09-Sep-17: Added a link to the new Raspberry Pi 'Pi-NoIR' camera, which is on port 8085 (a reference to the venerable 8085 CPU) at brooknet.no-ip.org. It is running its own webserver (Apache 2.2) and has a cool little PHP webcam viewer thing.
14-Dec-16: Linksys WVC54G camera added. 'Electronic noises' link (on homepage) fixed.
13-Dec-16: I deleted the webcam links on the index page, since without the scripts, these don't work any more. A better idea would be to have the cameras on a different IP address and serve the content directly, rather than bundling all of the requests into some sort of custom shell command thing, and sending it to the computer with the camera attached. That was what I did before, and it is a very insecure - not to mention buggy - way of doing things.
28-May-16: Fixed the 'projects' symlink (this section of the website had been offline for ages - sorry!).
08-Feb-15: I am slowly converting documents that reference brooknet.no-ip.com to the new site, brooknet.no-ip.org. I am still quite angry at No-IP's deletion of the former name, which I had for many years. It seems that customer loyalty means nothing to these people. They are now badgering me to upgrade to the Enhanced service.
07-Feb-15: Brooknet was off for most of 6th Feb., due to a broadband upgrade. After the upgrade, it took me a lot of time to set-up the equipment, and to implement a wireless bridge between the kitchen and the room with the router. This was mainly due to a wish to retain compatibility with my existing fleet of ancient PDAs, which use WEP and don't like WPA2. I've abandoned this idea now, and have decided to get a mains networking solution.
Due to the new router being of a different brand (Huawei) to the old one (D-Link), the brook.dlinkddns.com address will no longer be updated - please use brooknet.org instead, or use brooknet.no-ip.org.
29-Jan-15: The website has been off for much of the evening of the 28th (GMT), due to a mess-up with a project that I was implementing. I thought that I could get rid of the Ethernet cable between the kitchen and 'orange room', but it turned out to be much harder to replace than I had thought. I'll be implementing a mains networking solution, instead of these hairy wireless bridge kludges.
18-Dec-14: Due to a mess-up with my No-IP update client, I have lost the brooknet.no-ip.com address, and have registered with a new one. Please use brooknet.org, and forget about the old address.
The address http://camera.brooknet.org now directs to the camera page on the site. This is a test of the subdomain facility.
I apologise for the name hassle; it's quite irritating to me, as I've had the old name since 2004. Some webpages may have the old address, and the links on these will not work.
If you came to this site via brook.dlinkddns.com, this will not affect you. Phew. 08-Feb-15: ... but due to my broadband upgrade and new router, the brook.dlinkddns.com name is no longer updated. Please use brooknet.org or brooknet.no-ip.org instead. I am sorry for the inconvenience caused.
12-Nov-14: There were permissions problems with some of the OpenZaurus files. Fixed.
06-Oct-14: I've disconnected the Linksys WVC54G camera. This camera was becoming increasingly buggy, and has been in the kitchen for a few months. It previously showed a view over the harbour, but I had to move it out of that room when the building work started. This stopped and hasn't resumed, but damp damage to the wall with the power outlets means that I can't plug things in there.
I have also removed old entries from the 'services' page, including N800Cam. Sometimes this camera will be available, and sometimes not. There has not been much interest in the cameras, which are old and low-resolution.
Many services will not be working, until I patch this 'Shellshock' vulnerability. Sorry about that, but this one's important and I considered it better to break scripts, than to leave them vulnerable.
Okay, things might be okay now.
22-May-14: When you wake up, it's important to know that you are really awake. Remember that.
27-Mar-14: The latest on the electricity meter (see news page - erm.. this is it): it's has been replaced. The electricity was off for about 25 minutes, and the site was down for a bit longer.
26-Mar-14: The site will be offline for an unknown period of time, from 1400 - 1600, today: I am due to have my electricity meter replaced.
06-Mar-14: Due to problems with my No-IP client, I've updated brooknet.org to point to my DlinkDDNS IP address; if you don't see this notice, it's not working. :)
Today, I replaced the standard index page with a
Grue-inspired one. The joke
is likely to wear thin very quickly, so I won't be keeping this for long.
Unless I forget. :0
(Good news: since I've added an 'at' job to do this automatically, it will happen.)
lex@desree:~$ atq 18 Tue Mar 18 00:00:00 2014 a lex lex@desree:~$
Is there anybody out there? .. out there.. out there..
The No-IP client's got a problem: it did not update brooknet.no-ip.com's IP address for > one month and No-IP.com sent me an email to warn me that the address would expire. If anyone sees this - and cares - could they please send me a brief 'hello'? I prefer an email, though any form of communication would be appreciated. See the contact page for information. Thanks! Lex
29-Jan-14: I've enabled HTTP compression for all supported content (that usually means all ASCII files). Browsers that support compression should see a slight speed-up. Browsers that do not support it will not see any difference - hopefully.
03-Jan-14: The storms are here again, so brooknet.no-ip.com will occasionally be unavailable. I have a few mains surge protectors, but they aren't really that effective - there have been mains spikes and dips and the equipment doesn't like it. If brooknet.no-ip.com is down, check the Devon weather for storms. If there aren't any around, then the outage is probably due to human error (mine, usually).
03-Nov-13: Have you ever found that you have a Maemo Mapper track log and a Kismet wireless log, and you want to merge them? Try this script thing, if you have. (If not, don't.)
30-Oct-13: The router (D-Link DSL-2640R) went screwy, this morning - I woke up to find that the Internet connection was up, but not serving any data. A reset of the router sorted that out. If you had trouble accessing the site during this time, I apologise - I should get up earlier (no point sleeping, anyway).
I've removed WebNeko from this page, since it makes it difficult to view the site when the Internet connection is offline. For folks who miss it, I kept the old page.
After a server crash, everything is back up. In case you didn't visit
brooknet.no-ip.com yesterday, here's
what happened: the web server crashed, and it was a bad one. I had been dozing
(sleep has eluded me lately - possibly due to the large amount of cola that I
drink) and while I was asleep, the web server's oom-killer shut everything
down. When I woke up and checked things, I initially found that resolver had
gone berzerk and I couldn't contact the web server. For some reason,
TalkTalk's DNS was now
handling my local domain. The server crash had been caused by Postfix's
'update' process, which had consumed too much memory. In turn, this was due
to a massive mail backlog, because Postfix couldn't write to its 'hold'
directory. Checking the dir, I found that it was owned by user '118', which is
a UID that I do not use. After I changed it to 'postfix' and added some swap
space, I started Postfix. The disk ran for a long time as Postfix returned a
large amount of mail - some of it going back two years.
