A very big Networking LAB – DN42

I’ve always thought of JAWUG as a network lab the size of a city.

But now there’s DN42, which is describes itself as,

dn42 is a big dynamic VPN, which employs Internet technologies (BGP, whois database, DNS, etc). Participants connect to each other using network tunnels (GRE, OpenVPN, Tinc, IPsec) and exchange routes thanks to the Border Gateway Protocol.

I’ve joined DN42, and gone a little crazy with it. So far I have nodes in the US, Ireland, Australia and South Africa. This means I can interconnect with other DN42 members anywhere in the world, having resilience against failures.
I’ll probably be adding more to that, but my first step will be to upgrade my Australian node to something with a bit more bandwidth.

So, get over to http://dn42.us/ and get started.

Xiaomi Mi Smart Home Gateway Teardown video

I’ve pulled enough things apart to see what makes them tick. So I’ve decided to put them on video, with some commentary.

Here’s the first installment, a teardown of a very solid little Smart Home Controller from the massive Chinese tech powerhouse Xiaomi.

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DNSMasq suddenly stopped working?

If you’ve recently done an update on your debian or ubuntu Linux system, and you’re running dnsmasq, you might have noticed that it’s no longer responding to remote queries.

Check your /var/log/syslog
Do you have a line saying something like
dnsmasq[14673]: Ignoring query from non-local network

Well, thats because dnsmasq has decided to change the default behaviour for service DNS queries.
It will now only answer to itself by default Continue reading DNSMasq suddenly stopped working?

Getting simple data from MyEskom

Eskom has developed a great webapp it calls MyEskom. Once you create an account and tell it where you live, it’ll give you localised information on the state of the power grid.

It looks pretty good on a phone, better on a tablet, and aweful on a proper web browser.

Its great that they’re making the information freely available, I’m just not keen on having a web page open that hurts my eyes. I want a simple 2-line summary of what’s going on.

So I dove into the background and figured out which HTTP POST to fake to get all the information I needed. Then I wrote a simple python script to do just that, and print out what I wanted to know.

The output I get now is very simple, but it contains everything you need.

Power Status: high/up/red
Turn off: Electric Stove,Geyser,Pool Pump,Dryer,Dishwasher,Heater,Normal Lights

Code is available on github

Feel free to fork it, contribute and make something awesome.

wearPi – Stripping down the MyVu for an HMD

A few months back, I got my hands on a Raspberry Pi. As soon as i got it, I realised I didn’t have a use for it.

Then a week back, I had a pair of MyVu Solo’s. Sure, they’re not exactly the latest and greatest in Personal Media Viewers, but they would serve the purpose of displaying information.
The problem though, is (apart from looking ridiculous), they completely occluded my vision when I put them on.
So I’ve hacked them apart, and am in the process of turning them into a monocular display.

Here’s how I did it (and as far as I can tell, I’m the only person who didn’t destroy bits in the process)

Continue reading wearPi – Stripping down the MyVu for an HMD