Monthly Archives: October 2006

Flours and Grains – a Multi-lingual Reference

This listing was made by finding botanical names in the
English version of Wikipedia and then searching on them in the
French and German versions.

Triticum æstivum

  • common wheat [en]
  • blé tendre [fr]
  • froment [fr]
  • Weizen [de]

Triticum spelta

[ssp. of T. æstivum]

  • spelt [en]
  • épeautre [fr]
  • Dinkel [de]

Triticum durum

  • durum wheat [en]
  • blé dur [fr]
  • Hartweizen [de]

Hordeum vulgare

  • barley [en]
  • orge [fr]
  • Gerste [de]

Avena sativa

  • oats [en]
  • avoine [fr]
  • Hafer [de]

Secale cereale

  • rye [en]
  • seigle [fr]
  • Roggen [de]

Oryza spp.

  • rice [en]
  • riz [fr]
  • Reis [de]

Zea mays

  • maize [en-gb]
  • corn [en-us, en-au]
  • maïs [fr]
  • blé d’Inde [fr-ca]
  • Mais [de]

Fagopyrum esculentum

Note – Fagopyrum is NOT a cereal; it belongs to the Polygonaceae.

  • buckwheat [en]
  • sarrasin [fr]
  • blé noir [fr]
  • Buchweizen [de]

1-Wire Beer Fermenter

For some time now, I have been meaning to get my beer fermenters hooked into my 1-Wire weather system. Now we are in business! Thumbnail images on this page link to 640×480 versions.

Temperature Probe

photo of encapsulated temperature probe

Probe (DS1820) is inserted into a short length of polyethylene beer siphon hose and filled with epoxy resin.
The wire is industrial PTFE insulated equipment wire. To maintain gas seal when passing through the
fermenter lid, wire is epoxy encapsulated into a short length of copper tubing.

Working Rig

photo of fermenter with probe installed

Probe is shown installed in fermenter; an extra hole has been drilled in the fermenter lid and a nylon cable gland installed. An ‘O’ ring is fitted between the underside of the fermenter lid and the locking ring of the cable gland to prevent gas leakage.

When fermenter is active, data may be viewed on my current weather page. Note that the fermenters live in the laundry and close to the temperature probe in there, so you can see the difference between air temperature and beer temperature.

Smiffy's Weather Station

My current weather station (January 2005) comprises the following:

  • Home-made 1-Wire® adapter: DS2480B + MAX232 + DS9503. The adapter board is mounted in the casing of an old D-Link ethernet hub, which provides the power supply and front panel jacks. All the jacks are wired in parallel, giving a star topology for the temperature sensors, which are connected through the CAT5E house structured cabling. One leg of the star goes out through the wall on twisted pair telephone cable to the rain gauge and weather instrument. I have had no problems with this arrangement except once when one of the cable joints was attacked by birds.
  • AAG Weather Instrument. The temperature sensor in this unit is
    recorded but not reported. The weather instrument is attached
    to a piece of galvanised box section, currently tied to one of
    the (steel) posts of a panel fence. This needs slight re-orientation
    and raising as far as I dare without things wobbling about too much.
  • Lacrosse rain gauge – originally wireless, but with all the guts
    ripped out and replaced by a home-made board with a DS2423.
    Circuit based on Dallas application note. I used the wireless gauge
    because the [tipping] bucket had a better resolution (0.01 inch/0.254mm)
    than the wired unit that was offered.
  • 6 1-Wire® temperature sensors – various models. These are
    distributed around the house, with one outside. The outside unit
    currently reads high when the sun is on it since it’s located
    in a plastic flower pot rather than a Stephenson screen!

