Category Archives: Projects

Trilo: Travel like a hacker

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I love traveling and program curious (but unuseful) things. From time ago I had the idea of creating a travel blog, but creating another account on for “just another travel blog” didn’t looked like the coolest option, so I had a better idea.

What about combining a simple content generation system like Jekyll, some web services a couple links, and a sunday afternoon? I wanted my page to have some specific things:

  • Have a list of visited countries, show the flags, and have the number of visited cities for each countries.
  • For each country, have a map of the different cities.
  • For each city, have a map with the recomended places, and show them in a map.

The result of this idea is Trilo:

The home page is made by two sets of maps, a world scale, and an europe map. Both maps are created using Google Chart Tools.

The flags are obtained using a web service from a two digit code.

This country code will be used also as a category.


In the countries page, we can find the flag that we obtained before, a zoomed map of the cities and a link to the city page.


For each city, we can generate a static map with the Google Maps API from the city name and from recomendations. We also link with TripAdvicor and Wikipedia for more information.

As I wrote before, the system is based on Jekyll, a Ruby written system that allows us to generate static pages from templates, some code and a little bit of magic. It has been interesting for doing a simple mashup with something not related with computing.

The project is avaliable (and hosted) in

TinyBmp: A small program for generating images

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We have recently bought a new LED display like those you can find in the train stations for keeping a control of the current release number (important when you are developing super-secret features). The screen contains a 21×7 matrix, so there is not too much to do.

The good news is that the screen supports rendering of bmp images, so I figured that creating a program for generating this kind of images could be fun, and that’s what you can find in TinyBmp:

It contains three different projects in C#:

  • A class library that does the magic.
  • A desktop windows app.
  • A console app, for automating the image generation every time we ship a release.

This is how the tool looks like:

And this is how the output looks like, a 21×7 image in bitmap format (bmp).


I know that we can generate images with C# from text natively, but is not the greatest choice for low resolution problems because the numbers get disorted. In this aproach I’ve generated the number manually, having a 2×4 matrix for each number pixel per pixel.

This has some drawbacks, for example, 0 and 8 are represented by the same character, but I’m working on it.

You can find the code in under MIT license.

If you have any issue or improvement idea, please let me know, or if you hacked the code and found an improvement, send me a pull request!