Printer Weather

(A demo Printer application)

This application can automatically send weather reports to printers in the morning. Find out more about printers. It's really just an example of how you can build a simple content provider for diminutive internet printers.

You can take a look at the source.

If you have a printer, and want to use this instance of Printer Weather to get weather reports, you can register here.

If you don't have a printer, why not find out how to get or make a printer for yourself?

How it works

This app is designed to demonstrate automated scheduling of content for printers, as opposed to the human-driven mail and drawing apps.

All this happens automatically without user intervention, so in this way "publications" can be scheduled to appear at any time.

Weather 'jobs' are created by storing a print URL alongside IP-based geocoding information, which is gathered to determine the location to be used for forecasting. In a real application you would probably ask the user for their location directly.

The rake run task is scheduled (in this case by Heroku, but possibly by cron or anything else) to run at 8 am. At this time, it will send a request for each job to its corresponding print URL, with the url parameter set to a unique job URL in this app.

When the printer backend server requests that job URL, this app makes a request to the Wunderground API to determine the weather for today. This is manipulated a bit, until average temperatures and weather conditions for four periods during the day have been calculated.

These are then displayed in the output HTML using icons drawn with HTML5 canvas tags, appearing roughly like this:


Today's weather

Morning Lunch Afternoon Evening
20° 16° 12°

The printer backend server takes this page and rasterises it for the destination printer to download.

More information

To find out more, you can take a look at any (or all) of the following: