Recently Launched: Colorful Concepts Interior Design

March 21st, 2011

colorful conceptsLlamawerx and Sally Williams recently collaborated on a website makeover for her firm Colorful Concepts Interior Design.  Sally was our first website client over six years ago, and while her site served her well, many things have changed on the web in that time.

“When Sally asked for suggestions for an update, I think she was thinking about content changes, maybe a few new pictures, that sort of thing,” said Doug Griswold, CEO of Llamawerx. “But I had more in mind, I wanted to let her fabulous pictures tell the story. Her life is interior design; clients looking for an designer want to see results!”

The existing site contained static text and photos. There wasn’t much to catch your eye or hold your attention. After taking stock, it became clear that we could reduce the text down to a couple of short pages and expand her portfolio dramatically. Her previous site showed before and after photos. This worked well for projects where she had before shots, but unfortunately that wasn’t always the case. After some discussion we decided to discard the before shots and focus solely on the results.

Continued Griswold, “I wanted to add movement to the site in a pleasing sort of way. I thought we could fade some of the key pictures in and out. Nothing distracting, just a smooth effect. I also wanted to add a portfolio showcasing here remodeling, new construction and Parade of Homes projects. I’m not a fan of Flash so I chose jQuery to help with the cross-browser effects.”

The results are very pleasing with an interesting scrolling effect leading the viewer through the site.

For more information about Sally and her firm Colorful Concepts, visit the new website at

Google Maps to the Rescue

March 8th, 2011

google_mapFor many years, Llamawerx has developed and maintained on-board firmware for a client’s vehicle tracking product. If you’re familiar with GM’s OnStar, then you’re familiar with the type of system. Our version also targets commercial fleet trucking and adds a feature called geo-fencing. Geo-fencing allows the customer to define a virtual fence that the vehicle is confined to or excluded from. Our client’s existing product provided circular fences, but customers were making a case for square fences, rectangular fences and other shapes. Thus the request to Llamawerx, “Can you add polygon fences to the product?”

The Llamawerx answer: “Sure.”

Our client provided an algorithm from another product and some web searching turned up other algorithms to determine if a point is inside or outside a polygon. The software is written in C and runs on special embedded hardware in the vehicle. “Before spending a lot of time writing code for this special environment, testing and debugging, I wanted to make sure the algorithms worked,” said Doug Griswold CEO of Llamawerx. “Plus, I needed a simple way to define the points of interest and put them in a format that would work in the embedded device. Having used Google Maps in the past, I wondered if I could create a testbed based on the Google Map API and some Javascript.”

After a few hours, we had something that allowed us to plot points, define polygons and test our algorithms. Griswold continued, “Once I was confident the Javascript algorithm correctly identified the point inside or outside of the polygon, I added functionality to output the configuration.” Now it was time to switch gears and tackle the embedded Open AT code.

“First, I added the data definitions and configuration interface to the embedded application,” said Griswold. “I defined the data structures in Flash and RAM, created the custom AT commands to accept the configuration and added an over-the-air interface too. Once the groundwork was laid, I could concentrate on the relatively simple task of translating the Javascript code to C.”

After some stationary scenarios, it was time to take a drive and see how the whole thing worked. “I pulled together some Javascript from an earlier test program and added it to the Google Map testbed,” said Griswold. “Now I could see the alerts from the vehicle displaying on the map with our polygon and circular fences. After driving around town, I would review the results and compare them with the definition on the map. It was amazing how quickly I could spot inconsistencies, make the changes and head out for another test run.”

Google Maps and Javascript allowed Llamawerx to quickly put together a testbed, flesh out the algorithms and verify the real-world results. To learn more about specific technologies in the Llamawerx tool chest, visit or contact us at

Llamawerx Helps Moorestown Eye “Like” Facebook

January 30th, 2011

moorestown-eyeDr. Kimberly Friedman, a partner in Moorestown Eye Associates knows the value of an online presence. “For years we’ve had a website, online appointments, etc.,” Dr. Friedman points out. “As president of the New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians, I had the opportunity to appear in TV news segments in the Philadelphia and South Jersey. Doug Griswold of Llamawerx made sure the segments were available online. And being online definitely has value.”

While many businesses see the value of a website, Moorestown Eye Associates took it one step further. Dr. Friedman continues, “We realized that Facebook is the new frontier. Last year we created a Facebook fan page and asked our patients to join. At first we weren’t thinking of attracting new patients, but wanted a easy way to communicate with our existing one. As you know, this winter’s snow has been brutal in New Jersey and Facebook gave a quick and easy way to let patients know we’re open for business.”

Doug Griswold, CEO of Llamawerx saw more opportunities, “With over 500 million users, Facebook is ‘HOT.’ Movies, magazine articles, IPO speculation and oh yes, Farmville. A growing segment of the population spends a huge amount of time inside Facebook. In most cases you trust your Facebook friends to share advice… shouldn’t that extend to recommendations and referrals too?”

Last year, Doug added a “mini-website” to the Llamawerx Facebook page. “I decided to create a one page mini-site in Facebook explaining what Llamawerx is about and linking into our website. After seeing Kim’s status update during the recent snowstorms, I thought a Facebook mini-site could help her practice. I fired off an Facebook message offering to create one and immediately got the go-ahead. Now Moorestown Eye Associates has another 24/7 channel welcoming new visitors while keeping in contact with existing patients.”

Recently Launched: The Chisel Doctor

December 20th, 2010

A new way to hone and grind your wood chisels.

Llamawerx and Richard Rex proudly announce the launch of The Chisel Doctor. This unique tool enables woodworkers to quickly and easily sharpen their wood chisels, hand planes and spokeshaves in seconds. Using plain-old-sandpaper, The Chisel Doctor hones and grinds your blade to the optimum angle. That’s right, sandpaper. You can throw out your stones!

Here’s what Mr. Rex has to say, “I actually enjoy sharpening with the Chisel Doctor, and know that you will too. You’ll be surprised how quickly – and inexpensively – it puts a great cutting edge on your blades. Say goodbye to the Stone Age!”

The Chisel Doctor is a rock-solid, steel frame jig designed to firmly hold the blade in place. No guessing – just clamp the blade in and the angle is set.

If you’re interested in trying a new sharpening tool that will save you time, money and heartache, visit and buy one today.

Barcode Printing from the Web

November 24th, 2010

barcodeAt Llamawerx, we’ve been involved with barcode printers since 2003. Our very first project, Cryotrax, required us to drive a Brady barcode printer. That first application was written in Java with Datamax Programming Language (DPL) strings sent serially to the printer.

Fast forward seven years and Cryotrax2 was on the horizon. The printer is the same, but now the application lives in a web-browser and it’s not so simple to send DPL commands to the printer. Doug Griswold, CEO of Llamawerx explains:

The languages of the web, HTML and Javascript, don’t allow you to communicate directly with a serial printer. We wanted to send from any web-browser to the barcode printer without going through a server or requiring a plug-in.  Since the application makes use of AJAX we thought maybe we could install a web-server on the local machine – a server-on-a-client if you will. Then reality hit and we figured a full featured web-server with server-side scripting might be too much. Previous work with Python triggered another idea. Why not use the HTTP server built into Python, mash that up with pySerial, compile with py2exe? Voilà,  HTTP transports DPL commands to the printer. A minor workaround for AJAX cross site scripting and we had a solution.

Unique requirements demand innovative solutions. At Llamawerx we draw on 25+ years of software development using embedded systems, client-server, relational database and web technologies giving us a broad platform to build on.

To learn more about specific technologies in the Llamawerx tool chest, visit or contact us at