Want to increase the sound volume of your touch pad or the like? This is for units that have the speaker on the bottom of the unit.  Try this neat trick. Take a length of about seven inches of one inch diameter pvc pipe. Your size may vary,   Most hardware stores carry pvc pipe, but you might have to get a long piece just to make a short piece. I had about a two foot long piece already,  Cut a groove in the pipe just wide enough to insert your pad. You probably do not want it too tight. You will also need two elbows. I just used right hand elbows as they were a lot cheaper than the slight angled ones. Press the two elbows on each end. Get your music going on your touch pad and insert it. You should have more than twice the volume without using any kind of electronics with your new megaphone!!

The Nexus seven is beginning to grow on me despite limitations I could easily get around with a linux box. Yes you can install linux on the touchpad, but it is still not a complete adaption last I heard. Then too, you lose the Android environment. Seems that more and more applications want you to root your system if you want to take advantage of their software. In someways that could be a deal breaker, Thought about getting a cheap tablet to experiment with that and keep the Nexus seven a bit more private.First project was to see if I could serve out a gpxe linux install from the Nexus 7.  It would be so neat to be able to start a linux install on a traditional pc from a tablet device. Already do this all the time from a regular server (see the last article). For some reason of the web servers I tried for the android they were not up to the challenge,  Disappointing, but not the end of the world.

There are some plus sides to having the server, You can run html and javascript applications. So you can program your own programs without a development package requiring you to learn system specific set of instructions. Javascript and html and be rin from most any modern web server,  Copied a javascript based tetris game from the local web server onto the Nexus 7 and it seemed to work fine.  You will want to have a text editor on your Nexus seven for doing such projects.

Downloaded several editors. Played with them just enough see that a sentence could be saved.  You start to learn the file structure of the Nexus 7 when you save a file. You begin to contemplate how you want to organixe the files, Since noted would probably should not go into the same directory as the web related file you have created.

Think last time I related that remote desktop clients did not seem to work. There was an update today and now they seem to work fine.  I was able to get on my old XP machine fairly easily. Amazing how realistic it seems to access your old desktop with a touchpad. You forget you are not really sitting in front of the machine, Rdp represents an ultimate way to get away from sneaker support. Wish I had the touchpad as a tech not so many years ago.

Using the ssh application more and more.Though I did wish you dould use it in the lanscape view instead of the portrait only mode. Need to look at the setting a little closer at the settings. Amazing how things have changed since the early days of the eight bit computer. Something which we should not take lightly.

Update: One of the main reasons I wanted the remote desktop application  was to access some linux boxes via a gui. So running ubuntu on my Nexus 7 was not needed. With the update that allowed access to the MSWindows boxes also allowed me to  access Linux boxes with xrdp installed. Instead of also using vnc, means less applications to deal with. You can access them all with just one application.Though the unity interface is not my favorite interface, I could see some possibility of use here with any touchpad.

Works with the Raspberry Pi also.

Linux Mint is kind of taking of the reigns of being one of the most popular linux distros. Like installing any operating system the traditional way, you can run into roadblocks.  For example, you may not be able to burn a linux cd, the machine you want to load linux on has a broken cd/dvd rom, or a host of other reasons. What we are about to do is what is known as pxeboot networking. Another words we will use a web server to get us started with a linux install on a system. Traditionally you actually had to have several servers to do the network install. You had to modify a Dhcp (Ipaddress servers) server,  a Tftp (boot files) server, and among other systems which general required a lot of setup and the blessing of the system administrator,

I tried this with the python web server, but you have to have all the files in one directory from what I could see.I just did not want to take the time to do it.

$ python -m SimpleHTTPServer

I went ahead and used the Apache2 web server. You can get portable versions of the Apache2 web server so that there is not much to install. But before I get ahead of myself, we need a way to boot a computer to access the network. Etherboot led the way in this direction and had now graduated to Ipxe. (more information at www.etherboot.org).So we need to make a boot disk for the computer we want to install linux on. You have severaal choices. For our purposes a floppy will be used. You can also use a cd/dvd rom disk and or a very small usb stick. We need to go to www.romomatic.org to create the boot media for our system.

We chose the floppy disk. Now even though we can use the floppy disk to access the network, we need to add a short script to let the floppy know about the web server we want to use. in our case the script was for oesrvr1 using the bim directory. The script is pretty standard so all we had to do was to change one line of the script.

