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Apple CarPlay

Apple CarPlay

Apple announced the launch of CarPlay today.  My initial reaction is UGH! NO! and my bias is based with my experience with BMW and Apple.   Current BMWs integrate with Apple and only Apple.  I dont like this. I am not an Apple guy and if i was I don’t like my $40,000 + car being locked down to one eco system.  My cars I keep for a long time like 10 years or so, but my phone i change every year currently.

As a business move I think Apple is a genius.  they are going out and making it very hard for users to choose another Ecosystem.

Automakers are not the sharpest tools in the shed when it comes to consumer high tech so I am very worried about their implementation. IF they take the BMW approach, Your choice is Apple or nothing then I think this a very bad move.  If they give us options it would be great, but that means other players need to step up and offer options.  There is already Microsoft Sync, and now Apple CarPlay.  Samsung and/or Google need to step up ASAP! (or any other serious android player).

I think competition in this space could be amazing boost for the Consumer.  I can see a smart Samsung/Goolge actually subsiding its option to try and gain market share.  $1,500 -$2,500 for built in navigation in cars is ridiculous specially when I have a better piece of tech in my pocket.

HTPC build – ATOM Baytrail Celeron. Part 1

HTPC build – ATOM Baytrail Celeron. Part 1

So as some of you may know I have recently bought another house and moved in to that house. This issues I have been faced with is that I now need to have live TV available on both TVs(and for fun in my office).
I have a cheap discard PC from an office that I have been using for over a year as my main HTPC. I don’t remember the specs, but they are poor. It really just gets the job done. I have been looking to build a new system for the living room.

My requirements are small.

  1. Run Windows Media center
  2. Be able to record at least 30 hours of HD
  3. Run Netflix
  4. Run XBMC
  5. Run Plex

All the barebones light weight systems were either too weak Atom systems or expensive Sandy bridge system.
Well this week Intel launched a new BayTrail/Celeron based NUC. Intel Next Unit of Computing Kit -Celeron DN2820FYKH0 and it was cheap too at just $139.
I also picked up a 4gb SODIMM Kingston Value RAM 4GB (KVR13S9S8) and I am gonna use a leftover 500gb 2.5 inch drive. So my total cost is about $180. If you need to buy a hard drive this is what I have. 500GB WD Blue WD5000LPVX

Everything should be here by Thursday and I will document the build.

Review of Gorilla Gadgets Uhuru! 11200mAh Portable Battery Pack

Review of Gorilla Gadgets Uhuru! 11200mAh Portable Battery Pack

This may have just saved my life.


 

It is early 2014 and we are getting an artic blast here in good ole USA. -10 F and blizzard conditions.I had to drive 270 miles through a mostly rural state.
My rental car has a USB port for charging my phone which is also my GPS. I am set and ready for the journey.

shortly in to my trip the weather and the roads turn nasty and my 4 hour drive is now a perilous journey. Did I mention I am doing this between 11pm and 5 am? ohh yeah I am.

Average speed is now reduced to about 45 or 50 MPH. My once 4 hour trip is gonna be a lot longer. I hunker down and get on with it. On my phone I am playing an audiobook while the GPS guides me to my destination.

I am still 2 hours away when my phone pops up that it’s battery is almost DEAD. Whaaaattt! I can see that it is charging, how is it dead? Well the anemic amperage out of the USB port in the rental car wasn’t enough to cove the power usage or the phone. I quickly shut screen off to hopefully save precious seconds of battery life. I dont have a car chager with me, I am not sure how I am going to make it with out the GPS and now at 3ish am on a country road in the snow no one is going to find my frozen dead body till spring, when it hits me. I have my Gorilla battery pack that I use on long flights to power my tablet and phone.

I wip out the Gorilla pack, plug in my phone to the 2 amp usb port and pray this will get me to my hotel. My battery symbol is still red and my Gorilla pack is only half way charged…. I am not sure this is going to work.
I cautiously navigate the road ahead and try to memorize the next few turns from the GPS.
Then I notice my phone battery is not in the red anymore, in fact my phone is charging and providing GPS and not loosing charge. in fact it is gaining charge. Wooo Hooo I am going to make it.

Pros:Works, hold a charge forever, has 2 Amp USB port, can be charged via mini USB.

Cons: Takes forever to recharge this pack (like over 8 hours), is a bit heavy, it is not clear when it is outputting voltage or not you have to rely on the gadget your charging to tell you.

Updating wordpress crashes Multisite – Fixed – sorta

Updating wordpress crashes Multisite – Fixed – sorta

Today I go to update one of my WP Multisites and I crash all the sites on that install.

Downloading update from http://wordpress.org/wordpress-3.8-new-bundled.zip…

Unpacking the update…

Verifying the unpacked files…

Preparing to install the latest version…

Enabling Maintenance mode…

Copying the required files…

Disabling Maintenance mode…

Could not copy file.: wp-includes/js/plupload/handlers.min.js

Installation Failed

 All I get a blank page.

I pursue the error logs and I get  PHP Fatal error:  require(): Failed opening required ‘/var/www/myfolder/wp-includes/date.php’

Looks like I somehow lost the date.php file during the update.  I am trying agian, but this time I am restoring the who directory from a backup I have.

 

Update:   so rolling back to the saved copy worked fine, but I when I try to upgrade agian I get eh same error.  I have been thinking it is time to clear out some junk so I am just gonna copy the content to a new site.

The exciting world of bitcoin

The exciting world of bitcoin

Ok I have been avoiding it, but I am have been bitten by the bitcoin bug. Unfortunately, I am late to this party, but I figured I’d invest a very little bit just in case it really blows up.

I have not made a cash for bitcoin investment yet,but I will soon.  What I have done is commit my ideling PC to a bit coin mining pool.
Shortly after seeing the fractions of a penny roll in, I now needed better hardware.

A few hours of research and shopping I ordered two different block erupters.  I know the ROI maybe non existent anymore but, I am thinking long term value of bitcoin will be worth it.

New Server – first outage

New Server – first outage

So I have been on the new server for a week now and I just had my first outage on Christmas day. I am not really sure what happened but it seemed that MySql crashed or didn’t come back up.

A quick reboot fix the issue. I also decreased the Log level of my sites.

I have also increased the monitoring on my main sites to keep an eye on things.

Running a startup script in Xbuntu / Ubuntu

Running a startup script in Xbuntu / Ubuntu

So my Last dual monitor fix only lasted till I rebooted the system.

I needed to get the command in to a Start up script.   I created a script called dualmon.sh witht he excat same code.

I tried calling it from rc.local file but that didn’t work   I then just just added the command in .bash_login file and it works great.

also .bashrc file updated