Remote care

 I use VNC to control Mum's computer remotely. I can initiate video chats, and other interactive sessions. All mum needs to do is to watch and listen.
  • I use SSH and SFTP to administer her computer remotely.
  • I use Perl and scheduled tasks to play music at set times, and display messages on a 'whiteboard'.

This mindmap shows how the idea developed. You can get the splendid Freemind software to view it here.
What's new

Mum died in November 2014. The stuff that I describe here helped her stay in her home until things just got too much. I owe thanks to all who helped, especially my wife, who put up with my spending hours on this.

Bye, mum.

Extreme Blue project

IBM adopted remote care as an Extreme Blue project. The students took my ideas a lot further, and produced a great prototype using an Android tablet, and Raspberry Pi (to control an aged TV using infrared). I ran out of time, skills, and energy to take it further, but the White Paper in which they describe what they did is available. Contact me if you'd like a copy.

For information about Extreme Blue, see

DNS resolvers

DynDns hiked their prices by 20%, without explanation, and without even telling me that they'd put them up. I can afford it, but what the heck! So I stopped the payment. I still have their free name; in preparation for when they remove that, I set up an alternative with Free DNS. I should thank DynDns really; corporate greed has made my setup more robust.

Here's a video (OGG format, 14MB), showing how it works. My thanks to Adrian Warman for talking me through what I needed to do when I was planning the project. 

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Last updated: 2013-07-09.