Getting Started with YAML in Node.js using js-yaml

YAML

In this tutorial, we harness the power of YAML for use within Node.js. As described on the official YAML site, YAML (YAML Ain’t Markup Language) is a “human friendly data serialization standard for all programming languages”. YAML and JSON are closely related. In fact, all JSON syntax is valid YAML as of the YAML 1.2 spec, but not all YAML syntax is valid JSON. YAML is a superset of JSON. Continue reading

Share

Node.js IoT: Logging Data That Is Out of This World

IoT loggingThe ability to log data is an important capability in IoT applications. In this tutorial, we learn how to use Node.js to log data by utilizing built-in Node modules. There are certainly excellent logging modules available including pino and Winston (see my Winston tutorial here); however, our goal today is to deepen our knowledge of Node by implementing some simple logging code ourselves in order to become better Node developers. Continue reading

Share

Making Interactive Node.js Console Apps That Listen for Keypress Events

keypress

In preparing for an upcoming Node.js IoT tutorial focused on creating notifications based on sensor values (for example, audible alerts), I wave of brilliance came over me. 🙂  Wouldn’t it be awesome if these notifications could be interactively acknowledged and silenced from the console? Lo and behold, I discovered that Node.js CLI (console) applications can indeed respond to keystrokes, ushering in a whole new realm of possibilities.  In today’s tutorial, I will teach you how to build interactive Node.js console applications that listen for keypress events. We’ll build a simple stock quote application to bring this interactivity to life. Continue reading

Share

Node.js IoT: Tracking the ISS through the Sky

ISS

We’re back today to embark on another cool Node.js IoT project.  This time, we’re going to interact with the International Space Station (ISS) and track it as it flies through the sky.  We’ll eventually work with physical sensors that sit right on our desk, but at this stage we won’t need to buy parts or read resistor color codes in order to retrieve values from the ISS GPS “sensor” in the cloud—or actually 250 miles above the clouds.

While our tutorials are geared toward creating awesome Node.js IoT projects on the Raspberry Pi, any Node.js-capable machine will suffice for today’s tutorial.  Other useful articles to help you may include my Beginner’s Guide to Installing Node.js on a Raspberry Pi.  You can also see my article on Using Visual Studio Code with a Raspberry Pi if you are in need of a development environment.

Let’s get started and progressively build a solution so we can track the ISS and ultimately monitor its location relative to our location on earth. Continue reading

Share

Node.js IoT – Data Visualization of Sensor Values

Sensor Data Viz

In today’s article, we’re moving beyond printing numbers in the console and creating some data visualization plots in both the terminal and in a graphical window. We’re also going to have fun!  😀

Today, I’m going to make the inductive leap that you’re making all of this happen using a Raspberry Pi. You may be able to implement these amazing ASCII terminal plots in the Windows world using Bash on Windows, but I have not tested in that context.  In addition to Raspbian, these steps will also generally work for other Linux distros as well as OS X.  If you are not running Node.js on your Raspberry Pi, please see my Beginner’s Guide to Installing Node.js on a Raspberry Pi.  You can also see my article on Using Visual Studio Code with a Raspberry Pi if you are seeking to set up a development environment.  For this tutorial, the Leafpad text editor, installed by default with Raspbian, may suffice. Continue reading

Share

Node.js IoT – Create Local Module for CPU Sensor

CPU Sensor Local Module

We’re back and ready to do some refactoring of our CPU sensor so we can learn about Node.js modules and how to create them.  Building small, focused modules is one of the key tenets of the Node.js philosophy as summarized in The Node Way:

Building small, single-purpose modules is at the heart of the Node.js philosophy. Borrowing from Unix, Node.js encourages composing the complex and powerful out of smaller, simpler pieces. This idea trickles down from entire applications (using the best tool for the job vs. a full suite) to how the tools themselves are built.

Continue reading

Share

Node.js IoT – Build a Cross Platform CPU Sensor

cross platform cpu sensor

I took a little hiatus in our series to take my family on a trip to Japan with layovers on each end of the trip in China which included a ride on the Shanghai Maglev Train, the fastest train in the world.  We had a fantastic time, and it was a great educational experience for the kids.  It is also good to be back home!

We are back again with our Node.js IoT tutorial series and ready to continue developing our “CPU sensor” as CPU loading/utilization is a “sensor” we can measure, record, and ultimately stream to other locations.  Today, we will expand our CPU sensor and make it cross platform—and learn more about Node.js in the process. In future tutorials, we will harness the power of Node.js to interact with physical sensors that live outside of our computing environment.  Continue reading

Share

Node.js Learning through Making – Build a CPU Sensor

cpu sensor
We are back with our LTM (Learning through Making) tutorials and ready to hit the ground running and write some real Node.js code!  In this series, we will learn about Node.js in the context of creating IoT (Internet of Things) projects.  We will build a “CPU Sensor” in this first project since CPU loading/utilization is a “sensor” we can measure, record, and ultimately stream to other locations.  In future tutorials, we will harness the power of Node.js to interact with physical sensors that live outside of our computing environment. Continue reading

Share

Using Visual Studio Code with a Raspberry Pi (Raspbian)

Learning through Making (LTM) logoWe’re back with our LTM (Learning through Making) series of Node.js tutorials and we’re gearing up and getting ready to write some code!  We’ve learned how to build a Raspberry Pi from the ground up including Node.js, we’ve created a web server in Node without code, and we’ve even managed to get this web server on the Internet as a cool trick.

So how are we going to write Node.js code? There’s nothing that would stop us from simply jumping onto our RasPi and using the Leafpad text editor or even the nano console-based editor to write our code.  I propose that we use some more robust tools in the form of an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) to help us along in our coding journey.

It turns out that the RasPi 2 and RasPi 3—in spite of the significant CPU/memory boost they offer over their predecessors—will run most IDEs a bit sluggishly and will be frustrating for any serious Node.js work.  I offer here a creative alternative we will use to expedite the software development lifecycle and run the Node.js code natively on the Pi. Continue reading

Share