Greg
animals brewing
food and drink fiction
gardening general
health history
language music
multimedia opinion
photography politics
Stones Road house technology
Greg's diary
recent entries
Translate this page
Select day in September 2019:
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30
Select month:
2019 Jan Feb Mar Apr
2019 May Jun Jul Aug
2019 Sep Oct Nov Dec
Today's diary entry
Diary index
About this diary
Greg's home page
Greg's photos
Network link stats
Greg's other links
Copyright information
    
Groogle

Friday, 20 September 2019 Dereel Images for 20 September 2019
Top of page
next day
last day

More garden work
Topic: gardening Link here

Mike Solley, the gardener, along this morning to repair the damage he did to the lawn mower last week, and to continue preparations for spring. Things are looking a lot tidier now.


Modern web language
Topic: language, music, opinion Link here

Yvonne didn't know why the Great C Major was called that: there's also a Little C Major. What was the number again? Off to ask Google. One of the high-ranking answers blew my mind:

Symphonie Nr. 6 C-Dur D 589 "Kleine C-Dur" - Song By Wolfgang ...
Explore Symphonie Nr. 6 C-Dur D 589 "Kleine C-Dur", a song first recorded by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Where did they get Mozart from?
View Symphonie Nr. 6 C-Dur D 589 "Kleine C-Dur" ...

How many things are wrong about this!

To be fair, this was only Google's representation of the page. I didn't find the text in the (almost empty) entry, and at least they now claim that it was Schubert who “recorded” the “song”. But this kind of stupidity turns my stomach.


Saturday, 21 September 2019 Dereel Images for 21 September 2019
Top of page
previous day

Indian mee goreng?
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

For some time I've been considering trying a dish in Wendy Hutton's “Singapore Food”: “Indian Mee Goreng”. The name belies its international nature: “Mee” (now “Mi” in Malay, “Mie” in Indonesian, pronunciation unchanged) is Straits Chinese for yellow noodles, “goreng” is Malay for “fry” or (in this case) “fried”. And despite the name, noodles are not part of the Indian cuisines.

This one interested me because it included karuveppilai (Curry tree leaves). But how authentic is it? Out looking for more recipes, coming up with some interesting results. Some of the recipes were called “Mee goreng mamak”. What's Mamak? It refers to Tamil immigrants who have embraced the Muslim faith, and they're apparently the originators of this mix.

There's this recipe from Kampung Singapura, which doesn't look bad, and this one from Nyonya Cooking, and a couple that I got rid of because of their insistence on irritating popups.

A number linked back to this recipe in Rasa Malaysia. This one is interesting because, though written in English, it includes ingredient names in Chinese (but not in Tamil):

It also comes up with the name “Uncle's fried noodles”. Why uncle? It seems that that's the original meaning of “mamak”, though it's not clear in what language. It sounds Malay, but it's not in my dictionary. It doesn't sound Tamil or Chinese. Wikipedia doesn't (yet) have an entry for it, though Mamak stall explains:

The Malaysian Mamak are Malaysians of Tamil Muslim origin, whose forefathers mostly migrated from South India to the Malay Peninsula and various locations in Southeast Asia centuries ago.

The word 'Mamak' is from the Tamil term for maternal uncle, or 'maa-ma'. In Singapore and Malaysia, it is used by children as an honorific to respectfully address adults such as shopkeepers. The silent K in 'Mamak' likely came about as a hypercorrection; since terminal Ks are not pronounced in Malay, a Malay who heard the Tamil word may have assumed there was a silent K at the end.

The things you learn.


Preparing Indian mee goreng
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

In the end I started with the Wendy Hutton recipe for Indian Mee Goreng, and modified it based on some of the other recipes:

Ingredients

quantity       ingredient       step
450 g       Hokkien noodles       1
90 g       squid tubes       2
90 g       firm dofu       2
110 g       fresh tomato       2
160 g       cooked potato       2
90 g       onion       2
95 g       soya sauce       3
38 g       dark soya sauce       3
38 g       sambal ulek       3
38 g       tomato sauce       3
1       egg       4
      oil       5
100 g       taugeh       7

Preparation

  1. Loosen noodles in hot water, then drain.
  2. Cut squid, dofu, tomatoes and potato into cubes. Cut onion finely.
  3. Prepare sauce mixture.
  4. Beat egg and reserve.
  5. Heat oil, fry onion gently until glassy.
  6. Add squid, dofu, tomatoes and potato cubes and fry over high heat until cooked. Add noodles and sauce ingredients. Mix well and cook until hot.
  7. Add taugeh and beaten egg. Cook until egg has set. Serve.

