Posts Tagged ‘gadgets’

I have an iPad mini

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

I am now the happy owner of an iPad mini. Obviously I couldn’t let this happen without a mention. But… the Internet is full of reviews of the iPad mini already and doesn’t need another. 🙂

Instead, I’ll write about the gadget that the iPad will be replacing. The gadget that has been pretty much everywhere with me since I got it three years ago. This is my chance to say goodbye to the venerable Asus T91MT.

The T91MT is a small Windows 7 computer. It’s the size of a netbook, but has an 8″ screen that swivels to switch into a tablet mode. It has a touchscreen with multitouch support and a stylus.

I got it in December 2009, but it feels like I’ve had it for longer than that. It’s fairly beat up by now, so it looks like I’ve had it longer than that, too. I think the stickers are the only thing holding the case together at this point.

I loved this thing. As much as I am now loving the iPad mini (and believe me, it’s sweet), there is a part of me that misses the T91MT.

Why did I love this thing so much?


My new home server – a NSLU-2

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

I finished putting together my latest gadget this afternoon – a mini home server made from a Linksys NSLU-2 NAS device and a portable USB harddrive.

Why did I want it?

Do I really need an excuse? 🙂

Now I have a full, albeit small, Linux server at home, I’m sure I can think of some fun things to do with it. But as I wrote last week, the catalyst that pushed me to doing this now was wanting something to collect data from my new CurrentCost electricity meter.

It needed to be cheap, small, and low-powered – no point having a server running all the time to monitor my home’s electricity usage if it makes a significant dent in my electricity usage all by itself!

What did I buy?

A NSLU-2 – a network storage link for USB 2.0 disk drives, by Linksys. This is a small NAS device that lets you make a USB harddrive available on a network. The firmware in it comes with enough software to create a network share for any portable USB harddrives or USB flash memory key that you plug in.

It’s a neat little gadget, but what makes it special is that it is very easy to flash the firmware and replace it with a full Linux distro. Plug in your USB harddrive, and you have a Linux server with as much space as you might want.

Oh – and for some reason, people call them “slugs”.


CurrentCost – first impressions

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

CurrentCostCurrentCost has been a bit of a buzz going round Hursley for a few weeks now.

I’ve been resisting the temptation to get involved, because I know how obsessive I get about stuff, and I’m a bit busy at the moment to take on another new obsession!

But last week, I weakened. It was all looking a bit too cool, so I figured I had to give it a go.

I’m a few weeks behind the other guys at Hursley, so I’ve not got much to add that hasn’t already been said yet. Still, I have a few readers from outside the IBM group, so thought I’d share links to posts I’ve been following about what other IBMers have been up to, and add my first impressions.


Using a 3 mobile broadband dongle with the EEE PC

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

I’ve been loaned a USB mobile broadband modem by 3 to try out for a few months. I’ll write a proper post about why I’ve got it and what I think of it later. First, I wanted to share how I got it working with my EEE PC.

What am I talking about?
The modem is a small USB dongle – not dissimilar in appearance from a USB memory stick. You put a SIM card in, and the small mobile phone radio inside gives an Internet connection to any computer that it’s plugged into.

The dongle is a Huawei E169G.

So what’s the problem?
The dongle is supported on Windows and Mac OS. Not Linux. My EEE PC still runs the original Xandros Linux.

Should it work on Linux?
Posts on the eeeuser forum suggested that it wouldn’t be possible.

Other dongles seem to have caused less trouble, but the E169 wouldn’t work.

The consensus seemed to be that:

Huawei 169 requires a patch to usb-storage driver to recognize the hardware similarly to 220… I think that ASUS is on a way to produce a small upgrade package to fix the issue for E169.

And a little Googling failed to turn up anyone who has got the Huawei E169 to work with an EEE PC on Linux.

Still… how hard could it really be, eh? 🙂