Stephen C Phillips

morse-pro v2.0.0

I made a new release of my “morse-pro” Javascript library yesterday. There was no particular reason to make a release now except that I had some free time, it’s been too long coming and if I wait until it is “ready” then I’ll never make a release. The “v2.0.0” tag sounds important but it’s just because there are breaking changes since the previous release, not because some development milestone has been reached. More breaking changes are likely as I am not happy with the architecture, but who knows when?! Best to release now in case someone finds it useful.

Read more… and donation form

I have built a web form which lets people give arbitrary amounts of money via either Stripe (a payment processor that takes credit cards) or PayPal. The form is easy to use and provides for multiple currencies. The best thing is that you don’t need any server-side code to make it work and you don’t need to have another company host it and take a cut.

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Intercepting HTTPS Traffic

To document the Tado API, I needed to intercept the calls the mobile app was making to the server. As with many apps these days, the connection from the app to the server is encrypted using transport layer security (TLS) which makes it hard to read (that’s the point!). It is still possible to intercept and read this sort of traffic with a man-in-the-middle attack though: this post discusses how to do it.

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School Uniform Consultation: Letter

This post is a letter to the Coucillor who oversees education and the Chair of the Bitterne Park School governors. It looks at the costs of the proposed change to the school uniform and examines the claimed benefits. The letter is open for anyone to sign. We hope that they will intervene to prevent the introduction of a school blazer.

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School Uniform Consultation

Bitterne Park Secondary School are consulting on whether to have a green blazer or a black blazer as a mandatory part of the uniform. The consultation does not actually seem to be about whether to change the uniform, merely a choice between green and black variations. Their presentation shows that this would be an additional £26 to £31 cost per blazer and I cannot see any justification for it.

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The Tado API v2

I’ve been poking around in the Tado smart thermostat API again as the web application now uses v2. Here are the API calls I have found, including how to manually adjust the heating temperature. Tado haven’t published their API so this could change and break at any time.

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Sending Tado Data to Loggly

I’ve just had a Tado smart thermostat installed at home: it’s a clever device that controls the boiler, central heating and hot water and is linked to the internet. It has a room thermostat and takes account of the external temperature as well. You can control it from your smart phone or from the web app and, if you want, it will track your location so that when you leave the house it turns the temperature down and brings it up again in time for when you get home again.

I expect the web app and the mobile app are both in constant development and right now there are features only available in one or the other. For instance, you can only set the hot water schedule in the web app but can only see the historic temperature data in the mobile app (you have to turn your phone to landscape orientation to make it magically appear).

I wanted to see the historical temperature data on my computer instead of my phone so I had a poke around and have found a way to get hold of the data on one of my Raspberry Pis and send it to Loggly to graph it.

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Raspberry Pi System Logging and Loggly

I’ve already written about how useful Loggly is to log data from a Raspberry Pi, but like me, you may want to know more about how system logging actually works and what the extra configuration added by the Loggly setup script means.

This post explains how system logging works and how Loggly fits into it. It describes how the log files are rotated to avoid them filling up the disc and it also goes into a lengthy detour regarding how to encrypt the log traffic between your computer and Loggly, how all the encryption actually works and how you know you can trust it.

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Monitoring Broadband Speed with Loggly

Using and Loggly to Monitor Broadband Speed

I’ve been having trouble with the speed of my network at home and needed to check whether the broadband link to the internet was working as fast as it should be. To check this, you really need to make many measurements over time, as at different times of the day the performance will vary depending on how many other people in the area are using the same link. To check the speed, I have plugged a spare Raspberry Pi directly into the my Virgin Media Superhub via an ethernet cable and set it up to measure and report the speed every hour. I’m sending the data to an online logging service called Loggly so that I can access it and graph it easily from any other computer.

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