Monthly Archives: February 2019

Getting warmer & sunnier

It has been a bit since I have done anything significant on my programs. However, today was especially nice and sunny, which gives me hope for warmer times ahead! Instead of working on the programs, I decided to work on some hardware. I have setup a few mini wireless routers to use with sensors in other locations. Each mini router comes with a OpenVPN server, so its perfect for secure communications and testing.

I’m thinking of putting sensors at Meadow Creek, Nelson & Kaslo, mostly because I have clients or know people there who can host them easily enough. This will be nice in 2 ways. First, I’ll be able to test remote deployment and upgrades. Second, I would like to start recording environmental data in areas around me to see how things correlate.

Hopefully, things will warm up and pick up soon.

Alpha.23.39 Released

Another release! It has been awhile, so there are a few changes including better trigger sensor recording, OpenGL Plotly rendering for graphs and multiple configuration additions such as Wifi and the trigger variances.

In other news, I resolved most of my Ubuntu issues I was experiencing. Apparently, it was google chrome’s “Google Play Music” app that was killing my media keys. Closing chrome fixed it every time and opening it often (but not always) killed the media keys. Disabling the one music app resolved the issue. Samba (Windows network share) was also having issues when my network didn’t initialize right away, so I changed the service file for samba to require the network loaded first. It was… kinda set that way with a ‘network-online’ version, but when I replaced it with ‘network’, it loaded peachy keen. It also appears as though my dock network connection works properly now, as it usually wouldn’t work until I removed the network cable and put it back in. I’ll have to try it for a few weeks to see if it’s really fixed. All in all, I’m even more happy with my new Laptop now.

There has been a cold front that’s lowered our local temperature from a nice 0c or -3c to a mighty cold and windy -15c. This has put a large damper on motivation to get out the door, which in turn kills a good portion of my motivation in general. I don’t expect much progress until it warms up a bit and I start to do more exercise. I also have to learn a few things for work, which will take what little motivation I have.

Extra Configuration Added

Progress is still slow and I’m still looking forward to warmer weather. However, I have now added some new Sensor configurations to the control center. The wireless supplicant file can now be edited and pushed from the control center. I have also added the variance configuration file, where you can enable, disable and set variance triggers per sensor. I still have to modify the configuration load code and test all the sensors but I have already tested lumens and pressure, and it seems to be working. I’ll test the rest soon.

I have been using my new Dell XPS 13 for a few weeks now and for the most part, I really like it. I love a lot of the smaller features in Ubuntu. One thing that really annoyed me about windows, is when you go to enter your password when the screen is off, it doesn’t register the first keystroke. So you have to wait for the screen to turn on and make sure it’s ready for your password. In Ubuntu, you just type it, hit enter and when the screen turns on, you’re already in 🙂 Minor but nice when you are having to log in a bunch. Of course, windows hello and stuff solves those, but since the computer is off to the side and closed when using the docking station, it wouldn’t work anyway.

Some of the annoyances I have run into so far have been odd glitches. Here are a few of them.

1. Once my side “dock” bar on the desktop froze, and when the screen locked, it was still showing on the side. So it seems as the lock screen could be bypassed with some time and effort, also, the dock freezing is annoying.
2. Some of my multimedia keys stop working randomly and sometimes start working randomly. I have yet to figure it out and fix it. I might actually contact dell and work with them, as once its fixed in Ubuntu, its fixed for everyone.
3. Once or twice I have had a Random Freeze up, where nothing responded. Usually, it’s temporary, but once I had to force shutdown the computer. This may also tie into #4.
4. The kworker process sometimes maxes out a single thread for long periods of time. It may be related to the internet, as it stopped right after connecting online. A bit of research tells me the kworker process works with the kernel and might be a driver issue.

All in all I’m pretty happy with the system and I’m certain the few glitches will be solved (Yay open source!).

It’s a beautiful day, so I’m going out for a family walk to get some sun!