Xiaomi Brand – the Rise and Fall

In my household we have been introducing Xiaomi products for the past six months. Overwhelmingly positive, but not without a hiccup here and there. In general, there is an odd mixture of: quality, design, and value. I say odd because generally those things don't go together. Great price, good looks, and works well. Not perfect, ... Read more

Chromebook ChromeOS Devices

Update early 2021 - Apparently ChromeOS outsold OSX in 2020. This makes sense as the strength of the ChromeOS is primarily in the education market, and that market exploded with demand because of Covid-19 school closures and the need for devices for remote schooling. This is an overview of what Chromebooks, Chromeboxes, and Chromebits can ... Read more

360 Photos and Video

Technology has advanced to the point where 95% of the work in 360 images and video is now done by consumer-grade hardware. For a 360 walkthrough or tour of an event or architectural location, all that is needed is a tripod, monopod, or head-mounted camera, and remote shutter or automatic capturing (every 8 seconds). The ... Read more

OSMC = Debian + Kodi for Vero 4K

I've gotten fed up with the nonsense that is Chromecast (slow, limited), Apple TV (slow, limited), and Fire TV Stick (slow, limited). I ran across the Vero 4K, which was announced in February, 2017. Besides good reviews about good hardware, the responsive and active half-way decent, half-asshat forum (using Discourse), the system uses OSMC (open ... Read more

Apple Battery Woes

Lots of Apple devices suffer from the innovation of Apple Computer, including the iphone/ipod touch and macbooks. Some reality First, let's just say that non-replacable batteries certainly are replaceable. I've had the batteries replaced (with new ones) in my 2011 Macbook Air, and two 2012 iphones. This happened in 2016. Batteries and heat See also ... Read more

Thoughts on Amazon Echo Show

The new Amazon Echo Show looks great. Watching the video, it is striking that the interface appears so clean. This is obvious when using voice, since buttons don't really count. Also, the fact that this is not just a piece of hardware and natural language interface, these are applications being shown. In terms of video/voice ... Read more

No More Underpowered Devices

I've reached the end of my patience for underpowered devices. I've entertained quite a few thin clients, including: Various Netbooks Chromebook Apple TV Chromecast Fire Stick Intel Compute Stick NEC MobilePro 770, 780, 790 (more on this below) Return on Investment The return on investment (ROI) of any device can be considered on the dimension ... Read more

Intel Compute Stick

05-Nov-2016 - Note: I've reached the conclusion that I will entertain no more underpowered devices as they are ultimately so limited their return on investment vastly underperforms overpowered devices. This means Intel Compute Sticks are no longer acceptabe acceptable. The Intel NUC is now what I consider to be the future of the desktop. I've ... Read more

OSX Approach to Cooling

My air conditioner died a few days ago and while it is a bit uncomfortable (I’m in Thailand and it is the hot season, so it gets up to around 34c in the office), it is insufferable to work when a 90 thread kernel process has 90% of the processor. It is really hard to ... Read more

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