keskiviikko 30. joulukuuta 2015

Other people's blogs really are invaluable - got my CuBox Pro up and running!

It has happened so many times other people have saved me and my time! Let me tell what happened this afternoon.
I had received two old CuBoxes (first introduced 2011). There were several ready-made images available on the Internet. I downloaded some of them and burned them on SD cards. None of them worked. Were both CuBoxes broken?
Off I went and found Michael's web page at: . Suddenly, all my problems went away. Solved! By others! Certainly not by me!
Michael had written how to get CuBox up and running! In addition there was an image available at his site! Perfect! I had downloaded wrong images which were meant for another model of CuBox. The manufacturers web site was not that informative anymore. I guess that's because of the old model of CuBox I had.
This goes to show not all contents of the net is crap. Without the instructions from Michael... I'd really had been, eh, pissed off!

XFCE4 Desktop on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
4 years uptime ahead with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS!

CuBoxes and 1 euro coin side by side

maanantai 28. joulukuuta 2015

Nokia will start phone business the first of January 2016

Microsoft purchased Nokia Lumia phones some time ago. Thank God Nokia got rid of those not-so-well-working Lumias. The deal between Microsoft and Nokia is coming to end. Nokia is allowed to start phone business of their own again January 1st 2016. It's time for Nokia look forward and take their share of the global phone business.

It won't ever be the same as it used to be. No phone factories in Finland, no new jobs. Nokia will be manufacturing their new phones in far east i.e. China, South Korea. That is disappointing. However, there are others making it big for example in Europe. Take a look at Raspberry Pi. Those tiny well-selling computers are made in Wales (I guess?). Raspies are inexpensive and popular. They are selling very well. This goes to show it's possible to succeed even though manufacturing is European. Adafruit Industries is another example. An enterprise situated in Manhattan, New York, USA is selling electronics which the experts said was not possible because of the Chinese domination.

Nokia will probably choose Android as their platform for mobile phones. Android is free (of charge), widely supported and very popular around the world. But will Nokia succeed with their new phones? There are, as we all know, so many other brands out there. I guess Nokia will face some hard times when trying to access the global phone market again. It won't be easy. My hint is: Nokia, why not introduce 360 camera embedded in your Android phone? That way you'll beat others in no time.

sunnuntai 27. joulukuuta 2015

KingRoot lets you root Nexus 4 (and many other phones) in no time

There are situations when you need to root* your phone in order to install for example MultiROM Manager etc. These are the steps I took with my Nexus 4:
  • In Settings/About tap Build Number seven times to enable Developer mode.
  • Allow Debugging in Developer settings.
  • Allow External Sources in Security settings.
  • Download KingRoot root tool apk-package from .
  • Install KingRoot apk, fire up KingRoot, follow on-screen instructions to root your phone.
  • Your phone is rooted!
*rooting according to Wikipedia:


perjantai 25. joulukuuta 2015

Microsoft opens an app store called "Microsoft Apps" inside Google Play store

Microsoft has opened an app store called "Microsoft Apps" inside Google Play store. This way - Microsoft seems to think - it's easier for Android users to find apps made for Android by Microsoft. All apps are in one place, not here and there in Play store.

Android users might not be that interested in Microsoft apps since there are many alternative apps to choose from. However derived Android ROMs with no access to Play store would benefit from Microsoft apps if that option was available. It remains to be seen if Microsoft will launch a store outside Google Play store.

keskiviikko 16. joulukuuta 2015

How to test OwnCloud in your wifi network

Want to test cloud of your own in your wifi network? It's easier than ever! Take the following steps:

  • Download Collabora CODE OwnCloud which is unsupported, Development version of Collabora CloudSuite‘s commercial on-line component:
  • Unzip the ready made VirtualBox image (VMware might work as well? Not sure though)
  • Start Virtualbox and import vmdk-file
  • Make sure you choose Bridged Adapter in VirtualBox to make OwnCloud visible in your wifi network
  • Run the imported vmdk in Virtualbox
    • Login: root Password: skew25.kiwis
  • When logging in, the address of your OwnCloud server is echoed on screen - Try the address in your mobile/web browser!
    • Mine is
  • OwnCloud asks you to login
    • Login: admin, Password: admin
Choose Bridged Adapter

Browse files with your phone

tiistai 1. joulukuuta 2015

Raspberry Pi Zero likes OTG USB and miniHDMI to HDMI cables

A new raspberry Pi is out! The latest Raspi is tiny yet powerful enough to run Desktop Linux (= Raspbian). 1 GHz ARM processor and 512 MB RAM memory for only 5 American dollars!

