tiistai 25. elokuuta 2015

Paying with Bitcoin in K-market Mansku (Helsinki, Finland)

Hey Lidl, beat this!

In Helsinki, Finland there are not too many stores which accept Bitcoin. However, according to bitcoin map service from Bittiraha.fi three groceries (K-market Mansku, K-market Pietari and K-market Jätkäsaari) all handle Bitcoin. This was something I wanted to try!

Getting ready

Off I went and reactivated my bitcoin wallet which has been lying on the Internet for ages with no use at all. Ok, password was not forgotten. What a good start!

My bitcoin wallet

After re-opening my wallet I realized there was hardly any money left. There are many places in Helsinki where you can exchange euros to bitcoins. One of them is in Levykauppa äx. It's a record store in Asematunneli near railway station and subway. I've been there once and exchanged 5 euros to bitcoins. There are instructions available and the stuff of the store helps if needed. Just make sure you have some euros and bitcoin wallet with you and you remember the password of your wallet.

Levykauppa äx (Record store X), Asematunneli, Helsinki

Exchanging euros to bitcoins
in Levykauppa äx

Paying in K-market Mansku with bitcoin

I was ready to enter the grocery K-market Mansku. Since I wanted to give the cashier and myself some time to figure out how to pay with Bitcoin I chose the early morning hours with less people in the store. 

K-market Mansku is not that far away from my home

Paying with Bitcoin was easy. Cashier had a tablet with a QR-code. All I needed to do was to scan the code using my wallet and tap Send. Watch the video below. It explains (in Finnish) what happened during the transaction.

Paying with Bitcoin really is easy!

sunnuntai 16. elokuuta 2015

Pano2VR - converting a panorama pic into Google Cardboard VR

In short, it's possible to convert a panorama pic taken with Google Camera app into virtual reality (VR360) which is compatible with Google Cardboard. Here's how you do it:

  • If you happen to own an Android based mobile phone then download Google Camera app. It's available in Google Play store and it's free. In Nexus-phone Google Camera might already be there.
  • Find a place where it's possible to turn around 360 degrees and you want shoot your panorama pic. I chose the option "Panorama" but I guess "Photo Sphere" is also possible (which I haven't tested it yet!).
    • Taking panorama pics is easy when you know how to do it ;D. 
    • Move your phone slowly from one "ball" to another. Those "balls" appear on the screen of your mobile phone.
    • When done a panorama pic is generated and saved.
  • Copy your newly made panorama pic from your phone to your computer. My pic was ~ 5 MB.
  • Download and install an app called PANO2VR. It's available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. In addition it's free for testing. I chose the latest beta version.
    • Tap Input and find your panorama pic. Then choose Convert Input.
    • Choose TIFF as output (=Format) and "Convert".
  • The resulted files are big. My TIFF was ~ 450 MB.
  • Install Cardboard app from Google Play store to your mobile phone. 
  • Copy TIFF to your Android phone.
  • Find a folder called "Cardboard".
    • That's the place for the TIFFs,
    • Make sure you don't run out of free space in your phone! Delete TIFFs you don't need anymore!
  • In Cardboard app choose "Cardboard Demos" and then "Photosphere". Your TIFF should show up.
    • Place your phone inside the cardboard glasses and enjoy.
Look for Panorama in your
Google Camera app.

Open your panorama pic in PANO2VR (Input)
and then start to convert your pic (Convert input).

Choose TIFF and Convert.

Choose Cardboard Demos.

Choose Photo Sphere.


lauantai 8. elokuuta 2015

Delete Windows 10 setup files - save disk space

In case you upgraded from Windows 7/8.1 to Windows 10 then there are extra files on your hard disk only wasting your hard disk space. Look for Disk Cleanup utility to delete files unneeded.

If you are sure you are NOT going back and are NEVER going to downgrade to Windows 7/8.1 then it's possible to save even more. Windows 7/8.1 recovery files are there on hard disk waiting to be deleted. Before doing anything, have some coffee and think about it. There is no coming back! Remember you delete your files at your own risk!

My Acer W4-820 only has 32 GB eMMC memory (i.e. my hard disk is 32 GB). I was able to free 7 GB of memory for other apps or files. Acer hard disk use came down from approx 25 GB to 18 GB. That's not too bad. On the other hand I can't downgrade to Windows 8.1 anymore. However, that doesn't matter. I'm pleased with Windows 10 on Acer W4-820.

perjantai 7. elokuuta 2015

Disable Windows 10 tracking - download a handy tool

Windows 10 has a feature called "Telemetry" which collects all sorts of user activity and sends it to Microsoft. And it's on by default! In addition there is a bunch of other tools which do similar tasks inside your shiny new operating system.

What can you do? A handy tool has been developed to disable all the tracking! All you need to do is download an .EXE and run it (as administrator!). You can either disable or even delete services which do tracking. Look at an animated GIF below.

Warning! You run EXE-file at your own risk!


maanantai 3. elokuuta 2015

Windows 10 updates via Microsoft P2P as default - disable it!

Windows 10 has arrived! You can write boot stick of your own or force your PC to begin to install Windows 10. After setup Microsoft offers mobile versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint - for free! But are there free lunches?

Did you know your Internet access is used by Microsoft. Your Windows 10 -based PC acts as a peer and sends update packages to other Windows 10 users in the neighbourhood. Windows 10 PCs create sort of global P2P network.

Only two months ago I upgraded my Internet connection at home from 10 Mbit/s to 100 Mbit/s. We are three people living under the same roof and we needed some extra speed because of all the video streams (for example YouTube).

My concern is P2P feature inside Windows 10. I don't want to hear that moaning from my daughter saying the Internet is stuck! So let's turn P2P off! It goes like this:
  1. Find Windows Update in your Windows 10.
  2. You should now see Advanced options.
  3. Then click Choose how updates are delivered.
  4. Disable Updated from more than one place.
PS Concider turning P2P back on for a while when a quick fix is published by  Microsoft.

lauantai 1. elokuuta 2015

Touch enabled mobile versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint available for Windows 10 in Store for free

In case you upgraded to Windows10 and happen to own a tablet or laptop with touch screen you can download Word, Excel and PowerPoint mobile versions in Store for free. All you need is Microsoft Account to make apps save files to Microsoft OneDrive.

So browse your new and shiny Windows 10 and enter Store-app. Type search word "mobile" (without citations) and install three essential and free of charge apps on your Windows 10.

Use search word "mobile"

Word Mobile