Monthly Archives: January 2008


It is my pleasure to announce the Recycling group finder, Something I have been working on for the past couple of weeks with my wonderful employer 29degrees. For those of you who don’t know, Freecycle is a worldwide recycling network, in their own words:

The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,205 groups with 4,211,000 members across the globe. It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them’s good people).

As the name suggests, Freecycle Group Finder is a new way to find Freecycle groups.

Finding a group – the old way

To find a group you enter a location to search for in the box on the Freecycle homepage. I live in Romiley, so I enter that and click search. But it can’t find any groups! Failed freecycle search

In order for it to find my local group I would have to guess it was called ‘Stockport‘ and search for that. I could have used the Freecycle group browser but who browses anymore? People demand search! I wanted to make this better so I wrote the Recycling Group Finder.

Finding a group – the way

Just enter any location into the search box on the homepage and it will find all your local groups: Successful search

The Freecycle search gets it right sometimes. Take a search for Alameda, CA. It lists all the groups nearby, but Freecycle Group Finder does better. Freecycle Group Finder shows you a map of where all the local groups are! It lets you scroll around and visually determine the closest group (Try it for yourself!). An improvement we feel, and one that will help more people join up and start recycling.

What keeps it rolling?

At 29degrees we’re big fans of Ruby on Rails. It helps us make web applications faster, and with more fun, and it was no exception for the Freecycle Group finder. We are using Postgres for the database and serving it all with mongrel and of course Apache. Of course if wouldn’t be anwhere near as good if it wasn’t for Tony, 29degrees co-founder and designer extroadinaire!

Could You Pass 8th Grade Science?

Well, could ya?

I got 88% correct, or a B+.  How embarrassing :)  Scores in the comments please! 

In soviet russia, the monitor hits you!

The Asus LS201: Punchable ‘scratch-proof’ monitor:

… the Asus LS201 — a TFT monitor with a protective panel made of crystal-sapphire. Our Asus rep says not only is it scratch-proof, but it’s also ‘punch-proof’. 

Excellent You Tube Video

[09:16] carl: my god, that video is excellent.[09:16] carl: In soviet russia, the monitor hits you!