OnePlus One – Invites and things

During the springtime I managed to break my Galaxy S3’s glass for the 2nd time. I had replaced it once, but the new replaced glass didn’t like the fall when the phone fell from my pocket to an asphalt. Soon after that I started looking for a new phone and came across OnePlus One, new cheap smartphone from China. Only problem was it was sold only for people who had invites.

OnePlus had their ”Smash the Past” campaign, which I missed because I had no need for a new phone then. They were just starting to give out invites to the winners of that competition and I signed up for the invite sharing list on Reddit. I was on place 1700 something, so getting a phone from this list was a long way and it would still be. Then, I found the Finnish invite list on OnePlus’ own forums and I signed up on it too. I was on place 700 something, and then the day came when they started slowly giving out invites.

Slowly, I waited my way to around 250 place. While I was waiting I took part in many invite giveways on Twitter, Google+ and Youtube, but I wasn’t lucky enough to get one. But then on one day I was idling at ##OnePlusOne IRC channel on Freenode network and person called juliank was kind enough to give me an invite. Thank you for that.

I saw that people were selling the invites, which seems little silly to me: you pay for an invite so you can pay more and buy the phone. Oh well, I guess people can’t wait to get their invites for free. Now I’m waiting for the phone to arrive and then I can retire my somewhat broken Galaxy S3 for good.

Parrot A.R Drone 2.0 Power Edition

I recently got myself a drone. I got interested in them after taking part of sweepstakes where you could win DJI Phantom 2 drone, but I missed my chances.

Below is the video of me doing my first outdoor flight with my drone. I had too steep angle, so my drone went too fast for the first time. That’s why the video is quite bumpy.

After this video, I ordered a sports cross from http://centralusdronesales.ecrater.com/. Kyle has good selection of mods, spare parts and such. While I was installing it, I also balanced and straightened my props. Before this there was small amount of ”jello effect” on the videos it recorded, but after balancing it’s all gone. I’m very happy about this. Kyle did a tutorial with hairdryer, but since I didn’t have that I used a heat gun. I had to be careful because too much heat could melt the plastic propellers.

Below is a picture of my drone after I had finished the sports cross install and put it all back together. I’m very happy about the drone and think Parrot has done marvelous job with creating a device that is fully repairable and modifiable.

Kokemuksia FM-lähettimestä RDS –toiminnolla

Kyseessä siis tuote http://www.motonet.fi/fi/tuote/476141

Lähetintä ostaessani löysin vain yhden ketjun kyseisestä laitteesta, jossa sanottiin, että äänenlaatu on huono. Itse olen nyt käyttänyt lähetintä parin viikon ajan enkä ole huomannut mitään ongelmia äänenlaadun kanssa. Toistettavat kappaleet ovat olleet 320kbps tai V0-laadulla. Lähettimen omaa äänenvoimakkuutta ei paljon tarvinnut säädellä, eikä sillä kyllä ollut mitään vaikutusta äänenlaatuun.

Kansioiden selaus ei ole kovin kätevää lähettimen omalta näytöltä, mutta kyllä se asiansa ajaa. Kyseinen lähetin jatkaa samasta kappaleesta mikä soi silloin kun autosta katkeaa virta. Random-toisto näyttää toistavan vain saman kansion sisältä kappaleita eikä pompi kansioiden välillä, mikä on hyvä jos musiikit on jaoteltu esim. sinun omat musiikit omassa kansiossa muistitikun juuressa ja vaimon kappaleet toisessa kansiossa.

What Does OpenStack Offer To You?

It’s free and open source!

It offers a free alternative to VMware. The license costs for VMware are quite large if you are running a big cluster. OpenStack on the other hand is free, open sourced solution. Of course there are some costs; hardware, electricity, administration, OS licence if you decide to run it on RHEL.

You don’t have to take every component that comes with OpenStack. For example you can leave Swift out of your environment if you don’t need storage. OpenStack being open source means you can modify it how you want based on how it fits to your purposes. This also means that you don’t have to wait for your vendor to fix something small in the software that would come in the next update, which can cost money when you can do it yourself.

