Quick Links

AbuseIPDB BeagleBone Network speed: Broadband, Ookla CSS Digital Ocean Spaces
Disks Dropbox Free DNS @ HTML4.01 HTML5
Lizard Server Mac OSX NoIP OzHosting Python 2.7
Python 3.10 Raspberry Pi robots.txt tester Sophos Configuration Sophos login
TODOs Tunnelling Ubuntu (Install) USB Connectors (1) USB connectors (2)
WAN-IP address lookup WhoIs database Wayback Machine Web Settings (Apache2)

(alphabetic order, left to right)

Literate Programs

Blat Cron Jobs Family Tree HouseMade FRail
Photo Download Photos Setup Solar Tardis
ViewTrains Web Wine

(alphabetic order, left to right)


  1. Install MoinMoin version 2 on albens, and setup as Hurst-Stevens family archive, and also church wiki.
    1. completed download and successfully run localhost version
    2. installed mod_wsgi
    3. need to check what Flask needs to go into production mode
    4. familiarize myself with the new look and feel
  2. install mysql on spencer
  3. smarter about detecting SD card origin (see next)
  4. 20170116 blat to have archive handling methods: i) read log file and make up-to-date list
  5. 20180601:104336 find out why web page hit count is occasionally reset
  6. 20180610:132315 build movie interface for web photo albums


mouse functions
See the documentation for pyautogui
I have always had trouble remembering how to format formats. Here's a cheat sheet:
replacement_field ::=  "{" [field_name] ["!" conversion] [":" format_spec] "}"
field_name        ::=  arg_name ("." attribute_name | "[" element_index "]")*
arg_name          ::=  [identifier | digit+]
attribute_name    ::=  identifier
element_index     ::=  digit+ | index_string
index_string      ::=  <any source character except "]"> +
conversion        ::=  "r" | "s" | "a"
format_spec       ::=  <described in the next section>
format_spec       ::=  [[fill] align] [sign] [z] [#] [0] [width] [grouping_option] [.precision] [type]
fill              ::=  <any character>
align             ::=  "<" | ">" | "=" | "^"
sign              ::=  "+" | "-" | " "
width             ::=  digit+
grouping_option   ::=  "_" | ","
precision         ::=  digit+
type              ::=  "b" | "c" | "d" | "e" | "E" | "f" | "F" | "g" | "G" | "n" | "o" | "s" | "x" | "X" | "%"

But for a good, simple, cheat sheet on f strings, see f strings made simple


I have a range of computers. Keeping track of them (and maintaining them!) can be a headache. So I've compiled a list of machines in use. There are also a number of web servers (such as the one you are reading right now on The general principle used to name them is

  1. railway junctions in Victoria (on-site and laptops)
  2. eucalyptus trees (off-site)
  3. disused railway stations in Paris (micro-computers)
Here is a list of the computers/servers, their URLs, DNS sites, use and model. Note that all IP addresses of the form 10.0.0.x are only accessible on the local network.

Server Name Use Model System URL DNS
albens Off-site server virtual linux box leased from Digital Ocean, Ubuntu 14.04 IP:
burnley TV entertainment desktop system (rebranded from echuca) Apple iMac 27" Ubuntu 18.04 IP: -
everton laptop computer HP Pavilion 14" Ubuntu 18.04 IP: -
gwuc-wiki church wiki server virtual linux box leased from Digital Ocean, Ubuntu 16.04 IP:
newport desktop computer bespoke intel box Ubuntu 22.04 IP: (10Gb)
IP: 2001:44b8:4134:a000:e2d5:5eff:fe84:9ce4 (100Gb)
jeparit auxillary house controller Raspberry Pi 4 Raspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster) IP: -
reuilly new house controller Raspberry Pi 4 Raspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster) IP: -
spencer Main home server Silverstone RM720 with ASUS Z170-AR motherboard Ubuntu 16.04 IP:
DN: (server)
sophos Network control
(runs Sophos UTM9)
HP Compaq Ubuntu 13.10 IP:
DN: (gateway)
Machines below are currently not in use. Some may be resurrected at a future date.
bittern laptop
(available, not in regular use)
Apple MacBook Pro 15" OSX 10.6.8 IP: -
echuca Mac OSX desktop system (rebranded as burnley) Apple iMac 21" OSX 10.6.8 IP: -
fat-controller train computer
(not in use during renovations)
Pentium Ubuntu ? IP: -
hamilton university laptop, end of life decomissioned Apple MacBook Pro (Retina 13") OSX 10.10.5 IP: (hamilton) (hamilton-air)
kerang relay controller, decommissioned Beagle Bone Black Ubuntu 18.04 IP: -
lilydale spare laptop
(has broken BIOS)
ACER Aspire S7 11" Ubuntu 14.04 IP: -
Virtual server maintained by Digital Oceans. Used for off-site serving, mail and various maintenance tasks.
an old laptop, still operational (infrequent use)
My old home desktop iMac, which used to run Mac OSX 10.6.8. Now running Linux and used as a TV entertainment centre.
My latest laptop, an HP 14" Pavilion running Linux. Really only used when I am travelling.
DigitalOcean virtual Linux box (Ubuntu), maintained to supply wiki services to the Glen Waverley Uniting Church. My own use for this machine is residual - all regular data storage and web-serving is now done by albens.
A Beagle Bone, running Debian GNU/Linux 7.4 (wheezy). This is used to directly control an 8-channel relay module, where each relay is used to control some house function.
A Raspberry Pi Model 4B, running Raspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster). This is the current house computer, which schedules and controls the house operations through the slave system kerang.
A Raspberry Pi Model 4B, running Raspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster). This is under development as the new relay controller, replacing kerang.
sophos (previously wolseley)
Previously used as a house server. An HP Compaq machine, purchased second-hand from Monash University. Now has a new lease of life as a network controller, running Sophos UTM9 with 2 network cards, one running bridge mode to our NBN cable modem, the other to our local network.
disk farm and house server. An 82TB (4TBx2 + 6TBx9 + 8TBx4 + 500GBx1 drives) lizard fs system is used in an EC(5,3) configuration to store all household data and backups for other machines. It also houses a number of other smaller disks for use in day-to-day use (e.g., TV and Photographs)

