Steve's blog

A blog about what's going on in Analysis UK... is Live - Never forget to put your bin out again

Over the weekend I finished a few last bits off and released, a free reminder service to help you (well me really) put the correct bin out on the appropriate day.

In a twist of Irony, whilst making the quick introduction video below I set myself a bin reminder for my black bin for the next bin day (Wednesday).  Well, when returning home Tuesday evening I knew it was bin day but couldn't remember if it was the Green+Blue bins or my black bin, and none of my neighbours had put out their bin.  I decided to wait and see in the morning, as it turns out it was the black bin and I was able to get it out in time.

The moral of the story, is here to help me remember which bin I'm supposed to be putting out.  If you also have problems then feel free to use it as well.  Theirs no joining process, just login using your using your FaceBook, Twitter or OpenId credentials, an account is generated automatically then add the bins you need reminding about, setup how you want to be notified and then sit back and wait for the reminders.

You can get reminders via sms text message, email or even Tweeted to you.

The video below shows just how easy it is, 2m 25s is all it took to log in and setup the reminders, which included me waffling.


RememberTheBin intro video

Remember The Bin - Preview

I thought I would share a preview of my x-mas/new year holiday work. 

RememberTheBin is a site I've put together to help me remember which bin I'm supposed to be putting out and when.  For some reason I get confused about putting my bins out for Wednesday collections.  It should be simple, Tuesday evening I put them out, but if I'm not in the routine of returning home from work and seeing everybody elses bin then I forget to do my own. 

Just to help matters Cambridge have recently introduced blue recycling bins, they look very much like the black bins in streetlights so trying to figure out what bin goes out from the others on the street is also a nightmare.

I figured I'm not the only person who will forget or get confused, and missing a bin day can result in a months worth of garbage overflowing the bin which isn't pleasant - so I figured I'd release RememberTheBin to the world.

Now I've got a few bugs to iron out, a few style issues to resolve, some spell checking and typos to sort and the small issue of buying some sms credits(1), but for now here's a brief preview.


It's an off the shelf template from, it took a bit of re-work to make it go with ASP.NET MVC, sadly hardly any template providers make their templates for ASP.NET masterpages which is a shame and they generally need a fair bit of work to clean them up.

I've got a twitter feed set up for RememberTheBin so it can send you tweets to remind you to put out the bin, depending on which operator your with you can get those sent as sms to your phone, failing that you can have RememberTheBin txt you directly, however for now we only supply 10 credits, you have to request a top up when they get low - but thats a simple button click on the website.

You might notice I'm signed in using OpenId, RememberTheBin will also support other authentication providers such as FaceBook so you won't need to create a userid/password and I don't have to store your password which is a huge help.

<Geeky Bit>

The underlying application is based on ASP.NET MVC V2 which rocks.  I'm not using too much of the new stuff in V2, but validation through the view model alone has been a huge bonus and the MVC pattern is a must.  Under the covers RememberTheBin is using StructureMap for IoC, NHibernate for data access going against a MySQL database hosted by Amazon RDS, authentication is done through RpxNow, Twitter integration uses TweetSharp, most of these are open source projects so a huge thanks to every one involved in them - it makes building something like so much simpler and quicker and a huge amount of fun.

</Geeky Bit>

Hopefully the site should be live in a few days, please leave feedback if you like/hate it or any ideas you have.  I've got a few feature's yet to be implemented as well.


(1) Would you believe, I have to wait for someone to go into the office on Monday before I can buy some sms credits from intellisms.  I found that out on Saturday.  It's like they don't want my money.  I also signed up with BulkSms who did manage to figure out that by sending a code via sms they could verify me, however their SDK for .Net is rubbish so I haven't implemented the code to use them, if intellisms havn't sorted it out on Monday then I'll go with BulkSms, and if all that fails, well I've got a GSM modem on order and 3 sims on their way but that's a lot more work to implement.