Automatically playing/pausing Rdio based on proximity using Airlock and AppleScript

March 30th, 2011 by Richard Felix

I’ve been using Rdio to stream music from the internet during the workday a good bit lately, and the other day it occurred to me that it’d be nice if I could have my music stop when I left the office and start playing when I get back to the office.

I already use Airlock to lock and unlock my Mac based on my phone’s proximity to it, and it supports running applications or commands when you enter/leave an area, so that part was all taken care of. All I needed to do was write some scripts to play/pause Rdio and add them to Airlock. So, I rolled up my sleeves and whipped up a couple of AppleScripts.

There is one for playing and one for pausing, but they are pretty much identical, and I tried to be smart about the code, so if you aren’t running Rdio and you leave, it won’t launch and catch you by surprise when you get back.

The code and compiled applications are available for download here. You can just use the compiled applications if you want, or feel free to modify the Applescripts for your own needs.

To briefly explain the code:

I check to see if Rdio is running. If it is, I activate it and then programmatically click the Play or Pause menu item, depending on which script I’m running. Then, I switch back to the previous app that you were using.

if appIsRunning("Rdio") then
	tell application "System Events"
		tell application "Rdio" to activate
		tell process "Rdio" to click menu item "Pause" of menu "Controls" of menu bar 1
		keystroke tab using command down
	end tell
end if
on appIsRunning(appName)
	tell application "System Events" to (name of processes) contains appName
end appIsRunning

Posted in Development, How we get work done, Mac

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Starting to bring up new servers in the UK

February 21st, 2011 by Richard Felix

We’re starting to bring up servers in the UK, so if you need to open up a block in your firewall for us to get to your sites, you’ll want to unblock Thanks!

Posted in Back-end, Updates

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Stat History on AMSUWL, Custom Date Ranges

February 17th, 2011 by Richard Felix


We just added the ability to easily view the last 3 months of stats that we have for your site to AMSUWL, and the ability to type in any custom date range that you want to see stats for that span of time. Hope this gives you better visibility into the overall health of your sites!

Posted in Back-end, Design, Development, Front-end, New Features, Updates

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Site Statistics on Are My Sites Up White Label

February 13th, 2011 by Richard Felix

Well, we built it! We’ve been tracking uptime/downtime stats and response times on Are My Sites Up White Label in the background for months now, but it took us a little while to build the graphs into the system. They are in there now. David did a great job with them, and we’re both pretty excited to get this out the door, as it’s been a much requested feature. Just click on any site in your list and you’ll be taken to a detail page for it, where you’ll be able to see the last 2 weeks of stats, graphed out so you can more easily see how your site behaves over time. If you hover over any data point, you can see the exact value for that date.


Next, we’re going to be adding the ability to pass in a date range so you can get more customized views of your site data, and of course at any time you can export a CSV of all historical data that we have for your site.

Hope you guys enjoy it! Thanks for using AMSUWL.

Posted in Back-end, Design, Development, Front-end, New Features

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Minor BalanceBar update.

February 13th, 2011 by Richard Felix

Pushed a BalanceBar 1.0.1 out just now, with support for any currency marker. Just set whatever you want in the Preferences, and it’ll be used from then on.

Posted in Back-end, Development, Mac, Updates

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AMSUWL Per-client timeout notification settings

February 12th, 2011 by Richard Felix

Sometimes a server isn’t really down, but it’s responding slowly. Normally, AMSUWL notifies you of those kinds of issues, called Timeout errors. Some of our customers don’t want to know every single time their site is slow, they just want to know when it is fully down, so we’ve added the ability to adjust Timeout settings for each client.

When adding or editing a client, just check or uncheck the given box, depending on what your preference is.


Posted in Back-end, Development, New Features

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Kissinsights, your pricing is all wrong. Here’s why.

February 10th, 2011 by Richard Felix

So the other day I was using a web app and all of a sudden this little window slid up from the bottom corner of my screen and asked for some feedback on it. I answered the question it asked, and it happily slid away. “That’s a pretty awesome way to get feedback from people on my web apps!”, I thought. So, I tracked down the widget that made it all possible. It’s Kissinsights, by internet maven Neil Patel‘s company. So I decided to give it a go. I get to the plans page, and there are only 2 options: Free and $29 a month. That’s a little bit of a jump in price, I think. Even the feature that they do offer on both the free and paid plans (Unlimited surveys) is limited immediately because you can only have 30 responses, and it’s not clear from the table if that’s per survey or overall.) Also, what happens when you hit the limit? Are your responses saved for you to see when you upgrade? Does the form just shut down?


I believe that products like this are best sold to users once they have had the ability to see if it actually makes a difference and helps them to better serve their customers. The free plan is so hobbled that you can’t realistically use it to get any useful feedback, and the difference between the premium and free plan is so great that I think that some people (including myself) get immediately turned off. For startups like mine who are building web apps, we’d love to buy into something like this, but you have to prove your value to us before we’re going to start giving you what is at least one customer per month for us. However, if you convert just one new customer per month for us, you’re paying for yourself.

So, what I suggest is that Kissinsights move to a 30 day free trial with one survey, and unlimited responses to that survey. This would give people 30 days to install it and start using it. If I could get insight into why people aren’t buying my product, iterate and start getting new customers because of it, I (and certainly many more people) would gladly pay $29 a month for it.

Or, maybe the pricing is a genius, calculated move. Maybe it’s just meant to inspire posts like these, which get people talking about the product. Neil is a smart guy, I wouldn’t put it past him!

Posted in Marketing, Musings


Per-client site limits on Are My Sites Up White Label

February 10th, 2011 by Richard Felix

In response to customer requests, we’ve just added the ability to limit the number of sites per client. When adding or editing a client, just type the limit that you want for them into the given form field, save, and you’ll be all set. This limit only applies to users under that client. The master account, of course can freely add sites to any client.

Posted in Back-end, Development, New Features, Updates

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Ping Checks!

February 3rd, 2011 by Richard Felix

We’ve just added Ping checks to AMSUWL! If you have devices that you need to ping, like modems, routers, and the like, you can now use AMSUWL to monitor those as well.

When you go to add a new site, you’ll now see Ping as one of the options in the dropdown. Pick that, and you’re all set.

Posted in Back-end, Development, Front-end, New Features

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What we’ve been up to!

January 26th, 2011 by Richard Felix

Boy, it’s crazy to think that we haven’t posted on here in a month! We’ve had our heads down building requested features on Are My Sites Up White Label about as fast as people have been requesting them.

In the last month, we’ve added:

Response Time/up/down reports that are exportable to CSV.
Average response time for sites
RSS Feeds for site statuses
Voice Call Notifications (so you actually get a phone call notifying you of your site status when it changes)
an API, so our customers can build whatever they want on top of it and integrate AMSUWL better with their systems.
The ability to Import all of your clients and their websites from Basecamp and Highrise, and to export back into Highrise.
SMTP checking (we check to see if your email servers are up and functional)
A new design for the sales site
and lots more.

Next up, we are building pretty stats and graphs into the system, so you can more easily see your uptime and downtime trends. Good times!

Posted in Back-end, Design, Development, New Features

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