Archive for the ‘DreamPlug’ Category

Belated Blog Birthday

Monday, March 12th, 2012

I missed a couple of milestones.

This blog turned 10 years old on March 5th, 2012. It started life as a humble blosxom script and stayed like that for two years when I migrated to a self-hosted wordpress blog. Since I’ve been tracking late in 2007, there has been 180,000 page views — a good percentage is probably spammers.

Here are my move viewed blog entries:

  1. messing around with tiles (13-Aug-2004; 16,153 hits) — a silly little post about using the taprats java app to generate some interesting titles. It is also where I got the favicon for
  2. family pictures — including one of me naked! (4-May-2003; 7,560 hits) — Seems lots of people are searching for naked photos on the internet. Who knew? The entry has some bitrot, but I had scanned some old photos as part of a genealogy project. Here is the photo of me butt naked.
  3. Getting started with the SheevaPlug (12-May-2009; 7,158 hits) — finally a geek-related entry! I’m still somewhat happy with LordShiva.local, but it sometimes flakes out losing the root filesystem. Its backup function has been moved to a DreamPlug.
  4. flickr upload for gnome’s nautilus (4-Sep-2004; 6,077 hits) — Back in the Debian/Sarge days I wrote a little Nautilus script to upload flickr photos. It got some link-love from flickr. Sadly the script is lost to the ages.
  5. I’ve seen things, I’ve seen them with my eyes… (5-Mar-2004; 4,901 hits) — damn earworm by the excellent Weebl. Surprisingly the link is still good. Best part of the song? Kuala Lumpur!
  6. Some tips to (re)install grub on an HP ProLiant server (8-May-2004, 4762 hits) — Back in the day HP ProLiant with SmartArray controllers, Red Hat and grub didn’t love each other as much as they do today. My notes were popular for a while, less so over time.
  7. Logitech USB headset & Ubuntu/Linux (13-Sep-2006; 4,263 hits) — evidence that random devices work out of the box on Linux just like it usually does on Windows.
  8. hp 2133 update (4-Jun-2008; 3,799 hits) — described some problems installing various distros of Linux on my cute little hp2133 netbook. Since then Ubuntu has been running on the hp2133 just fine and has ubeen upgraded through Oneric. Now it is off at college with Son #2 who uses it for notetaking in class.
  9. SheevaPlug customizing pre-installed Ubuntu/Jaunty (17-May-2009; 3,392 hits) — misc notes on the SheevaPlug when it was running Ubuntu/Jaunty. Currently it is running Debian/Squeeze mainly because Ubuntu dropped support for the ARM CPU it uses.
  10. SheevaPlug is now my main home server (26-Jun-2009; 2,916 hits) — A write up on what the SheevaPlug was hosting in my home datacenter. All those functions have moved to the newer and more capable DreamPlug.

The other big milestone is I’ve had the domain for 15 years — 6-Feb-1997. I have children that are younger than that domain!

Record last updated on 07-Feb-2012.
Record expires on 07-Feb-2013.
Record created on 06-Feb-1997.

DreamPlug: misc info

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Someone asked for more info about the hw/sw as shipped with the DreamPlug:

