Raspberry Pi Weather Station Kit: What a brilliant idea

Weather Station Kit

Long long ago when I was at school I was lucky enough to have a BBC Micro model B (and yes then a Master 128 and a 512), those were all great machines to learn on. I always wanted to use them for monitoring the weather and log the results to floppy disk back then. The BBC Model B did have a good range on ports and I got as far as hooking up light, sound and temperature sensors.

The problem back then was :

a) The machine was just to expensive to be left switched on and dedicated to this job alone and

b) we didn’t really have database software as such to store the data, and even if we did I seem to recall that the best the floppy disk control could do was about 800K on a double sided disk.

So jumping forward to 2015 and discovering this wonderful Weather Station Kit blog posting suddenly made me sad that I wasn’t still at school and able to do all the great projects they’ve designed in the lesson plans.

Hopefully soon there will be enough demand for this to be released as a kit so that middle aged fathers up and down the land can relive their youth and in the process teach their children about this technology at home.

If you get a chance have a read of their blog posting, it’s a good write up of a lovely piece of work.

How to get Eclipse working on OS X 10.10 Yosemite

After downloading Eclipse (Luna 4.4.2) on Max OS X 10.10.3 Yosemite it failed to start-up. It gave the highly misleading error message To open “eclipse” you need to install the legacy Java SE 6 runtime.

OSX Eclipse asking for Java 6 to be installed.

Installing Java 6 isn’t a good idea. It’s out of support and now has a number of serious security issues. Common sense says there has to be a better solution.

Try going to the OS X Command line and enter the command java -version

In my case then displayed the message, To use the “java” command-line tool you need to install a JDK.

OSX prompt to install the Java JDK


Note that it’s asking you to install a JDK. I knew I had the latest version of Java runtime (JRE) installed so had expected the Java -version command to display Java 8. Clicking on More info will take you through to the Oracle Java download site.

Oracle Java JDK download page


From here download the Mac OS X 64 bit JDK and then when the download has completed click on the dmg file in the download loads directory and follow the install instructions.

Once complete try the Java -version command again from the command line to prove the install has been successful.  In my case this came back with:

java -version

java version “1.8.0_45”

Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_45-b14)

Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 25.45-b02, mixed mode)

Now clicking on the Eclipse icon will successfully launch Eclipse.

Eclipse OSX About Box

To prove it here’s the Eclipse About box to show Eclipse Luna 4.4.2 successfully running on OS X 10.10.3.

If you have any problems or follow-up questions do please leave a comment below.

How to find the Tech Refresh Level on IBM i (iSeries, os400, AS400 etc)

I’ve just updated my blog about how to find the OS/400 version you have installed on IBM iSeries to also cover how to find the tech refresh level on IBM iSeries (os400).  This was prompted by a comment left on the blog. We do love to hear back from you and have often found that comments lead us to write new articles covering what you are looking for. So if there’s an IT topic or problem you’d like to see discussed do please get in touch or leave a comment below.