I’ve always been interested in home automation. In the olden days, this meant X10 — which meant bulky, slow, and unreliable. Modern technologies have changed this, however; From Apple HomeKit to Z-Wave, the choices are endless. Most are also far faster and more reliable than X10.

The local Home Despot had the Wink 2 in stock, so I decided to give it a shot.

Home Sweet Home

November 27, 2016

For those who are actually wondering, yes, I’m still alive. I managed to get quite thoroughly distracted, and TuneControl was shoved to the back burner for a while (as were all my other projects). I simply haven’t had the time to work on anything.


Because I decided to buy a house.

I haven’t been able to dedicate as much time to TuneControl as I’d like, but I managed to work on it here and there over the past few weeks. My focus has been on developing the firmware, and this is a new approach for me. Usually I build the hardware first.

It’s early days yet, but there has been some progress.

TUN/TAP Demystified

May 21, 2016

Have you ever wondered what the Linux TUN/TAP driver is for? Wonder no more! After spending most of last weekend tweaking the NuttX Simulator network support, I now have a pretty good idea of what TUN/TAP is, what it’s useful for, and how it works.

Might as well pass it on, right?

Several years ago I built a device to help with managing my iTunes library. Fast forward to 2016, and it’s still incredibly useful. Unlike days gone by, I don’t have to dig up my iTunes window every time I want to change tracks, pause the music, or rate a song. The only catch is that it’s a tethered USB device, and only useful when I’m at the computer.

And that’s no longer good enough.

Many of my basic network services live on Raspberry Pi hosts. DNS, DHCP, my yum repository mirrors, my git server… These useful little machines make excellent utility hosts for simple tasks that don’t require much horsepower.

But if I have so many important things running on them, shouldn’t they be monitored?

In my last post, I discussed using Zabbix to monitor varnish. I said it was easy, and that was mostly true — but it also missed one detail that made the situation a bit more complex. It has nothing to do with Zabbix or Varnish really, but the way in which I run my production servers.

Specifically, I run SELinux in enforcing mode.

Yeah, it was an ugly day today. We got a few inches of rain (complete with wild tunderstorms) in just a couple of hours, and the beautiful river I live on has turned to mud as a result. A perfectly cruddy end to a perfectly cruddy week.

At least I got something accomplished this weekend, though…

It’s been a busy week. I lost many hours to the American Idol finale. Had to keep up on The Voice, of course. Then add in the massive (and very painful) project we’re in the middle of at the ever-dreaded job… The little time remaining was devoted to “final” tweaks to my internal network, and a major rework of my Amazon VPC in the hope of making my Amazon budget go a bit further.

It’s with the latter task that this story starts.

The What

Back in 2012, I had plans. I was unemployed, bored, and had just embarked on an interesting hardware project to help organize my music collection. It gave me something to talk about, so I started a blog called Macdweller. For much of 2012 I posted various random things, including my ramblings about TuneConsole.

And then I got a job, and promptly stopped.