lauantai 28. helmikuuta 2015

How to install kernel 3.19 on Ubuntu 15.04 beta 1

Its' not hard at all. First off, download and install Ubuntu 15.04 beta 1 (link to daily build is here). Next follow instructions found at Finally boot your PC or Virtual Machine.

Why is kernel 3.19 so important? I've heard there is support for touch screen(s) in the kernel. It would be very interesting to make my laptop and tablet, both with Windows inside at the moment, run Ubuntu. Of course I have touch screen especially in mind.

However first I had to test if Ubuntu 15.04 beta 1 with kernel 3.19 worked at all. That's why you can see Ubuntu 15.04 beta 1 running on VirtualBox below. So, one down. Now some rest and thinking. Maybe tomorrow a tablet with Ubuntu inside and touch screen working?

Kernel 3.19 on Ubuntu 15.04 beta 1

perjantai 27. helmikuuta 2015

Ubuntu 15.04 beta 1 is out - does it have kernel 3.19?

Liux kernel 3.19 which is newly released is interesting because of the built-in touch screen drivers. There are many low-cost x86-based tablets with Windows 8.1 pre-installed out there. IMO by wiping out Windows and installing Ubuntu Linux you could get a lasting hardware/software out of these tablets.

The problem is there are no Linux distributions containing kernel 3.19 at the moment. However Canonical ltd will release Ubuntu Linux later this spring (2015). So, Ubuntu 15.04 will use kernel 3.19 but is it already available on the latest Ubuntu 15.04 beta 1? I dunno! Have to give it a try!

Of course it's possible to make touch screen of a Windows tablet work by compiling drivers and loading modules by the kernel. I think that is way too complicated. I want to install Ubuntu Linux on an x86-tablet the easy way. Drivers which are inside kernel make life easier.

Will it work in the end of the day? We'll see!


Download Ubuntu 15.04 beta 1

Install kernel 3.19 on Ubuntu

sunnuntai 22. helmikuuta 2015

Setup Windows 10 Preview on Acer Iconia W4 tablet

If you are well prepared it's pretty easy to install Windows 10 Preview on Acer Iconia W4 tablet. Read my earlier blog post and get yourself ready.

x86-based Windows-tablets are not that different from PC's. My Acer Iconia W510 already has Windows 10 inside. Please read my blogpost how to avoid mistakes which might occur during setup when installing Windows 10 Preview on PC.

These are the steps that were taken to get Windows 10 Preview run on Acer Iconia W4:
  • Windows 10
    • Get ISO by joining Microsoft Insider Program
    • Anyone can join
  • Bootable USB stick
    • Use Rufus (works on Windows)
    • Write with UEFI only option!
  • OTG cable
    • Find OTG (On The Go) cable (USB-microUSB)
  • Keyboad and mouse
    • Find USB hub and attach keyboard, mouse and USB stick
  • BIOS
    • To enter BIOS keep down ON/OFF and VolDown
    • Make sure secure boot is off and booting from USB stick is allowed (read my earlier blogposts, see links above)
  • Windows 10 Preview setup
    • Don't wipe out Windows 8.1 recovery partition - you might want to go back to get final version of Windows 10 for free
  • Drivers
    • Touch screen won't work after Windows 10 setup but keyboard and mouse do
    • Find Windows 8.1 drivers for Acer Iconia W4
    • Setting up drivers is the same as before with earlier versions of Windows
Setup is starting

Almost there!

Windows 10 drivers don't work that good just yet!

With Windows 8.1 drivers - perfect!

iPad with Intel processor - can you install Linux or Windows on it?

I heard a rumour claiming Apple might release their forthcoming iPad with Intel processor inside. Does this mean you can install Linux or Windows alongside iOS? I don't think so but you never know.

Back in the beginning of the 90's a Compaq (and couple of other companies) reverse engineered BIOS which was proprietary, owned and supervised by IBM (if I recall right...). The same could happen again, this time with iPad with x86 processor in target.