root@morpheus:~# uname -a
Linux morpheus #1 PREEMPT Tue Feb 8 03:18:41 EST 2011 armv5tel GNU/Linux
root@morpheus:~# lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID:	Ubuntu
Description:	Ubuntu 9.04
Release:	9.04
Codename:	jaunty
root@morpheus:~# lshw
    description: Computer
    width: 32 bits
       description: Motherboard
       physical id: 0
          description: System memory
          physical id: 0
          size: 501MiB
          physical id: 1
          bus info: cpu@0
          physical id: 2
          bus info: usb@1:1.1
          logical name: scsi0
          capabilities: emulated
             description: SCSI Disk
             product: STORAGE DEVICE
             vendor: Generic
             physical id: 0.0.0
             bus info: scsi@0:0.0.0
             logical name: /dev/sda
             version: 9910
             size: 1886MiB (1977MB)
             capabilities: removable
                physical id: 0
                logical name: /dev/sda
                size: 1886MiB (1977MB)
                capabilities: partitioned partitioned:dos
                   description: Windows FAT volume
                   vendor: mkdosfs
                   physical id: 1
                   logical name: /dev/sda1
                   version: FAT16
                   serial: 020d-9082
                   size: 1885MiB
                   capabilities: primary fat initialized
                   configuration: FATs=2 filesystem=fat label=dream_kr
                   description: EXT3 volume
                   vendor: Linux
                   physical id: 2
                   logical name: /dev/sda2
                   version: 1.0
                   serial: cc90c161-81e2-4434-b39f-e61c8de21c6a
                   size: 1783MiB
                   capacity: 1783MiB
                   capabilities: primary journaled extended_attributes large_files recover ext3 ext2 initialized
                   configuration: created=2011-02-23 08:07:06 filesystem=ext3 label=dream_fs modified=2011-04-19 15:44:26 mounted=2011-04-19 15:44:26 state=clean
             description: SCSI Disk
             product: STORAGE DEVICE
             vendor: Generic
             physical id: 0.0.1
             bus info: scsi@0:0.0.1
             logical name: /dev/sdb
             version: 9910
             capabilities: removable
                physical id: 0
                logical name: /dev/sdb
       description: Ethernet interface
       physical id: 1
       logical name: eth0
       serial: f0:ad:4e:00:71:ec
       size: 10MB/s
       capacity: 1GB/s
       capabilities: ethernet physical tp aui bnc mii fibre 10bt 10bt-fd 100bt 100bt-fd 1000bt-fd autonegotiation
       configuration: autonegotiation=on broadcast=yes driver=mv643xx_eth driverversion=1.4 duplex=half firmware=N/A link=no multicast=yes port=MII speed=10MB/s
       description: Ethernet interface
       physical id: 2
       logical name: eth1
       serial: f0:ad:4e:00:71:ed
       size: 100MB/s
       capacity: 1GB/s
       capabilities: ethernet physical tp aui bnc mii fibre 10bt 10bt-fd 100bt 100bt-fd 1000bt-fd autonegotiation
       configuration: autonegotiation=on broadcast=yes driver=mv643xx_eth driverversion=1.4 duplex=full firmware=N/A ip= link=yes multicast=yes port=MII speed=100MB/s
       description: Ethernet interface
       physical id: 3
       logical name: uap0
       serial: 00:24:23:33:eb:4c
       capabilities: ethernet physical
       configuration: broadcast=yes ip= multicast=yes
  *-network:3 DISABLED
       description: Ethernet interface
       physical id: 4
       logical name: pan0
       serial: 92:53:b4:db:b1:5b
       capabilities: ethernet physical
       configuration: broadcast=yes driver=bridge driverversion=2.3 firmware=N/A link=yes multicast=yes

DreamPlug: Idles 7-8 watts

Monday, April 18th, 2011

I borrowed the a Kill-A-Watt device from the local library and plugged the DreamPlug into it.

Here are my unscientific observations.

  • idle with no devices except a NIC, wifi, bluetooth: 7 to 8 watts
  • idle with no devices except a NIC: 7 to 8 watts — that was unexpected
  • CPU at ~80% scp’ing a large file to internal disk: 9 watts
  • CPU at ~80% scp’ing a large file to external, powered eSATA disk: 9 watts
  • idle with external unpowered 320G ‘laptop’ USB disk: 11 watts

Powertop didn’t have much in the way of suggestions that affected power.

DreamPlug: no support for nfs-kernel-server

Monday, April 18th, 2011

The folks on reddit were asking about NFS performance on the DreamPlug so I installed nfs-kernel-server. Unfortunately the Ubuntu kernel shipped with the DreamPlug doesn’t support NFS:

root@morpheus:~# /etc/init.d/nfs-kernel-server restart
* Stopping NFS kernel daemon [ OK ]
* Unexporting directories for NFS kernel daemon... [ OK ]
* Not starting NFS kernel daemon: no support in current kernel.

So if you want to use NFS (and don’t want to rebuild the kernel), you’ll have to use unfs3, a usermode version of NFS. It doesn’t support file locking nor wildcards for hostnames in /etc/export.

DreamPlug: motion activated webcam

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

The webcam tool ‘motion‘ is pretty nice, but it needs some tweaks to the base Ubuntu/Jaunty running the DreamPlug.

