I don’t like vacuuming, there I said it. The “swoosh swoosh” from a machine being pushed while it tries to suck dirt and whatever important object you drop on the floor, is not really my cup of tea. I can’t lift a sofa or bed to offer all the sacrificial “dirt” to ye vacuum cleaner. I hate including my poor back. as an added burnt offering. Also, I have to schedule this ritual. – that’s my rant.

I did a Carpe Diem.

My story starts, with a thing called a robotic vacuum cleaner. The most famous one out there is from iRobot – the Roomba. It’s that small round puck that vacuums and chases your cat. I read and watch a couple of you tube videos and  decided that I needed something like the Roomba.

  • I wanted a vacuum cleaner that cleans on a schedule I can set.
  • I needed it to tell me when it started its cleaning cycle and when it ended.
  • I want to control it from my phone.
  • It has to go where no man has ever gone before – underneath the Sofa and Bed.
  • Added bonus, if I can get stats from it and control it externally – An Application Program Interface I can use.

I did my research and chose the “Neato Botvac”.

Here are my reasons:

  • The “Neato Botvac” is not a round puck. It is shape like a wedge. So, cleaning a corner is not a problem. I have heard a lot of arguments saying that the round shape of the Roomba is not an issue when dealing with corners. I have yet to be convinced that you can fit a round peg on a square hole. The Roomba would be great in the Apple campus at Cupertino – no corners.
  • Next, the “Neato Botvac” follows a more intelligent cleaning algorithm. It goes around the edges, uses the edges as a boundary and then starts working inward. The Roomba on the other hand bounces back and forth from wall to wall, like an uncontrolled billiard ball. This bouncing back and forth would annoy my mother, God rest her soul.

Here’s a snippet of source code I wrote to extract info from the “Neato Botvac”, which I call using a CURL script that runs every hour.

	neato botvac
	this is a php module that dumps 
	the status of a neato

define("EOL",  "\n");

function DumpArray($heading, $array)
	$i = 0;
	echo $heading . ': ' . EOL;
	foreach ($array as $key => $value)
		echo ' ' . $key . ' [' . $value . '] ';
		if ($i % 3 == 2)
			echo EOL;
	echo EOL;

function Dump($name, $_robot)
	$state = $_robot->getState();

	echo $name;
	echo EOL;
	echo ' state [' . $state['state'] . ']' . EOL;
	echo EOL;
	DumpArray("details", $state['details']);
	echo EOL;
	DumpArray("commands", $state['availableCommands']);
	echo EOL;
	echo "schedule:" . EOL;
	$schedule = $_robot->getSchedule();
		echo   '  mode    day     start' . EOL;
	foreach ($schedule['data']['events'] as $line)
		printf('   %d           %d       %s', $line['mode'], $line['day'], 
		echo EOL;

// Main()
$email = "you@me.com";
$password = "doremi";
$token = false; 

$client = new NeatoBotvacClient($token);
$robots = array();
$auth = $client->authorize($email, $password);
if ($auth)
	$result = $client->getRobots();
	if ($result = $client->getRobots())
		foreach ($result["robots"] as $robot) 
			$_robot = new NeatoBotvacRobot($robot["serial"], 
			Dump($robot['name'], $_robot);	


A video of the Neato in action.

Btw, I named him Cujo – The Dog from Stephen King”


My story ends with, If you hear a “swoosh swoosh” from my home and you know that I am not there. That’s Cujo making his rounds.



Upgrading to a Synology DS716+

A couple of months ago, I accidentally dropped my Synology DS212j. It was roughly an 8 feet drop from its home, top of my cabinet. So, after the drop I put it back (on top of my cabinet) and turn it on – it works. Kudos to Synology and the raid drives from Western Digital.

Btw, the Synology DS212j is a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device. I use it as a Time Machine Backup, Web Server with PHP ,launching CURL scripts (extracting information from Jira , Saleforce and other feeds), a Git Server hosting my source code from various internal DIY projects , a Cloud Station (this is similar to Dropbox). Am a curious guy ,and I spend whatever little time I have available, feeding my curiosity

This accident was a wake up call . Well, I don’t want to loose any media, source code or family pictures – that would be a bad thing. Plus, I needed to retire my spare linux box which was always on, the linux box is just a Gitlab host. So, I decided to purchase a DS716+. The DS716+ has Docker and Gitlab, Gitlab is available as an encapsulated Docker Container (more about Docker in future writeups), Thus, purchasing a DS716+ I can retire my old trusty Linux Box. Other features of the DS716+, a Plex Server ( I can host my entire non iTunes movie collection on my NAS).

The DS 212j has been demoted to a secondary NAS backup of the DS716+ . The GIT Server , Cloud Station, Web Server and CURL Scripts functions of the DS212j has been delegated to DS716+.

Upon purchase of the DS716+ I had to add more RAM to the device (8GB). Instructions on how to upgrade the DS716+ are well documented on Ross Fisher’s Blog. I will be running Docker on the DS716+ and would be adding other docker containers, 2 GB of memory would not be sufficient.

