maanantai 30. maaliskuuta 2015

Ubuntu on Odroid C1 working - finally!

Read on how I got Ubuntu and Odroid C1 co-operate. These are the steps taken:

  • Download Ubuntu 14.04.2lts here. It's a fast download although the mirror is unofficial.
  • Extract the xz-package in Linux with unxz. In case there is no unxz in your Linux, try to find xz utils in your Linux repository and install the package.
  • Write the .img-file with either Win32DiskImager (Windows) or command dd (Linux). Make sure the image is correctly written. pay attention to this phase!
  • Open a file boot.ini which you can find on microSD card in Boot partition. You can use any text editor for editing. Choose one of the resolution by deleting hashtag in the beginning of the line. Make sure only one resolution is chosen at a time! Save boot.ini.
  • Place microSD card in your Odroid C1 and pray! In my case my monitor only does 1440*900. In addition I was using HDMI-VGA -adapter.

Now I have both Android (read my earlier blogpost) and Ubuntu running on Odroid C1. Those two operating systems are the the ones Hardkernel is recommending. However there are many other unofficial OS's to choose from in case you want to give them a try.

Ubuntu on Odroid C1 feels quick!

I need a real time clock!
There is a port for that on Odroid C1

lauantai 28. maaliskuuta 2015

One down - Android now running on my Odroid C1

Ubuntu on Odroid C1? Not just yet! Meanwhile I've got another story to tell. Instead of Ubuntu Android showed up and stole all my attention.

I was worried if my Odroid C1 was broken. Many other people have had problems with power supply. In addition I was not sure if microSD card was ok and properly written. So many questions so little time!

Thank heavens I already knew how to set up Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black. Of those devices Raspi is the easier one while the latter turn out a challenge (at least for me :D). I've read so many horror stories telling how things can go wrong with Odroid C1.

Android 4.4.2 is available here: . It's an unofficial site but it's fast. The package "Selfinstall" means you can download and write the image on a microSD card. I decided to give "selfinstall" a go. Linux-tools like unxz and dd are those which Hardkernel, the manufacturer of Odroid C1, recommends. First off, extract the image and after that write it on a microSC card. You can find many examples on the Internet concerning the commands unxz and dd.

Place microSD card on bottom of Odroid C1. If you don't know how take a look at the videos you can find in YouTube. For example this one:

My monitor's highest resolution is 1440*900. I wonder if that has to do with Ubuntu which was not willing to show up? Is Ubuntu trying full HD as default and nothing else? I don't know just yet. Well, Android started to load. There was a red LED on and a blue one blinking. After a while Android was there on screen. Android... didn't look that good. But I guess it never does on bigger screens. I'm happy I got Odroid C1 up and running. Now I know it's not broken.

What next? I'd like to purchase a 4 GB eMMC-memory module which is faster than microSD cards but slower than SSDs. Ubuntu Linux is also on the list all the time. Odroid C1 is faster SBC (= Single Board Computer) than Raspberry Pi. I'd like to enjoy the speed of Odroid C1! In addition a full HD monitor is needed so I have to try to find one!

Odroid C1 was connected to router via RJ45

 Video cable: The upper port is microHDMI (type D)
and the lower HDMI 

Make sure the power supply works!

In the end of the day - Android!

perjantai 27. maaliskuuta 2015

How to get started with Odroid C1

What's an Odroid C1?

Odroid C1 is an SBC (=Single Board Computer) similar to Raspberry Pi. If you know how to setup Raspi chances are you'll do just fine with Odroid C1 as well.

Get the image of the operating system and write it on an SD card

There are many web sites where you can download operating systems for Odroid C1. I'd suggest trusting official sites only. Try this one: . Android and Ubuntu Linux are the official ones while many unofficial Linuxes are available as well. An 8 GB microSD card is needed. 4 GB is not enough.

Make sure you extract the image by using unzx (on Linux) or other proper software. Otherwise you might end up using corrupted image which doesn't work. In addition write the image on SD card using the Linux command dd or Win32DiskImager (on Windows). There is also the possibility to use eMMC memory which is faster than an SD card. Unfortunately I don't own eMMC module so that issue is beyond this blog post.


You can't power up Odroid C1 using USB ports. A power with the following specs is needed; DC 5V 2A. Fortunately they are not that expensive. You'd better take Odroid C1 with you to the store when choosing the right power device. The head of the jack is very tiny and circle shaped.


Find a microHDMI (type D)-HDMI -cable or microHDMI-VGA respectively. Not all cables work out-of-the-box. Read how I got Raspberry Pi with Hewlett-Packard HDMI-VGA adapter working.


There is a built-in RJ45 port on board. If you own a wifi USB adapter or two which work on Raspberry Pi and Raspbian, give those a try on Odroid C1. Keep in mind USB ports might not be powerful enough. Additional USB hub with own power is not a bad idea.

That's it then?

Well, I've gotten this far. Stay tuned for more information!

