Headless Spotify Debian linux server fine tunes

Fine tunes and extras for Vivek Panyam's guide "How to build a headless Spotify Streaming box"


Self-hosted home SMS gateway

How to set up Gammu on an old ThinkPad with a 3G modem and listen for MQTT messages to send them as text messages in case your internet is down but you still need to alert.


2017-08-21 08:40

I had a long though of the whole re-decentralize the internet1 idea, and I came to the conclusion many are approaching from the top, whereas the problem, in reality, is underneath. It also applies to email, for which's future I'm even more worried.

Facebook, Google, etc. are trying to swallow the internet. Have they succeeded? Partially, maybe, truly never will.

In reality who's actively devouring everything is Amazon with AWS. Remember the last AWS outage and how many sites were knocked off the internet?2 It knocked off half of the internet, including cloud based smart things at home. There's your real problem. Companies go for AWS, because it's simple and cheap - both are lies, it's neither simple, nor cheap, but it's impossible to convince the brainwashed. Apart from a few exceptions and the paranoid, nobody dares to buy and own their hardware these days, nobody hosts their own services, they just go for "the cloud".

Take a look at email, because it's the future of the web: it's more or less in the hands of 4 big provider. I don't know if the process can be reversed, but I believe we need to start from the bottom up, by running our own services, on our own, owned (or at lest rented) hardware, and not from the top, by decentralising services.

Here's a reminder why keeping services out of centralisation so important:

[...] People seem to hate email for the same reasons they once loved it. Email's underlying triumph, the quality that made it revolutionary, was that you could instantly deliver a written message to someone even if they weren't there to receive it. [...] Email is neutral, meaning that anyone can email anyone else with an email address. If you have a person's email address, your message will be delivered no matter who you are - whether the recipient is your oldest friend, your granddaughter, your boss's boss, or Beyoncé. The year the web was born, this flattening effect was astonishing. Anyone in an organization could communicate directly and immediately with anyone else, "regardless of rank" [...]

- Adrienne LaFrance34

And we should all set up mesh networks within our cities to avoid the tyranny of ISPs, but that is indeed and unfortunately, very hard.


  1. http://redecentralize.org/

  2. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/03/01/aws_s3_outage/

  3. https://www.theatlantic.com/author/adrienne-lafrance/

  4. https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/01/what-comes-after-email/422625/

Environmental sensor logging with Rasbperry Pi, Adafruit BME280 and SI1145, collectd, and mosquitto

How to collect, monitor, read, and store pressure, temperature, humidity, visible, IR, and UV light data with a Raspberry Pi, an Adafruit BME280, Adafruit SI1145, collectd stats collector, and mosquitto MQTT.


La Palma - stones on the shore

la-palma-stones-on-the-shore.jpg
la-palma-stones-on-the-shore.jpg - photo by Peter Molnar
Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/25.0
Shutter speed
6 sec
Focal length (as set)
35.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

On the first day we arrived to La Palma we only started to look around and arrived into one of the larger towns rather late. This, however, is never a problem for photographers: we walked down to the part of the shore where only one people was fishing - after trying to take cheesy sunset pictures - and started to experiment with long exposure on the volcanic rocks.

La Palma - Tazacorte

la-palma-tazacorte.jpg
la-palma-tazacorte.jpg - photo by Peter Molnar
Camera
GT-I9505

Tazacorte is not a particularly interesting city - although the various, colourful houses are nice -, but the view is exceptional. All those green trees are banana trees; the air is crisp and the sea is magnificent.

La Palma - panorama

la-palma.jpg
la-palma.jpg - photo by Peter Molnar
Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s

I barely ever had any GPS reception on La Palma so it's a little hard to tell where exactly the pictures were taken - pictures indeed, because this is a panorama stitched together from 3 handheld images from a DSLR by Hugin1. I'm extremely impressed by that software: the 3 source photos were with different exposure, even their white balance differed a little yet Hugin put them together without a glitch.


  1. http://hugin.sourceforge.net/

La Palma - Teneguía

la-palma-teneguia-volcano.jpg
la-palma-teneguia-volcano.jpg - photo by Peter Molnar
Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/9.0
Shutter speed
1/60 sec
Focal length (as set)
39.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

The South-West area of La Palma is the youngest in terms of volcanic activity; there was a huge erosion in the '70s, which formed the land the way it is today.

Originally we didn't plan to visit this area for too long, thinking it's not as interesting as the rest of the island - we were wrong. Not only there is a traditional salt factory here, there are lots of small beaches where nobody goes, and the view is magnificent as well.

La Palma - Teneguía sky

la-palma-teneguia-sky.jpg
la-palma-teneguia-sky.jpg - photo by Peter Molnar
Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/11.0
Shutter speed
1/100 sec
Focal length (as set)
16.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

I've seen magnificent skies, but the non-earthy, black volcanic ground, combined with deep blue sky and beautiful clouds is certainly on the list of the outerworld-ish experiences.

I did use a polarizer, but I was only trying to capture what my eyes saw.

La Palma - volcano route next to Enríque

la-palma-volcano-route-enrique.jpg
la-palma-volcano-route-enrique.jpg - photo by Peter Molnar
Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/16.0
Shutter speed
1/125 sec
Focal length (as set)
16.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Note: always stay 2 additional days at a location than you were originally planning and don't plan anything for that 2 days. So whatever you were unaware of, but about learn during your stay, you can check out on that 2 days.

Unfortunately we didn't do this with our Canary Islands visit, but even though we were running a little tight on time, the volcano route is not something you leave out. We drove along on the road that runs more or less parallel with the route and stopped at a few locations to take a better look; this is one of them.

La Palma - view on the volcano route

la-palma-volcano-route-view.jpg
la-palma-volcano-route-view.jpg - photo by Peter Molnar
Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/16.0
Shutter speed
1/125 sec
Focal length (as set)
60.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

There is a footpath on La Palma which takes you through the moon-like landscape of volcanos - the only problem with it is that with all the black rocks, it can get very hot there. This is a view from the South towards North.

The dock of La Palma

la-palma-dock.jpg
la-palma-dock.jpg - photo by Peter Molnar
Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/8.0
Shutter speed
1/250 sec
Focal length (as set)
60.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

The best excursions and holidays are the ones where apart from the planned, you allocate time for the unplanned, our you're willing to adapt.

We were certainly not planning to go out for whale and dolphin watching, but when we stopped at a restaurant on top of the cliffs we spotted a leaflet about Fancy21 and decided to get on it next day.

On our way towards the open sea we passed the surprisingly brutalist dock; this is what you see on the picture.


  1. http://fancy2.com/fancy-2/