Category Archives: Technology

TagTagTag

I’ve written on more than occasion about my old Nabaztag (actually a Nabaztag:Tag), from its purchase a lot of years ago, its original (very temporary as it turned out) resurrectionaround a decade ago, its more recent resurrection a few years, running from a Raspberry Pi (which ended when the Pi died when its charger exploded.

I may also have mentioned, last year, buying-in to a French crowdfunding exercise.

The kit (TagTagTag) arrived a few weeks ago, but I’d no spare time in which to attempt the (brutal) upgrade. Until a virus left me unable to do much other than dismantle an electronic rabbit (one of the earliest Internet of Things connected devices – pretty much an Amazon Echo forerunner, with ears).

Anyway, the main board (blue) had to be replaced with the new, purpose built board (green) and a Raspberry Pi Zero.

While some of the instructions were in English, some were only available in French. Still, there were lots of pictures, which was really helpful.

Initial boot-up and connection to Wi-Fi seemed to go OK.

And then I hit the first problem. The setup URL didn’t work, so I had to resort to the Router to obtain the rabbit’s IP address.

Which I was able to use to manage the settings. In line with the settings, the rabbit is now in sleep mode.

However, there are two outstanding problems: firstly, LEDs flash when the rabbit isn’t doing anything. And, secondly, there appears to be no sound.

It appears I way need to check connections tomorrow.

Nabaztag

I have a couple of redundant Nabaztag-tags, the second version of An early Internet of Things device, from the mid-2000s.

They look something like this.

The manufacturer went bust several years ago, resulting in the internet-reliant rabbits’ silence. There were a few attempts to resurrect the devices across the world; there’s an existing one which uses a Raspberry Pi as a replacement internet server. It works pretty well and I used it for a year or so. Until the Raspberry Pi I was using at the time exploded (a faulty power supply, which also killed the TV).

I’ve intended trying this again, but haven’t had the time to set it up (it’s a bit of a faff).

However, there’s a new crowdfunding project which removes the need for a separate Raspberry Pi. Instead, the original motherboard is replaced, with the addition of a Raspberry Pi Zero. Both new boards are contained within the body of the rabbit.

The ‘rabbit’ on the right, below, has the new board.

I know that technology has advanced a lot in the last dozen years, but they’re still cool, albeit outdated, devices. So, I couldn’t resist.

Apple

My new work phone is an iPhone. Previously, I had a Blackberry. Said Blackberry was pretty shit, but it sort of worked. For work. The battery life was amazing, even after a few years. It was ugly, but bounced well in the pub.

Anyway, this is my new work phone.

It’s dark; yes. I’m in a pub. That’s OK because the phone is in a protective case (bought personally from eBay for two quid).

Note the Apple logo though. I’ve owned Apple phones in the past and the logo was, in my experience, distinctive but unobtrusive.

Unobtrusive as in seamless to the touch. Let’s focus on on that now.

Unfortunately, I find my my work phone irritating. Because the logo on its back has a definite ridge on one side.

I have an obvious theory (hypothesis, I guess, since this hasn’t been tested in a controlled environment), that HM Government is providing users with commercially rejected products. Hence the logo sharpness on my work phone.

This all reinforces my personal phone preference for Android.

While representing good value for the taxpayer.

Mint

Since it’s release, the GPD Pocket has had poor support for Linux. Although an Ubuntu version was promised from the outset, the machines shipped with Windows 10. It would be a few months before an Ubuntu version was available, so it was fortunate I’d ordered the Windows variety (with the intention to install Linux as a dual boot, although that proved to be impossible).

With the Linux version came an Ubuntu download. Unfortunately, there were some issues with this and I probably shouldn’t have installed it so quickly.

With the release of the Pocket 2, it appeared that GPD weren’t going to attempt a Linux version. And that was indeed the case.

Fortunately, Ubuntu Mint have now released a distribution for both the original Pocket and the 2.

It seems to work fine too.

My Key Machine

I’ve been dying to try the cool key cutting machine in B&Q since I spotted it a few weeks ago. Remembering to take a key with me tonight, we had three copies made for a tenner.

I don’t have a picture of the machine, since I’d left my phone in the car, but it was quick and the keys fit perfectly.

AD’OM

Only a year late, it seems our AD’OM prime will ship by the end of next month.

Of course, that’ll be a shipping container to an unknown European distribution centre. Still, the last mile will be by courier.

Meizu

After a brief excursion with a Samsung Galaxy, which I hated, I’ve reverted to a Meizu. My third such phone. And I love it.

Landfill

A while ago, I dropped down to one desktop PC. With smart TVs and other connected devices, there was no longer the need to have more. 

One old desktop didn’t quite make it to the tip, purely by accident. It hadn’t been used in years, so I was surprised that it booted-up this afternoon. 

I bought it from ebay for around thirty quid over a decade ago, but I think it’s around 17 years old. It’s running Ubuntu 12.04 and, if I remember correctly, couldn’t upgrade to 14.04 a few years ago. It’s something like a Celeron 5 or 600, with a half gig memory and a 60 gig hard drive. 

I may keep it.