Storage
OpenStack’s Swift is quite versatile. It can be installed on a single server, which uses only one hard drive, but it is at best when installed on multiple servers.

Adding and removing storage nodes is fast and easy. Add the node to the storage ring configuration and re-balance it. Swift starts automatically replicating the stored files to the new node. Replication is done with rsync, fast and efficient software.

Recently PayPal replaced their 80 000 VMware servers with OpenStack. Their main reason was speed, as mentioned earlier it can take months for vendor to release a fix for something small. Full article and reasons can be found here. Another PayPal’s reason was scalability. They get sudden spikes of traffic and OpenStack can help and deploy new virtual machines to balance the load

Netgear Universal WiFi Adapter (WNCE2001)

I have had a problem with my Playstation 3 and wireless, even though the Playstation and my wireless modem are in the same room, the connection has always been slow. Plus the Playstation doesn’t support Wireless N-standard, but my modem does. I had been looking for a device like this for some time on Amazon UK, but the offering wasn’t good, or I didn’t find them with the terms I used. Whenever I found something, the seller didn’t ship to Finland. Thankfully I managed to find this in one of the stores here in Finland.

Netgear makes it very easy to set up. There is a guide with instructions and the support for Wi-Fi Protected Setup is there too. I wasn’t sure if my modem had the support for Wi-Fi Protected Setup, so I chose to do the configuration manually in browser. It was a one minute job, and very easy. After configuration, you simply plug the network cable from this adapter to Playstation and power it up.

What about speed and reliability? I have used this for little under a month and download speeds on my Playstation have grown significantly. Only once it has started to act up by my Playstation 3 showing ”internet cable unplugged” message, but it was only because the adapter was right next to Playstation in small space that gets heated by the Playstation.

I also watch movies and tv-shows from my laptop with PS3 Media Server. Before I had to reduce the quality because the wireless was slow and couldn’t keep up with the bandwidth required for the stream, but now I don’t have to worry about that. I can get good quality HD over WiFi and the only problem is whether my laptop can encode the stream fast enough, but for now it can handle it.

Overall, it was well worth the money.

Darkball.net has changed homes

My site has changed home. The site was hosted on a Debian server located in Germany. Currently it is run on Ubuntu Server, which is ran on OpenStack cloud at Espoo, Finland. In a couple of months, it will move homes again, this time to Kajaani, Finland.

This change of locations has brought new features, DarkPad, an EtherPad open for everyone to use. Another new feature is a SSL certificate from StartSSL. It is accepted by browsers, so it’s much better than self-signed certificate.

My Take on Creating Windows Server 2008 R2 Image for OpenStack

I started to follow this guide http://networkstatic.net/building-a-windows-image-for-openstack/ since it felt like the best one found from the Google.

At first I had problems with finding a KVM-supported virtual machine. My laptop supports Intel VT-x, so I knew it should be possible. At first I tried Virtualbox, which I already had installed on this laptop, but after some testing, I found out that VirtualBox doesn’t have support for nested virtual machines. The request for this has been open for 4 years! After this I tried my Ubuntu VM on ESXi environment, but it wasn’t enabled there either. Lastly, I solved the problem with VMware Player. Luckily the engineers at VMware had decided to built the support for nested virtualization in their products.

The next problem I faced was with the VNC connection to the Windows Server. For some reason it decided to show only a small area of the Windows Server, which can be seen from the picture below. The map network drive box is cut off at the side and the bottom. This caused some problems, since you couldn’t really see much of the screen. I managed to install the Red Hat VirtIO ethernet drivers, so the Internet would work on it. I also enabled remote desktop connection and disabled the firewall.

Uploading to Glance was easy and there weren’t any problems with it. The OpenStack environment is running on Folsom release.

At first I tested the image with tiny flavor: 512MB RAM, 1 VCPU, 0GB Root Disk, 0GB Ephemeral Disk. It booted up fine and once a floating IP was assigned to it, you could use RDP and connect to it. This flavor doesn’t give you much to do since it only holds the 15GB base image and half of that is used by the Windows Server itself.