Future additions to the station – some sooner, some later, some maybe never:

  • DS2423-based lightning detector
  • Temperature probe in my beer fermenter.
  • Airlock ‘glug’ count for beer fermenter (DS2423 and some kind of optical
    sensing) to determine fermentation rate.
  • Field mill for measuring cloud (electrostatic) charge. Have yet
    to settle on an interfacing technique for this – will either
    use 1-Wire® analogue to digital convertor (DS2450) or just run
    the whole thing off a microcontroller and present data through
    a 1-Wire® port expander (DS2408).
  • Geomagnetic sensor; sensor and processing chip (SCL006B) from
    Speake Sensors;
    processing chip has digital out so will probably interface to
    a DS2408 port expander.
  • Atmospheric pressure (DS2450 + ?)
  • Relative humidity (DS2450 + ?[2])
  • Insolation (some sort of differential arrangement with DS18B20)
  • Some sort of optical system to check the clarity of the irrigation water
    coming out of our aerobic wastewater system (DS2450).
  • Temperature probe in septic unit of aerobic wastewater system.
  • pH probe in septic unit of aerobic wastewater system.

Smiffy’s Weather Page


Note – this page is rather out of date and will be revised soon may get revised one day. Heck, I haven’t used SuSE or Fedora in over 5 years. Debian FTW.


This page is about my weather projects – software and hardware. Hardware-wise, my main focus is on instruments interfaced to Dallas 1-Wire® devices.
My current weather may be viewed if everything is working properly!
Please note that times quoted are for South Australia.
My latest addition to my system is the addition of my 1-Wire® beer thermometer. I have also created a year-to-date rainfall report that is created when the current weather report runs (every ten minutes).

I do the majority of my work under Linux (SuSE on most machines,
Fedora on my web server.)
Most of the applications I work with and develop are web-based, using the
Perl programming language and the MySQL database.

For any projects requiring microcontrollers (in other words, when it’s quicker
to use a generic board and do all the real work in software), I use
Atmel AVR devices, programming in C and using the
GCC compiler.

The last major revision to this page was made 2005-01-10.

Weather Software

  • My current weather software – I am currently working
    with Nathan Parker’s software; this link is to the files containing
    my modifications and additions.
  • dalweathdb-2.2
    Nathan Parker’s 1-Wire® weather software using the MySQL
  • Raincalc – Software I’m developing
    for calculations for rainwater storage, stormwater management, etc.
    Soon to include geo-referenced rainfall data for the whole of
    South Australia. This is a CGI
    application based on Perl and MySQL
  • Digitemp is Brian Lane’s 1-Wire®
    weather software for Linux/Unix. Brian’s site also has some handy information
    that I used when I first started wiring things up.
    I believe that Digitemp has a DOS version and Windows versions available,
    the latter being unsupported. There is a Digitemp mailing list.
  • OWW – Simon Melhuish’s
    One Wire Weather software for Linux and RiscOS. Whilst it doesn’t suit
    my long-term purposes, I found OWW very handy for getting my original weather
    station off the ground. Both GUI
    and non-GUI versions available.
  • >WServer – Arne Henrkisen’s 1-Wire® weather software for Windows.
    Unsupported (old) freeware version plus fully supported shareware version.
    I haven’t used this myself (I don’t use Windows), but know Arne through
    the 1-Wire® mailing list and know that, like Brian and Simon, he
    provides good, timely, support for his product.

Weather Hardware

  • My Weather Station
  • AAG Electronica – this Mexican company
    produces a whole range of 1-Wire® hardware. I am using the AAG
    1-Wire Weather Instrument. This device is extraordinarily good
    value for money, even taking into account international shipping.
  • >My Lightning Detector

General Resources

Searching Smiffys Place

Whilst not every item on Smiffy’s Place is listed in the database, especially legacy HTML pages and some Web programmes, I thought that it was time to add a "proper" search facility, rather than relying entirely on Google.

To this end, I have created a search facility that can be used in both "normal" mode and also in Boolean mode for those feeling adventurous.

If a search fails to turn up anything, a Google search of the site will be offered.

At present, there is no limit on the number of results returned, but due to the relatively small number of pages/posts on this site, I don’t see this as being a big issue. I will be adding paging for search results at some point, in the same manner as category and month listings.

Seagate contribution to the Rogues Gallery

Seagate may have a good reputation for making hard discs (I specified them for a long time), but look like they need some advise regarding Web accessibility.

The specifications page for this drive actually requires the user to download a font if the page looks garbled – which it does to me.