I'm sure Apple wants to stop people from installing additional operating systems on their hardware. I don't think Apple makes mistakes in this case. So if you hear someone has managed to install something interesting inside x86-based iPad, please let me know. If x86 on iPad ever happens...

iPad 2 - those were the days!

lauantai 21. helmikuuta 2015

Microsoft won't support x86-based tablets forever - Linux will!

Look at the picture below. There you can see a tablet from Acer (W4-820) with Windows 8.1 installed. What is going to happen when Microsoft releases Windows 10 later this year (2015)? Acer tablet will receive a major update and the owner can enjoy Windows 10 until 2025? Maybe. However there are many if's.

What if this particular Acer is not able to run Windows 10? Or if the owner doesn't like Windows 10 and wants to continue using Windows 8.1? What if proprietary software is out of question for some reason? Are there any alternatives?

Linux and Intel x86 processors belong together as much as Microsoft and Intel do. Remember, Linus Torvalds began the whole Linux industry with one tiny PC with intel 386-processor inside. Read his announcement he made long time ago.

IMHO Linux will give x86 -based tablets extra boost. How come? Because you are not tied with one OS (for example Windows 8.1). After support period tablet is not safe and might even be useless if you are using Microsoft's OS. Linux can help keeping those devices alive longer than when using proprietary software (that is Windows). Of course drivers are always there making our life a drag. However there is almost every time some kind of solution available.

To show you I'm serious Acer W4-820 is first going to receive Windows 10 Preview and after that either Ubuntu or Debian. I've already done some preparations. Thumbs up!

Edit: Yikes! It seems dual-booting Acer tablet and making touch screen work on Ubuntu is beyond my skills at the moment. I'd rather wait for Linux kernel 3.1.19 which adds support for touch screens.

Acer W4-820 on my table waiting for
Windows 10 and after that Ubuntu/Debian.

Windows 10 introduces a new rendering machine for Spartan - IE11 is able to use Edge immediately

If you are using Windows 10 Preview version then parts of Spartan - a new web browser from Microsoft - are already there and ready for use. While we still have to wait for Spartan to arrive IE11 can benefit from Edge rendering machine. Point your browser to Cnet's site and read on how to use Spartan's rendering machine Edge in IE11:

My Acer Iconia W510 running Windows 10 Preview

tiistai 17. helmikuuta 2015

Save your iPad/iPhone photos to Dropbox

It's easy. First off choose one or more pics. Then tap "Save to Dropbox". It's possible to change the target folder of Dropbox. Finally tap "Save". Make sure you have the latest version of Dropbox.

torstai 12. helmikuuta 2015

Windows 10 Preview setup on tablet? No problem if you are well prepared

Well prepared - half done

In case you happen to own a tablet with Windows 8.1 installed chances are your device might also run preview version of Windows 10. Before setup you need to gather some information. Read on and check if you are ready to take the next step and install Windows 10 preview.

Acer Iconia W510 laptop and W4-820 tablet are almost similar

Tablets are not necessarily that different from PC's. An example: my Acer Iconia W510 hybrid laptop (see picture below) runs Windows 10 Preview. Acer Iconia W4-820 has almost the same hardware inside as W510. They both can run Windows 8.1 so why not Windows 10 preview as well?


Make sure your tablet has Intel x86 processor inside. IMHO it's the best choice. ARM architecture will not take you too far and is actually out of question (well, Raspberry Pi 2 with ARMv7 is told to run Windows 10...)


W4-820 tablet has 2 GB RAM. It's capable of running 32-bit version of Windows 10 Preview. 1 GB RAM might also do but the more memory the better.


My laptop W510 has a modern BIOS. In order to enter the BIOS you have to push Power + Vol Down at the same time. Next Secure boot has to be disabled and F12 enabled. Save and Exit. It took some time to figure out how W510 BIOS works.

Windows 10 preview ISO

Become a member of Microsoft Insider program. You need Microsoft account (it's free). After joining download 32-bit ISO image.

4 GB bootable Windows 10 preview USB stick

Try Rufus. It's a free tool (works on Windows) which writes Windows 10 Preview on 4 GB (absolute minimum!) USB stick. Make sure you choose UEFI. Rufus also makes USB stick bootable.


