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October 18, 2013 AT 5:00 am

Meet Chirpy – The Raspberry Pi Dancing Bird Subscription Notifier @RaspberryPi #piday #raspberrypi

Safari Flow’s Bill Levien presents: Chirpy:

What the heck is a Dancing Bird Subscription Notifier?

Like many companies, Safari’s projects are given an internal secret codename that follow a pattern. In Google’s case that pattern is alphabetically ordered confectionary; in our case it’s bird names.

With Safari Flow, an all-new product, we re-architected many of our systems, and we decided to build the user database in Salesforce.com. I realized that we could have some fun whenever a new subscriber joined, alerting the team in the San Francisco office to the good news. So we (OK, I) built Chirpy as a side project, unknown to the rest of the team. Chirpy is a dancing mechanical “bird” who alerts us in a spectacular manner for each new subscription to Safari Flow.

The short version is that whenever a new subscription is created in Salesforce, that event triggers an email to an internal gmail account, which is then picked up by Chirpy. Chirpy – built out of a combination of an old wine box, some oak flooring scraps, a Lego Gearbox, a Raspberry Pi, powered speakers and a lot of cardboard, wire and hot glue – then plays a mating call and spins its spirograph (early Flow Beta testers may recognize these?), all while flapping his wings and flashing some LEDs (Flow colors, of course).

Read more.


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