January 21, 2016

IoT Devfest Website Analytics

When organizing an event with 100 or so people, there are many decisions to make right away. Should we have a website? Brand? Logo? It’s not a huge event so putting it on Meetup or just using the ticketing website (we use Universe that has a really nice looking event page) sounds like a good plan especially with limited resources. Logo design? Only if someone on the organizing team happens to be a designer because that kind of thing can cost thousands of dollars.

We decided early to have our own website and got really lucky that a designer (thanks, Travis!) was willing to help out with the brand. We think having our own site and brand contributed immensely to the success of our event and below is some of the evidence we used to come to that conclusion.

In a later post I’ll go into some detail about how 2/3’s of attendees registered in the week before the event but that fact might help explain the analytics for the IoT Devfest website seen below:


As you can see, on Monday, January 4th we had our second highest number of “sessions” (a complicated metric but it’s the best guess at “visits”). It’s also the day we contacted our fellow organizers and asked them to get the word out and some did that on Monday but others did on Tuesday. Event day was Saturday, January 9th and that was the highest sessions with 523. I’m glad to see that so many people used the website and next time I’m going to make sure it’s even better. What else could we have added? Where could we have organized it better? What did you think of the logo/brand/design? Suggestions and feedback welcome! Hit me up on twitter @tooshel.


P.S. Below is the hourly sessions chart. It would be fun to correlate the time that we tweeted and organizers sent out email to the times where we saw a spike in website sessions (registration was on the front page where you see the video now . . . STILL keeping it up to date!). Maybe there is a business idea in there somewhere.


January 13, 2016

IoT Devfest

What an amazing event! I’m a bit biased because I helped organize it with Mike but I can tell you I wasn’t so sure it was going to be great the week before the event. At that point we only had about 50 people registered and were thinking about ways we could downsize it. It’s taken selling out, a few days of reflection, and many many many many many people saying it was great for me to know for sure I wasn’t completely biased. In the coming weeks I hope to reflect on the event and post some stories here that I thought were interesting. In the meantime, I need to get post-event work done (reporting, paying bills, videos, etc).


July 23, 2015

Project Fi after a month

I’ve had my Nexus 6 and Project Fi for about a month now. The short review is that I love the service but don’t like the phone. Below is the long version.


Simply put: I think the phone is too big. It’s bigger than a Samsung Note 4. Even a month later I’m not used to it. Barely fits in my pants. It’s two hands for just about everything. That said, it’s nice having a screen that big with me all the time. Basically, overall, like a big phone but maybe not this big. It’s likely I’ll change my mind in a month just like every other big phone user.

The perf on the phone is fine. It’s not much better than my old (stolen 🙁 from my car) Nexus 5. But I don’t notice any lag except on Tapped Out . . . . but I hear that is an Android 5.1/5.1.1 thing.

Google also sent a welcome pack (and I put my phone in the case they sent and then took a picture) which was a surprise and delight moment.



One of the most intriguing features of Fi is that it makes T-Mobile and Sprint into your network (along with Wifi which is uses instead of either of those two if you are connected. Here in AZ you are taking the #3 carrier for coverage (T-Mobile) and the #4 carrier (Sprint) and making into a tie for #2 in coverage with AT&T and nowhere near as good the #1 carrier for coverage (Verizon). I installed an app called “SignalCheck Pro” mostly so I could tell which network I was on and I was surprised how often I was on Sprint’s network. The jumping between Sprint and T-Mobile is seemless but I have had times where I was on Wifi on a call and the call was dropped as I walked away from the Wifi. It’s something to be aware of but hasn’t bothered me much.

Google Voiceinlinevoicemail

When I transferred to Project Fi I was informed that I either use my current Google Voice number or I port my cell number and loose my Google Voice number. That was a tough decision since I used both often. Anyway, I ended up porting my cell number (and moving my Google Voice number to a different google account) and it went fine. And I love that SMS text messages are integrated with voice messages with a translation. That was certainly a surprise and delight feature.

