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Musings of a SysAdmin Developer Reliability Engineer

My Journey Through Education and Academia

“Mike Rother says that it almost doesn’t matter what you improve, as long as you’re improving something. Why? Because if you are not improving, entropy guarantees that you are actually getting worse…” — The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps,… Continue Reading →

Using Gammu-smsd and MySQL to Send and Receive SMS Text Messages

In the previous post, Send and Receive SMS Text Messages with Raspberry Pi and SIM800 GSM Board, we connected up an Itead Raspberry Pi GSM Board (SIM800) from ModMyPi and configured Gammu to send and receive SMS text messages from… Continue Reading →

Send and Receive SMS Text Messages with Raspberry Pi and SIM800 GSM Board

The idea was a simple one. Connect up a GSM modem to a Raspberry Pi to send and receive SMS text messages. The ability to read SMS messages using serial AT commands is no longer possible with modern USB Mobile… Continue Reading →

Raspberry Pi Controlled Lights Using Relays

We’ve had USB powered lights in our lounge for several years and every year I seem to slightly improve the wiring and relay boards. The Raspberry Pi below controls the lights behind our TV and are switched on using a… Continue Reading →

Monitor your heating using a Raspberry Pi and an MCP9808

During the winter season, we spend a lot of money heating our homes. Many heating systems are controlled by a basic thermostat installed in a random part of the home. It’s great to know whether the heating came on once,… Continue Reading →

Understanding Higher Education for a University IT Job Interview

A reaction of surprise is often received from people when they realise you work at a university, rather than a student studying there. Working at a university is an inspiring and rewarding opportunity to be able to help thousands of… Continue Reading →

Collecting Temperature Data with Raspberry Pi Computers

For several years, the temperature in our home has been monitored using Raspberry Pi computers. It’s interesting to see which rooms warm up the quickest and which rooms maintain their warmth longest, but that’s not the main reason that I… Continue Reading →

Locally mounting a Raspberry Pi Raspbian Linux image

It’s sometimes necessary to mount a Raspberry Pi Raspbian Linux image file before writing it to a SD card. This may be to configure an IP address, wireless settings, changing of passwords, etc. If you are using your Raspberry Pis… Continue Reading →

Streaming TV using RTL-SDR and Raspberry Pi

I recently purchased several RTL-SDR DVB-T USB TV tuners from Pimoroni (DVB-T Dongle ideal for ADS-B). These USB devices are not just a great TV tuner, they are also a wide range software defined radio receiver. The supplied aerial is… Continue Reading →

IoT – Preparing the Home for Autumn

The feeling of autumn is once again here, along with the desire to prepare for the coming dark nights and turning on the heating. During the summer, our collection of Raspberry Pi computers have been tasked with other purposes, but… Continue Reading →

Ucisa Support Services Conference 2016 – Learning and Listening

This was my second year attending the Ucisa Support Services Conference. I shared my experiences from last year which described my first encounter of a conference of this kind, and some rules that made up a personal survival guide. This… Continue Reading →

Limitless Capacity for Data Storage in the Universe?

“If you think we’ve seen massive technology advances in the last 10 years, the next 10 will be like 1,000 years” — Jason Bradbury. At a recent lecture, The Gadget Show’s Jason Bradbury presented his prediction that the same amount… Continue Reading →

Linux settings for Yubico FIDO U2F Security Key

nano /etc/udev/rules.d/70-u2f.rules ACTION!=”add|change”, GOTO=”u2f_end” KERNEL==”hidraw*”, SUBSYSTEM==”hidraw”, ATTRS{idVendor}==”1050″, ATTRS{idProduct}==”0113|0114|0115|0116|0120|0402|0403|0406|0407|0410″, TAG+=”uaccess” LABEL=”u2f_end”

Modifying a Raspberry Pi Raspbian Image on Linux

If you have lots of Raspberry Pi computers, it’s useful to have an image that is preconfigured with your WiFi connections details, default password, default IP address, etc. I started by downloading the latest Raspian image from the Raspberry Pi… Continue Reading →

Living Life in RAM – The Importance of Documentation

Imagine for a moment that your computer has no local storage and that everything running on it is saved into volatile system memory. Remove the power or reboot, and everything will be lost forever. The human mind is far more… Continue Reading →

Learning about IoT and GoLang using MicroChip MCP9808 Temperature Sensors

Since the summer of 2015, I have been learning about the Internet of Things (IoT) with Raspberry Pi computers. IoT devices are the next generation of Internet connected devices that will soon fill our homes, from smart toasters and coffee… Continue Reading →

Identity Management Systems: Using Multiple LDAP Directory Services

As an IT Professional with over fifteen years of technical experience and specialising in Identity Management, I have been involved with designing, supporting, and debugging identity management systems in several academic institutions. Identity management is present in every IT environment…. Continue Reading →

Shared File Storage (Part 2): Knowing Your Audience

Previously, Shared File Storage (Part 1): Identifying Technical Debt discussed the importance of identifying technical debt. In part 2 of this series, we explore the importance of understanding your audience. The term audience is used here to describe the people… Continue Reading →

Shared File Storage (Part 1): Identifying Technical Debt

I would like to share some ideas on designing an elegant structure for shared file storage. It is something that every organisation in academia has to design, tame, reorganise, redesign, and continually manage. Even in the cloud era, most of… Continue Reading →

Raspberry Pi Stack – A platform for learning about IoT

  During the summer of 2015, I decided to focus on learning about the ‘Internet of Things‘ (IoT) and the supporting technology. The Internet of Things will consist of lots and lots of low powered devices embedded in common household… Continue Reading →

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