Technology

Various topics on technology, mainly computers, software, open source, and the like.

The Raspberry Pi 2 as an Internet Radio using Mopidy

Recently I got a Raspberry Pi 2, which is said to be 6 times faster than the original Raspberry Pi B. This makes it more suitable for tasks like being a media player.

Getting a full CanaKit Raspberry Pi 2 Ultimate Starter Kit adds many components for experimentation (LEDs, resistors, breadboard, 40-pin ribbon cable, ...etc.). The price was attractive since with Amazon you get free shipping, and therefore it will be cheaper than getting it directly from CanaKit.

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Quick Review for Kobo Arc 10HD Tablet

I tried out the Kobo Arc 10HD for a few days, because it went on sale for $199.99, down by $100 from the regular price.

As I write this, the price is down $20 further, to $179.99 at BestBuy.

Here is a quick review of the pros and cons. Note that I am not evaluating as an eReader, but rather as a regular tablet.

Pros

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    Fixing bricked Acer A500/A501 tablets with data errors, only booting in APX mode

    When using nvflash or APX Tool to repartition an Acer A500/A501, some people get data errors, and assume their device is bricked, and is good only for parts.

    For example, the command:

    nvflash --bct flash.bct --setbct --odmdata 0x100c0105 --configfile flash.cfg --create --bl bootloader.bin --sbk 0x... 0x... 0x... 0x... --go

    Will output:

    failed executing command 11 NvError 0x120002
    command failure: create failed (bad data)
    bootloader status: failed to create the partition (code: 10) message: nverror:0x3 (0x3) flags: 0

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    Transcoding PVR recorded videos to reduce their size while preserving quality

    Having moved away from Rogers Cable TV to over-the-air (OTA) using a TV Antenna, I needed a way to record programs so I can watch them later.

    For this, I got the MediaSonic HomeWorx HW150 PVR, which is inexpensive ($50 with price matching).

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    Moving from Rogers Internet to VMedia in Kitchener/Waterloo

    This article describes why I decided to move off Rogers for the internet, what options are currently available in the local Kitchener/Waterloo area, and the details on how to switch from Rogers.

    Rogers: Good and Bad

    Rogers internet service is quite good from a functionality point of view. Their technical support is also acceptable, though sometimes you need to have more than one call to get an issue resolved.

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    Technical Debt Crisis

    Some good points on the state of affairs in the web development world today ...

    In the old days there was a respected profession of application programming. There was a minority of elite system programmers who built infrastructure and tools that empowered the majority of application programmers. Our goal was to allow regular people without extensive training to easily and quickly build useful software. This was the spirit of languages like COBOL, Visual Basic, and HyperCard. Elegant tools for a more civilized age. Before the dark times… before the web.

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    How to get Free HD TV using an Antenna in Waterloo, Ontario

    This article describes how to install an HD TV Antenna to get free over the air channels, so you can get rid of the cable or satellite subscription.

    Here is my TV Fool report. Note that some channels are not listed (e.g. CBC), but it provides you with an approximate list of what channels you can get, what power each is at, and which direction to face.

    The nearest intersection for me is Fischer Hallman and Erb St W, in the west end of Waterloo.

    Home-made Attempt: Coat Hanger Antenna

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    Solutions for Android battery drain because of suspend_backoff/Wakelocks

    If your Android phone is suffering from suboptimal battery life, you may be suffering from suspend_backoff problems. This happens when the phone is woken up by applications in quick succession, so it decides to keep the phone awake for a little while. For example, there is data to be sent over WiFi, so the WiFi connection is kept awake, which keeps the phone awake.

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