And the curry leaves? I forgot them! Next time. It didn't taste bad, though I somewhat overdid the dark soya sauce.


This should be Indian-Mee-Goreng.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Indian Mee Goreng          Dimensions:          3722 x 2916, 1619 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 21 September 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 21 September 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 21 September 2019 Complete exposure details

 

It's quite heavy, and I don't see myself eating it every day.


Installing the new sprinkler relay
Topic: technology, gardening, opinion Link here

The weather's getting warmer, and I still haven't installed my new sprinkler relay. How did that work? Good thing I documented it when I received it. OK: first thing is that it still has an RFC 1918 address. Add an alias:

=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/11) ~ 80 -> ifconfig em0 192.168.123.123/16

Aargh! Too late I noticed that I had forgotten the all-important alias! OK, I can reset it:

=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/11) ~ 81 -> ifconfig em0 eureka
^C

Damn! I can't access any useful name server. OK, use the IP address:

=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/11) ~ 82 -> ifconfig em0 192.109.197.137
=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/11) ~ 83 -> ping teevee
ping: cannot resolve teevee: Host name lookup failure
=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/11) ~ 85 -> ping 192.109.197.134
PING 192.109.197.134 (192.109.197.134): 56 data bytes
64 bytes from 192.109.197.134: icmp_seq=0 ttl=64 time=0.352 ms
^C

OK, we're on the LAN, but named has got itself into a huff and isn't responding. It should be running locally, right?

=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/11) ~ 87 -> cat /etc/resolv.conf
search lemis.com
nameserver 192.109.197.137

OK, let's SIGHUP it:

=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/11) ~ 88 -> ps aux|grep named
bind        1747   0.0  0.1   100444   24752  -  Is   11Sep19      2:11.41 /usr/local/sbin/named -u bind -c /usr/local/etc/namedb/named.conf
root       93423   0.0  0.0    18848    2320 11  S+    2:47pm      0:00.00 grep named
=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/11) ~ 89 -> kill -1 1747
=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/11) ~ 90 -> ps aux|grep named
bind        1747   0.1  0.1   100444   34352  -  Ss   11Sep19      2:11.45 /usr/local/sbin/named -u bind -c /usr/local/etc/namedb/named.conf
root       93932   0.0  0.0    18848    2320 11  S+    2:48pm      0:00.00 grep named
=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/11) ~ 91 -> ping lagoon
ping: cannot resolve lagoon: Host name lookup failure

Still no reaction. Dammit, let's restart it the normal way:

=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/11) ~ 95 -> service named restart
named not running? (check /var/run/named/pid).
named already running?  (pid=1747).

How I hate these silly error messages framed as questions! The situation doesn't help. Let's go back to the traditional way, at least in part:

=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/11) ~ 96 -> killall named
=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/11) ~ 97 -> service named start
Starting named.
=== root@eureka (/dev/pts/11) ~ 99 -> ping lagoon
PING lagoon.lemis.com (192.109.197.134): 56 data bytes
64 bytes from 192.109.197.134: icmp_seq=0 ttl=64 time=0.288 ms

Finally! And that wasn't even the job I wanted to do. Back to the relay board. Yes, after adding the alias, I was able to talk to it and set the IP address and port (sprinkler.lemis.com, 192.109.197.180, port 80).

Ah, but that's an old, worn-out meaning of the word “port”. What the modern programmers of this board mean is a web page name. By default it was http://192.168.1.4/30000. Now it's http://sprinkler.lemis.com/80. OK, I can live with that, especially since it worked first time. I still don't know how to reset it, but I'll leave that to another day.

And next? I have to simulate web requests, because that's the only way I know to talk to the box. That should be simple enough, but how about checking that I can talk to it in situ first.

No! That's strange: I had been out there with euroa, my Microsoft laptop, and I was able to talk to the network with that. But it took a while, and it occurred to me that it had probably switched to the 802.11 interface.

So: the problem is probably not the old relay board (saves programming), but the network cabling between the pantry and the shed. So I have a completely different issue to solve.


Debugging network cabling
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Where do I start with the network cabling? In the middle, I would think. The house network is centred on top of a fridge in the pantry, behind a microwave oven that runs on the same wavelength:


This should be Pantry-network-switch-and-AP.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Pantry network switch and AP          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 1788 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 22 September 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 22 September 2019, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 22 September 2019 Complete exposure details

 

That's what it looks like now; when I installed it we had:


This should be Switch.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Switch          Dimensions:          4627 x 3456, 1760 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Sunday, 10 May 2015, thumbnails          All images taken on Sunday, 10 May 2015, small
Diary entry for Sunday, 10 May 2015 Complete exposure details

 

The additional plate on the right is for teevee, installed when we moved the TV into the lounge room. So we have a total of 9 network connections: 8 rooms in the house, teevee and sprinkler. That's a large value of 9. Which is the connection for sprinkler? Where's my list?

