sunnuntai 31. toukokuuta 2015

LibreOffice Viewer for Android - learn how to edit your files

In addition to viewing it's also possible to edit files with LibreOffice Viewer for Android. Here's how you do it:
  1. Download LibreOffice Viewer for Android. It's available at Google Play store.
  2. When you open LibreOffice Viewer you notice there is no Graphical User Interface. All you can see are folders. See pictures below.
  3. Open your computer and LibreOffice Writer. Create a text file with extension .odt. Move .odt to your tablet or smart phone.
  4. Find the folder which has .odt inside. LibreOffice Viewer shows you the contents of the .odt file.
  5. If you want to edit your .odt file tap upper right corner with three dots. Choose Settings. See picture below.
  6. Choose Experimental Mode. After that you have a simple menu with basic functions like Bold, Italic, Underline. See picture below.
No GUI, only folders

Upper right corner let's you
access Settings

Experimental Mode at your own risk

Simple menu with basic functions 



lauantai 30. toukokuuta 2015

How to generate an animated GIF of your own and post it to Facebook

Facebook accepts all sort pics and videos. Animated GIFs are a bit tricky. Follow these steps and publish moving GIFs of your own.
  1. Download LICEcap (for Windows, Mac OS X versio is here).
  2. Find your favourite video and fast forward to a scene you want to record as an animated GIF. Pause your video.
  3. Place LICEcap-app window on top of your video player (see picture below). Make sure LICEcap-window is smaller than the window of your video player.
  4. Click Record in LICEcap and save your GIF.
  5. Be quick and click Play (in your video player) and Stop (in LICEcap) when you are done. Keep in mind animated GIFs made out of video are huge in size. Try to keep your GIF as small as possible.
  6. You can preview your newly generated GIF in your web browser if you want.
  7. Copy your animated GIF to Dropbox, OneDrive etc. Make your GIF publicly available and find the public address of your GIF.
  8. Copy the public address to Facebook. Make sure your address ends in .gif. For example: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3636008/animated_gif/alpakat.gif



tiistai 26. toukokuuta 2015

Microsoft Movie Creator beta

Microsoft Movie Creator beta for Windows Phone 8.1 is a super easy video editor. First shoot then choose your video clips or pictures, type in some text and add some free music. All this is saved as an MP4-file in camera roll on your phone. Let's hope the final version will stay free of charge as well. 









video

sunnuntai 24. toukokuuta 2015

Rpix86 - emulate Intel 486 PC on Raspberry Pi

The first very own PC I ever bought was a 486 clone back in the beginning of the 1990's. With only 4 MB RAM it was able to run MS-DOS 5 and Windows 3.1. Those were the days!

I began to dream of 486 PC again. The problem is my original 486 is dead and gone. Now what? The answer is Raspberry Pi with rpix86 -emulator.

One of my Raspberry Pis only has 256 MB RAM. Now there we have suitable hardware for running Raspbian Linux (in console mode) and rpix86 -emulator on top. Off I went and downloaded Raspbian, burned it on an SD card and booted my Raspi.

The most entertaining part was downloading and installing of rpix86 -emulator.

First off I downloaded rpix86 with wget:
wget http://rpix86.patrickaalto.com/rpix86.zip
After that zip-package was extracted:
unzip rpix86.zip
Then I typed in the following command which started ripix86-emulator:
./rpix86
Rpix86 suggested it needed to download 4DOS.COM. Yes sir! Go ahead! After that I got DOS 5 running in front of me! Thank you Patrick Aalto!

I'm planning on running Word 5.5 for DOS on top of Raspbian and rpix86. Microsoft has made Word 5.5 for DOS publicly accessible for anyone. Besides it's free software (well, free of charge only...). There is the RTF-option when saving files in Word 5.5 for DOS. So it's easy to export text files and send them forward (with the help from Raspbian).

No heat, no fans!


Nowadays my oldest Raspi is also my 486 PC!

perjantai 15. toukokuuta 2015

Unruly Windows 7/8.1 users are taken in hand by Microsoft?

