Ian Norton

Website and blog

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    What's in my toolbag?


    Picking tools is a tricky expensive task and a few years ago I lost my toolbag which was a pretty devastating thing. So here’s my reconstructed toolbag built up over many years since that loss and including many things that weren’t in the original and excluding some that were (I don’t think the 3.5” floppy cleaner would get much use these days).

    Keeping daily notes


    I like to keep a file of notes per day which are generally very random unordered and unstructured chunks of information, commands or code that I’m working with on that given day and occasionally downloaded files.

    Browser admin access to internal web interfaces using SSH and PAC


    Throughout the career of a devops engineer, you’ll encounter many and varied web interfaces that need to be accessed in a secure way by a restricted number of people to stop Bad Things Happening.

    Simulating network failure with iptables


    There’s many situations where it’s desirable to have a network failure during testing, however this can sometimes seem like an impossible thing to replicate in a predictable manner for testing your failure mode. Let’s talk about iptables.

    Terraforming your AWS parent account - bootstrapping


    In the modern AWS world, it’s not uncommon to have multiple AWS accounts under a parent billing account for different environments such as dev, qa and production. Let’s look at how we get this started.

    SSH ProxyCommand for subnets


    It’s common in modern cloud environments to prevent ssh access to hosts within the environment and only allow access to a single well maintained bastion host with suitable protections against attack.

    Controlling your dust extraction with a blast gate


    Blast gates for controlling air flow are not a new thing but buying them off the shelf can be an expensive shopping experience, plus they’re only available in fixed sizes. I’m using 110mm UK drain pipe which there certainly isn’t a suitable gate for.

    Presence sensors again!


    In my previous two posts I’ve talked about hacking cheap presence sensors to work on 24v DC rather than mains. This post looks at a seemingly identical sensor with different PCB.

    Presence sensors revisited


    In my previous post I talked about 24v presence sensors for Loxone home automation.

    Tenma 72-8695 bench PSU


    A long long time ago in a county the other side of the Pennines, Farnell were having a clearance of returned power supplies…

    Which solution to choose?


    Home automation using the Loxone series of home automation products along with hacks to extend functionality and reduce cost

    When I decided to embark on a home automation project, I spoke to a few people, read some websites and did some thinking. You might well expect that for a project that is a substantial financial outlay and a commitment to an eco system that will be with you for a long time.

    Squeezing a quart into a pint pot


    So you’ve used up your eight digital outputs on lighting circuits but you’ve got another two to add, what do you do now?!</p>

    What shall we wrap it all up in?


    Any enclosure needs to be easy to access yet provide enough space to get all of our cables in and out without being too big. A tough challenge!

    What do I buy my sister for Christmas?


    So I’m always a bit stuck for what to get people for presents for birthdays, Christmas, Yule or whatever. This year I came up with an idea of what to get my sister Tracy for Christmas. Some garden lights, but not just ordinary garden lights, RGB ones!

    Is there anybody there? Click once for yes!


    So following on from my previous post about switches, let’s talk about Passive Infra Red (PIR) sensors.

    Switches are simple, right?


    Okay, I’m editing this as my first attempt has been badly mangled somehow. Starting to regret using hackaday.io for this, seriously guys is there no markdown or something I can use with copy and paste from somewhere else or a preview option?!

    The software only runs on Windows?!


    So from my previous post, you might gather I’m a GNU Linux Open Source toting hippie socialist type. You’d be right :)