Archive for November, 2015

And the Raspberry Pi Zeros has arrived – and apparently costs GBP 4!

I can personally se it being used in a number of projects in my house!




Raspberry Pi Zero ‘sold out’, founder Eben Upton confirms (Wired UK): “Around 20,000 Pi Zeroes have been sold, along with almost every copy of MagPi magazine, which included a free Zero on the cover.

The Zero’s popularity has also made it the target for touts. Copies of MagPi are on eBay for up to £99, with some already bought for up to £49.99.

‘You’d think we’d be used to it by now, but we’re always amazed by the level of interest in new Raspberry Pi products,’ Eben Upton, founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, tells WIRED.

‘Right now it appears that we’ve sold every individual Zero we made (that’s roughly 20,000 units) and most of the 10,000 MagPi issues with cover-mounted units; people are scouring the country for the last few Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury and Smiths branches that haven’t sold out.'”




This is a intriguing article from lackaday – and it made me think seriously about magnets, and how they store/release energy, seemingly endlessly:


Back to Basics: What’s the deal with Magnets? | Hackaday: “For this article, I’m mostly interested in permanent magnets. There’s something primal and universal about playing with permanent magnets, and feeling that invisible force field holding apart two magnets with the same poles facing each other is compelling in a way that few other science experiences are – except for maybe getting the same two magnets to stick to each other through the web between your thumb and forefinger. But what makes these two inert discs or balls or horseshoes act like that? Where does the seemingly inexhaustible energy to repel and attract come from? How do permanent magnets work?”



So I’ve got a Loop ( installed – as it was the only device I could find that can read data from our gas-meter in (almost) real time.

It’s just been installed – and is reading our electricity usage. I’ve also installed the gas-meter, but so far it’s just calibration, something that will take up to 30 minutes with the heating running.


The interesting part (in addition to giving me data on our gas usage) is that it will (after it has a months worth of readings), apparently tell us what we can save/not save by switching to different providers…


I will report back.

A new CO2 sensor – and it’s wireless : 


panStampCO2 meter – Real low-power wireless CO2 measurement – panStamp: “Measuring CO2 is becoming more and more necessary in public and private indoor areas. In some countries, this has even become mandatory for public buildings. People accumulation in common closed areas can generate high levels of CO2, with the subsequent decrement of other breathable gases.

Battery-powered wireless measurement of CO2 has always been a challenge due to the high amount of current consumed by most CO2 sensors. Then GSS came with probably the most low-power CO2 sensor nowadays and a specific version for ambien measurements. This sensor can be unpowered regularly in order to bring the current consumption down to the minimum, then power the sensor again and wait for a short period of time before doing a new measurement. This strategy, applied for periods of 5 minutes, should give us near one year of autonomy with a couple of alkaline batteries. Not bad!



Let’s encrypt are getting ready for a public beta – I’m excited!


Public Beta: December 3, 2015: “Let’s Encrypt will enter Public Beta on December 3, 2015. Once we’ve entered Public Beta our systems will be open to anyone who would like to request a certificate. There will no longer be a requirement to sign up and wait for an invitation.

Our Limited Beta started on September 12, 2015. We’ve issued over 11,000 certificates since then, and this operational experience has given us confidence that our systems are ready for an open Public Beta.

It’s time for the Web to take a big step forward in terms of security and privacy. We want to see HTTPS become the default. Let’s Encrypt was built to enable that by making it as easy as possible to get and manage certificates.”




The things you see floating on the Thames


Occasionally you find some real gems in Amazons recommendations :


Christmas LED light and pregnancy tests?

The newly released Plex Mediaplayer (you have to be a subscriber to Plex to get this) has just been made available for download – a huge step forward if you want to use your Raspberry Pi to access your Plex server :

Plex Downloads: “Plex Media Player for Embedded Platforms Plex Media Player for embedded devices is a small Linux based operating system that turns your Raspberry Pi 2 or Intel HTPC into a dedicated media playback device.

Learn more about installing and using Plex Media Player.”


It really needs a Raspberry Pi 2 to run – due to some of the reliance on new versions of Node.js – and just for the sheer grunt you may need to access a remote Plex Server.

Apple’s HomeKit has not really gathered much momentum yet – but this may change (at least in our house) with the release of a HomeKit server for the Raspberry Pi :

nfarina/homebridge · GitHub: “Homebridge is a lightweight NodeJS server you can run on your home network that emulates the iOS HomeKit API. It supports Plugins, which are community-contributed modules that provide a basic bridge from HomeKit to various 3rd-party APIs provided by manufacturers of ‘smart home’ devices.

Since Siri supports devices added through HomeKit, this means that with Homebridge you can ask Siri to control devices that don’t have any support for HomeKit at all. For instance, using just some of the available plugins, you can say:

Siri, unlock the front door. Siri, open the garage door. Siri, turn on the coffee maker. Siri, turn on the living room lights. Siri, good morning!”



It really needs a Raspberry Pi 2 – so I may have to get yet one more of them to test this out.