The Trixie Code

Interested in setting up Telemetry for your baby? Good news! We’re working on making it a reality. The Trixie code has quietly been under development for a while now. But due to the recent demand, we are accelerating our schedule and wanted to give you an update.

The Trixie code will be available as an inexpensive service designed for anyone with an Internet connection — no programming required. We are also hoping to document the code and allow a free distribution for those who want to hack their own solution.

We will be making a detailed announcement on May 15th, 2004. So stay tuned to the Trixie Update.

[UPDATE] It’s now May 15th. We have created a new site to answer questions and keep you informed as we continue to develop the software. Please visit for details.

On a personal note, I would like to say that I am sensitive to the timing of this announcement given the flurry of activity on the site — specifically in regard to this very code.

There’s no good way around it. I designed Telemetry to help out with some of the specific challenges I encountered taking care of Trixie. Once built, I realized that other parents might also appreciate it. The code has been under development for some time, and we were planing to release it much later in the year. The current spike in traffic has generated a huge surge in emails and comments concerning the telemetry code. Making an announcement at this time is the most straightforward way to address all these questions.

I hope our readers will understand and not feel that we are taking advantage of the good will generated by all of our new visitors. We really appreciate the attention that has come our way and are flattered that so many have taken an interest in Trixie, our family, and her diapers.

All the best,
Ben and Jennifer

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14 Responses to The Trixie Code

  1. Lurker says:

    It was never a doubt that this site was not just about Trixie but about making some money.

    That’s the only way one can explain why you would ever ever need this type of ridiculous documenation.

    Hopefully others will just feel confident enough in their parenting abilities that they wouldn’t even need such a service.

  2. Amy says:

    Lurker – Ok, you are entitled to your opinions, I’ll give you that. If you are so put off by the idea of this website, the telemetry and Trixie’s parents “making a buck,” then maybe you should stop visiting the site. Frankly, I imagine that this site was not designed for you or me. It was designed so that Ben and Jennifer’s out of town family and friends could watch the development of a beautiful little girl. So what if they don’t care about her milk and diapers? Maybe THEY just visit for the picture of the day. IMHO, you might need to lighten up just a bit. You say that you don’t worry this much about parenting your 6 month old. Well, I didn’t really worry about parenting my almost 5 year old, but it’s fun to see how he compared to Trixie at this age.

  3. Lindsay says:

    Hi, Ben and Jen-
    I have been enjoying your site for a while, and today is the first day I really felt I had to respond to one of your critics. Lurker, I haven’t seen Ben in many years but we went to the design school at NC State together. Ben is a freakishly talented artist. I will agree with some of you that he is compulsive and obsessive. But that is all part of Ben’s genius and his committment to this incredible website. You should realize that he doesn’t do things half way. I also have NEVER known Ben to care about money at all. If he wanted to, I’m sure Ben could be supporting himself with his art. But he has chosen to stay at home and raise his daughter. It is to his credit that he is aware of what a miracle she is, and that he is paying attention to every step of her development. I grew up with a father who couldn’t have cared less about his kids. I am blown away by Ben’s and Jennifer’s devotion to their daughter. Yes, this site may be a little over the top, but you have to admit that it is always moving and endlessly fascinating. Otherwise, you obviously wouldn’t keep coming back to it.

    By the way, Ben and Jen- you guys are taking some gorgeous pictures of Trixie. Today’s bath shot is one of the best. Can we get a little info on the photography end of it?? What kind of digital camera are you using, any tips?? How much time do you spend photographing Trixie, how many good shots versus bad? Thanks

  4. benmac says:


    I wrote the following last night just to get your irritating comment out of my system, but not intending to post it because the number one rule of running a comments forum is NEVER FEED THE TROLLS. However, I really can’t help myself this time. It doesn’t seem fair to let others defend the site while I sit on the sidelines. So here you go:

    This site was born out of my interest to try to make sense of a phenomenal life-changing event.

    Being able to work on this site has allowed me to keep my sanity, maintain a sense of humor and express my creativity during the sometimes stressful periods of staying home in order to take care of a child. This site gave (and continues to give) me a window to the world and and helped me feel that I wasn’t trapped at home back when I first started taking care of Trixie. For me it was a difficult, unfamiliar experience that was physically and mentally exhausting and it was good to find a way to cope with the stress. This, of course, is in contrast to your apparent stress-free method of parenting that I deduce from all of your well-adjusted and well-balanced comments.

