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Exclusive: Zipwhip to open source ‘Textspresso’ machine and release cloud texting for Ubuntu

It’s a pretty nice dream. On your morning commute, you send a text message to the office espresso machine with your order for a double Americano and the warm mug is waiting when you get in.

For Seattle-based cloud texting company Zipwhip, the dream is reality. Its engineers custom-built an espresso machine that takes orders via SMS using their own cloud messaging application. (Watch the video, it’s pretty sweet.)

To make this dream perfect, though, it’s got to be built with Linux. So we wanted to know: what’s the underlying technology?

Zipwhip CEO John Lauer quickly and enthusiastically responded, “we couldn’t survive without Linux.”

While the “Textspresso” machine isn’t for sale, it operates entirely on Java code and could easily be built with a Linux box, Lauer said. Zipwhip plans to open source the entire application and release circuit designs with Arduino code so you can build your own, he said.

But really, open source coffee serves as a nice demo for their true product, the Zipwhip Android app, which runs on a whole suite of Linux-based products.

Zipwhip sends text messages to and from your desktop or tablet – fully synchronized with your phone to delete messages or mark them as read – via the cloud. The four-year-old company now runs 150 virtual machines across three datacenters that handle nearly a billion text messages each month.

Its Linux infrastructure includes Ubuntu 10.04 servers; Couchbase/Membase; ActiveMQ; MySQL; Nginx; Cassandra for MMS and SMS messaging; MogileFS for external file attachments; Nagios; Keepalived; and OpenSwan.

Zipwhip is available now on Mac OS and Windows and the Linux app will be available in three weeks. Here’s an exclusive sneak peak at the Ubuntu application.

“We’re very proud of this, it lets you get your text messages popping up right on Ubuntu,” Lauer said. "We're huge proponents of the Linux community."

Zipwhip Ubuntu desktop application preview

When a text message hits your Android phone, it also hits your desktop with a text bubble.

Zipwhip Ubuntu desktop application preview

When you click reply, you get to type an inline message and hit Ctrl+Enter on your keyboard to quickly fire off the response.

Zipwhip Ubuntu desktop application preview

The Zipwhip app runs in the notification area of your Ubuntu desktop—the same place apps like Skype run.

When you first install the app you have to login. If you have not created a Zipwhip account or installed the Zipwhip app on your Android phone, you can click register to do so.

 

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