Monthly Archives: January 2020

Bit of a break

I took a bit of a break from my main programming projects and helped make an installer for another open-source project Darkstar. I started with a deb installer but realized a script would do a better job, especially for customizations. So that took about 3 days to get working well. Doing it even allowed me to fork the project on GitHub & create my first Pull request for someone else. So that was nice to be able to contribute. The reason I choose this project was that I was requested to set up a server for my brother, so he could more easily work on his FFXI graphics improvements. Basically, he has been making his own custom textures for the game that looks really beautiful! Unfortunately, the install instructions at that time were out of date and consist of a bunch of terminal commands and a few scripts. Without the new installer script, it took a while to get it to work at all because it was missing dependencies and was written for a much older Ubuntu install 14.04. At the time I could only get it working on an Intel system with Ubuntu. Now with the interactive installer script I made, it can be installed on the latest versions of Debian, Ubuntu and Raspbian. Being able to take advantage of the cheap Raspberry Pis is definitely a bonus. With a single terminal command, one can get set up with a Darkstar server and only need to enter a user, password and IP address. So I’m pretty happy about that.

In other news, it has been snowing A LOT here. I even had to climb my roof and remove the snow there so it wouldn’t possibly collapse. The snow on my shed roof (which I don’t bother to clear), is about 3 or 4 feet tall, and the roads are basically bumpily packed ice sheets. There’s also a huge fancy snow hill at our local no-frills parking lot that’s probably 12 or more feet tall and covers a very large amount of the parking lot… maybe … 2500 Sq ft. Anywho, it’s been a very snowy winter this month so far and although I’m not super impressed, my daughter is very much enjoying it.

I have only poked at my Sensor Project a little bit, but I was able to fix a bug that kept freezing my program after a few weeks. One of the sensors required an open and close when accessing it (it’s own custom version of it). But I didn’t close it when done with reading, so it kept pilling up open i2c connections until I couldn’t open any files at all in the program. I’m still testing to make sure it did resolve it, as it takes a few weeks for it to freeze up, but I’m fairly sure that was the issue, as it didn’t occur with any of my other sensors that were missing this one particular sensor.

Now that the installer is made for Darkstar, I’m thinking of adding additional support for sensors in my Sensor Project, but since I don’t physically have the new sensors, I won’t be able to test them, but I can at least get the backend set up and ready for testing. I’ll probably put these sensors under a “Un-Tested” section as a warning they may not function correctly.

That’s it for now. Slow progress for now due to the winter blues. Here’s hoping the sun decides to grace me with its un-clouded presence soon!

New standard Debian Installer!

I have been wanting to create a more standard installer for a while now, and I have finally gotten to it!
I decided to go with a Debian installer, as it was the simplest to figure out (after hunting down the right documentation), not to mention it’s one of the oldest ones. Originally I wanted to use a container installer like snap, AppImage, flatpack or Docker but .deb just seemed to make more sense for now…

So now Installing and Uninstalling has never been easier! Download and double click the file to install! This should make it easier for people used to Windows or Mac computers (but not compatible with Windows or Mac…). Once installed it should list kootnet-sensors in your Debian software manager. You can also remove with apt-get remove kootnet-sensors.

I have managed to get the old installer re-written in a way that will allow upgrades from the pre-deb installer to the new deb installer. It requires you to upgrade twice though, once to get the transition installer and another time to initiate the transition installer. Basically just upgrade from the web interface, wait 30 seconds, then upgrade again.

I have already done a fair bit of testing and optimizing, such as figuring out which apt-get dependencies are required and which are not. I put required to run at all stuff as required in the deb installer and sensor hardware requirements under recommends. This way you can use the management pages on Ubuntu for example, without requiring the hardware dependencies that may not be available on other Operating Systems.

After a bit more bug checking, optimizations, testing and documentation, I will release the new version and update the online documentation to match.