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Recap of PDX QS Oct 30 2012 Meetup

Quantified Self Portland Show & Tell Meetup Recap - October 30, 2012

Puppet Labs opened up their space and generously hosted our October Meetup. Talks and discussion content are below.
Puppet Labs:

David Gwilliam - Text Message Analytics

video -
slides -
twitter -

After getting dumped, David needed an excuse to read his old text messages. Exporting all of his SMS's out of Google Voice, he used a variety of tools to get them in a form that would allow for linguistic analysis and visualization. Doing so, he reconfirmed his belief that most of his communication was either to girls or about girls. As his project moves forward, he wants to improve the linguistic analysis by looking at significant phrases, rather than words, and tweak his D3 visualization so that it better represents clustering.

Tools and other things mentioned:
-His GitHub page for his project -
-Twitter page -
-Google Voice -
-Google Takeout -
-Data Liberation Front -
-Markdown - http://daringfireball...
-Redis -
-Ohm ORM - http://ohm.keyvalue.o...
-Sinatra - http://www.sinatrarb....
-Statistically Improbable Phrases - http://en.wikipedia.o...
-Rack Cache -
-Resque -
-Rake - http://rake.rubyforge...
-GCharts -
-Pandoc - http://johnmacfarlane...
-D3 -
-jQuery -
-Linguistic analysis equation - http://www.comp.lancs...

Rob Shields - Search Your Life

video -
slides -
twitter -

Rob was interested in passively recording his life, so he rigged his phone to hang around his neck and take a picture nearly every minute. He dumped the photos into Picasa and with tagging and face recognition used them to start answering questions such as "When did I last have sushi?" and "What was the name of that guy I met at the QS Data Co-op?" Rob found that knowing that the phone was recording events, it allowed him to be more present in the moment, since he didn't have to worry about retrieving a camera to capture events. Going forward, he would like to have ways to add more metadata (like geotagging) to add context to the images that he captures, a wider lens, and be able to integrate it with other streams of data.

Tools and other things mentioned:
-Gordon Bell's SenseCam - http://research.micro...
-Autographer - http://www.autographe...
-Memoto -
-Project Glass -
-Google Goggles -
-TagTime - http://messymatters.c...
-Picasa -
-Vicon Revue -

Steven Jonas - Stressing Out Loud

video - http://quantifiedself... (from the QS Seattle meet up a week earlier)
slides -
twitter -

Steven discovered through an EEG assessment that he had a strong “freeze” response to stressful situations. This inspired him to use his emWave to monitor his stress levels, hack it to alert him whenever he got too stressed, and change his patterns at work. He found that keeping his stress levels in check allowed him to focus better and left him with more energy at the end of the day. Going forward, he would like to find a tool that allows him to annotate the data, and be able to track stress when he's not at his desk.

Tools and other things mentioned:
-emWave2 - http://www.heartmaths...
-equanimity - http://www.meditate.m...

Daniel Reeves - Beeminder update

twitter -
(Sorry, no video)

Daniel gave us an update on Beeminder, highlighting new functionality for connecting the great project management tool, Trello, as well as using Beeminder to keep track of your progress during NaNoWriMo. He also talked about a Pomodoro Poker, a hack night where participants bet on how close they can complete a task to a time limit (without going over).

Tools and other things mentioned:
-Beeminder - http://www.beeminder....
-Trello - http://blog.beeminder...
-NaNoWriMo - http://blog.beeminder...
-Pomodoro Poker - http://blog.beeminder...


Prompt - One of the interesting things about self-tracking is the heightened awareness that you'll gain. Noticing things that you could never perceive before. This could take different forms, sometimes like a sixth sense. For example, this is a device I built from a kit made by Sensebridge that attaches to your ankle and points in the direction of north. Over time, the wearers develop of sense of where North is that lasts even after they remove the device. Are these extra senses always good? Can they be negative?

Tools and other things mentioned:
-Sensebridge's North Paw -
-Contour @USB - http://bayercontourus...
-Zeo -

Drinks afterward at Deschutes Brewery
-The night ended with a lively discussion where the main topic was productivity systems where everybody shared what they use, what failed for them and why.

All in all, it was a fantastic, invigorating evening. We hope to see you at the Data Co-op on November 27 ( We plan on hosting the next Show & Tell in January.

Pictures courtesy of Ryan Casey. See more here:

Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
Recap of "Work Your Data" Co-op, Nov 27, 2012 December 2, 2012 8:54 PM Mark L.
Recap of PDX QS Oct 30 2012 Meetup November 19, 2012 10:42 AM Mark L.
About PDX Quantified Self November 19, 2012 10:47 AM Mark L.

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