A lesson that I must learn: maintenance! Do!
While the server was down, I had one of my WRT54Gs show a page of bewildered ranting and bad poetry.
02-Oct-13: The N800Cam ShellInABox stuff might be working now; I've tested it from the intranet (works perfectly) and from the Internet (doesn't work at all). I used Chrome on a Samsung Galaxy S3. My guess is that SIAB needs some extra port to be opened, and I don't know what it uses. My advice: use a proper SSH client. If I try to use SIAB over the Internet, the page starts loading and just pauses for ages, before returning a 'page not found' error, or similar. Additional note (25-Oct-13): ShellInABox is currently disabled.
10-Sep-13: I've fixed the stupid background colours on the contact page. I am aware that there are many other outstanding issues. This site is a mess.
02-Oct-13: I've spent all day re-implementing the ShellInABox system. I'm now quite satisified that it does what it's supposed to, but I am not happy with the lengthy setup procedure. Oh well - it's complex and where there's complexity, there's flexibility.
There's a 'main page' with a resizing iframe thing. I prefer to use this when accessing SIAB via my S3 phone, because otherwise, Chrome goes a bit barmy and tries to expand the window size to infinity.
The following session options are available; these use the whole screen, so beware, if you're using an odd browser.
06-Sep-13: The September storms have arrived and as such, Brooknet will probably be up and down like a yoyo. I'll try to stop myself from going into a panic whenever I hear a distant rumble of thunder, but the primitive 'run and hide' instinct is strong. In other words, I'm a yellow-bellied coward.
It will take me some time to get all of the services working again; the Altair camera is currently off, and the ShellInABox system has not been setup. No-one used it anyway, so I might just leave it that way.
21-Aug-13: The new Nokia N800 camera is on its second day of operation. Its reliability is rather poor: it crashed at 2335 (GMT) last night, and I discovered this just now. It was a bad crash: after repeatedly pressing the power button with no effect, the watchdog eventually kicked in and rebooted the device. It's about as reliable as anything else around here - i.e. not much.
The camera usually shows a picture of my Briel Computers Altair 8800micro. If you have an SSH client (try PuTTY if you haven't), you can 'talk' to the Micro itself, and watch the LEDs flickering. Anything at all could be running. Usually, I have CP/M 3 on.
You should use a VT100-compatible terminal for this, because logins start GNU Screen for a multi-user session.
There are two ways to access the Micro:
Viewing the camera in 'snapshot mode' will make access easier for others - the 'continuous video mode' uses a lot of bandwidth and CPU.
Please don't attempt to crack the server, because it will deprive others of the facility. 08-Aug-13: I have added a dedicated Nokia N800 webcam, which should be available constantly. This replaces summer, which is busy being a GPS tracker.
25-Jul-13: The electricians turned the power off, this morning. They didn't ask me - they just 'hit the switch'. It was off for about 7 hours. Being nocturnal, I was asleep throughout most of this. I was worried that the food in the fridge would go off. I complained to them, later - they didn't care. "It'll be alright," said the man. His attitude appeared to be one of "Just doin' a job, guv'nor.."
If you're wondering where WebNeko has gone, it's now on the
News page (I had to move something off this cluttered
P.S. No, it's back here on the index page. This site still a horrible mess.
(unknown date in April 2013):
Due to lack of demand, the Eee PC camera is no longer available.
Additional news: an annoying herring gull is a regular visitor to the kitchen
window. One of the irritating habits of these gulls is their frequent need to
announce their presence with a loud 'wark-wark-WARK-WARK!' noise. Ilfracombe
is overrun with gulls and they could do with a few more falcons to drive them
Additional additional: having said that, I quite like talking to this bird; it (probably) has no idea what I'm talking about and so will not be driven to distraction by my prattling wittering.
01-Apr-13: Fixed a file ownership error with user-css.cgi. If this happens again - and it will, especially after a reboot - check the file owner is www-data.
Note to self: the year is 2013.
Devon is currently being battered by gale-force winds, causing electricity outages and general bad stuff. brooknet will probably be up and down frequently: the storms will cause the mains to go off, and I'll be dashing around rebooting computers, doing filesystem checks and generally panicking.
07-Jan-13: I've installed WebNeko: if you notice a small sleeping pink cat, don't worry, you aren't seeing things - well, you are, but it's supposed to be there (sigh). The cat may change colo(u)r or appearance, occasionally - it depends which stylesheet I am currently using.
08-Dec-12: There have been far too many hot cross bun-related power outages, of late. I am moving the site off the ADSL, and to an external site. From today, you should notice that the site is faster - but interactive services and scripts will probably not work for a while, since they use content from the ADSL site.
09-Dec-12: This is proving to be a little bit difficult; I think that
it would be better to rebuild the site from scratch.
26-Dec-12: It didn't happen - the site remains on the ADSL connection. I am still interested in moving it to a faster site, but it is such a horrible mess (dead links, outdated old cruft, stuff that should never have been written) that I think it may be better to start again, with an new site.
I've written a page called 'Getting the NVIDIA CK804/Realtek ALC658D device digital output working'; the title is a bit long, I admit.
My broadband service was interrupted today, and Brooknet was off for about 6 hours (1520 to 2145 GMT). TalkTalk may be cheaper than BT, but there's a price to pay, it appears. When the broadband goes off, the telephone goes off as well.
An 'incident' has occurred: I upset a mug of tea and it covered a lot of networking equipment, computers, packs of disks and other devices. I have disconnected a lot of items and as such, services may be affected.
I have removed the table colours from the site-status page; it looks a bit basic without them. It's readable with the various CSS styles, though.
A new project: 'HxC USB Floppy Emulator on the Nokia N800 Internet Tablet' can be found in ~lex/public/N800_HxC/.
Fixed some links in the ZX81 project directory.
I've fixed a couple of 'file not found' errors with the Altair 8800 applet.
I have added another project: 'Kismet on the Nokia 770'. You can find this in the public projects area.
