I have started several years ago using FHEM to automate some of my devices. Last year though, I discovered Home Assistant. It fits much better my technology stack as it's written in Python instead of Perl, so I started to migrate to it.
As always I'm running against some walls. It was impossible to get my IR-bridge (which switches on the amp) running in Home Assistant, so I needed a way to use the existing FHEM within Home Assistant.
First I opened a new FHEMWEB port (bind only on localhost) with csrfToken check switched off:
As I mentioned two weeks ago I became a kind of “partner happiness volunteer” in the Joomla project (CloudFest: Become a Partner for the Joomla Project and I’ll make you happy). My first task was to find partners for Joomla at this very unique conference in an amusement park in Germany. The conference itself has …
Next week I’m going to CloudFest. CloudFest itself is hard to describe. It is an Event and the successor of World Hosting Days. So a large part of the worlds hosting industry will be “there”. The first time I was there was in 2016. I’m writing a weekly blog post for NovaTrend, a hosting company from …
Sorry for the language mix but I thought it’s better to have it in both languages 🙂 Heute habe ich mal keine Lösung, sondern ein Problem. Ich will in WordPress etwas programmieren. Eine Authentifizierung gegenüber einem Altsystem. Today I have no solution, but a problem. I want to program something in WordPress. An authentication to …
Last week I asked if someone has an idea what Ethereum is about. Dick Olsson told me in a comment that it’s possible to create a kind of blockchain for our iron blogger project. What I know so far is the wikipedia article about Ethereum, some content of the website of the Swiss foundation Ethereum.org and a few videos from 2014 …
The Naivasha lake in Kenya was a kind of paradise for birds, fish, hippos, the cows of the Maasai people. The lake has an area of 15,600 ha at an altitude of 1884m asl. It is a fresh water lake with a catchment of 2,378 km2. The lake is on a tentative list for becoming UNESCO heritage since 1999. A Tentative List is an inventory of those properties which each State Party intends to consider for nomination. The quote is from the actual description of the UNESCO website.
The lake environment is fragile but dynamic and supports tourism and geothermal power generation from deep-rooted stream jets among other economic activities. Lake Naivasha’s biodiversity is critically threatened by human induced factors, including: habitat destruction, pollution (from pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers), sewage effluent, livestock feeding lots, acaricide, and water abstraction. … Current research findings show that the lake cannot sustain further development activities on the scale seen over the last fifteen years. (UNESCO Lake Naivasha)
In the late 1970s–1980s Lake Naivasha was overrun with poachers and foreign creatures introduced into the lake to provide a possibility to start a fishing industry. The migratory paths along lake Naivasha were being destroyed by the local rose industry.
Next to Naivasha is the
Hell’s Gate National Park.
There is a wide variety of wildlife in the national park … lions, leopards, and cheetahs. However, the park has historically been an important home for the rare lammergeyer vultures. There are over 103 species of birds in the park, including vultures, Verreaux’s eagles, augur buzzard, and swifts.Hyraxes, African buffalo, zebra, eland, hartebeest, Thomson’s gazelle, hyena, and baboons are also common. The park is also home to serval and small numbers of klipspringer antelope and Chanler’s mountain reedbuck (Wikipedia).
The team that produced the well known movie The Lion King traveled to Hell’s Gate National Park in Kenya to research on the film’s setting and animals. The main setting of the film is heavily modeled after the park.
The landscape is truly impressive!
Inside the park are plenty of hot springs.
The geothermal potential of the Kenya Rift Valley (which contains the Hell’s Gate Park) was recognized in the mid-1950s. In 1956, two wells were drilled at Olkaria about 10 km west of Longonot. With promising results the United Nations Development Program and the Kenya Power carried out an extensive exploration program in the Rift Valley in 1970. The Hell’s Gate National Park was established in 1984 through executive orders by annexation of land where the American Power Company Orpower was given concessions by the government to drill wells and generate power. Orpower developed the technology by building a steam pipeline from a natural well to the power station. If the well is empty the tubes stay on the ground and they connect the next well. In between the tubes with the hot steam one can see Giraffes, Zebras and Baboons (monkeys). In the center of this photo you can see a Giraffe, the tube is leaking and the steam is hot.
An old well looks like this
The initial design of Olkaria I power plant and steam field had proposed a life of 25 years (Link to PDF).
