lauantai 31. tammikuuta 2015

Download Windows Insider app which sets up your Windows Phone to receive prelease software from Microsoft

Windows Phone 10 is on the way! Before the final version is out we are going to see set of previews. By downloading Windows Insider app for Windows Phone you can see preview version of Windows Phone for yourself!

Windows Insider "sets up your phone to receive prelease software from Microsoft". See pictures below. For the time being (end of January 2015) there are no preview versions available. Please come back in February. As soon as the first preview arrives I will download and install it immediately and publish some screenshots.

keskiviikko 28. tammikuuta 2015

How to flash Beaglebone Black eMMC memory

Happened before:

Flashing eMMC memory:

My Beaglebone Black finally got a new operating  system inside (2 GB eMMC memory). Follow these steps:
  • Point your web browser over here:
  • Use 7-zip (in Windows) or similar to extract the image
  • Burn the image using Win32DiskImager (in Windows) on an microSD card (mine is 4 GB)
  • Hold down user/boot button and power up your Beaglebone Black
  • Release user/boot button when all four blue LEDs side by side are on
  • Wait and pray
  • When Beaglebone Black shuts down release microSD card and boot your Beaglebone Black
  • Flashing might not succeed every time!
    • If that happens start again (you don't need to write the image on SD again)
  • Ssh your Debian
    • Try to find the IP address of your Beaglebone Black by looking at your wifi/lan router dhcp log
    • Type the following command: ssh -l root your-bbb-ip-here
    • Root password might have been left blank
Beaglebone Black has a bootloader called u-boot. Next I need to understand how u-boot works. It's Wednesday now. I purchased my Beaglebone Black last Friday, only 5 days ago.

Running an X-app called Hardinfo
over SSH on OS X

tiistai 27. tammikuuta 2015

Facebook Lite for Android - download it here!

I gave Facebook Lite a go although the apk-package was not available at Google Play Store but here. The install file was ~ 260 KB in size. Facebook Lite is aimed at devices with Android 2.2. How secure can that version of Android be these days?! Hmm...

The UI of Facebook Lite is very... reduced. However, all you need is there. Maybe we'll see more of these in the future (Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp etc.)? And hey, the official Facebook-app install package alone is ~ 26 MB!

If you decide to install Facebook Lite, you do it AT YOUR OWN RISK! Remember to allow install from external sources in Android Settings.

Facebook Lite on my Nexus 4

maanantai 26. tammikuuta 2015

How to boot Beaglebone Black from SD card

Happened before:

Day one: Beaglebone Black is in my hand - now what?

Day two: Beaglebone Black has Angstrom Linux as default OS inside - and you can ssh your BBB!

Day three brought new information as well as new challenges

On day three Beaglebone Black booted from SD card (Debian Linux). I downloaded the latest Debian - the one with text: "Runs on BeagleBone Black as well without flashing the eMMC". After writing the image on an SD card Beaglebone Black was willing to boot. I had to hold the user/boot button down a couple of seconds while booting. When Beaglebone Black was up and running it was easy to ssh and thus take a contact.

Next thing to do is to flash Beaglebone Black eMMC memory. I want to replace Angstrom Linux with something more up-to-date. Maybe Debian Linux or Ubuntu? Another, a bit challenging issue for me is so called u-boot bootloader. Why does Beaglebone Black use such software. How to prepare a proper SD card with u-boot inside?

Edit: on day four I was too busy to study more. However some notifications were made. When SD card was ejected Beaglebone Black booted Angstrom Linux from eMMC memory. I placed SD again and voila! Debian booted from SD with *no need to push user/boot button*! Very convenient!

My BBB was willing to boot from SD card - good!

sunnuntai 25. tammikuuta 2015

USB boot sticks for Windows 10 and OS X - which size and burn apps should you choose?

Windows 10 Technical preview is out and available for insiders. To make your PC boot Windows 10 you need a at least a USB stick and an app called Rufus which takes care of the burning of ISO image (which you can download from Insider-site).

OS X 10.10 Yosemite can be written on USB stick as long as you have a Mac with OS X 10.10 running. Please follow my tips (see link below) and prepare a USB for a fresh install.

