Monthly Archives: July 2012

Shit bike is shit.

Got my bike serviced yesterday, £40! That hurt bad enough. Today the chain completely came off and lodged itself in the axle of the wheel. Three times in a row. Now the chain is lovely and stretched! Got it back on (after much swearing!) and limped it home. Where I attempted to change down a gear to ride up my driveway.

Haha! There was another lovely crunching sound as the chain came off both sides. Fuck sake. It was always a shit bike. I knew that, it was cheap. It was meant to last longer than 6 weeks, though. The only thing they did on the service was change the brake cable that I fucked up a few weeks back at Bedgebury. Nothing about the chain, so I’m guessing today’s escapade might just be a summation of all the little issues put together. Boo.

Now I can’t afford to go and get it fixed again because this week or next I have to pay a £300 halls deposit for university. So much for my new riding goal. Nevermind. I should of just bought a sodding gym membership.

Anyway, rant over! I’m just going to have to go for a walk instead. And stick to my eating plans. Time to record a new episode of The Unnamed Podcast later! 🙂

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Nexus 7 OTG Adapters

I’ve used a USB OTG (On the go) adapter with a variety of things so far on my Nexus 7, including:

  • Wired Xbox 360 Controller (Although, I hear it should work with the wireless one with the correct USB dongle)
  • Playstation 2 Controller via a USB adapter designed for a computer
  • Playstation 3 Controller via USB (Haven’t tried using them wirelessly yet.. I think root is needed for that.)
  • 32gb USB memory stick (via Stickmount, root required)
  • Apple USB Ethernet Adapter
  • USB Keyboards and Mice

The variety of add-ons I can use with my tablet is pretty amazing. I remember using my iPad with a Wii Remote after I first jailbroke it. But wow, all these pretty much work in Android without any major steps/changes to the tablet with the exception of rooting for Stickmount.
All of the game controllers that I tested worked great with Snesoid, and Snes9x EX. I probably use those much, since the emulators on PC are that much better but the fact I can is neat.

The Ethernet adapter is really special. The halls that I’m likely to be moving into in September are stuck in the last decade and don’t have wifi access! I just plugged it in, turned off the wifi and everything continued to work. It was a bit strange because there is no indication at all anywhere in the UI that I had even plugged in an ethernet adapter let alone that it was functioning perfectly.

I was able to play various video files from my 32gb USB key through MX Player including a bluray that I had ripped myself. Various other video files also played great. I had less luck with VLC, and MX Player seems to be the player of the moment!

Been lazy lately, but some good news too!

I’ve slacked off the last week or so since I broke (and have now fixed) my bike, and now that the weather is awesome (and I have the day off work!) now is a great time to get back on the bike (and do some other exercises too).

In other news, I passed my HND with a Merit grade which means I got what I needed to get into the second year at Bangor! Woot! Although it is pretty scary, as I’ll be going in around 8 (short) weeks! This gives more urgency to my getting healthy plans!

I’ve lost around 5kg so far and to be honest haven’t exactly been trying. I looked at the scales this morning and saw 100.0kg which was honestly amazing. This was my first major goal, having started this journey at 104.9kg back in mid April. I completed that 50miles on the bike, in the first two weeks of July and now I’m going to set another 50 mile goal for the next four weeks. It should be achievable, seeing as I generally have three days a week off! 3 times ~8-10 mile ride = ~25-30 miles a week! I want to do it, and I intend to. I really do.

I’m going to start the 100/200 Situp/Crunch/Pushup programs which I’ve been putting off for a while now. I bought the exercise mat which is gathering dust, so therefore I ought to make the effort and give them a go. Some people say they don’t help but since I don’t have access to a gym they will have to do.

Oh, welcome to my office for today…

My Office

First week with the Google Nexus 7

I’ve had my 16gb Nexus 7 for nearly a week now, and here are some of my initial thoughts from this first week.

The device is amazing. I don’t miss the iPad at all, surprisingly. As I said in a previous post everything I mainly used on the iPad has a fairly decent Android alternative and this is definitely true. I even found a brilliant replacement for Goodreader! (EzPDF)

I rooted the Nexus the day I got it using the Nexus Root Toolkit, but I did have to manually download the Google USB Driver from the SDK before I could get it to work properly and then I had to fully remove that USB driver before the MTP drive would mount properly again. (I think I went into Device Manager and forced Windows to use the normal Nexus driver rather than the ADB driver)

Once I was rooted, I downloaded Stickmount and tried a 32gb USB key with an OTG adapter I bought for around £3. It played a bluray that I ripped myself perfectly using MX Player, something I thought (because of the sentiment on various forums) wouldn’t work! Alas, it worked perfectly!

