Steven Mileham – General Geekery

June 12, 2012

Send Google Form data as an Email on submission

Filed under: Technology — Tags: , , , — smileham @ 2:47 pm

Google Docs includes a great tool for customer feedback, survey’s and request forms in the Google Forms functionality. When data is submitted into the form, a new row of results is added to the corresponding Google Spreadsheet.

The default functionality of Google Forms allows for aggregated data and statistical data. My requirement was to be emailed the results of each submission to the form as they happened.

By adding the following code to your Google Spreadsheet, you can send each submission to an email.

  1. function emailFormSubmission() {
  2.   var theFormSheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet().getActiveSheet();
  3.  
  4.   // Update these to reflect your requirements
  5.   var theEmail = "example@example.com";
  6.   var theSubject = "Form Responses";
  7.  
  8.   var theQuestions = theFormSheet.getRange(1, 1, 1,theFormSheet.getLastColumn()).getValues();
  9.   var theForm = theFormSheet.getRange(theFormSheet.getLastRow(), 1, 1,theFormSheet.getLastColumn()).getValues();
  10.   var theBody = ‘<table id="answers"><tr><th>Question</th><th>Answer</th></tr>’;
  11.  
  12.   for (var i = 0; i< theForm[0].length; i++)
  13.   {
  14.     if (theForm[0][i]!="")
  15.     {
  16.       theBody += ‘<tr><td>’+theQuestions[0][i]+"</td><td>"+theForm[0][i]+"</td></tr>";
  17.     }
  18.   }
  19.   theBody += ‘</table>’;
  20.  
  21.   MailApp.sendEmail(theEmail, theSubject, "",{htmlBody: theBody});
  22. }

Once you’ve added this code to your spreadsheet, just set the trigger to run on form submission and each time a new form is submitted an email will be sent with the contents of the form. This method maintains the order of the questions asked, and only shows the questions which have been answered.

Here is a link to an example Google Spreadsheet which includes the code/form.
Send Google Form data as an Email on submission

Hope it helps, feel free to drop a comment with any suggestions/questions.

February 5, 2012

The Lomo Tutorial (or a Diana Mini Experiment)

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , , , — smileham @ 8:23 pm

I was lucky enough to receive a Diana Mini for Christmas and it’s reinvigorated my photography some what.

After the clean and crisp world of digital photography, lomography (or lomo for short) has been a breath of fresh air.  I can’t say I’m great with the lomo (I’d struggle to go so far as to say some of my shots so far have even been good) but even from my first roll of actual analogue film I’ve learnt a load and had a whole bunch of fun.

The whole idea around lomography is that it’s back to basics, back to manual focusing, choosing your aperture, selecting the most appropriate film, and ensuring your framing is good.

So… without further ado, here’s a few lessons I’ve learnt from my first roll of film!

Lesson 1: Wait till it’s sunny outside

You might want to wait till it’s sunnier outside before you start snapping away, I’ve ended up with a lot of shots that are just far too dark!  Always check you’ve selected cloudy or sunny aperture.  Cloudy, and you’re at F/8, sunny and it’s F/11.

Snub Robot
Snub Robot, originally uploaded by smileham.

Lesson 2: Shooting in-doors? Not without a flash

Unless there is a lot of light inside, even if you’re running with 800 iso film, you’re probably not going to get great results without flash. I wasted a lot of film because of this! You can try Bulb mode, but you’re probably better off with sticking to Normal (1/60th of a second)

Lesson 3: Shoot from the hip!

Your Diana Mini (or whichever flavour of lomo you have) isn’t quite the same imposing beast as your SLR.  Also, it’s cute and fun, so people are less concerned about it being thrust in their face!

Shoot from the hip
Shoot from the hip, originally uploaded by smileham.

Lesson 4: Check your focus

You’re never going to get perfectly crisp photo’s with a toy camera, it’s not about that (it’s about soft focus and vignetting if you must know). That said, it’s still good to at least get it close! Always check the manual focus ring on the front of the camera. I ended up just measuring my arm and using that as a rough guide till I got it down in my head!

The Orchestra
Preston Park – Clock Tower, originally uploaded by smileham.

Lesson 5: Colour is your friend

Colour is great, even more so with your trusty lomo camera, a little over-saturated maybe, but that’s probably down to the film too!

Colour is your friend
Colour is your friend, originally uploaded by smileham.

