maanantai 25. huhtikuuta 2016

Turn your RaspberryPi 3 into a Bluetooth Beacon

You can do it!

Raspberry Pi 3 has built-in Wifi and Bluetooth. With a few lines of commands anyone can turn Raspi 3 into a beacon which broadcasts URL of one's choice via Bluetooth. It's not that tricky at all! Read on!

Eddystone by Google

There are different techniques what comes to beacons. You can choose at least between Apple and Google. What we are going to try is called Eddystone brought by Google. And hey, even Apple's devices (with Chrome installed) are able to hear these kind of beacons.

Raspi 3 has it all ready for you

With Raspberry Pi 3 built-in Bluetooth 4 LE (Low Energy) and Raspbian Linux your beacon will be up and running in no time! So go and get you gear and burn OS on a microSD-card. Next, the actual setup of a beacon.

Setting up a beacon

Type in the following commands using Terminal app.

Become superuser:

sudo su

Enable Bluetooth in Raspberry Pi 3:

hciconfig hci0 up

Let Bluetooth advertise and make it not-connectable:

hciconfig hci0 leadv 3

Set up an advertisement which Raspi3 will broadcast (in my case the URL is

hcitool -i hci0 cmd 0x08 0x0008 18 02 01 06 03 03 aa fe 10 16 aa fe 10 00 00 65 64 75 70 6f 6c 69 2e 66 69 00 00 00 00 00 00 00

Don't copy the code above but visit Eddystone URL command calculator and create advertisement of your own.

That's it! Your beacon is now up and running! Next: how to receive the URL which Raspi 3 is broadcasting?

Physical Web


Make sure Bluetooth and Location are on. Find them in Settings. Download Physical Web app from Play Store and install it: . Launch Physical Web app and let it search for beacons.


Please visit the following URL and follow the instructions in video to turn Physical Web on:

If you can't reach your beacon read through these instructions how to setup your phone/tablet:

Download Physical Web app
from Play Store

Fire up the app and let it
look for beacons

There you have it!

iPhone 4S can hear a beacon
in the neighbourhood

perjantai 22. huhtikuuta 2016

Testing ChromiumOS 0.5 for RaspberryPi 2

A new version of ChromiumOS for RaspberryPi 2 is available. The number of this version is 0.5. Download link is here: . RaspberryPi 3 version is coming later.

I decided to give new version a go. In my opinion ChromiumOS 0.5 for RaspberryPi 2 is very fast and stable. Of course one has to remember RaspberryPi only has 1 GB of RAM. When running two browser windows ~ 0.65 GB of RAM is in use. However ChromiumOS's only app is Chromium browser! Once it's up and running all memory is given to browser!

There are things to bear in mind:
  • Are you using a FullHD (1920*1080) monitor with an HDMI-port? Try another monitor in case no picture show up.
  • Did you write the image on microSD card properly? Learn how to use dd command in Linux. Not sure which app to use in Windows or Mac.
  • And last but not least! Happened to me! Remove all apps from your Chrome/Chromium browser. I had tons of apps installed aside Chrome. Also get rid of extensions you don't need.
    • Apps remove: find magnifier (lower left corner) and click it, right click on top of an app and remove
    • Extensions remove: button with three stripes (upper right corner), extensions, garbage bin
I must admit I've tested ChromiumOS for RaspberryPi 2 only two hours now. So far so good! It does what it promises: quick boot, stable browser only OS, ready to shoot at any moment - something we expect when using a Chromebook - now happening on RaspberryPi 2!

torstai 21. huhtikuuta 2016

Want to give Unity 8 a try on Ubuntu 16.04? It's easy!

Today April 21st 2016 Canonical Ltd released Ubuntu 16.04 LTS - a version with 5 year support time! Read my earlier post to download your copy of the  latest Ubuntu.

