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Current state of the art

Hello and welcome to my dev blog!
So this blog is to track what I am up to in my developing...

I am a python convert - when ever I can I now use python.
At this very moment I am working as an engineering intern for Tait Electronics. My research project here is "Using Python as a replacement to Matlab in the field of signal processing".
To this end I am using scipy and matplotlib daily. I have a iBook G4 (ppc) and run linux - precompiled binaries for closed source apps like skype and adobe flash simply don't get realeased for the powerpc. This makes life far more interesting!

Work environment
  • Windows 2000 - eek

  • Eclipse (Version: 3.4.1)
    • Pydev (1.4)
    • Pydev Extensions
    • svn
    • mylyn

  • Enthought Python Distribution (Py 2.5 + scipy + numpy + matplotlib)
  • Python 2.3 -> 3.0 (and svn trunk)

Home environment

  • Ubuntu 8.10 (ppc)
  • Eclipse
    • Pydev
    • svn
    • mylyn
  • django (svn)
  • django-command-extensions (svn)
  • Python 2.5, 2.6, 3.0
  • scipy, numpy and matplotlib, pil...
  • gammu, python-gammu (No wammu - due to Segfault on startup)
  • Sony Ericson 880i + usb cable
  • MythTV/ftp/trac/svn/ssh server


Not open source (at this stage) This project involves making a sms server for interacting with an alarm via txt messages or web interface. Making heavy use of python-gammu for the phone side of it, and django for the web side.


What does it do? Tidy up all your tv episodes. Rename and move your files in the way and location of your choice. Downloads episode names from imdb and renames them in the format you specify all from a cross platform native looking gui. Easily extended and editable to support other tv shows. Eptidy supports proxy setting
Project Page:


Someone emails This program reads the "to" address of the incoming email and searches through your sites members for anyone matching "some name", then looks up the email address of that user. It resends the email, from the original sender to the actual email address looked up. If the user wasn't found it optionally looks through a jobs database then at groups. If still not found the mail is returned to sender with a user not found error.
Project Page:

University of Canterbury Canoe Club Webpage
Custom php framework driven site... currently getting redesigned and one day I will redo in a real language...
Old version of the Code is online at my misc repo for all my shared uni code.

Bev's Tramping Gear Hire and Ana's Place Websites
Ditto - same framework...
Tramping Information and Gear Hire:
Ana's Bed and Breakfast Te Anau:

Usually have a few small projects for the flat server as well

Getting a multi project trac install was the last thing I did. We have ordered new parts and are probably going to do a fresh server install of ubuntu tho, so not entirely sure about going through that again! Although it is very nice to have when its up!

Voipstunt - One of the more recent ones was making a script that logs into voipstunts free calling homeline to homeline. So we could go to the flat website and enter in a phone number and then our phone would ring as voipstunt connects us to the number we dialed...

Future Things
A future project will be going from ubuntu to gentoo on my ppc because to many things are broken in the repository at the moment. Ekiga didn't work untill I compiled from source. Wx programs in general seem to fail. Filezilla flashes onto the screen before dieing a miserable death...
Want to have a good play with ompc.
A media manager for keeping track of what episodes you are up to in a series... in the very early stages of development for that...
I want to get django going on my current webhost:

That should just about do it for now!

Popular posts from this blog

Matplotlib in Django

The official django tutorial is very good, it stops short of displaying
data with matplotlib - which could be very handy for dsp or automated
testing. This is an extension to the tutorial. So first you must do the
official tutorial!
Complete the tutorial (as of writing this up to part 4).

Adding an image to a view

To start with we will take a static image from the hard drive and
display it on the polls index page.
Usually if it really is a static image this would be managed by the
webserver eg apache. For introduction purposes we will get django to
serve the static image. To do this we first need to change the

Change the template
At the moment poll_list.html probably looks something like this:

<h1>Django test app - Polls</h1> {% if object_list %} <ul> {% for object in object_list %} <li><a href="/polls/{{}}">{{ object.question }}</a></li> {% endfor %} </ul> {% else %} <p>No polls are available.</p> …

My setup for downloading & streaming movies and tv

I recently signed up for Netflix and am retiring my headless home media pc. This blog will have to serve as its obituary. The box spent about half of its life running FreeNAS, and half running Archlinux. I’ll briefly talk about my experience with FreeNAS, the migration, and then I’ll get to the robust setup I ended up with.

The machine itself cost around $1000 in 2014. Powered by an AMD A4-7300 3.8GHz cpu with 8GB of memory. A SilverStone DS380 case is both functional, quiet and looks great. The hard drives have been updated over the last two years until it had a full compliment of 6 WD Green 4TiB drives - all spinning bits of metal though.

Initially I had the BSD based FreeNAS operating system installed. I had a single hard drive in its own ZFS pool for TV and Movies, and a second ZFS pool comprised of 5 hard drives for documents and photos.

FreeNAS is straight forward to use and setup, provided you only want to do things supported out of the box or by plugins. Each plugin is install…

Python and Gmail with IMAP

Today I had to automatically access my Gmail inbox from Python. I needed the ability to get an unread email count, the subjects of those unread emails and then download them. I found a library on sourceforge, but it actually opened the normal gmail webpage and site scraped the info. I wanted something much faster, luckily gmail can now be accessed with both pop and imap.

After a tiny amount of research I decided imap was the better albiet slightly more difficult protocol. Enabling imap in gmail is straight forward, it was under labs.

The address for gmail's imap server is:

Python has a library module called imaplib, we will make heavy use of that to access our emails. I'm going to assume that we have already defined two globals - username and password. To connect and login to the gmail server and select the inbox we can do: