Have a need, fill a need.
After losing contact with one of our remote servers, we decided we needed a way to do a hard reboot. We call it ‘cycle the power’. Turn the power off, wait 30 seconds and then power the unit back on. We have had great luck with servers running months even years without issue. Unless they are overloaded or overheated.
Checking eBay for over the counter power controllers, we found the IP Power 9258. Got our first one for less than $70, but most cost between $80 to $120. After looking at programming options and being a MAC Shop we figured it was doable. In less the a week we completed IPPOWER.app. Very small, very simple controller for the IP Power.
First you’ll need the IP Power’s IP number. Using an old PC we first configured ours DHCP, using the included IPEdit. (Read their instructions, which aren’t very well translated to english). We then used LanScan to find the device by its Mac Address.
After you have the IP Power’s IP number, just startup IPPower app, it will ask for the IP Number, administration name and password. The defaults are admin, 12345678.
You can now control the IP Power using keys 1 – 4, clicking on button 1 – 4 or sending “/Applications/IPPower.app/Contents/MacOS/IPPower 4” (4 being the outlet to cycle the power on).
We have also setup iChat to support cycling the power. See the attached AppleScript. Configure iChat to execute the script on message received. The script will look for “outlet1” – “outlet4” as a message. And cycle the power with prompting.
For Apple Mac: ippowerminicontroller
Nice perk of my current job is that we are allowed to spend time creating time saving programs. Within reason!
After getting an unusual number of reports of broken keyboards we decided we needed a quick easy way to test keyboards. Using mostly Apple iMacs, that is what we wrote the program for. BUT it works pretty good on windows as well (numerical keypad has issues though, but useable).
Spent less than a day creating the DIY Keyboard Tester using LiveCode.
Keyboard Tester Mac: diykeyboardtestermac
Keyboard Tester Windows: diykeyboardtesterwin-exe
After a small mishap, a user couldn’t read data off a thumb drive. Of course EMERGENCY!
Disassembled the thumb drive and under closer review I noticed a bend in the connector. Using a meter I toned out each of the four pins and found that none were connected to board. Noticed when the connector is bent, the internal wiring inside the jack break. Unsure if that is good or bad, but it could keep the board from shorting out when/if plugged into a computer.
Being careful to wire ground and 5+ volts correctly, I wired up an old usb cable from an old keyboard. (Test keyboards with [keyboard tester] and the ones that fail cut off their USB cables and go in parts bin.) Being very careful not to short any wires, solder cables as shown above. The solder pads for the USB connector could delaminate from the board, so follow the traces to a point you can solder to. Being very careful not to overheat anything!ds
When I plugged the thumb drive back into computer, the drive was mounted. JUST long enough to copy off its contents. (Pretty sure I had a cold solder join on the chip.)
— Before you plug repaired thumb drive in, make sure you are ready to copy data off, you may only have one chance. —
After a friend that works with IBM suggested I try vpn, and a company called CloudAtCost, I figured I’d give it a try.
Ended up buying three packages with CloudAtCost. One cost less than $13, 1 node, 2 ip numbers, 1 cpu and 512 megs of ram. So figured for the cost I’d try a bigger option, but made a mistake when purchasing, and ended up with 2 developer packages, both at less than $28..
configured one node to be a vpn server. Using OpenVPN was able to create a vpn server and client, that worked pretty well. So tried to manage many web site clients though this system.
Soon i couldn’t access any of our clients sites from my home where I work remotely. Took two weeks to resolve the issue.
Our ISP blacklisted my home static IP.
After removing all VPN software, getting a new router and modem, sending at least 3 tickets to ISP over a weeks time. They finally replied, oh, you were blacklisted.. I wasn’t happy, but wasn’t too mad, since the problem was resolved.. And it wasn’t on our network (my job), so. New equipment that was getting old was replaced. Just wish ISP would have informed/resolve their issue faster.
Company I work for is in the process of upgrading all it Windows 7 netbooks to Windows 10. They supplied us with a limited number of thumb drives with installer. Nice setup, log in as Administration, press ‘Start’ and walk away. However with just under 500 netbooks to upgrade and 10 thumb drives, this process could take a few weeks.
As you can see by earlier post, I snagged a few $4 thumb drives at Target, 16 GB.
According to the Win10 thumb drives they are 32 gb, but only using a little over 8 gb.
Enter Paragon Software’s “NTFS for Mac”. I was able to format my thumb drives as NT, then using an older version of Carbon Copy Cloner (5.3.7) and Snow Leopard. I was able to create a sparse image of thumb drive, then use CCC to image the thumb drive.
Took almost an hour to create each thumb drive on a laptop. But in the end it saved hours of work and allowed for more imaging of netbooks per hour.
So the process is, 1) Partition thumb drive using NTFS for Mac, 2) Erase/Format thumb drive again, as ExFat then 3) use CCC to copy the sparse image onto the thumb drive. Using a USB thumb drive on my MBP, cloning took almost 2 hours, deadly slow. So try to stick to USB 2 thumb drives.
Seems Solidoodle, the 3d printer company, has ceased operation (as of March of this year).
Can’t say I am very surprised, we have two different Solidoodle printers. Neither has worked well, and tech support was a joke. The last resolution was to send the printer back for trouble shooting, had it boxed up ready to go, but thought better of it. Glad I didn’t send it back now. Although it still has an issue, at least I still have the printer.
Sad an American company couldn’t make a go of it and the Press is a pretty printer.
Being that they were ordered from China, I ordered a few items from WeMos. OLED Display Shield, Temperature Sensor, Relay and Button shields. All were cheap and using Arduino fairly easy to program just took awhile to get to USA (say a month to the day) [Not complaining, just stating, pay a little more get from USA seller MUCH faster].
We were able to create a web server, that reads and displays Temperature (T), control a relay over the web (R) and have it display its IP number (within our subnet). HOWEVER, you can’t read temperature and control relay, in the same ‘stack’. So more parts are on order to deal with that minor complication.
The biggest issue was getting the OLED display to work. Seems there was an issue with one of the libraries;
Just a matter of deleting two lines of code, and it worked. Course that took two days to find.
Being a true believer in scattering projects over over the place, wireless would be great. But as always, there is the matter of POWER. If I have to run power, I can run an ethernet cable.
Talk about good timing. Saw Target had a sale for 16 gb Lexar Twist Thumb Drives, for $3.99. Didn’t really have a need, till a project at work came up, image 500 netbooks. So ran to Target and purchased all they had which amounted to 8. For a total of $31.. Sometimes sales are handy.
Oh, on another note while confirming they had the drives still, I found out Best Buy also had 16 gb thumb drives on sale, for $3.99. Just no Lexar.
How many sensors can we plug into one Arduino and setup outdoors? This is how many I was able to cram into one Project Box.
The system uses a ESP8266 Wifi / Arduino Card with a screw terminal Shield. — I attempted to run it all with two 12 volt solar panels with a solar charger. Didn’t have enough juice, so ended up just plugging into outlet located outside.
Been wanting to get this to working for years. Finally took the time to hookup and try it out.! Worked first time (once I got the wiring correct).
Now have to wait for a spring storm to test (sigh).
Updated layout, and tested. Sensor allows for a 40 miles distance detection of Lightning or related electrical noise for an approaching storm.
UPDATE: Spent the afternoon tracking storms across South Florida. System reported Kilometers, which I added a conversion to American Standard Miles. Worked very nicely.