Switches sure have changed…

Screenshot from 2013-08-07 11:41:15

The local news alleged the Apple iphone uses as much electricity as a refridgerator.

You know your a geek when you use wire cutters to trim your fingernails.

Edit the scores of swell foop.

# vim /home/eddie/.local/share/swell-foop/history

Send a short text file to a graphic file.

$ echo Hello world | convert text:-  hw.gif


Screenshot from 2013-08-16 17:43:42

A while back I had developed a way to download weather maps and then convert them to ascii for use on text only terminal or character lcd’s Made a modification or two in some of the code.

As you remember we modified the crontab file so the system would download radar images once a minute.


Edit this file to introduce tasks to be run by cron.
# Each task to run has to be defined through a single line
# indicating with different fields when the task will be run
# and what command to run for the task
# To define the time you can provide concrete values for
# minute (m), hour (h), day of month (dom), month (mon),
# and day of week (dow) or use ‘*’ in these fields (for ‘any’).#
# Notice that tasks will be started based on the cron’s system
# daemon’s notion of time and timezones.
# Output of the crontab jobs (including errors) is sent through
# email to the user the crontab file belongs to (unless redirected).
# For example, you can run a backup of all your user accounts
# at 5 a.m every week with:
# 0 5 * * 1 tar -zcf /var/backups/home.tgz /home/
# For more information see the manual pages of crontab(5) and cron(8)
# m h dom mon dow command
*/1 * * * * /home/eddie/bin/

Then we used to brab the radar pictures

DAY=$(date +”%m%d%y%H%M%S”)
# echo $picfn
# wget -O fws$DAY.png

Then each picture needed to be converted. Instead of redoing every picture, the command file only redoes the pictures that have not already been converted.


.for g in Fws*.png

if [ -f $g.txt ];
echo $g.txt already written
echo $g.txt not written yet
img2txt -W 80 -f utf8 img2txt -W 160 -H 50 utf8 $g > $g.txt

Then lastly we needed a command file to display the data to the screen like a radar would displaying each picture on after the other.

for g in Fws*.txt
tput cup 0 0
cat $g


Screenshot from 2013-08-16 14:59:47

You may want to surf internet a bit more carefully. That is you do not want the sites you go to to know where you are surfing from.   Here is one way to achieve that, You will need to use a program called SSH and you will need a shell account on a server no where you are. Copied a short piece of code to  test what ipaddress we were surfing from on the local server.


header(“Cache-Control: no-cache, must-revalidate”);
header(“Expires: Mon, 26 Jul 1997 05:00:00 GMT”);

if (!empty($_GET)) {
// lecture du GET et execution des tâches

exit(“alert(‘Your ip address is: “.$_SERVER[‘REMOTE_ADDR’].”‘);”);

After installing that file on the server where it would be easily accessible, I tested it out.

Screenshot from 2013-08-16 14:16:33

That was the correct ipaddress so what’s next? We need to get access to the shell account we want to use via ssh. So we will for deminstrations purposes will just use te server oesrvr1.

$ ssh -D localhost:9999 oesrvr1

That tells our system to log into oesrvr1 and let us use port 9999 for the socks proxy on our machine. So we are letting the server act as a proxy or stand in for which ipaddress to be used on the net. Now we have to let our web browser know what port to use in stead of the default port 80 on our machine. We will use our machine as localjpst (aka on port 9999 that we used to connect to the server with. You will need to go into your web browser and change the socks settings. If you disconnect from the server, you will have to go back and change this setting back to what it what. Not a big deal though.

Screenshot from 2013-08-16 12:13:24

Now lets go back to the browser and refresh the page. Neat, the internet thinks you are using the server to browse from. Less information advertisers can get if you visit their site,

Screenshot from 2013-08-16 14:15:30


Screenshot from 2013-08-16 23:42:50

Was thinking about circuits to improve the energy received from an antenna when I though about an Idea or two. Update on results coming.

Instead of using the full wave rectifier or the special engergy circcuit,  lets use just a simple voltage doubler circuit we will use a special modified circuit to do voltage doubling. The traditional rectifier used in essense 4 diodes. To make a voltage double you will need to replace two fo the diodes with electrolytic capacitors. To make our circuit even more intersting, we will be using what is known aas a step up transformer to see what happens. A voltage meter will be added to the dc side to see what results we might get.Since the incoming signal is ac, the transformer should work fine within limitation. If you wer using incoming dc voltage, this circuit definately would not work. The Transformer might also help boots the voltage, but there might possibly be a power loss.

One other possible modification would be to add a tuning capacitor to the less coil side of the transformer to latch on to stronger signals.

Note: I know nothing about electronics, except what little I have read, so this experiment will be even more interesting.

Screenshot from 2013-08-19 00:19:08

Since the wall antenna was already taken down, we decided just to use a garden variety coat hanger antenna. Took the power transformer from a old radio, It had a ratio of 180 to 8 according to the ohm meter. I put the 8 side on the antenna. the 180 side when to the load circuit.  With the full wave rectifier circuit we saw a value of 2 to 7. with the voltage doubler we saw a value of 20. What a difference. The little magic power circuit that really did not work in earlier steps was really supposed to be some kind of voltage double for some reason that did not work well. Though the power was infinitesimal, we are still pleased with the results in this part of the experiment.

Diodes were the same kind as used  with the:
Capacitors were .1uf 50 v electrolytic capacitors.


Couple more tv antennas that dd rather well considering it did not get all the channels, but it received all the local channels that were important.

Screenshot from 2013-08-19 11:04:45



Ultra simple amplifier.  Has bias, dc blocking capacitor, and a speaker.

Screenshot from 2013-08-20 09:46:26


One way to examine what packets go over the network is with a program called wireshark. it make a little passive device known as the star. very famous.  The star is too conspicous, so we made virtually the same device that could fit in a network wall socket location. You can find more details at::


You may already have an Arm cpu based computer for installing linux in the closet. The Cisco Linksys NSLU2 may not be the fastest kid on the block, but it can run linux. How to do it? see:


Cooking merit badge in scouting has changed. First it was about cooking in the wilderness and now it is all about the gourmet  meals. The old was good enough for me.


Good day..