), activates the camera of that phone and streams it live to his screen, so he can see what password is typed on the keyboard.

WOW! that's insane, some serious skillzzz there.
(one question though: if you can do all that, why would you need his password to get into his PC?) 

htc2
But there's more- of course there is, moments ago his beautiful accomplice Sophie Devereaux made smalltalk with the CEO of the company, while sneakily duplicating the RFID tag of his security badge and sending it to Alec's phone. OMG: That HTC Touch has a RFID reader AND writer. That�s so cool.


But that was not enough, nooooo, with an innocent "Can you hold this for me please", she scanned the CEO fingerprint, transferred it to Alec's phone who prints it out on a Dymo label printer to fool the biometric fingerprint scanner. WOOOOOOOW! Who said that touchscreens are fingerprint magnets? you're damn right they are!

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As you guessed it: that's not half of it.
To find the spot where the safe is hidden, just swoop uit your phone and start the "metaldetector" app. (Yes, on WinMo there's an app for that, although I believe @emich once wrote an app for that too)

htcTouchpro2 htcTouchpro1

Man, They're so cool ... no a wait, I'm so cool, cause I have the same frakkin phone, yeah!
Something has got to rub off, no?

I already knew this but give a man a smartphone and there's no limit to what he can do :-)

htc3 
"Een man, een telefoon, geen grenzen" That's my motto.

So, show me yours, eh!

That show is going to be so much fun rewatching in 2030 ...

Tags: Gadgets, in English, MobileGeef je reactie (0)
 

Do you want Flash on your mobile?

a picture called adobe-flash-iphone.jpg (click to enlarge)

I really don't understand the aversion that some iPhone users have against the prospect of having Flash on their wonderphone.
Why is that?
Why wouldn't you want another development choice for your device?
Yes, there are a lot of crappy uses for Flash, lot's of crappy games, crappy ads, crappy sites ... but nobody is forcing you to watch them, do they?
Nobody is forcing you to even install it, do they?
Arguably there are even more crappy HTML sites, so should you also want to ban HTML from your phone?
Of course not.
So why do some think that opening their Jesusphone to the hordes of Flash developers would degrade it?
Because it would be less exclusive?
Because the ivory tower would get muddled by all those mediocre designers/developers?
hmmm ... it's not like all those iPhone apps are that shiny
And yet ... they do have a point: Last week I was at Brussels Girl Geek dinner #23 where Christoph Rooms was talking about Flash on mobile. "Flash is great for mobile video because you could create video files with embed commercials that would be impossible to skip! Hooray!"
Err .... that must be the worst possible "feature" to underline in such a geek audience :-) Bad points ...
Oh, but in fact, It still can get worse: Adobe is showing of their Flash player for the Nexus One Google phone: nice ...
First a crappy game is shown, that a topbanner flash ad, then a sidebanner flash ad, then an embedded video player.
Err ... WTF? If this is the future of flash then indeed: please get rid of it.
What was Adobe thinking producing a demo video like that?

Nevertheless: Flash for Mobile is coming, even for iPhone (somewhat)
Even after 2 years of little evolution in the Flash mobile area, I still see it as one of the best ways for cross platform development.
Apart from plain HTML/javascript, Flash still is the platform that is closest to the "Write once, run anywhere" paradigm.
Adobe's Open Screen project is very commercial, yes, but it DOES aim to unify a fragmented market, and that's hardly a bad thing.

So: of course you don't "need" flash on any phone but let's make a deal: give me Flash 10 for mobile already, and I'll build you a kick ass demo that shows how great a cross platform app for mobile can be ...

Tags: in English, Mobile, Web 2.0Geef je reactie (1)
 

World domination by phone


Dit is de video van mijn barcamp presentatie op 19 december.
Met dank aan @StefaanLesage van Devia voor het filmen.

Tips aan mezelf voor de volgende keer

  • Spreek eens wat minder dialect zeg!
  • Niet zo wiebelen
  • Maak de demo's iets langer op voorhand dan de nacht ervoor zodat ze tenminste werken
  • vooral: probeer geen 60 minuten in 20 minuten spreektijd te proppen
Tags: in 't Nederlands, Tinkering, Video, Web 2.0Geef je reactie (0)