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My latest very inexpensive Amazon purchase!

Image via Tumblr

If you’re like me you have a love/hate relationship with your touchscreen device. Take my tablet. For starters, it’s a Lenovo so I’m not sure if the screen is quite as repsonsive as say, a Samsung or iPad. But it works, has 2 gb RAM, which is pretty good, and I love the android OS because it enables me to do more than with a factory iPad.

Right now I’m typing this on my tablet using a very old HP computer keyboard. One of those pre-USB keyboards with the funny round plug instead of a USB connector. Also the mouse is from the same computer, with the same kind of round plug.

So browsing thru Amazon I found two things I needed for this. First I got the USB/OTG cable (black in pic) which enables plugging in of hardware peripherals to a qualified android tab or phone. Then, after seeing that that worked with a newer USB keyboard and mouse, I got a PS/2 to USB adapter (white in pic) to hook up the older, non-USB hardware. Basically two adapters have made my tablet a laptop.

All very cheap. The tablet, the apapters and … well, not the author! 🙂

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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! 🙂


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Maybe I spoke too soon – Team Viewer seems better than Google Chrome Remote

Image – Wikipedia

Last night… late last night I was pleased as punch with Google Chrome Remote Desktop. But this morning, with the host laptop upstairs and perhaps more Google or local server traffic (not sure which), there was a significant lag which rendered it practically useless.

Switching to the free Team Viewer, which I’m trying right now for the first time, it seems everything is okay—even with my host PC upstairs and it being a busy Saturday (internet) morning around 11 a.m.

Team Viewer uses only about 220mb ram on my dummy, no matter how many tabs etc. I open on my host. It also has finer control over color quality and other important features.

Later… just testing on old iPad that is almost useless by itself. Works great. Much better than Chrome mobile remote.


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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


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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.


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Well, I went back to Windows after all…

It was fun but it couldn’t last. I had to admit it. Even the fastest Linux software (Puppy Slacko) for my old PC ran slower than a clean install of Windows XP.

I’ve become a master at disabling unwanted plugins, resources, and startup items to get the RAM usage down to just over 100 mb. I’m not sure if Puppy Slacko was that low or not. The way the meter read the RAM was confusing to my untutored eyes.

Anyhow, I wrote the bulk of yesterday’s earthpages.ca article on my WinXP Pentium 4 computer, “Frankenstein.” But it gets slow when doing the final layout. So I switched to my Win 7 laptop, which is pretty average by today’s standards. Then I proofread again using the Win XP machine.

Looking at my writing on different systems gives me a fresh take. I can see inelegancies, errors and redundancies better. I then went BACK to XP and again to Win7 before finally finishing the thing at about 4:30 am.

Good thing I can sleep in a bit when I need to. I enjoy listening to music more than writing about it! 🙂


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The Supreme Geek in the Sky

Puppy_linux_430

Puppy linux 430 (Image: Wikipedia)

Possessed would be too strong a word. Obsessed might be better. Theologically, possessed means a serious eclipse of free will by an evil spirit. Whereas obsession isn’t quite so strong. Again theologically, I think obsessed just means being harassed by an evil spirit.

In both cases free will never dies. But in possession, it is temporarily eclipsed.

I think that’s right. I’d have to check my own Earthpages.ca “Think Free” entries to be sure.

Isn’t that pathetic? I have to look stuff up on my own website to see if I get it right.

But that’s the way it goes sometimes… 🙂

So what am I possessed/obsessed (whatever…) about?

Well, the Great Geek in the Sky or, as some might call him or her, the Supreme Geek in the Sky, has taken over most of my free time; I have been extremely enthused about learning Linux.

Earthpages, the news, the issues… they’ve all taken a back seat. Instead, searches upon searches about Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu and (Slacko) Puppy Linux have been filling my days.

Trial and error… Endless reboots. Wearing out my old computer maybe. But lovin’ it!

I have a nice Windows computer in my bedroom. But it looks like a stranger to me now.

Weird?

A little bit.

Desktop and ROX-File-Manager runnig under Pupp...

Desktop and ROX-File-Manager runnig under Puppy Linux 2.13 (Image: Wikipedia)

I guess that’s what happens when you enter into Linux Land. The “old world” of Windows looks so… ick… banal… easy… bourgeois.

I’m having much more fun learning everything anew on an old Pentium 4 that was broken. It’s actually a mix of two computers. But I’ve talked about that

Anyhow… that’s all for now… have to get back to my learning curve. The Great Geek calls… 🙂