Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Getting me some Debian Jessie on the Raspberry Pi 2

I am back with another edition of the Raspberry Pi talk, over the last few months, the Raspberry Pi Foundation released quite a number of new hardware accessories for their beloved credit card sized computer. Items like the Astro Pi HAT and the official display module will make life easier for beginners to configure additional hardware to the Raspberry Pi boards but these are optional items.

A few weeks back, the Raspberry Pi foundation officially announced a brand new release of Raspbian which is the go-to operating system for the Raspberry Pi. While there are certainly many Linux (none of which are Android) based options out there which will work with the Raspberry Pi, Raspbian is developed in house by the foundation and you can be assured that someone has your back when you stumble upon a problem.

Being a beginner slash amateur in the Raspberry Pi world, I still rely heavily on Raspbian to guide me to controlling electronics through the GPIO pins from the various tutorials made available on the internet. Sure, I have played around with Windows 10 IoT Core and the OpenELEC system but Raspbian gives me that assurance about the product that I have invested some money onto. It is not just a desktop operating system but it is a learning platform for me.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

New Surface and Lumia, thoughts on the Microsoft event

The WOW factor

It is like the domino effect you know, one comes after the other and Microsoft just concluded the final chunk of hardware offerings for the year. This special October event comes after Google's keynote last week and Apple's iPhone event from several weeks back. These keynotes from tech's biggest giants has shown that the hardware/device strategy is now preceding the importance of software. Sure, software is still an important part of the experience but today, software offerings from Apple, Google and Microsoft are becoming increasingly similar and the hardware is where these tech giants can differentiate themselves from the crowd.

The thing about the Microsoft event today was that it was quite a show because it’s a long time sinc I have tuned into a keynote live about a un-leaked product. I'm talking about the pair of new Surface laptops Microsoft just announced, the Lumia 950 family and also the Microsoft Band 2 has been extensively leaked over the course of the year making it not that surprising and Microsoft didn't spend too much time talking about it. There were reports regarding the Surface tablets but those were just specifications and a sly description of the products themselves. In reality, the actual hardware part was pretty impressive.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The iPhone effect, when two is better than one

When bigger ain't better

Choosing the perfect smartphone is a tough decision, while there will always be that ongoing debate about which operating system should you be using whether it be an Android, iPhone, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Tizen, Firefox…the list goes on and on. The software is one part of the equation and the hardware will also play a key role in your choice. Over the years smartphones have evolved into a different kind of device, from the initial thought of combining multiple functions into a communication device into an all-in-one device that fits in our pocket. We are living in the golden age of smartphones with manufacturers constantly pumping out new devices and integrating new features into smartphones to make them…well smarter.

Beyond that, smartphones have also constantly jumped up in size, the perfect example of that is with 8 generations of iPhones which gradually became bigger and bigger over the years. The once humble 3.5-inches I now just a relic of the past and the future is with big screened devices.
Phablet - a mobile device that combines the features of a smartphone and a tablet computer and is larger than a typical smartphone but not as large as a typical small tablet.