Category Archives: Me

Anything about me !


I recently stumbled across this IndieWebCamp site and I love the concepts that they are describing. Basically, you own your own content and then share it out. As I previously described in How I Make Social Media Work For Me the heart of my infrastructure was actually Google Plus and TwitterFeed to make it all connect.

I’m now going to try and make this blog the heart of this infrastructure.

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Quantified Self – Google And Android – Reporting

In the previous series I showed you how to

  • capture your data automatically,
  • collate and summarise your data.

Now it is time to show you how you can extract this information, with the final goal being the ability to get your (android in this case)phone polling for the data, and using it to make decisions.

In order to do this we will be using:

Google Apps Script (GAS) javascript functions to obtain values from the Google Spreadsheet where your data lives.

Google Web Services to provide a web interface to call the function and return the data over the internet.

Tasker to provide a programmatic interface on your phone to call the web service, handle the resulting data and do “something” with it.

Minimalistic Text to display the output on the home screen of your phone.

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Quantified Self – Google And Android – Capture

In this post I’m going to show you how to implement a data capture system that will allow you to get your data easily into Google SpreadSheets. In my case I need this to be enabled from my Android phone but once you see the method you will see how it can be extended to other applications.

To implement this I’ll be using Google Forms, Google SpreadSheets and Tasker.

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Quantified Self – Google And Android

Working as a Business Intelligence consultant I work with numbers every day and have to deliver benefit from them. I also do the same in my personal life, I LOVE my FitBit, and have macros that pull my stats out using the FitBit API and store it in a Google SpreadSheet and then aggregate the data and publish it to my dashboard.

This works fine for my automatically captured data, I needed a solution for more manual data points. I wanted a way to be able to capture data on my phone, store the data in Google SpreadSheets so that I can integrate it with my existing data and then send a summary spreadsheet back to my Android phone.

I will break the steps down in the following series of posts:

Quantified Self – Google And Android – Capture

Quantified Self – Google And Android – Aggregation

Quantified Self – Google And Android – Reporting


Long Live The Tache


Since Christmas I have been sporting a new look – now it’s the time to announce why!

I have been raising money for various charities by running (I’m doing 4 marathons this year for MND Scotland) but I have finally found a way where your donations can impact ME as well as helping MND sufferers and their families in Scotland.

On Monday the 2nd of April my tache will be “born”.
I will keep my tache for as long as there are donations to support it.
My tache expects £10 per day – if the total raised is £100 then my tache will “live” until 10 days after the 2nd of April.
The more you give the longer it lives – once it’s gone it’s gone !

I love #parkrun!


I have never been a fast runner – but parkrun has always been a competitive event for me.
If I have not been chasing a personal best (PB), I have at least been trying to shave a few seconds off my time for the previous week or trying to pass the runner just in front (truth be told I always aim for the person two in front, to make sure I PASS the person in front of me).

This year, what with a series of coughs, colds, splutters, work commitments and various slight injuries; my running has really suffered and my head has not been in the right place either so I have really neglected my marathon training schedule.

I was supposed to be tail running at Strathclyde parkrun event 99 but John Edge asked if he could take my place – he is tactically planning to run his 50th parkrun at our 100th event next Saturday. This left me free to run the event at my own pace! I’m still nursing a slight pull to my hamstring and I was supposed to be running the Alloa half marathon the following day, this left me free to pick my own pace.

Just as we started there was that ominous sound from my Garmin – No Battery, my watch died. Nothing left for it but to just run and listen to my body – run at a nice comfortable pace and enjoy the view and enjoy the company.

This resulted in one of my best parkrun running experiences ever – comfortable enough to have a conversation and enjoy the view. Running in a different part of the field from normal allows you to meet completely new runners, I’m privileged to be a regular volunteer so I do get to see most of the runners but maybe not have as long a chat as I would like.

So why don’t you try it – experience a parkrun at a completely different pace!

Disclaimer : I’m on the core team for Strathclyde parkrun and am always on the lookout for new runners to join our event or do one of the easy volunteer roles that enable our events to be enjoyed by so many.

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