I've updated the Zaurus SIMH binaries, which you can find in the public HTML area.
In case you can't contact brooknet.no-ip.com on the usual address, I have added another dynamic DDNS host: brook.dlinkddns.com ('brooknet' was already taken). Unlike the No-IP.com address, wildcards are not allowed - so 'www.brook.dlinkddns.com' would not work. The dlinkddns.com address is updated by the router, while no-ip.com address updates when the No-IP client runs, on the webserver. This means that if the webserver goes down and the router is still up, brook.dlinkddns.com will update and if I have a backup webserver running, you'll see further information - maybe.
Other news: the site was unavailable early on Sunday 12th August, due to an accidental disconnection of the webserver network cable (the clip has broken and it is easily-disconnected).
I've restored the previous networking configuration, and things should be okay now - i.e. you should be able to read this notice. If not, give me a call and ask me why (er.. yes.. very funny).
brooknet.no-ip.com continues to suffer various connectivity issues. I'm sorry to say that when I configured this stuff, I knew what I was doing - but I didn't document it very well and now, three months later, I haven't a clue how I've wired it all up. I'll try to fix it, if I can figure out what's wrong with it.
brooknet.no-ip.com was off for one hour, from approximately 23:40 UTC on 05-Jul-12, to 00:40 UTC on 06-Jul-12. This was caused by an interruption in my ADSL service.
PDP-11 Zork re-written documentation.
Added an ARM port of the Joyce Amstrad PCW emulator.
21-Feb-12 (revised on 25-Feb-12 and 14-Mar-12)
Due to recent building work on the flat, many services are unavailable. To explain: the builders installed central heating and piled all of my stuff in one big heap (two big heaps now). The Linksys camera is back, and is on a wireless connection. The EeePC camera is also on a wireless link. Hello, veroxity.net person. Hello to Jason Isaacs.
Added a fixed/auto control (via cgi-bin scripts) to the camera page. Swapped the camera news page and index page over, so people can see the more- useful index page.
Added a TIEmu (TI92/92+/Voyage 200 emulator) page.
I added a new Android-related section to my projects page.
Removed the SSH service.
I have added more commands to the LED control scripts. These are the usual kludgey things - for example, a command to make a beeping noise does not belong in a script named 'mail_led.cgi', does it? I dunno.. complain, complain.
Today I fixed the following things:
Woo! I fixed the Altair 8800 Simulator counter! Woo!
The electricians are rewiring the house and the electricity is regularly being interrupted. Quite how long this will go on is unknown, though I'd guess that it'll be until Friday 1st July. The electricians said that it wasn't their fault, but that the ELCB on my flat is too sensitive.
Redwing's been removed from the list of SL-5500s that you can switch the LEDs with.. of.. whoa! Grammar failure! ! !! Due to wireless adaptor problems, it is.
Anyone trying to switch Redwing's LEDs (see the bottom of this page) might find the script returning errors. This is due to its wireless card being on its last legs: it is due to be replaced, but it depends on when I can afford it.
Due to an unannounced visit from some electricians, the electricity was turned off. After it was restored, the computers all needed to be booted up again; things may be a bit unreliable for a bit.
After going a bit loopy after a long walk - it messes with my head, sometimes - I put the site index page through a simple substitution cypher.
I have written a page on IrDA on the Sharp Zaurus SL-5500/Collie.
I have recovered an old Amiga ILBM picture, from uuencoded text. See this project page for the nitty-gritty.
A copy of BSD 4.3 UNIX ('Quasijarus') has been added to my public projects dir. By me.
I have added a few videos that I put together from still images on an old CD. These show frames from my Logitech Quickcam Web and were made during late 2002 to early 2003.
Fixed a PATH problem that was preventing the WVC54G brightness from being updated. As a result of my blunder, people would have seen a very bright picture in the daytime. Sorry about that - 'tis fixed.
In the PSP project area, I added SIMH 3.8-1 binaries for Jackson Mo's PSP Linux. Unfortunately due to memory management issues, most of the emulators don't work.
Another project: Ken Harrenstien's KLH10 emulator, on ARM/Zaurus. You can find this in the Zaurus project pages.
03-Dec-10, 00:12 *** 13-Dec-10: This service isn't available now. ***
My Skype phone now answers automatically and sends video, so you can see whatever is going on in the kitchen. This will be my third video streaming facility (others: Linksys camera, Nokia N800 gstmjpeg). See the contact page for information.
01-Dec-10, 04:42 ATESTLAY EWSNAY:
Eyhay! Yayayayay! Ayway! Onay away! Igpay Atinlay againway!
I added a lot of recently-decoded MUD transcripts to my project area. These will possibly only be of interest to old MUD players and people who wish to know what life was like in the 90s, when folks had to use modems to go online.
In my homedir area, I uploaded a couple of samples of the Sun Sparcserver (630MP) power-up.
The latest ADSL outage lasted from around 18:00 GMT until 22:05 GMT, today. The fault affected my telephone line, as well as broadband: both were off. When I called TalkTalk, I got a message to say 'our engineers are working on the problem' and 'there is nothing you can do to speed-up the repair'. It's good to know that they are aware of it, as these faults have been going on for ages now.
I have added a couple of mysterious 'ON' and 'OFF' radio buttons to the index page, along with an 'Enter' button to set the state. I am hoping that people will click the buttons, wondering what they can be switching. The reason for this madness - not that I need one - is this: there's a big old light switch above the skirting board of the old bedroom front window. What does it switch? I do not know, and no-one will tell me. It could be that it's lost in the mists of time (many things are).
Brooknet was down from about 01:00 until 13:42, today. As always, blame TalkTalk - or blame someone. Don't blame me - it ain't my fault, this time.
I've added more Zaurus stuff (utils, LED utilities).
My ADSL and telephone service went off between 01:32 and 01:54 today (times in GMT) and has been a bit temperamental. As usual, blame TalkTalk.
There was a mains outage at about 20:00 GMT, today. The outage was a brief one (half a second?) but it caused all of my computers to go down, as well as the router. Sadly, I cannot afford a UPS now. The outage was caused by the stormy weather.
22-Jul-10, 10:26 I've added a web-based IRC system, so you can now type to me and assuming that I'm at the computer, I'll answer. As with most IRC systems, there will be times when I am away, so you may have to wait a bit for me to respond. The old pager system is history, baby, although the scripts are still there (I never clean up). (18:15: I've fixed an error with the IRC app: wrong IRC server IP address.. bah..)
