Showing posts from March, 2013

NASA SmartSatellites based on Nexus S

I remember Bill Gates on stage at a Microsoft employee conference talking about the progress in computing power, and how he envisaged that the humle Windows CE (or Pocket PC at the time?) could power everything...
He had a Windows CE phone device with an external keyboard and TV screen, which basically was a sub $300 "computer" for emerging markets. And he mentioned (probably before 2000) how satellites could potentially run off Windows CE. How sad (for Microsoft) that they did not capitalise on the opportunity they had then. Where they just too early, or where the execution and focus just not there?
(I also remember saying that Google and phone would never work :) )

I've been dreaming of sending a phone into space, but it's been done so many times, that I'm not sure just replicating it would be much of a challenge... I'm hunting for that special twist that will make it much more interesting.

More seriously, NASA is now doing it too... powering a satellite w…

Spotify is back!

I've been an early Spotify fan, and recently presented on behalf of Google, sandwiched between Apple and Spotify Executive presentations in Denmark. But... I had to call good bye to Spotify some time ago when I've moved over to being 100% on the web, loving my Chromebook. (I've been using Grooveshark since then.)
Today, a friend told me that Spotify is back... and there is a browser-only version of Spotify that works fine on my Pixel or Chromebox. And I'm writing this post while listening to some cool notes...

Thank you Spotify!

Home automation plan progress

So, as mentioned before, I've embarked on building a custom home automation solution. Why? Because I can't find anything that will do all I want it to do. So, by having a custom solution that can talk GPIO, Serial and Ethernet... and possibly a few extra bits via GPIO (such as IR, RF, Zigbee and more), I can also hook in Hue and EasyHome and more...

I'm glad to report that I'm making good progress. I've got the bare bones working:
My Arduino can switch things on and off, dim things and follow instructions. It's the core brain in my set-up. It does some of the switching through some opto coupler relays, and I can later do more like IR and RF, and have some LEDs connected through PWM to do dimming.

But because it does not talk natively to the outside world well, I'm using a serial interface to a Raspberry Pi (via USB). And on the Pi, I'm running Apache and I've built a simple API that will allow me to call it via commands like http://pi/switch.php?re…

Pixel's hidden beauty Easter egg

I've always been a fan of corporations poking fun at themselves and making, creating, engineering fun. The Pixel is a thing of beauty and design, and as Google's own site claims... it's got some LEDs "just to make it look cool". And today, I found a fun way to fire up these LEDs beyond the subtle glow that it normally gives.
On the Pixel keyboard (not an external keyboard) tap the following:
<up> <up> <down> <down> <left> <right> <left> <right> b a
Now I've got another way to get attention in a meeting :)