iStat on Raspberry Pi

All the cool kids have been playing with their Raspberry Pis for quite awhile now. But, how do you monitor the tasks it’s completing for you? I’ve heard of iStat in the past and thought it might be time to give it a whirl. The only problem is I couldn’t find any instructions on how to install iStatd on a pi… so let’s fix that.

I'm sorry you can't see this picture of the iStatd interface

You will need:
1. Raspberry Pi
2. iOS Device with iStat from @bjango
3. A little bit of brains

First let’s ssh into the pi and update our packages
sudo apt-get update

Next we are going to install the dependencies will need to get it installed
sudo apt-get install build-essential libxml2-dev

When I wrote this the most recent version of iStatd was 0.5.8 from 2 years ago. You can check for the latest version here:
https://github.com/tiwilliam/istatd/downloads/

I downloaded 0.5.8
wget --no-check-certificate https://github.com/downloads/tiwilliam/istatd/istatd-0.5.8.tar.gz

And then extracted it
tar -xzvf istatd-0.5.8.tar.gz

I think it’s probably time to get some compiling on
cd istatd-0.5.8
./configure
sudo make
sudo make install

Are we having fun yet? Create a user for iStat and give it the proper permissions…
sudo useradd istat
sudo mkdir /var/run/istat
sudo chown istat /var/run/istat

iStat has a configuration file and you’re going to want to change it
sudo nano /usr/local/etc/istat.conf

It’s pretty self explanatory but for sure you should change server_code to a different 5 pin digit number. Also change the disks to monitor. For me my df shows I have a / and a /boot but I only care about / so I’m changing that line
# Array of disks to monitor. Specify mount path or device name.
monitor_disk ( / )

Holy cow… are we done? Let’s start this sucker up
sudo /usr/local/bin/istatd -d

Done and done. iStatd is running in the background. You can fire up iStat for iOS and give it the ip of your pi along with the pin you just set.

BitCoin: 1KyWcq1McXvjvsfRkMKpskkeAfDgVqfqmh

Productive Firefox Addons

Recently my friend @JasonMRyan was talking to me about Firefox addons and I promised him I’d send him a few of my most favorite that I use daily at work. I’d like to share these with all of you to enjoy! Obviously I use a ton more but I’d say for work that these are tops.

Adblock Plus – Block ads (Like the one embedded below) :: http://bit.ly/ccB915

After the Deadline – Spelling and Grammar Checker :: http://bit.ly/9BslKE

FastestFox – Browse Faster – Scroll to next page :: http://bit.ly/bu2pRA

Readability – Cuts all the clutter out of a web page and gives you just content :: http://bit.ly/dsYSMr

hhgregg Warranty Service Sucks

Around this time two years ago the wife and I were buying our first home.  It’s not huge but it fit the two of us perfect, especially after 6 months of searching.  Once we had our home we had to buy all new appliances and it was the perfect time to fulfill my dream of getting a big screen TV.  I did the research and shopped around and realized the flat panels were still way to expensive for the size of TV I wanted so we decided a rear projection would be great for us.  This is when we went to hhgregg and bought a Samsung 50″ DLP Projection TV.  Once we got it home I quickly noticed a rainbow effect while watching Tv.  It was driving me crazy so we went back a few days later and exchanged the Samsung DLP Projection for a Sony 50″ LCD Projection TV.  Specifically Model KDF-50e2000.  They brought out the new TV and took away the old one the next day.  No problems, no headaches, just great service.

I don’t know what has happened to hhgregg since.  Two years later the bulb in my TV went out.  Something I knew would happen which is why I bought the extended warranty.  I knew $400 was too much but when you figure a lamp is definitely going out and it is several hundred plus you get the service of someone coming out AND the peace of mind that if anything else goes wrong in 5 years it will be fixed it seems like it’s worth it.  Plus I’m a sucker when it comes to people selling me crap.  It’s all I can do to not order the Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter and I don’t even like tomatoes.  When I call to get it fixed they schedule me service for a few days later and all seems great.  A couple of hours later the people coming out call and tell me that the lamp is backordered from Samsung and it will be a few weeks.  First I say “Weeks?!?” then I say wait, I don’t have a Samsung.  She notifies me that I in fact do have a Samsung model something or other.  I assure her that no, I have a Sony.  I’ve been staring and the dang logo on the bottom of my screen and on the remote for two years.  To which she cancels the order and tells me I need to straighten it out with hhgregg and promptly hangs up.  Thanks I. A. Electronics!

