Tag Archives: Tech Stuff

Computer Experiments

I purchased something called the BananaPi (which is the successor to the very successful Rasperry Pi).  Before I get into a stumbling and rambling explanation about what that is, I will quote from Wikipedia.

“The Raspberry Pi is a series of credit card–sized single-board computers developed in the United Kingdom by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention of promoting the teaching of basic computer science in schools and developing countries.[6][7][8] The original Raspberry Pi and Raspberry Pi 2 are manufactured in several board configurations through licensed manufacturing agreements with Newark element14 (Premier Farnell), RS Components and Egoman.[9] The hardware is the same across all manufacturers.”

What’s it good for? Lots of stuff. People use this little computer for all sorts of real life applications, as media servers, as controllers for home  heating and lighting, for controlling surveillance cameras, the list is endless.

What am I going to do with it? I’ll let you know tomorrow, when hopefully I’ve succeeded with implementing it.

Happiness is

….discovering that there is finally a 2TB internal 2,5 HDD on the market that measures a mere 9 cm in terms of height, making it suitable for replacing HDDs in laptops and MacBooks. And because SSD drives are pushing down the prices of conventional HDDs, it costs only about 100 $. Thank you Samsung.

Happiness is also discovering bookkeeping software for Linux/Mac that only needs to be purchased once for 80 €, and not every year for 130 €. I’ve said goodbye to my Pay-TV provider and am now saying goodbye to my old bookkeeping software.

And with this goodbye, finally in 2016, there is no longer a reason to run even a virtual Windows machine in this household. That is a true milestone.

I Bought a Convertible

No, it’s not a mid-life crisis type of thing. It’s not a car, it’s a computer (ultrabook).

I had pretty much decided that the new laptop would be the new Macbook, but two things were bothering me about the choice. The first being that there is only one USB-port (which also doubles as the charger port) and that there is a whole lot of new hardware in it, which perhaps would make a fully functional installation of Linux Mint a bit of a challenge. Plus, I picked up on a few reports of the MacBook tending to run very hot. It doesn’t have a fan in it, so the computer is cooled by throttling the hardware (basically, slowing down the processor).

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All That Computer Stuff

Our weather has been really crazy the last couple of days. On Monday, we literally suffered at temps of 98F, which is really unusually hot for Germany. (No one here has air conditioning because summer temperatures anywhere over 88F are very much the exception.) Yesterday, the temps dropped to from 98F to 71F, so I’m back in socks for the time being.

I was delighted the other day to find that 2TB hard drives are now available in a format which will fit into a normal laptop. I checked about a year ago and there was a 1.5TB model available, but it was built too high for use in normal laptop bays. The internal drive on my MacBook is too small to house all my photographs and various media, so whenever I boot OS I’ve got an external drive connected which contains all of that data, which is a pain in the neck.

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Don’t Put Toiletpaper in the Card Slot

Just a word of advice, really.

The day promised to be rainy and gray, so I decided to take care of cleaning the windows and doing my enormous pile of ironing, whilst watching or listening to something on TV to entertain me.

I had already removed the first set of curtains from the windows to wash them, when I looked at the TV, wondering why there was no signal – my D-Box (Digital Pay TV Receiver) indicated that my card was not inserted properly. I pulled the card out, wiped it off on my t-shirt and reinserted it. Same message.

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It’s Here

My Ogo (a.k.a. PocketWeb) finally arrived at noon yesterday, and I must say, it is the coolest thing I have ever owned. O.k., maybe not THE coolest but it is absolutely awesome. Small, compact, solid-construction, easy to use – I love it.

There is something really cool about having e-mail and web browser in a gadget that fits into your jeans pocket.


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Everyone is Waiting for their Ogo (including me)

What’s an Ogo? It is pictured here. It’s actually nothing more than a scaled down blackberry for “Joe Normal” and is actually called Pocket Web. The Swiss version is called Ogo (but doesn’t include web browsing as the german version does).

What is it good for? That’s easy to answer. It has an email push and web browsing for a flat rate of 9,99 / monthly. Meaning, I can receive my emails everywhere, regardless of where I am, and without a PC.

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On Living “Behind the Moon”

(German phrase meaning “behind the times”)

I discovered software today which just absolutely blew me away. Really. It’s probably been out there for ages and I’ve just not discovered it, but in case you haven’t heard of it, it might be of interest to you.

It’s called Open Office and it can do just about anything that you can do with a similar product which is available (for lots of cash) from a major software manufacturer. It even allows you to work on documents in those other formats and save documents in those other formats.

There is one small difference, however, as this software is FREE.
Yes, you read that properly. Free.

For more info, click here.