Ifor Darby-Hoskin.

About me, what I do and what I am interested in.

The non specialist

I have come to the conclusion that I am a non specialist, I have many skills such as system admin, web site development, coding etc but have never had the time to become an expert in all but a few, the client or employer really just needs the job completed.

This  could seem like a weakness but I have found over the years that the majority of projects require a wide skill base even if you are not a CSS guru even knowing the basics means that you can track the problem down and start to resolve it.

when I have put my project management hat on in the past having an overview of all the parts has been a massive advantage.

But for the few projects that do require very specific skills being able to talk the problem through with a guru once again give me an advantage.

Server monitor using a Raspberry PI and Python.

My simple solution to monitor servers.

A friend of mine (yes I do have some) is the admin for a company that have a server room with lots of servers :-

  • Windows file servers.
  • Windows mail server running exchange.
  • Linux server running their web sites.
  • The list goes on………..

My solution to monitor these and report any problems was to use a Raspberry PI and a SMS module bought from Ebay, the PI also has a temperature and humidity sensor and runs a small internal web site.

A python script runs every minute and performs the following :

  • Pings each servers network card.
  • Attempts to connect to any special ports (SMTP, HTTP, HTTPS).
  • Web scrapes several sites to check that they are up.
  • Records the Temperature and humidity.

If there are any errors the PI attempts to email all the admins and me it will also send a SMS message to the admin users with a brief message.

Every day the PI Emails the admins with a basic report and a link the the data log.

Its has been running for 3 weeks now without any problems and has already detected several errors that normally would have gone unnoticed.

python-logo Raspberrypi

Microsoft C# Audio Project

I have just started a project using C# to record audio from USB sound dongles on a Windows 7 OS. This project needs to be Coded in C#. Lately most of my projects have been coded using VB.NET and it is a a nice change to return to a familiar syntax ( { } ; )

C# has a lot more native support for audio recording and playback so I don’t need to use any third party libs.

The point of the code is to record in 1 minute segments the audio output from several marine VHF radios these will be stored in a separate folder for playback. The date, time and description (Audio source) will be appended to the file name, when the recordings are played back via the playback software (That I still have to code) the user will be able to playback the audio by selecting a date and time range. The system will look after its own disk space so that it will not fill up the hard disk.

This software will be used mainly by clients who need to monitor and record audio from multiple VHF receivers that are monitoring marine traffic.