Some good news, for once: my broadband is not going to go off, though it was restricted for a couple of days, this week (Monday and Tuesday). On Tuesday, I paid the bill and after some yelling at call centre service droids, I got my broadband restored. Phew.
I compiled GForth 0.7.0 for the Zaurus and have written a page of the usual blurb.
I've added a lot to my article on getting Angstrom Linux installed on the Sharp Zaurus SL-6000/Tosa: today I got a dual-booting system set up, where I can choose between the unstable - but nice - Angstrom, and the stable - but old and boring - Sharp distribution. Today I got the Sharp system to boot from kexecboot, and that was a moment of triumph (it's been a difficult few days).
My ISP are going to restrict my broadband service soon - in other words, it's going to be turned off. The reason: the Direct Debit for my previous bill was rejected, and the bank will charge me 30 quid for that. I thought that I would be able to buy a few things on eBay because I was sure to get some birthday money, wasn't I? Of course, I didn't.
Editor's note: 'My ISP are'? Grammar!
Another editor's note: I'm 42!
Note replying to earlier note: I originally wrote 'TalkTalk are going to..' and I changed it to 'My ISP', to avoid getting sued by the aforementioned ISP, should I besmirch their good name one more time. If any TalkTalk bods are reading this, just look at my diary page and you can see how often I slag off BT, and Eurobell, etc.
Wrote a brief document on getting Angstrom Linux working on the Zaurus Tosa (SL-6000L/N/W).
I have added a camera status page, showing the latest news with regard to the Linksys WVC54G camera. The short URL is due to the camera's image text display only giving me room to type 20 characters. I also added a page for the Nokia N800 webcam: if it's up, it should be working now. Note that due to the wireless adaptor being in a power-saving mode, it may be a bit slow to respond. I found that the streaming video responds faster than the static image/snapshot.
The Hamster Wheel is working again, and I've added a simple comments form, so that you may send me comments - I might even reply! Please don't use this too much as it makes a noise (oh no - I shouldn't have said that..).
I've added an HTML/cgi-bin interface to the AMFV Codewheel script, and you can access it here.
Did a bit of editing on some minor web pages, including the Zaurus projects index page, which I haven't updated for a long time.
Wrote another pointless script to help me play Infocom's 'A Mind Forever Voyaging', without having to use the codewheel. I do have a codewheel, but it's in a book, in a box, in another box, in another cold room that I don't want to go into; so, I wrote a messy bash shell script to simulate the codewheel.
Made a Zaurus IPK out of the Altair emulator Java applet.
Totally edited the 'site-status' script, adding up/downtime recording, elapsed time and improved score (needs to be fixed as it's not quite working yet).
To those of you who have been accessing Brooknet on brooknet.org.uk: this address will shortly not be available any more - please use brooknet.org or brooknet.no-ip.com instead. Thank you.
Introduced (I'm fed up of saying 'added') a new webcam feature on the main page, and fixed the symlinks on the 'Tik Tock Clock' blog entry (scroll down until you find the one starting 'Tik Tock'), so you can now all hear the marvellously-realistic rooster and cuckoo sounds.
Added MIPS Frotz binaries to the PSP area, and fixed more broken symlinks in the pictures page.
Fixed the broken symlinks in the Barnstaple photos area.
I removed the 'pongmuseum.com' link, due to excess banners on the index page.
It's been a manic afternoon - ha, 'manic Monday' - oh dear. I never did much care for Mondays, and this one's been completely bonkers. I was woken - early - at 11:59, when the telephone rang. I'd been asleep about 5 hours and was not in the mood for talking, so I listened to the message and found that it was Talk Talk Customer Services, telling me that they were sorting out my account name, so that I am referred to as 'Mr.', instead of 'Mrs.'. I was running around with tea, toast and milk and generally getting anxious, when the Internet connection went out and the door buzzer went. I thought I'd disabled it - I'll have to look at that again. A postwoman was at the door, and she handed me an identical router package, saying it was from Talk Talk. At first, she didn't realise that the torn tee-shirted unkempt man standing there was the same one who had talked to her on the doorphone. I thought that Talk Talk were trying to drive me mad by forcing me to do lots of things at once. I asked her if she would return the package, and she was happy to do so. Otherwise, I would have had to go to the post office and deal with those women, and they don't like me. Phone! Oh, it's someone else's - no worries. If you saw this page earlier, it would have been orange. I've seen too much orange today, so I changed it back.
brooknet.no-ip.com will be unavailable later today, due to a broadband changeover: I am moving from BT to Talk Talk. I estimate that the outage will last for a couple of hours at most; I cannot say when it will start.
Fixed the site-status.cgi code so that it works with bridging.
For anyone who has been looking at the WVC54G camera, I've put it back on the Ethernet, having had lots of trouble with the wireless link. I live in a house full of people with wireless devices, and I have frequent timeouts and dropped connections when I use wireless. Some advantages of having it on a wired link is that it should be a bit faster, and it has its own NIC as well. If you want to see how much traffic has gone through it, look at device 'eth5' on the phpSysinfo page.
Hello from a very tired me, and sorry that the webserver's been down all day: after I booted the computers last night, I must've stopped the webserver, for some reason or other. It's supposed to start on bootup - not sure why it didn't. It's my birthday and I have received the following: a card from my sister and three presents from myself. No-one else has sent me a present or a card, and I am trying not to feel rejected. Maybe they got stuck in the post, eh? Thanks to Mike and Katie for making my birthday special by providing food (totally excellent gammon thing in a roll, with a salad) and the entertainment (lawn-mower training was taking place and I found it quite interesting. Lawn mowers are more complicated than I thought - you don't just press a button marked 'GO'. This lawn mower had a lot of cut-outs and override systems).
I've fixed the symlinks in the 'bees' area, which was due to me renaming the media storage dirs, again. There are bound to be other links that don't work as a result of this messing about.
Shutting down - there's a storm off to the east, and it's getting rather warm, there's been rain, thunder and lightning. The mains supply gets a bit unpredictable when there's a storm, so I am shutting all of the computers down.