These are the tools needed:

  • Windows 10
    • At least 4 GB USB stick
    • Free tool Rufus (works on Windows)

Rufus can handle Windows 10
ISO images
If you want to avoid command line use DiskMaker X 

Devices like Arduino Uno, Raspberry Pi and Beaglebone Black welcome IoT to change the world

Nowadays there are many credit sized computers which are aimed at IoT (Internet of Things) services: Beaglebone Black, Raspberry Pi and Arduino Uno, just to name some of them.

Why have these computers become so popular? There are many reasons:
  • They are cheap
    • Raspi costs ~ 30-50 euros depending where you buy it
  • They are open source
    • Try to find proprietary (= closed source) micro-controller as cheap as Arduino Uno
    • Open sourcing has taken the price down
  • GPIO (= General Purpose IO) pins
    • All sort of electronic hobbies are possible via these pins
  • They don't need a lot of room or power
    • Low energy devices are suitable for IoT
    • They can be driven remotely via for example SSH
World will be even more networked in the future. One step forward in that scene are devices like Beaglebone Black, Raspberry Pi and Arduino Uno which are platforms for all kind of first-generation Internet-of-Things -services.

Beaglebone Black is especially aimed at IoT

Raspberry Pi runs Raspbian Linux and works the
same way as Beaglebone Black

Arduino Uno is a micro-controller with no Linux 
inside but the program code directly in the memory instead

GPIO pins are those with wires attached

lauantai 24. tammikuuta 2015

Beaglebone Black has Angstrom Linux as default OS inside - and you can ssh your BBB!

Yesterday I purchased an open-source credit card -sized computer Beaglebone Black with no idea what to do next. Today looks different. After reading some documents it turned out there already is an operating system inside Beaglebone Black (=BBB)!

Before wiping out Angstrom Linux (in fact Ångström...) from eMMC memory I wanted to see if it really lives inside BBB as default. Two cables were needed. One black to power up BBB (see picture below) and one grey LAN cable. This way BBB got an IP via D-Link wlan bridge.

I had to take a look at my Motorola cable modem log to see which IP address BBB was using. SSH server is on by default on Angstrom Linux.  Use for example PuTTY (in Windows) to contact BBB: ssh -l root 192.168.0.xx (not telling the last two numbers). Default user is root with *no password*, uh. Maybe it's better that way. It's easy to enter brand new BBB and one can set password right away.

Why SSH? Why command line and no GUI (graphical user interface)? BBB as well as Raspberry Pi are not those everyday PC's but built for other purposes. BBB has it's future in IoT (Internet of Things). Command line and SSH are more than enough for hobbyists.

I guess that's enough for day two. There are newer images available at: and which means flashing. Either the new OS has to be flashed on internal eMMC memory (2 GB) or burn on an SD card. The first one I'm not familiar with.

To do: replace D-Link wlan bridge. Find a USB wlan dongle which supports Angstrom Linux.

BBB and my D-Link wlan bridge

Windows 10 January build 9926 is available - get it while it's hot!

Windows 10 January build 9926 is available! If you are an Insider you can download ISO image right away. There are now many languages to choose from. Even Finnish is there! A 4 GB USB stick is needed. A free tool Rufus (runs on Windows) helps you to burn image on USB.

The hardware I was using was an old mini laptop Acer Aspire One ZG5 with 1 GB RAM memory and 160 GB hard disk. Hey! I'm doing fine with this almost ancient PC! Acer Aspire One is a very versatile platform for all sort of tests. Last week Arnold the bat's Chromium OS was running on top of this hardware.

An old Acer Aspire One ZG5 running Windows 10 January build 9926

No Cortana in Finnish just yet. Didn't expect though.

perjantai 23. tammikuuta 2015

Beaglebone Black is in my hand - now what?

Happened on January 23rd 2015:

It's that same mixed feeling every time (or many different states of mind). You are eager to get your gear up and running but don't know where to start. I'm writing this with no idea where to go next...

Hmm. I have a Raspberry Pi. I know how to write an image on an SD card and boot Raspi. Maybe Beaglebone Black has the same approach? Lets make some searches...