This could well be one of the worst examples of accessibility I have seen from a large corporation.

As I do not have comments enabled (haven’t written the software for it yet) for this page, please feel free to mail me to discuss this. (Address at bottom of page.)

I would certainly like to hear from Seagate and be able to let the world know that they are being proactive in fixing things like this…

Building Slashem on Solaris 10 (Ultrasparc)

As an academic exercise, I have built Slashem on my SunBlade 100, running Solaris 10 2006/06. Stable releases of Slashem can be fiddly to build – lots of tweaks to configuration files – so I thought that this should be an interesting comparison to Linux, my regular build platform.

Although I have tried two versions of Slashem and different build tools, what I describe here uses only the tools supplied with Solaris, built by a user with default settings (group staff, /bin/sh as shell).

Using the stable version (0.0.7E7F2) required a fair bit of fiddling about, so I was advised to try the development version (0.0.8E0), which built and installed very easily.


This technique is provided for information only – use
at your own risk. Don’t do this on a production server unless you are really sure about your job security…


  1. Download se008e0.tar.gz from SourceForge.
  2. The user’s PATH needs to be set to pick up the required build tools:

    $ PATH=$PATH:/usr/ccs/bin:/usr/sfw/bin
    $ export PATH
  3. gunzip se008e0.tar.gz
  4. tar -xvf se008e0.tar
  5. cd slashem-0.0.8E0
  6. ./configure
  7. make
  8. su
  9. You will need to set the root PATH as for the normal user:

    # PATH=$PATH:/usr/ccs/bin:/usr/sfw/bin
    # export PATH
  10. make install

It really was that simple. No errors, no changing any files at all, although I didn’t have the user ‘games’ created, so things didn’t get chown’d.

As I run this machine “headless” and am ssh’ing in from Linux boxes, I have found that you need to set TERM in .profile on the Solaris box:

export TERM

Without this, you may not get colour display.

Running with CCFLAGS=-m64 didn’t make any noticeable difference – this may be the default for the supplied version of gcc, anyway.

Andruil – the Blade Reforged

Linux on Sparc is for masochists – that is the summary of my experience. With DMA problems on my SunBlade 100 (this machine uses ATA discs) and no end of bootloader issues with that and my AXi (an OEM version of the Ultra 10), I have simply given up.

A reflection on my odd sense of humour, the hostname of my Blade was Narsil – “the Blade that was broken”. It had been my intention to re-name it Andruil once I finally got everything working. Well, now I have, although by taking the short-cut of ditching Linux and installing Solaris 10.

Despite my philosophy of Thou Shalt Not Use Proprietary Operating Systems, I would argue that one – Solaris 10 is not all that proprietary (consider OpenSolaris), two – it’s free and three – Sun has done a lot for the Open Source cause and four – it’s still Unix.

A Better Birthday Breakfast


Quite some time ago, I decided that I did not care for institutionalised holidays and, since then, have only really celebrated birthdays and various astronomical events (such as Lunar New Year) – in as much as that is possible in a festival-mad society.

Not being a party animal, my celebrations are generally of a gastronomic nature; if they can also be in different locations, then so much the better. (Before I moved to Australia, I had four birthdays “away” – one celebrated in a aeroplane over the Alps, travelling from Venice to Bristol, one in Falaise, Normandy, one in Nuriootpa, South Australia, then Falaise again. If I remember correctly.)

The Omelette

Determined to make a good start to my birthday, I aquired a pack of Springs smoked ocean trout. This morning’s omlette consisted of four eggs, 150g fish and a good Microplane of a fine Reggiano Parmaggiano.

Washed down with a couple of large espressos of New Guinea Sihereni AX, courtesy of the estimable Mr Frew, this is one of the best birthday breakfasts I have eaten in quite some time, albeit at home.


  • Put a Tefal crêpiere on moderate heat, wipe over with some kitchen towel soaked in oil.
  • Beat four eggs, pour into pan.
  • Break up smoked fish, distribute over egg.
  • Microplane cheese over egg and fish.
  • Serve with a good espresso.