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18 Nov 2017:
android pong denied
I had an idea. It was a good idea and at first it worked perfectly. Luckily I decided to test it before putting it into practice.

My PiCam needs to be toggled on and off from DropBox, which is great, but I have to remember to do it. What if the PiCam just enabled every time I left the house?

Every time I leave the house I take my phone with me. So I can just ping the phone on the local wifi once a minute and if it is there I am home, if not activate the PiCam. False positives are acceptable ...

So I just ran
while (true); do date >> ~/temp/pixel.ping; ping -c 1 android-243f580de23000a8.home >> ~/temp/pixel.ping;sleep 1m; done

and left it running for a few days.

Initially it seemed to work fine. But closer inspection showed that only when the phone active or charging was the ping "pongged". If it was just in the house then it did not respond. Of course, I could unlock it or wait for a background application (like the BBC news) to do some networking, but those activities would have to correspond with the ping :(

I could write an app and install it on my phone to send a request to a NodeJS server on the PiCam. Sadly I have no time or patients for that.

Hmmm, I think the next step will be to see if I can create a persistent Bluetooth pair from the PiCam to the phone...
06 Nov 2017:
printers lies and chromebooks
I was helping Sarah out with setting up Chromebooks for new employees. She has a Google Suite account that means that creating new emails and log in details is very easy. All she wanted me to do was make the printer work on them...

So the printer and the Chromebooks are on the same WiFi so it should be easy? NO! Deep in Google s documentation there is the little note that YOU CANNOT SETUP A PRINTER ON A CHROMEBOOK! But, but you can use printers on a Chromebook.

Yep, very confusing. You must make sure another PC/Mac has the printer setup, again, on the same network. Then go into the Chrome browser, log in to Google and then go to chrome://devices and then add the printer.

Now the printer is associated with your Google account and you can "Manage Printers" on any Chrome browser whilst logged in. You can share the printer with others. the G-Suite finds employees. And the Chromebook can finally print!

What it does not state, is that that PC/Mac is now the living breathing print server and if you turn it off OR disconnect it from the network then you CANNOT PRINT!

You would have thought that by now printers would be so generic that a single network printer driver could "drive" any printer, at least for its basic functions!

So at the end of the day the route to getting a printer makes sense. Setup a print server with the dedicated drivers and using your Google account link the access. But the documentation is appalling, it is all over the place. Mainly because the Chromebook documentation just links to the standard Chrome documentation. Not to mention the funny little UI inconsistencies in the Settings pages.

I can not imagine a non-technical person being able to figure any of it out. What if you only had Chromebooks?

Phew! I feel better after that rant.
02 Nov 2017:
joe presents spain in a blender
Here is Joe doing a presentation on Spain. You may notice a small amount of Blender based effects :)



So that was where the star was used.
loading results, please wait loading animateloading animateloading animate
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