The population of Naivasha City ist 15,000. Different sources speak of around 50,000-80,000 workers in the flower farms, and 300,000 people living now in the area. The prospection for 2019 is 1,000,000 people. The lake is considered as dead around 2030.
My private conclusion
For me it looks like the reason for creating the Hell’s Gate National Park was to protect the concession and development of Olkaria Geothermal Power Plants. It’s easy to sell the project as green, renewable and sustainable. After the introduction of foreign creatures into the lake to create a fishing industry, the Flower farms were like the next logical step and the conditions are still perfect. Free water, cheap energy, cheap labour, and no one complains about chemicals in the lake and poor working conditions.
Most partners in this setting earns a lot of money,
It’s possible to certify the flower farms as fair trade
Valentine roses are getting cheaper
There is a big demand to invest in “sustainable energy”
… only local people, Maasai people, the hippos and the other animals will loose everything. The ecosystem of Naivasha lake will be destroyed and will never become a UNESCO habitat!
Beside my Drupal work at artus.com I attended the Mobile Users FFM monthly meeting on Wednesday. The group exists since 13 years and it started as the “Palm user group, Frankfurt”. Do you remember Palm? During the last 13 years the world changed and it was interesting for me me to hear stories about different types of smartphones, smartwatches, phone contracts and gadget like the Yota Phone 2.
A member of the group (@android_oma) is developing an interesting Drupal/Android/open data project. The basic idea is to collect photos from German railway stations (bike stations, elevators, facilities inside and outside of railway stations). She pulls open data from the German Deutsche Bahn with longitude, latitude and unique id numbers of German railway stations. These data should be imported/synced to a Drupal site (http://www.deutschlands-bahnhoefe.de).
With an already existing Android App, people can see railway stations where photos are missing. So far the project is in early stage, the app is not in the app store but available via in this Google+ group.
Later on the app should post the photos directly to the Drupal website by using web services. So far people are just tweeting photos (it’s easy to participate ) (https://twitter.com/hashtag/bahnhofsfotos. Railway fans are unique, so the project is getting attention and they are planning an international version starting with Switzerland.
The summer was wonderful. We finished the restoration of a house in the middle of July and we wanted to enjoy some weeks at the beach. As you know, we are Germans and there seems to be some truth in all these stereotypes about Germans, they always make plans So we did, we made a list about how we wanted to spend our “free” time. The plan was to work a few hours on projects that should be finally finished, like the green roof project in the garden, the Cave in 22 Grand’ Rue, some “little” things in our house … and spend the rest of the time at beaches, in art galleries, antique markets, reading books, … well … it worked somehow – I was everyday at a beach for these 8 weeks and now I’m the mayor
Nextcloud appeared in June and I’m very interested in the project. I went to Stuttgart in August for a Hackweek and to Berlin in September for the first conference. I wrote some blog posts about Nextcloud box and other aspects of the project.
While working on our summer projects we discussed how we will earn money in the future. Usually we do that regularly at Dec 31th but this time we planned in July at the beach. We came to the conclusion that we renovated more or less enough houses for us (You can buy one btw.). There is still one house project left together with our daughter and her husband but I thought
May be I can work on a nice software project.
Something related to Nextcloud, RaspberryPi, internet of things, Drupal 8. All these “new” stuff hat appeared while I was renovating
I applied officially at certain companies (my first applications since nearly 20 years) and I learned a lot about LinkedIn, Xing, Monster, writing a good CV and all those things where I’m still not good in (Help me to become better). A company in Frankfurt hired me as a Drupal developer. It’s a “digital interactive agency” called artus.com and their mission is:
We plan, create, develop and implement anything digital that builds our clients brand and business.
“Anything digital” sounded good and I never worked in an agency like that! They are using Drupal 8 for bigger projects, e.g. worldvision.de. They are planning to use it in more projects. The only problem is that they wanted to have me in their office in Frankfurt, Germany. We agreed on a kind of testing for six weeks and then
– I hope to continue with remote work from Fitou and
– they hope that I will move to Frankfurt.
I’m curious how we’ll figure that out – stay tuned!
Living in Frankfurt is ridiculous expensive, so I tried to find a place via Twitter and Facebook.
Hilfe: Suche Schlafplatz in/um Frankfurt/Main vom 3.10-31.10
WiFi + Parkmöglichkeit oder Anbindung an ÖPNV wären gut.
