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NUT UPSMonday 25th July 2011
Network UPS Tools, or NUT, is a daemon for Linux (et all) that monitors a UPS and can do funky things like shutting down your computer when it's run out of juice.

A friend bought me a UPS because I kept complaining about the power outages in the backwater place I live - more yay.

The problem was, the supplied CD only had support for Windows, and the computer that needed protecting was my server, which runs Linux. Fortunately NUT comes to the rescue - well so I thought.

My UPS came with a USB connection and not an old-fashioned (but perfectly easy to use) RS232 connection. So when I plugged it in to my Linux box, set NUT to use USB and hit go, not a lot happened.

Exploring my UPSilon UPS (also packaged as Belkin) I find the USB hardware identifies itself as:
Device: MEC0002
Model: Fry's Electronics MEC0002

And helpfully uses the HID (Human Interface Device) driver.

When configuring your ups.conf you will fooled into thinking that the "usbhid-ups" driver is the one for you. It isn't. Some searching of the net will inform you that you want to use the "megatec_usb" driver instead. Although if you're like me, you'll find that this is missing. A little searching through comments in source code lead me to the new "blazer_usb" driver, this hits the nail on the head.

I say nail on the head, NUT now recognises a UPS. As my server is currently unwilling to boot, I'm too afraid to see if I can get it to do anything clever (like shutdown my computer), but I am get voltage readings back ok.

More hosted PHPFriday 15th July 2011
1&1 have updated their dev build of PHP to 5.4 Alpha 1 (yes, alpha). advise not using this in a production environment as it's unstable. Great, so I've got the choice of PHP 5.2, which support has already been dropped for and no longer maintained by, or a unstable alpha version of 5.4.

To add insult, 1&1 suggested I created a new account and migrated all my domains and mail over in order to switch my package to the advertised ones at the advertised price (existing customers need to pay another 3 a month). Honestly, if I go to the effort to move my hosting, it will not be staying with 1&1.

1&1 PHP SupportTuesday 5th July 2011
So I've been asking for PHP 5.3 support from my hosting company for two years now. Each time I get "We're working on it" or "We have no plans to implement".

Their FAQ mentions PHP 6 (an aborted attempt to by the PHP folk to implement unicode, all working features got turned into PHP 5.3). But this has never worked for me.

I then stumbled across this blog post by somebody who had successfully managed to get it working. I was slightly miffed at this so after spending some time in SSH I discovered some custom php.ini settings that had been applied to my main root directory.

Deleting this and suddenly "PHP 6" started to work. It now reports a random dev build of PHP 5.3 which has never existed - but still, at least I can use late static binding and namespaces now!

Now I just need to find the time to replace this 9 year old lunk of junk web-site.

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