    Please don’t come to this site trolling my readers, insulting my creativity and disdaining my love for my daughter. This is your warning. You’re welcome to your opinion -if- you want to express it in a diplomatic way. But any more comments like your recent ones, which I regard as an attack on my daughter, and you’re banned. Besides, you’re spending way too much time on this site if you dislike it so much. Why don’t you go spend some time with your kid instead?

  5. hannah says:

    As an avid regular at TTU since its inception I have seen Ben tolerate a wide array of opinions, and yes, criticism – he welcomes a diversity of opinions, including people who don’t like the site or thought it obsessive, etc. And he never gets defensive. So, Ben, I’m glad to see you speaking to this hateful person who is not expressing a diffeing opinoin in a construstive way, but clearly has nothing better to do than to anonymously and maliciously attack you and your family. To say that this site is about the money is about the lowest thing I can think of. It is petty and mean.

    Go away lurker. Get some therapy. Take a kick-boxing class. Something other than beating up on these guys.


  6. Dave says:

    Many or most parents often keep a mark on a doorway, or ruler to track the growth of their child. It is a fun way to see how fast they grow up. These charts are no different. Watching sleep patterns change over time, or how much more a baby weighs, or eats, etc. all are ways to enjoy watching your child grow from infant to adulthood. Yes it is geeky, but this is just an extended form of what the vast majority of parents already do.

  7. Jacques says:

    I have twins on the way and I’ve been searching the site for inspiration on how to communicate this special event with family and friends across the country.

    I love what you’ve done with this site and I’ve been meaning to ask if you had plans to share your telemetry techniques.

    I’ll be keeping an eye out for the announcement which should just about coincide with the birth of my sons. I’m ready to sign up!

    I’m also a big fan of Tufte’s work and your site is a great example of how carefully thought out graphics can communicate tons of information.


  8. benmac says:

    Ahhh Tufte.

    Just about every discussion of visual information eventually brings Tufte into the mix. We love Tufte at the Trixie Update. We try to make sure every graphic on the site is clear, intuitive and as data-rich as possible. Thank you for the association.

    For those not familiar with Edward Tufte, he’s an information-design guru. His site details some of his work.

  9. Craig says:

    Not sure if anyone is interested but I set up a camera phone blog site that you can blog pics to. You can syndicate as you see fit. plenty of pics of my newborn daughter up there.

  10. Jeff says:

    I’m late to the party (just saw the link on the N&O and have spent the better part of two hours catching up on the story-to-date).

    All along the path, I’m thinking about my marriage (2.5 weeks away and counting) and that we’re already talking about having children… and how I would LOVE the ability to track this kind of data. Not only would it be useful to us, but also would really be more interesting to our child when they’re old enough to understand.

    Ben & Jennifer: You have done an AMAZING job. To be new parents AND maintain this link to the world (as well as keep a log of apparently EVERYTHING Trixie has done) is simply incredible. I would buy the telemetry system in a heartbeat NOW, well before our child is even in utero. 🙂

  11. DarkDan says:

    SIGN ME UP TODAY! You can start charging me the fee right now, even though our little one isn’t expected until November! My brother forwarded me your site and I want to make sure this development becomes a reality. My site (I linked to it) includes lists of all my games, every theatrical show I’ve ever seen, and much more O.C.D. content than I even care to admit. The “Trixie Tracker” is totally my cup of tea, and I’m ready and willing to pay for it.

  12. j tompkins says:

    Ben – just found your website for Trixie. Congratulation!! She is a beautiful baby and looks just like YOU!!! You have certainly used your creative genius in presenting this unique website. I love seeing the pics of Trixie. Enjoy her!!!!

  13. sarah says:

    Shoot,I got so obsessed with the lurkers crazy comments that I forgot to look at what time my Francy went down for her nap.

  14. Jaynee says:

    My husband and I spent the first year of our daughter’s life hand-writing the same things you chart. Imagine how much easier it would have been to calculate our monthly averages if we just had your gumption to create an ELECTRONIC version!

    It’s a shame it won’t be useful for my daughter (who is currently 15 months), but I look forward to using your service for my son, who is due August 18th!!