lauantai 19. maaliskuuta 2016

Apple event on Monday 3/21

Apple will unveil new products on Monday 3/21 at 7 PM Finnish time. At least a new 4" iPhone will become available. What else? That remains to be seen.

keskiviikko 16. maaliskuuta 2016

Will Android N challenge Microsoft Continuum?

What if your phone were your PC? It's possible even today! All you need to is to purchase the latest Microsoft phone, attach it to a monitor via a special hub and start to use Windows 10. Microsoft calls it Continuum.

Ok, there are alternatives. Canonical has their Convergence with the same idea as Microsoft. My Nexus 4 phone has Ubuntu Linux (brought by Canonical) inside. With bluetooth keyboard/mouse paired with phone and a full HD HDMI -monitor Nexus 4 turns into a PC in a minute! Take a look at the pictures below and my earlier blogpost. The only downside at he moment is there are not that many phones which are able to run Ubuntu Touch.

But are there any really big rivals showing up? There is evidence Google might be interested in adding support for an external monitor and windowed applications in Android. This is good news. The only thing is who wants to run Android on full HD screen? Well, maybe we'll see something like RemixOSforPC which combines Android and ChromeOS. Take alook at the picture below.

Windowed apps on Ubuntu Touch

Bluetooth keyboard and mouse paired
with Ubuntu Touch and Nexus 4

The whole set!

RemixOSforPC combining Android and ChromeOS

sunnuntai 13. maaliskuuta 2016

It's time to shout it out loud - my Nexus 4 phone running Ubuntu Touch is my PC!

Ok, folks. I think, it's time to celebrate. My Nexus 4 is finally running Ubuntu Touch on a full HD screen via Slimport adapter. In addition apps are windowed like in an operating system running on a PC. It's time to shout it out loud: My Nexus 4 is my PC!

Ok, there are still many features missing; I have no bluetooth mouse, there are no apps (easily) available just yet, special characters of my bluetooth keyboard (i.e. åäö) are not showing. However, those downsides are not taking me down today!

How did all that install go? You can read part of how things went in my earlier blogpost:

At the moment I'm too exhausted (and happy on the other hand) to write all that happened today but promise to come back! Stay tuned!

Apps are windowed when using bluetooth keyboard and/or mouse

It's a genuine Ubuntu! I guess it's Ubuntu Touch, though

So lucky I found an inexpensive Slimport adapter!

torstai 10. maaliskuuta 2016

No CyanogenMod 14 (i.e. Android N) for Nexus 4? My plan B is SailfishOS!

Google Nexus 4 phone didn't officially receive Android 6 update some time ago. However CyanogenMod 13 filled that gap.

I was living happily ever after until yesterday. Google released Android N preview version. Naturally only the latest Google Nexus phones are among the supported ones.

Now I'm thinking if Nexus 4 ever gets CyanogenMod 14. Well, it's too early to say. It might or might not happen. We'll see.

In case no CyanogenMod 14 show up I can live with that. However I have plan B. Nexus 4 is one of those very versatile phones which can run multiple operating systems. In addition, there is even a chance to build a multi-boot menu with MultiROM tool. I've had four operating systems installed at the same time; Firefox OS, Android 5, CyanogenMod 12 and Ubuntu Touch.

So, what is my plan B? SailfishOS - a Finnish OS! I haven't tested it yet. It might be a bit tricky to install but it's certainly worth trying. SailfishOS is even able to to run Android apps so why not give it a go!

Nexus 4 running Ubuntu Touch

keskiviikko 9. maaliskuuta 2016

Testing Microsoft Office Mix - making PowerPoint interactive

Microsoft Office Mix is an add-on for PowerPoint. With Mix you can add polls and quizzes to your slideshow. I absolutely love this feature. Downside is your slideshow won't work offline but has to be uploaded to Microsoft server.

I prepared a show with three slides. Please try it and you'll get to know how Office Mix works. If you want to try Office Mix yourself you need Office 2013 or Office365 installed on your PC. In addition Microsoft account is needed. You can download Office Mix add-on for PowerPoint here:

Hint: Click lower right corner of the slideshow to enter full screen mode.

sunnuntai 6. maaliskuuta 2016

Your next Android phone could be your first Linux Desktop

Linux Desktop is not that popular among PC users. Windows and OS X from Apple rule. Linux share of all Desktops is ~ 1 % only.