  echo Performing DHCP on first network interface
  dhcp net0
  set 209:string pxelinux.cfg/default
  set 210:string http://oesrvr1/bim/
  chain ${210:string}pxelinux.0
You will press the customization button to get the text box where to enter the script. If the script is ok, the you want to save it to your existing system.It is usually saved as a very long name so I use the gui to rename it to test.dsk.
Now we need to get the image written to the floppy and that is pretty easy,
$ sudo dd if=test.dsk of=/dev/fd0
The client machine is ready to go, so now let us look at the server. You probably want to make a special directory such as bim in your document root. /var/www/ .
$ sudo mkdir bim
$ cd bim
Now that we have a place to store the files we need to download them. Remember we will not have to burn a dvd. Here is where the files are, so all you have to do is download them directly to your web server,
$ sudo wget http://debian.linuxmint.com/incoming/dists/testing/main/installer- i386/current/images/netboot/netboot.tar.gz
The we need to expand the archive.
$ tar zxvf netboot.tar.gz
Then you need to get the cdrom image file.
That is all you need! Make sure your apache2 web server is running thoough.
$ sudo service apache2 status
Apache is running (pid 12345)
Now it is time to boot up your client machine with the ffloppy media!
In just a few seconds you should get the install menu. Now the rest of the install should come from the internet. That is another article. We have our server set up to support several linux distros. i.e. Debian, Mint,  Ubuntu, and others. Using a standard boot media, there is.no need to burn new cd’s every time a new version of linux comes out.  Have fun!
Even if your computer does not have a floppy drive you can get a usb floppy drive fairly cheap. Since the data on the floppy is so small, it should not take long to load even with a usb floppy drive.. For mass installes we recommend the cobbler, drbd/clonezilla, or as a last resort the Fog software. I will talk about them later.Last but not least you can also use this method to install MSWindows systems..
Watching what is going on in your own home or even at your business is becoming more and more of a requirement for peace of mind. Schools even use them to prevent and or document cheating.  Had to set up the web cams in the testing center where I use to work just to do that. You probably do not want to spend a lot of money at first. If you have a Raspberry Pi ($35 us), Memory card ($10 us) to install Debian linux,  and a cheap web cam (under $15 us), you can set up your own system very quickly.  For more information see: http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads and http://www.instructables.com/id/Raspberry-Pi-Jack-of-all-trades/.

It is wonderful that the Raspberry Pi (aka RPi) is supported by Debian linux. There already so much software for Debian that the Raspberry Pi can take advantage of. One such piece of software is Motion. Motion is a security cam server software than does not require a gui, That is you can run Motion without a gui installed or activated on the Raspberry Pi.

Let’s get your system up to date (might take a while if you have not updated very recently).

$ sudo apt-get update ; sudo apt-get upgrade
$ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Now let’s install Motion

$ sudo apt-get install motion.

Does the RPi see your camera?  (aka list usb devices attached.)

$ lsusb

Bus 001 Device 004: ID 046d:08a9 Logitech, Inc. Notebook Deluxe

if not, you may need to get a more mainstream camera. usually Logitech sets the standard. I just used a cheap refurbished knockoff. Your output will vary..

Do a little configuration:

$ sudo nano /etc/motion/motion.conf

In here there are a few basic changes that you need to perform:

  • Daemon = OFF to ON
  • webcam_localhost = ON to OFF

You can change other settings but it’s recommend you don’t take more than 2 frames, and you been the default frame pixel size, for stability.

To ensure that the motion service will actually start as a daemon we need to change another configuration setting, so enter the following:

sudo nano /etc/default/motion

Then change the value “start_motion_daemon=no” to “yes”

Let’s get started:

Finally you can start the motion service to stream the web cam images

sudo service motion start

Then after about 30 seconds browse to the new web interface, which should be at the below URL (where is your Raspberry PI’s IP address yours may vary)

Hint: if you do not have direct access to your RPi, you can use http://www.instructables.com/id/Red-October-network-discovery/ to find it on the network Frequently I will hook up the RPi to the network without a keyboard, mouse, or monitor and then remote into the unit,

Source: http://www.instructables.com/id/Computerized-video-security-setup/

Note: Most any linux box will allow you to set this up. I have it running on an Ubuntu x86 based server. So an old pc might work just fine without getting the Raspberry Pi.



(Click on the picture if you do not see the animation)

Convert a series of pictures into an animated gif is real easy.

First you want to collect all the pictures together and order them by name in the order you want them to appear.

Screenshot from 2013-02-20 23:00:42

Then let’s install some software.

$  sudo apt-get install imagemagick

Now we ned to make sure all the pictures are the same size.

$ mogrify -resize 640x480 *.png

The let's make the gif. You maybe also able to do this on other platforms, but I have not tried it yet.

$ convert -delay 100 *.png preg.gif

View your new gif.  Great for web pages and education projects.
www.instructables.com/member/davijordan reached it’s first 10,000 views!
www.instructables.com/member/computothought has 104 followers and others who helped us get to over 455,000 views. Near 20,000 views in January 200D alone and in each of the past several months!!. We had 223791
views in 2012 alone. Close to an average of 2000 views per instructable.

 Convert a short movie into a gif.

How to quickly and easily take a short film and turn it into a gif.

Make or use an empty directory for the intermediate pictures.

$ mkdir gifit
$ cd !$

Move the movie to that directory

Create the pictures:

$ ffmpeg -i PICT0220.AVI -r 1 -f image2 %05d.png

The pictures should all be the same size as they came from a movie.

Now let’s make an  animated gif

$ convert -delay 100  *.png  hand.gif

Note: check the documentaion for the programs to get more possibilities.

The movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIpANXRL5ok

ffmpeg for other platforms:


White sauce pizza. A change from the old tomato sauce based pizza.
Good day.