If you happen to own an older Raspi then you know which cables are needed. Zero has different interfaces so you'd better start to dig your shelves! Those old ones won't fit! Find at least these two cables:

  1. If you are going to connect Zero with a monitor you need a miniHDMI to HDMI cable. They are not expensive. You can find them easily on the Internet. However Nokia once used miniHDMI to HDMI in their smart phone era (hoping Nokia will strike back soon!). Visit your local flea market!
  2. OTG (On The Go) USB cable (microUSB to female USB-A) let's you to use USB hub. I'd suggest USB 2.0 hub with own power (to keep Zero alive!). OTGs are also very common and found everywhere. You might even have one at home? I got one when I bought Windows laptop which also works as a tablet.
Networking is not an issue. If you own a wifi dongle which works in an older Raspi then off you go and attach dongle to your USB hub.

Sorry, still no photo as I don't own a Raspberry Pi Zero just yet!

lauantai 28. marraskuuta 2015

Raspbian Jessie Lite - the official headless Linux for Raspberry Pi

If you need a quick, tiny and headless Linux for Raspberry Pi try Raspbian Jessie Lite. No graphical user interface, command line only. In addition Lite in an official distribution supported by Raspberry Pi foundation.


An older Raspberry Pi and Lite - perfect match!

Downgrading Nexus 7 Wifi (2012) tablet from Android 5.x to 4.4

Downgrading Nexus tablet from Android 5.x to 4.4 couldn't be easier.
  • Download pre-made image from Google;
  • Extract the image
  • Keep down Power+VolDown to enter recovery mode
  • Attach tablet to your PC via USB
  • Make sure you have adb-tools -package installed in Linux
  • Become a superuser; sudo su and cd to Android 4.4 directory
  • type in the following command, ./
That's it!

I hope from now on my "old" Nexus 7 Wifi (2012) is quicker and more responsive. Android 5.x was a bit too much.

Android 5 was too heavy

perjantai 27. marraskuuta 2015

Replace K-plussa bonus card with an app (beta for Android)

If you live in Finland you must have seen those K-plussa bonus cards. You have to carry card in your wallet and show it (via NFC technology) when buying something.

Yesterday I decided to download beta version of K-plussa card app for Android. Take a look. It's in the Play Store:

Off I went and tried newly installed app. I placed my phone side by side with NFC-based device in the nearest K-market. And indeed I got my bonus. If your phone doesn't do anything move phone a little bit so that NFC circuit (of your phone) is in the right position.

I guess the only downside is K-plussa card app is always there in the background of the memory of your phone. And NFC is also always on draining your battery (?).

I'm happy with K-plussa card app. One plastic card less in my wallet!

torstai 26. marraskuuta 2015

Raspberry Pi Zero is out!

A new Raspberry Pi Zero has been introduced. It's three times smaller than Raspi 2. When looking at the performance Zero has 1 GHz one core ARM processor and 512 MB RAM memory.

At the moment I have no idea how much Zero is going to cost. They are saying it's very inexpensive costing only 5 $ (excluding taxes?). However when Zero is shipped to Finland where I live the price will be... wild guess is 20-30 €?

No photo available, sorry!

keskiviikko 25. marraskuuta 2015

Retro! vol 2

IBM XT booted! Two floppies (?) with IBM DOS 3.3 inside. Still have to find out if my PC has a hard disk inside. I've found floppy drives A: and B: . Forgot to try C: . Keyboard has those åäö-hats which are important for people like me living in Finland.

In the next issue: applications, floppies, which DOS runs on PC with 512 KB RAM?

Retro! vol 1

IBM XT. No idea if it works or boots. But it's there sitting on my table. So it needs to be tested. Nothing more to say at the moment.

In the next issue: keyboard, floppies, DOS operating system

tiistai 24. marraskuuta 2015

Lue Raspberry Pi -juttuni eOppimiskeskuksen syksyn numerosta

eOppimiskeskus julkaisi syksyn numeronsa. Kirjoitin lyhyen jutun koskien Raspberry Pi  -tietokonetta. Lue se täältä:

Vinkki: paina Control ja plus (+) niin saat suurennettua juttu (joka on kuva) www-selaimessa.

