I’ve mentioned this in the past, but I’ll often create blogs with just a title with the good intention of coming back to write and publish a blog post. Some times I don’t, and end up deleting the draft, so here’s just a quick paragraph or two on some of those blogs that never made it in 2020…

Kodi

I wrote a few blogs in 2020 about my growing Raspberry Pi collection and one of the things I’d played around with was using one as a media client for emby. The emby client for Linux works OK but isn’t great as a headless media player, so I’d also been looking at Kodi and different ways of running that on a Pi.

While you can just use Twister OS (which includes Kodi) or Raspberry Pi OS, LibreELEC is probably the best option if all you want to use the Pi for is Kodi. The problem I’ve always struggled with is the best way to configure Kodi for my specific use-case, partly down to the flexible way Kodi works and multiple ways of achieving the same outcomes, some more successful than others.

I might come back to this again in 2021, but I never got to a satisfactory configuration that provided a better solution than either my Apple TV (which is my primary device) or the Amazon Fire Stick HD (which i use as a backup).

iPhone 12

I’d blogged about my old iPhone in 2019 when I upgraded from an iPhone 7 to a refurbished iPhone X, just before the iPhone 11 was launched. The iPhone 7 was handed down in reasonable condition to my partner, and her iPhone 6 to my daughter for use in the house, sans SIM.

Over the next 12 months, my partner did a pretty good job of destroying the iPhone 7 putting a big hole in the corner of the screen. The battery life also wasn’t great so I decided to treat myself to a new iPhone 12 on launch day, even though it cost £1099 for the Pro 256GB model. It’s a nice upgrade on the X, although the X was doing a perfectly good job for me and it wasn’t a necessary upgrade for me, it’s a great upgrade for my partner.

2020 was a good year for tech upgrades, as I replaced my 2016 MacBook with one of the last Intel MacBook Airs and also replaced my ageing and somewhat problematic Apple Airport Extreme Wireless Router with a Synology model which has been brilliant. With those blogs, the iPhone one just didn’t seem all that important, although it’s probably the device I use most often and couldn’t live without these days.

Pi HQ Webcam

I’d also played around with a couple of webcams this year, partly as the quality of the cameras in all of the devices I use on a day-to-day basis are pretty rubbish, and 2020 has very much been the year of the Zoom/Teams/Skype/etc. call.

I think Logitech is regarded as one of the best value in this sector, but they’ve been increasingly difficult to get hold of at a reasonable price, so I checked out a couple of cheaper 1080p options. I kept this Wansview one I picked up on Amazon, as it was the best of an ok bunch, and was less than £20.

The best and coolest looking by a long way was the Raspberry Pi HQ Camera I set-up following along to this excellent Youtube guide and Github page. I’d been looking for an excuse to buy one of these since they came out, but has struggled to justify the cost given I already have a couple of Raspberry Pi Camera modules that I don’t really use.

I already had a spare Pi Zero though, so for an extra ~£80 managed to create a pretty great looking webcam, that works across all of my machines, although doesn’t have a built-in mic so also needed a USB mic to work with my Pi’s. I might blog about this a little more in 2021 as I’ve bought a mount to attached my Canon EF lens to it, and hope to try some astrophotography with it.

Anyway, they are just a couple of the more interesting blogs I drafted but deleted before I’d written very much if anything at all. They probably didn’t warrant a blog of their own, but hopefully work quite well in this format?

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