Weather, Dow Jones, and a long overdue installer

September 4, 2016

Yahoo doesn't like rabbits.

The previous weather fix did not last long before Yahoo shut it down. However, I found another Yahoo endpoint to get the weather from and it appears to be working for now.

Similarly, Yahoo shut down the access to the Dow Jones data that I was using. However, once again, I've found another way to get the data by screen scraping it from them. We'll see if it lasts.

If you are missing weather or Dow Jones reports, and you haven't updated in awhile, give the latest release a try.

Speaking of giving it a try, we finally have an installer now, which is in the install folder of the project. This should make it much easier to install NabaztagLives to a new Raspberry Pi as now you just have to git clone the project and then execute at the terminal:

git clone git:// NabaztagLives
cd NabaztagLives/install
sudo ./

It takes care of everything including setting the locator records, permissions, apache config, etc. This has been tested using the current Jessie NOOBS distro (1.9.2). If you are running something older, it may not work. If you are running on another flavor of linux on another platform, it definitely may not work.

If you already have an installation, it's a good idea to take a screenshot of your rabbit's settings before you begin. By default, the installer will wipe out the database and you'll lose your rabbit's settings. However, you can use the -nodb switch to prevent a DB installation. So to update an existing installation, open a terminal window and execute:

sudo rm -R NabaztagLives
git clone git:// NabaztagLives
cd NabaztagLives/install
sudo ./ -nodb

The installer is long overdue as the manual method has become a bit of a pain especially since apache changed the default physical path from /var/www to /var/www/html.

Best of luck to all rabbits.

Snowing and 0 degrees

March 27, 2016

Today I heard my rabbit announce "today, snow, 0 degrees" for the first time. Apparently Yahoo, like Twitter, decided to require authentication on their weather API, which has been public for the past 10 years.

After some googling, I found that there is a workaround, although it may be temporary. It involves calling instead of, which they secured. We'll have to see how long this workaround lasts before they close it.

This update has been pushed out to the master branch for you to git pull to your Raspberry Pi.

Full update instruction here.

Text to speech is back plus an API update

January 10, 2016

2016 kicks off with the return of text to speech. It turns out Google doesn't like rabbits so they blocked us with a captcha. However, someone posted a suggestion to the discussion forum so we are now using the Acapella engine until they give us the boot. It's only in english for now but it sounds much better than Festival. Thanks goes to calldesr221 for the heads up.

The API has been updated to allow you to set the LED colors on the V2. See apiinfo.htm for more details.

For those of you already running rabbits, the update procedure is on the wiki.

Otherwise you can view the wiki on how to setup your rabbit.

Streaming works!

May 30, 2015

May has been a miracle month for rabbit advancement. Thanks to Germaine for the donation of a rabbit which helped me finally figure out why the streaming was not working.

Version 2.1, which you'll definitely want, now supports streaming and the rabbit should be stutter-free during playback. Your best bet is to stream 32kbps mp3 m3u streams. 64kbps may work. I haven't had much luck with 128 or 256kbps streams but let me know. You can start a stream on the update rabbit page or via the API. If your rabbit's nose blinks but you don't have audio, try a different stream. The blinking nose means a TCP packet has been read.

The overall response of the rabbit is much faster now as well. Clicking the button results in a much faster response.

For those of you already running rabbits, the update procedure is on the wiki.

Otherwise you can view the wiki on how to setup your rabbit.

Packet loss reduction, double click, and cheerlights.

May 3, 2015

Two updates have been released in recent months for the V2 rabbit. Version 2.02 addresses packet loss that I captured during a Wireshark trace. Hopefully this improves the cracking issue that some of you have. My rabbit rarely cracks so you'll have to let me know.

Version 2.03 adds missing cheerlights colors. If you want to reboot your rabbit, you can now do so by double clicking the button. I use this feature a lot during testing. As always, you should reboot your rabbit after updating.

The update procedure is on the wiki.

Announcing ears support via API for V2 rabbits.

August 3, 2014

I hope all of you are enjoying your rabbits. Recently, someone contacted me with a very interesting story that involved moving the ears on the rabbit based on their geographic location. So now the API supports moving the ears! If interested, update your Pi's code and see the issues and release history yellow sticky on the Pi's home page. I've added a wiki to the project page on how to update your rabbit's code to the latest.

Raspberry Pi outperforms Houston data center.

August 14, 2013

It's official. I've been hosting my rabbits on my Pi for a week now and it's been running like a champ. Over the past week I've spent a lot of time cleaning up code, setting up the repository, and documenting. I've managed to break a few things, fix those, and discover Twitter doesn't work anymore because they now require authentication. I even formatted my SD card twice to test out my instructions. I was surprised to find out how many of you already have a Pi, which makes this project even better.

So here it is for you to download:

See the wiki page for the latest instructions. Have fun.

I have another idea.

August 7, 2013

It turns out the Raspberry Pi, the $35 credit card sized unix computer, is a perfect web server to host your own rabbit. It's much better than running your rabbit from a laptop which is how began. In fact, it's hosting my rabbit right now.

I am in the process of porting the code that used to run on to run on the Raspberry Pi. I still have some, well a lot of cleanup left to do, but I intend to make this an open source project. The new project will have everything that had including all of the languages, sound effects, voices, features, etc.

If you go this route, it may be a bit of a challenge for some of you. The Raspberry Pi runs on Debian unix which is a lot different than Windows or Mac. Mac is technically unix, but nothing like Debian.

When all setup, you'll be able to just put the Raspberry Pi in the corner of your house somewhere and host your rabbits. No hosting companies to deal with and you get to make changes if you wish. It runs as a headless server which means once you get it setup, you don't even need a monitor - you'll access it using your browser.

Check back for more details later.

In the meantime, cheers and best wishes to all of you.


Pokey has died. Long live the rabbit!

August 7, 2013

Over the years, grew to be the home of more than 800 registered rabbits. A lot of them came and went, but for the core group that remained, this meant that the server was handling more than 10,000 requests per hour. In August 2013, we were given the boot by our fifth hosting company due to excessive CPU usage and told that we would need a dedicated server to continue.

Now I appreciate those of you that donated to the site, but a dedicated server costs megabucks and I'm afraid that the donations wouldn't even cover a month. has been served by five different hosting companies. If you have a site that actually does something, as opposed to one that just serves static text, hosting companies don't like you.

You may not realize it, but there is a fair amount of work that goes in to setting up and managing a server. While I've thought about taking the effort to find a sixth host, I've decided against the idea. And so your rabbit is most likely very quite and sad right now.