Lesson 6: Find something interesting, and/or random

Your Diana Mini has character, find a character to shoot, something… unusual!

An interesting character
An interesting character, originally uploaded by smileham.

Lesson 7: Composition still counts

Just because it’s lomo, doesn’t mean the normal rules of photography go out the window. Composition it still important, leading lines, vanishing points, rule of thirds… well, the rule of thirds gets more interesting with the square format I guess…

Composition Counts
Composition Counts, originally uploaded by smileham.

Lesson 8: Jump into a crowd!

That said, it’s lomo, it’s about instant karma! Be spontaneous, shoot from the hip, and jump into a crowd… who knows what they’re up to!

The Orchestra
The Orchestra, originally uploaded by smileham.

Lesson 9: Stop worrying

My first roll of film was 400 iso 36 exposures, and when I took it into the developers (the bog standard Boots) it was with a mixed feeling of happiness and trepidation. I was sure that most of the pictures were rubbish, that the guys developing the film would muck it up, and that I’d be laughed out of the store for being a terrible photographer. None of those things happened, Boots were great, did what they could with my terrible shots, and then gave me my negatives and pictures and I went on my way. And my shots were terrible, out of 36 shots, there are maybe 9 that I can at least put my name to, but it’s a learning curve, and it’s fun!

Graffiti
Graffiti, originally uploaded by smileham.

Anyways, there’s my run down of what I’ve found so far with the Diana Mini. If you’ve managed to nab yourself an old school toy camera, I hope you’re having fun with it too! Good luck, have fun and don’t take it so seriously.

January 16, 2012

Long time, no update

Filed under: Photography — smileham @ 9:31 pm

It appears that there may have been some time between my last update and today!

I could go back to the numerous “draft” posts to knock them in to some semblance of shape, or I could blitz through some highlights here.

New Zealand

Queensland New Zealand
Queensland New Zealand, originally uploaded by smileham.

Back in January of last year Nicky and I spent some time in New Zealand for a friends wedding. The country is amazing, everything that Lord of the Rings promised it would be. We travelled round the two islands in a “spaceship” called Uranus for 3 weeks, during which time I proposed to Nicky.

New York

The Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty, originally uploaded by smileham.

For my 30th Nicky surprised me with a trip to New York, another fantastic destination that was every bit as awesome as it should have been. We were only there for a long weekend, so we blitzed the highlights.

  • Statue of Liberty
  • Central Park
  • Rockerfeller Centre
  • Apple Store… What! It was my birthday!

Angie’s Wedding

Angie and Bret
Angie and Bret, originally uploaded by smileham.

My first big wedding shoot, all the way from ceremony, group/family pics to reception photos. A fantastic day, with some great people and some great pictures.

My Wedding

More weddings! As if they were going out of style! Rather than shoot my own, Graham Laurence helped me out with the photographic talent. I’ve recently sorted out the photo book from Blurb, which took long enough but looks great.

Malta

The Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon, originally uploaded by smileham.

A week long break in Malta for our honeymoon. Mostly an opportunity for Nicky to get a way from it all after the stress of organising most of the wedding by herself. Malta is a beautiful country, very much the Mediterranean paradise!

2012?

Well that was 2011! It certainly goes down with a “Best Year Ever” badge, and 2012 is shaping up to be a good contender for the title (even if it will be a little more on the frugal side). I will attempt a slightly more regular schedule for updating this thing, although chances are I’ll be writing the next update in around 12 months!

November 28, 2010

Canon 7d

Filed under: Photography — Tags: — smileham @ 2:29 pm

I finally succumbed and decided to upgrade!

I’ve had a Canon 400d for a couple of years now, and the old girl has done me proud, but I now find that it’s time to move on. Next year I’m off to New Zealand for three weeks, and I decided that this was the perfect opportunity (read excuse) to upgrade.

The 400d has been a fine entry level camera, but I found myself being frustrated by it’s low light performance, both the high level of noise and limited range of ISO levels. I have also been eyeing the new generation of SLR cameras with video abilities with interest.

Looking around, I was very tempted by the 5d mark II, but with the extra cost, and then having to buy a couple of new lenses, I looked at other 1.6 factor bases. A friend of mine has the 50d, so I was looking for a similar level camera. Reading reviews of the 60d, it seemed that it wasn’t so much an upgrade of the 50d, but more a sideways step. I figured that I’d rather spend that little bit more and many reviews pegged the 7d as the natural successor of the 50d.

