Crouton Arduino USB To Serial Driver Success

I recently bought a cheap Arduino Board on eBay that came with a CH34x USB to Serial Chip. The eBay seller offered a link and instructions for the drivers for Linux, Mac and Windows. Installing/loading this in Crouton was not straightforward however.

Connecting the board and opening ide shows the lack of connection as expected.  Note the grayed-out ‘Port’ Selector.

Screenshot 2015-05-30 at 7.33.08 AM

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Kibana4 Custom Color Palettes

Cool and quick dabble on Kibana4 for custom color palettes.  Since Kibana4 is the blaze of the future and old Kibana is not coming back, its worth our time spending time getting to know this latest version.
Here is neat ‘temp graph’ using a custom color palette and temperature data from drives in pc.
And here is the original for reference.

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Monitoring VMWare ESXi with the ELK Stack

Monitor anything; this is what fills your head after playing with Elasticsearch, Logstash and Kibana.

ELK Stack, meet VMWare Server.  Since VMWare’s ESXi runs on some Linux kernel, it shares the logging facilities we’re familiar with on Linux systems.  Going about forwarding syslog messages to a remote box is a bit different thou.  Luckily, VMWare’s Knowledge Base is very thorough if you know where to look.

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Happy Elasticsearch

So last night I found this on my lab machine…


Silly node ran out of space.  Spawning up extra node promptly made this a non-issue.


Crisis averted. 

It is so nice to work with open source tools built to handle failure gracefully.  A few years ago the above scenario would have prompted a weekend-at-the-colo to the dismay of family and my sanity.  These are interesting times!

2015 Gasparilla Half-Marathon



  • PR!
  • First time running with a pacer. Way to go Kristen.
  • First time racing with Polar! M400 ftw.
  • Running in the dark for the first few miles. Street lamps had lots of style but gave but a nice glow that didn’t light road.
  • Half marathon may be sweet spot. Not too long not too short.
  • A big portion of course was out-and-back along Tampa Bay.  This gave us, the slow runners, a clear view of the elites on their way back to finish line.  It was breathtaking to see the game these runners are playing.  Lets just say that their stride looks very different than mine.  Wow, I’m looking up!



  • Include water stations in training/race strategy. I usually walk the stations and had to play catch-up to pace group. Every, single, time. Goodness, they can drink and run at the same time.
  • Review course, at least on map. Right after mile 12, an awesome person on a crane overhead us runners blasted ‘finish-line after bridge’ over megaphone.  Jolt of excitement goes thru my body, which is starting to ache.  I kind off see bridge in the distance.  Off I go, empty my cup! Finnish line was after SECOND bridge. Thanks dude… I almost did my dance 200 ft from the finish line.
  • Plan breakfast ahead of time. It’s about impossible to wing breakfast at 4am.  Ran on empty stomach and just about fainted an hour after run.
  • Plan post-race reunion with loved ones ahead of time. Winged this and it caused unnecessary aches (and extra walking).



Best race yet.  I would definitely consider revisiting Tampa next year for Gasparilla Half.

Monitoring With Collectd And Kibana


In this post, I am will be go over using the Collectd input on Logstash for gathering hardware metrics. For Logstash output, I am going to be using Elastcisearch. Logstash will allow us to centralize metrics from multiple computers into Elasticsearch. On top of Elasticsearch, I am using going to be using Kibana to display these metrics.

To this Kibana dashboard, we could add additional metrics for the processes taxing the system being monitored. This would effectively show a cause and effect story in one integrated dashboard.

Gist e94ad12dfe84426971bd

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Up And Running With Logstash


I want to talk about Logstash, a new-ish tool (to me) for managing computer logs. Logstash can easily collect logs from multiple computers or instances, transfer them to a central computer for aggregation and can even be used to parse and search these logs for analysis as they are handled. A mouthful indeed. Logstash is open-source software and is written in JRuby so it runs in the JVM. Running on the JVM has various advantages such as easy of deployment and wealth of tuning expertise available.

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Using Threshold Analysis To Discover Emerging Crime Trends In Orlando

Do police departments across the US (the world?) have the bandwidth to pour over crime reports in order to spot trends and mitigate crimes using all the available information?  Given the ever increasing amount of data, now the norm, it will be increasingly difficult to make the best use of this data.  As it applies to Crime, being able to effectively utilize this data should improve the quality of life of everyone.

Crime Dashboard


For week 40, commercial burglaries on sector 2 have increased from an expected count of 7.89 to an actual count of 16.  This is almost 2 1/2 times the expected volume.  (Click image to try analysis or here for image)

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