/ Ireland2018

The Birds (a technical aside)

Is scary, really scary. We're having a quiet coffee in Cookstown this morning and Liz casually mentions "the birdcam seems to be down"!!

Panic stations, panic stations! All those little Tintinhull children deprived of the ending to the story of the hatchlings they've been watching for the last couple of weeks.

Fortunately I came prepared and put an SSH client onto this phone so I had command line access to home. SSH into the home web server, a Raspberry Pi in the kitchen. What's the internal IP address of the webcam server? Can't remember. Poke around the RPi webserver until I find where birds.two-drifters.co.uk is routed to internally. Another SSH hop to that small media computer lurking under my TV. Yep it's up and running OK but the program that sends the webcam images to the web is down. Why? Check storage, 100% disk full. That'll be the problem. Check the logs, looks like the program is saving all the images and that has produced gigabytes of data clogging the disk. Find the folder, delete all the image files. No that won't work, there are so many and there's so little disk space left that there's not enough space for the delete program to make an internal list of all the files it needs to delete. Find another way to do the delete that doesn't require building a list. It's a lot slower but works on a single day's worth of files. Try a month's worth. Eventually. Now do the rest. Disk back to almost empty, restart the program and there's the birds back.

I really ought change the config file to stop saving the images but it's a big file and I might screw something. We should be OK for another couple of weeks. By then the chicks should have fledged.

It's hard hacking this stuff on the phone and nerve-wracking but gratifying that it can be done, even though fonts are small and keyboard errors have to be avoided.

Here's a screenshot midway through the process