HomeSchool Software: All 700 pages have arrived

I think my inkjet printer is about ready to die…  Between printing GP-7 permit applications (fodder for another post), and a 700 page photo-intensive portfolio, it’s gone above and beyond the monthly duty cycle.

Here is a photograph of the finished portfolio in a 5″ binder printed on 48lb double sided matte photo paper.  It is really neat to look at and remember everything we did this year.

HomeSchool Software: Review, Rendering, and Printing

After several intense programming sessions, I got the HomeSchool software in a quite suitable place for us to be able to use it to produce a log and portfolio.

I must say, it’s looking pretty nice!  It is rather amazing to look back at the year, and see in detail what was going on with Eli.

One of my favorites is on page 159 (read the letter on the telephone pole):


Here is a screen shot of the book view:

HomeSchool Software: Getting Close

I’ve recently been working against a deadline this month to get our Portfolio rendered, printed, and turned into the local Altoona Area School District.

The software has many improvements from the last couple days alone.  A background page renderer runs at all times, and will re-render a book’s page if anything on it changed.  The user interface for positioning images on a page is nearly complete.  I’ve enhanced the database with storage of full size JPEG images as well as info about the image (width, height, type, size).

Here is a screen shot of the page editor:

HomeSchool Software: Page Rendering (Also ImageMagick Text Example)

Last couple days have had me working on the page rendering functionality of the HomeSchool software.  I’ve made some design decisions (for now) to speed up development like fixed 8.5″ x 11″ pages.  Hopefully later I will be able to go back and improve some aspects, but for now, time is of the essence.

Here is an example page render without the photographs included.  Still need a UI for selecting photographs and positioning them on the white area of the page.

At the bottom, see an ImageMagick Text Example about the python code used to render multiple text areas and color blocks on one image…

It took me a long time to figure out how to use ImageMagick to place multiple text areas on one image.  Here are some keywords for google:

ImageMagick, ImageMagick multiple text areas, ImageMagick pdf rendering, ImageMagick text.

      PrimerFont = join(App.Path, 'Static', 'Primerb.ttf')
      PrimerFontBold = join(App.Path, 'Static', 'Primer.ttf')
      RenderFile = join(TempDir, 'Render.jpg')

      # Build the full image

        # Setup the background
        '-size', '2550x3300',

        # Title Bar
        '-fill', 'grey14', '-draw', 'rectangle 0,0 2550,300',

        # Summary bar
        '-fill', 'RoyalBlue4', '-draw', 'rectangle 0,300 2550,600',

        # Description Bar
        '-fill', 'LightGrey', '-draw', 'rectangle 0,600 2550,1050',

        # Now draw the Name
          '-density'    , '300',
          '-fill'       , 'white',
          '-background' , 'grey14',
          '-font'       , PrimerFont,
          '-size'       , '1650x150',
          '-gravity'    , 'West',
          '-pointsize'  , '20',
          'caption:'    + self.Book.Name,
        '-gravity', 'NorthWest', '-geometry', '+150+150', '-composite',

        # Now draw the Date
          '-density'    , '300',
          '-fill'       , 'white',
          '-background' , 'grey14',
          '-font'       , PrimerFont,
          '-size'       , '600x150',
          '-gravity'    , 'East',
          '-pointsize'  , '20',
          'caption:' + Activity.Date.strftime('%B %d, %Y'),
        '-gravity', 'NorthEast', '-geometry', '+150+150', '-composite',

        # Now draw the Summary
          '-density'    , '300',
          '-fill'       , 'white',
          '-background' , 'RoyalBlue4',
          '-font'       , PrimerFontBold,
          '-size'       , '2250x300',
          '-gravity'    , 'Center',
          '-pointsize'  , '20',
          'caption:'    + Activity.Summary.replace("\n", " "),
        '-gravity', 'North', '-geometry', '+0+300', '-composite',

        # Now draw the Description
          '-density'    , '300',
          '-fill'       , 'black',
          '-background' , 'LightGrey',
          '-font'       , PrimerFont,
          '-size'       , '2250x450',
          '-gravity'    , 'Center',
          '-pointsize'  , '14',
          'caption:'    + Activity.Description.replace("\n", "\\n"),
        '-gravity', 'North', '-geometry', '+0+600', '-composite',

        # Now draw the Page
          '-density'    , '300',
          '-fill'       , 'black',
          '-background' , 'white',
          '-font'       , PrimerFont,
          '-size'       , '2250x150',  #entire right half minus 150pt margin
          '-gravity'    , 'Center',
          '-pointsize'  , '14',
          'caption:'    + 'Page {0}'.format(self.PageNumber),
        '-gravity', 'South', '-geometry', '+0+150', '-composite',

#        NameFile, '-geometry', '+0+0', '-composite',
#        DateFile, '-geometry', '+1275+0', '-composite',
#        SummaryFile, '-geometry', '+0+150', '-composite',
#        DescriptionFile, '-geometry', '+0+450', '-composite',


Home School Software in Production Use!

Just an update on the use of our Home School software package…  So far, we have entered 216 activities with 462 images/scans across 13 projects, 12 subjects, and 4 students.

Nearly all of the photographs we take are with the Motorola Droid X.  Provided you have sufficient light, the quality is very acceptable.

Here is one of the latest activities recorded:

Home School Software: Inventory Tracking

Ever lose track of how much flour, sugar, milk, eggs, soap, razors, spices, motor oil, filters, nails, screws, glue, paper, staples, etc… you have on hand?

Ever shop based on hunger, rather than diciplined restocking?

Ever want to have an inventory of groceries at your house, so you don’t have to run to the store for everything?

Our objective is to keep consistent inventory levels of common products around the house, so we never run out of things that we should have on hand.  To that end, I’ve been adding some basic household inventory tracking data to the Home School software.  It has (or will have) the following features:

  • Areas — places that you store products (freezer, basement shelves, kitchen, bathroom, etc…)
  • Items — each “thing” that you want to keep in a given area (flour, sugar, toothpaste, etc)
  • Units — lbs, each, bottle, roll, case, etc…
  • Min Quantity — minimum amount to have on hand
  • Max Quantity — max quantity to have on hand
  • Check every [] days — how often should this item be checked?

From that data, you will be able to pull the following information out of the system:

  • All items and current inventory levels
  • Graphs of inventory levels over time
  • Which items (sorted by area) need checked now
  • What needs refilled (eg, the container of sugar in the kitchen, from the big bags in the basement)
  • What needs purchased (40 eggs, 24 rolls of TP, 10 lbs of sugar)

You will be able to pop on, print out a list of items that need inventoried, and hand it to the kids with a pencil and clipboard to go about filling out how much there actually is.  Excellent math practice, especially if you deal in raw units like oz, lbs, quarts, etc… — the students will have to add/multiply/convert the units that are on the items they are counting.

For Example, you could specify that you want 4 bottles of dish soap around, or 96 ounces of dish soap around.  The difference is that they will need to multiply 24 oz per bottle * 3 bottles on hand = 72 ounces — time to buy another bottle.

Here are some early screen shots: