markets tech

Itron, Inc. and Smart Infrastructure

The company which manages ComEd smart meters and Chicago Street Lights is called Itron. They have infrastructure to manage meters and ensure uptime to ensure there is no waste in infrastructure systems.

Itron has been making strides in transforming city and utility company infrastructure to become smart and adaptable. They have teams around the world to ensure uptime of all the sensors and networks.

This company is the missing link when it comes to adapting cities to the modern connected era. Soon Itron smart traffic signals will be talking to cars and adapting to real time conditions.

I estimate real time traffic algorithms adjusting traffic lights are about 5 years away in every major American city.

In Paris they have started to implement smart traffic lights and use Itron.

I expect you to hear more about Itron as cities around the globe have a need to implement technology across their grid.


Unbxd JSON Feed to CSV Python Script

import json, os, csv
def create_list_from_json(jsonfile):
    with open(jsonfile) as f:
        data = json.load(f)
    data_list = []
    for item in data['feed']['catalog']['add']['items']:
    return data_list
def write_csv():
    item_list = create_list_from_json(f'json/data.json')
    for item in item_list:
        with open('johnrules.csv', 'a') as c:
            writer = csv.writer(c)
if __name__== '__main__':


Tiling Window Managers

Tiling window managers are almost a necessity if you log in to many applications throughout the day. When so many different apps come together on limited real estate, having them tile in different ways makes my job easier. It makes sense to do things other than just floating windows on top of each other. A window manager runs on your display server , on Linux that is Xorg, Wayland, etc.

Here is a screenshot of my 15.6in laptop screen right now:

WordPress 5.2.4, Linux Kernel 5.3.7, Chromium Web Browser, Terminator Terminal Screenshot

There are a few popular tiling window managers on Linux. Such as DWM, AwesomeWM, and i3.

I first tried an obscure one that no one has heard of called WMFS. That was a great window manager that I also used at work.

The trick to getting used to one of these is to learn the key commands to navigate with the keyboard. You can really take advantage of 10 fingers with all the things you can do quickly once mastery of the keys occurs.

How to install Awesome WM on Arch Linux:

pacman -S awesome

Select it at the Login prompt instead of XFCE, Gnome, etc, and you’re in!

Click Super + s to view the keybinds while you learn the ropes.


Music Player Daemon

I started listening to music on the radio. Now I run my own radio for personal use.

It’s run on MPD and it broadcasts at 320kbps over HTTP. Internet radio is now known as streaming, like Spotify and Pandora.

MPD is a server daemon which loads your music folder into a database. It allows playing on outputs like the sound card, http, icecast, and probably more.

Clients then connect to the server and load the database over the network to display on Web, Mobile, Tablet, you name it!

M.A.L.P Android MPD Client
Cantata Qt MPD Cient

markets tech

Tracking Finances in GnuCash

How to download transactions from PNC Bank for gnucash

Information on how to download PNC and Capital One transactions.

I’ve started tracking my finances in Gnucash. It builds great reports. I exported data from 90days – 1 year and categorized every transaction on 3 accounts that I use for daily spending.

It was hard to find the button on PNC’s website to export data, even though it is on the Main Banking Account page. To export data from PNC you have to login to online banking on desktop and the export button is right where green arrow is in the image.

You would export your PNC transactions to a QFX file. It contain’s 90 days of ledgers. It is possible to use Online banking with Gnucash to sync within the App, however I couldn’t get that to work.

Capital one has an option to download your transactions from up to one year. See screenshot for how to download capital one transaction history as a QIF file. You can select transactions up to 1 year in the past.

How to download transactions for GnuCash on Capital one website and app.

When you have the transactions downloaded you can start to categorize and budget. Gnucash also has the ability to track stock portfolio’s. The reporting tool is very powerful and there are a bunch of reports built in to track Expenses, Income, Budget, Portfolio, Liabilities, etc.

For more information about GnuCash read the documentation in the linux package gnucash-docs and hitting F1 in the application. It also runs on Windows pretty well! Get to budgeting!


WordPress on GKE with self hosted MySQL/Mariadb

I had $200 credit remaining on Google cloud and I start work tomorrow morning. I decided to learn more about it as it’s what I’ll be using at

I deployed a 2 node with 2vcpu’s and 7.50GB of total RAM.

This site will now run WordPress, I like writing better in their editor, and I also like the new basic theme.

The trick to getting MySQL and WordPress working is to create persistent volumes and mount them in the deployment. You’ll get odd things happening as things are kicked out of memory.

Let’s see how this site works, I fine tuned the SQL server (MariaDB) to run on 4GB of RAM.