Pretty lights

In a fit of weakness, I bought 2 silly USB mail lights. This are basically a PIC that talks USB on one side, and turns coloured leds on and off. They come with software that is supposed to check if you have mail and change colour depending on what's going on. Of course, the supplied software is Windows only and doesn't even work it seems.

Not that I care about a light that tells me if I have e-mail pending. But controling pretty lights from the computer? I'm all over that. Someone had already written a script in Python to control these things. I ported it to Perl because, well because I like Perl.

To use it, you must have Device::USB installed. And perl, of course.


Doing setcolour will show you all devices installed

Doing setcolour 1294:1320 1 will set all mail devices to colour 1, which is blue on one of my devices, green on the other.

Doing setcolour 2-7 2 will set one mail device to colour 2, which is red on both my devices.


UPS and power conditioning

If you have a server or any computer that is important, it needs an UPS. Something large enough for 5-10 minutes of power outage. But it is not enough to just plug the power into the UPS. You must also plug into UPS data port. And set up the software that will allow the computer to detect the power outage and shutdown before the battery runs out.

This is non-negotiable.

Not doing this risks you showing up Monday morning and not getting any work down while an admin drives 100 km to fix a problem.

And if you have any piece of important electronic equipment, you'll want a filter. And no the fuse on your power bar doesn't count.