Archive for January, 2012

I;ve had a few speed issues with my MacNook after I changed/upgraded the internal hard disk, but not done anything about it until now, as it was getting ridiculous.

Xbench to the rescue :


As you can see it’s appallingly slow …..(scores should ideally be around 100)


As my wife can attest – I sleep well, and this possibly confirms it.

El Salavor Alaska bourbon – apparently.

This describes the situation in a nutshell


As you can see they report electricity consumption around with approximately 15% difference. One is a Wattson – the other one a costco Envir sensor.

Next – what is the real usage?

The stair lights are coming along nicely – as a test I now have LED strips glued under the nose of 2 set of steps, and a Jeenode with a PIR movement sensor hanging over the flight of stairs.

The LED strips are controlled by a LED node (from Jeelabs) to give a quick ramp up to the desired light level, and then slowly down over a minute or so. This is one of the nice features of the LEDnode – it has configureable “ramps” or “profiles” with the ability to pre-program these and store them in the LEDnode – ready to be triggered by a short command string from another node.

The software has now been written – and works reasonably well, but will need quite a bit of tweaking.

More to come.

Hm! South West Trains do not really respect their own notices regarding reserved space for wheelchairs (and prams).


(Click for larger)

I’ve spent part of Christmas and the new year refurbishing our stairs (more about that later) – they turned out very nicely indeed.

But now on to the electronics part of this.

– Every step will have a (visually hidden) LED strip under the edge of the step, all connected to a JeeLabs LEDnode, and triggered by another Jeenode with a PIR sensor hanging over the steps (hidden among books on a bookshelf).

So far I have written the necessary software to test the coverage and response time of the motion sensor, and written the necessary routines for the LED node to be triggered by the home monitoring server.

This should be fun.

The stairs in question – before the LED’s have been attached.

(Click for larger)

From the raspberry.pi blog – some seriously important information :

I’d like to draw attention to one cost in particular that really created problems for us in Britain. Simply put, if we build the Raspberry Pi in Britain, we have to pay a lot more tax. If a British company imports components, it has to pay tax on those (and most components are not made in the UK). If, however, a completed device is made abroad and imported into the UK – with all of those components soldered onto it – it does not attract any import duty at all. This means that it’s really, really tax inefficient for an electronics company to do its manufacturing in Britain, and it’s one of the reasons that so much of our manufacturing goes overseas. Right now, the way things stand means that a company doing its manufacturing abroad, depriving the UK economy, gets a tax break. It’s an absolutely mad way for the Inland Revenue to be running things, and it’s an issue we’ve taken up with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

[From Raspberry Pi | An ARM GNU/Linux box for $25. Take a byte!]

I use Prowl to send notifications from our home monitoring system to my iPhone and iPad etc.

But I have been using the gem “ruby-growl” to do this for quite a while.

Growl was just updated to version 1.3 – and this broke “ruby=-growl”.

But to help others with the same problem – drop in “growl_notify” – make a few simple changes, and all is good again.

I’ve jus subscribed to coffee deliveries (once per week) from Hasbean – I will have to wait to see how this works out.