• Raspberry Pi Security System

    I've taken an interest to Raspberry Pi and wanted to see if I could make a security system with one.  I wanted to start simple, one Pi with a video camera and motion sensor.  Starting out, I flashed the 32gb sd card with a copy of the Raspbian operating system, which is a Linux flavor of Debian.  I was pleased to see that there are many libraries for Raspberry Pi written for Python, one of my favorite programming languages.  Getting it set up was easy, it was pretty much plug and play for the camera libraries and motion sensor.  Then I just had to devise a way for it to record when someone walks by, and store/send images.  I will probably change the code completely with further experience coding for Raspberry Pi, but for now I have an end product that does what I want on a basic level.  The code can be viewed on my github repository here: https://github.com/pcrats33/spyer/blob/master/spyer.py

    Certain configuration values, such as e-mail smtp server login credentials and where to send pictures to are stored in a separate file not followed by Git.  Also I was able to use a hashing encryption to store the password in another file.  If you wanted to use the code, just create the files where it reads the information, or hardcode those values.  Videos are created in 20 second chunks within a temporary directory and then moved to a captures directory.  This allows for another program to sync these videos to the cloud.  Whenever motion is first detected an e-mail is sent with a still picture capture.  The essence of the code is an infinite loop with delays that checks for motion and turns the camera on or off accordingly.  For future versions I plan to incorporate a phone interface so that I can turn it on/off remotely rather than with the power cord.  The script is ran in the /etc/rc.local script, so all that is needed is for the Pi to be plugged in and it will start the spy cam script.  I found working with the Raspberry Pi enjoyable and easy, and it inspires imagination to a myriad of projects well beyond a spy camera.

  • Security considerations when safeguarding data

    An article is available regarding encryption methods and system security considerations.  It is intended to better help educate people who are new to the topic of data security.  Covered areas include encryption: what it is, methods for use, and also topics on malware protection.  Click this link to view the article: Encryption Security Methods.

  • Spring has sprung

    As spring of 2017 is upon us here in Tallahassee, I wish all those poor souls with allergies including me solace from the oak pollen that has covered all our sidewalks and cars already.  It can be a challenge for some of us, as walking outside causes an immediate recoiling of the sinuses from the outside environment.  I hope to one day get used to our pollen season here, but for now I just have to grin and bear it.  Happy spring everyone!  I am doing my spring cleaning both online and home, and I hope everyone getting a positive start to this new year.

  • PC Rats is now using Drupal 8

    I'm keeping up with technology, are you?  I would like to see more discussions of where we want technology to go in the next 5 years.  We are still in a digital age of our phones, our computers, our smart devices.  And they are becoming more interconnected and plyable.  We select what we find interesting or useful, and discard the rest.  I still try to grow and expand my knowledge of various embedded systems and modern computers.  They say a lot of new jobs are opening in IT.  It still seems like people still don't know what to do with all this new technology.  Let the ideas pave the way.