Nintendo Switch: The First Look

Two days ago, Nintendo gave the world its first look at their new console: Nintendo Switch. My first impression was rather underwhelmed, but thinking back on the recent years, Nintendo hasn’t excited me with their hardware since they announced the Nintendo Revolution. They may have once been a titan in the home console market but I don’t feel 2016 Nintendo’s Wii-U is comparable to the current Xbox and PlayStation consoles. That said, it should be noted that Nintendo’s hand-held 3DS is outselling the competition by at least 15.9 million units. Knowing that their strength is in the hand-held market, it makes me wonder if those sales figures influenced Nintendo’s design of the Switch.
Continue reading “Nintendo Switch: The First Look”

TucsonJS: IoT Workshop with Losant

I had recently tweeted about my completing a course on JavaScript and this got a like from a group called TucsonJS. They describe themselves on Twitter as, “A recurring meetup for all things JavaScript in Tucson, Arizona.” Given how uncomfortable I am with my understanding of JavaScript, due to my lack of experience with it, I felt that joining one of their meetups could only be a good thing. Exposing myself to people who spoke fluent JavaScript can only help me become a better developer.
Continue reading “TucsonJS: IoT Workshop with Losant”

Won’t the Real Slim Hard Drive Please Stand Up

Yesterday I wrote about the debacle of finding the correct external hard drive for me to extract an 2TB SATA drive. With the Western Digital unit having its USB interface soldered onto the drive itself, I was forced to return the drive to WalMart and found a Seagate external drive with the standard interface I required. To quote Han Solo (and a variety of other characters), “This is where the fun begins.”
Continue reading “Won’t the Real Slim Hard Drive Please Stand Up”

The External’s Internal Interface Debacle

I have a two family members who are always on the open road but return to Tucson every six weeks to spend some time at home. Being away from home for that length of time presents its own set of challenges and some of the technical ones I’ve enjoyed tackling. For instance: these relatives have a massive DVD collection yet can only take a practical amount with them on each trip for entertainment. My solution was to liberate their movies from their DVD prisons and save backups of their movies on their 2TB external hard drive. This drive would then be connected to their laptop and would feed into their Kodi media center.
Continue reading “The External’s Internal Interface Debacle”

The Firewall for Your Wallet

I was having coffee with my friend, Kyle Moore, the other morning when the topic of RFID technology came up. We talked about how the proliferation of RFID was making life easier in the retail space but there were some dark sides to it as well. We touched on the subject of RFID in your credit cards and how bad guys had the ability to scan those without you even knowing. It was at this point that I brought up my brief history with the Armadillo Dollar.
Continue reading “The Firewall for Your Wallet”

Home Media Server: The New, Used Hardware

A few weeks after I had moved to Tucson, I found myself browsing Craigslist and I stumbled upon a fellow selling his microserver. While I knew I didn’t need this HP ProLiant N40L server I couldn’t help but feel a bit of envy at the specs when compared to my older Acer EasyStore H341. I had previously written about installing CentOS 7 on the Acer around this time in January and over time it seemed that the server was running a little slower than when it was running CentOS 6.4. Checking the FAQ I saw that the end of life for CentOS 6 is on November 30, 2020 while CentOS 7 stops getting updated on June 30, 2024. It’s a little insane of me to look at the hardware on the Acer and say that the OS that loses support four years from now is somehow inadequate.
Continue reading “Home Media Server: The New, Used Hardware”

Meeting on the Go

Recently I had made plans to visit Ajo but rather than driving there myself I opted for the more economical solution of taking the bus from Tucson. A \$15 price tag for a round trip was hard to argue with considering a tank of gas costs me at least \$40. Once I had made my plans and purchased my ticket I got a call from work asking if we could have a meeting over Skype on not only the day of but the time that I would have already left my apartment. In the past I would have had to cancel one or the other but this is 2016 so technology is on our side!
Continue reading “Meeting on the Go”

What’s All the Ruckus?

A few months back I was sitting at my desk working on getting my Surface ready for the upgrade to Windows 10. There were a few files I wanted to save and rather than copy them over to a flash drive I opted to simply copy them to a network share I had setup on my desktop. I began the transfer and turned my attention to my desktop where I could get some work done while I waited for the files to copy over. It was then I noticed something peculiar: both my wireless mouse and keyboard were lagging on their input. I was momentarily perplexed when I remembered something my friend Nacho had told me at work, “Most home wireless routers operate on the 2.4GHz frequency. Know what else operates on that frequency? Wireless peripherals. Microwave ovens. Bluetooth. Phones.”
Continue reading “What’s All the Ruckus?”

The Age of Beige Case Design

Tonight I found myself planning what I’d be throwing out in this weekend’s round of spring cleaning. I came across and old computer a friend had given me which they bought during the initial Windows XP release. I couldn’t find a manufacturer anywhere on the case and the only clues I had regarding its age were the Windows XP sticker and the fact that it is beige. Nothing says the 90s like a beige PC case. I’d guess the computer is twelve years old since the product key sticker does not show that it’s for Windows XP SP1 which was released a year after Windows XP.
Continue reading “The Age of Beige Case Design”