The following blog tells how to make Beaglebone Black boot Ubuntu. Very good start!

These devices are already on the table waiting for some action:
  • Beaglebone Black (=BBB)
  • USB cable for powering up BBB
  • SD card (4 GB)
  • HDMI cable
  • HDMI monitor
  • USB hub (USB 1.1)
  • USB keyboard and mouse
  • Mac computer for preparing SD card
That should do. Will be continued as soon as there is something new to tell...

My Beaglebone Black unboxed

Two new Offices on the way: touch-optimized Office for Windows 10 and traditional Office 2016

Microsoft will deliver touch-optimized Office for Windows 10 in the coming weeks with the new preview version of Windows 10. You can later download Office for Windows 10 from Microsoft Store (for free?). Devices like phones, tablets and even bigger screens (Microsoft Surface Hub) are able to run Office for Windows 10.

We are also going to see traditional Office 2016 which will be available in the second half of 2015. If you are familiar with Office and like mouse and keyboard this version is for you. I don't know if any previews will be released in the coming months. I hope they will release at least one beta.

You can choose between these Microsoft Office products:
  • Office for Windows 10 (new)
  • Office 2016 (new)
  • Office Preview for Android
  • Office for iPad
  • Office Online (=works via web browser)
Office for Windows 10 touch-optimized Word

torstai 22. tammikuuta 2015

Windows 7 won't go away that easily

Microsoft told Windows 10 will be free for all Windows 7/8/8.1 users if one decides to upgrade during the first 12 months. That sounds very tempting. The question now is: will Windows 7 users *ever* upgrade? The answer is: they won't. Why is this?

There are many ordinary or everyday reasons why people won't upgrade:
  • They don't know how to do the upgrade. Even if Windows 10 was among Windows Updates people would hesitate. When one buys a PC Windows is there pre-installed.
  • Hard Disk is almost full of pictures etc. People don't know how to move pics somewhere else.
  • All important passwords will be wiped out during upgrade. Many people live their digital life this way.
  • Windows 10 is so much different from Windows 7. Friends don't have Windows 10 and can't help.
  • At work Windows 8/8.1/10 is not present. Nobody has ever seen those versions.
  • There is plenty of time left until 2020 when one can't receive anymore Windows 7 security updates. One can always install Chrome web browser if Internet Explorer is in danger and go on until 2030!

Use WhatsApp in your computer - follow these steps

Now you can send WhatsApp messages from your computer - officially brought you by WhatsApp! This is nice since long texts can be easily typed with a full-sized keyboard.

Which phone is needed to make the service work:
  • A smart phone with WhatsApp installed:
    • Android
    • Blackberry
    • Windows Phone
    • Nokia S60 (Symbian)
    • iPhone? Not working!
What else is needed:
  • Chrome web browser (from Google)
    • I guess WhatsApp Web is a Chrome extension
  • Firefox? Not working!
  • Safari? Not working!
  • Internet Explorer? Not working!
Now point your computer and Chrome browser to this address: . Make sure your mobile phone has the internet connection on. Open the WhatsApp -app in your phone, tap Menu from upper right corner (with three dots), tap WhatsApp Web and scan the QR-code on the web page (see the first picture below). Start using WhatsApp.

First off, scan the QR code.
You'll get there by following the
red boxes above.

This is how the conversation screen looks like

keskiviikko 21. tammikuuta 2015

Beyond Windows 10

Year 2020 will be a milestone. Windows 7 is will no longer be updated. After that moment every home user and company have to decide whether to continue using Windows 7, upgrade to newer Windows or hop off and try Mac, Android or Linux instead.

What else is going to happen? Since Windows 10 will be free of charge NOW it'll cost a lot more in the FUTURE. At the moment Microsoft is collecting us all together. Next decade you might receive a monthly bill from Microsoft. Why? Because you are using Windows (with no 11 or 12 behind the name). So now it's time to enjoy the lunch - which is not going to be free in the end.
Windows 10 Technical Preview on VirtualBox

Windows 10 will be free for all Windows 7/8/8.1 owners during it's first year

Microsoft is telling in their event on Jan 21st 2015 Windows 10 will be free (no cost!) for all of you with Windows 7/8/8.1. However when Windows 10 RTM (release To Manufacturing) -version is out there later this year you have 12 months period to make up your mind. After that free upgrade will not be possible (I guess?). So you'd better be quick! (That's what Microsoft wants!)

