Category Archives: Computer

Nothing to do this weekend? Here’s ideas for a weekend project.

There’s nothing worse then being bored over a weekend. So in case you’re looking for something to do this weekend, give one of these a try if you have the time and parts sitting around.

Build a Raspberry Pi Buggy – One of the milestones of hobby robotics is a vehicle that is controlled with a Raspberry Pi.

Build an air quality monitor – Great way to get started with Sensors and detecting the world around you.

How to Set Up a Safe and Free VPN on Android – You know to use a VPN on your computer over public wifi, but we should all be doing the same with our phones as well.

So try your hand at building something or just try and make your phone a little bit safer on the open internet.

-DH

Updating all your Docker images in one swoop.


I’ve been playing around with Docker a lot recently, and one thing that seems to be lacking is a way to update all of your downloaded images in an “apt-get upgrade” fashion. I know this isn’t usually needed in most cases, but in a home use case for Docker most of the time, you can upgrade everything in one go and not worry about it. So I wrote some quick one-line scripts in Bash and PowerShell that can be used to update all your docker images. Continue reading Updating all your Docker images in one swoop.

Running a Home Virtual Server – Part 2: Contemplating Containers


Ok, so it’s been awhile since I put up the last part. So long that I actually ended up looking at some other hypervisor options, and still ended up going with Proxmox. I’ve also made it slightly more robust by running two host machines in a cluster configuration. I not running many virtual machines right now, but the ones that I do run are mostly OpenVZ containers from TurnkeyLinux.org, which Proxmox has a built-in integration to download templates straight from them. There are also other OpenVZ templates from Proxmox for a few standard linux server OSes, but the Turnkey Linux ones seem better at being kept up to date. Below the fold is a short list of what I’m currently running and a few that I plan on setting up at some point. Continue reading Running a Home Virtual Server – Part 2: Contemplating Containers

We Interrupt Your Regular Broadcast to Bring You This Important Message.


After spending most of this week working with and debugging approximately 8,000 lines of PL/SQL contained in two packages, I want to mention “Refactoring” by Martin Fowler. It’s one of the few books I had to buy in college and have kept since then. If your code smells, clean it up… That is all.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

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Bitcoin Payments with a Click


With recent Bitcoin coverage in the news and media, I’ve picked up playing around with it again. One thing that came to mind was something that would make it easier to make payments to addresses found on the web. My first thought was doing the same thing as a MailTo link on the web, click the link and the client opens up with the details in place. Granted copying and pasting the address isn’t that big of a deal, but this makes it easier to send or donate to a website.

Now I have to be honest I wasn’t sure what the correct name for the MailTo link was called. One quick Google search led me to the MailTo URI Scheme Wikipedia page. Another Google search for “Bitcoin URI Scheme” led me to this page with a technical write up of a URI Scheme for sending Bitcoin payments. Lo and behold, the samples on that page work just like I’d expect by opening the local client on my computer with the address filled in. The only problem I can see is that most sites aren’t using this already. I would imagine that this would be a no brainer, where anything that makes it easier to send you money is always a good idea. So here’s my plea to other sites to add the code needed for the bitcoin link.

Just in case anyone needs a refresher, it’s done with the <a> tag and in it’s simplest form would look like this.

<a href="bitcoin:PutPaymentAddressHere">Link text goes here</a>

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Source Control Systems for Work


So I’m working on a project at work to evaluate and implement a source control system to replace a fairly non-existent use of Visual SourceSafe. It has been a while since I’ve looked really in depth at any version control software and I have to say that I’m impressed with the advancements around them. Not necessarily in the version control systems specifically, but in a lot of the auxiliary functionality that they can offer either natively or as with easy add-on. Things like automated builds and continuous integration are things that weren’t even on the map last time I looked at this in any depth.

At my work we decided to evaluate three types of version control; Team Foundation Server (TFS), Subversion, and Git. I’m most familiar with Subversion since that’s what I’ve used in the past and TFS is a fairly obvious choice for us since we are mostly a Microsoft shop with the tools we use. Git however was a bit of a research project for me and I have to say that we fairly quickly decided that it wasn’t for us. Don’t get me wrong it has it’s use cases where it shines, particularly in development environments where the development team is widely dispersed geographically and not necessarily always network connected. In these cases Git seems really ideal which is probably why it has taken off and is so popular in open source projects, but this is completely different from our primary development environment and the downsides outweigh these benefits.

I don’t know which way we’ll end up going at my job. We’re wanting something simple that will be easy to use and we’re just implementing source control as part of the project. This is why I’m starting to think that we might go with Subversion because TFS can be such a bear to administrate and after getting them installed and starting to set them up, I can understand.

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Status Report Captain…


So everything has been pretty busy recently and here’s a quick update for some projects. I had some hardware problems with my home virtual server project. I think it came down to a motherboard that went bad, so I changed out the internals and then had some “less than graceful” shutdowns. I think this might have caused some trouble with terabyte drive, but interestingly the RAID 10 setup seems to be fine. In switching out the hardware I did have to downgrade as well, so I bought another Core 2 Duo from my university’s surplus sale recently and upgraded it back to original specs. I’ve also thought that I would dedicate the mass storage into a NAS build from another surplus computer. I’ll have some more about each of these in the near future.

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