Well, Home Assistant has arrived on one of the webservers and is fairing well in its work as a central control point for home devices. It is working well with Google Home and all my other devices. Well all apart from Alexa. To be fair the only thing Alexa seems to be used for at the moment is translating “Boris Johnson carrot one hundred” into Welsh!
The firm staples of Nextcloud, Netdata, WordPress, Matomo, FreshRss and Kanboard are working well on the dotcom server.
Courtfax1 has been extended and revamped with Airsonic, CouchPotato, Transmission and Searx – a build-it-yourself rival to Google. SuiteCrm and X2CRM have been mothballed in line with the closure of The Tradehouse.
Mattermost and Discourse are arriving shortly to improve communications. The new CCTV system arrives this coming week and will feed into courfax2. Courtfax2 will serve as the main comms, management and security platform for both properties when the new holiday home is acquired.
The number of Rasberry Pi on the network is multiplying with the welcome addition of a RetroPi for fun. I now have 27,000 games to get through from a number of classic platforms such as ZX Spectrum, Nintendo, Amstrad CPC, Amiga and Sega. These small single-board machines perform well and are fun to work with.
So I have multimedia, home security, communications, general management, gaming and a few other things all managed by a smart web interface.
The original courtfax collection of HTML and PHP scripts is still going strong and has had some python scripts added to it.
A Dell tablet running Windows has recently been chucked in the bin and my “office/studio” is now awash with only Lenovo kit. This will change as I will likely take delivery of a new Microsoft Surface shortly. I have a lot of time for Lenovo kit. It works well, performs well and is reliable. I wish I could say about Dell.
This weekend 3 years ago was when it all went wrong. This:
Turned into this in a matter of hours:
3 hospitals, 1 pacemaker and weeks in a hospital bed would not really resolve the issue. Indeed some of them would never be resolved and some new issues would introduce themselves on the back of this. Leading me on to this: For years I have been seeing bad management in the NHS and Harefield hospital and their new masters the Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust can stake their claim to be the worst I have come across. Hell, they even trump St Georges Hospital in Tooting, London for being poor. Many regulars will have read the numerous St Georges posts on this site. I suspect GSTT may get quite a few more than them very soon! I had to issue a Subject Access Request Notice against them the other day. Only a proportion of the information turned up, some of it was very incorrect and this is indeed worthy of a lawsuit. I have written at length to ICO as is the correct thing to do. The icing on the cake is some very pertinent information they should have shared with me but didn’t bother to do so. Each time I issue a Subject Access Request Notice people normally umm and ahh. They are always delivered either just in time or late. This one was delivered albeit very incomplete within one week. People who overtly fete the NHS should look at this as a reason why they might wise to not be so overtly vociferous.
Anyway, lets move on from that a bit. That was almost of the beginning of the end, or was it? The health situation keeps going downhill but that was expected and full retirement was a good move, especially as I can barely walk anymore. I am pleased that I managed another three years. So how is that going? It’s ok, I am getting used to it. Owing to health issues I now sleep a lot but I am still quite busy and I do miss work a lot. I did nearly manage to write an issue of Market Comment the other day. You can read it here. I keep getting asked to continue writing Market Comment. I simply cannot commit to a regular schedule. I will write ad-hoc pieces though.
In other news I am no nearer getting the Telegraph crossword down to seven or eight minutes. I have started learning the Python language and this isn’t going badly so far with one or two small utility programs working. I have also invested in some Raspberry Pi’s and these are pretty tools to customise. I have started building a “mission control suite” comprising a Media Server, Document Server, Music streaming service, retro HTML games, my CCTV, VOIP, and various other web-based tools. It is early days but it is looking rather good. This will replace the very commercial CourtFax and indeed will give some parts of CourtFax a new home. This is probably worthy of a blog all of its own.
I am currently looking to buy the ideal holiday home but this will take time. The requirement is here and there are some “Brucie Bonuses” available for good leads!
The final issue of The Trade House Magazine Finally closed with a total of 83,276 unique readers. It is still available but no longer advertised. The Trade House Magazine is for sale.
Moving on to internet stuff. This website is doing well with 9,216 visitors last month and 5,607 visitors so far this month. I did the figures for all the websites that I had developed personally or completely developed myself for my own businesses recently. The total number of visitors was over 10,000,000! Linkgate is still going on with the network in question going into hiding on the issue. It has however got rid of the annoying Irish stalker. I am keeping this site going and the plan is for 5-6 updates per month. The Club, which is my private network is available to most regulars. This is growing on both members and content.
I am doing less on social media so you should visit here more often for updates.
Looking forward I can confirm that once restrictions including quarantine are lifted that I will be spending some time in mainland Europe catching up. The diary is currently open and approximate times can be booked.
Ok, thats it for this update. I will update again soon.
I am delighted to announce that I have now integrated the support systems that allow users and clients alike to register support tickets into this website. You can access the new system by clicking on this link.
The OsTicket system has served this website well but the time has come to take a more integrated approach.
Many readers will be well aware or my love of hosting my own alternatives to popular software such as Whatsapp, Gmail, Dropbox and many, many more. There has not been a self hosting update here for quite some time until now.
So what has been happening and what is new?
Nextcloud continues to go from strength and I have now have a dedicated server for my instance. As a replacement for Dropbox amongst other things it really does deserve more praise than it gets. My instance has been maxed out in the plugin department and is all the better for it! Collabora brings online document editing and the Talk Application is fast replacing Skype for me.
Draw.io. NowThis was an absolute find! A completely online version of Microsoft Visio. Mine also integrates with Nextcloud above. If you need to do system diagrams or process diagrams often then this is worth a shot.
Wekan, has become my go-to for Kanban style project management software. This software still has further to go and so much more potentially to give. I have almost given up trying to find an online replacement for Microsoft Project that is not prone to problems.
Replacing Slack and others has come in two forms. Discourse and Mattermost both of which have many pro’s and many con’s. They work well the way have them configured and I prefer Mattermost for talking to both readers and advertisers of The Trade House Magazine alike.
Codiad is an excellent tool that takes care of development and allows me to develop “on the hoof”.
Odds and Ends.
I have found an excellent HTML emulator for the Original Nintendo console on GitHub and got it working. Its nice to be able to have a bit of fun with self hosting from time to time.
CourtFax. What? Yes I have also developed my own system for tying together a number of scripts that to various little jobs such as PGP and bringing them under one roof. I even tried to emulate the similar sounding and long lost CeeFax in the header logo.
So that is the latest on my self hosting endeavours. As always I am grateful to this Github project for providing me with new stuff to try on a regular basis.