Not all devices work out-of-the-box after setup! However you can download Windows 8.1 drivers beforehand and save them on USB stick. That way for example touch panel and wifi wake up.

OTG cable

W4-820 has only one microUSB-port. You'll need so called OTG cable (On The Go) which converts microUSB to normal USB.

USB hub

If you want (and you do want!) to attach USB keyboard and mouse after setup at least USB 1.1 hub is needed. When drivers are installed you can remove additional devices.


When installing Windows 10 preview make sure NOT to erase Windows 8/8.1 recovery partition in case you need to downgrade to Windows 8.1. How come? Why do you want to go back? Well, everyone with fully working version of Windows 8.1 are allowed to upgrade to Windows 10 RTM later this year. And hey, for free! No charge!

Famous last words

Have some coffee. Mediation. Chewing gum. You are going to move forward at your own risk! However Windows 10 preview on touch panel is great fun! Besides Office touch apps (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) are waiting for you in Store beta which you can find inside Windows 10 Preview (for free!).

Acer Iconia W4-820

Acer Iconia W510 with Windows 10
Preview setup starting

lauantai 7. helmikuuta 2015

Four credit card sized computers - which of them should you choose?

Quick answer: grab one or all of them! Don't expect miracles to happen. However some learning might occur. Read on to figure out which one you should choose.

Internet of Things is on everyone's lips nowadays. The easiest way to join and give IoT a try is to buy one of those credit sized computers and start to learn how to build apps or circuits of your own.

Raspberry Pi

It's European, well, from Wales UK, as far as I know. Many people know Raspi since it was one of the "early birds". Raspberry Pi 2 is newly unveiled. You can use it either as a hobby platform or as a desktop computer, thanks to quad-core 900 MHz processor and 1 GB RAM. You can even run proprietary software (aka Windows 10) on Raspi 2 if you are not familiar with Linux. Raspi 2 is cheap, costing only 34 $ before taxes in the USA. Good choise.

I received my Raspi 2 this week

Beaglebone Black

We have already seen many generations of Beagle computers from Texas Instruments. The latest Baeaglebone Black (= BBB) has 4 GB eMMC memory which you can flash. Operating system (usually Linux; Debian, Ubuntu etc) can be driven from either eMMC (faster) or microSD card. There is 512 MB RAM available for OS and apps on BBB. Raspi 2 has better video specs than BBB. I think BBB is more aimed at IoT projects.

BBB has 4 GB eMMC memory

Odroid C1

C1 is not familiar to me (= don't own one). It competes with Raspi 2 and could even become more popular since C1 has more powerful processor (cuad-core 1,5 GHz). C1 is also very cheap; 35 $ before taxes. No wonder Raspi 2 has a deal with Microsoft. C1 is told to run different Linuxes but not Windows 10.

Intel Galileo

Intel has co-operation going on with Arduino. These two companies have created together Arduino Intel Galileo. Of course Galileo has Intel processor inside. There is not much I can tell about this board since I found it on the Internet only a while ago. All in all Galileo goes to show Intel is there and has IoT in mind as well.

Last but not least Arduino Uno

Arduino Uno (Italian?) is an open source micro controller. It's not a computer which is able to run an operating system but rather runs binaries which are compiled from code elsewhere beforehand (see picture below). When we look back there were times micro controllers were proprietary and expensive. Open sourced Arduino Uno has been around very long time and has many friends. You can find books telling how to get started and continue further. Arduino Uno is very cheap. Get one!

Cheap tablet, OTG-cable and Arduino Uno

Windows 10 Preview with Office touch apps on Acer Iconia W510

Time flies! Operating systems come and go! My Acer Iconia W510 (originally purchased in autumn 2012) deserved something better than Windows 8/8.1. I decided to give Windows 10 Preview and Office touch apps a go on Acer. And it paid off! I'm stunned! Touchable Word, Excel and PowerPoint are my favourites!

Setup was not that easy. There were some issues. First off, Acer didn't want to boot from USB stick. F12 didn't do anything. After some web browsing I found instructions how to enter BIOS (Power + Vol Down!) to change boot order and disable Secure Boot: .

