Tuesday, January 10, 2017

stable wifi on the shuttle xs36v with Debian

The Wifi connection of this machine is very slow, especially noticeable when logging in to the machine via ssh.
The solution is to follow the notes on https://wiki.debian.org/rtl819x , copied here:

Devices supported by this driver may suffer from intermittent connection loss. If so, it can be made more reliable by disabling power management via module options ipsand fwlps. These can be supplied by creating a new file:

  • options rtl8192ce ips=0 fwlps=0

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Dirt Rally Timing Log

In order to keep track of my skill evolution playing the excellent rally sim game "Dirt Rally" I've set up a google sheet.

This google sheet could be interesting for other people as well so I'm sharing it here. Note that this one has some example content only not my actual full content.

To use it make a copy of it on your own drive.

Have fun driving!


Friday, December 9, 2016

Persistence for Philips Hue

Two of the lights in our living are Philips Hue lights.
I especially like them for their ability to reach 2000K color temperature (very warm white light), which gives a nice mellow yellowish white light.

We control the lights via normal light switches contained in the light fixture.
Due to the way Philips Hue lights work this implies that whenever we turn on the lights again they go back to the default setting of around 2700K (normal warm white).

In order to fix this once and for all I wrote a little program in rust that does this:

  • poll the state of the lights every 10 seconds (there is no subscribe/notify :( )
  • keep the light state in memory
  • if a light changes from unreachable (usually due to being turned off by the switch) to reachable (turned on by the switch), restore the hue to the last state before it became unreachable
Code is in rust (of course) and can be found at https://github.com/andete/hue_persistence.

Just run it on a local server (I use my shuttle xs36v) and it automatically starts working.
Keep in mind that it can take up to a minute for the Hue system to detect that a light is reachable again.

A short video demoing the system in action:

Friday, December 2, 2016

working console on Shuttle xs36v mini computer with Debian 8 (Jesse)

I recently re-installed this system to use it as a local server.

Installation of Debian 8 went smooth. I choose not to install a graphical environment as I only want to attach a screen in emergency situations.

The system boots fine but then the screen goes into power-safe mode. The system is still reachable remotely.

After some searching on the internet [1] the solution is to blacklist the graphics driver of the system.

Create a file called /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf and add the following to it:

blacklist gma500_gfx
This tells the system not to load the driver. Then do
 sudo update-initramfs -u
this updates the boot RAM disk to reflect the change.

Reboot the system and enjoy a working console.

Picture or it didn't happen:

Friday, March 7, 2014

Bluetooth Low Energy Explorer Tool

Bluetooth Low Energy is all about services and attributes. Exploring these attributes is an interesting way to gain more insight in how a device works and is invaluable for testing. In order to make this process more comfortable a testing tool is invaluable. Hence the BTLE-explorer was born.

continue reading on the Productize Lab blog.