Archive for March, 2009

VB script – my new swiss army pocket knife

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

On of the new command types in Gobetwino 0.6 (coming soon) will allow Arduino to send the command line parameters to a started program. I have this running by now, and have been experimenting with running VB scripts with the command line  coming from Arduino. This opens up a whole lot of new possibilities.

VB script is very powerful, and just by Googeling a little i have found VB scripts to do almost anything i can imagine.

I have made a few short experiments, and found that things like browsing to a website with querystring parametres coming from Arduino, like http://www.site.com?name=value where value is something coming from Arduino, is a piece of cake. Another thing i have successfully tested today is inserting data into a (SQL server) database from a VB script started from Gobetwino.   The Windows Script Host (WSH) that executes the scripts also supports Jscript, VB’s, JAVA cousin, so if you are more JAVA than VB inclined, no problem.

So the bottom line of todays experiments is that if  it can be done in VB script og Jscript, it can be done with Gobetwino, and therefore also from Arduino.

Gobetwino – minor bugs – and future features

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Today download nr. 500 of Gobetwino took place.

I have found some bugs in the current version 0.5 of gobetwino.

  • If sending an email with an attached file fails, the attached file seems to be locked as write protected.
  • In the log to file (LGFIL) command the seperator value between the timestamp and the data coming from Arduino is hardcoded as “;” this is not good if the data coming from Arduino chooses another seperator.
  • In some (rather special) cases an error message that should have been shown in the status area is not shown.
  • It is possible to send a well formed, but not existing, command to Gobetwino from Arduino without an error being generated. Nothing happens, but i can be confusing.

I am planning a version 0.6 that i hope will be out in a couple of weeks. This version will be without the bugs mentioned above, and have some new features added as well:

  • A new command type will be added, that will allow the command line parametres to a started program to come from Arduino, which will make it possible to do what Josef requested.
  • A new command type implements uploading of files to web sites that support FTP access.
  • Restarting Gobetwino after changing the settings will no longer be required.
  • The missing “Delete” button in the command editor will be added.
  • A new feature makes it possible to test a command from within Gobetwino, just as if it came from Arduino.

I will probably add some more, but i also have to test and document everything.

Gobetwino and Gmail – Update

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

I got a question about the possibility to use Gmail accounts with Gobetwino. After having read a bit about how you can have POP 3and SMTP access to Gmail accounts, i can see that it will not be possible to use these accounts with Gobetwino as it is now. I use the Indy sockets open source library for the POP3 stuff, and i can see that it is possible to use SSL. But it requires some changes to the code. As for the SMTP part, i’m using standard .NET objects, i will have to check up on that before i can say anything. But anyways SSL access to mail is on the wish list for future versions.

I did a little testing and a lot of Googeling, and it appears that implementing SSL acces to Gmail accounts is not exactly easy.  I have not given up, but the solutions i thought would work does not. So i’m back to square 1.

Cool suggestion from Gobetwino user

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

The other day Josef Tschiggerl  mailed me this suggestion:

What I am interested in is if it would be possible (in a further release) to include the possibility to browse a specific url to hand
over parameters to PHP.  Like
http://www.mysite.com/arduino/log.php?temp=$1
$1 should then be replaced by a value from Arduino.

This is a very good idea, and one use that i had not thought of my self. I Have been thinking about how to implement it. The problem is what if someone wanted to send two parametres in the query string or 3 or 4 ?  I will probably make a new version of the SPWEX or SPRID command type where the Cmd line arguments parameter is external. This way you can start a program and hand it command line arguments that are coming from Arduino. Combine this with a clever VB script and you have just what Josef wants. In fact you have much more, because this would be a very general approach to sending command line parameters to a program started from Gobetwino. The command line parameter string could have anything you like in it, and a VB script can easily get to it. Hmmmm… this opens up other possibilities…


 

Gobetwino 0.5 released

Friday, March 20th, 2009

I created a generic proxy program that runs on a PC and does things on behalf of a connected Arduino board. Now 36 hours after i put it on my web site  it has been downloded more than 200 times. This is probably because it was featured on the Arduino blog and on the Make blog.  So i got my 15 nano seconds of fame :-)