Next USB stick with bootable Windows 10 Preview was needed. Rufus did the trick. Make sure you choose UEFI (and UEFI only!). It worked for me. When I kept F12 down Windows 10 Preview install began.

Windows 10 Preview (9926) install period was the easiest part of the setup of my Acer. When partitioning I left Windows 8 recovery partition and wiped out the rest. After install nothing worked; no keyboard, mouse, touch screen or wifi. I needed more coffee!

I attached an external keyboard and a mouse via USB 1.1 hub. That helped a lot. Now what? No wifi! No touch screen! Windows 8.1 drivers work on Windows 10 Preview. Download them from here: . Suddenly wifi and touch screen were there!

Finally I entered Store beta inside Windows 10 Preview and looked for Word, Excel and PowerPoint touch apps. They were all there available for download for free! In no time I had touchable Office in my hand! Bear in mind Office apps only work on the latest version of Windows 10 preview (9926).

Since my Acer is a hybrid I can use it with or without keyboard. I also have microHDMI-VGA -adaptor so that Acer can be attached to any external source.

Happy now? I think this is the best that has ever happened to my Acer. Windows 8/8.1 was nice but from now on in my opinion the original idea of using Acer either as a laptop or tablet comes reality. Office touch apps are in key-role offering the chance to edit files also in tablet mode with fingers. I'm definitely going to upgrade to Windows 10 final version when it later arrives!

W510 with Windows 8 back in 2012

W510 with Windows 8 and undocked

Windows 10 Preview (9926) install beginning

W510 works as a tablet as well

See Word touch app on W510

keskiviikko 4. helmikuuta 2015

Can't find Office Touch Apps for Windows 10 Preview? Download here!

If you can't find free Office Touch Apps for Windows 10 Preview try the following links:

Excel Touch App on Windows 10 Preview
on my old Acer mini laptop

Raspberry Pi 2 is easy to setup - it's just like Raspi 1

I had absolutely no problem to setup my brand new Raspberry Pi 2. Even overclocking works out-of-the-box via raspi-config -app (on Raspbian). If you know how to handle Raspberry Pi 1 then the latest version Raspberry Pi 2 is up and running in no time!

Raspi 2 running Raspbian

A lot of memory available!

It's a Raspi 2

My very own Raspberry Pi 2 arrived!

Instead of buying Raspberry Pi 2 on the Internet I contacted local electronic store Partco (Helsinki, Finland). It took only two days from the first email with Partco and now there is a brand new Raspi 2 on my table!

What next? I'm gonna find a micro-SD card (at least 4 GB) and burn the latest Raspbian on it. Then we'll see how fast Raspi 2 flies! Oh, Snappy Ubuntu Core is next in line! Not to mention Windows 10 when it arrives later. C'mon, don't be so picky what comes to Windows.

It really is a Raspberry Pi 2! 

Unboxing Raspi 2

No Windows 10 for Nokia Lumia 2520

Nokia Lumia 2520 is a very nice tablet IMHO. I've been thinking of buying one. There are some available at local flea market on the Internet. Today's news told you can't update 2520. There will be no Windows 10 for Nokia Lumia 2520 tablet.

How come? Why is that? Well, Nokia Lumia 2520 has ARM processor inside (like Microsoft Surface 2). Microsoft is not supporting this kind of hardware anymore but only tablets with Intel x86 processor (like Surface 3).

This is something everyone could see before it happened. I find it sort of ridiculous somehow. How come Microsoft was not able to tell us customers which platforms it is going to support and which not? I will NOT forget this! At least 2520 should be open for for example Linux-based tablet operating systems. We are wasting hardware.

Why not continue with Windows RT? It's not an option! If you have a brand new tablet at least one *bigger* update is expected to happen. Now it won't. Microsoft is indeed digging it's own grave.

tiistai 3. helmikuuta 2015

Raspberry Pi 2 purchased - waiting for Windows Phone 10 Preview

First off:

Raspberry Pi 2 is on the way. That's for sure now! I got an email message from local electronic store Partco (Helsinki, Finland) saying Raspi 2 is waiting for me! Yippee! I'll pick my Raspi 2 tomorrow.

