Uwatec SmartTRAK and Aladin TEC2G

All one needs to understand the Uwatec TEC2G is a bit of information, MDB Tools, and libdivecomputer. In this article, I will show how to understand and get data out of SmartTRAK logs as well as how to get dive data from the Aladin TEC2G, among others the watertype of a given dive data that otherwise is missing in libdivecomputer.
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Windows Registry and Policy Keys

I have a Samba network providing an NT domain to my network. My machines are Windows 7, however. Here I share a few links to make this configuration nicer to work with. Yes, probably, it would be best to migrate my Samba setup to a proper Active Directory domain. But that I leave for some other time. As always, it is your responsibility to verify the information given below. I am not responsible for any damages independently of whether any information contained herein looks reasonable or not. Please, be aware that any mistakes in the commands below may render your system unusable.

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Cheap Underfloor Heating Thermostat

byc Thermostat

byc Thermostat

Last month, I bough a few cheap underfloor heating thermostats with touch screen. These thermostats are available from a number of sources under different names such as BTSKY, Jago, Prodeals, ProTouch, SM-PC, etc. The thermostats work with electrical and hydronic or water-based underfloor heating systems (the latter is what I am using it for). Because I am very happy with those thermostats and because they are fairly common and available through various channels, I decided to write about these thermostats. In total, I ordered 4 devices of which I have 2 sets of 2 identical devices (byc07 and byc71). Judging from pictures on the web, there may be other variants of the devices available as well.

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Zotac ZBOX CA320 Driver Installation

Zotac ZBOX

Zotac ZBOX CA320

Since I needed a small and cheap computer to run Windows 7, I got the Zotac ZBOX CA320. It is equipped with an AMD A6-1450 quad-core processor which is clocked at 1GHz. Certainly, this is not a powerful device but it is good enough for what I use it for.

After installation of Windows 7, I installed the display drivers from the Zotac web site by running setup from the amd_vga directory which installed the Microsoft .NET framework in four different flavours (current version 32bit, current version 64bit, 2012 version 32bit, 2012 version 64bit), makes about 1.2GB. Plus it installs a useless Catalyst Center which takes ages to start and all it can tweak is to turn the power of the antenna on and off as well as minimum and maximum speed of the processor. I am underwhelmed (and this is an overstatement).  In the following, I will show how to install the drivers without that bloatware.

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UEFI Secure Boot: Hands-on Experience

If you want to create your own secure boot loader, you should have a look at the shim UEFI boot loader. It implements all the requirements set force by Microsoft. Even Microsoft says that this is a good starting point. While the instructions presented here are specific to Ubuntu 14.04, they should be easy to adapt to other distributions.

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UEFI Secure Boot Resources

In this blog entry, I will summarize interesting articles I found on the net that explain all the different aspects of Secure Boot. If you are interested in UEFI Secure Boot and are wondering what it is, how it can help you, or simply would like to experiment with it, you are interesting in the following articles, blog entries etc. If you find other useful articles that should be mentioned please mention them in the comments below.

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OSX: Installing and Running Emacs

If you prefer the standard Emacs without any extra thrills, the easiest way is to download the sources from its official web site (GNU Emacs) and to compile it yourself. In the following, we will have a look on how to accomplish this.

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Generating Custom Reports with pywws

Sample Rain Chart

Generated Rain Chart (mm over time)

In the previous blog entry, I have set up my weather station with pywws. In this part, I will show how to create custom reports.

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Installation of pywws on a Raspberry Pi

Weather StationToday, I will show how to use the Conrad weather station with a Raspberry Pi running Raspbian. We will discuss how to obtain weather data and create some charts. These are pre-requisites if you later want to upload the data to Weather Underground, or to other weather services.

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My New Blog: Here it Comes

After having written a few articles irregularly on my home page using my own scripts, I have decided to try out WordPress.  It definitely looks better than my homegrown scripts which admittedly is not hard as I have not spent a lot of time on looks previously.  Now, let’s see how easy it is to use and how easy it will be to get out my posts if I ever decide to switch to a different blogging infrastructure.

In the following days (or weeks), I plan to upload my previous articles as blog entries here, so that people can comment etc.  Please be patient because I will have to familiarise myself with this new infrastructure and might make a mistake or two.

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