So far, I’ve been very impressed with the 7d. It has really rejuvenated my love of photography, so much so that I soon went out and spent another £300 on a lens of equal quality.

The 7d has travelled with me to a few events so far, a wedding, a gig and just some general walk abouts. Every time I’ve been impressed with the results. The images are sharp, rich and (more importantly for me) noise free and crisp. This all may have something to do with a recent upgrade to Lightroom 3 and the aforementioned new lens (Sigma 30mm 1.4) but I could not be happier with my purchase!

October 31, 2010

Brighton Zombie Walk 2010

Filed under: Photography — Tags: — smileham @ 4:08 pm
Brighton Zombie Walk 2010

Brighton Zombie Walk 2010, originally uploaded by smileham.

Another year rolls by and it’s the Brighton Zombie Walk again!

Brighton Zombie Walk 2010
Zombie

Hundreds must’ve shown up for the shamble down from Brighton station to the sea front. From the truly terrifying to the… well, less than terrifying! From the looks on faces of the Zombies, it seems like it was just another day for the undead, but the crowd watching the display certainly appeared to be loving it!

Brighton Zombie Walk 2010
Zombie

Brighton seems one of the cities that can get away with awesome events like this! I’ve uploaded some choice shots from running up and down Queens Road with the camera, so head over to Flickr to check them out!

Brighton Zombie Walk 2010 – Beach of the Dead

July 19, 2010

Tumble weed

Filed under: Photography,Technology — smileham @ 9:49 am
Tumblr

I recently stumbled upon tumblr. I’ve known of it’s existence for ages, but couldn’t really find a use for it. I’ve now set it up as a “photo blog” with the aim of posting a photo a day from my iPhone to it.

If you want to check it out, head to;

http://tumblr.smileham.co.uk

July 6, 2010

Paddle Round the Pier

Filed under: Photography — Tags: — smileham @ 12:43 pm
Paddle Round the Pier 1 - Winner

Paddle Round the Pier 1 – Winner, originally uploaded by smileham.

It was Paddle Round the Pier last weekend. You’ve gotta love Brighton for making a mini festival out of something that probably started with students paddling on a kitchen sink.

I headed down for the afternoon on Sunday, so I missed the Paddle Something Unusual but caught the final race of paddlers coming in to victory. It was great to see so many wet, bedraggled Brightonians dragging themselves up the beach.

Animal Bike Team
Animal Bike Team
Hove Lawns
Hove Lawns

Down at Hove Lawns, they had taken over. Loads of different sport demonstrations, climbing, skateboarding, zorbing and biking, as well as a tonne of live music.

We stuck around for the Animal – Relentless bike display guys, doing backflips over ramps and bunny hops off 8 foot walls, it was an absolutely awesome display.

July 4, 2010

The Carousel

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , — smileham @ 11:44 am
The Carousel

The Carousel, originally uploaded by smileham.
The Carousel

The Carousel – Original.

I’ve been playing with Lightroom 3, some of the functionality it gives you is fantastic. This is a picture that I took out with Nicky on the beach a couple of weeks ago, putting it into Lightroom, I’ve highlighted the eyes, whitened the teeth and smoothed the skin a little, along with the usual saturation and contrast bumps.

July 3, 2010

Poppies

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , — smileham @ 2:28 pm
Poppies (5 of 5).jpg

Poppies (5 of 5).jpg, originally uploaded by smileham.

The last of the poppies this year. Graham and I had wanted to find a fuller field, but it looks like we may have left it a little late. There were only a few clusters left by the time we got a chance to drive up Ditchling Beacon way.

France Holiday

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , — smileham @ 2:15 pm

A four day break away in the middle of France, fantastic. The trip out there on National Express and Ryan Air, less so.

Farm House
Farm House

It was great to get out into the countryside, get some fresh air and take some shots. We were staying with Nicky’s parents. They own a farm house near Poitiers, but when I say farm house, it’s more, manor house, with adjoining servant’s house, old blacksmiths forge, and numerous dilapidated barns.

Danni
Danni

Mostly it was nice to wander round the country side with the dogs, but we had a trip over to La Rochelle, and a wander though the aquarium there. They even had an equivalent of Lewes, sort of, with the village of Parthenay.

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