Ok, once Ubuntu 16.04 is up and running it's possible to try Unity 8 which is still in try-out phase. As a matter of fact Unity 8 runs on Ubuntu 14.0.4 as well. Ok, give me that Unity 8! Try this (AT YOUR OWN RISK!):

Install Unity8:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install unity8-desktop-session-mir

Log out. In login select a little Ubuntu logo, then Unity8-Mir and type in your password. What's supposed to happen after setup of Unity 8? Well, be happy that your PC and Ubuntu still work! Remember, it's still a try-out!

How does it look like? Watch out! After the traditional Desktop one might get confused. It's... different. Let's hope they (Canonical Ltd) will go all the way to the end and we will see Unity 8 in action in the next Ubuntu 16.10!

Tap that Ubuntu logo

Choose Unity8-Mir

Choose Phablet

There is not that much ready just yet

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS has arrived! Download here!

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS stands for Long Term Support which means there is five year support time available. So get your copy of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS while it's hot:
or via torrent:

Downloading Ubuntu 16.04 64- and 32-bit versions
via torrent network with Transmission app

keskiviikko 13. huhtikuuta 2016

Updating Microsoft Lumia 640 phone from Windows Phone 8.1 to Windows 10 Mobile

Windows 10 Mobile knocking on door

There is a major update available for Microsoft Lumia 640 phone; Windows 10 Mobile. Here's how to update your phone:
  • Open Store and find an app called Windows Update Advisor. Install it.
  • Run Windows Update Advisor. It examines your phone and tells you if Windows 10 Mobile is available or not.
  • Open Settings and find Update. Let phone download Windows 10 Mobile. This phase can take long time. Coffee break.
Is there coming back?

After setup Windows 10 Mobile is there staring at you. What if you want to downgrade? Is it possible? Microsoft says it is - with help from Windows Recovery Tool. Install it on Windows, attach your phone and follow instructions on screen.

As a matter of fact I did try Windows Recovery Tool. It did what it promised. I was able to go back from Windows 10 Mobile to Windows Phone 8.1. Downgrading took about 15-20 minutes.

Worth updating?

Well, Microsoft has told they are not focusing on mobile devices and operating systems during 2016. However updating to Windows 10 Mobile let's you see how the new operating system looks like. On the other hand Windows Phone 8.1 is more mature than a brand new platform. If in doubt stay with Windows Phone 8.1 and update later.

In Finnish only, sorry.
It says Windows 10
Mobile is available.

maanantai 11. huhtikuuta 2016

Ubuntu Linux 16.04 LTS almost here - support lasts five years!

Ubuntu Linux 16.04 LTS means you will get five year support period! Think about that!

What will the world look like 2021? Will those legacy PCs update to Windows 10 or will Linux Desktop finally take over? Is my family just a bunch of holograms? Are EVs (Electric Vehicles) and solar panels everyday life? All that remains to see.

However there one thing for sure; Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (long Term Support) will be there until year 2021. And guess what? It's time to get your gear ready! Ubuntu Linux 16.04 will arrive in the end of April 2016. In case feeling curious choose your flavour of Ubuntu already today and let the good times roll!

Testing MaruOS - turning Nexus 5 into a PC


There was an invitation of beta test of MaruOS for Nexus 5 in mailbox. Unfortunately I had no Nexus 5 phone which is the only device supported at the moment. Off I went and purchased one in the neigbourhood.

Download link of MaruOS took me to a web page with two different install packages. One with install script and an other one with manual install (images only). Flashing Nexus phones is familiar to me. However I wanted to give install script a go.

Flashing Nexus 5

It took only ~ 10 minutes to flash MaruOS on Nexus 5. The instructions in Ubuntu Linux terminal window were clear. There was no chance to fail. The phone was first rooted, next developer mode was accepted twice. Finally MaruOS was ready to run. At the moment MaruOS is the only OS in my Nexus 5. I'm planning to install TWRP and MultiROM which make it possible to multi-boot many operating systems in one phone.

What's it like? 

MaruOS is like any other custom Android ROM out there. You can see the difference compared to other ROMs if you happen to own a Slimport adapter. With a full-HD monitor, a HDMI cable and a Slimport adapter Nexus 5 turns into a fullblown Linux Desktop PC (Debian). Yes, you can run all your favourite Linux apps using your phone! Your Nexus 5 phone is your PC!

