Month: October 2013

Atlassian Confluence and NGINX

I’ve always been an apache guy, but I thought it might be good to get NGINX going at home on some lower spec machine and have it forward http requests to other hosts where they can be served.

I finally got my Atlassian Confluence install going at home again, so I thought perfect time to install NGINX and configure it to be the frontend for the requests. Just like my previous post here. I want NGINX to listen on http (tcp/80) for a certain vhost name and forward those requests to my confluence install else where on my network running on the default 8090 port.

Create new site, example of my configuration below;

Filename: /etc/nginx/sites-available/confluence
File Contents:

server {
    listen 80;
    server_name wiki;
    location / {
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Host $host;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Server $host;
        proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;

Now you should link this site file into /etc/nginx/sites-enabled as the same name and restart nginx.

If your dns for and wiki in my example point to the NGINX host, they will forward to on port 8090. Which is where my confluence would be running. Be sure to update confluence site name to match the vhost being used.

Simple as that, bit of a different take on the example Atlassian provide over here.

Time Lapse – GoPro Hero3 Silver

I was playing around with my GoPro Hero3 Silver the other night and thought it might be a good time to do a quick time lapse and see how it turns out.

I thought it turns out pretty well and want to try a few more different attempts, will be posting those up as I do them.

Video below..

OSX Mavericks 10.9 Creating a bootable USB key

I downloaded OSX Mavericks soon as I got home, and intend on installing it in the next few days. However before I did anything with the install file, I wished to make a bootable USB key.

The process was easy and I followed the one from the follow Macworld post here.

Will post back some experiences with the new OS and already noticed some folks talking about being unable to play the native GoPro MP4 files. So will keep an eye out on the post here that talks about it in the coming days. Since I own a GoPro Hero 3 Silver.

Screenly OSE on Raspbery Pi demo

This post is a follow up to my previous one about using an Raspberry Pi as an Information Display, as found here.

I wanted to capture some videos that show what the output looks like on a TV when the Raspberry Pi boots for the first time and what the assets look like as they get displayed.

Below is two videos (both available in 720p) that will help demonstrate this. The first is the Raspberry Pi being booted.

The other clip shows the assets being displayed post the splash screen being displayed. I have a shortened video clip being displayed of a 1920×1080 movie trailer, followed by 2 test pictures.

The web interface to administer the Screenly OSE application is shown below.

Turnigy 1-16 scale brushless 4WD Monster Beatle Parts

Readers and followers will know I bought my 4 year old a Turnigy 1/16 scale brushless 4WD Monster Beatle, however he managed to strip a servo.

I ordered a replacement, however the replacement I ordered is not a direct fit. I thought it was,  however it wasn’t. So to help others avoid this happening, the part I ordered is the one below.

Turnigy TGY-9018MG Metal Gear Servo 13g / 2.5kg / 0.10s (Global warehouse)

It can be made to fit by creating new mounting holes for the short side, however I don’t feel as though it works as good, but we will soon see. See my pics below, might help explain what I mean.

From my additional research, it looks like the one below is a direct replacement for the original. However better quality internals, so it should last longer.

HK15148 Analog Servo 17g / 2.5kg / 0.14s (AUS warehouse)

Raspberry Pi as an Information Display

A few months back I was looking for a device that could display an image, a webpage and/or a video.

I had also been playing around with having a Raspberry Pi to perform this task, since it has HDMI out and they were fairly well priced. I thought this would make an excellent platform for what I needed.

I did some research and came up with some possible solutions and even tinkered with some of those options.

Eventually I settled on an application called Screenly which runs on the Raspbian distribution, or you can download a pre-made image for it. Screenly is a commercial application which has many added benefits, however has a price tag associated with it.

I noticed that they still make the Screenly OSE edition available and it did everything I needed, and what I imagine many small businesses would also want to use (who might not otherwise already have an information display).

Screenly OSE is the open source edition and is free.

Whats needed:

  • Raspberry Pi (recommend using Model B 512MB edition)
  • 8GB SD-Card
  • USB power lead
  • HDMI lead


Install Raspbian onto the 8GB SD-Card (as downloaded from here). The procedure to perform this should be followed from the same website.

Boot the Raspbian SD-Card in your Raspberry Pi and follow the process/procedure as outlined here. Follow process under Option 2. This will enable you to install the Screenly OSE application and other dependent software.


If everything goes well, the Raspberry Pi when booted will pickup a DHCP address via the network port. This IP address is displayed during the boot of the Raspberry Pi. At which point you can access it via the http://aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd:8080 address. This is the management interface to the Information Display so you can add your assests. i.e. Images, Web URL and/or Video.