After this I tested 2nd flavor: 2GB RAM, 1 VCPU, 10GB Root Disk, 20GB Ephemeral Disk. This flavor gave me an error instantly. It took me a little while to realize that the base image I created had 15GB disk. There is no way it can fit on the 10GB root disk on 2nd flavor. Kind of a newbie mistake, but we learn from our mistakes, right? If you give a bigger root disk than the base image, you need to expand the base image or create a new drive from the unused space.

Windows Server shows the ephemeral disk as offline at first, so you have to put it online first. Then you have to initialize it and then format and assign a drive letter for it. Then it’s ready to use.

The only problem I have is that the Volumes can’t be attached to the Windows instance. OpenStack suggests /dev/vdc/ as a mounting path, and since it’s a path that is used on Linux machines, it won’t work with Windows. Using some other name doesn’t work either, e.g. ”F:”.

My only problem has been solved with a single command. After the command below, the Windows Server could see the empty, offline volume that was attached via CLI. Attaching a volume to Windows instance doesn’t work on Horizon, it errors out instantly.

nova volume-attach 

WordPress favicon picker By Clorith

favicon

Insert favicons on you WordPress site

So, why should you use this plugin over the dozens of other favicon plugins?

One simple answer; favicon.ico

So far, what I’ve found is that all plugins that handle favicons for users all follow the same approach of inserting a link tag in the head section of your site.
I take a slightly different approach, I still do the head tag (Requires your theme make use of the wp_head() function), but I also add rewrite rules to your site.

“What do the rewrite rules do for me, and why is this so full of awesome ?!” I hear you asking?

All browsers today will be going for a favicon.ico file on your site when they visit it, in my instance, they would be hitting www.mrstk.net/favicon.ico, in many cases this will just end in a server error log filled with “404 Not Found” requests for the file, as there is no such file by default.

This means you need to manually upload a favicon.ico file to the root of your WordPress directory, or had to at least. Not all users have this ability, they may be on a hosted solution, they may not feel familiar with FTP clients or similar, or any other reason you can think of that would sound pretty good in a sales pitch.

By simplifying this, with a single input field where you enter the path to your image (or hit the upload button and pick it form the media library/upload a new one!).

Requirements

For the head tag, your theme must use the wp_head() function

For the rewrites, your server must have mod_rewrite enabled (most servers have this these days, but check with your hosting provider if you are unsure)

Download mRSTK favicon picker

Samsung Dive

Samsung Dive seems to be very interesting addition to my Galaxy S3. I had a cheap ZTE Blade and it didn’t have anything like this, I’m not sure if my Asus Transformer TF101 has anything like this either pre-installed. Dive is just so fantastic in a case if your phone gets stolen or you lose it. I have always wanted a program that does that. Luckily I don’t have a habit of losing my phone, but it would be a shame to lose a piece of hardware that cost me 600 euros.

New Phone: Samsung Galaxy S3

I bought Samsung Galaxy S3 yesterday and I fell in love with it. Hooking up my google account made it install about 40 apps straight away. After fiddling with the settings, it’s starting to look like my own phone. 50GB of space in Dropbox for two years is also a good addition to the phone. Especially when you can make it even bigger by referrals and doing the free bits on Dropbox site.

I gave the camera a small test run and image quality seems to be good, for macro photography as well. Even my bluetooth headset, Nokia BH-217 works flawlessly with Galaxy S3, which is awesome.


Photo of our puppy outside yesterday. I was just testing the camera.


Me testing the macro option in camera today. I’m used to low quality cameras on my old Nokia phones and on my ZTE so the quality on this looks fantastic.

I can say good bye to my old ZTE Blade. No bad feelings towards you after a year of use. Now I’m sitting and waiting for Jelly Bean update to land on S3. I wonder how long it will take Samsung to release OTA update for it. Maybe two months, half a year? Who knows. I know one thing though. I’m enjoying fully of my new phone for the next couple of years.