Are you going to use Windows 7 until 2020 (that's when the support period ends) ? Are you happy with your Windows 8.1? Too bad if you are! Microsoft wants you to update to free of charge Windows 10.

Windows 10 unveil will happen in the end of summer 2015. You'll have 12 months to decide whether upgrade (for free) or not. Why such a hurry? Well, Microsoft wants to play the game with different rules in the future. You and your Windows are part of that game. The alternatives are:
  1. You are going to upgrade to Windows 10 for free. After that you can visit Windows Store, download and buy apps. Your Windows 10 might turn to something else in a year or two. The next Windows is coming. It's called... Windows. No number. It's plain Windows which updates all the time. You are supposed to pay for those updates more frequently than today. You can't go back to Windows 7 or 8.1.
  2. You are going to stick to Windows 7 or 8.1. Ok, you are able to receive security updates until 2020. After that you have to:
    1. Either buy a new PC (with frequently updating Windows)
    2. Install Linux on your PC and wipe out Windows 7 or 8.1 
But! You don't want to do anything. You just want to use Windows 7 or 8.1. You want Microsoft to leave you alone! Hah! Soon your Windows 7 or 8.1 will start frequent nagging. It'll go on and on. In addition Windows 10 files are automatically downloaded in your PC. They are there waiting for your decision. All you need to do is to confirm that you want to upgrade.

In my opinion all this will be a disaster, either way. For us home users and for Microsoft and it's share owners. My advice is: migrate to Linux.




torstai 14. toukokuuta 2015

What will happen to my files when Windows 8.1 is updated to Windows 10?

Microsoft has told it's possible to update from Windows 7 or 8.1 to Windows 10 for free. My Acer Iconia W510 is already waiting for a bigger update which is going to take place later this year. I hope to receive my copy of Windows 10 in the second half of 2015.

Those were the good news. The downside is there is absolutely no mention how this update is done! Will Windows 10 install wipe out all my files? Or will Windows 10 sit on top of Windows 8.1?

My Acer Iconia W510 has a very limited hard disk with only 32 GB of space for files. At the moment with Windows 8.1 installed there is no room for Windows 10 image. I guess this is the situation many users have. Not too many people know how much free disk they have. And this leads to a situation where no updates are done. Simply put there is too little knowing among people.

Microsoft, will you keep my files in safe after Windows 10 update and if so, will my Acer run as quick as possible?



tiistai 12. toukokuuta 2015

CHIP from Next Thing - too little too late

Raspberry Pi and Arduino Uno are names many people know. Arduino Uno (micro controller) is already ten and Raspi three years old. Those devices have been around for ages!

Year 2016 will bring us CHIP from Next Thing - a single-board-computer (SBC) similar to Raspberry Pi.

CHIP is aimed at makers and hackers. However Next Thing is saying you can use CHIP daily as your primary computer.

These are the specs of CHIP:
  • 1 GHz processor
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 4 GB internal storage
  • Built-in wifi anf bluetooth
  • Composite output (VGA and HDMI via external adapter)
  • Price 9 $ (before taxes?)
  • About the same size as Raspi
  • Able to run Linux
I think CHIP has too little to offer. Besides it's too late. How come?
  • CHIP is not able to run Linux fast enough in graphics mode. There is too little RAM memory available. I can guarantee you it's not fun to run Raspbian and LXDE window manager on the 1st generation Raspberry Pi with only 256 or 512 MB RAM. You'll be disappointed when doing the same on CHIP.
  • Makers already purchased their devices (Raspis and Arduinos...). Next Thing is thinking like Microsoft...
  • There is nothing new with CHIP. Although cheap some sort of new approach would have been needed; smaller size or more powerful hardware than Raspi has.
  • Composite output only?
My verdict: CHIP, you are welcome. Next Thing, re-write Linux so that Desktop use is smooth.





sunnuntai 10. toukokuuta 2015

Running Word 5.5 for DOS on DOSBox

Microsoft has made Word 5.5 for DOS publicly available (Free! Legal!).  I guess this happened many years ago. You can download your copy here.