The latest mains outage - in which I marched up and down the stairs and got annoyed - was caused by... A SULTANA! That'll teach me to eat bagels all the time - or at teatime. Technical gubbins: the ELCB of my flat is so sensitive that it trips if the teeniest, tinyiest picoampere is conducted to earth. When it goes, all of my computers go off too (the UPS broke down and I took it to the rubbish dump). A slightly-carbonised sultana conducts a small amount of electricity; such an object got stuck between the metal grille (earthed) and the heating element (live) of my toaster.
Hello to Mike and Katie at Larkstone Café and Leisure Gardens , and thanks for an excellent cream tea earlier! I promise not to whinge on so much about the electricity meter; actually there haven't been any outages lately because I've been saving electricity by only running the tumble dryer at night. I moved it to one of the front rooms so it didn't disturb Dave downstairs.
Added thumbnail images to the 'bees' area (photos and videos of my visit to Quince Honey Farm in South Molton). I also fixed some broken symlinks; due to recent file-moving activities, there may be some that I didn't fix.
I've got to stop drinking: every time I do, I end up doing something very silly. After a large glass of wine, I decided to reconfigure the LAN and run everything through one of the WRTs, and have various different subnets. It would have worked if only for one small detail: the BT Home Hub (V2) is rubbish! There's a problem with its DMZ feature, and that is that when it is activated, it either doesn't work or it crashes the hub, and the hub resets to its default values. Bad - very bad. Fortunately, I'd backed up the settings before I started buggering about.
I drank a lot of wine last night and I feel rather grim this morning, and so I was quite pleased to see that BT had restored my broadband connection. It had gone off while I was on Skype and watching NASA TV, and I thought it was a serious one: the BT peer was not authenticating, so PPP didn't start. It didn't take them long to fix it. The trouble is that I didn't notice that it had come back on and I was too busy being drunk and yelling at inanimate objects. Sigh.
I decided that this news page looks terrible with all of the horizontal rule markers separating the entries, and I replaced them with paragraph breaks.
It's the same old same old: the mains went out today and this time, I don't know what caused it. I was trying to get to sleep (my sleep pattern/diet is totally buggered) and I heard the UPS go 'pip' as the power went out. The UPS has failed completely and serves no purpose, other than to go 'pip' occasionally. I've removed it now and am just hoping that the next time the power goes off, I'll notice that the computer's hard drive has spun down. It's very quiet but since I occasionally sleep in the same room as the computer, I often wake up when something unusual like that happens (it's not the sounds that you hear, it's the sounds that you don't hear).
The Nokia N800 camera is currently only available occasionally: I haven't been able to run it all the time because the AC adaptor doesn't charge the battery when the camera and wireless are active, and it doesn't do the battery much good to have it continually going flat and then being charged slightly, then going flat again. I can make the camera available if people contact me and ask me (call me on Skype - 'lexthehex').
My DSC80C400 TINI is now available for telnet access on port 23: just telnet brooknet.no-ip.com 23 and login as 'guest' with password 'guest'. From that point, you have a simple CLI. Type 'help' for help and wall "<message>" to broadcast. Have fun! Currently the DS80C400 isn't connected to anything other than the subnet; I hope to connect something interesting to it soon.
Woo! OpenVMS 7.3 on the hx4700 iPAQ! Boogie!
Added a page describing how to get the Epson Perfection 1670 USB scanner working on Ubuntu Linux (Intrepid Ibex).
Fixed a configuration issue with PHP: the PHPSysInfo page is working again.
For us Linux/GNU/UNIX freaks, this event is a biggie: the UNIX time is about to approach another milestone, when the number of days since the Epoch (01-Jan-1970) reaches a significant number. That number is 0x499602D2 - brilliant, eh? It looks a bit more impressive in decimal: 1234567890. What's more, it's going to happen on.. wooo... Friday 13th (at 23:31:30 UTC).
There's a page that I
stoleput together to mark this event (I haven't tested it so
it's probably got a bug in it).
(13-Feb-09 23:58: It did: it needed to be manually-edited to read 'YES!' after the time had passed. No worries.) I was on LambdaMOO at the time of the event, and Nosredna (powerful witch/ sysadmin/creator) had written a routine to broadcast a message. It said:
Nosredna shouts, "Happy ctime(1234567890)!"
Chalkers' 1234567890 Page: http://1234567890.chalkley.org/
Matthew Helmke's blog, linking to that page: http://matthewhelmke.net/2009/01/15/unix-time-1234567890/
The Wikipedia page on time_t: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_t
Wikipedia's Unix_time page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unix_time
Or just Google for 'unix time 1234567890'.
lex@spatula:Desktop$ date -u -d "@-47843100"
Fixed some broken image links in the old blog pages and added some very old web pages from my Freeserve site, which was 'www.brooknet.freeserve.co.uk'. That site goes back to 1999!
Here comes Barack Obama. It's all going on here - trumpets, fireworks, thunder and lightning and rain lashing the kitchen window, out-of-control Americans screaming wildly. Anita Anand says not to fall off the pedestal. I've just got my broadband service back after it was suspended for 5 days. I paid BT the remaining money that I owed them, and they restored my service a few minutes ago. They restricted it by stopping me from accessing the web, and probably stopping incoming connections as well. After I phoned them up, they restored the service within 15 minutes, which was pretty good. I wonder whether my call made any difference? Happy New Year, folks.
I am now running an experimental MJPEG camera facility on the Nokia N800. The camera page is available at brooknet.no-ip.com:8082. There's not much else on that server.
And the 'award for the stupidest action this year' goes to me! I was a bit irritated when I discovered that for the past N number of months (N is a number between 1 and 3) the web server has been unavailable to anyone looking at port 80. Port 8080 was available but due to a router configuration error, I'd neglected to enable port 80. Hmm.. I wondered why it was so quiet. You didn't miss much - just lots of complaints about the electricity meter. P.S. No worries - I hadn't disabled port 80 after all: I just didn't understand how I'd configured the router.
The computers were off from yesterday afternoon, until around 07:30 this morning. I was going out to get some milk, when I saw that there was 21p left on the electricity meter. I shut everything down to stop the electricity from going off (it was emergency credit, so when it's gone, it goes out for good). I spent a night shivering in the cold, dark kitchen and didn't sleep very well. There was 1p remaining on the meter all night and I don't think that the electricity ever went out: all that was plugged in was the fridge.
