Today is Halloween and this holiday provides a wonderful excuse to hack on some spooky-themed projects.
We've curated a few of our favorite Halloween hacks in this post, ranging from a Raspberry Pi-controlled pumpkin to a Dracula dark theme for your Terminal.
The Jack o'Lantern can be controlled to change the colors of the LED lights inside the face and a motion sensor triggers a unique lighting sequence for people when they walk by.
Spotify-Powered Halloween Sound Effects
This Halloween Sound Effects using Spotify and Raspberry Pi project uses a Spotify playlist with Halloween sounds to power the hardware hack. Check out the accompanying video to see how it works.
Dracula Dark Theme
Short Message Service (SMS) text messages are ubiquitous for time-sensitive communication. They’re also easy to send at scale by combining a Django web application with an application programming interface (API).
In this tutorial, we will build a straightforward Django project with SMS capability that transmits messages to multiple recipients.
Required Project Dependencies
We will also use the following application dependencies in our application:
- Django web framework, version 2.2.x
- pip and virtualenv
- The Twilio Python helper library, version 6.32.0 or greater
- A free Twilio account. Sign up to get an account so you can use the Twilio APIs
Sending and receiving SMS is easy with the Twilio API, but what if you want to send regularly-scheduled reminders from your Laravel web applications? In this tutorial, we'll combine Laravel, Twilio Programmable SMS and cron to send daily reminders that are stored in a Laravel data model.
We'll need the following dependencies to complete this tutorial:
- PHP version 7+
- Composer installed globally
- Your Twilio credentials, which you can sign up for an account for free
We can start building our project once you have PHP 7 and Composer installed. We'll sign up for a Twilio account at the appropriate step in the tutorial.
All of the code for the project can be found within this Git repository on GitHub.
Create a Laravel Project with Composer and the Twilio Helper Library
In your terminal, start a new Laravel project named
reminder-app using the following command:
Python programmers love to help – the community publishes detailed tutorials for their fellow developers every day. Over the last month, we’ve been collecting some of those posts we found most helpful.
Each tutorial is easy enough for beginner-level programmers to follow. More experienced developers should be able to breeze through the code while building a useful project, or use them as convenient refreshers.
Whichever bucket you belong to, enjoy the posts!
Exercising, or Slacking? Build a Python Bot for Either
The term "bot" feels so 2017 in this community. However, they are still a great way to learn how to build Python applications.
- Create Your Own Personal Training Exercise Bot with Python, Zappa, AWS and Twilio SMS by Matthew Vielkind via Twilio
- Build a Slack Bot that Mimics Your Colleagues by Casey Kinsey via Lofty Labs
Use Bokeh to Visualize All the Data!
Bokeh, the wonderful Python visualization library …
WhatsApp is a global messaging service that helps billions of people communicate with each other. Applications can now also programmatically interact with people on the service using the Twilio Messaging API and Twilio's Java Helper Library. Let's learn how to quickly send messages to people from a new or existing Java application.
Our local development environment needs the following dependencies to properly send WhatsApp messages from Java.
- Java SE version 7 or higher
- A free Twilio account with an activated WhatsApp Sandbox
- The Twilio Java Helper Library
First, install Java on your development machine if you do not already have it. You can also read this detailed tutorial on setting up your Java development environment if you are having trouble.
Take note of your Account SID and Auth Token when …
WhatsApp is an over-the-top (OTT) messaging service widely used throughout the world. In this tutorial, we will learn how to quickly send WhatsApp messages through the Twilio Messaging API with reusable code that can be added to any Python application.
Development Environment Setup
We need the following dependencies installed on our local development environment to send WhatsApp messages.
- Python version 2 or 3
- A free Twilio account with an activated WhatsApp Sandbox
- The Twilio Python Helper Library
If you do not have Python already installed on your machine, go to the Python downloads page and install the latest version now.
After you log into the Twilio Console, take note of your Account SID and Auth Token. The Account SID is a unique identifier for your account while the Auth Token is …
Amazon Web Services (AWS) Lambda is a usage-based service that can run arbitrary Python 3.6 code in response to developer-defined events. For example, if a new JPEG file is uploaded to AWS S3 then AWS Lambda can execute Python code to respond to resize the image on S3.
Let’s learn how to use AWS Lambda with a manual test event trigger to send outbound text messages via a Python Lambda function that calls the Twilio SMS REST API.
Getting Started with AWS Lambda
Sign up for a new Amazon Web Services account, which provides a free tier for new users, or sign into your existing AWS account.
After you sign up go to the main Console page that looks like the following screen.
As shown in the screenshot, use the search box with the text “lambda” to find Lambda on the list of services. Click on Lambda …
Java web applications can easily dial and receive phone calls by combining the Spark web framework with the Twilio Voice API. Our example phone calls will say a snippet of text then play an MP3 file, but they can easily be modified to provide other useful actions like gathering user input from the number pad or creating conference calls.
Our Project Tools
Our Spark web app will use the Java 8 JDK and Apache Maven so make sure you have those tools installed. If you need to get Java 8 and Apache Maven installed on your Windows machine, check out this tutorial (you can skip over the GWT bits). We will also need the following tools throughout this walkthrough:
Do you want to get started developing Java web applications that use Google Web Toolkit (GWT)? This guide walks through how to install a Windows 10 development environment so you can start building your projects.
Tools We’ll Need
We’ll need to install and configure several tools for our development environment:
- Java 8 Java Development Kit (JDK)
- Apache Maven build and configuration tool
- Google Web Toolkit (GWT) web framework
Let’s get started by downloading and installing version 8 of the Java JDK.
Java 8 JDK
Head over to the Java 8 JDK downloads page in your web browser. Read and accept the licensing agreement then proceed with the download for the latest release of the Windows x64 Java SE Development Kit.
When the download completes, run the executable. Allow the installer to make changes to your system.
Move through the installer and when you reach the following screen press the …
A localhost tunnel comes in handy when you want to share an application running in your local development environment via a publicly-accessible URL. In this quick 2 minute video we will learn how the localhost tunneling tool Ngrok works then download and run it on Mac OS X:
Now you’re ready to share your local in-progress applications with others before you perform a full-blown deployment.
Links & More Resources
We used a couple of resources in the above video:
- Ngrok, the localhost tunneling tool by Alan Shreve
- Python 2.7 SimpleHTTPServer built into stdlib (Python 3 replaces SimpleHTTPServer with http.server)
Learn more about how to configure and use Ngrok with these tutorials:
- Test Your Webhooks Locally with Ngrok
- 6 awesome reasons to use ngrok when testing locally
- How to set up your Python and Flask development environment, including Ngrok
Now that you have Ngrok running on your Mac, here …