Koko lehti, joka kertoo koodauksesta kouluissa, on luettavissa täältä:

keskiviikko 18. marraskuuta 2015

Debian 8 (Jessie) on an old Asus EeePC 4G

Debian rules!

Debian Linux 8 (Jessie) came available this autumn. It still runs on an old PC, in my case Asus EeePC laptop, with only 4 GB SSD hard disk.


In order to install Debian you need to download the ISO-file and burn it on a USB-stick. I chose Debian Netinstall which is available here: . There are number of burning sofware out there. Use Win32DiskImager, UNetbootin on Windows or command dd on Linux to prepare your bootable Debian USB-stick.


Make sure you tap down Esc while powering your EeePC in order to boot from USB. Then, off you go and install Debian. There is nothing much to tell about this phase. If you are setting up Linux for the first time pay attention to every screen you see.


Since there is not that much space available, only 4 GB hard disk, you have to compromise. I decided to wipe out GIMP and LibreOffice. They both are too heavy for my old EeePC. This is how you do it what comes to LibreOffice:

sudo apt-get remove --purge libreoffice*
sudo apt-get clean
sudo apt-get autoremove

After the uninstall of GIMP and LibreOffice there is more than 1 GB free space available for the forthcoming updates. I'm very satisfied with this result. My EeePC is still going strong!


EeePC 4G meets Debian 8 (Jessie)

lauantai 7. marraskuuta 2015

Building a Lego EV3 robot is time consuming but rewarding

It's been a long time since I've played with Legos. Robots are something everyone is talking about nowadays. With my colleague it took approx 4 hours to build a Lego robot. In the end of the day there was a remote controlled robot standing on the table. In addition, test code was driven. I'm very pleased Lego EV3 robot is now there up and running. Next, we need to figure out how to program our robot. There is a coding environment available for Mac and Windows for free. So why not listen to Kraftwerk's The robots ;P.

We are the robots!

The product of the year 2015 IMHO - Google's cardboard glasses

Three years in row I've been choosing hardware or software which have been useful for me during the year; Raspberry Pi (2012), Pebble Smart Watch (2013) and Android 5 (2014).

Year 2015 sort of "opened my eyes" when Google's cardboard glasses came available here in Finland. There are many 360 services available at the moment:

  • It's possible to see Google's 360 channel on YouTube
  • Music Television is going to broadcast live and 360 their annual gala later this autumn
  • You can create 360 pics of your own with Google Camera app and send them to Google Street View
3D glasses have been around for a long time. This time is different. Now it's possible to create something own, not just enjoy 360 games and movies. What's best, you can look at your 360 pics with cardboard glasses immediately after shooting. That's why it's easy to announce Google cardboard glasses the product of the year 2015!

Cardboard glasses are inexpensive costing only ~ 6 €

perjantai 6. marraskuuta 2015

Neverware's version of Chromium OS runs smoothly on my Acer ZG5 mini laptop

If you have a spare laptop/PC you can easily turn it into a Chromebook. Neverware's version of Chromium OS called CloudReady has a super easy built-in installer. Installing CloudReady on hard disk is a task with no pain.

First you'll need a USB memory stick with CloudReady (i.e. Chromium OS) inside. Follow the steps I took in an earlier blog post. Boot your laptop from the memory stick.

Once you get CloudReady up and running log in with your Gmail account. Click in the down-right corner and choose to setup CloudReady on hard disk. You'll be asked if you are 100 % sure. Yes, you'll want to install CloudReady.

The installation will take ~ 20 minutes. After that your laptop will boot and you can start using CloudReady.

I guess multiboot is not possible?

tiistai 3. marraskuuta 2015

Turn your old Windows laptop into a Chromebook with Neverware's version of Chromium OS

If you own a spare laptop with Windows XP inside why not turn it into a Chromebook.
  • First off, download Neverware's version of Chromium OS called CloudReady. It's free of charge for individuals.
  • Unzip the file and write .bin to to your at least 8 GB  USB memory stick. Use dd command in Linux 
  • Boot your laptop from the stick. This way you'll get CloudReady up and running in live mode.
Now you can log in with your Gmail account and start to use CloudReady. But that's not all! You can install CloudReady on hard disk! I'll be telling how to that in my later post. So stay tuned for more information!

running on my Acer mini laptop
(CloudRaedy not there just yet!)

FullPageOS - a Raspberry Pi distribution to display a full page browser on boot

It's a distribution for Raspberry Pi aimed at info displays

In case you need a display which shows full web pages without any address fields then FullPageOS is for you. In addition, you can contact your display (and raspberry Pi) via ssh and change the contect remotely.

