Ramblings of an IT geek

Fire HD 8 and Google Play Store

Ok, who didn’t buy something they didn’t really need on Amazon Prime Day?  Just me?  Surely not!  But for just £44.99 I got an Amazon Fire HD 8 (10 Gen) and with a Mastercard promotion a 128GB micro SD card to bump up the storage for £8.45.  One of the first things I tried to do was install an emby client, which proved to be much more difficult than I’d imagined, at least until I discovered how to Install the Google Play Store on it.

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I’d mentioned Retropie briefly in another Raspberry Pi blogs here, but it really is worthy of its very own blog. I’ve always loved playing video games and grew up in the Pong, Atari, Spectrum/Commodore generation, so being able to go back and relive some of those moments has always been a draw. Nothing has ever made it easier than RetroPie on a Raspberry!

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AirPort Extreme Replacement

I feel as though I’ve been here before when I looked to resolve a problem I was having after updating my FreeNAS server. I blogged about it here and ended up trying a new Netgear router. This time it was a Linksys router as a possible AirPort Extreme Replacement, although again things didn’t quite work out as planned!

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This blog was drafted back in April after I’d bought a home rocket kit from Model Rockets. Due to the COVIC-19 pandemic, it had been sat in my office (prepped and ready to launch) until last weekend! In the meantime, SpaceX launched a manned rocket into space which certainly reinvigorated my interest in space, and hopefully a whole new generation of wannabe astronauts.

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For Sale

For Sale

I had a fairly big garage clear out a few weeks ago, so along with my old FreeNAS server and MacBook, had a few things to put up for sale. eBay kindly sent me an offer for £1 maximum seller fees, so I thought I’d get them all online:

I thought I’d provide a quick post-sale update if anyone is interested.  9 of the 10 items sold (the old 10/100T switch didn’t) for a total value of £794.17.  I was hoping for a little more from the MacBook and Microserver, but that’s the gamble you take with eBay.  It cost just under £60 in postage costs, another £25 in Paypal fees and just over £10 in eBay fees, which was much lower due to the £1 maximum final value offer.


So a final return of just under £700.  Not bad for stuff that was just sitting around doing nothing, and hopefully it has a new lease of life for someone else.

Arduino + Wi-Fi

I’ve enjoyed playing around with my Arduino’s (which I’d blogged about here) and was up-to-date with the Youtube series I’d been watching, so started looking for something new to try. Controlling things via Wi-Fi would be useful for lots of things, so I decided to buy a cheap ESP8266 Wi-Fi module and get that working with an Arduino Uno. It turned out to be much easier said than done!

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Portable Monitor

I’ve been busy! This is the other ‘lost blog‘ which is about a portable monitor I never even realised I needed, but now I’ve got one I’m surprised how I managed without! You might be surprised that the seeds of this idea didn’t come from Youtube but from some subliminal advertising on Facebook, a new keyboard and mouse, and yet another Raspberry Pi 4!

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Supercharged Firestick

This was one of the ‘lost blogs’ I wrote about here, so I’m not quite as motivated the second time! The idea was born from a Youtube video, and it got me thinking I might start using a supercharged Firestick more and my Apple TV 4 less, although only time will tell. It could be a great investment at ∼£40 or a complete waste of money!

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Lost Blogs

I’d drafted 2 blogs yesterday – one about a portable monitor and another about Firesticks. This morning I decided to be brave and update WordPress to 5.5 (I’d tested two other sites yesterday which both worked perfectly) but it failed and I’ve lost (the) blogs.

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More tenting

So after our camping adventures in the garden, which I blogged about here, we decided to step things up a little and take some baby steps to become more regular campers with some more tenting escapades!

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October 2020


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