At the company I work (BORM), we have an internal web page with the company news. We’re required to log in and check every once in a while.
Now to get notified automatically, wehen some news are to be discovered, I hacked together a PHP script that logs in, downloads and parses the news. It then serves an rss xml file to my feed reader.
In the past I didn’t do a lot of PHP scripting. Only editing some bits and pieces. So this is my biggest endeavor to PHP.
Tested with liferea and BeyondPod.
I won’t tell you where the script can be accessed, as the company news requires login. But the script itself is here:
Continue reading “Convert news web page into rss feed”
It was not quite as easy as I anticipated to interface the MS5607B sensors that I had sitting around for quite some time now. Sure, wiring them up is a lot easier. Although I still don’t like soldering SMD.
In the end, it worked out, and the code can be downloaded with the links below.
The bad thing however is that the reduction in program code that I was hoping for didn’t happen. My ChopperRemote project uses an Arduino Bluetooth which has only about 15kB of storage for the programm (sketch). That was not enough to fit in all the communications and sensor readings that I already had plus the MS5607C sensor. The Code to read the sensor used about 7kB alone. So I hoped with the i2c interface that would reduce. Now it didn’t! So I thought for holding the altitude, the Helicopter doesn’t need to know the height in cm. But could use the pressure directly and treat it as if it was linear. Lets see, how that works out…
I knew google can read my mind.
For some time now I was looking for something like GoogleEarth for human anatomy. I even thought about asking Google to make something like that.
Now I learned they did just that. They even did it as a showcase for WebGL which is part of the upcoming HTML5 standard.
Have a look at http://bodybrowser.googlelabs.com/
You will need a browser with WebGL support. At the moment the beta versions of Firefox and Chrome are known to work well.
Yesterday, my first Android App hit the Market. Just search for flightpred and you should find it. It should run on any device running Android 1.5 and above. The App doesn’t do a lot so far. Essentially, it downloads an xml file from the flightpred server and displays the predictions for how many kilometers it thinks are possible to fly in the next three days in some flying sites on the small screen. Later I also want to add a GoogleMapsView with the circles like on the flightpred website.
I used to develop some small projects and my diploma work in Java some ten years ago. Since then the language progressed noticeably. I especially like the templatized containers. Back in the days, the containers were not type safe and I always had to cast when accessing elements. Also, the lambda’s look good.
These days I don’t often discover new flying sites, especially not if they’re so close. Last year when searching for new sites in the Wallis I found something about Giw on the internet. That’s above Visperterminen. The chairlift was closed already, so I went somewhere else.
When thinking about where to go this weekend, that came to my mind, and I decided to go there. From the top of the chairlift one has to walk about half an hour uphill to reach the takeoff. While hiking, I saw the other mountain more north, which I thought must be the goal of the private cablecar from Eyholz. So I went to find out…
The mountain has the funny name “Gebidum” and is indeed where this obscure cablecar goes to. It’s only to service all the antennas at the top. The view was marvelous. Only the take off is not so perfect. One can take off in almost all directions, but it’s very flat, has stones, little bushes and steps. To make it perfect, while I waited and looked around at the top, the wind started to blow softly from the north. I wanted to take off south to fly along the slopes and explore the area where I walked up from the air.
Takeoff went smooth, and it was a gentle autumn flight even with some weak thermals along the way. After following the ridge to the small Giw lake, I crossed to Zeneggen before heading to Visp.
The battery of my phone was empty, so I couldn’t take no photos and no lifetracking. But the good old Garmin could still record.
Today I solved another problem that bugged me for a while. Namely, I wanted to run the free flight prediction runs automatically from cron. When I ran it from the commandline or a script, it worked well, but when I tried to run it directly or through the same script from cron, it always failed with the following message : “critical error : basic_string::_S_construct NULL not valid”
Continue reading “missing env variables when running from cron”
After a long time I did some paramotoring again. We swiss poeople have to leave the country to do so. Paramotoring is forbidden in only two countries in the world. One is North Korea, and guess which is the other…
But it looks promising that the new electric engines might get approved in Switzerland.
Anyway, it’s lots of fun for the autumn when the thermals start to disappear.
Last week I got my new phone. A Samsung Galaxy 9000 with Android 2.1 (soon 2.2). So, the Openmoko Freerunner was my main phone for less than a year. I tried many different distributions on it. Namely OM2008, SHR, Hackable, Android 1.5 but the one I like most is QtMoko. The freerunner is still the closest you can get to as true opensource phone. Albeit it offers some unique features not found in any other phone, the user experience is not quite the same as with a commercial phone. Some stuff still has to be done at the command line or editing configuration files. Other stuff you have to try 4 times before it succeeds.
Playing around with a pre installed Android is a really pleasant experience. It comes with lots of cool stuff that I didn’t expect from it.
People say, rooting the phone voids the warranty. So, I better make sure the device has no hardware defects prior to installing debian…. To be continued
With my flugbuch2 and flightpred projects I had a problem for a while in the debian packages. Namely the installation froze after restarting apache2, while the installation seemed to have succeeded as the websites were accessible. When I reloaded apache instead of restarting, the installation ran through but the websites could not be found.
After endless googling, I found that the debian gallery packages used to suffer the same problem and that it was fixed. So I examined the source. What triggered the problem is an apache installation that’s not properly configured. Namely, if your apache complains that it cannot resolve the fully qualified hostname upon startup, then restarting apache inside my old postinst script would fail the postinst script. It has something to do with debconf waiting on some open file descriptors.
To make it short: move the db_stop to just before the apache restart and that solves the problem.
After receiving personal messages on the arduino forum asking for the code for the Intersema pressure sensor, I paste my code here. It is based on the code from Hari Nair for the open source solar vario that I bought from him.
Continue reading “Arduino Code for the MS5534C Intersema pressure sensor”