I guess a fresh install will be available since Microsoft wants everybody to upgrade - no matter if the hard disk is empty or not. So that takes me to another thought. Where can I download Windows 10 RTM -version and which key do I need to make this free version to work? Microsoft doesn't want to see people using illegal versions of Windows 10, does it? So do I simply look under my laptop and type in my Windows 8 key number when Windows 10 is asking it? I don't want to visit Microsoft Store app in Windows 8.1 and start upgrade from there! By the way Apple doesn't want any keys or numbers. My Mac has free OS X 10.10 with fresh install.
No Consumer Preview? I only have the old Technical Preview to show you :( .

Microsoft event starts soon - live blogging available

In case you want know what's happening at Microsoft event take a look at the Verge's Live Blogging site which tells what's going on. The official address at might not work because of many spectators.
Let me update my Windows 10!

tiistai 20. tammikuuta 2015

Let's see if Windows 10 Technical Preview can be updated to Customer Preview

Microsoft will unveil Windows 10 Customer Preview on January 21st 2015. It'll be interesting to see if Technical Previews versions can be dist-updated. This is something Microsoft has promised to do. However not all Technical Preview versions are going get dist-updates. In case you want try to update first install the latest official Technical Preview and wait for the Customer preview. If that doesn't work download Customer preview image and make a fresh install.
Windows 10 Technical Preview running
on VirtualBox on OS X 10.10

Tomorrow - Windows 10 Consumer Preview?

Let's see if Microsoft releases Windows 10 Consumer Preview image tomorrow the 21st of January 2015. Want see the event live? Look here for the instructions how to join.

Windows 10 Technical Preview on my Dell

maanantai 19. tammikuuta 2015

Run Raspbian from USB stick

I've gotten what I wanted. My Raspberry Pi boots from a tiny and almost obsolete 256 MB SD card and loads the rest from 4 GB USB stick. How did I got this far? Well, someone else had already written a nice tutorial. Read it here.

In the end the only thing to do was to copy boot partition from 4 GB SD to 256 MB SD card. That was it! This time I'm not going into detail at any level.

Why would you like to use USB stick instead of normal SD card? As far as I know SD cards have limited read/write cycles. In addition USB sticks are inexpensive and can be found everywhere.

First I had a 4 GB micro SD (with adapter)
and a 4 GB USB stick

4 GB micro SD boots Raspi and USB stick
takes care of the rest of it. All apps are on USB.

Finally I copied boot partition from 4 GB
SD card onto an obsolete 256 MB SD card.

perjantai 16. tammikuuta 2015

Read where Microsoft's Windows 10 Consumer Preview briefing can be seen and heard

Next week Microsoft is going to unveil Windows 10 Consumer Preview operating system. You can see and hear it live at: the 21st of January at 9:00 AM PST (that is 19:00 in the evening in Finland). So stay tuned!

Windows 10 Technical Preview looks like this!

How to update Garmin nüvi 1300 navigator

Follow these instructions in order to update Garmin nüvi 1300 navigator:

  • Make sure your navigator battery id fully charged! If not you might brick your navigator!
  • Install an app called WebUpdater which you can find here.
  • Connect your navigator and PC/Mac with a USB cable
  • Start your Navigator
  • Let WebUpdater find your navigator and suggest for an update
  • Start to update
  • Eject navigator from PC/Mac and let navigator start again
  • That's all!

Garmin nüvi 1300 in update state

Garmin WebUpdater for Mac

My Garmin will be upgraded from
version 5.40to version 6.20

sunnuntai 11. tammikuuta 2015

Get your gear ready - Windows 10 Consumer Preview will arrive soon

Windows 10 Technical Preview has been available for some time. Microsoft is going to unveil another preview version of Windows 10 the 21st of January 2015. Windows 10 Consumer Preview will reveal many features which are going to be seen in the final version later this year.