I called hhgregg to figure out what was going on even though it was pretty obvious they never put in the information for the new TV.  It turns out it’s way more complicated than that.  GE Warranty Service is apparently who hhgregg gave at least a portion of my money to and who is now responsible for fixing my TV… kind of.  All they do is coordinate with I.A. Electronics to get it fixed.  GE won’t do anything because I have warranty for a TV that I don’t own.  hhgregg tells me that they’ll have to research it and get the proper information to GE.  The next afternoon I still hadn’t heard anything so I went to the store and was told that hhgregg corporate would have to notify GE because they wouldn’t believe the store and on top of that they still can’t find my invoices.  I bring in my own copies of the invoices and they email corporate with the invoice numbers so they can look them up.  Come Wednesday I still hadn’t heard anything so I called corporate myself to complain.  I gave the nice lady my invoice numbers and my TV model and serial number.  She says it will take a day or two to get the info updated.  I decided to call GE the next day just to check and amazingly they finally had the correct info for my TV!

I walk through getting an appointment set up and the guy at GE asks me what time Monday would be good for me.  I stop him and say that Monday is Memorial Day, a holiday.  He assures me that they will be working that day so I get everything set up and he gives me the contact info for I.A. Electronics along with my service number.  I promptly call I.A. to check on everything and when I mention I have an appointment Monday the guy on the phone laughed.  I mean he actually laughed out loud and then said “No, no.” still chuckling.  That made me a happy camper of course.  He went on to inform me that Monday was a holiday and they weren’t going to be working.  Being a computer tech I’m upset this whole time anyway because I know I could change that stupid lamp in 10 minutes if I could just get it in my hands.  So I ask the man if I can just come by and pick up a lamp to which he looks up my TV model and tells me that the lamp is going to have to be ordered and it will take 7 days.  Ugh.

So now it’s been a week.  My TV is still broke.  It’s most likely going to be broke for another week.  No one will take responsibility for any of the mistakes that’s happened and I’m going crazy here.

Fast Forward several weeks…

I finally resolved this issue.  Eventually GE Warranty shipped a new lamp out to the people who were going to service my TV so as soon as I saw it arrived I told them I’d be in to pick it up myself because I didn’t want to wait another 4 days on top of the 16 days it had already been.  Replacing the lamp literally took 30 seconds and I didn’t need any tools.  I just popped off a panel, twisted another panel off, pulled up on the old lamp, and then did all that in reverse.  30 seconds!  I waited 16 days and it was only 30 seconds worth of work!

Let this be a lesson to you, the extended warranty is a rip off!

<end rant>

CIT 499 Presentation

After days of typing, rehearsing, and creating a PowerPoint I am finally done with my CIT 499 presentation for my Emerging Technologies class.  If you’ve been following my posts you already know basically what I’ve done and what this presentation talks about.  It runs down how I started the class thinking I’d be able to learn Obj-C and create an iPhone app to turning my focus to the CIT@IUPUI Facebook page.

I had a lot of fun working in this class this semester and learning about all sorts of new tools and technologies.  Hopefully Dr. Ho will keep teaching this class because people seeking a CIT degree need to be familiar with all the different things that are out there.

I used www.SlideShare.net to upload my presentation which is a fun WEB 2.0 site for sharing Powerpoint presentations and it will even allow you to share Keynote presenations from Apple’s iWork software.  Cool!

For posterity I’ve uploaded the PowerPoint Show to my host and you can grab it here http://jamescochran.org/CIT499Presentation.ppsx.  It basically goes over what I had to do to get an email listserv into an rss feed and then how I got that feed to start posting to the CIT@IUPUI.edu Facebook Page.  So if you’re looking to do the same sort of thing this may be worth the 15 minutes of your time to look at.  Beware, the download is about 123 MB.

If you’re looking for an upper level elective to take at IUPUI for CIT I would recommend this class.  I learned quite a bit, got to talk about technology, and had a blast!