Ok, where can I get it?

The latest image based on Raspbian Linux can be found here: . Make sure the whole image is downloaded. I had to use wget since my browser didn't finish the job. If in doubt there is MD5 available to make sure the image is ok.

Image downloaded, then what?

Write the image on your SD-card. Use your favourite writer; for example Win32DiskImager in Windows, UNetbootin, etc. Make sure your card is big enough.

Boot your Pi and start configuring

To make wifi work edit the file fullpageos-network.txt which you can find in the directory /boot. In case you are using LAN-cable there is no need to edit fullpageos-network.txt.

Place the SD-card in your Pi and boot FullPageOS. Login via SSH using the following user and password; pi and raspberry. Now, configure FullPageOS like you do in Raspbian using sudo raspi-config.

Finally, edit the file /boot/fullpageos.txt which tells the OS which web address opens when Raspberry Pi and FullPageOS boot. Bear in mind FullPageOS let's user to browse any web page! Ok, there is no address field... which is not stopping anyone!

Tip: If you need to know your current IP boot process echoes IP on screen for a second. That's an easy way to find out whether you have an IP or not.

That's it!

Wait, does it work? Did you try it?

It does! I did! Look at the picture below!

Edit: Translation bar showed up. I chose "Never translate Finnish". Not showing anymore. I heard it's a bug. They are working on it!

FullPageOS up and running!

Connected via ssh 

My Raspberry Pi B (1st gen)

perjantai 30. lokakuuta 2015

Android and Chrome OS are merging - a new Desktop OS will soon be here!

It's official! Android and Chrome OS, two operating systems made by Google, are merging.

What I have understood Chrome OS won't be there anymore but will be replaced with Android. Not 100 % sure though...

The new Desktop OS will be called Android and will be running on PC hardware. I guess Google wants to challenge Microsoft and it's operating systems Windows 7/8.1 and 10.

You have to wait until 2017. However, it's not that far away, is it!

Me and my Chromebook really look forward to see the new Android!

Edit: Android and Chrome OS might NOT merge? Not sure who to believe anymore.

Android 5 on Nexus 7 (2012) wifi

Chrome OS desktop 

sunnuntai 11. lokakuuta 2015

How to make Lilypad blink an LED

Every time you start a new project with your Lilypad or Arduino make sure your hardware works. This is done by running "Hello world" -app.

Open your Arduino IDE (see picture below). If you don't have Arduino IDE, get it here: In case you are running Linux you might need extra elevation of rights (i.e. sudo su in Ubuntu) . Attach USB cable and Lilypad to your PC. Under Tools in Arduino IDE, you can check if the right Arduino/Lilypad model and port are chosen. Many times it happens your hardware seems not work. This is due to wrong hardware and port.

In Arduino IDE click File, Examples, Basics, Blink. Right after that, Save Blink somewhere else. Now, change the code. For example, reduce the blinking time from 1000 ms to 100 ms (see picture below; delay (1000). Finally, click an arrow which points to the right. It saves, compiles and sends the code over to Lilypad or Arduino. Thumbs up! Fingers crossed! If you are lucky you have your very first Lilypad app up and running!

Arduino IDE on Ubuntu Linux 14.04

Lilypad blinking internal LED

lauantai 10. lokakuuta 2015

An AOSP version of Android 6 is now running on my Nexus 4

An AOSP version of Android 6 runs on my Nexus 4

Google didn't publish Android 6 upgrade for Nexus 4 in the beginning of October 2015. My bad. However, only a week later the first AOSP-version* of Android 6 showed up! You can download all files needed here:


Instructions say TWRP 2.8.7 (recovery tool) is needed. My version was older 2.8.6. There is TWRP Manager (root) in Play store. Thus it's easy to download and install the latest version of TWRP on your phone. See here: I guess Nexus 4 needs to be rooted in order to make TWRP Manager work. You have to find out how to root Nexus 4 for yourself.

Android 6 and Google apps

I downloaded (= Android 6) and (= Google apps). Using a file manager app it was easy see where inside my Nexus 4 those two zips were. TWRP manager was able to flash both zip-files (first Android 6 and after that Google apps). No help from PC was needed. No USB cables. Nexus 4 only.

First boot

It took some time before Android 6 showed up. First there was no carrier. After reboot I was able to make phone calls. So now I have Android 6 up and running! Look at the pic below.

