Adalight, Arduino, Boblight, Ubuntu and XBMC

After seeing my friend build his own Ambilight-esque LED backlight for his TV, and him kindly giving me a spare set of LEDs to construct my own (he bought too many sets); I’ve gotta say…


If you’re looking to build your own; its not immensely straightforward but if you know your way around Arduino and the Ubuntu terminal, then this guide will help.
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Automount software RAID array in Ubuntu

I’ve spent ages trying to get automounting of a RAID array to work; and after many failings I now have it working, so I figured now would be a good time to document the process.

Now i’ll assume you have a working software RAID array (or a standard RAID Array) which you can manually mount.

Step 1 – Get the correct UUID

A lot of the guides to this tell you to find the UUID of the RAID array by using ‘mdadm –detail -scan’ – this is WRONG! It took me a while to find that the correct UUID for your array can be found by using the blkid command (blkid is a command-line utility to locate/print block device attributes):

blkid /dev/md127

Once you have the correct UUID you can move on…

Step 2 – Find your current mount point

Open Disk Utility; mount your RAID array, and look in the lower right of the panel; it should tell you the current Mount Point (see screenshot – click to view large version):

Step 3 – Edit /etc/fstab

Fstab is the filesystem table; to open it use the following:

sudo nano /etc/fstab

(you can use whatever editor you prefer)

You’ll be presented with a mess like this:

# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
# Use 'blkid' to print the universally unique identifier for a
# device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name devices
# that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5).
# proc /proc proc nodev,noexec,nosuid 0 0
# / was on /dev/sda1 during installation
UUID=0cc63324-XXXX-46a4-XXXX-ba65c6db8e0b / ext4 errors=remount-ro 0 1
# swap was on /dev/sda5 during installation
UUID=901bd836-XXXX-4034-XXXX-586f78b7eae8 none swap sw 0 0
/dev/fd0 /media/floppy0 auto rw,user,noauto,exec,utf8 0 01

At the bottom of this file add the following (replace the UUID in the example below with you got from step 1, and the /media/Tumbler with the mount point from step 2):

#Personal RAID Array
UUID=9e391861-XXXX-411b-XXXX-6cf39ed9c8e9 /media/Array/ ext4 defaults 0 0

Ensure you remove the quotation marks from the UUID from step 1!

Save the changes; reboot and voila! your RAID array (should be automounted) – Responsive images done right

The image you’re about to see is not residing on my server; it’s being served by – a new cloud-based service which will actively deliver the optimum-sized image for your device. Don’t believe me? resize the browser window (so that the image size is reduced); reload the page and check out the source. you should be getting a new image every time the window is resized!

Sunset in Norfolk - ReSrced!

This is a massive leap forward for responsive design; it means that the right image, at the right resolution, at the right time can be delivered to your device. ISPs and Network providers are going to love this (as it saves on bandwidth); Web designers, photographers, content producers and anyone who works with images online have been crying out for this sort of a service since the whole ‘responsive web’ thing started.

I encourage you to check out their demo page (they have a load of image effects and switches to alter the loaded image) and if you think its awesomesauce then register for the Beta programme!

Working with Twitter Bootstrap on OS X

After messing with some of Twitter’s Bootstrap files locally, I decided it was time to get a build environment established on my Mac. It quickly became apparent that there wasn’t a whole lot of guidance on setting up the build environment in OS X; so i’ve posted my efforts here so that someone in my shoes can follow these steps:

Step 1: Install Node (and Node Package Manager)
Visit and download the installer for OS X (Lazylink:

Step 2: Clone and build Less.js
Install Less.js via folowing command (Assumes GIT CL Tools is installed):
git clone git://

Next, go to the less.js directory, type: ‘make’.

Then copy the install directory to /usr/local/less.js

Add ‘export PATH=$HOME/local/less.js/bin:$PATH’ to ~/.bash_profile:

Open a terminal and type:

touch ~/.bash_profile; open ~/.bash_profile

Paste following in:

export PATH=$HOME/local/less.js/bin:$PATH

and save…

Step 3: Install Bootstrap Dependencies
Twitter Bootstrap depends on a number of packages; you can install all of them by using the following command with NPM:

npm install uglify-js less jshint recess -g

Step 4: clone and make Twitter Bootstrap
Clone Bootstrap:
git clone git://

Go to the bootstrap directory, type: ‘make’.
Built files are output in the ‘docs’ directory…


Ubuntu 11.10+ with RAID not booting after installing mdadm? read on…

Well after monkeying about with a busted 11.10 installation (call it a learning curve with Linux); I decided to reinstall the OS from fresh. I have 4x2TB drives utilising Ubuntu’s FakeRAID (software RAID), along with a 500Gb OS drive (the target for my refresh).

TL;DR – solution to this problem is at bottom of this post;

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Pragmatic Responsive Web Design

Following on from my last post; i’ve been doing some spleunking into ‘responsive design’ – the latest buzz term circling the web design / development camp. I’ve stumbled across a rather insightful slideshare presentation from Brian and Stephanie Rieger; they worked on at Breaking Development conference. For that project, they invented a new way to combine client side information with device detection. It’s a really interesting approach and certainly worth assimilating!
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Foundation: Rapid prototyping framework

First off; I know it’s been a looong time since I last posted an update; suffice to say i’ve had a lot of things on in my life that have kept me preoccupied… but enough of my whining; i’m here to talk about a promising new framework I stumbled across called Foundation; its from the guys at Zurb who made the lovely CSS3 buttons that I utilise a lot (with my own modifications of course! will be blogging the changes shortly).

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been a while…

I’ve been not updating this blog (at all if i’m honest!)… this is primarily due to me shifting jobs and getting reoriented to their processes and systems. Now i’m back on the ball you’ll see frequent updates…


designer, geek and allround nice guy