Virtual Server made easy

I was shown by a colleague of mine a nice tool I wanted to share. Ever wanted to have your own cheap Linux server on the net? So did I and the prices were not so, let’s simply say, attractive! Either you get a real Virtual Server and these come starting for at least 10€ / month, but you can find prices for about 5€ / month where you get a scalable server.

The service I tried out is called DigitalOcean and it appears to be one of the most simple services in this sector. You can, in less than a Minute, create a new server, scale them up and much much more. And the best of it, you pay as you use it. Not using any space or CPU etc, means you’re not paying anything.

It’s easier than running your own Raspberry at home and not having a fix IP etc. For the fix IP you’re already paying much more, and many tools need an own IP so if you’re interested in this, you might have a look at it.

That’s the way the cookie crumbles…

Time-Lapse Project – Part 1 – The Parts

So i had the idea to create a timelapse movie and had been looking for some time to get a “Very long term” timelapse device. You can find quiet a few cameras on the market which do give you the possibility to create such series of pictures, but they all come down to the same issue: the problem of power! Most of these devices have internal batteries which need to be charged over (Micro) USB cables which in outdoor situations becomes difficult to keep it dry. Special casings might help but it always becomes a risk factor, because those devices are not ment to function like that.

The only option i found were cameras from a brand called Brinno. I had seen one before at a friend´s but what irritated me most was the fact, that these devices could not do Full HD. Their maximum Resolution was 1280×720, which is nice but the cheaper ones even only do 720p. And honestly they do not come in cheap… But i have to say, they are solid, the picture quality is okay and they do run over weeks and even month without changing batteries. So for a project without energy they are in my eyes definitely the best option!

And so i ended up in a plan constructing a Raspi-Camera with an Outdoor Water Proof Case. Finding such a thing is almost impossible! You could take an old CCTV Outdoor Case, but honestly they are simply huge! Something small and discrete looks different… So i ended up with a Kickstarter Project called PiCE which was realized in 2013. Luckily i was able to buy a “used” case on ebay. But i have to admit that i had the chance to get a case which was never really used. Only a few scratches but that´s it, it had never even been assembled.

So after having my case, i had to start planning the rest. An old Raspi B was luckily on hand, because that was the device at that time the case was designed for. I bought a new Camera and started my assembly. For the software part i chose motionEye OS, which is a nice environment if it works, easy to use with a very user friendly interface. It can even stitch your time-lapse video together! So maybe no need for post production.

That´s the plan, follow up will come next month with some problems i ran into and where i am seeking for solutions =) But that´s how it is with the Pi. It´s always work in progress.

QI charger from the furniture shop

So I had been looking for a new QI charger for my Samsung phone and guess what!? I did not buy my new device at any IT or Phone shop but i bought it at a furniture shop! But why that?

When i had a look at various models on the standard online shop’s, I realised that most of these chargers were very small, as small that even the phone often had more than double of it’s size. So putting the phone onto one of these chargers always is tricky to find the right place.

And then i found out that IKEA has a few new devices which do give the possibility to charge via QI. So why don’t you take a look at them. They are not to cheap but i think they do look better than most other devices and you might even integrate it into existing furniture. Nice ideas! I like it and the devices works as it should! I even got a second USB port.

Ech wor op der Sich no engem neien QI Chargeur fir mäin Samsung Telefon an ech hunn dat Gerät net an iergend engem Spezialiséierten Geschäft kaaft, mä am Miwwelbuttek!

Wei ech mech ëmgekuckt hunn an deenen üblechen Online Geschäfter hunn ech festgestallt dass déi meeschten Chargeuren immens kleng sinn an dacks den Handy méi ewéi duebel esou grouss ass, esou dass et net ëmmer einfach ass fir déi richteg Positioun ze fannen dass en direkt luet.

An dunn hunn ech eraus fonnt, dass IKEA puer nei Geräter am Sortiment huet, déi eben d’Méiglechkeet ginn iwwert QI ze lueden. Se sinn zwar net ëmmer ganz bëlleg, mä ech fannen se gesinn gutt aus an et kann een se souguer an Miwwelen integréieren. Mir gefalen hier Saachen an d’Gerät funktionéiert wei et soll, souguer mat engem extra USB Port.

The not so China Copy

So a few weeks ago I reported that I bought myself a boogie board, a so called E-Ink tablet where you can write onto. The same time I found a similar product in china which I ordered and which arrived now a few weeks later.

Honestly this is the first copy of a device where me for myself I found the copy better than the original! Simply amazing! Apart from the fact that it has no magnets on the back the display itself is better in my opinion. And the original Boogie Board has a less good quality in the production which you can see on the borders. I made a few pictures which i will include so you can see what i mean.

Pros and Cons

  • The Original has magnets on its back so you can stick it to many surfaces.
  • The Original also has the ability to stand up by itself.
  • The writing quality is definitely better on the Copy. Lines are thinner and nicer!
  • The production of the Copy seems better to me than the Original. Astonishing!
  • The Copy came with a Bag and a second pencil. Nice!
  • Coloring the whole screen shows that the Copy is better!

Touching the screen with fingers can leave traces but it is similar on both devices so no special opinion there. I will also buy the larger Copy (not available of the Original) and see how it is keeping up…

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pi-top CEED

After a few month of waiting for my second Crowdfunding Project, i finally recieved my pi-top CEED. I aditionally backed the Speaker so this was an Option in the funding. So wanted to Review a litte bit this Project which i followed from the beginning on.

First i have to say that the Initiators always kept a very good contact to the funders! They posted on a regular Basis News of the Project and so as a backer you were always kept informed. This was especially interesting due to the fact that at some Point they ran into Problems and had difficulties to stay in the schedule. In my opinion very positive and so as a backer i always felt myself very comfortable even with some weeks falling back! I never got the idea that my Money could get lost.

Another nice touch was that they posted on a few occasions Pictures of what we could expect as a result.

As the package arrived at my home i have to admit, that it was very well protected. The packaging itself was as already seen on the Pictures nice and trendy.

Using the device itself… Inserted the SD-Card which was provided and connected the Raspberry-Pi (i did buy it separately) and booted the device up. No Problems with defective Pixels for my device and the Speaker worked after the Installation as it should! Okay… It is not only the physical Installation but you also Need to install the Drivers. Inside the package you could find the How-to or you can read it from the page under this link.

Finally i have to say that the Linux-OS package provided from them is not my favourite… It is quiet Special and has apart from the standard Desktop a Icon based second Desktop. Apparently invented for Kids or Linux-Newbies this should do it work, but for People who are used to Linux not the Thing you want… I will try to get more into that distro and see if it is what i Need. Otherwise i will stick to as usual Distro for the Raspberry.

Anyway… The device itself is of very good Quality in my opinion! I got a green one and the Color is flashy =D I´m lovin it! The idea to hold the Raspi with Magnets is another glorious idea! The only negative aspect is that inserting any USB device may result in misplacing the Raspberry… By being careful it should work.

Roundabout it is a nice Piece which i got for a reasonable price by being a backer.

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