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Ansible: "apt" module and loops

After upgrading Ansible to version 2.8.3, the "apt" module started spitting out deprecation warnings:

TASK [common : basic packages] ***********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
[DEPRECATION WARNING]: Invoking "apt" only once while using a loop via squash_actions is deprecated. Instead of using a loop to supply multiple items and specifying `name: "{{ item }}"`, please use `name: ['vim', 'screen', 'rsync']` and remove the loop. This feature will be removed in version 2.11. Deprecation warnings can be disabled by setting deprecation_warnings=False in ansible.cfg.
ok: [hostname] => (item=['vim', 'screen', 'rsync'])

 

 

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Occasional HABpanel disconnect from the openHAB server

The new display showing HABpanel works quite nice. But occasionally the fullscreen browser will lose the network connection. As far as I can see, it's not a Wi-Fi problem of the Raspberry Pi, but still annoying: in the morning the browser shows a small red warning that the connection to the openHAB server is lost, time is still correct, but temperature and the status of other devices is outdated. To fix that, I have to leave fullscreen mode, hit reload - and then there is no keyboard for going into fullscreen mode again (that's using the F11 key).

 

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SELECT pg_sleep_until('#800Monies');

Pavlo recently pointed out that the pg_sleep() function in PostgreSQL has two alternatives: pg_sleep_for() and pg_sleep_until().

What do they do?

 

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PostgreSQL @ FOSDEM 2020

The PostgreSQL Project is present with a booth at FOSDEM ever since 2007. Since 2008 we organize a Devroom, since 2013 we have our own PGDay on the Friday before FOSDEM. This year marks the 8th FOSDEM PGDay.

This blog post presents useful information about the PGDay, the booth and Devroom at FOSDEM.

 

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Automatically start a fullscreen browser on a Raspberry Pi - show openHAB HABpanel

The Raspberry Pi with the touch display for the home automation system is coming along nicely. One problem to solve: how to display the openHAB HABpanel, and which browser to use?

Firefox and Chrome don't run on Raspbian. However "Chromium" (the open source part of the Chrome browser) is. That's a good start. But how to start the browser automatically, and in full screen?

 

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Raspberry Pi: disable Wi-Fi powersave, and stay connected all the time

Recently I installed a Raspberry Pi with Raspbian, and attached a touchscreen to it. The device is supposed to work as a display for our openHAB home automation system. All nice and shiny, except the Pi occasionally disconnects from the Wi-Fi - apparently in order to safe power. Once the network device is needed, the Wi-Fi is reconnected. That is the default setting.

That is quite annoying, because the HABpanel will lose it's connection to the openHAB server, and no longer show widget updates. Some widgets like "time" will just continue to work, but other widgets like status of the washing machine, or the current outside temperature just show the last state, and never update.

 

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openHAB: widget with multiple different background colors

Previously I blogged about how the washing machine and the dryer are integrated into the openHAB home automation system.

For a while I had a standard "Dummy" widget in HABpanel, but that didn't look very nice, was very standard, and the different icons for different states don't really work. When I started integrating another Raspberry Pi with a touch screen (blog post to come), I refreshed the HABpanel, added another dashboard, and along the way I wrote a new "Template" widget for the washing machine and the dryer.

This project had a number of small goals:

  1. Make the headline (the name) bigger - in the dummy it seems to be hardcoded, and very small
  2. Use the proper icon for every Item state (running, finished, standby)
  3. Change the background color of the widget according to the state of the Item

 

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Audio "too loud" and volume switch not working in Ubuntu

Installed my new laptop, and everything seemed to work, out of the box. Almost everything.

The audio was quite annoying. First of all, every application got it's own volume setting. In theory that is a nice idea, and you can control and manage the volume for every application separately. In practice, this is a nightmare: try changing the volume of an application which only once in a while sends a short notification. Or try changing the volume of the sound when you close the laptop lid. On top of that, the volume for applications like Chome and Firefox seem to be stuck at 100%. Every time I change the volume, the setting is back on "loud" the next time the browser plays something.

Second the global volume settings (Fn+"Volume up" or Fn+"Volume down") seem to have no effect at all.

 

 

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SMART error (ErrorCount) detected on host - but the NVRAM disk is perfectly fine

Recently I got a new system with a NVRAM disk (nice and fast). Upon installing smartmontools, it started reporting that the error counter for the disk is increasing. For a brand new disk?

 

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webhook service with TLS and Let's Encrypt certificate

For a number of services, I need a system/service which can receive web hooks, and act when such a trigger is received.

Just a few examples:

  • GitHub can send web hooks when something changes in a repo (in any repository you administer, go to "Settings" -> "Webhooks", and add your own hook)
  • Tasker for Android can send HTTP(s) requests
  • JIRA can send web hooks when certain events occur
  • openHAB can send messages to other services

Now it would be useful to have your own receiver for web hooks, and run any task you want. There are a number of tools out there, which can solve this problem. I settled with "webhook". In addition, I deploy everything using Ansible, therefore I had to write a bit of code in order to automate this process.

 

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