My Blog

I suppose that this is really a blog, though I hesitate to call it that. The real bloggers seem so much more interesting. I cover stuff which I find interesting, and I hope that you will too.

If you really want, you can get an RSS feed of Chateau Gladstone news here:

For more information about what I'm interested in, see the Ponding pages.

Topic: Weather     4 Aug 2000

The replacement DS9097U arrived from Dallas and the system is now recording temperature and rainfall again. However, it seems much less reliable than before -- it works for a minute or so, and then stops for a minute (with the circuit being reported as shorted). I wonder if some water has got into the wiring (especially the underwater temperature sensor).

Tomorrow I will route the circuit through a regular telephone surge suppressor. I guess that I'll try and narrow down the circuit problems.

Topic: Pond     23 Jul 2000

We added two new Shubunkins to the top pond. Hopefully they will eat some of the bugs up there! While in the store (Tropic Isle), we saw the feeders that we bought last year. We had forgotten how small they really were, and how much they had grown in our pond.

The camera is now connected through a surge suppressor. Lets hope that this provides some measure of protection.

Topic: Weather     21 Jul 2000

Dallas Semiconductor are shipping me a new dongle (DS9097U) to drive the instrumentation bus. The general consensus was that the ESD protection did it's job, and absorbed the energy. However, it fails open, so there is now no access the the bus.

The replacement will be protected behind a regular telephone line surge suppressor. Who knows if it will help?

Topic: Weather     19 Jul 2000

I realise that the reason that Linux will not boot is due to the CMOS setting of the graphics card shared aperture now being 8MB rather than the old 2MB. For some reason Linux doesn't detect the amount of memory on the motherboard (over 64MB) and so I had to hardwire it.

The ethernet card still works (hooray). It appears that the video capture card is dead -- or maybe the camera is fried.

It turns out that the video cable is not connected to the capture card -- I disconnected it when I was trying to figure out what was broken. Reconnecting the cable fixes that.

The temperature and rain gauge sensors are not operational -- the instrumentation bus does not detect the presence of any devices. Having said that, it also doesn't detect the presence of a shorted out bus, so I suspect that the interface dongle may be fried.

I now have surge suppressors for the video wiring and the instrumentation bus wiring.

Topic: Weather     18 Jul 2000

A big storm rolls through, and though the promised hail does not appear, there is a nearby lightning strike, and the pond server gets into a funny state. It reports that the CMOS battery is low (which is unlikely). I reset the CMOS, and it no longer will boot Linux. The system is attached to a UPS so I am hopeful that it isn't really fried.



The Citizen Weather Observer Program is a loose collection of amateur weather station operators.

Information about SPF (Sender Permitted From)

Neat description of the Gunnera Manicata -- a truly monstrous plant!

Open source audio/video streaming software -- this drives my pondcam

Open source server for the Rio Receiver -- this is what I use.

The Doc Searls weblog -- he seems clueful and I read him.

Philip Gladstone