Month: January 2014

Backyard Garden Work – Progress pictures

Over the past 2-3 months I have been doing work in our backyard. It involved putting a garden bed around the perimeter of the fence and planting some bushes that will grow and fill out the space. Basically so I look at bushes instead of a boring fence.

Plants have been in for a while, bark was laid sometime after that. Only started doing the timber edge in the last 2 months, so that’s the main progress here. However if and when I post original photos, you will see trees have really grown too.





IMG_0583Starting to see some real improvement with the appearance now.


Confluence 5.4.2 installation problem – Confluence not starting post install

This is not something I’ve hit before, however this is my first time installing Confluence 5.4.2 x32 on a Exigent VPS account. Post the installation, I got the message indicating that the service has started and you should connect to it to finish the configuration.

However, nothing was found to be running on the default port of 8090, so I checked the catalina.out file in the logs folder to determine what was written. It was showing the lines below;

Error occurred during initialization of VM
Could not reserve enough space for object heap
Error: Could not create the Java Virtual Machine.
Error: A fatal exception has occurred. Program will exit.

At this point I figured I needed to change the amount of memory being allocated to java during startup so I went looking to see where this was being set from. Turns out its in the file in the bin folder.

On the first line of the file, change the -Xmx512m to something a little smaller, if your running on a VPS that doesn’t have enough available memory to let it have 512Mb of ram. Save the change and fire it up via “” and it should load up fine.

EDIT: It’s safe to say that my low end VPS account cannot really run the Confluence install, as it failed to create the database in MySQL and put the box under serious load due to all memory being consumed, which subsequently pushed out the load average. See below;

top – 09:56:16 up 45 days, 16:50, 3 users, load average: 70.49, 37.55, 15.18
Tasks: 70 total, 3 running, 67 sleeping, 0 stopped, 0 zombie
Cpu(s): 12.1%us, 87.9%sy, 0.0%ni, 0.0%id, 0.0%wa, 0.0%hi, 0.0%si, 0.0%st
Mem: 1048576k total, 1048576k used, 0k free, 0k buffers
Swap: 0k total, 0k used, 0k free, 0k cached

I gave it a go nonetheless 🙂

Confluence 5.4.2 x64 installation error

I was attempting an installation of Confluence 5.4.2 x64 from the binary file that can be executed and it failed like below;

root@hostname:/home/username# ./atlassian-confluence-5.4.2-x64.bin
Unpacking JRE …
Starting Installer …
./atlassian-confluence-5.4.2-x64.bin: 466: /home/username/atlassian-confluence-5.4.2-x64.bin.17671.dir/jre/bin/java: not found

I’ve seen this problem before with another product, so I knew immediately what the problem is. It’s due to executing the x64 version on a 32bit Linux.

Go download the 32bit version of the file and execute it. It will work.

Wifidog and Authpuppy

I’ve been trying to get Wifidog and Authpuppy going, however failed to get the end to end solution working.

I was able to get Wifidog installed and compiled. In addition to getting Authpuppy going, but getting them to work together is not working  for me.

I want to use a small pc with dual nics to connect to the local network (which gets out to internet) and the other nic connected to 1 or more Access Points.

The network with the Access Point doesn’t appear to have its traffic intercepted by Wifidog at all, and that’s the bit that I am stuck with currently.

Exigent VPS

I signed up for a Exigent VPS several weeks back and have been using it on and off. I loaded mine up with a configuration that would allow vhost mail hosting and webhosting. It ran fine, the bandwidth to the VPS itself seemed fine.

To be honest I have been very happy with the VPS service, so much so I recommended it to others. Since we signed up during an introduction of new hardware/services, we actually got a good sign up cost.

I don’t use mine currently, as I moved my services back to shared web hosting, but tempted to hang onto it for a bit longer as its good to have. Besides, if I get rid of it, I wont get another for the price I am paying at the moment.

If you need a VPS, check out Exigent.

Hyundai i30 Trophy CRDi

The day finally came. After waiting nearly a week, the new car was ready for delivery. Decided to mark the occasion with a blog post and a few pictures. Of course I should also say a few words below or post a few words in this case.

Today see’s us take possession of our new Hyundai i30 Trophy CRDi, and it’s the passing of the Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDI which I traded in. The Golf served us well, and we thought it would be best to move to another diesel based car. Hyundai for us ticked the right boxes.

Here is a few pictures, just so we can remember just how clean and sparkling it was on day one.

IMG_3254e_low IMG_3253e_low IMG_3252e_low IMG_3242e_low

So far I would have to say I am totally impressed with the USB port. We plugged in my wife’s iPhone and was surprised that the music was able to be selected via album from the head unit of the radio. Further more when I played an album the cover art displayed on the head unit of the radio along with the song name etc. Will be sure to post a pic of that soon. It was also charging the iPhone while connected.

As you can see I got a tow bar fitted, and was surprised to see the wiring harness sits in the boot. It’s one of those flat ribbon cables that has enough length so that it can hang out the boot when in use. Never had one like this before. The Golf wiring harness had an adapter that plugged in and from this we could plug in the trailer wiring loom.

