The end of the year is one of my favorite times of year. It’s when I see how I did with the goals I set for the current year and start to plan out my next adventures for the new year. I also like to either delete old ideas, or finish up random, playing-around code I have sitting in the old Projects folder.

This year I made a conscious effort to refrain from putting out bits of code, but there are two proof of concept apps that I found useful and kind of fun. Instead of sending them to the trash, I thought I’d put them up. The hopes are that the examples may help someone just starting with a few of these technologies, but keep in mind these were just things I made to learn a particular technology. I wouldn’t call them finished products.

Vegan Eateries Near You

Earlier in the year I wanted to have a play with the newish geo-location functionality in browsers. Additionally, I needed to understand a bit about Google Places and about version 3 of Google Maps.

So I combined all those and made a little application that tries to get your current location, and then tries to find vegan eateries within 10k of your current location. It works surprisingly well. And in a double dose of hippy, when you click the eateries name, it makes a Google maps call to get you bicycle directions from your current location — which is my default mode of transport these days.

I call it Herbivore. It’s packed full of Google services so if you’re trying to avoid Google don’t bother clicking the link. If you are a bit leery about allowing your current location to be known (or the browser can’t figure it out), you can see it using a Bondi Beach hotel as the location.

If you are looking for a real application that does this, checkout HappyCow.


In order to help with our budget, we give ourselves allowances. I keep mine in an envelope. Sometime during the year I had an idea for a simple accounting application to help with my envelope maintenance. I also wanted to learn more about the databases that are now in most browsers, and also better understand double entry accounting.

Envelope was born out of those needs. Hopefully, it’s usage is self explanatory.

As it stands, I actually use this to track what is in my envelope. I use it on my iPad so I am less likely to accidentally delete the browser’s database.

The initial idea was to make this into an mobile application (or maybe browser plugin) to both help people like me, and also to help kids understand about savings. I reiterate that this is just a proof of concept application, and one of the downside to using the browsers built in database is that data is tied to just that browser. You might think Google chrome syncs the database across computers, but that is not the case — you’d have to build that kind of functionality yourself.

Despite the incompleteness of these proof of concept applications, I do use them quite a bit. There are a few interesting bits in there that you might find useful if you are just starting out with geo-location, browser databases, google maps, or double entry accounting. If you’re into that kind of thing, I’ll leave it to you to view the source.