Since the holiday break, I’ve been working on this little Raspberry Pi project. It’s dubbed the Website Uptime Monitor.

I use several uptime monitors including pingdom and Jetpack (used on this site). And I typically use the Free version because I am okay with being offline for a few hours if it comes to it. But then I thought, I can create my own uptime monitor that works just as well as the paid versions and I’ll have full control!

Of course I don’t have the skills or time to do what these paid monitors do but thought I’d try anyway. I also wanted some kind of visual indicator if any of my sites go down. And in comes the Raspberry Pi. I love the Pi. If you know me in person, you know that I have a dozen different Raspberry Pis around the house doing different things, such as control my lights, act as PiHole, PiVPN, etc.

Before I continue, I want to share the project with you. You can find instructions on how to set things up on GitHub pages here:

You can watch the quick demo of the software here:

If you prefer to read about it over watching a demo video, keep reading!

The idea I had was to have three lights, like a traffic light: red, yellow, and green. I’m still working on the rules for when the lights come in, but they’re as follows:
– Only Red – either everything is down or my internet is down
– Only Green – everything is good!
– Yellow – this light can be on in conjunction with the green light. This will come on if 1-3 sites are down. And if Green is on along with yellow, it means at least some sites are loading.

Pretty simple rules but I still think I can do better. That’s why this is still in beta! Current version at the time of writing this post is 0.3.0-b01.

The application will check sites every 15 minutes (this is configurable) and record all activity in a database. If a site is reported down three times in a row, the app will send an email with an outage report. The Email notifications are also stored in the database so you can look up whether or not an email was successfully sent out. Failure to send an email would typically mean that your internet was down.

Since everything is stored in the database, everything is reportable! For this, I created a Flask app with a bunch of API endpoints that can be accessed by any web application. These endpoints will output data from the MySQL table into neat JSON. You can also write to the databases using POST and PUT API calls.

I think I’ve covered a lot of what the application does. It’s still in beta and I’m still working on improving it. If you have ideas or questions, please ask on GitHub or in the video above. Also ask on Easy Programming here:


For a few days, looked a little weird. The CSS wasn’t loading, random 500 errors, etc.

It seems that an auto update went wrong. It finished, but finished incorrectly, but the software thought it was done. I noticed and had to step in.

I installed the newest version of Wordpess (version 5.0.3) manually and moved stuff over in the database. It seems to be holding now. It was easier than figuring out what went wrong and possibly roll back to an old backup.

Site is back up and everything is peachy!

I’m back with another Raspberry Pi giveaway and a tutorial. I think this one is pretty decent, even though the entire video is over 22 minutes long. About 3 of those minutes are demos of the product and another 2 is talking about the giveaway. So really, only about 17 minutes of tutorial!

In this video, I show you how to create your own audio reactive LED strip using some WS2812b lights. Make your holidays a little more fun with some dancing lights.

You can read more about the project at

And get the code on Github at

Have questions? Ask in the video or on!

Hello there!

It’s been a while since my last update. My last updated introduced my Easy jQuery series. That was more than 8 months ago. And in total, I’ve created 21 jQuery tutorials!

But now I’m moving forward with another adventure. I have decided to start doing a Raspberry Pi tutorial series! The first video will premier on Saturday November 10th at 6 pm EST. In this video you will learn how to set up a Headless Raspberry Pi. Along with learning something awesome, you’ll have a chance to win one of two Raspberry Pi Zero Ws!

Be sure to set an alert so that you can enter the giveaway! Patrons (currently nonexistent) on Patreon are entered automatically. For more rules see the following page:

It truly has been a while. Since my last post, I’ve completed my Easy JavaScript series and have started my Easy jQuery series. So much has changed in July 2, 2016. I’ve gained more skills, I’ve made new friends, I won a bowling championship, I got a promotion at work, and more.

But this post is about my Easy jQuery series. jQuery is just a JavaScript library. My Easy JavaScript series had 54 tutorials! And I encourage you to view as many of them as possible before picking up jQuery because it’s essentially JavaScript and the more you know, the easier it will be.

The above is just the intro video, where I decided to start the index at 0. As of today, I have uploaded 4 tutorials (5 videos) and are getting a 5th one ready for next Saturday. Unlike my JS tutorials, I’m only posting one tutorial every 2 weeks because there aren’t as many topics to cover.

