Catcam upgraded!

Written by  on March 13, 2018

Terminator is watching you!

Finally! The old catcam-setup of a RPi 3 with a NoIR v2.1-camera was working for almost one and ahalf years without any issues. I’ve had improved the PiCamGifForTumblr-script several times, also changed location – never any issues. More than 40.000 GIF were uploaded.
But then I decided to buy a new, fancy case in black (of course) which should add some camera-support. And then two weeks afterwards it stopped working. Sporadically frozen. Sometimes 10 min after start, sometimes during the night. I checked the casing, if all power connectors were tightly fit, I installed netdata on it, I did longterm temperature-measurements (never over 54 °C even with closed case), I ran with minimal setup or with cam attached.
Then it became clearer: the camera was working for singleshot-mode, but for the 30 pictures every ten minutes, it broke. So, it was time to order a new camera, 1080p (5 MPixel) were enough, but for four more Euro I could get two IR-illuminators … so, why not? The focal distance of the objective is adjustable, it looks like it works (long time-test needed). But I am happy. And we can watch cats (and family) in darkness :3

tracking bugs in complex systems ..

Written by  on March 6, 2018

Some weeks ago I’ve replaced the case of the ‘catcam’. A Raspberry Pi 3 which was running for 1.5 years without interruption with the nice script & python-upload triggered by a cronjob. And now the device freezes. Still running, but neither accessible via SSH nor VNC (of course, if SSH is not working ..).
I left the case open; removed the camera; upgraded kernel and Raspbian: nothing helped.
My last guess is that the camera stopped working. But to be sure I want to let the RPi3 long-time with temperature-logging. So … we need a simple program:

executed like this, because else the output is buffered up to 4 or 8 kByte:

and the content of the textfile is something like:

backup your Raspberry Pi-sd card

Written by  on February 28, 2018

Newer versions (8.24+) of coreutils dd have also a progress-option, but not the one bundled with the current distribution ..
add param: “status=progress”

Need to fake some incoming packets?

Written by  on October 26, 2017

Try Packet Sender (available for all major OS: I used the portable version for Windows as well as the AppImage for Linux (I love that AppImage-idea. Already the third OSS which was packaged like this instead of a *.deb or as pure source ..)) to emulate the sending of some UDP-datagrams to test one of my programs. And it works really neatly.
You’ve got a tidy window with some textfields for receiver, type and content, a “fire away”-button, some repeat-ability. Nice!
On the receiving end we all know Wireshark. But the emulation was (at least to me) before some big black hole.

Yes, I know, there would be as well sendip. But at work I barely could make a Cygwin work. Not to speak about some dynamic “oh, I load more packages on the fly from the internet”-possibility, meh.
But for those interested: short tutorial for sendip.

clean my code: reloaded!

Written by  on June 21, 2017

As always: some projects need a first (working) implementation and then over time you can improve them.
During lunch I was talking with a colleague about this tool. Then the idea to just use those actually changed files from the current implementation (means: the current branch in Git) shall be used as input. Et voila: consider it done!
Also added some fine-tuning to the call-parameter of the script itself, so it can be run as well with some custom string beside “todoM” (which is my marker).

Cleaning an implementation of properly tagged lines takes now a second – not minutes (like before!
Enjoy and have fun 🙂

Code can be found as always at

collection of hints for the easier use of cygwin

Written by  on June 14, 2017

some better package-manager than via that set-up.exe: apt-cyg!
make shell-scripts runnable under Win (7):
add to the first line after “#!/bin/bash

else you get the error message that “\r” is not a command … ha
how to use proxy for firewalled use:

Maybe more will be added. All just small, but fixing tricky

shell-script to clean a project

Written by  on June 14, 2017

I like to decorate the code with some debugging-messages, explicit variables, etc. while developing a feature or fixing a bug. Problem is that other team-members will not like that (or the amount ;)).
So, I commit the current state with Git and then remove all lines marked with the comment “// todoM”. Since this some non-creative work, why not automate it?

Code for the bash-script now on github: 🙂

Further improvements like massive parallelization planned!

edith 20170619:
The fourth version relies now on some exported bash-function, so that GNU parallel can be used to speed up the process by parallelizing the search&replace inside the file- (-list given by find).
This helps, just I/O is now the bottleneck. CPU-speed not.
But I’ve always wanted to experiment with “parallel” and see how to use this. I should improve the “contactSheet”-script as well. Or the cat-cam-script .. endless opportunities ..

Get rid of the master-branch @ github

Written by  on October 30, 2016



  1. create a fake branch and push it
  2. go to github > $your_repo > settings > branches > default branch and make the fake branch the current one
  3. delete master
  4. push new master
  5. revert the default branch

share a folder via SMB on CLI

Written by  on October 23, 2016

The missing counter-part for this post.

    • create new smb-user pi: “$ sudo smbpasswd -a pi
    • create directory: “$ mkdir freigabeATminipc
    • set rights: “$ sudo chmod 770 freigabeATminipc/
    • edit config: “$ sudo nano /etc/samba/smb.conf
      add at end of the file the following and save-quit (CTRL+X; y)

  • restart: “$ sudo service smbd restart
  • check if everything fits: “$ testparm

mount a smb-share (not via fstab!)

Written by  on October 7, 2016

Don’t know how often I did this on several systems and still always(!) have to pick the parameters.

Check for available shares in the network via “smbtree”.