Onto my thoughts of the device itself. I love the smaller 7” screen compared to the iPad. Yes, it is smaller but it’s actually higher in resolution than the iPad 2 that I migrated from! The device feels well made, and mine seems to have escaped the problems with loose screens which is nice! I haven’t had enough time to properly sit down and play a Tegra enhanced game on the tablet yet, but from what I’ve seen of other people playing them at work they look particularly awesome. Widescreen for videos is neat, too.

The USB OTG adapter works great with both a wired Xbox 360 controller and a Playstation 2 controller through a USB adapter! (Adapters all the way down…). These worked out of the box with Snesdroid and Snes9x EX. I haven’t gotten around to testing any others, or the controller support of Tegra enhanced games. Nor have I tried a keyboard or mouse which should work too!
So yeah, one week in I am really happy with the device! As I find more stuff out and explore more features I will post more entries etc.

Tupcast is not dead!

We haven’t forgotten about +Tupcast. Both myself and +Laurence Andrews have been pretty busy (well, I haven’t but he has!) doing our day to day stuff. Recently, we’ve been riding quite a bit and we haven’t had the time to devote to sit down and plan an episode, then get it recorded.
Episode 9 was recorded on Google Hangouts, and is unlisted on Youtube because it was terrible. I think there is a link on Laurence’s blog that I’m sure if you are that interested you can go look up because I’m not linking to it! (It was that bad).
Episode 10 therefore has to be something special. It needs decent attention; planning, sound quality, recording, and release. I want this to be the best episode yet, which means we’re going to wait a bit longer before we even attempt it.
Current topics we’re thinking about discussing in Episode 10 and future episodes include:
More Raspberry Pi
Nexus 7 Tablet
Mountain Biking / James getting healthy
Laurence’s continuing network series
* My prep for going away to uni!

If there is something you want us to talk about, please email us at feedback [at] tupcast [.] co [dot] uk or leave a comment on this post. Thanks if you’re still a subscriber! It means a lot if people are actually listening to us, it would be even better if some of you (all three of you!) got in touch! According to our stats, Episode 8 was downloaded 47 times since June 13th, and Episode 7 a total of 75 times! I don’t know how many of these downloads equate to actually listeners but it seems quite high! (Measurement data provided by Podtrac.)

Switching to Android

I’m quite interested in the new Nexus 7 tablet from Google for a few reasons which I’m going to outline in this post. Briefly they include cost, reliance on iTunes, and the fact the apps that I actually use regularly on the iPad are now on Android too.

I traded my iPhone 4 in last September for a Samsung Galaxy S2 and haven’t looked back yet, I really doubt I’d ever buy another iPhone. I continued to use my iPad, but this might change soon!
I’m quite interested in the new Nexus 7 tablet from Google for a few reasons which I’m going to outline in this post. Briefly they include cost, reliance on iTunes, and the fact the apps that I actually use regularly on the iPad are now on Android too.

Nexus 7

I’m pretty sure I can migrate away from Apple completely without too much fuss, here are my thoughts anyway… The 16gb Nexus 7 is £199. The base iPad is £399, but I bought my current iPad second hand for around £300, and I could probably sell it for that soon (Yay for family!). My current thinking is buy the Nexus after payday and see how I get with it before I head off to uni in a few months, and sell the one I don’t want. If I sold the iPad it’ll pay off the Nexus, and I’m sure I could find someone to sell the Nexus to if it turns out I really don’t get alone with it.

iTunes on Windows is a piece of shit. It runs slowly, fails to sync all the time, and seemingly goes out of its way to annoy you. I know you can use an iPad without iTunes now, but that makes it harder to sync podcasts and the like. iTunes Match is a prime example! If you enable the service, you can no longer locally sync your music via USB you must download everything you want directly on the iPad. Awesome… A major draw of an Android tablet is not needing iTunes at all!

Anyway, onto the apps that I actually need to justify a tablet. Here is a quick rundown of what I mainly use on my iPad from day to day.

I guess I’ll lose access to the magazines I’ve bought over the last few years, but honestly it’s not a major concern. If I had physical copies I generally read them once, put them in the cupboard for a few years, then take them all to the tip; losing access to Retro Gamer and Wired isn’t really the end of the world.
As for the rest of the apps I just mentioned, they all appear to have fairly decent Android versions available. I’ve bought so many games on the iPad that I just never play, so I’m not that bothered about losing those either. Oh no… pocket planes…. Winking smile There is occasional Humble Bundles for Android anyway, so I can just wait for one of those to start stocking up on more Android games!