Do this:

  • Enable the motion daemon. sudo emacs /etc/default/motion and set start_motion_daemon=yes
  • Allow for non-localhost access to the web interfaces. sudo emacs /etc/motion/motion.conf and change the lines to match: webcam_localhost off and control_localhost off
  • Create the default directory to hold the jpg and swf files. sudo mkdir /tmp/motion && sudo chown motion.motion /tmp/motion
  • Restart the motion daemon. sudo /etc/init.d/motion restart
  • Fire up a browser and point it to the DreamPlug’s port 8080 (say http://morpheus.local:8080) and then follow the link to config then list. From there you’ll probably need to set auto_brightness to on.
  • Now look at the video on port 8081 (say http://morpheus.local:8081)

After a while of it running, you don’t need the browser to be on the page, take a look in /tmp/motion to find all the JPG images and SWF ‘movie’ files. Eventually I’ll probably change the directory to live on one of the USB disks…

My PlugComputer datacenter

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

My PlugComputer datacenter, originally uploaded by marcn.


Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

My Dreamplug from Globalscale Technologies finally arrived yesterday and I’m just getting around to dig into it.

Things I’ve noticed:

  • Shipped with Ubuntu/Jaunty preinstalled. Root password: nosoup4u
  • kernel:
    Linux ubuntu #1 PREEMPT Tue Feb 8 03:18:41 EST
    2011 armv5tel GNU/Linux
  • Misc system info: /proc/meminfo,/proc/cpuinfo, dmesg and lsmod
  • Only port open is ssh
  • The dreamplug starts up as an open wifi access point that will route through either eth0 of the wired network or a ppp0 device. It is named DreamPlug-uAP-{last two octects of the uap0 MAC address} ie: DreamPlug-uAP-eb4c
  • /etc/rc.local runs a script in ~root/!) It sets up the wifi as an access point, configures iptables for ip masquerade/ip forwarding, enables bluetooth and plays with the LED light brightness. See:
  • They didn’t clean up .history — lots of interesting stuff in there! Grab a copy before you do any commands as root. I lost the first 34 commands and curious what else they were doing. See: history.txt
  • Some commands they used and places to check for changes from default values:

    – uaputl sys_config
    – cp -rf /mnt/uaputl /usr/bin/uaputl
    – vi /sbin/
    – vi /etc/usbmount/usbmount.conf
    – mocp /media/usb1/EyesOnMe.mp3 (someone’s favorite song, it gets played a number of times)
    – vi /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-framebuffer.conf
    – vi /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf
    – cat /proc/asound/card0/codec
    – cat /proc/asound/card0/usbbus
    – cat /proc/asound/card0/usbid
    – cat /proc/asound/card0/pcm0p/info
    – vi /etc/
    – vi /etc/java-6-openjdk/
    – speaker-test
    – vi /etc/mke2fs.conf +5
    – vi /etc/asound.conf
    – arecord -f dat -D hw:3,0 -d 30 foo.wav
    – arecord -f dat -D hw:0 -d 30 foo.wav
    – arecord -f dat -D hw:1,0 -d 30 foo.wav
    – cat /proc/asound/cards
    – arecord -l
    – vi /etc/asound.conf
    – mocp BuzzingBee.wav
    – mv /etc/asound.conf /etc/asound1.conf
    – vi /etc/modprobe.conf
    – sudo apt-get install snd_pcm_dmix
    – vi /etc/asound1.conf
    – cp -rf /etc/asound1.conf /etc/asound.conf
    – play /home/havana.wav
    – vi /etc/udhcpd.conf

  • There are two kernel modules (mcypt.ko & sd8xxx.ko) sitting in ~root/ On how to use them (not that I’ve tried yet), try here on See: mcypt.ko and sd8xxx.ko
  • Packages installed by default: dpkg.txt
  • Things to do:
    apt-get update && apt-get upgrade (carefully don’t trash possibly changed config files)
    – install emacs (sudo apt-get install emacs)
    – change password
    – create user accounts
    – add users to sudousers (visudo)
    – install ssh keys (ssh-copy-id user@ubuntu.local)
    – change the hostname from ubuntu.local to morpheus.local (to go with my SheevaPlug named lordshiva.local) (edit /etc/hostname and /etc/hosts)
    – play with USB webcam & motion
    – setup ftp/nfs for local file sharing
    – carefully consider upgrading to more recent versions
    – look at using as a wifi client
    – try pairing bluetooth headset
    – try pairing android phone — file transfers? remote control?
    – install cups
    – install gnump3d (needs make)
    – install munin to monitor performance (is this going to kill my
    internal sd storage?)

14-Apr 10:50am Update: DreamPlug discussion on reddit submitted by sub2k1