Weather Station on an old Cellebrite Touch device

Weather Station on an old Cellebrite Touch device

A few years ago I was given an older model Cellebrite Touch device since they are old and obsolete. For those who don’t know what these are, they are used to extract data from your phones by law enforcement and government agencies for the purpose of acquiring data to be used as evidence. Major cell phone companies use these devices as well. The versions that they use have limited functionality than those in the hands of law enforcement. The cell phone companies use these devices to copy your data from one device to the other. These old Cellebrite devices run an embedded version of Windows XP. I know right? XP?

Here are the important specs:

  • 7” WVGA (800×480) TFT Touch LCD, 280 NITS LED Backlight display
  • Intel ATOM Z510 1.1GHz CPU
  • 1GB DDR2 333MHz RAM
  • PSSD MLC NAND Flash: 64GB capacity storage

They had the device on lock down to where you can only run their software. Everything else was disabled. (or so they thought) I was easily able to bypass the limitations. At first, I was unable to access both windows explorer and internet explorer but running a help dialog box gave me access to internet explorer. Oops! 😊 From there I was able to “file/open” anything I wanted so I went and opened command prompt, changed credentials, added a new user and I was in.

All this didn’t matter anyway… it was just for fun. My real challenge was installing Linux on this thing. I chose Lubuntu for this project. Everything installed easily and without issue.

So, what now? What do I do with this low powered device? Well, I occasionally I like to browse web posts and get ideas of what to do with old tech. While a few suggestions seemed totally ridiculous (I am not turning anything into a fishbowl), some ideas were pretty good. One stood out to me… why not create a time/weather station for my desk?

Brew all coffees! Coding session has begun!

I decided to create a simple webpage that will reside locally on the Cellebrite device. It had to be dynamic… something that can change the background’s color depending on time of day. This is easily done with JavaScript. I was able to grab the local machine’s exact date and time so that the color changing function can work properly. I also have the date and time being displayed on the front end. I then searched and found a free weather widget from Dark Sky and embedded it right below the date and time. It was as simple as copying and pasting the code onto the body of the main page. All that was left to do was add some CSS magic to everything for styling purposes. One extra piece of code that was added was a page refresh that happens every minute. This ensures that the weather data is up to date.

Here is the result:

Note: I removed the device’s battery since I plan on having this plugged in all the time. The colors change from a bright morning yellow to a light blue color close to noon then it gets darker blue as the day goes by, then to a dark gray during the evening.

So how do you like my new desk weather hub thingy? I may update this thing in the future to display more information on the screen. Maybe add more colors to the time of day… or add some button functions since its a touch screen device. Ahh the posibilities.

Have an old device that you’d like to turn into a time/weather station? You can download the files to use here. Just make sure to change your location in the code so that you have the correct local weather data displayed.


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