This morning, there was an outrage. No, you read that correctly: an outrage. The person who had the outrage was me. The outrage was directed at the electricity meter, which I hate, hate, hate. I hate it so much that I considered beating the crap out of it with a lump hammer, but I don't have one. I would also probably be arrested and banged up, but at least it'd probably be warmer there than it is here, in the flat. I've taped up the window in the orange room, and it's still totally freezing cold. I hate that as well. The UPS has broken so that when the power goes out, the computer goes off, instantly. Needless to say, I am not happy about that, either.
There was another mains outage this morning, when the budget meter cut the power. The meter is downstairs in the porch and I'm on the fourth floor, so I didn't hear it beeping as it was about to switch it off.
I'm not happy with the wiring of this house. I'd be loudly complaining about it, were all of the other tenants not asleep right now. All I did was plug in the Nokia N800 PSU and the trip (ELCB) went, and I had to stomp down four flights of stairs to reset it. If it's not the circuit breaker, it's the stupid budget meter cutting the electricity off because I am broke. I want to move house. I want to go to Canada. I just want to get out of here.
I resetted the router earlier this evening, after DNS problems. The issues still persist so I'm wondering if it's something to do with my intranet - it might be, as BT haven't reported any issues for the Devon area. It looks to me like a rogue DHCP server is operating somewhere on the subnet. I'll wander around the flat and unplug a few cables.
I've reconfigured my subnet configuration again - odd things might happen.
My new BT Home Hub has crashed twice in six hours and it might happen again. The old hub had the same problem. The crash always seems to occur when an application that uses port forwarding is terminated. If this continues I will be calling BT and complaining.
Warning: the electricity's going to go out because the meter's run out of credit, or rather, I let it run out. I'll put more money on it when the Co-Op opens tomorrow (08:00).
Thanks to Robert for helping me test the paging system. I am pleased to say that it works. The one in the 'orange room' even tells me the IP address of the paging person - hi-tech or what? All I need now is a way to reply to the person paging. Usually this would be if they were logged into my system and I was able to communicate with them. I might allow access to the VAX for that purpose. I'll think about it.
There was another outage this morning, caused by me getting annoyed at the computers and turning them all off. I booted the web server at about 10:00, and it took me a few hours to sort out issues with the sound card configuration and No-IP client. I am pleased to announce that the sound works again.
This morning, the electricity meter ran out of credit and being a budget meter, it turned the electricity off. This is a regular occurrence and it's usually okay because I've got a UPS. Unfortunately, where the UPS power used to last for at least 35 minutes, it now lasts for 20 seconds. When I'd turned the electricity on and was booting the computers, I found that the web server had suffered filesystem corruption on the LVM volume that holds all of the documents, video and other media. e2fsck was able to rescue some of it and I have a 5-month-old backup to restore the older stuff from - so I haven't lost much stuff - it's just that it's a serious annoyance. I HATE ELECTRICITY BUDGET METERS! They are an expensive tax on the poor. The ones in this place are even worse because they are all downstairs and so, when the meter beeps to warn that the electricity is going to go out, I don't hear it because I am 4 floors up.
I've just noticed that the URL renew on brooknet.org had expired. I bought another year of service this morning, so those of you looking for this site on that address will now be overjoyed to see its return - I'm sure!
28-Jul-08, 19:35: brooknet.no-ip.com is now only available on the standard http port: 80. Port 8080 is not available any more, so as they say, 'please adjust your bookmarks'.
25-Jul-08, 08:34: The builders have fixed the roof and although I still have a hole in the front bedroom ceiling, it's not affecting the computers because they are in the next room. I'll wait until it rains a bit before moving everything back - I want to see if the ceiling still leaks.
06-Jul-08, 22:40'ish: Things are almost back to normal after the network reshuffle caused by the leaking ceiling. I have moved everything from one side of the room to the other; it was already difficult to get around in there, and now it's almost impossible. I am slowly restoring the network. For a moment there, the whole net consisted of just a router and the EBOX3, which was running DSL and a web server. The rain continues to fall heavily and when that happens, muddy water pours through the hole in the ceiling. As I type this, the rain has started again.
04-Jul-08: I've completely reconfigured the entire LAN and router: I got rid of the bridging stuff and am now using a proper firewall. The drawback is that I have to learn how to configure it. Some services may not be available until I suss it all out. Plus, I fixed a missing bracket in the 'Latest news' section. P.S. The camera is available for public viewing again. I reserve the right to disconnect it at any time.
24-Jun-08, 19:33: Various hosts have been using my camera far too much lately (a certain wr45c02.sorbet.sp1.yahoo.com being the worse of these) so I've set the camera usage list on again. I've cleared all of the account data so if you want access, please contact me with your choice of username and password.
18-Jun-08, 18:56: The camera's access control is currently on, so it is not publicly-viewable.
31-May-08, 23:00: brooknet.no-ip.com was down for about 5 hours today because I was trying to listen to HF comms on my Radio Shack DX-394 receiver. To my annoyance, I found that turning all of the computer stuff off didn't reduce the amount of noise at all, and I couldn't hear squat. The reason? Pick one of these: a) the house is surrounded by metal scaffolding or b) the tenants in the other flats have computers, wireless access points and possibly network switches as well. Switches are infamous for putting out large amounts of RFI over their Ethernet cables. Suggestions for fixing this are welcome - see the contact page.
26-May-08, 05:34: The streaming webcam is currently disabled, due to crashes. The Linksys Camera is still available.
22-May-08, 07:15: New experimental MMS video stream: mms://brooknet.no-ip.com:18211 This should work with Windows Media Player, MPlayer and probably quite a few others.
14-May-08, 16:00: The router's been quite unstable lately: I have noticed that whenever I look at BBC iPlayer, the router crashes. Blame BT, or blame the makers of the router (Thomson). The IP address of brooknet.no-ip.com will be changing frequently, but hopefully not as often as when I had the ISDN (it would go off every four hours).
15-Apr-08, 18:37: I've finished upgrading the server. There were a few moments when I thought that I'd completely messed it up, but not to worry - it wasn't too difficult and besides, I am an expert in this kind of thing. :)
15-Apr-08, 09:06 BST: I'm upgrading the server OS: I'll start today, and I hope to complete it in a few hours. I reckon it'll be done by 15:00 at the latest.
