Stephen C Phillips

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


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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BBC Radio on the Raspberry Pi controlled with a tiny web server


Objective

I wanted to be able to tune in to BBC radio stations on my Raspberry Pi and control it through my smart phone with an easy graphical interface.

In fulfilling this objective I got a bit carried away and wrote a small web server from scratch (as you do...) which was good fun, so in the spirit of helping people hack their Raspberry Pis I thought I'd explain how it all works. What follows is mostly an explanation of how web servers and web browsers work: it's actually quite simple and interesting to mess around with. The actual software is useful and works well too!

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Children going hungry at Bitterne Park Secondary School


Please sir can I have some more time?

Please sir can I have some more time?

What follows is the text of a a letter sent to Bitterne Park Secondary School, Southampton on 29th September 2014.

Dear Mrs Trigger,

I am writing to you because one of my children was not able to eat any lunch last Thursday: a situation seemingly caused by inadequate facilities at the school. This is completely unacceptable. In discussing the situation with my three children I have found out about other aspects of the catering arrangements which also concern me. I am publishing this letter on my blog (http://blog.scphillips.com) in order that other parents may contribute their experience and so I am using the letters "T", "F" and "R" to refer to my children in order to preserve some anonymity.

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Fingerprints for Food


What follows is the text of a letter sent to Bitterne Park Secondary School, Southampton on 24th June 2014.

Dear Mrs Trigger,

Re: cashless catering

I approve of the cashless catering idea in principle: it removes any difference between those who have free school meals and those that don’t. It stops anyone stealing someone’s money or losing their own. I should also note that I am not irrationally worried about the technology: I work in IT research and fully understand how these systems work.

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BBC Radio on the Raspberry Pi (v2)


This is an update to my recent post on this topic.

This page shows how to create a simple radio command to play and stop different BBC radio stations on a Raspberry Pi. Once set up, you can just type e.g. radio BBC4 to get your favourite station playing. This is useful for various reasons, for instance if you have a room with just an amplifier and speakers in then, with a Raspberry Pi, you can listen to the radio (and with other software your music collection). You can also listen to BBC 6 Music which you cannot get on FM.

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BBC Radio on the Raspberry Pi


This page shows how to create a simple radio command to play and stop different BBC radio stations on a Raspberry Pi. Once set up, you can just type radio BBC4 to get your favourite station playing. This is useful for various reasons, for instance if you have a room with just an amplifier and speakers in then, with a Raspberry Pi, you can listen to the radio (and with other software your music collection). You can also listen to BBC 6 Music which you cannot get on FM.

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Playing music on a Raspberry Pi using UPnP and DLNA (v3)


What we are aiming for

A music system with a Raspberry Pi plugged in to an amplifier playing music that you choose with your mobile phone. The music can come from MP3s on your phone, from files on your server, files "in the cloud" or from internet radio stations. If there’s more than one Android phone in your household you can have them all synchronised, showing the same playlist and controlling the same music. If you have multiple Raspberry Pis you can put one in each room and choose which one to play the music with. This is all achieved with free software and open standards. I’ve just written some instructions to show how to do it.

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Morse Code Transcriber


I have been working for a while on a tool to "listen to" and transcribe Morse code. I've been wanting to do it for ages and considered a variety of ways, but with more browsers supporting the Web Audio API the time seemed right to give it a go.

Ultimately, the tool will be integrated into my Morse code trainer to listen to students practising the segments of Morse code in that tool and let them know if they are doing it well enough. For now though, the Morse code transcriber is just an alpha-release stand-alone tool which only works properly in Chrome (I should be able to make it work in Firefox as well).

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