Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Monday, December 11, 2017
Friday, December 8, 2017
Monday, December 4, 2017
Sunday, December 3, 2017
As times change we find new ways to do our stuff.
Time was when we would go to our tower computer to do our computing at our desk.
Now, we reach in our pocket for smartphone, the smaller the better.
In our easy chair we reach for our iPad or other tablet, such as Amazon Fire or a Nook tablet or reader.
Alternatively, we use our laptop.
New intel-based Chromebooks work as tablets, smartphones, and even Linux computers. These can also power a big screen.
The old tower sits more and more abandoned.
Saturday, November 25, 2017
Friday, November 24, 2017
Sunday, November 19, 2017
So why not have Linux for a laptop?
It is now practical.
Linux is ideal for those who loved Windows XP which is no longer supported by Microsoft.
Like Windows, Linux works both as an internet computer or as a self standing computer not connected at all.
The Linux Pinebook at $99 actually looks more like a MacBook and runs an Office Suite and browser and more. Made by a parts supplier, it shows more promise than fast functionality.
However, a cheap Intel Chromebook can be setup to run to both Chrome and also Linux, fast.
The process works like this...
The device is put into so-called developer mode by holding down the escape and refresh buttons along with the on-off button. The refresh key is identified with a curled arrow.
Wait a few moments. Or press Ctl D to move ahead.
On rebooting in developer mode, a script called Crouton is downloaded.
The downloaded script is started by entering terminal mode in Chrome with control alternate T.
The word shell is then entered into the terminal.
Then a command is issued such to download and install Ubuntu Linux, such as
This takes some time so you sit back and do something else for a while to come back finally and enter a new login and password.
You are then prompted to enter a command to start Linux, which is spelled out for you.
Additionally, there is an extension for Chrome which will toggle in and out of Linux.
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Using Amazon Echo voice to control lighting is appealing for seniors, especially if the lighting is not in easy reach.
Initially I used smart switches at the wall to control lights by voice. Now it is cheaper to use smart bulbs.
I selected the Sylvania Osram system called Lightify because the price had come down sharply from what it had been before.
I noticed that Amazon comments were conflicting, though. Many commenters were strongly negative and yet many were strongly positive. Some indicated that Lightify could not be used with Alexa, whereas others indicated that Lightify worked fine with Alexa.
But nobody explained HOW Lightify could be made to work fine with Alexa.
So here is the explanation for the conflicting comments.
The basic installation to smartphone works well. The connection to Alexa is simply confusing.
The problem is all a matter of passwords and serial number.
Where the instructions say to use the information on the back of the Hub to connect, that information is not correct.
The login password is not the password indicated on the Hub. Instead it is the password used with your login which in my case was my email address login password.
Then the serial number is not the serial number indicated on the Hub. The dash and digits following at the end are NOT to be included.
With those changes everything connected and paired.
Lightify uses a system called Zigbee, for which even cheaper bulbs are available than those from Lightify. I have not tried them.