Archive for the thingbox Category

It’s a form of self flaggelation …

Posted in MQTT, node-red, Orange Pi, The downside of Opensource, thingbox, Ubuntu Core 16 on September 6, 2018 by asteriondaedalus

… this snap stuff.

What I have worked out so far with orangepi zero, Ubuntu Core 16 and Snap.

Ubuntu Core, because they force updates, is failing to come back after scheduled reboot. Or so it seems.

The serial port responds but the device is not on lan.

All attempts to attach at the IP address reported in the message displayed on the serial port fail.

Hard reset (power off, power on) brings board back up with new IP address but then the cycle repeats. Schedule reboot does not come back up.

Weird but if I use a sudo reboot the device comes back up with IP intact.

So, something about the core auto reboot.

I tried a debian server but snapd would not install. Rasbian apparently is a no go, so maybe they meant arm generally?

Otherwise, moquitto snaps and runs fine. The node-red snap installs but no service starts. No config comes with snap and snap start node-red returns no service available message. The node-red snap will otherwise run in foreground.


Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh … no.

Posted in The downside of Opensource, The Downside of software development, thingbox on September 2, 2018 by asteriondaedalus

So. I put Ubuntu Core onto OPi Zero.

I snapped in Mosquitto and Node-Red.

Mosquitto is installed as a service, Node-Red is not.

I started Node-Red, set a graph up to send a timestamp every 5 minutes to debug via MQTT.

Left it all night.

In the morning the server was disconnected.  I did expect this if there was a snap update pushed through.

I did discover you cannot turn off updates … which many people are having concerns about.  Since the system could updated and reboot in the middle of something crucial.

The problem, I was expecting to log back in and simply restart Node-Red by TerraTerm console.

Not a sausage.

The serial port was still responding and putting out the IP address of the board.

I could ping the IP address but I could not log in.

I ended up having to pull the power to force a full reboot.

Not very useful.

Not even sure where to start.  Is this a problem with Ubuntu Core and Snap, a problem with the installed snaps, or are we back to the suspicions about the OPi Zero hardware?


Posted in MQTT, node-red, thingbox on September 1, 2018 by asteriondaedalus

So, yes.  I have been playing with Snap while doing the Docker course.

I did install Ubuntu Core on the OPi and managed to get Mosquitto snap running.  But the node-red snap keeps failing to connect or install (with time-outs reported).   It is 6 am on Saturday, so is that indicative of northern hemisphere loading on the Net?  Who knows, wife, sister in law and two of there friends just finished their party.  I was woken when the retrobates left.  So, I am dabbling.

The same old story though.

Help is out of date.  I installed Docker version of snapcraft on my linux laptop.  You were supposed to use that if you weren’t using Ubuntu – I prefer Debian.

There wasn’t enough data to get something running on that Dockerized snapcraft.

I then found another help site that pointed out that the Docker version of snapcraft was deprecated.

You can now snap snapcraft into place.

Then found an interesting snap that I subsequently deleted.  It, however, reported an error on start up.  No help on the snap so dumped its arse.

I will perceiver with snapping MQTT and Node-Red onto the OPi.  If that holds its water I might still use the OPi as the house server.

There is, however,  thinger.  There is a RaspingdoodleburryPie image.   I have loaded the snap of the server onto my linux laptop to do a trade-off against Node-Red.

Wait … wait … wait … finally, Node-Red snapped into place on OPi.

So, with Mosquitto running, Node-Red MQTT nodes talking, I have a 5 minute timer to leave the system running to see if it keeps going.

The thing I will need sort, however, is that the snap system will push updates (I could one happening the other day).  So, I will need look into holding off the pushed updates to avoid the updates confounding the testing.  As you’ll recall the initial suspicion was flaky hardware.

Now that’s interesting

Posted in Open Source can be professional, thingbox on August 29, 2018 by asteriondaedalus

I found OPi has a Ubuntu Core image!

Now that allows for Snap!

Looking into the difference between Docker and Snap hints that Snap makes sense for cloud edge and apps , while Docker makes more sense for swarming a headerless process n times.

The quirk. To build a snap you need Docker to install snapcraft on a nonedgy gadget.

Essentially then you likely need to learn Docker and Snap.

Even quirkier you can get Docker s a snap to then add snapcraft.

Docker Pirate?

Posted in Docker, RaspingBreathburryDOodlePi, thingbox on August 26, 2018 by asteriondaedalus

So, coincidence right?  I joke that the ODROID-W is a Raspberry Pirate right!

So, you can get a docker based Rasbian lite that runs on the RPi 3B+.

And, if you hurry, Udemy has a not bad course on Docker for sub $20.

Not to mention various pdf books around the place on Docker.

The tutorials on Docker website are a must.

And I think I really need to learn Docker for what may be coming up at work, so win win.


Posted in Docker, Sucky Wucky RaspingBreathBurry, The downside of Opensource, thingbox on August 24, 2018 by asteriondaedalus

Alright, so I gave up on the OrangePI as my house server because it would clap out after a week and need a reboot.

I swallowed my pride and bought a raspingdoodleburry pi and tried to set up with node-red and mqtt.  Got boring trying to sought problems with install and setup again, after all the crap I went through soughting the OPi.  So, I relented and decided to cheat and use thingbox or TB as it is affectionately euphemised.

Problems so far.

  1. It took a prompt from me to get TB owners to eventually build distro that would support rpi 3B+.   That is support is now the TB 3 beta Docker based image.
  2. Burnt a SD card with TB 3 beta Docker based image and verified by Etcher, inserted SD card into Pi3B+ and booted rpi,  found the “thingbox.local/” on my network and web browsered in, setup my own server name at initial prompt, fell into node-red editor, and all worked fine until I tried to do more that say hello TB.
  3. Tried to download modules using module manager to find most all the google assistant based modules failed to install.  There might be more, who knows.
  4. I found one module that installed, but it was lost on reboot which is not supposed to happen.
  5. I tried setting up wifi but after reboot the wifi configuration was lost and I had to go back to hardwired ethernet.  TB won’t even keep preferred language option after reboot.  Since it saves host name after initial start up, something is likely locking out saving post initial TB setup, before it drops into node-red editor.  Whether that is before or after the Docker daemon is started on first use of TB would be interesting.
  6. I find .local only works between rpi and my PC which are both hardwired to a wifi extender.  Local seems to really mean physically local?  The rpi cannot otherwise be seen on the wifi using .local.  It may be seen using raw IP but I got bored with debugging the TB distro.
  7. Why use an abbreviation for your product that is also used for Tuberculosis?

Since this is a Docker based image, and you cannot adulterate the Docker session without cracking into Docker session, and I have not ssh’d into the board since it was setup with TB image, therefore I have not touched any settings nor configuration.  It is safe to say there is something funky about the Docker image.  This is safe to say because of the promise Docker provides around container assembly and distribution.

So, I am likely back to having to go through by hand and set up the rpi with node-red and mqtt myself.   I have started playing with Docker so I might as well look at this as my Docker exam.