Category Archives: General

homebridge-camera-rpi

With the recently released homebridge-nest-cam plugin, my old Dropcam has new life in HomeKit. This, combined with Steve Troughton-Smith’s tweets about the Pi Zero W, has sparked a desire to setup additional HomeKit cameras.

I ordered a Pi Zero W Camera Pack, and set about following Wojtek Pietrusiewicz’s instructions for configuring it with homebridge-camera-rpi.

It was easy to get the Pi connected to the network, but I ran into trouble when I needed to install ffmpeg. I couldn’t get it working, and based on some comments, I think it may be fairly difficult to install. I’m speculating that something changed between the Rasbian Stretch image of November 2017 and the image of March 2018.

Instead, I used the pre-built image of homebridge-camera-rpi. After using Etcher to flash the image onto my microSD card, the only modifications I made were to the /wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant-wlan0.conf file to add my network SSID and passkey, and to tweak the settings of the plugin in /homebridge-camera-rpi.conf.json.

With that, I was able to see the Pi on the network (via Lanscan), and add it in the Home app.

Home App Screenshot

Transporter Desktop on High Sierra

If anyone out there is still using the File Transporter system, there’s a compatibility issue with High Sierra. The last version available via the official update channel is 4.2.12, but there’s a patch for version 4.2.18 available from their support site. This restores access to the Transporter Library.

This issue reminded me that support for this system ended in September, 2017, so I’m on borrowed time. I just upgraded to the 2TB storage plan on iCloud, so I may test migrating the data I have on the File Transporter into iCloud… but that seems risky.

Python 2.7 via Homebrew

I missed the memo, but back in January Homebrew announced that as of version 1.5, python would be upgraded to use Python 3.x. This change went live on March 1, and I noticed it over the weekend while tinkering with Homebridge.

While I was rebuilding Homebridge with the latest version of Node.js, I kept banging into node-gyp errors having to do with using Python 3.x. I’m not alone, though there is already a pull request to fix this issue.

For the time being, I’ve made two changes to please node-gyp:

  1. Forced a link of the new python@2 keg1:

    brew link python@2 -f
    
  2. Added the following to my ~/.bash_profile, so that python will point at python2:

    export PATH="/usr/local/opt/python@2/libexec/bin:$PATH"
    

I think I’ll revert the second change once the node-gyp issue is resolved, to begin forcing myself to use Python 3.x.