Welcome to jpdw.org...

Some quick links:
  Some home automation - http://www.jpdw.org/smarthome
  Updates on our wonderful twin daughters - updates & pictures
  Items about our garden, this years' planting, home & DIY


In my years of delivering technical projects, a common theme seems to be that people view "certificates" and "authentication" (by certificates) to be some sort of black magic art. At more than one place, understanding them at even a symbol block-diagram-level was deemed to be the domain of a subject matter expert with everyone else either ignoring their existence or talking about them in wrong or misleading terms.

Drupal Weather module - getting it local & working

Having just taken on a primary role for running a local group's drupal website I have been looking to add a local weather forecast. After checking available modules it looked like the imaginatively named 'Weather' module (https://www.drupal.org/project/weather) looked like the best balance of features & being actively maintained.

Very easily installed, its quick to get going but a little more involved to get it as I wanted:

My requirement is simple - to have a forecast available on the front page for a specific location, West Ealing, where the local group is based.

A busy bank holiday weekend...

3 days, did so many things: got the bread, got a new bathroom light; fitted the new bathroom light; cleared out 3 bags of junk from the spare bedroom (aka junk room); tidied the front garden; tidied the back garden; 3 loads of garden rubbish to the tip; new bulbs for the landing light; made soup; lunch meal out; watched 3 films; added xAP Heartbeat to the tempcaster software; Sorted out backing-up my SVN; and probably a few more things....

Things move along

One thing that is certain about continuity (and normally proved right) : Things change and move on. They evolve. Continuity ceases or breaks eventually. Sometimes this brings change that is better, sometimes it's just different (=code for "maybe worse but we don't want to put it that way").


Its been a while but for a strange set of reasons I'm off travelling this week.  Some random and useless statistics have occurred to me:
  • This will be the first time I've been on a plane for almost a year (a while back, 11 days was a long time)
  • This will be the furthest I've been away since the girls were born in June 2008 (yes, further away than I was when they were born
  • ... and the longest trip too (4 days / 5 nights)

Freeview just cost me £25 ....

Recently watching the BBC on Freeview I kept seeing "free Red for 6 Music". I pressed Red 'cos there was nothing else on and watched/listened to the La Roux / Heaven 17 session (http://www.bbc.co.uk/6music/events/hub/artists/laroux-heaven17.shtml).

Parcelforce Parcel Farce

It seems that Parceforce is also affected by the Royal Mail post worker strike. Probably not really suprising but what is annoying is that Parcelforce are specifically telling customers that they are not affected. To quote directly from Parcelforce's website:

"It's business as usual for all Parcelforce Worldwide services during the current Royal Mail industrial action, so
you can continue to despatch your parcels with confidence.

I'm not sure what you can have confidence in!

I can say this at the moment: an NDA exists

I've been looking at the text of an NDA (for something completely unrelated to any work activity, I should add), which includes the clause that the recipients cannot even acknowledge that the NDA exists, despite the fact that the invitation to take part in the activity which will be covered by the NDA was advertised to a reasonably wide audience (and certainly to more people than will volunteer to sign the NDA) -- ie meaning the existance of the activity is known about by people under no obligation to keep it secret.

Networking pages

Some links to pages / items relating to Networking subjects

Thomson TG585 configuration
FreeSwitch - Quickstart download, build & configure on a new VM

Wireshark article on capturing WLAN traffic

BeBox router config

I've been trying to do some fancy stuff with my "BeBox" broadband router. The GUI makes the thing look quite restrictive in what it can do but really that's deceptive as it seems to be pretty powerfull little device. First up, reconfiguring the DHCP scope... strangely the GUI seems to allow you to add pools of addresses but not delete or edit existing ones. Maybe this is simply to ensure there is always at least 1 pool but there isn't even an obvious way to disable DHCP if you dont want it.

More Vista hating....

I've just found that Netstumbler wont work on Vista. For years I had it on my XP HP for occasional use. Now I need to use it more regularly (in part because the Vista UI for WLAN selection is so naff) and it wont work at all. Time to try Vistumbler

Welcome to Vodafone....

It's 3 years since I had a Vodafone phone ( well except for a £10/m SIM that I only had for 4 months for the quidco credit ). In the past I had reasonably good experience of it Vf for business use ... good coverage, reasonable customer service when needed. So it seemed a good choice for my new business phone.

Here's what their website says about their service : "Our aim is to help you as quickly and efficiently as possible."

Vista: What were they thinking ?

Until now, a vista laptop was to me, similar to the attitude I had to kids till last year (when our twins were born):
- Something that seems OK for a few minutes, but thank the lord I can give it back to its owner

But now I've got a new laptop and it's got Vista on it. Aagh.

Vista, by default, asks before running anything that might use the network or reconfigure the system. So for me, that's pretty much every time I touch the damn thing (this 'feature' was turned off pretty quickly).


... so soon ....