19-Mar-08, 23:34 UTC: I've put my old GreyMatter blog out to pasture (I wish I knew what that meant!) and have installed WordPress. Things are likely to look a bit strange until I get used to it.
19-Mar-08, 19:41: I've installed a new broadband router: a BT Home Hub. This hub has the most frustrating web interface that I've ever seen: it is slow and it seems to have been designed to get in the user's way as much as possible, but then that goes for BT generally (see my old blog for more 'BT rants').
18-Mar-08, 12:30 UTC: As mentioned previously, the electricity went out, and it did this at approximately 05:15 on Monday 17th March. I spent the day trying to keep warm, and I walked around the flat and listened to mp3s. I found that I wanted a mug of tea more than anything else, and as time went on, I became more grumpy and irritable. When it got dark, I really felt miserable. I didn't sleep well last night either. Still, it's over now.
17-Mar-08: Having survived a week of heavy rain and strong winds, a simple lack of money on the electricity meter is going to disconnect everything, soon (yes, it's a tenuous link, I know!). There was 99p on the meter when I checked 25 minutes ago. My estimate is that it'll last until about 10 a.m. tomorrow, though it may be more if I turn lots of stuff off and read a book. [I was rather optimistic in that estimate: it went out at 05:15.]
22-Jan-08, 08:28 UTC: Whoopage.. total No-IP.com and router trouble is occurring: folks may have difficulty accessing this site until the problem fixes itself. Try emptying your DNS cache. Hmm, yes, the astute amongst you would have realised that if the site is not reachable, this page can't be seen - it's late, I've been awake all night and my mind is blurry.
15-Jan-07 04:48: I'm now pasting the old banner from the index page here, whenever I replace it with a new one.
31-Dec-07, 17:18: New Year's Day is just around the corner. It'll be 2008. I've been up to Tesco to get a meal. I ended up getting that (steamed chicken and bacon), some beer, milk, a fruited loaf (there wasn't any 'normal' bread left), flavoured water - I think that was all.
28-Dec-07, 23:00: There's a new experimental webcam service.
I'm using VLC to stream video from my PVR-350 (see below for technical gubbins). Because the input is coming from a wireless camera, there is a lot of interference on the audio, so I suggest turning your sound down. I've been trying to disable audio streaming but can't work out how to do it - VLC has a great many options but it's not exactly user-friendly, although it's very powerful. Please note that this system is experimental and may not be available all the time.
The URL that you need is http://brooknet.no-ip.com:22300/
The video stream type is MP4S and the audio is MPEG 1 layer 3, at 48 kHz.
25-Dec-07, 12:59: I've just booted the computers after putting twenty quid on the electricity meter, so the electricity is back on. It had been out since around 06:30 on 24-Dec-07 and I spent quite a miserable day-and-a-bit trying to stay warm and attempting to cut up bits of cheese and bread in the dark, with a vegetable knife. After a night of shivering and not sleeping, I went into town and got some food and put some money on the electricity key. I've had a headache all morning and am not very happy; I think that the headache is due to me having not had a cup of tea for a very long time.
12-Dec-07 06:37: The camera's been off for a few days because I was messing with the network. Things should be working again now. Use this link for the raw video stream. If neither of those work, you could try this experimental forwarding URL.
27-Nov-07 09:53: There was a lengthy Internet service outage last night, from about 21:00 to 03:30. BT had some trouble with their equipment in the Braunton area, according to their status line.
12-Nov-07 16:29: Installed The Webalizer and while doing this, spotted a port forwarding problem on the router: for an unknown period of time, external web access has been going to the wrong virtual server. All of the content will be the same, but the wrong site log will be used, so Webalizer's logs will be inaccurate. The home page of The Webalizer is www.mrunix.net/webalizer/.
17-Sep-07 14:13: Today my new BT Total Broadband pack arrived. Brooknet was offline from around 12:25 to 14:10 ('ish) while I configured the router, called the support line and reconfigured the router for the LAN.
27-Aug-07 17:24: Major, major broadband problems this afternoon: the Voyager router was very confused and needed an nvram reset and several reboots. This all happened after I enabled BT's Broadband Voice. Note to myself: do not enable it again. Since the configuration was reset, some services are down.
23-Aug-07 (19:12): DNS stuff: brooknet.org.uk is about to disappear, and there's a chance that brooknet.org might go as well. The reason: I can't pay the bills - no money.
28-Jun-07 (17:15): As of today, I am no longer running an IRC server. No-one used it, so I am switching to an alternate communication system. If you want to contact me, you can always call me on Skype or my home phone number, though I don't tend to hear the phone when I am in the kitchen.
There is another way to contact me, but you'll have to discover it for yourself.
19-Jun-07 (14:49): There was another power outage today. I reckon that it happened at 12:51 BST, and I turned the power back on at 14:03. I've only just updated the No-IP client so that brooknet.no-ip.com will be current. Sorry - blame my sleep pattern.
16-Jun-07: Earlier tonight, I completely messed up the Voyager router while I was doing some experiments. Broadband service was out for a few hours.
11-Jun-07: I've removed the contact details stuff from this Site News page and have put it in a separate page (contact.html).
10-Jun-07: There was another outage this morning, between 06:30 and approximately 10:30 British time. Having just rehoused my HF aerial tuning unit, I was trying to test it and couldn't because of all the radio hash caused by the computers. I decided to test every bit of equipment to figure out its 'radio signature'. I wrote a few pages densely-packed with frequencies and signal strengths, correlated by location.
04-Jun-07: Brooknet was off for most of the day, due to me going to bed very late (05:30) and the electricity going off a few hours later. This place is on a 'key budget meter', so if I don't put a bit of credit on it every few days, the mains goes out. This time, the UPS' beeping didn't wake me - I must have been in a very deep sleep - so the webserver went out. The ADSL router's not on UPS anyway, so it still would have gone offline. All I can say is.. whoops.. sorry!
01-Jun-07: 'default.css' is now a symlink to whichever CSS I feel is most appropriate. Expect to see this change frequently, then. Also, I added a Twitter banner to the index page, so feeps can see what I am doing (if I choose to update it!). You'll need a Flash plugin to view this.
31-May-07: Total style sheet makeover! Added default CSS for the site's main pages. Thanks to w3.org and htmlhelp.com for the hints.
