When Lilliam goes out of town, and I have no one to motivate me to get out and about, I seem to turn into a research junkie. Such is my state at the moment.
Before I begin on my current post, I just did a speed test and remembered I hadn’t mentioned Cable Onla upping my speed. I didn’t request it and these sort of surprises are always pleasant.
Now where was I. Oh yes, researching on the Internet.
One has obviously been related to my TV failure in the bedroom. I am now convinced that the problem is capacitors on the Power motherboard. Monday I will try to get by Electronica Nacional before 11 AM when the tech takes his mid day break.
Next, I have two grand children that are of the age that I want to start immersing them into technology while I still have some ability to participate in their learning process. One is 9 and the other is 11. They are the ones I took my MacMinis to in May. My grandson is already interested and is a prime candidate.
My interest is insuring they both understand the components that reside in a PC and teaching them enough so they can decide if they want to be users or developers.
A new device (or at least one I haven’t paid attention to) is out called Raspberry Pi. It is in its 3rd iteration and is nod the Raspberry Pi 3.
The best thing about it is what you get for the price. $35 will provide you a complete computer with WiFi, Bluetooth, etc.
A quick search on the Internet will find plenty of sites dedicated to projects/reviews for the R-Pi. HERE is just one.
The R-Pi came out a little over 4 years ago and has spawned several competitors, but for my purposes, I will stick with the original as it gives me many more sources to pull from.
If you read the articles, you will see that the R-Pi provides you a foundation for a simple computer. Much more powerful than the 16 bit computer I worked on for Texas Instruments to provide the Navy with satellite navigation. It loaded programs from mylar tape. Things have changed a lot since 1967.
This one can receive programs from many sources and even had a 64 bit processor. It uses HDMI for video and audio, so can connect to a TV of monitor and can use a USB keyboard or a wireless keyboard.
The main storage will be a micro-SD chip up to 32 GB and has 1 GB of SDRAM. I mean this is quite a piece of hardware for $35.
There are several OSs for the unit with the provided system being Raspbian. This is a Debian Linux system tailored for the R-Pi.
I am also considering a kit from KANO. While it is more expensive than the sum of its parts, it comes with enough pieces that you can use it upon arrival. It also can probably get them started without much help from me. It does use a different OS, but most Linux systems are pretty similar.
I have tentatively put this on my Xmas list for the both of them. There may be a competition going on between them and a little competition never hurt anyone. The final decision hasn’t been made as I am still in the study phase.
Whatever becomes the winner, I will also have to pick up a R-Pi for myself. I had been planning on building another Linux PC to play with and this is a cheaper option. It will also force me to do a little studying to catch up on some of the newer programming languages. It appears that I will have to study python. Python seems to appear in all articles I read.
Fun times ahead. I hope the grandkids have as much fun and learn as much as I will.
On another front, my grandson Noah is getting married next Sunday. I would like to be there, but it just isn’t possible. He had been planning on waiting until the school break between semesters of college which I might have made.
His sweetheart is a real doll. I think after he met Lilliam he thought, “I gotta get me one of those”.
They will make a good pair and I think he chose well and I wish them much happiness. The wedding gift is in my research radar. If you have a suggestion, toss it out there.
The next couple of months should be interesting. Both Apple and Google will be coming out with new software and hardware. I hope to be able to watch both of the announcements. I will be able to install the Apple OS, but the Android will be more difficult.
With Android, I will have to wait on the hardware provider and the cellular provider. I have decided my next Android device will be a Nexus because Google insures that the Nexus devices get updates when they are released.
I ordered a few items that I am letting my daughter play with until I can pick the up on our next trip. One was the Amazon Echo Dot. I plan on integrating it into several areas such as controlling lights, and some security projects. The Dot is the smaller and cheaper version of the Amazon Echo.
Its speaker is intended only for responding to commands and not music. I also bought a standalone speaker to use with it from Fluance. The combination of it with the Dot cost me about $10 more than the Amazon Echo, however, the sound improvement is beyond comparison.
My only concern is whether I will be able to pry both of these items out of my daughter’s hands.
The last item I will cover is a new software app I have started using. It is OneNote from Microsoft. It is a little strange to be using software from microsoft and not own a single piece of Microsoft hardware.
OneNote is free and syncs between my MacBook Pro laptop and my LG G4 cell phone. I am using it to keep track of my research lists, my shopping lists, websites of importance and notes want with me at all times. I had tried Evernote, but to get the most out of it required $ and free is better for me.
Well the rain just started and I think I will watch a movie. I have been watching the Olympics as I wrote this and I need a mental change. Mr. Robot maybe on KODI?