Miscellaneous (11)

Pulling Colours From The CheerLights API on Linux

I’m trying to do a new project associated with the CheerLights project every year, and this time, I’m using a Raspberry Pi to pull the last set of colours from the ioBridge server.

I’ll be putting a full write-up about the project itself up on here soon, but I’m still waiting for a few parts for it to be complete, but the bash one-liner is handy in and of itself, so I’ll put it here for now, in case there are others who want to start a CheerLights-based thing this year.

curl http://api.thingspeak.com/channels/1417/feed.json | jshon -e feeds -a -e field1 -u

This handy one-liner returns a nice list of the last 25 colours set by the API.

Kitten Cam Updates

Sorry for those of you unable to connect to the kitten camera. The DNS address can’t keep up with the IP changes on our line, so I’ve swapped to just the IP raw on the streams for now.

Hopefully this should fix the stream for everyone now.

See The Kitten Camera page for any and all camera streams.

Wildlife on Campus


Its a ‘bird’ – they fly through the air through means modern science has yet to fully understand. This one lives on Lancaster University’s campus.

Tried to get some shots of the wildlife on campus yesterday, naturally everything vanished just as I got my camera out.

This bird was the only one to stand around long enough to get a long shot at, apologies for the poor focus – I had to take this shot on the move.

Random Web Radio Station

To pull a random radio station from my stream list, using vlc, jshon and curl on the terminal, enter the following:

cvlc $(curl -s http://johnvidler.co.uk/radio/data/streams.js | jshon -e $(shuf -i 0-`curl -s http://johnvidler.co.uk/radio/data/streams.js | tr -cd ‘{‘ | wc -c` -n 1) -e stream -u)

It’s not terribly efficient, but what the heck, it’s only ran once per radio station ๐Ÿ™‚

Angel of the North

One of the better shots I took of the Angel of the North. Taken on the way back from Maker Faire in Newcastle

One of the better shots I took of the Angel of the North.
Taken on the way back from Maker Faire in Newcastle

Taken with a Fujifilm s4500, auto-mode, nothing fancy, but it turned out pretty well.

InfoLab Kitten!


A cat gave birth behind InfoLab earlier in the year, and one of the kittens Hung around!

Totally feral, but its used to people being around due to all the students about all the time so will quite happily sit on the warmer manhole covers and let you take photos.

I’m pondering calling the RSPCA to have them collect it, as food will go scarce when the students leave for Christmas…

Server Upgrade

I just did a server upgrade – if anyone spots anything that’s broken/in the process of breaking, tell me!

New Broadband – Revisited

A short while back, I posted about using A&A (Andrews & Arnold Ltd) as my broadband ISP, and said I would report back to say how things went.

I’m pleased to report this (bearing in mind this is just an ADSL2+ connection, on normal copper hung on poles…)

SpeedTest.net Results for A&A, 7.02Mb/s down, 0.75Mb/s up

Results from running SpeedTest.net on the A&A connection

And this!

What my router reports the connection is

Which makes this the fastest connection I’ve ever had the pleasure to be on, and providing that A&A manage to keep this sort of rate, I’ll be coming back to them whenever I need a new connection, and recommending them to anyone who asks!

New Broadband

Having messed about with ‘normal’ service providers for a while, I decided to go with a more ‘specialist’ provider this time, to save annoyance and frustration.

One of my previous house-mates discovered http://aaisp.net.uk/ who do not shape traffic to below the line limitations! Kickass!

I’ll report on how well they do after I’ve lived with them for a bit, but the outlook is awesome! ๐Ÿ˜€

Oh, and they have some excellently worded T&C:

The internet is a huge network of computers managed and controlled by thousands of separate organisations. Andrews & Arnold Ltd (A&A) do not control the internet. Do not blame A&A if you find things you don’t like.


The Downloads Page

I kept telling myself that I should put stuff I write up on my site, but never actually got around to doing it.

Finally, I have a way of getting (semi) useful stuff I’ve written up for people to look at (and/or laugh at, whatever) and it can be found via the shiny new ‘Public Files’ ย link at the top of this page, or by following this link.

If anyone finds any use for any of this, or have any problems with compiling/running something, drop me a comment and I might look into it, depending on available time.