In addition:

Microsoft might publish Windows Phone 10 Preview on Feb 4th 2015. We'll see. I have Nokia Lumia 720 with Windows Insider app waiting for a bigger update. Hey, maybe Cortana knows when WP 10 Preview arrives ;D?

A lot happening

So hurry up! A lot is happening! IoT is growing and getting bigger and bigger. Microsoft is offering preview versions of their operating systems for both Desktop and Mobile.

Cortana doesn't know if WP 10 Preview is coming or not :( . See pictures below.

Cortana, please let me know what's up!


maanantai 2. helmikuuta 2015

A new version of Raspbian is available for Raspberry Pi

For all of us with Raspberry Pi A, B or B+ there is a new version of Raspbian available for download. Get it here. I guess the new image (January 31st 2015) includes an ARMv7 kernel and modules? If so then you can run Raspbian on both first and second generation Raspberry Pies.

Both Microsoft and Canonical Ltd (Ubuntu) want their operating systems to run on Raspberry Pi 2

Windows 10 will be available for Raspberry Pi 2 for free. I guess this means we are going to see a version of Windows RT especially fitted for Raspi computer. Odd enough Microsoft won't support company's own Surface 2 anymore.

Canonical Ltd (a company behind Ubuntu Linux) is already out there offering Snappy Ubuntu Core for Raspberry Pi 2. Before this Ubuntu has not been available for Raspi. Download Snappy Ubuntu Core for Raspberry Pi here.

Both operating systems (Windows 10 and Snappy Ubuntu Core) are for developers who can create IoT/Cloud projects on Raspberry Pi 2.

Raspberry Pi 2 is a PC with an ARMv7 processor - support for Windows 10 as well

Raspberry Pi has, until now, been a hobby platform. Using it as a daily computer hasn't paid off. For example web browsing has made many people go mad because of lack of sufficient RAM memory and processing power.

Today Raspberry Pi 2 was unveiled. Technical specifications look pretty decent. Raspi 2 has 900 MHz quad-core ARMv7 processor and 1 GB RAM memory. Alone those two mentioned really makes my day! From now on it's possible to use Raspberry Pi as a PC.

ARMv7 -processor means Raspi 2 is even able to run Windows 10. Is it really Windows RT? It is? Now that's what I call, eh, odd! Raspberry Pi has negotiated with M$. As a result we really are going to see Raspi 2 as one of Microsoft's IoT platforms. Meantime Surface 2's won't get Windows 10. In addition Windows 10 will be free for Raspi 2!

All this costs the same as before; 35 $ (before taxes?). No matter how much that is in Finland I'm going to buy one over here or in Germany where me and my family are heading later this month.

What is going to happen to my two b-model Raspis; one with 256 MB RAM and the other one with 512 MB? I'm certainly not abandoning those treasures. Especially the one with only 256 MB RAM will stay my real pet! If it can then anybody else can!

I have seen adds telling there are many powerful tiny computers out there. Odroid C1 is one of them. So Raspi 2 has competitors which might take over any minute. That's why we saw the new Raspi 2 today!

My Raspberry Pi model b with 256 MB RAM

Meet Raspi 2 here!

sunnuntai 1. helmikuuta 2015

Cortana now lives inside my Nokia Lumia 720

First there were Siri (Apple) and Google Now. Then came Cortana (Microsoft). I had heard it's possible to run Cortana on an old Lumia. Read on to see which steps were taken to make Cortana work on Nokia Lumia 720.

I reseted my Nokia Lumia 720 and chose English as the primary language. After updating an app called Extra+Info the latest Windows Phone update Denim was there automatically! That was a big surprise! I don't think anything was downloaded. Weird! To make Cortana work I had to install English (UK) as the speech language. It took some time to download and install the language package. And that's it! See the pictures below. Now I have my very own assistant with me brought by Microsoft.

Ok, Cortana is nice. However I'm looking forward to see Windows Phone 10 Preview in February. In order to make that happen on Nokia Lumia 720 an app called Windows Insider is needed. It sort of makes Lumia ready for WP 10 preview. Read where Windows Insider can be found.