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  • By Matt Makai
    Our Favorite Halloween Hacks using Python, Raspberry Pi, Arduino and More Halloween Hacks for 2019

    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.

    Pumpkin Pi

    This cleverly-named Pumpkin Pi project combines a Raspberry Pi with some custom open source Python code and a carved-out pumpkin to create a high-tech Jack o'Lantern.Hardware part of the Pumpkin Pi hack, from http://begillespie.github.io/Pumpkin_Pi/

    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

    Dracula is a beautiful dark theme for Terminal, Sublime …

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  • By Matt Makai
    How to Broadcast SMS Text Messages from Python 3 Django Web Applications Broadcasting SMS Text Messages from Python Django Web Applications Tutorial

    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.

    If you want to go further in learning either Python or the Twilio SMS API, check out the amazing TwilioQuest training game.

    Required Project Dependencies

    Python 3 is required for this tutorial because Python 2 will no longer be supported after December 31, 2019. We’ll use Python 3.8 to build this tutorial.

    We will also use the following application dependencies in our application:

    If …

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  • By Matt Makai
    How to Send Daily SMS Reminders in PHP 7 Laravel Web Apps with cron How to Send Daily SMS Reminders in PHP 7 Laravel Web Apps with Cron

    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.

    Project Dependencies

    We'll need the following dependencies to complete this tutorial:

    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:

    $ …
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  • By Matt Makai
    Spaces Not Tabs: Our Favorite Python Tutorials for May 2019 E8UIen2vI0xmW5JjQD5o87O584rJJRBGTFuNOjzkjdWcQAveKKqQgFta7tdwIJ0kgAZifeOW64y212a0AIZOLGJ5iOrumK0T0PnTR3aJTDUFD2m6TOMnTZbod3Vno1q8UfhhqW3t

    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.

    Use Bokeh to Visualize All the Data!

    Bokeh, the wonderful Python visualization library …

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  • By Matt Makai
    How to Send WhatsApp Messages from Java Applications with Twilio whatsapp-java-1600x650.png

    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.

    Installing Dependencies

    Our local development environment needs the following dependencies to properly send WhatsApp messages from Java.

    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.

    Next, log into your existing Twilio account or sign up for a new free Twilio account.

    Take note of your Account SID and Auth Token when …

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  • By Matt Makai
    How To Send a WhatsApp Message in 30 Seconds with Python uDU_MWBJHg-z8j5Jzymi03iLb6dQC_iUsBF1qtRxPfzyPxYB39odAdqU5zKAxA5SiR7JTRLQAT-z_EkdAhD6EJ83DgUJDZG2y2EtzuTrmEMejJnakbTR0Tctj-OvqID1iqXjC5wv

    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.

    If you do not have Python already installed on your machine, go to the Python downloads page and install the latest version now.

    Next, log into your existing Twilio account or sign up for a new free Twilio account.

    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 …

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  • By Matt Makai
    How to Send SMS Text Messages with AWS Lambda and Python 3.6 GmRICmhwjC02v09YluVqfcQoHzr4641UIgNkcJW4pit2b6YFeD0e5W9GOdKIEgCmPjoeELWq0MU22kVx-BK_H92JSUG84XO5ZVpAvG79J81hYXlVH2KT6XS-vEneNNDLp706hswu

    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.

    Search for lambda in the dashboard text box.
    As shown in the screenshot, use the search box with the text “lambda” to find Lambda on the list of services. Click on Lambda …

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  • By Matt Makai
    How to Dial and Answer Phone Calls with Spark and Java 8 in IntelliJ Spark, IntelliJ, Java and Twilio Voice logos

    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:

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  • By Matt Makai
    How to Install Java 8, Apache Maven and Google Web Toolkit on Windows 10 Java, Windows 10, GWT and Apache Maven

    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:

    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.
    Java 8 JDK download page.
    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 …

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  • By Matt Makai
    Localhost Tunneling with Ngrok on Mac OS X Localhost tunneling with Ngrok on Mac OS X

    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:

    Learn more about how to configure and use Ngrok with these tutorials:

    Now that you have Ngrok running on your Mac, here …

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