What tutorial would you like to see next?

This marks the beginning of a new era for my Easy Programming project. For years, I have been making programming tutorials. I first started with C++ tutorials. I then stepped into basic Excel tutorials. I kept that on for a few years.

But starting July 1, 2016, Easy Programming will include Beginner JavaScript tutorials. Two videos were published at 8 PM. Please enjoy them below.

Introduction to JavaScript:

Say Hello World!

If you have any questions or would like to see a specific topic covered, please comment in the videos, I am more than happy to answer your questions and fill your requests!

I’ve had my Samsung Galaxy S4 for almost 3 years. It served me well. Up until two months ago, it was working beautifully. But it decided to go crazy and crash a bunch of times, and continued to do so multiple times a day. So I decided to get a new phone.

There we a few contenders including the Nexus and iPhone. I’ve always been an Android guy so I crossed off the iPhone. At the time, the Galaxy S7 was still weeks away from release. But then, a colleague of mine mentioned that that Samsung is handing out free Samsung VR headsets with all S7 preorders. And I further read that Samsung added a full year of Netflix if you ordered directly from T-Mobile. So I decided to wait and preorder.

My phone arrived on 3/12. I created a little unboxing and first look video below, check it out! If you want to know something about the phone that I can look into before you go ahead and purchase, let me know, I’m more than happy to oblige.

Questions? Ask away.

Yesterday, I relaunched!

I’ve slowly worked on it for several months bring it up to 2015. I originally created the site back in 2010 with just basic HTML and CSS. Since then, I implemented a PHP backend. But that was never enough.

In an attempt to make things more streamlined for myself and my users. Now instead of just hard-coding everything, I automated most of the site with a database and a whole lot of PHP scripting. I also created a very easy admin panel for myself where I can enter new tutorials with ease. This is something I’m proud of because it saves me a TON of time.

I also bootstrapped the site, making it much more mobile friendly than in the past. The entire layout is responsive and works on any screen! There is also jQuery to help make the site ‘pop.’

So please, check out and I would love to hear any feedback! If you find any bugs, please report them.

EP Preview

Easy Programming

A total lunar eclipse is one of the most beautiful sights any one will see in their lifetime. Although it’s not as rare as a Solar Eclipse, it’s still magnificent.

I generally have terrible luck when it comes to astronomical viewing. E.g. the Perseids in August were covered by clouds.

But not this time! I was able to catch well over 1200 shots of the Lunar Eclipse. I put it all together in a neat little timelapse. Enjoy it!


Talk about a life event! On May 30, 2015, I officially moved from New York City to Boston. Why?

Well, I got a new job here. Where? At Harvard Business School! I am the new Learning Technologies Systems Administrator and I have been in this position since June 1st. Tomorrow is the official end of 6 weeks at this position. Time flies! I absolutely love the job and the people are amazing. I’ve been in higher education for a while and I’ve never met such a great group of people who work so well together. I never met a group of people where everyone is competent, it’s refreshing. If you’re reading this and you’re an old colleague, and you’re curious if I’m talking about you, feel free to reach out. To my new colleagues: I’m happy to know you.

I found a great place in Boston and so far, I absolutely love it here. I lived in NYC for most of my life. I was used to all the people and the subway and traffic, and after I moved to Boston, I realized just how much I didn’t like all that stuff. Boston is a much smaller city, much quieter, and it’s just more fitting. I’m not saying that Boston is better than NYC or vice versa, I’m just saying that Boston fits me and I fit Boston much better now that I’m semi-grown-up.

I’m still slowly moving from NYC, I drive back and forth bringing stuff slowly. Last weekend I brought my telescope and camera equipment. I’m ready to stargaze! Unfortunately, my area isn’t as dark as I hoped so I may have to find somewhere to drive out to sooner or later.

I’m still exploring Boston. I joined a Bowling league to pass some time and make some friends. So far, I met a few cool people. I plan on going back to school to get a second Master’s, perhaps something in technology this time.

I’m still settling in Boston. I don’t know many people and I don’t know how to get around without my GPS yet, but I’m a quick learner.

This is definitely the biggest life changing event in my life so far (since I’ve become an adult…). I hope to have a long career at Harvard, there is a LOT to learn and I love every second of it.

Next step is to update my About Me page because I no longer live in NYC.