It used to be pretty easy to find a Mailchimp List ID or Interest ID because Mailchimp had created an API Playground that allowed us to explore the API without actually having to write a line of code.

But for whatever reason, Mailchimp has killed the API Playground and so we are left to fend for ourselves.

First you’ll need your API key — if you don’t have one, you can create one by following these instructions: Find My API Key

Once you have an API key you’ll need to take note which Mailchimp server your account is tied to…

Don’t get burned by bad businesses on Swappa!

Swappa used to be awesome. Individuals selling their used phones with detailed photos and so you saw what you got before you got it. And when the phone arrived everything matched the quality you were expecting.

Not so much any more. Swappa has now been taken over by businesses trying to pawn off phones by pushing the limits of what qualifies as “good” condition. And Swappa lets them. Certain business sellers don’t have to post photos of their devices. Swappa just trusts them. …

Add a loading spinner to DataTables without AJAX and get rid of that glitch!

If you’ve ever used DataTables you’ve probably witnessed that double-loading glitch where the user first sees the HTML table load with all the data, and then the table is re-formatted by DataTables and re-sorted.

It looks bad. Especially if you’re loading a large table:

Get Lambda to do the dirty work for you.

A lot of server errors can be fixed with a quick reboot. The problem is, you aren’t always right there the second an issue occurs to reboot your server and so your websites go down and looses traffic. Even with monitoring services, your sites stay down because you are sleeping and don’t get the notification until the morning. But there’s good news if your servers have a SolusVM admin backend! We can create a Lambda script in Python to check your websites health and reboot any that are experiencing downtime!

Last year, I wrote a tutorial on how to do…

Image Credit: Vowstar [CC BY-SA 4.0 (]

When I started programming in Micropython on a ESP8266 one of the main issues I kept having was wireless connection issues. I spent hours trouble-shooting issues only to have the problems resolve themselves (in a seemingly random mannor).

What I found out is that the ESP8266 stores previsouly connected WiFi networks in memory and tries to re-connect on boot. But in my experience, the success of this was spotty at best, especially if I was changing locations and needing to connect to a new WiFi network.

So I ended up writing a script that continues to retry to connect to…

Who wouldn’t want to be able to send push notifications to your phone (or other device) from Micropython? The problem is there aren’t a lot of good tutorials walking you through how to do this — so here you go!

Let’s get started!

Sign up for Pushbullet

First, you’ll need to go to and setup a free account (and setup a device, like your iPhone or Android by downloading the appropriate app). Pushbullet is how we’ll get push notifications on your phone.

Set up IFTTT

Next, you’ll need to setup an IFTTT account at

Once your account is setup, Once logged in, you’ll want to…

During the summer I like to open our windows in the morning to let the cool air in, but the problem is sometimes I forget to close them, or even when I do remember, I’m not sure if I should close them yet or keep them open a little longer (based on the outside temperature and inside temperature difference). Enter a DIY project with my newly learned Micropython skills.

I wanted to create something that would send a push notification to my phone letting me know that I should close my windows in the morning because the temperature outside was…

I had trouble finding working examples of a robust signup form for MailChimp using the MailChimp API with PHP. First, it wasn’t clear how to tag your users with any useful information when they sign up. Second, it wasn’t clear how to update a user’s information if they’ve already signed up in the past (not including all the examples out there that just plain didn’t work). So since I had to go through so much trouble to find answers on how to do this, I thought I would post instructions to make it easier for you! So, today I’m going…

I’ve been trying to find a practical way to teach my kids how to invest so they can experience the benefits of investing and be better prepared for the real-world once they leave home and go out on their own. Knowing how to wisely invest can free you to be generous in the future, and I want to guide my kids into wise living when it comes to finances. “Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth.” (Ecclesiastes 11:1–2, NASB95).

I remember as a young teenager thinking…

UPDATE: I’ve created a tutorial on how to do this with a serverless Lambda function, which is a much more robust option. View the tutorial here.

I’ve been looking for a way to monitor my various VPS web servers and to automatically reboot them if something goes wrong but I was never able to find a simple solution. I’ve used Monit — but at times it has failed to keep my servers up and running. So I’ve created my own bash script to do the job and thought I would share it.

First, you will obviously need a seperate VPS…

Nathan Wells

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