The only thing I am mildly concerned about is the state of PDF readers on Android. I use Goodreader on the iPad and it is absolutely amazing. Annotations, copes with massive files, etc. I’ve never had an issue with it, and I hope there is something equally as good on Android!

Apple’s new Podcast app on iOS is terrible. In the week I’ve been using it, it’s hard locked three or four times, and several other times not been responsive to touch inputs for a few seconds after the app is launched. Looking forward to using DoggCatcher again, which in my experience is hands down the best podcast client I have ever used!

I realise the Nexus has limited memory (around 13gb free according to reports) but that is easily remedied by rooting the device, installing stickmount and acquiring a USB OTG adapter for a few quid. From what I’ve read so far, it won’t play movies directly from the USB memory, but you can juggle the files around and copy them to the internal memory which isn’t that bad really. I can’t even remember the last time I actually watched a film on my iPad.
All in all, I think I could jump ship without a lot of fuss. I’d save myself a load of money when I sell the iPad, and I’d be a lot less upset if anything happened to the Nexus because it would be less than £200 to replace if it gets lost/stolen/broken.

Biking, biking, biking!

+Laurence Andrews already posted about our latest biking escapade. I’ve made a point to go more days this week than last, and so far I’ve equalled my current stats.

Tonight’s ride was pretty cool, around 6.6 miles. It was starting to rain, but wasn’t that bad really since it was fairly light. I had my new waterproof bike jacket and glasses I got from Aldi’s for less than a tenner so to be honest I was pretty comfortable. Except for the seat, which is being replaced tomorrow! Yay! I actually can’t wait.

We stumbled across a random man on a bridle path who scared the shit out of both of us because it was so unexpected. Apparently he was fishing, but I didn’t see the rod. The bridle path, it turns out, wasn’t really passable for bikes. Of course, we did it anyway.

Found another level crossing too! Always fun. Lots of stinging nettles? Not so much fun.
Laurence taught me a bit more about using the gears properly (it’s been a long time since I’ve regularly rode a bike!) and I actually managed to get up all the hills without getting off and walking! This is a definite improvement to a few weeks ago. I just think about the little engine that could….

as it stands today, I am 60% towards my goal of cycling 50 miles in July!

Runkeeper Stats

Sending mail from a printer, scanner or app – Google Apps Help

If your device or application does not support SSL, connect to aspmx.l.google.com on port 25.

via Sending mail from a printer, scanner or app – Google Apps Help

It’s amazing what happens when you do some more research. Turns out I don’t need the Pi to act as a mail bridge between my scanner and the outside world. Google already has that covered, although I wonder when they set this up? It wasn’t like this a few years back when I did have to set up a mail server to act as an in between!

Now to find something else to use the Pi for!

Summer is here!

Apparently. That must be why it’s been pissing down all weekend. Anyway, I have two days off this week, and want to get some shit done!

I need to go for another ride, I didn’t go after Tuesday last week due to a combination of laziness and work.sadface So this afternoon I’ll head out for a bit, I know I should and I know I’ll feel better afterwards too. So yeah, gotta be done!

As for the Pi, I keep putting it off and need to actually set the sodding thing up already before I start getting moaned at. It shouldn’t take very long, so maybe I should get around to that too.

Gaming wise, I’m going to start Half Life this week! Maybe. Or finish Cthulhu Saves the World. Coin flip time, me thinks.

And now to see Stephen Hawkins grin when he said he lost a $100 bet about the Higgs Boson.

Today has been pretty productive!

I set out to achieve today, and achieve I have. I sorted out my Raspberry Pi and now it is sat on the shelf being productive as a conduit between my scanner and our computers at home. I gave up with email forwarding because it is very easy to get marked as a spammer if you set it up incorrectly, and went with standard network folders which the printer also supports. This has resulted in a very happy mother, who might stop moaning about having to scan to USB key from now on! Woo!

RASPI

My new ethernet cable is secured to the skirting boards, so I no longer have to rely on wireless when I am home! Woo 2. (Boring for everyone else, I realise…)

Cabling

I went out for that ride (Woo 3), albeit not a terrible long one today but that can be improved upon tomorrow. I think I need to get out of bed before 8am, and go straight away. Otherwise the day just seems to drift… and ends up being a waste of time

Time to bust out my Xbox controller and Cthulhu Saves the World!