21-May-07: Adapted the tapecontrol.html page for the Hamster Wheel. After a long time, I've finally got ol' Hammy running around his cage (okay, technically his cage runs around him), and he's controllable via a page on the site.
20-May-07: If anyone's looked - or listened to - the morse code index page, they might like to know that I've corrected a problem with an unterminated comment, so the text now starts with 'available continuously...'.
19-May-07: Fixed the ~lex/ symlink, which should be working now. I hadn't realised that for a few weeks, my homedir has been completely inaccessible.
22-Apr-07: Added remote tape control page. This executes a remote command on one of my computers. If the computer is up, you can wind the tape, rewind it etc. - not much use since no feedback is received. I could always point the camera at the tape unit?
01-Apr-07: Fixed the Sunnyhappyfruit.com index page image, so people can finally see the orange. It was my fault: for some reason I'd done '<img href>' instead of '<img src>'.
The static webcam is back.
It's currently in the kitchen, attached to Spatula. I will be changing things
on here a lot so please do not rely on it!
Other things: fixed file owner perms on 'telephone pickup' sounds (~lex/public/telephone-pickup/).
28-Mar-07: Added a notice to the camera section of the main page, stating that access is now open.
20-Mar-07: There were more broadband problems earlier today: I tried brooknet.no-ip.com from the cafe and couldn't 'get through'. I later checked the ADSL and found that it had gone down for no specific reason that I could find. Sorry.
09-Mar-07: I've moved the webserver to desree.brooknet, with cranefly.brooknet as a backup. You should find that desree is a lot faster. Media links (images, videos) should work again now. External access is no longer on port 8080 but I've left the port forwarding in place for search engines and users who are used to the old port.
06-Mar-07: brooknet.no-ip.com is back after a long offline period. I'm sorry it's been off for so long but there's been so much going on:
First, the machine hosting the web server crashed with a disk failure. Then, I decided to move house, got the broadband moved over to the new place and then after three days, figured that I preferred the old place and I cancelled the move. This left everything in a total mess and it is still being sorted as I type this note. The network configuration will be subject to change as I sort things out.
Personal note: it all started on 1st Jan. 2007, when I had got very drunk the night before. The drink did not mix well with my antidepressants (citalopram) and I was quite ill, got a cold, got some sort of 'flu thing, then when I'd got over that, I started the house-moving thing (see above). As I understand, my sudden withdrawal of medication was a shock to my system, and my old depressive habits slowly returned over a couple of months - only it was so slow that I didn't notice. I hate being reliant on medication though! End of personal stuff.
14-Apr-06: Added a row of buttons to the index page. These call a mysterious script called 'remotecontrol.cgi', which sends commands to Winter and gets it to switch LEDs on and off and things.
12-Apr-06: Added a Redirect to the webserver config so that all references to the blog go to the new blog on Winter.
10-Apr-06: Added a link to Ben's new blog, replacing the original one.
25-Mar-06: Ported ASCII Invaders to the ARM platform (see /~lex/public/zaurus/invaders/)
15-Mar-06: Brooknet was down tonight, from around 21:00 to 23:10. During this time I was madly swapping Cat-5 cables, tripping over the carpet and running to and fro' with routers and switches. My experiments didn't work, so I've restored the original configuration.
05-Mar-06: Added DSL files to document my messing with 'Damn Small Linux'.
09-Feb-06: I wrote a document with hints on getting the Holux GM-270 / iTrek GPS CF card working with the Cacko ROM on the Zaurus.
04-Feb-06: I decided to add a 'favicon.ico' image to the site, and ended up writing a script to convert the webcam image to such an icon. This means that when you first access the site, you'll see a very small picture of whatever the camera is looking at. I found that the browser tends to cache this picture, so it doesn't change if the camera changes. Should this happen, try to close the browser window and re-open it, or restart the browser. Firefox caches the icon; the PSP browser and the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet both ignore it, the SPV C500 browser doesn't recognise the image type - so I guess the only browsers compatible with it are Internet Explorer, Firefox/Mozilla and possibly Konqueror.
03-Feb-06: I fixed some dangling symlinks, so some pictures, videos and text files in the 'stuff' dir should be available again. The problem was that I'd renamed a directory on the archive, and had lowercased some filenames.
24-Jan-06: Added Barn Owl Centre link from the index page, following a call from a gentleman at the centre. I was very surprised to hear from him and confess to not having a clue who he was until he said the words 'barn owl' - then a jumble of thoughts cascaded through my feeble mind: "Barn owl? Funny, I have a picture of a barn owl on my index page.." "Gloucester? I think I know someone there.." "How did he get my number?" "Do I sound drunk? It's only an energy drink.." etc.
18-Dec-05: Fixed an open bracket at the end of the index page. Grrr.. I hate open brackets. Other news: I've moved the camera back to the 'orange room', where it's looking out of the front window at the harbour. I have retained free access (i.e. no password or ID required). Also, I'm experimenting with style sheets - I expect you've noticed.
05-Dec-05: I tripped over the telephone lead again: new IP address = 184.108.40.206.
As of 18:45 GMT, the Internet Video Camera no longer requires an account - the drawback is that I'm moving it to the kitchen, where people can see me walking around, muttering. I'm figuring that not as many people will want to do that as look at the view, so I am hoping that there will be fewer visitors than last time. I'm keeping this quiet as I do not want to be blitzed with camera-viewing feeps and if I am, I reserve the right to re-instate the account system - even though I hate it.
30-Nov-05: The site is back up after a day of maintenance. I backed everything up and had intended to replace Des's 80GB HD with a new 200GB one, but it turned out that the ancient BIOS could not see the whole drive - it only saw up to 137GB - and what's more, I had trouble with additional IDE devices such as CD drives, and at one point couldn't even boot from floppy. I'm not sure of the reason: read errors on all CD drives that I tried, and read errors on the floppy drive. My 'hunch' tells me that it's it's likely to be a PSU problem, but on trying an external PSU on the CD drives, I still had read errors. I restored the original configuration and am in the process of backing everything up. This will not affect the site availability now as I have moved all data off the servers.
30-Aug-05: As of today, you can connect to Brooknet on brooknet.org or brooknet.org.uk, as well as the original brooknet.no-ip.com.