Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lockitron, Doorbot and other Kickstarter crap (updated)

I'm an early adopter.  Always have been and probably always will be.  The average age of my cell
phones over the last 20 years has been around 9 months.  However, I also have a very low tolerance for crap. While I am willing to test new gear, if it sucks, I won't put up for it very long.

As someone who is an early adopter, Kickstarter is a potential dream come true. You get in on the action on brand new gear at a reduced price.  You get to use high tech equipment before it ever hits the shelves (some of the time).

I jumped on the Kickstarter bandwagon.  I bought in early on a couple projects that have finally hit the mainstream.  So far, I've supported 4 campaigns on Kickstarter.  I've received 3 products and the 4th is a film still in development. So, how have I fared?  Of the 3 products (discussed below), all 3 are total crap. The film is about olympic swimmers and I backed it because it sounded interesting.

So, what did I buy?  The first product I backed was the one I was most interested in: Lockitron. This is right in my wheelhouse for good ideas.  I love home automation and products designed to make our lives easier.  Why we still carry keys is beyond me.  Technology has advanced - or so I thought. One of the features I required in my new car was push-button start so I never had to use a key.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Using Raspberry Pi for Webview

I've been asked to write up a step by step for using a Raspberry Pi (RPi) computer as an Active911 Webview monitor.

- I purchased a Raspberry Pi computer from Amazon.

- This also needs an operating system.  I bought a 32 GB SD card from Staples and then downloaded the NOOBS image.  Step by step instructions for doing this are at: http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads

- Once that was done, I downloaded the Chromium browser and installed it onto the machine. It seems to be a better browser for handling Active911 Webview.

- Launch Chromium and enter the Registration Code for your Webview session.  This saved it so when I launch it in kiosk mode, it simply logs in.

Now I needed to do some configuring so I can boot the RPi and have it launch Chromium in kiosk mode and not have the screen saver come on (I am connected to a 1080i monitor via an HDMI cable for all of this).