The difference in power from the VW Golf 2.0 TDI is certainly noticable. But this was expected, since we are talking 2 very different engines. i.e. 2.0L vs 1.6L. Although the i30 CRDi still manages to pull like a freight train. Gearboxes certainly a bit different, but both 6 speed manuals.

Will be sure to post back anything else I find with the car, but very happy with the purchase so far.

New car

My wife and I had planned on buying a new car in 2014, however the type of car we planned to purchase did change. We had looking to get a 7 seater, and had settled on a Santa Fe diesel. However it appears the wait for these is quite long and we honestly didn’t want to outlay the cost for one in the end.

We decided instead to replace our VW Diesel Golf, which is my car. We decided to replace it with a Hyundai i30 CDRI manual. We ended up going for the Trophy model that just got announced with the new year sales.

We have arranged to take delivery of the car Tuesday this week in the afternoon. I’ve already seen it, it was at the dealership last Wednesday and I had a drive. Really liked it, and looking forward to taking delivery. Car needed to have a tow bar fitted and get registered.

Registeration is to happen tomorrow, and soon as that happens I will get the paperwork to sort out the insurance to commence on Tuesday, so we can pick it up as planned.

Will be posting a few pictures once that happens, as the only ones I have so far is some taken while it was in pre-delivery phase from my mobile phone.

New BBQ built

I bought a new BBQ last week, but couldn’t pick it up until this weekend.

So after picking it up yesterday, it sat in the backyard awaiting to be opened and put together. That task was for today.

It took about 3+ hours to put together, and the result in the end is as expecting, a nice looking BBQ to use and enjoy.

Good thing, as it’s summer in the Southern Hemisphere and we have been getting some good hot days in the Sydney suburbs.


Domain webhosting changes – again

Hopefully everything should be very seamless and no interruptions should be seen to the website, but I’ve transitioned webhosting of again. Decided to move back to a Shared Webhost, as I really don’t need a VPS server just to host some web sites. I totally enjoyed setting up and getting things working on the Exigent VPS account, subsequently proving to myself a certain configuration could be done and would work.

However longer term I just want to focus on posting content and changing the style of the site, don’t want to be bogged down with maintenance of the OS side too.

I need to move a few other domains back over, at which points the site should stay put for a while to come.

Apple MacBook Air 13inch BTO machine ordered

Ordered myself an Apple MacBook Air 13inch with 8gb ram upgrade (i5/256gb flash drive). This is a BTO custom order due to the ram being upgraded, and as such I need to wait about 2-3 weeks for it to come in stock to the store from Apple.

Been working towards this for about 6 months.

It worked out rather well as I used some JB Hi Fi vouchers I had been given due to merit based awards, which meant I only had to pay the difference out of my own pocket. This made for a good priced machine.

Will be sure to post back on what I get up to with it.

Realtek RTL2838 DVB-T tuner on Raspberry Pi with TvHeadEnd success

I decided to give my DVB-T usb dongle (Realtek RTL2838) another go with the Raspberry Pi and TvHeadEnd. As I thought the newer version of Raspbian if available might address the condition I had previously where I had no dvb device after plugging it in. Older post found here.

It would appear it was a good to check this out again.

I downloaded the latest Raspbian available from the Raspberry Pi site. The version available at the time of this post is the one below;

I installed to an SD card and booted my Raspberry Pi.

I plugged in my Realtek RTL2838 tuner and it detected fine and when I checked for the dvb device structure, it was populated all correctly, which never happened previously at all.

[26848.628778] usb 1-1.3: new high-speed USB device number 6 using dwc_otg
[26848.741110] usb 1-1.3: New USB device found, idVendor=0bda, idProduct=2838
[26848.741147] usb 1-1.3: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
[26848.741166] usb 1-1.3: Product: RTL2838UHIDIR
[26848.741183] usb 1-1.3: Manufacturer: Realtek
[26848.741199] usb 1-1.3: SerialNumber: 00000001
[26848.851456] usb 1-1.3: dvb_usb_v2: found a 'Realtek RTL2832U reference design' in warm state
[26848.857238] usbcore: registered new interface driver dvb_usb_rtl28xxu
[26848.921368] usb 1-1.3: dvb_usb_v2: will pass the complete MPEG2 transport stream to the software demuxer
[26848.921447] DVB: registering new adapter (Realtek RTL2832U reference design)
[26848.965698] usb 1-1.3: DVB: registering adapter 0 frontend 0 (Realtek RTL2832 (DVB-T))...
[26849.001551] r820t 0-001a: creating new instance
[26849.014447] r820t 0-001a: Rafael Micro r820t successfully identified
[26849.021655] Registered IR keymap rc-empty
[26849.022183] input: Realtek RTL2832U reference design as /devices/platform/bcm2708_usb/usb1/1-1/1-1.3/rc/rc0/input0
[26849.022231] rc0: Realtek RTL2832U reference design as /devices/platform/bcm2708_usb/usb1/1-1/1-1.3/rc/rc0
[26849.022262] usb 1-1.3: dvb_usb_v2: schedule remote query interval to 400 msecs
[26849.035148] usb 1-1.3: dvb_usb_v2: 'Realtek RTL2832U reference design' successfully initialized and connected

