Testing the Livescribe3

My first test of the LIvescribe3 – first my handwriting


then what it turned it into with handwriting recognition:

Test page
This is what I did write for my first test
of the Livescribe 2.
3 can try to write in a slightly more legible
Yahn's pone back of the book riabrfamoydg.
I still need to learn a lot more
about how to utilise this pen and 
application to it is best. 

Not bad at all - especially the 3 last lines where I took a bit of care - my handwriting is not terribly good is it! 

Fitbit to utilise the M7 co-processor

I’ve been waiting for this:

The Fitbit iPhone app received a notable update today that brings basic tracking features directly to the iPhone 5s without the need of one of FitBit’s tracking watches. The new “MobileTracker” feature, which takes advantage of Apple’s new M7 motion co-processor, provides some of FitBit’s basic activity tracking features right on the device. The new feature, due to the new M7 motion co-processor, is currently only available on the iPhone 5s. The company is yet to make an official announcement, but with CES right around the corner we’d expect to hear more about the update soon.

[From Fitbit app taps into iPhone 5s M7 motion processor for new MobileTrack feature | 9to5Mac]

extremely good marketing – as you can try the Fitbit apps working with just your iPhone – but you’ll soon get tired of dragging the iPhone along to everything you want to do, and buy a Fitbit. (IMHO)

Keep the boiler going during a power outage

We have just been through a long power outage – and one of the tricks that helped us was to make sure we could have heating and hot water.

Our central heating system has a big gas boiler, which uses gas as the heat source. This is all good – but it does not work without the circulation pump(s) running – and they are mains powered. So I found a number of 12V batteries in the house – and also a old 12V inverter (a small can with a car 23V male plug and a mains plug on top of the can, hooked them up and put mains plugs on both the mains wires from the circulation pumps – and the whole system suddenly worked.


It made for a slightly more comfortable Chistmas for us – each battery could run continuously for more than 4 hours.

And the best one was the Startmonkey – which has a 12V output at the top of the box, and comes with a female auto plug.

I’m testing a new blogging platform

As our own servers were down for most of Christmas due to the power outage – I tried out a new blogging platform – Ghost.

You can find my Ghost blog here.

So far all I can say is that it looks nice – is easy to use for text blogging, but is clearly a work in progress on all other fronts. So it will not be my main blogging platform any time soon.

We’ve had a power outage or 4 in Godalming

During the last 48 hours we’ve had 4 power outages, the last one lasting almost 12 hours. And we may have more of them to look forward to.

It’s been interesting – and we’ve probably been more fortunate than most. We have lots of camping gear – and quickly found headlights, gaslights, space heaters etc., and even used the barbecue to defrost food from the freezer for dinner.

We even kept the internet up and running intermittently with a Power gorilla battery powering the Fritzbox ADS router – and used it’s wireless capabilities.

For the first 3 hours the UPS even kept most of our servers alive – not bad at all, but it eventually would run out of battery jounce, so we decided to shut the servers down gracefully.

But on top of that we had a good idea – as we have a gas fired central heating system. Unfortunately the gas heating itself works, but it will not heat the house without the circulation pumps being powered up by mains. So I disconnected both circulation pumps, found one of our other high capacity batteries capable of 12V – ran it though a small inverter to generate 200V and connected both pumps to this power source. Bingo – we had hot water and all the radiators started working again.

As today is December 25th it means that we have had a Christmas without any TV – we have actually spoken together!

Webdis – a simple way to update Redis

Webdis is a very simple way to update Redis through the use of a structured url.

A good example :


will set the variable “motion_sensor_1” to the value on in the space “house”.

Easy to use from for example Domoticz where state changes for switches can now trigger a url.

Domoticz and piface with a motion sensor

I am puzzled – my piconf configuration file in Domoticz is :


This should IMHO work like this – when motion is detected and the detection pin is pulled low (and then high again when motion stops) we should see a event in the log for this input.

The log shows :


This is confusing – as we should only be triggering on the rising edge of the pulse on the pin – how can we see both “on” and “off” events – and even more puzzling, how can we see 2 off events after each other???