Here ‘s a series of pictures of my ram upgrade and Hard Disk Installation. I am overall pleased with my new setup.

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Got GitLab installed!!!

I have a Synology NAS 212 J purposed as a Time Machine backup, File Server, Git Host, Cloud Station and Media Center. I have had no problems with this NAS drive. No failure’s all my Photo’s, sources, music and video are stored securely on this device. All my media is managed and secured.

Until, I needed a way to browse through my GIT repositories and look at my notes. I have a lot of personal projects, a lot. I needed a way to organize my projects and make it easy to search. The best interface for source code viewing is GitHub frankly, I needed a localized version  of GitHub. So, enter  GitLab.

Here’s my dilemma GitLab requires a new version of the Synology NAS. Unfortunately, I do  not wish to upgrade this year. So I resurrected one of my old PC’s and Installed Ubuntu 14.0 and Installed GitLab. It was a straight forward process the only caveat, was to make the”Nginx server” (GitLabs webserver)  listen on a different port. The default port for Nginx is being used by an Apache server, which I will be using extensively in the coming weeks.

Success, I have a running version of GitLab and am migrating my important source code from the Synology Nas to my Ubuntu Server.  The way It looks I’ll be able to upgrade the NAS Drive next year to a GitLab capable device and do a full migration.

Btw, have been extremely busy the past few months, so had little chance to update my blog – stay tune tomorrow. “We” are releasing something. -Carpe Diem


Reorganizing my home office.

After a year I had to de clutter my 2 office tables laden with computers. I decided to remove one monitor from my 3 Monitor setup Windows 8 (Now Windows 10) and promote one of the desks to a full OS X development environment. I wanted to purchase a larger monitor for my Mac Book Air and go full stream. Here’s how it looks like now.





Note, that I could have splurged on an apple external display but opted for a Dell Display and Lightning adaptor hub that has USB 3.0. Reason being the existing apple display only outputs USB 2.0. Another consideration was the Dell monitor has other video ports which means I can repurpose the monitor for a windows or Linux pc if the need arises.

I have migrated most of my PHP apps to my Synology NAS and shutdown my dedicated Linux server. If I have to develop or tinker with a Linux machine I can either opt for a virtual machine on my windows pc, macbook air or my raspberry pi.

Chaya- Contemporary Japanese Cuisine in Baguio


72 Legarda Road,
2600 Baguio City Philippines

One of the prevailing trends  in Baguio City, is the act of converting old rustic houses to restaurants. Preserving history and adding a touch of something new – making Baguio a heavenly gourmet paradise.

Upon our last visit we ran out of new restaurants to go to. Perusing a blog in search for something profound, new and exotic. We read an article that there was this Japanese restaurant that is highly recommended by the owner of “Hill Station”.

So, we went, we saw and we ate.



It really looks like a place of residence and we were lucky to have seats – Chaya was packed.

We ordered a  Temaki Sushi – roll your own sushi. Good for 3-4 persons.


From the picture above you make your own sushi by combining, The Nori (seaweed), the slivers of fish, egg etc (oh so fresh) with the nice (well cooked sushi rice) like so.


It was so good. We also ordered Shrimp tempura, it came out as a work of art


side order small dishes were fantastic


To end our lunch we had a green tea ice cream with red beans.


If ever you are in Baguio City, please consider dropping by Chaya and ordering the “Temaki”. You won’t get disappointed.  Peace and Good Eats

Bistro by Hill Station–Death By Chocolate

It’s been a spell since I put up an article, my sincerest apologies.  As for material to write, there are a lot of restaurant reviews still to be written (from my previous trip back home), a couple of tech articles, hikes that I have had and places I have been.  I promise that they will all be uploaded – Carpe Diem.

Onward –

Nestled, in Camp John Hay is a restaurant called Bistro. Bistro is a branch of “Hill Station” famous for a desert called “Death by Chocolate”.

This dessert’s name is a direct word for word English translation of a Filipino expression “mamamatay ka sa sarap” (you will die from deliciousness). Note, it might sound macabre, that the word death seems to finalize any argument/message in the Philippines – Filipinos tend to be more direct. For example a common sign “Do not cross this part of the street” would be on a typical American Billboard. As an American sign, this is so politically correct that no race, creed or animal gets offended. Over time the sign loses its coherence and a couple of lives are claimed (while the sign is up). Filipinos are not so ambiguous, our sign would simply say “Bawal Tumawid may namatay na dito.” (Don’t cross, somebody already died here.). Filipinos care more about your safety than your feelings. You might be offended, but you are Alive.


Back to the Bistro:


Death by Chocolate 120 pesos roughly 3-4 US dollars.


Hidden underneath a small scoop of vanilla ice cream  lies the thick dark chocolate. Like a delicious slap of chocolate goodness wrapped in a gossamer nightgown of vanilla. After one spoonful of this desert you yearn for several more slaps of chocolate richness. It is a sexy dish good to the last spoonful.


Bistro at Camp John Hay home of a sexy desert – yum yum yum.