Category Archives: Technology

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I know that technology has advanced a lot in the last dozen years, but they’re still cool, albeit outdated, devices.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. 

A moment

According to Wikipedia, a moment lasts around 90 seconds. Microsoft, on the other hand, has an entirely different definition. Around 20 minutes. 

I’ve used Libre Office for several years at home, Open Office for years before that. The former comes with Ubuntu and other Linux distributions. It’s free and it’s very capable. 

However, an offer via work led me to purchase Microsoft’s offering for only a tenner. While this remains much more expensive than Libre Office, I was tempted by the price. 

Unfortunately, it didn’t actually take a moment to install. 

I think that in a bit may have been more appropriate a message during installation.