Getting your own stuff out there isn’t always so easy though. This often involves server hosting, writing web applications…generally a whole extra layer of knowledge, resources and patience that most of us don’t have.
Why reinvent the wheel? We’ve learned a pretty easy way to do this using Google Sheets — a free, web-based spreadsheet platform. You might already have an account.
One can create and edit lists and reminders easily using a web browser or mobile app…then, combined with some CircuitPython programming, have this information displayed on MagTag. Google Sheets allows multiple people to collaborate on the same document. Or, share just the data feed while the original document is off-limits to others. We’ll demonstrate a couple simple examples in this guide…but if you really get to know your way around Google Sheets, it’s possible to have it (and thus MagTag) showing dynamic data like stock quotes or days-remaining counters. Some potent magic!
The MagTag starter kit includes an e-ink development board, LiPoly battery and magnetic feet…bring-your-own USB type A to type C cable. Or the individual pieces can be rounded up separately…
- WiFi network (802.11 b/g/n)
- A desktop or laptop computer is required for initial setup: any text editor will suffice
- A Google account to create and collaborate on cloud-based spreadsheets.
In the next section—specifically the “CircuitPython Internet Test” page—you’ll create a secrets file to access your wireless network. This is a necessary step, don’t just skip ahead. If you’ve done some WiFi-connected MagTag projects before, you probably already have this file.