My Odroid C1 at home ready for some action!

keskiviikko 25. maaliskuuta 2015

It's time for Google to pay

No rumours coming ;P! It's just that I've earned almost 70 euros via clicks of the ads you people out there have made! Every time you earn over 70 euros you have a chance to receive money. So it's time for Google to pay. Well, it'll take at least until May before money arrives.

In Finland where I live you have to tell the taxman that you've earned money via your blog. I'm going to print the receipt from Google and pass it to the taxman.

My family wants me to take them out for a dinner. Ok. I promise. Last time we went to Japanese restaurant.

sunnuntai 22. maaliskuuta 2015

You can switch off Secure Boot also in the future - thank heavens we have Windows 7!

If you buy a new PC with Windows 8.1 pre-installed, you might be surprised to hear it's not that easy to install Linux alongside Windows. There is this new kind of BIOS called UEFI with Secure Boot feature which makes things complicated.

Some even say it will be impossible to install Linux on PC's with UEFI and Secure boot feature. You see, it's up to manufacturers whether they let you switch off/on Secure Boot. In other words: If you can't disable Secure Boot, you can't install Linux. Well, I'm not 100 % sure about that though.

However there is one thing that makes things straightforward. Here it comes: Windows 7 will be around for the next five years. During that time especially enterprises will be buying PC's and installing - Windows 7! IMO most of the manufacturers will leave UEFI open so that it's possible to switch Secure Boot off. Windows 7 will operate just fine if the good old BIOS is there. In case of Secure Boot switch it off and install Windows 7.

You do want to run Ubuntu on an x86-tablet, dont' you?

Odroid C1 on the way

Is Odroid C1 yet another SBC (= Single Board Computer)? Well, next week my copy of that Raspberry Pi challenger will arrive. Until then there is only speculation in the air ;D.

One very important piece of hardware is missing though. Odroid has the ability to run operating systen from eMMC-memory. My Odroid C1 will NOT have that memory with the package. I have to try to find eMMC separately. However, microSD-card slot is there so Ubuntu or some other Linux will soon be up and running.

It will be interesting to compare Odroid C1 and Raspberry Pi. The latter is more famous. Odroid C1 also has it's fans around the world. I'm sure both devices have much to offer since we are living the times of IoT at the moment.

IoT Helsinki meeting earlier this year - Odroid was there, too

keskiviikko 18. maaliskuuta 2015

3D VR glasses made of cardboard - cheap and functional

They are made of cardboard. They are cheap costing 9 euros including postage. Cardboard glasses are for the rest of us with no money for expensive devices like the Oculus Rift.

Do they work? They do once assembled (took a while to figure out, IKEA-style, sigh...). The idea is to use your mobile phone and place it inside the cardboard box. With an app from Google called Cardboard (available in Google Play Store) you can enjoy 3D and VR (=Virtual Reality) music videos, games and even films. I guess it's also possible to create 3D-material of your own (additional hardware might be needed though).

Are my glasses made by Google? No. I can't find any name or trademark on them. However it doesn't matter as long as they work with my Nexus 4. The glasses are compatible with the following phones:
  • Google Nexus 4
  • Google Nexus 5
  • Samsung Galaxy S4
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus
  • Motorola Moto X
How do you use them? First off place your mobile phone inside the cardboard box (see pictures below). Next launch the app Cardboard which will guide you further (or you'd better start your app first I guess...). Keep in mind all those 3D/VR apps take a lot of space! My Nexus 4 with only 8 GB memory is not that good platform for Google Cardboard :D. I have delete one app and download another...


Pieces of cardboard?

 You place your mobile phone inside the cardboard box

See those two lenses? They make the picture 
on screen of your phone look bigger 

tiistai 10. maaliskuuta 2015

Nexus 7 wifi (2012) is so much faster with CyanogenMod 12 inside

Nexus 7 wifi (2012) "grouper" did receive a major update last autumn - Android 5 Lollipop. Off I went and flashed my Nexus immediately. The Graphical User Interface was nice but the performance was not. Chrome web browser felt almost useless, well, laggy at least.

I decided to give CyanogenMod 12 (= free version of Android 5) a try. Studying occured! I had to figure out how to install ClockWorkMod ROM-manager. After that it was easy to transfer CyanogenMod 12 as a zip-package from Ubuntu Linux to Nexus 7 via USB-cable.

CyanogenMod 12 feels so quick! Much quicker than Android 5! There is an additional Google-apps-package available. I don't want to install it! All I need is a web browser which is able to enter the services I need; Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, news sites. I try to avoid additional apps and don't want to download apps from Google Play -store.

I wonder how long my Nexus 7 will be supported in the future? Will CyanogenMod 13 ever become available for Nexus 7? Is Microsoft really going to purchase CyanogenMod? Tricky!

CyanogenMod 12

It's not an android?

HDMI to VGA -adapter from HP works with Raspberry Pi

Hewlett-Packard HDMI to VGA -adapter seems to work with Raspberry Pi. It's a bit pricy accessory but I needed one; at local store ( in Finland 29,90 €. They let me get my money back if adapter doesn't work with Raspberry Pi. I have 14 days to decide whether keep it or not.