There is no 8086-based PC running in our apartment at the moment (check the link if in doubt). However DOSBox is available for Windows, Mac, Linux and even for OS/2! So I decided to give Word 5.5 for DOS a go. Follow these steps:

Phase 1
  • Open Command Line in Windows
  • Create a folder
  • Download and extract Word for DOS
    • Wd55_ben.exe a self-extracting package
Phase 2
  • Download and install DOSBox
  • In DOSBox mount your newly created folder with the following command:
    • mount D c:\your_folder_name_here
  • Move to your folder, find setup.exe and install Word 5.5 for DOS
    • type in the following commands:
      • D: and enter
      • DIR and enter
Phase 3
  • Move to folder where Word is installed
    • It's a sub folder of your original folder
  • Find WORD.EXE and execute it
Characters with dots (åäö) are available,
needed in Finland...

You can save files as RTF

Word 2016 Preview is able to open RTF created in Word 5.5

lauantai 9. toukokuuta 2015

Raspbian updated - Ubuntu Mate available for Raspi2

An updated version of Raspbian (2015-05-05) is here: https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/. This version runs on both Raspberry Pi 1 and 2.

In addition you can download Ubuntu Mate for Raspberry Pi 2 here: https://ubuntu-mate.org/raspberry-pi/ .


tiistai 5. toukokuuta 2015

Get Microsoft Office 2016 Preview - see screenshots here!

Microsoft Office 2016 Preview is now publicly available. There are 32- and 64-bit versions to choose from. You can run Windows 2016 on Windows 7 or later.
Word 2016 Preview

Excel 2016 Preview

PowerPoint 2016 Preview

sunnuntai 3. toukokuuta 2015

20 years ago Netscape-browser opened my eyes

In the beginning of the 90's PC really was personal - just me and my computer. There was no connection to anywhere. No networks. However I didn't miss them (because I didn't know what they were offering).

It all changed in 1994 when I received my first email address. How nice! I was really excited! But there was no-one I could send email. Not that many people had PC at that time. I think the service was called Freenet (some memories here in Finnish) which was used via Telnet (?)...

Email was nice but the mind-blowing thing was... the web! Suddenly the whole world was in front of you. Well, back then there were less information (and rubbish) on the net. I remember when I had a chance to enter two Internet-connected PC's at the same time; one 386 and one 486. Web pages loaded so slowly I could read the whole page in front of one PC. Next, I turned to the other PC continued reading. I just had to make sure one of the PC's was loading a new page all the time.

I missed Mosaic-browser. Netscape was the king of the hill at that time - before the browser-war started against Microsoft IE. There were ~ 10 HTML-tags and with those you could write your own web page. For example background colour was not there until Netscape 1.0... if I recall.

After 20 years not that much has changed if you look at the Netscape layout below. If you'd like to give those old browsers a go (at your own risk!) you can find them here:


and



Screenshot license and owner: CC By 2.0 Nicolas Nova

lauantai 2. toukokuuta 2015

Speccy - a Sinclair ZX Spectrum emulator for Android

Back in the eigties there were many home computers to choose from. One of my favourites was sir Clive Sinclair's ZX Spectrum which I bought in England and brought to Finland. My Spectrum only had 16 K memory while the "bigger brother" had 48 K.

Time went on. In the end of 80's PCs came around (prices dropped) and in 1992 I bought my first own 486 PC (ie Intel 486-generation processor). Not many years passed and Netscape www-browser showed up.

However I never forgot those Spectrum-times. Off I went and found Speccy - ZX Spectrum emulator which is available at Google Plat Store. It's amazing what you can do with your mobile device nowadays. So if you'd like go back in time then try Speccy on Android. Of course emulator doesn't have the same feeling compared to the original hardware. However it's easy to take Spectrum with you. Just make sure you have your phone with you!

IMO there is one big problem. Where can I download games? I'm not sure if it's legal to download games for Spectrum via torrent network. This is something which has to be solved. Before that, look at the pictures below and take your memories back to the eighties; no Internet, no mobile...

Emulator at Google Play Store

Emulator on Samsung Galaxy S4