Project Fi

Not much is different between Google as a provider and T-Mobile as a provider except that I use the Project Fi app to keep track of my data usage. And THAT is the real downside of having to pay for every byte . . . it makes you think about everything you do. There is something to say about psychological detachment you get when you have allotment of data to use or not use. That truly is a big downside to Project Fi . . . even more than the forced Nexus 6.


Project Fi will not save you money except in edge cases. Start at out $20 and then add $10/GB for data. That SOUNDS cheap, but it really isn’t. Especially for people with a family or anyone who uses more than a few GB of data. T-Mobile recently announced a 10GB family plan . . . 10GB for each user. . . . and two people on that plan is the same as a Fi plan using only 3GB each. And I like to tether! So I frequently use over 3GB of data. The T-Mobile plan is so compelling that I decided to give my 3-year-old daughter a phone that I can use when I need to tether.

October 30, 2012

Upgrade to Windows 8

I really need a new SSD (my current one is only 80GB!) but this will come in handy when I’m ready to upgrade.


I guess I won’t need a registry hack this time.



October 4, 2012

You win!

I don’t want to forget this so I’m posting it here.


February 12, 2011

Let’s Have a Ball

Here’s a stupid demo I made for my flash programming class.  It doesn’t do much.  Click around to spawn some balls.  That’s pretty much it. Oh and I’m sorry about the title of this post. It’s also pretty stupid. I was thinking of going for something like “man I’ve got a lot of balls” but that’s just crude.

August 25, 2009

Android Root

Okay, so the hackathon of my Google Phone is over.  I decided to “root” my G2 (Google Ion, myTouch, whatever) phone so that I can install other versions of the operation system.  The primary reason was the speed advantages but I was also interested in wifi tethering.  There are a ton of options but I went with Cyanogenmod (at the time it was v4.0.1 but a few days later I installed v.4.0.2 and it was easy) because it has the most “play” (i.e. I read about it all over the place).

It’s funny because supposedly it’s a “one click” process but wherever you read that headline you’ll see 50 links and 10 pages of text.


  • It does seem faster but it’s no iPhone (probably not even as fast as the first iPhone let along the 3GS)
  • Wifi tethering!  I can tether with a laptop or netbook to my data connection using just wifi.  The irony is that I would need to plug the phone in with USB anyway for power but still, tethering!
  • Multi-Touch browser.  Again, not as responsive as iPhone be still nicer than the +/-.  Would be really nice in maps and I suspect that might come soon.
  • More “screens” so I can have more widgets and icons in the locations that I want.  Not all that big a deal as 3 was enough, really, since I could get to the stuff I didn’t use much from the “pull up” menu
  • Couple of new apps I couldn’t have gotten otherwise . . . pdf viewer and an office viewer.
  • Discovered “MyBackup” which is an app that takes care of backup for apps and data so at the end of it all restoring back to the phone I had before took about 10 minutes . . . with the exception of my background image, ring tone, and some setup inside a few apps like latitude.  I had to install all of the apps one but with MyBackup I just had to okay each install one by one but it all went really fast . . . at least I didn’t have to remember what I liked and download it all one by one.
  • Three keyboards to choose from . . . though, I already had two after installing an alternate a while back.


  • Takes forever to boot up (but that was just the first time . . . it has to run some script)
  • It was kinda scary though it was actually one of the easiest hacks ever.  More scary that most other projects because I *need* my phone whereas if I bust a PSP or my Wii or an XBox I’m just out some entertainment which is no big deal.


August 14, 2009

Skittles must be made with lard

I made the Skittles flavored vodka.


Basically, you separate the Skittles into colors and put them in empty water bottles to dissolve in vodka for a few hours (or overnight).  Then you have to filter out the white gelatinous stuff.  I did the filtering with coffee filters and the white stuff that was left in the filter had the consistency of lard and it was very “buttery” in that it left a slippery film on the funnels that wouldn’t rinse off with just water.

Anyway, since it was a tinted but basically white and felt a lot like lard (or shortening or vegetable gunk or whatever you want to call it) it made me scared to ever eat Skittles again and made me wonder what other foods have lard. The more I thought about it the more I was convinced I probably don’t want to know.  What if there is lard in Red Vines?!

Baked goods have hidden lard in there but who knew it was in candy too!