Category Archives: ip home automation project

Setting up a CVS server for the BlackBox project

Following the previous posts in this category you will notice that I was using Sourceforge.net as the code hosting. We had to change that because we really didn’t want to share every bit of code. ( A big sorry to open source developers. I am truly a sell out. ) So had to set up CVS server. Never done that before. Should probably add it to my CV. Anyways to business.

How to set up a CVS server using SSH :

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Installing Ångström Linux on BeagleBoard

We have been able to install Ångström Linux to our beagle board. Ran into couple problems. The first one was we trusted BeagleBoard Beginners wiki just too much!!

You see we learned that we should NOT set any environment variables while using demo u-boot image which was downloaded from here. In fact what we did is we created our own Ångström image (from Ångström site) and simply installed that to our Linux partition of our SDHC card. And it worked beautifully. Though I must say first boot is a drag, very very slow.

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The BeagleBoard Has Arrived!!

The long awaited Beagle board has arrived.


Even tough the team’s enthusiasm was up the roof we were not able to try it out. More on this later. I would also like to inform all people who is following this blog religiously that our project is now hosted on SourceForge.net at http://sourceforge.net/projects/theblackbox/ . And I have also set up a CVS so those who want to follow the code will be able to follow it from the net.

The CVS code is as follows

cvs -d:pserver:anonymous@theblackbox.cvs.sourceforge.net:/cvsroot/theblackbox login

cvs -z3 -d:pserver:anonymous@theblackbox.cvs.sourceforge.net:/cvsroot/theblackbox co -P modulename

I am sorry to say due to some weird problem you can not view the CVS modules from Sourceforge. You will need to use some kind of client. I am currently using Eclipse as my development IDE hence all my CVS materials comes from that. I have heard that TortoiseCVS is quite neat in its own way (for Windows) but I’d rather use Eclipse your choice.

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Workflow of the BlackBox System and Connecting in Two Steps (Python+SSH)

If you have been following this blog you probably knew that this post was coming. I have been able to use SSH and Python together with some dependencies. These dependencies are Paramiko from http://www.lag.net/paramiko/ and a python sript (which I had to edit more on that later) which was written by Zeth from  http://commandline.org.uk.

In this short time using python let me say that it is a very organic programming language that should bring happiness to all programmer that have been muddling with other scripting languages. Saying that let’s go back to business.

Because I changed from Telnet to SSH some things had to change. A new design frenzy ensued. And the result was as below.

connectionsteps

connectionsteps

Please click on the image above to see it more clearly.

So let my explain the above flow step by step.

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Knowing when to fold ( i.e. SSH is better than Telnet )

You have probably seen my  previous post on connecting to Telnet through PHP although it was a novel idea I have just learned that (from a Novell site. No pun intended.) Telnet is very insecure!! To make things clearer Telnet usually creates connections as below;

Telnet-Client-server-unencrypted

Up here you can see a hacker can sniff the client-server connection and actually steal the user name and password sent by client. This really won’t do since if someone can spoof/hack/attack our embedded system which we will be adding to home appliances things may go awry. i.e. you will start seeing automated vacuum cleaners attacking your cat. ( Statistics show that H4X0Rz hate cats. )

Hence we can clearly see we need another way for the server and client to talk to each other. After some short Googling I am thinking of using SSH which is native to Linux/Unix based systems. Where the connection will be as below ;

SSH-client-server-encryptedAs you can see the SSH encryption creates a safer environment for the client and the server plus any DNS attacks and eavesdropping is clearly impossible. (if not probable.)

Henceforth a new PHP and Python (this time I will write the server+client in Python) shall be written. Please expect updates.

Connecting to PHP using telnet and sending data to the same port using Java

Hi there! Have been busy busy busy. What I needed was a way to the following;
Very Simple LayoutAbove you are looking at a very simple layout. ( Almost childishly simple ) The embedded device has Linux installed with a supposedly very light JVM ( Java Virtual Machine ) So if I am to send data to and from the server and display it to the user I have to do some scripting both in Java and in PHP. Let us first take a look at our universal Java-Socket program which basically opens and listens to a certain port (socket );

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