My test environment:
- rusty old Samsung TV with VGA port (max. 1440*900)
- Raspberry Pi B 256 MB
- Latest Raspbian
- passive USB-hub
- keyboard and mouse

I had to pick up the right source first. Samsung does not do it for me automatically. After that picture was to the right. There was a 5 cm black stripe on the left. I had to fix that manually. There was an automated fixing though. It helped a lot.

Can I trust HP's HDMI to VGA -adapter? What if I want to show Raspberry Pi to a bigger audience and there is no way to adjust the screen? Well, I'd rather not see myself in a situation like that. For hobby purposes at home HP's adapter suits my needs.

A bit pricy but it does what it promises

Keep in mind that there is no sound if adapter is used

100 Mbit/s at home - ten times faster than yesterday

There are situations when my daughter and wife among myself try to see and hear what different channels and medias have to say on the Internet at the same time. That's why 100 Mbit/s is arriving tomorrow.

We started ~12 years ago and purchased an Internet connection which was always on. The speed at that time was only 100 Kbit/s (0,1 Mbit/s). It took ages to download 700 MB ISO-image (Linux). Usually that happened at night when other family members were sleeping and I got the whole connection for myself ;D.

Since then speed limits have varied. After 0,1 Mbit/s came 1 Mbit/s. That was fast! Next in line there was 10 Mbit/s which I'm using at the moment. If I lived alone, 10 Mbit/s would do. For a whole family it's not enough. 100 Mbit/s sounds like heaven but I guess we get used to it very soon ;P.

You want to know how expensive this 100 Mbit/s connection is? Well, I live in Helsinki Finland Europe. My operator is DNA-Welho. I pay 19,90 €/month for the first six months and after that 34,90 €/month. On top of that I get 4G SIM card with no data limit (no MMS's neither talk) which I can use if for some reason Internet connection is not working at home. 4G card works everywhere in Finland. Even in Lapland.

What next? There is even faster connection available; 350 Mbit/s. It's only ten euros more expensive than 100 Mbit/s connection. I think I'll wait until 1 Gbit/s is there and the price has come down. Then it's time to upgrade again. It'll probably take another 10 years? That remains to see.

New cable modem ready for unboxing...

maanantai 9. maaliskuuta 2015

Apple Event - tonite at 7 PM Finnish time

Aim your browser here tonight if you are interested to hear what Apple has to say: . Apple Watch will be there among other news.

How do I know Apple starts at 7 PM Finnish time? There is a .ics -file available (see above web address). Follow these instructions and import event to your Google Calendar:

Windows users! Remember Apple event is a no-go! You need an Apple product like a computer or a phone/tablet in order to see the live broadcast. Don't have Apple device? You can always follow these accounts on Twitter: @wired and @gadgetlab .

My Sony still going strong!

lauantai 7. maaliskuuta 2015

SailfishOS on Nexus 7 wifi (2012) grouper - my tablet is like a painting!

Jolla tablet is not available just yet (March 2015). However Nexus 7 wifi (2012) grouper is able to run SailfishOS. See picture below.

The install process has many phases and details:
I'm very happy that the install succeeded. SailfishOS has it's roots in MeeGo (= OS developed by Nokia). Somehow I feel I'm not tied up with the giants like Google or Apple anymore. Ever since Nokia sold their mobile phone business to Microsoft there really has not been any European alternative available. Well, now there is!

The version of SailfishOS I'm using is very old. It can't be updated. So it's for evaluation purpose only. However later this year Jolla will start to deliver their own tablet with SailfishOS 2.0 inside. 

Please remember the following: In case you want to run SailfishOS on Nexus 7 you do flashing at your own risk! You might brick your tablet forever!

My Nexus 7 is so cute!

perjantai 6. maaliskuuta 2015

Microsoft Office 2016 Preview for Mac available - for free!

Microsoft has released a preview version of Microsoft Office for Mac. You can download it for free here: .

Torrent (not Microsoft official) is here:

Office 2016 for Mac includes: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote. The GUI looks very much the same as in Office 2013 (for Windows). Office 2016 for Mac runs on OS X 10.10 Yosemite.

maanantai 2. maaliskuuta 2015

See Ubuntu 15.04 beta 1 on Acer Iconia W4 (x86) -tablet

Look at the video below. There you can see Acer Iconia W4-820 which runs Ubuntu 15.04 beta 1 from USB stick in live mode.

USB stick is made in Rufus (choose GPT for UEFI -option). Secure boot is off. From now on I don't know how to continue :/ . I'd so much like to wipe Windows out. Installing is no problem. Boot loader is... or I just have no clue ;D. More chewing gum and black coffee!

The screen keeps flickering when using Ubuntu on Acer. I guess downgrading to 14.10 or 14.04 might help? However no extra drivers were needed. Touch screen worked out-of-the-box! Downside is there was neither wifi nor sound.