At the moment I live in Bad Homburg and commute with my bike to Frankfurt. Well, it’s actually not my bike, it’s a super posh electrical bike that I’m allowed the use (a blog post on that is coming soon). Each day I drive 40 km. I track the tours with an App, so if you want to follow me, become my friend on Strava. First week 200km!
I have no time anymore!
I start at 7:30am with my bike and I come back at 8pm with my bike. Additionally, this country is so cold, windy and mostly dark when I’m driving! It’s nice sometimes, you see
The work itself is interesting: The dev team works with PHPStorm, Vagrant, Bitbucket, Slack, several servers and is trying to organise everything as easy and smooth as possible. I’m curious to learn everything and it was for sure a good idea to be six weeks physically here! Last Friday, we had a so called Quarterly, followed by a workshop with all employees (37), very interesting! Later on there was a great dinner and we ended up with a little group in a kind of club in Frankfurt (Pik Dame).
The last days I heard so many opinions about work, controlling, planning, project management, creativity, brand management, mismanagement, open source software, closed source software, company culture, employee driven companies and the future in general that my daily commuting on the bike is a good way to reflect on that. Since that workshop I’m a proud member of a new team and I’m partly responsible for a handbook, that will help newbies like me to understand processes in this company.
I want to write about my experiences as often as possible but as I already said in the headline – I have not that much time anymore
As promised in the first blog post about the Nextcloud App Ecosystem, here comes the second one about all the official Nextcloud Apps that are disabled by default.
To understand the different types of apps better, I would categorize them as following so far:
Official Nextcloud app:
A Nextcloud app is called official when it’s developed/maintained by Nextcloud GmbH and shipped in the Nextcloud server package. Some official apps are enabled.
Approved Nextcloud app
A Nextcloud App is called approved when it comes from a third party entity and is shipped in the Nextcloud server package.
Apps from the Nextcloud app store.
In Nextcloud version 11, an app store will be integrated. I don’t know yet how these apps will be called in the future.
This blog post covers official Nextcloud apps which are disabled by default:
Default encryption module
External storage support
External user support
File access control
Files automated tagging
LDAP user and group backend
If you just read the names and you are not familiar with the Nextcloud project you might struggling to understand what these apps are for, why they are not enabled and whether it is a good or a bad idea to enable them. I’ll go through these apps, provide a short description and, if possible a common use case and some screenshots.
Default encryption module
I’m not sure why this package is called a module, it should be called an app, an official app!
As you may assume this app is about security. After enabling the app and server-side encryption in the administration settings, all your new uploaded files will be encrypted based on AES 256 keys (How secure are AES-256 encrypted files?), the app won’t touch existing files. Attention: It is not possible to disable the encryption again and switch back to an unencrypted system!
Please read the documentation to know all implications before you decide to enable server-side encryption.
This app allows an administrator to add links in the Nextcloud web interface apps menu that points to an external website. For a user, the external site appears in an iframe as if it’s part of the Nextcoud installation.
External storage support
The external storage support app enables administrators to configure connections to external storage providers (FTP , Amazon S3, SWIFT object stores, Google Drive, Dropbox, other Nextcloud servers, WebDAV servers, and more). Administrators can choose which types of storage to enable and can mount these storage locations for a user, a group, or the entire system. The screenshot shows an example with external storage via SFTP.
Users will see a new folder appearing in their root Nextcloud directory, which they can access and use it like any other Nextcloud folder.
External user support
This app authenticates user login against FTP, IMAP or SMB. Passwords are not stored locally and authentication always happens against the remote server. There is no graphical user interface for configuration. You have to add parameters to the configuration file config.php.
Have a look at the documentation.
File access control
This app controls the access to files. It can be used e.g. in relationship with the two factor authentication app (an approved app – TOTP TwoFactor (Google Authenticator)) because it’s necessary to protect the keys. I’ll cover this topic in a separate blog post.
Meanwhile, have a look at Joas blog post on Nextcloud.com – File Access Control – A firewall for your private files in Nextcloud.
Files automated tagging
The app automatically assigns tags to newly uploaded files based on conditions. Combined with Files Access Control App and Retention App it’s possible to create workflows like
converting document file types to PDF upon upload by members of a specified group
emailing files put in a specified folder with a given tag to a given mail address.
The official but not enabled apps are often covering special use cases like the whole authentication and workflow handling. Even if these are not “main stream use cases” it’s important and crucial to know that these solutions exist for using Nextcloud efficiently in your company!
tl;dr: The Nextcloud 10 server package comes with several official apps that are not all enabled by default but awesome!