Using the Eclipse client for editing BlueMix projects on Git Jazz Hub

In this tip of the day I show how easy it is to setup your IBM BlueMix and Jazz Hub project in the Eclipse client for editing. This will allow you to edit your project off-line and take advantage of the many plugins the Eclipse client has to offer.

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Who is watching your videos on YouTube?

I understand the types of videos I make will never go viral as it is a niche channel but I am always interested in finding new ways to have broader coverage. I have monitored things like the video retention rate and have attempted to make the videos somewhat compelling along the way to keep the retention high throughout the video however I often find the results are variable and still don’t have it down completely.

I see I have a fairly large viewership in the US and India, and not bad in the UK, Canada, and Brazil but then its starts to decline pretty quickly.

I promote the videos here on this blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Tumblr, and even Facebook. So the question I have is, how do you get more viewers in these other countries? Are there other social platforms I should be targeting to get the “word out” on? What social networks do you publicize your videos on in these other countries?

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Integrating IBM (Unica) Interact with WebSphere Commerce Part 1

In this video I show off the GreenWheels demonstration where I created an IBM Interact Widget. In this first part I show how Interact and WebSphere Commerce connect together. I explain the setup of the zones in Interact and how I mapped those zones to areas within the product page layout in Commerce Composer. I then walk through how I used the new widget framework to call into Interact and construct the offers for the web page.

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Adding a new node type to your Node-Red flow application on BlueMix

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 12.02.32 PMIn my last post I introduced a project on GitHub that provided 26 new Node-Red nodes you can use in your Node-Red flow. Today I am going to show how you can bundle up one of those nodes and deploy it to your application on BlueMix.

I have had problems with my blog service provider in that the database server goes off-line at random times. While it only happens maybe once or twice every other month it is very annoying and most of the time I get notified by some of my avid readers that my ‘blog is down”. If anyone knows WordPress, if your database server is down the blog is pretty much dead.

In this video I show how you can bundle up a node and deploy that new node to your Node-Red application flow to be used in your flows.

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26 Node-Red nodes for your arsenal!

GitHub-MarkCheck out this project on GitHub, it has 26 new nodes for your Node-Red application. Everything from Analysis to Hardware:


72-wordpos - Analyses the payload and classifies the part-of-speech of each word. The resulting message has msg.pos added with the results. A word may appear in multiple categories (eg, ‘great’ is both a noun and an adjective).

74-swearfilter - Analyses the payload and tries to filter out any messages containing bad swear words. This only operates on payloads of type string. Everything else is blocked.


37-rpi-piface - Adds support for the PiFace interface module for Raspberry Pi.

78-ledborg - A simple driver for the LEDborg plug on module for Raspberry Pi.

60-wemo - Basic node to drive a WeMo socket and switch. Does not use discovery.

76-blinkstick - Provides support for the BlinkStick USB LED device.

77-blink1 - Provides support for the Blink1 USB LED from ThingM.

78-digiRGB - Provides support for the DigiSpark RGB USB LED.

79-sensorTag - Reads data from the Ti BLE SensorTag device.

100-heatmiser-in - Writes settings for temperature and frost protection to Heatmiser thermostats.

101-heatmiser-out - Reads settings from Heatmiser thermostats at a polling interval.

101-scanBLE - Scans for a particular Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) device.

145-BBB-hardware - A collection of analogue & digital input & output nodes for the Beaglebone Black


26-rawserial - Only really needed for Windows boxes without serialport npm module installed. Uses a simple read of the serial port as a file to input data. You must set the baud rate etc externally before starting Node-RED. This node does not implement pooling of connections so only one instance of each port may be used – so in orout but not both.

39-wol - Sends a Wake-On-LAN magic packet to the mac address specified. You may instead set msg.mac to dynamically set the target device mac to wake up.

88-ping - Pings a machine and returns the trip time in mS. Returns false if no response received within 3 seconds, or if the host is unresolveable. Default ping is every 20 seconds but can be configured.


69-mpd - MPD music control nodes. Output node expects payload to be a valid mpc command. Currently only simple commands that expect no reply are supported. Input node creates a payload object with Artist, Album, Title, Genre and Date.

57-notify - Uses Growl to provide a desktop popup containing the payload. Only useful on the local machine.

57-prowl - Uses Prowl to push the payload to an Apple device that has the Prowl app installed.

57-pushbullet - Uses PushBullet to push the payload to an Android device that has the PushBullet app installed.

92-xmpp - Connects to an XMPP server to send and receive messages.


67-leveldb - Uses LevelDB for a simple key value pair database.

68-mysql - Allows basic access to a MySQL database. This node uses the query operation against the configured database. This does allow both INSERTS and DELETES. By it’s very nature it allows SQL injection…so be careful out there…

69-ddbout - Support output to Amazon DynamoDB.


79-suncalc - Uses the suncalc module to generate an output at sunrise and sunset based on a specified location. Several choices of definition of sunrise and sunset are available,


99-sample - A sample node with more comments than most to try to help you get started without any other docs…

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Final Re-Tweet Code for my Node-RED application on BlueMix (updated)

If you have been following my blog and more specifically my Twitter account in the past week you probably noticed an awful lot of re-tweets in the past week. Well, if you just happen to have missed my original video where I created a simple Node-RED application to automatically retweet and promote “bluemix” on Twitter feel free to get some context here and watch the video.

This is the final flow after some debugging and watching the different retweets happening:


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Debugging A Node-RED Application on BlueMix


In this video I show how easy it is to debug a Node-RED application flow using the debug output element. A few things I realized when writing this application was you have to be very careful when automating a retweet. You have to take some things into consideration like:

  • Maybe only retweeting people you trust
  • Retweet only tweets in your native language
  • Filter out tweets with foul language
  • Don’t retweet your own retweets!
  • Make sure the end retweet is under the 140 character limit
  • Limit your retweet activity as so not to spam yours and others feeds.


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Just how good is the Blue Yeti Microphone? You can compare it here.

yeti-toonThese have been the options that I have used to create the videos on my YouTube channel to date. Now, a real comparison would be to get another “good” microphone and compare it to that, however, I think this post clearly shows being cheap about the microphone is not a good option at all.

I first started with the built-in microphone of my laptop:


Then I pretty much used my Apple earbuds with the microphone exposed on my chest:


I then used the Rode lavalier but didn’t really like it at all:


Enter: Blue Yeti. I have yet to do a video with this but the sound is clearly superior:

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New Video – BlueMix – Using NodeRED to Retweet specific topics

Although this could be considered “cheating” in the social world and I certainly do not condone automated social behavior, I do think NodeRED on BlueMix is very cool and easy to use and this is a fast, simple, and effective way to promote a given topic on Twitter.

What I did was create a flow in NodeRED to look for any Tweets that mention “bluemix” and the retweet that tweet to help promote BlueMix on Twitter. Here is the flow on BlueMix:NodeRED Flow

Check out my video below to see what each element in the flow does and how the application works. You can sign up on on the Codename: BlueMix beta today here to give this a try.

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Code: IBM Mobile Web Push (Reactor) code for my blog

GitHub-MarkAs promised, in this post I will share the code I have on my WordPress blog to have it enabled with the Reactor code. You can download the code snippets directly from GitHub or follow the instructions below to insert the code into your Twenty Eleven Theme.

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