Author Archives: Scott Motte

About Scott Motte

Hacker in LA. I believe the future is bright. It's up to us to build it - as programmers we get a big say. Follow me on twitter @motdotla.

Scott Motte on Twitter

Articles Posted by Scotty


Create your First Heroku Buildpack

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Did you know you can install custom software on Heroku? You can, using buildpacks. In this tutorial, I show you how to write a custom buildpack. I’ll use MuPDF, a handy utility to convert PDFs to PNGs, as an example. Replace the MuPDF parts with the binary you want. Create the Binary Before we can create the buildpack, we need to create the binary on the Heroku server environment. Make the binary. Begin by creating a heroku app. heroku create buildpack-stager heroku run bash –app buildpack-stager Then ssh into the server. heroku run bash –app buildpack-stager Make the binary. curl

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Hello World with Apex

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Salesforce is extremely popular software. It is used by large and small companies alike, and its Salesforce1 Platform allows you as a developer to create applications in the cloud. You write code on the Salesforce1 Platform in a language called Apex. It is similar to Java. Most of the tutorials for getting started with Apex use the Force.com IDE. I’m not a fan of IDEs. In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to write an Apex Hello World app without using an IDE. Let’s begin. Setup Salesforce.com Create a salesforce.com developer account. You’ll receive an email from

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Host Your Own Disposable Email App

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I like Mailinator. I use it all the time. However, it has had some downtime recently at inopportune times for me. My friend Joël had the idea of creating one’s own disposable email like Mailinator’s. In this post, I’m going to show you how to do just that. It turns out it is pretty easy using modern tools. Generate a RequestBin Visit RequestBin and create a bin. Set Up the Inbound Webhook Visit SendGrid’s Parse Webhook Settings. Set the hostname to 1ii55qy1.webhook.email. Set the url to the url of the bin you created above. Send an Email Go to your

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Open Source: Pull Request Driven Development

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Pull Requests are my favorite feature of GitHub. They are the way I prefer to do development. Avoid Communication Breakdown There is necessarily a lot of discussion that happens when writing code. On a team of one, this discussion happens in your brain. On a local team of two or three, it happens IRL. These approaches work ok, but they break down when the team is remote or four-plus people. So, how do you avoid this breakdown in communication? Often, teams turn to an external tool like Basecamp. I recommend against that. Those conversations live too far away from where

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How to Launch a Rocket with an Arduino and Node.js

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Recently, I had the chance to teach kids how to launch rockets using Arduinos. As you might guess, it was a blast. We wrote a countdown program using Node.js, hooked the program up to an Arduino, and wired up the Arduino. This sent an electrical signal to the rocket engine, igniting it. In this tutorial, I show you how to do the same. Prerequisites You will need the following materials: Arduino Mega 2560 Board. You could use a different Arduino board, but I recommend the Mega. NodeJS installed on your computer. It is relatively easy to install. You can go

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Complete Guide to Set Up Raspberry Pi Without a Keyboard and Mouse

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Raspberry Pi is a fun little “computer” that is an expandable hardware board with un-ending possibilities for hacking. The one downside is it can be tricky to get started if you don’t have an extra keyboard and mouse hanging around. The following tutorial makes it reasonably easy to set up your Raspberry Pi without a keyboard and mouse. All you need is a Raspberry Pi with a Wifi Adapter and a router with an available ethernet port. From there, it’s a two step process: Install Unix on the SD Card Configure the Raspberry Pi’s Wifi Let’s take those one at

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Remember to Floss With an Interactive Reminder Email

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It’s been over a month since New Year’s Day, but I’m still trying to keep some of my New Year’s resolutions. I’ve found the best way to keep them is to have someone remind you—nag you, really. Likely, your friends don’t want to spend their free moments nagging you though. So, let’s have SendGrid do it instead. Resolve to Be a Flosser You’re likely familiar with sending email through SendGrid, but we can also receive it via the Inbound Parse Webhook. We can combine the two to act like a person reminding us of our New Year’s resolution. How? We’ll

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