And device files

root@raspberrypi:~# ls -la /dev/dvb
total 0
drwxr-xr-x  3 root root   60 Jan  1 14:51 .
drwxr-xr-x 13 root root 3080 Jan  1 14:51 ..
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root  120 Jan  1 14:51 adapter0
root@raspberrypi:~# ls -la /dev/dvb/adapter0/
total 0
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root     120 Jan  1 14:51 .
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root      60 Jan  1 14:51 ..
crw-rw---T 1 root video 212, 4 Jan  1 14:51 demux0
crw-rw---T 1 root video 212, 5 Jan  1 14:51 dvr0
crw-rw---T 1 root video 212, 3 Jan  1 14:51 frontend0
crw-rw---T 1 root video 212, 7 Jan  1 14:51 net0

Next I configured other tools before compiling and installing the TvHeadEnd per the steps below;

sudo apt-get install unzip libcurl4-openssl-dev pkg-config git build-essential dvb-apps

cd ~
git clone
cd tvheadend
sudo make install

At which point I executed the binary via “tvheadend -C” and I could now access the web interface for the TvHeadEnd software via http://raspberrypi_ip:9981/ where I could now see my dvb tuner was detected.

At this point you now have to configure the network and channels according to your region. Can be a bit tricky, but I followed the info available at the post here (step 14). This helped me make sense of the sequence of actions.

Below is a screen grab showing VideoLan Client from my Windows 7 desktop and a web browser in the background attached to the TvHeadEnd which is running on the Raspberry Pi with the RTL2838 tuner.



EDIT: And to get my TvHeadEnd to auto start with boot I performed the following additional steps.

Created /etc/init.d/tvheadend file with the contents below;

# Provides: tvheadend
# Required-Start: $local_fs $remote_fs $network
# Required-Stop: $local_fs $remote_fs $network
# Should-Start: $syslog
# Should-Stop: $syslog
# Default-Start: 2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop: 0 1
# Short-Description: start/stop tvheadend Server


start() {
if [ -e $PIDFILE ]; then
PID=$(ps ax | grep -v grep | grep -w $(cat $PIDFILE) | awk '{print $1}')
if [ -n "$PID" ]; then
echo "$TVHNAME already running (pid $PID)."
exit 1
echo -n "Starting tvheadend: "
start-stop-daemon --start --background --pidfile $PIDFILE --make-pidfile --user ${TVHUSER} --exec ${TVHBIN} -- 
-u ${TVHUSER} -g ${TVHGROUP} -f -C
echo "Done."

stop() {
if [ -e $PIDFILE ]; then
PID=$(ps ax | grep -v grep | grep -w $(cat $PIDFILE) | awk '{print $1}')
if [ -n "$PID" ]; then
echo -n "Stopping $TVHNAME: "
start-stop-daemon --stop --quiet --pidfile $PIDFILE --name ${TVHNAME}
echo "Done."
echo "$TVHNAME is not running."
echo "$TVHNAME is not running."

status() {
if [ -e $PIDFILE ]; then
PID=$(ps ax | grep -v grep | grep -w $(cat $PIDFILE) | awk '{print $1}')
if [ -n "$PID" ]; then
echo "$TVHNAME is running (pid $PID)."
echo "$TVHNAME is not running."
[ -e $PIDFILE ] && exit 1 || exit 3

case "$1" in
start) start ;;
stop) stop ;;
restart) stop && sleep 2 && start ;;
*) echo "Usage: $0 [start|stop|restart|status]" && exit 1 ;;

exit 0

Now set the script as executable using below;

sudo chmod 755 /etc/init.d/tvheadend

Create a tvheadend group

sudo groupadd tvheadend

Create a tvheadend user that is part of the video group and tvheadend group.

sudo useradd -g tvheadend -G video -m tvheadend

And now set the initscript tvheadend to startup and shutdown as system does

sudo update-rc.d tvheadend defaults

Raspberry Pi and Xbox 360 camera as a Webcam

Have wanted to configure an Xbox 360 camera as a Webcam on a Raspberry Pi. I’ve simple followed the post here.

I wasn’t interested in having the camera capture images with motion, as I want to act more like a traditional webcam that captures an image every set interval. To perform that task you just need to enable the option below in the motion.conf (/etc/motion/motion.conf) and you can test it by running “motion -n” as root (or via sudo).

# Make automated snapshot every N seconds (default: 0 = disabled)
snapshot_interval 120

With the interval set below it will create a file every 120 seconds. You’ll also get a lastsnap.jpg symlink which links to the last/latest capture.

I modified the configuration to also append some text to the webcam capture and overlay it on the picture. A demo of what I captured is below and how it looks.