*AOSP = Android Open Source Project (= Google leaded project for Android)

My Nexus 4 running
AOSP version of Android 6

keskiviikko 30. syyskuuta 2015

No Android 6 for Nexus 4? Now what?

Google told yesterday Android 6 is not coming to Nexus 4 . Don't worry. You can stick to Android 5.x or find an alternative ROM. It's not the end of the world.

In my case the above means I'm leaving Android and jumping to ROMs which are based on Android but have brand of their own. There are many ROMs to choose from: CyanogenMod, OmniRom, ParanoidAndroid, SlimRoms, AOKP to name some of them...

There are two you should keep in mind:
  • First off, are you sure you know how to flash your mobile phone? If not, find a spare phone and make your homework. See how to flash Nexus 7 (2012):
  • Secondly (and this not that bad), is your custom ROM able to update over the air (OTA)?
As there are more and more Android phones which will no longer receive updates custom ROMs are in very important role. I'm only hoping flashing an Android phone would become an easier task. At the moment, in my opinion, too much technological knowledge is required.

My Nexus 7 (2012) running CyanogenMod 12

Nexus 7 (2012) booting CyanogenMod

lauantai 26. syyskuuta 2015

Sitecom WL-113 wifi dongle from year 2004 still going strong

Local flea market always has something interesting to offer. This time I picked up an old wifi dongle from Sitecom.

The crucial thing is which chip dongle is using. Sitecom has Zydas's chip inside. Good! For example Debian and Ubuntu support is there. See this: How do you find out if dongle is recognized on Linux? Open your favourite terminal app on Linux and type "dmesg" (without quotation marks).

Next I need to test Sitecom wifi dongle on Raspberry Pi 1 and 2. I'm pretty sure Raspi 2 is able to handle Sitecom dongle. Raspi 1 is a question mark. Will there be enough power for the dongle in Raspi itself or do I need to attach a USB 2 hub with external power?

perjantai 25. syyskuuta 2015

Poor man's Desktop on Android - mouse and keyboard support via OTG-cable

Poor man's Desktop: Samsung Galaxy S4, an OTG-cable (On The Go), a passive USB-hub, a mouse and a keyboard.

Make sure all devices consume as little power as possible. Keep in mind not all Android devices accept peripherals. Edit: maybe an active hub with own external power is not a bad idea...

From now on it's possible for me to write text and use for example Microsoft Office almost the same way as on a normal Windows/Linux Desktop. Well, almost...

Samsung Galaxy S4 with mouse and keyboard support

Make sure all devices consume as little power as possible

Ubuntu 15.10 beta 2 available - 16.04 will bring us Mir

Ubuntu updates in every April and October. You can download beta 2 of Ubuntu 15.10 here: .

Next spring will be very exiting as we'll see a very different Ubuntu 16.04. Canonical ltd is going to offer Ubuntu with Mir, a next generation display server.  Until then I will stick to 14.04 LTS.

Firefox browser in mobile mode
(Control+Shift+M) on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

torstai 17. syyskuuta 2015

Google Hangout Air - how to setup a public live session

I had already forgotten. That's why this blog post exists ;D. So let's see how to setup a public live video session which can later be seen via YouTube.

First off, go and get Gmail account. Secondly, make a Google search with the following words: google plus. Once you find Google Plus login using your Gmail account.

Inside Google Plus look for a "little cabin" icon up left. See picture below (in Finnish only, sorry).

Choose Hangouts.

Choose Hangouts On Air and Create Hangout On Air.

Name your session and choose Share.

Choose Start.

You can invite friends by typing in their email addresses. However, this time the whole world is your friend so there no need to do that and you can pass by this option.

Wait until all gets set!

You can start broadcasting live now!

In case you are absolutely sure, choose OK. You have 8 hours live time to spend! 
You can find the address of your Live session by clicking the the Link-symbol in the down-right corner.

When you are done, choose red button to close your live session.

Afterwards, look for your live session on YouTube. It takes a while before your video shows up. How did I find my sessions? I have a YouTube channel. All my clips are stored there.

keskiviikko 9. syyskuuta 2015

Join Apple event with Windows 10's new Edge browser

Apple September event is held today. Not only iOS or OS X users may join but Windows 10 users as well. All you need to is open the following link with Microsoft's new Edge browser (on Wednesday at 10 AM PDT 2015/09/09): .

Windows 10 on Acer W510