There is evidence things can change. Lets pick up four cases:
  1. MaruOS is an Android derivative which runs Android in phone and Debian Linux Desktop via slimport on any HDMI screen. You can answer calls while editing your documents with LibreOffice Writer. MaruOS is in testing phase at the moment.
  2. Ubuntu Convergence turns your phone into a PC. For the time being when using phone as a Desktop you can't make calls. I'd like to run Convergence in my Nexus 4. Read how far I got last week when testing Ubuntu Convergence.
  3. Intel has developed a prototype which can act as phone and a Debian Linux Desktop at the same time. Read more:
  4. Windows Continuum. You can pick up the latest phone from Microsoft and turn Windows phone into a Windows 10 Desktop right away! Older phones like Lumias don't have support for Continuum. You need the latest hardware and software from Microsoft.
This goes to show the future of PC will IMHO look different. PC will still live but will also take a different shape and approach. As a consumer you need to know how to flash your phone. i.e. install a modified version of Android. A lot to learn!

If you look at the numbered list above you can see Linux is mentioned three times out of four. Android and Ubuntu are based on Linux. And what's best Debian Linux is also there! So your next Android phone could be your first Linux Desktop.

Ubuntu Convergence

lauantai 5. maaliskuuta 2016

Stick to Raspbian for now if you own Raspberry Pi 3 and want to utilise built-in wifi and bluetooth

Raspbian is the best choice for a brand new Raspberry Pi 3 SBC (Single Board Computer). How come? Those built-in new features wifi and bluetooth are supported out-of-the-box in Raspbian.

What if you want to run other Linux like Ubuntu? As far as I know Raspi 3 built-in wifi and bluetooth are not fully supported just yet. However, Ubuntu 16.04 is not that far from final release (end of April 2016). By then at least Ubuntu will be offering drivers for new Raspi 3. Other distributions follow.

Raspberry Pi 3 has built-in wifi and bluetooth

perjantai 4. maaliskuuta 2016

Inexpensive SBCs are slowly but surely moving towards 64-bit world

SBCs (Single Board Computers) are a branch of PCs. At the moment these little computers are a kind of "new apps" like Microsoft puts it. IoT industry is hot and SBCs are the basis of that scene. No wonder SBCs sell millions.

So far, Raspberry Pi and Odroid C1 have been running in 32-bit mode. This is changing rapidly. Raspberry Pi 3 was introduced in the beginning of March 2016. It has 64-bit ARM-based processor onboard. You can still purchase Raspi 3 for 35 $. What a bargain! In addition, a rival Odroid C2 is also out! Five bucks more expensive Odroid C2 has 2 GB of RAM and 64-bit processor.

Why is 64-bit ARM so important? There is one well-known barrier; 4 GB of RAM which is maximum for 32-bit systems. But isn't there only 1 GB RAM in Raspi? True. However, things change. One day you might be running a laptop like NexDeck with Raspberry Pi 3 attached. You'll be needing all the power 64-bit ARM has to offer. With 2 GB or more RAM Raspberry Pi 4 or 5 can replace your existing PC.

But will that new hardware take us to the 64-bit world? No. Software is still 32-bit. I takes some time before we can download different ISO-images for older and the latest Raspi computers. Meanwhile the one and only Raspbian image there is takes care of all the hardware generations of Raspi computers. I like that. What comes to Odroid, I only own C1 which is 32-bit. However Odroid C2 will sooner or later run 64-bit Linux. No doubt about it.

Raspberry Pi 3

keskiviikko 2. maaliskuuta 2016

Raspberry Pi 3 - do you really need a 2,5 A power supply?

Short answer is: not necessarily. puts it this way: "We’re recommending a 2.5A adapter if you want to connect power-hungry USB devices to the Raspberry Pi".

I decided a power supply with 5 V and 2.0 A has to do since that's the most powerful power I own. Only keyboard and mouse are attached. And yes, no need to find wifi dongle anymore!

Raspi 3 booted and is running Raspbian at the moment. I think power supply with 5 V and 2,0 A is enough for now.

Raspi 3 has built-in wifi!

Raspberry Pi 3 arrived - thank you Webhallen

Wow! That was quick! It only took two days for Webhallen to deliver Raspberry Pi 3 single board computer!

There is good...

  • No need to find USB wifi dongles anymore - wifi is built-in!
  • In addition, Bluetooth is on board as well.

...and bad:

  • 2,5 A power is required. I don't have one at the moment :/ .

Stay tuned for more. Raspi 3 arrived only an hour ago...

Thank you Webhallen for a quick (two days) delivery!