The kids are getting inline

A short time ago I was looking for an Android app that we could use with our kids to get their chores done. There were several apps available but none of them really did what I wanted, so I decided – “Hey, I’m a guy who builds online software. Why not do it myself?’ And thus dottyhq.com was born. The whole process kicked off late in 2014 and now we’ve got a mobile website that works across any mobile device right in the browser, and behaves like a native app.

And how well is it working with our own little software testers? In a word – FANTASTIC! It’s actually surpassed all my expectations about how the kids would respond. They’re regularly completing their chores; in absolute hot competition with each other; and there’s the added bonus of always having their pocket money balance on hand when we’re out so if they’re asking for something, we can give them option of buying it for themselves. Overall it’s teaching them to take ownership of their own money, and giving them a solid structure and set of expectations to build good habits with their chores.

Here’s some screenshots from their current status this morning:

Zach     Liv

I’m pretty stoked to be able to offer this sort of thing to our friends to use as well, and slowly other success stories are making their way back to us. It’s pretty feel good stuff.

If you want to get it for your kids, it’s available at dottyhq.com.

Installing Bazaar and bzr explorer on OSX using Homebrew

Just about drove myself insane trying to figure out how to get bazaar explorer installed on OSX (running 10.6 Snow Leopard). I used home brew to install bzr and that worked fine, but then trying to get the explorer (which doesn’t come bundled with the brew bzr version) was futile.

So here are the instructions (starting from scratch):

  1. Install homebrew
  2. Install python: brew install python
  3. Install bzr: brew install bzr
  4. Install pyqt: brew install pyqt (it will also install dependancies)

That’s the easy part – now for the bit I got stuck on:

  1. Download the qbzr and bzr-explorer binary packages
  2. Find the folder ~/.bazaar (in your User Home folder)
  3. Create a new folder called “plugins” if it’s not there already
  4. Extract both the qbzr and bzr-explorer binary folders and then copy them to the plugins folder you just created
  5. Run – bzr explorer

As far as I can tell – because homebrew maps the bzr install to the proper directory everything that gets dumped in there should work as per normal. If this isn’t the case for you it may pay to take a look at your symlinks.