How is full screen mode turned on? When HDMI cable and Slimport adapter are attached there is a note on the screen of Nexus 5. After that simply use remote control of your TV and choose the right source (i.e. HDMI). I don't know if MaruOS supports hotplugging. Maybe you don't have to first turn phone off, attach wires and then turn phone on again? I haven't tried that just yet!


Make sure Nexus 5 is attached to power supply. When running Debian on big screen battery might drain in no time. There is no sound available at the moment. It's ok since MaruOS in in early stage (version 0.22).

My hardware and expenses:

Nexus 5 (used, 120 €)
Microsoft bluetooth keyboard and mouse (used, 30 €)
Deltaco Slimport adapter (outlet, 12 €)
HDMI cable (3 €)
Samsung 55" fullHD TV (new, been around for a year)

Bluetooth Microsoft keyboard and mouse paired

sudo su, then apt-get update

apt-get install hardinfo - it's a Debian Linux!

After some tweaking åäö characters appeared!

My Nexus 5 is also my PC!

Samsung 55" fullHD TV as monitor

torstai 7. huhtikuuta 2016

Bash (beta) for Windows 10 Insider is here!

Linux command line on Windows 10?

Windows 10 Insiders in the fast ring have a chance to try Bash (beta) which is delivered with build 14316. Bash is familiar from Linux, "Bourne again shell". When typing in commands in Linux, bash is there. From now on Windows 10 also has if not all at least some of Linux commands to offer.

How to install Bash on Windows 10?

Keep in mind only Windows Insiders are accepted to try Bash at the moment. However, during summer 2016 a huge Windows 10 update called Anniversary will bring Bash to every Windows 10 user.

Troubleshooting: My 32-bit Windows 10 Insider Home didn't receive Bash but 64-bit Pro did. I will edit this paragraph as soon as there is more information available.


Off you go:

1) Choose Developer mode and reboot.

2) If you are not yet an Insider then become one, Choose fast ring (blue line at the bottom). Reboot.

3) Find Windows Features and choose Subsystem for Linux (beta). Wait.

4) Open Windows Command Line tool and type in bash. Answer Y. Again, wait.

Ok, Bash installed, then what?

Open another Windows Command Line Tool window and type in bash. Next, try: lsb_release -a

sunnuntai 3. huhtikuuta 2016

If there was Bash on Windows what difference would it make?

Microsoft is adding Linux command line on Windows 10. Insiders will see it during spring 2016 and the rest of us during summer 2016.

With Linux command line called Bash it's possible to type in those familiar Linux commands and run CLI (= Command Line Interface) apps. In addition, you can reach your Windows files by mounting NTFS partitions.

So far there has been two solutions around if you wanted to run Linux on top of Windows; virtual machine (Virtualbox, VMware) or Cygwin. However, Microsoft's approach is somewhat different and Linux command line is tied closer to Windows 10.

The company which is co-operating with Microsoft is London based Canonical Ltd - the one behind Ubuntu Linux.

For us ordinary users bringing Linux command line on Linux might not sound very attractive. Why should I use it? There is already a command line similar to Microsoft DOS inside Windows and is hardly ever used. Microsoft is aiming at developers which benefit from tools they are used to work with. The rest of us - what difference does it make?

By adding Bash Microsoft promises anyone familiar with commands like apt-get can install and run Linux apps on Windows 10. However, X Window System is a no-go. An app which needs GUI is not on supported. This is why Bash on Windows 10 will benefit only developers.

Ubuntu Linux CLI

perjantai 1. huhtikuuta 2016

iOS, Android and Windows 10 Mobile merging

A new mobile OS consisting of iOS, Android and Windows 10 Mobile called iAndWind will soon be released. "There is no idea to compete against each other", says the representative of the project. "We have to be ready to face the competition from such players as Jolla (Sailfish OS) and Canonical (Ubuntu Touch)".

At the moment there is not that much information available. However, take a look at this link for more!