So get you gear ready. Find a USB stick which is big enough. 16 GB should do. In addition a PC with at least 1 GB RAM is needed. If you want to prepare a bootable Windows 10 Consumer Preview USB stick then try Rufus. It handles EFI and GPT, is free and pretty easy to use (see picture below).

Looking forward to see a public version of Windows 10 Consumer Preview soon!

My Acer Aspire One ZG5 running
Windows 10 Techical preview

User Interface of Rufus (which
is available in many languages)

Raspbian unattended net install - a bare bones server for Raspberry Pi

When running a little computer like Raspberry Pi with only 256 MB RAM operating system is in a very important role. Raspbian unattended net install offers an environment with modest consumption of RAM (in my case only 36 MB!). In addition Raspbian UA (= unattended) install is very versatile. You are allowed to edit a single file (installer-config.txt) and tell what is installed and what is not. The whole server fits on a tiny 512 MB SD card. Not bad at all!

Sounds promising! However you'll be doing it all at your own risk! So make sure you have a spare SC card and some extra time. First a tiny image with only absolute minimum files needed for starting the setup is downloaded and written on an SD card. Then Raspberry Pi is started. Setup program fetches all needed files from the Internet and configures files on the fly. This all worked for me. Hope it does the same for you too!

That's my 512 MB SD card.
It's enough for Raspbian UA.
You'll need:
  • Raspberry Pi B or B+
  • SD card (min 512 MB) formatted as FAT 32 (mine was FAT 16 and it did work as well)
  • Internet connection with DHCP enabled

Open the following web page and download the latest version of Raspbian unattended. As I have a Mac I decided to download and extract this file: . There is also bzipped file available: . The Unarchiver did the trick and extracted XZ-file.

There are many ways to write an image on an SD card. You can use command line tools (ie give UNIX-commands) or try a graphical UI. ApplePi Baker is able to write images on Mac. It's easy, free and has a GUI. Read my blog post how to use ApplePi Baker.

Fingers crossed! After writing the image place the SD card in Raspberry Pi. Power up your Raspi. Hope for the best! I had to reset my wifi bridge. After that setup started to work as it received an IP. It took for me at least half an hour and after that there was a tiny setup of Raspbian on SD card. As I wrote earlier only 36 MB of RAM is needed leaving almost 200 MB free! I was able to ssh from my Mac immediately after the install. Remember to change your password. Default login is root and password for root is raspbian.

perjantai 9. tammikuuta 2015

ApplePi Baker writes Minibian on SD card

ApplePi Baker is a free app which is able to write .img images on SD cards or USB sticks. If you happen to own a Mac, give it a try. I needed a light operating system (= Minibian) for Raspberry Pi. Let me explain a bit. Read on...

First there was Debian Linux (for PC). Then came Raspbian (derived from Debian) which is fitted especially for Raspberry Pi. Minibian is a minimal version of Raspbian with only bare bones left. These are the features of Minibian according to the home page:
  • Kernel 3.12.28+ #709 ARM HF (Hard Float)
  • 21 secs boot
  • 16 MB RAM used
  • 314 MB disk space used
  • Fit on 512MB SD Card
  • Optimized ext4 file system with swap disabled
  • Support for both B and B+ version
  • Targeted for embedded or server applications (NAS, Web server)
  • 100% full compatible with official release
  • DHCP client enabled
  • SSHD enabled
  • root user enabled (default password: raspberry – please change it a.s.a.p.)
Does ApplePi Baker work? Of course! Like a dream! First off download an image (in my case Minibian). Then find an SD reader device (I have an external made by Kinston). Place an SD card in the SD reader. My tiny 512 MB SD card is /dev/disk1 (see picture below). Click your SD card. Do not touch the Hard Drive (/dev/disk0)!!! On the right there is a text saying: "IMG file" and three dots. Click those dots and choose your image (in my case 2014-11-24-wheezy-minibian.img). Finally click "Restore Backup" and wait.
Hey! I had a couple of problems.  My SD card was not recognized by OS X. I had to create one big FAT partition on SD card by using OS X Disk Tool. That way SD card came visible. In addition Minibian was tar.gz-packaged. No problem! OS X is a UNIX so all you need to do is double click tar-gzipped file and extract image to your Desktop.

torstai 8. tammikuuta 2015

Facelifting an old Asus MemoPad 172v

Asus Memopad 172v has Android 4.1 inside. Unveiled only two years ago in January 2013 this budget tablet feels nowadays like a device from ancient times. It's slow and is not responding quick enough.