Please note that it only supports the following media types:

Screenly currently three types of media:

  • Videos (Screenly uses omxplayer as the video back-end. It is currently limited to MP4/h264-encoded videos.)
  • Images
  • Web-pages

Please note that Adobe Flash media is not, and will most likely never be, supported. Also, images and web-pages will be rendered in 1920×1080, so adjust your content for this size.

Post my successfully testing, I’ve subsequently gone on to configure two (2) Raspberry Pi’s running Raspbian and Screenly OSE within a business environment which render assests that include web pages and images. These have been running fine with little to no manual intervention since install. Over 45+ days uptime on the units.

I’ll post a video showing the boot sequence of a Rasberry Pi running Screenly OSE and it displaying some test assets in the next few weeks.

If you’d like more information and/or assistance with the installation of a Screenly OSE on a Raspberry Pi for your business (or organisation etc) you should contact me via the page here. This way I can quote you on a complete setup including/excluding hardware, and/or just consult you on part of the work etc.

Quad Bike Stockton Sand Dunes Tour

We managed to squeeze in a quad bike tour on Stockton Sand Dunes and it was a blast. We ended up doing an early morning tour and it turns out we ended up being the only 2 people on it.

This made for a great tour and Dean who took us out was good too. Very fun.


Port Stephens – Day 5

Have fallen a bit behind in the posting of pictures, however today is day 5 and I do have time to post a couple of pictures from today.

Whales seen to be at play from the look out called the Summit.
Wonderful view of Shoal Bay from the walking track heading up to the summit.
Looking towards Fingal Bay. If you time the tides right you can use the sand bar to cross, but time it wrong and you won’t get back.

Internet security and passwords

Everyone who uses the internet should consider the use of passwords and how they are used on the internet.

You should be using a different password for different sites and also using the longest and most cryptic password possible.

Of course doing either of these 2 things is going to make it really difficult to remember them, but that’s the whole point, you shouldn’t be able to remember them. As this will lead to having passwords that would be easy to remember and/or exploit by others.

You’ll find plenty of good applications available that can do password management, however below is the programs I use on a daily basis, as the format is one that allows me to use them across multiple programs and platforms. i.e. Windows, Macintosh, iOS devices and even Android devices.

On my Macintosh and iOS devices I use a program called “PwSafe” which is a excellent program and well worth the purchase price. It allows you to sync your password file on Dropbox, which I recommend, as that means no need to copy the file to a location that all devices can see when changes are made.

On Windows computer, I recommend using the program called “Password Safe” which is completely free, and this will enable you to use your password file on a Windows computer.


Information Displays

Will be posting more about my testing with Screenly and the Raspberry Pi in coming weeks as an Information Display and how anyone could use it for this purpose. You’ll be surprised just how easy it is and that it looks professional.

While on holidays I noticed a lot of Information Displays in the Real Estates around Nelson Bay, and these seem to be all branded by Splash Displays with a website link. To my surprise the website link don’t work but the company seems to have lots of hits in google. Wonder what happened to the website.

Port Stephens – Day 2

Here is some pictures from Port Stephens – Day 2. It was a very hot day and extremely windy. Unfortunately the day was marked by some terrible fires here in the region.




RFS rushing to a fire. This truck had 4 police cars in front of it just 2-3mins earlier.
RFS rushing to a fire. This truck had 4 police cars in front of it just 2-3mins earlier.


Dolphin doing circuits just outside the breakwater.
Dolphin doing circuits just outside the breakwater.


Port Stephens NSW

While we have been only in Port Stephens for a day so far we have managed to take a few pictures and do a few things.

This is not the first time we have been here, in fact we came here 2 years ago and stayed in the same place.

View from our accommodation


Looking into Marina
Looking into Marina


Seal spotted on our cruise.
Seal spotted on our cruise.


A whale spotted on our cruise. They seemed very active at times.
A whale spotted on our cruise.


HP Microserver N40L and Windows 2008 R2 x64

I can’t believe this happened and cannot explain it, but I booted my HP N40L Microserver and installed Windows 2008 R2 x64 onto the first drive. I left the other 3 x 2Tb drives installed.

Thought it was odd that no 100mb space was made on the first drive. Turns out it was put on one of the 2Tb drives. How stupid is that for the installer to do that.

So to overcome this issue, I pulled out all drives except for the one I am installing on. That will now force the installer to put that 100mb on the start of the first drive which is going to be used for the operating system drive.