That darn raspberry

The past few months have been pretty grotty with with lots of rain and coldness (someone said it called Winter) So I have taken the chance to play with something new. The raspberry pi that I bought myself for Christmas (yeah, right,  any excuse) was got out of the box with a view to setting up owncloud. All I  can say is that there seems to be no set way of doing this. I followed one set of instructions to find problems because there issues with packages no longer used or out of date and no updates forth coming. Other sets of instructions said something else,  come on people,  keep your instructions up to date and at least correspond with others. It would be nice to have one central place where the most up to date information on this kind of thing was kept and if anyone found alterations or improvements in any part of the setup needed making then they should be able to add these to update the information.

So, I decided to put the wordpress project on hold for a while and set up the pi as normal following the instructions on the website and it works like a dream. I am going to use it for messing around and learning to code. Which I think was the origin intention before makers got their grubby hands on it and came up with lots of good useful stuff. I did have a little trouble on start up at first.

One point that I found needed to be made aware of is that there is a little switch on the SD card holder on the board itself that makes it read only and you can only read the card and able to run the system. That was found in a little article after wasting 4 hours trying to reset up the device (had worked first time). My initial try had gone so badly wrong that I decided to redo the card but the switch may have been in the wrong position (its really hard to find).

Expect more on this in the future!



Apps in apps out

A couple of months ago I posted that that Microsoft can’t be trusted with Linux and android and now other people are starting to say the same thing on how they seem to be trying to blackmail companies via software patents, etc. Well they seem to be doing just that. It had not occurred to me but the predicted loss of support to Skype for Linux as or is occuring with no updates for a couple of years. I also feel that its becoming less useful for individual, as it seems that group calling is becoming more promoted but there again, I feel that people are leaving it for more secure apps. So from this I move to what’s in and what’s out.

First up is guess what? Skype, I have recently removed it from my phone and soon my tablet. The monthly subscription was ditched a while ago as it served no purpose what so ever. I don’t use it as much as I did, I am going to try and get an open source alternative. If my friends want to video call then they can change and ditch that Microsoft controlled Skype. I am convinced that Skype is not so good as it was with not being as reliable and secure as before.

Also out is Swiftkey, largely for the reason that Microsoft as bought it. Swiftkey is one of best keyboards available with it prediction but I am not at all happy about Microsofts involvement and control of the app. I feel that it will also go down the pan as other things have, Skype and Nokia for example. I am currently try swipe which while not as good with prediction is a good alternative.

An newish app that I am becoming fond of is Pocketcast, I seem to be listening to podcasts a lot more these days, largely due to normal radio becoming stale with manufactured so called music and useless chatter. I haven’t really settled on a good range of podcasts but I do need to get used to this to get the most out of it. The first thing will be to figure out a way to have the casts follow on from the last when it finishes.


Don’t ignore emails you think are trying to get spend

Every day brings emails, mostly junk or ones that come from companies that you have bought from. Most often, if your like me you see the subject line and press delete. Well, thats fine and the most common reaction but sometime its worth just holding back for certain companies.

About a year ago I  bought some NFC tags with a view to having a play just to see what I can do with them. Sure I did the normal set up of turn WiFi  on then forgot because I got busy at work.  Then a couple of months ago I  got an email from the tag suppliers, I thought they were just after my money but I read the email anyway. I found a link to a blog of theirs that showed how to use Nfc tags to unlock the screen,  well I thought let’s try it out but I found the reason I  hadn’t tried it before even I may have heard of the use is because Samsung think it a nice idea to hide the setting that I need to do it. A quick duck duck go search gave me the answer.

Within the security section of the phones settings you’ll find smartlock. From here you can add apps, locations, etc where it is OK to have the screen unlocked. While I was doing this I also set up a safe location (home) but this is unreliable and rarely takes effect so the NFC tag is mostly used. I also have one set up for the car (still need to actually put it in).

Using this is just easier but the screen lock still kicks in after a while as normal but its still better than putting in the code every time which makes life easier. Also good for when I am using the phone to control the roku.

Bu t having said all that I still go auto pilot and just press delete…may have missed something.