Michaelwclark.com

Just my stuff


2 Comments

Turn your phone or tablet into a wireless webcam = cool!

“triple cam, webcam, iPHONE, android reflect” via Flickr – Artist Shannon Kringen shows how she’s way of ahead of me re the possibilities of this tech!

I haven’t tested out android wireless cams yet but for our old iPad2 and iPhone there are two free apps that I’m quite impressed with.

First, EpoCam Viewer is popular and seems reliable. But the free version has almost no options. You’re set at 640 by 480 resolution, and can’t choose image quality.

Also no recording or screen capture with this freebie. But it’s a good picture. So this would be appropriate for keeping an eye on baby… whatever.

IvCam has far more options, like screen resolution, image and sound quality. Also it records movies and (supposedly) takes stills. Whenever I tried the stills the app crashed. But the movie record feature works. So to get a still, I took a short movie and then used VLC media player to get my snap.

There’s usually a workaround for things like this.

Here’s a snap from around 8 am this morning at medium resolution (which makes for a smaller video file size).

And here’s another taken at high resolution, making the video file quite a bit larger.

The cool thing is I had the phone camera beaming up to my bedroom laptop, which then was linked with Team Viewer to my old Windows XP laptop in the dining room.

I don’t think either of these cams works with Win XP but with Team Viewer, they did with a kind of satellite setup.

Waste of time? Not if I catch a burglar! 🙂

Advertisements


Leave a comment

WinDoc – My latest adventures in Geekery

Tonight I had fun trying out a free app called WinDoc. Basically, it makes doing split or multiple screens a bit easier. If you click on the image you should be able to read what I wrote in the notepad.

Before I did this screen capture I was watching TV and searching through my news feeds at the same time… all on one small screen. Quite nice because I get bored with TV and the web news alone can be a little sterile. So both together was more stimulating.


2 Comments

Remote computing – New wine in old wine skins!

It’s a long weekend and most everyone is away, so I’ve been taking a little time familiarizing myself with Team Viewer.

This free and portable program has enabled me to press my favorite old laptop back into service. For someone who spends many hours at home, this is a real boon. I love my old laptop’s sturdy keyboard and large screen. Newer laptops just seem to be getting cheaper and cheaper, thinner and thinner. Pretty soon they’ll be making them out of tin foil!

Click on image for larger size

So what’s happening in this graphic? (made entirely by remote using my old laptop keyboard and monitor linked to newer computer upstairs)

Well it’s an interesting setup. The old laptop has only 512 MB RAM, but as you can see I’m listening to Spotify and it is only using 217 MB RAM and 30% CPU. That’s because the new computer is taking most of the load, doing the lion’s share of the work, using 1.8 GB RAM, 13% CPU.

The new computer’s CPU is showing a lower percentage (13%) because it’s a faster, more efficient chip. But again, it is doing most of the work.

Team Viewer simply sends data via WiFi from new to old (my favorite vintage laptop); the old displays/plays everything done by the new. And, of course, I can send data back (keyboard and mouse) to new from old. Otherwise, I couldn’t have done anything remotely at all.

That’s my non-technical way of understanding it! If I tried to listen to Spotify on the old laptop all by itself, it would probably work but stutter and pop. Also it would take eons to load. With this setup everything is fast because, again, the newer computer is doing most of the work.

Basically it’s almost as good as having two fast computers for the price of one!

Who says we shouldn’t put new wine in old wine skins? 🙂


Leave a comment

Save hundreds of dollars using old computers as dummy keyboards / monitors!

I just tried Google’s Remote Desktop. It’s super easy. All you have to do is add it to the Chrome browser and install one small program on your host computer.

So if you have one half decent computer, you can dust off those old, not so great computers around the home and press them into service as dummy keyboards / monitors linked to your good computer.

It also works for android tablets and iPads, which suddenly fly as fast as your best computer.

I’m doing it right now with an old laptop replete with busted hinge (screen propped up by a weight). The type is fast and responsive. I can open multiple tabs and my ram usage stays down around 300 mb. Perfect for blogging. Not so great for music and really quite mediocre for video. But you can’t have everything for free. Anyhow, I use my tablet for music and videos. So it’s all good.

All you have to remember is to adjust the screen resolution of the host computer (the best one) to match the default screen resolution for your dummy computer (the worst one).

Solid!

– remotely published via ancient laptop with 512 mb ram, AMD mobile sempron processor ( = weak)

Be sure to see my update to this post » Maybe I spoke too soonTeam Viewer seems better than Google Chrome Remote


Leave a comment

Is this where Arya Stark is trained by the faceless man?

Google Images pls contact me if subject to copyright


1 Comment

Taking the Hardware Plunge

Image via Amazon.ca

Image via Amazon.ca

I can’t believe I finally did it. I ordered some RAM for a very old laptop that was (trying to) run on 512 mb ram. Up till now I’ve only extracted stuff from busted computers and juggled it around, hoping it would work and not blow up! So far I’ve been pretty lucky.

But last night I researched and scanned my old laptop system info with the free CPU-Z portable app, which I love. And I read and read and read. I also extracted the RAM and wrote down a whole bunch of numbers. Noted the slots. All that stuff.

Just hoping now I got it right. If this works, I got an amazing Hong Kong deal.

Will keep you posted. Low, low price means longer than usual delivery times.


Leave a comment

recent adventures in cyberspace

Image via Tumblr - Source: Pixabay

Image via Tumblr – Source: Pixabay

I’ve been having a ball playing around with all sorts of new software. I recently switched my old “frankenstein” computer (the one I made on Halloween out of two dead computers) to Xubuntu 16.04, which is a Linux operating system.

It’s been a great adventure. Like learning how to do computers all over again. Luckily there are friendly forums, which always helps!

There’s a lot of interesting free software that works well with Linux. One is Slimjet browser, which I’m using now (I haven’t tested it on Windows yet). Another is the GIMP, a photo editor that also works with Windows.

Anyhow… here’s a little something created on the GIMP… thinking of that old madman David Bowie while doing this. Well, I guess he’s an eternally young madman now.

I think the lyric “something in the sky” is in one of his songs from the LP Outside. But I’d have to check on that.

Sorry to anyone who has liked my stuff here or at Earthpages. I WILL get back to see what you have been up to. Just that learning Linux and related software has been pretty time-consuming. As I say, like learning computers all over again. 🙂