Category Archives: Little Printer

Little Image Printer for iOS Released

Little Image Printer

Little Image Printer

It was rejected the first time through (they wanted to see a video demonstrating it in action), and then after resubmission it was stuck in the “In Review” stage for over a week, but, at last, Little Image Printer for iOS is finally available on the App Store. At its heart, it’s still the app that I built at the Little Printer Hack Day last month, but it’s been smartened up somewhat and padded out with a few more features. It’s a free download, so if you have access to a Little Printer, do try it out.

You can get it from the App Store here.

If you’re interested in seeing how it all works, the source code is also available on github.

Little Printer Hack Day

Yes, another post about Little Printer – he’s not the only thing I’m playing with at the moment, but he is one of the most interesting to blog about, so here goes…

Last Saturday, BERG organised their second Little Printer Hack Day down at their studio in London, and I went along to see what I could build. So, I dragged myself out of bed at some ridiculously unearthly hour and headed down to the big city.

The Hack Day itself was great fun. I won’t go into detail here, the folks at BERG have their own blog post about it which does it more justice that I’d ever manage; I’ll just say that I got to spend the day with a great bunch of people, who collectively had a whole load of amazing (and sometimes slightly crazy) ideas for things to build with Little Printer.

The real point of this post though, is to talk a little about the project I spent the Hack Day working on. A few weeks ago, I put together a small Mac app called Little Image Printer to send photos from your Mac direct to your Little Printer. This all worked pretty well, except for one thing: many of the photos I wanted to print were actually on my phone, and so I usually had to first sync them via DropBox or Photo Stream before I could actually see them on my Mac. This got a bit tedious. What I really wanted was Little Image Printer running directly on my iPhone.

So, that was my project for the day. Build a native iOS app to allow you to take photos, either via the camera, or from the Camera Roll, and send them to Little Printer. I had about five and a half hours coding time to get something up and running, and was rather pleased that it all worked out and my app was ready in time for the demos.

Little Image Printer for iOS

Little Image Printer for iOS

It’s a little rough around the edges – with a hard deadline like that, you sometimes have to cut a few corners, but overall I’m quite pleased with the way it all turned out.

I plan to continue to develop the app, and turn it into something a little more useful, and hopefully, before too long, submit it to the App Store so other people can easily try it out too.

In the meantime, I’ve decided to open source the code, and you can find that over on github. Currently, the code there is the version as produced on the Hack Day itself. I’ve been doing some more work on it though – I’ve already done a fair bit of tidying up and will be pushing an update later on today, and I’ll be keeping the repo updated with the various changes as I prepare Little Image Printer for the App Store.

If you have a Little Printer and you’re interested in trying out Little Image Printer for iOS, but don’t want to have to build and install it yourself, then I am looking for a small number of willing testers to help try things out. Places are strictly limited (thanks to the hard limit on development devices imposed by Apple), so please only ask to join in if you really are interested in testing and giving feedback. If you’re interested, do get in touch. You can email me as ‘dopiaza’ at this site’s domain, or find me on Twitter as @dopiaza.

Little Image Printer

So, I’ve been playing around with my Little Printer a bit more. One thing I’ve been wanting to do is print out photos and other images from my Mac. There’s no straightforward way to do that, so I started putting together a few scripts to help. Whilst the results weren’t too bad, some photos came out much better than others.

Printing photos on Little Printer can be a bit hit and miss. Sometimes you might need to tweak the contrast or brightness a little to get the best results, So, I figured it would be nice if I could put together a little UI to do that for me. And so, Little Image Printer was born.

Little Image Printout

Little Image Printout

It’s a native Mac app and requires OS X 10.7 or later. Read more about it and get a copy to try over on the Download page.

Little Notepad

I’ve been playing around with BERG’s Little Printer for a while now, and one of the things I find myself often wanting to do is print out quick notes – shopping lists, a quick To Do list – little things like that. There’s currently no easy way to do that, so I put together a simple little web page to enter some text, format it and send it on to your Little Printer, and here it is: Little Notepad.

It uses the Little Printer Direct Print API, and for that, you need to know the unique code for your Little Printer. You can find that at the bottom of this page. The text editor I’ve used is a jQuery plugin,  jWYSIWYG.

Little Notepad is still a work in progress, so you might find the odd glitch, and there are a few more features I’d like to add, but so far, it’s proving handy for printing out the odd few inches of notes.

The Daily Glitch on Little Printer

The first batch of Little Printers from BERG started shipping last week, and I got mine a few days ago. He’s all set up on my desk now, and looking very cute.

Little Printer

Little Printer

Naturally, one of the first things I did was to take a look at the developer documentation to see how to create a publication myself. It turns out to be pretty straightforward – each publication is simply a page of HTML/CSS with some meta-data held as JSON. The content and meta-data is presented to BERG Cloud as a simple web service, and they use that to distribute your publication to any Little Printers that have subscribed.

I have a couple of ideas kicking about for things I’d like to use Little Printer for, but to start with, I figured I’d do something simple. As many of you probably know, I’ve been a fan of Tiny Speck’s MMO Glitch for a very long time now. Sadly, the game formally closed last week, and is no more. I’ve written a bunch of Glitch-related tools over the years, and as a consequence have a fair amount of game-related data cached. I figured this was an opportunity to put it to use.

Glitch was well known for it’s high quality artwork, which extended to the individual player’s avatars. The avatars were highly customisable, and players could change both the facial features and the wardrobe, which led to a huge amount of diversity in their appearance. I have copies of the avatar files for rather a lot of players now, so why not show them off to the world. And so, the Daily Glitch was born. This is a Little Printer publication, that each day, showcases a random Glitch from my database.

Glitch on Little Printer

Glitch on Little Printer

The choice of Glitch is random, and I don’t maintain a history of who has already been shown, so I guess it’s possible that we’ll get a few repeats here and there, but given the number of Glitches I have stored, I suspect that’s not really going to be a problem.

If you have a Little Printer and would like to subscribe to the Daily Glitch, you can do that here.