Automatic Backup of Files to S3 and Glacier

Automatic backups are important, especially when it comes to irreplaceable data like family photos. I have used s3cmd to maintain my website’s static files for a while now, and it was simple to use it to push my 100GB+ archive of photos over to S3. But I needed an automated way to update it with any new photos that my wife or I may take. The sync protocol really isn’t what you want – there should be no need to re-examine all the files that have already been archived.

Chat with Tor and socat

It is easy to setup a simple chat over Tor using the socat utility. To receive incoming messages you first need to setup a Tor hidden service. Add this to the end of your /etc/tor/torrc file: HiddenServiceDir /var/lib/tor/hidden-chat/ HiddenServicePort 2330 127.0.0.1:2330 After restarting Tor check the /var/lib/tor/hidden-chat/hostname file for your hidden service .onion address. Use socat to setup a listener on port 2330, now incoming connections to ADDRESS.onion:2330 will show up on your terminal.

Xmonad on a MacBook Pro with Fedora 19

For years I have dual booted my Macbook with Fedora. Things have always almost worked, but never quite as smoothly as they do under OSX. Typically the problems are with the trackpad, wireless drivers and heat control – The fans on my MBP didn’t want to kick on at the point I’d like them to and Fedora just runs hotter than OSX does for the same workflow. With F19 things are somewhat better, the following xorg config file dropped into /etc/X11/xorg.

Reliable Wireless Temperatures

The temperature sensors that I use to drive the freezer graph are in my garage, which doesn’t have an easy way to run wires to the server room. I have a WRT54GL running DD-WRT configured as a bridge to the rest of my network. The problem with this is that the connection isn’t always reliable. I used to have a simple script that read the temps and fed them to my main mysql server, but the connection would frequently drop and it would lose the temperature data.
NASCAR Countdown for iPhone

NASCAR Countdown for iPhone

The NASCAR Countdown app displays a countdown to the next NASCAR race, the name of the race and the television network carrying the race. On the flip side all of the races for the season are listed, and tapping on one of them will go to the nascar.com website for that track. The application now includes all of the Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck races. Requirements iPhone or iPod Release Notes v1.

Moving a BackupPC Pool

I have been using BackupPC to automatically back up the systems on my LAN for years now. It started out with a 3x250GB RAID5 as the storage pool and when I ran out of space on that I added another disk to bring it up to about 700GB. BackupPC does an excellent job of pooling common files together so that they don’t take up extra space. This is especially useful if you are backing up system files on multiple systems running the same OS release.

New MovieLandmarks Update

Movie Landmarks is back online. I think this is the 5th iteration of the project that I originally started back in 2006. It started out as a PHP app, morphed into a python wsgi application. It was always backed by a mysql db with lots of interactive features. For this redesign I've dropped all of that extra stuff and simplified things. I threw out the database and replaced it with a couple of python dictionaries holding the landmark information and another with the movie data.

Local time for mutt email display

I use mutt as my email client. Something that has recently been bugging me is that when reading a message it displays the original Date: header with the sender's timezone. Since I work with people in several different zones I am constantly having to do timezone math when looking at these. So I decided to fix that with a bit of python. One of mutt's features is that you can feed every email you view through a filter by using the display_filter setting.

Changes to the Webpage and Blog

As you may have noticed my webpages have changed a bit today. After about 6 years I decided it was time to revamp things a bit. The old site was all written in plain html with an attempt at reference link usage. I decided to rewrite in Restructured Text using Python and some kind of template language. I decided to do some searching before writing my own and found the Pelican project which fit what I wanted to do perfectly.

AIS Parser SDK is now Free

I have decided to discontinue sales of my AIS Parser SDK and have released the code under the BSD License on GitHub. UPDATE 12/2018 - Note that I no longer own the aisparser.com domain, the code is only available on GitHub.