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 Google AIY Voice Kit on another Pi mounted under our coffee table.  (Voice Kit available here)…

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, twice, or three times during the day. If the thermostat has been played with, it…

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 students follow their dreams, study, research, and grow. After sixteen years in five universities, Higher…

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 originally setup the monitoring. The original reason for this monitoring was to improve my programming…

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 headless without a screen, this can be helpful for the first time startup. Read more…

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 likely to be insufficient (which is fair enough considering the cost) so you will need…

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 it is time to start recording the temperature again. Last autumn and winter, we experimented…

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 year I am writing about the listening and sharing of ideas. All Universities are tackling…

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 of human progress made during the past 1,000 years, could be witnessed again within the…

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 Foundation Website. I am using the smaller Lite version, but will work for the full…

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 resilient, has less programming bugs, and more control over its actions and environment than a…

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 tables, to smart fridges and freezers. I started out learning about Docker and Kubernetes, which…

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. It determines whether a user can log in, who they are, and what they can…

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 accessing the storage, their role and participation in the business, and the groups that are…

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 us won’t be saying goodbye to our fast, local, and reliable on-campus Windows shared storage….

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 appliances and gadgets. The area that interests me most is the communications between IoT devices…

A different way of thinking: Agile and Focused on IoT

Over the years, many people have been surprised that I enjoy IT outside of work, as much as I do in work. During those years, my inquisitive mind has asked and answered many questions. Its mainly been a series of little experiments and learning along the way. Whilst this is really interesting and rewarding, it…

Powershell: Recursively List Folder NTFS Access Control Lists

This script will recursively list the NTFS Access Control Lists on folders in a large folder structure. It outputs the non-inherited ACLs on each folder recursively and shows where inheritance has been disabled. The NTFSSecurity module supports path lengths up to 32,768 characters. The output formatting could do with some improvement. In the future, I…

Improve your password security with KeePass 2.x

Would you continue to use your toothbrush after using it to clean the toilet? Obviously not, but often we like to reuse passwords for multiple websites and services. It’s not easy to remember great passwords for every website, so we need a secure method of storing them. The reusing of passwords is dangerous, and these…