I couldn't find it. But one thing's relatively clear: there's an issue with the cable, and just locating it doesn't mean it's fixed. What alternatives do we have?


Alternative network link
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

What do you do when you don't have an Ethernet cable? Wi-Fi, that silly name for 802.11. And how about that, I have a second Wi-Fi access point. Why not put that in the shed and run it as a bridge to the access point in the pantry?

One reason, I discovered, is because it's very hard to configure, at least with these el-cheapo boxes. The good news is: yes, they offer the function. The bad news is: so far they haven't delivered.

There are clearly some issues with the web interface: they don't show the client list, for example, although taskumatti was connected to the pantry AP (air-gw-1) the whole time. And the constant requirement to log in to the things makes me wish I had chosen simpler passwords.

The first issue was the rendering of the web page:


This should be AP-1.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: AP 1          Dimensions:          912 x 149, 10 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 21 September 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 21 September 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 21 September 2019 Complete exposure details

 

That was on firefox; here Chrome was better:


This should be AP-2.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: AP 2          Dimensions:          1281 x 122, 10 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 21 September 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 21 September 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 21 September 2019 Complete exposure details

 

There was a reasonable amount of help on the page:

Enable Wireless Repeating

Enable this if you wish to use either Bridge mode or Repeater mode, and then select the mode you want for your environment.

Disable Wireless Clients Association

With this feature enabled, the client will not be able to access the LAN

Wireless Repeater.

In this mode, the "+host_name+"router will communicate only with another Base Station-mode wireless station. You must enter the MAC address (physical address) of the other Base Station-mode wireless station in the field provided. WEP can (and should) be used to protect this communication.

Wireless Base Station.

Select this only if this "+host_name+"router is the master for a group of Repeater-mode wireless stations. The other Repeater-mode wireless stations must be set to Wireless Repeater mode, using this "+host_name+"router`s MAC address. They then send all traffic to this master, rather than communicate directly with each other. WEP can (and should) be used to protect this traffic.

If this option is selected, you must enter the MAC addresses of the other access points in the fields provided.

Clearly the "+host_name+" was intended to be replaced by the marketing name of the router (Goldweb, Copyright © XXX Systems, Inc., according to the web pages). So I set things as described, first tripping over this detail:

 
This should be AP-4.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: AP 4
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 648 x 233, 24 kB
Dimensions of original: 648 x 233, 24 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 21 September 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

That's the slave side. The IP address is the address of this (slave, repeater) AP, the MAC address is the address of the other (“Basic station”) AP. First time round I set the IP of the base station, which it happily set, taking both off the air in the process. And the “LAN Configuration” refused to set the address for some reason; I could only set it here.

In the end I had the confirmation on base station and repeater respectively:


This should be AP-6-detail.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: AP 6 detail          Dimensions:          881 x 62, 7 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Saturday, 21 September 2019, thumbnails          All images taken on Saturday, 21 September 2019, small
Diary entry for Saturday, 21 September 2019 Complete exposure details

   
This should be AP-5-detail.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: AP 5 detail
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 693 x 63, 6 kB
Dimensions of original: 693 x 63, 6 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Saturday, 21 September 2019:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

So it seems that it should work. But it didn't. I was able to associate with the slave AP (by disabling association with the master/base station), but it only worked when the slave was connected to eureka with an Ethernet cable. Do I have issues with overlapping IP addresses? That shouldn't be a problem. Or ARP on the other side? This stuff is far too painful.


PV inverter calibrating again!
Topic: Stones Road house, general, technology, opinion Link here

My solar electricity inverter has started calibrating batteries again, running 18 hours from 2019-09-20 17:53:43 until 2019-09-21 11:54:43, and once again draining battery capacity to 0. It's been a month since the last time, and on that occasion Fred had promised to get a statement from the manufacturers of both the inverter and the battery. Nothing yet. Time to set a deadline: 11 October, which should give them more than enough time. After all, next month they should be installing the other battery. If they're not compatible, they'll have to install an alternative instead.


This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. It's also not a vehicle for third-party content. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.


Greg's home page This month Greg's photos Greg's links

RSS 2.0 Valid XHTML 1.0!