Information Radiator with Toodledo

In something that has been fairly two years in the making, I wrote a Toodledo gem for Ruby, bought a USB Betabrite Machine, and finally got the two talking to one another.

Here is what goes into Toodledo:

Here is what comes out of the Betabrite:

It’s based on a Thoughtworks project called Radiator (which, in turn, uses some of Aaron Patterson's code, the inspiration for this): I forked the code and then pounded on it until it did what I wanted. The fork is here: and I’ve tried to include as clear step by step instructions as I could. I’ve tried to write it so I can add other plugins as well (twitter, itunes, bugs, build failures) that I can add without changing the core rendering server.

As a management tool, it is surprisingly effective and unobtrusive. If I’m working on something and it scrolls by, it’s a good feeling. If I’m doing something else and it scrolls by, then it’s a context shift rather than an alarm -- I can choose to do something else, but I am at least reminded of it. And if I’m in a space where I can easily do it, then it’s a win.