A very nice Christmas present from my son was a Brother MFC L8600CDW colour laser printer, which is networked across the house, and provides the main printing facilty (although there are other inkjet and laser printers around).

Obsolete Systems

There are two parts to this list: a) machines that still exist, and may be resurrected one day (subject to software constraints), and b) machines that have either been thrown away, or museumed.

These lists are maintained for archival purposes.

Extant Machines

My home desktop iMac (Mac OSX 10.6.8). Still in existence, but OS rebuilt as a Ubuntu machine and renamed burnley (q.v.)
An old Intel box running an old version of Ubuntu. Used to control the model railway, but out of use until the railway is restored.
A BeagleBone Black. Currently decommissioned, but extant.

Never Again Machines

Perhaps the longest lived system of them all. Ran from the mid 90s until 2010, serving the house computer system and all that that entailed. Used as the original development system for the house computer, and sadly missed when it died. It had nice features like plenty of I/O ports and parallel interfaces, all good for home DIY use.
Was an iMac running Mac OSX 10.11.6. A Time Machine restore saw it reimaged (unintentionally) as a clone of hamilton, including the same (stupid) default name of MU00087507X. This would not have been a problem, except that hamilton is a Monash eSolutions managed machine, and nobody knew how to change its name. When two machines on the same network have the same name, you have problems. So it got rebuilt as a Ubuntu 18.04 system with the purpose of running mythtv as our regular TV recording system. Eventually decomissioned.
The original church wiki system. This virtual server service provided by Rackspace was decomissioned in Jan 2017, due to a non-recoverable error in its BIOS which could not be repaired. This came about due to the age of the system, and the fact that it had insufficient memory for more modern versions of the operating system.
Decommissioned. This was our old house server before spencer came along. A Dell R90 system, noisy as all get-out, and died with a memory fault that was fixable, but we could not be bothered. Now being cannabalised for spare cards, and destined for hard rubbish. I am not sorry to see it go.
old laptop. Was a Monash University machine, now life and OS expired, and has been added to my museum.
Interesting history. Bought explicitly to run Linux, and to be used as my regular laptop. But I found the trackpad and keyclick very frustrating to use, and it saw service as the house computer for a year or so. Died when I tried to upgrade from Ubuntu 14.0 to 16.04.
A MacBook Pro system, inherited from my father. Ran as the house server for a few years, until it died with an exploded battery!


This section has been moved to a separate page on disks.

Hints and Fixes

For Unix (Ubuntu 16.04)

For Mac OSX (10.6.8)

How The Web Pages were One

These web pages have gone through a number of interations. This Web Page documents the story.


We previously rented a house while our primary residence was being extensively renovated. While renovations were in progress, along came NBN (wouldn't you know it?) This causes some inconvenience, as we had to change our ADSL line across to NBN, without immediately being able to access and test it. The old connection used a 2.9Mbps download/0.74Mbps upload internet connection (Internode ADSL2+), via a Billion 7800N modem, which all worked fine throughout its lifetime, and I was loath to change it.

However, Optus had other ideas. We had a land-line telephone supplied through Optus, and had paid for the connection during the renovation (although unable to use it), because we wanted to keep the number. With the advent of NBN, Mr. Optus told us that the phone would be disconnected only a few months after the NBN was available, and in any case, well before the renovations were to be finished. So we had to do something. I switched both the phone and the internet to NBN (with ISP Internode), and told Optus to go jump. I since see that they are being prosecuted by ACCC for fraudently telling customers they would be disconnected by the statutory period had expired! My three separate experiences with Optus have all been bad. I don't know why they survive. Perhaps because Telstra is so bad?

I took advantage of the fact that our rented house is only 2 doors up the street from the renovations. With the permission of the intermediate neighbour, I ran a cat5 cable along his back fence, connecting number 5 with number 7, and we ran our internet connection via this.

I mentioned Telstra. We paid for a premium cable connection ($140/month) into our rented house, and found it worked well enough. It runs at 113 Mbs download, but only 2 Mbs upload. Contrast this with the Internode NBN connection which supplies 93 Mbs download and 29 Mbs upload, a 6 Mbs improvement for $40 less! ($100/month)

Now! We are back in our extensively renovated house, and have rationalized the systems somewhat. However, things are still in a state of flux, and in particularly, the house computer is waiting to be restored, along with the irrigation systems and the chook house door. The chook house door has been re-instated, at least to the point of being able to control it remotely, although this does not mean by computer control as yet. Nor do we have any chooks to control. Our internet connection is now via NBN and Internode, and works well enough, although it is no faster than the old Telstra cable we had in the rented property. We still don't have a telephone fixed line!

This page is copyright, and maintained by John Hurst. 9473 accesses all since
02 Feb 2022
My PhotoMy PhotoTrain Photo

Local servers: Localhost Newport Burnley Jeparit Reuilly Spencer (accessible only on local network.)
Public Web Servers: (not all may be active.)
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