I decided to give my Asus a facelift. There were two things I did:
  • Factory reset. It's not helping much though. However Asus is now the very same device which I started to use year and a half ago.
  • Google Now installed. Every device with Android 4.1 or later are allowed to download Google Now app from Google Play store. The Start screen now has the "Google looks" with 2D icons.
  • Tweaked which apps run on start. Wiped out some of them to save some RAM-memory.
This time a custom rom was not an option. I know how to flash a Nexus device. After reading how to make the same happen with Asus I gave up. Too complicated and I might brick my Asus.

Is it any better now? A bit. Browsing the web is more comfortable than before because pages load much faster. I recommend the above steps to anyone with a slow Android-tablet.

Asus MemoPad 172v with Android 4.1
and Google Now installed

Instead of Whatsapp use Telegram - available for both Mobile and Desktop

Whatsapp is a very popular messenger with nearly 500 million users. It's helping many to keep in touch with friends and relatives.

However the day will come when Whatsapp is down. Before that happens take a look at Telegram, install it and start to use it.

With Telegram you can do exactly the same as with Whatsapp. In addition, Telegram is available for both mobile devices and desktop/laptop computers. No matter if you are using Mac, Windows or Linux - Telegram is always there. Even a web-based app is available. Check out Telegram web page and see for yourself that all major platforms are supported.

Edit: there is also a portable version of Telegam for Windows. You can install it on USB and use it anywhere. Download it here. I haven't tested it though. Use it at your own risk!

Other reasons why you should switch to Telegram:
  • Privacy
    • Messages are heavily encrypted
  • Freedom
    • No ads, no fees
  • Open
    • There is an API and protocol available
Telegram app on OS X 10.10 (Yosemite),
all my friends are still using Whatsapp...

tiistai 6. tammikuuta 2015

Microsoft Office Preview for Android now runs on Android 5 (Lollipop) - see my screenshots!

Some two months ago Microsoft unveiled Office Preview for Android 4.4 (KitKat). My Nexus 7 (2012) received this version in December 2014. You can read how to become a beta tester and download Office Preview here.

Today (the 6th of January 2015) Microsoft announced that Office Preview for Android also runs on Android 5 (Lollipop). I decided to give it a go!

First off Nexus 7 (2012) needed the latest image Android 5.0.2 which can be found here where all Google Nexus stock roms are available. Read how to flash a Nexus device.

The next thing to do was to install Office Preview. I opened Google Play app and looked for Microsoft Office Preview (which is available only for beta testers!).

In case Microsoft Office Preview for Android is not found here are the download links:

maanantai 5. tammikuuta 2015

Using Casio EV-660C as monitor for Raspberry Pi via composite video

There are situations when a tiny monitor is needed rather than those over 15" screens sitting in your table. Connecting Raspberry Pi and an old Casio EV-660C TV is easy when you know what to do:
  • First off download the latest Raspbian and write it to an SD card. In Windows do it with Win32DiskImager
  • Edit (in Windows) file with name config.txt which you can find on your SD card. Editpadlite (editor for Windows) knows how to handle UNIX line breaks and encodings. It's not a bad idea to make a copy of the file config.txt before editing.
  • Look for the following lines:
    • # uncomment for composite PAL
    • # sdtv_mode=2
    • Uncomment the line which is saying "sdtv_mode=2". In other words remove that hashtag in the beginning of the line, then save config.txt.
  • Insert your SD card back to Raspberry Pi. Hope for the best.
The above was all I needed to do. Don't get yourself into trouble. Change one line at a time. Then take a look if that pays off. In addition you can always go back if you did a backup copy of config.txt.

The latest Raspbian Desktop!

Composite Video cable (with red plug connected)

Raspberry Pi is so versatile!