Oculus Go and an Exercise Bike


Recently I purchased a Oculus Go, and I’ve been trying different things with it.

Today was exercise time. Although in the time of Covid19 lock-down we are allowed out for exercise, I think it’s often safer to stay at home, if you can. And then there’s my better half who isn’t allowed out at all for for at least several months.

So how best to keep fit?

We have a rather simple exercise bike that gets used infrequently sitting in our second bedroom. This is great for a quick physical session, but somewhat limited in the mental well-being.

Enter the Oculus Go. Let’s try a few things.

Continue reading “Oculus Go and an Exercise Bike”

Amazon Kindle Support – impressive

In the last couple of days I’ve been very impressed with how the Amazon Kindle customer support is handled – in fact I’ve been thoroughly surprised at how efficient it is.

I’ve been using my Kindle since September with no problems. One of my first purchases was the Independent newspaper and this gets streamed to the Kindle automatically every morning, when I wake up it’s there waiting for me. That was up until last Thursday when the download become locked in “pending”. Continue reading “Amazon Kindle Support – impressive”

My New Laptop

The Dell Inspiron 15 z Laptop
The Dell Inspiron 15 z Laptop

My new laptop has come. It’s a Dell Inspiron 15z and I splashed out for the Cherry Red version (which looks much more red than the photo gives credit). This is a quick blog about it, expect a more detailed one after more experiments over in my tech blog.

The “15” refers to the size of the screen, actualy 15.4 inch widescreen. It’s got a nice reflective surface on it, and looks to be very clear. The “z” part refers to the lightweight, small, and long battery life version of the inspiron. However, it still has 4 GB of Ram, 320 GB of hard drive and a fairly nice graphics card (512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD4330). The main battery life saving is via the processors, two intel 1.3 GHz processors, about half the power of standard processors, but still very capable for all but the most intensive of jobs.

It’s not an incredibly light laptop like some much more expensive laptops are (this one was about £650), but I’d still call it an extremely portable laptop (if not quite ultra portable). Battery life seems to be around predicted values on dells website. I’ve been using this laptop for about 4 hours already, with wi-fi and dells power saving settings on, and I’ve still got over 2 hours left of power. With the wifi off, and screen at it’s lowest (it’s half way at mo) I’ve seen predicted times of over 7.5 hours.

All in all I’m very pleased with it. As a bonus I’m hoping to count some of my 10:10 commitments to my new laptop!

Google Vacking – See the world!

I was going to do some University work today but then I came across the latest Google Hack.

It isn’t as illegal as it sounds though, it just involves you searching for certain terms using google.

Start with this: inurl:view/view.shtml.

You’ll see (mostly) a list of ip address (the four numbers with dots e.g 123.654.12.1) These are actually addresses to numerous surveillance cameras running around the globe. Click on one and you’ll see a live view of where ever its pointing.

Basically this works because one of the companies that sell video cameras has a setup program that creates a path of view/view.shtml. Simple.

You can also use terms like: inurl:”axis-cgi/mjpg”. This one comes up with actual images not live video feeds, but use your imagination and you can probably find the video feed (try this: remove everything after the first part and type in “/view/view.shtml” and see what you get)

Some of these videos have controls so you can pan and zoom them. I’ve noticed a lot of these seem to be actually surveillance cameras (as in Big Brother…) such as watching people in the centre of town – a lot must be controlled at some central base by a human sitting at a bank of screens… have some fun with these nosey people and keep panning the videos all over the place!! (See who givens in first…)

See them before they get locked down! Enjoy.

Webshots and UltraMon

I’ve been using webshots for ages now, its great as a desktop image changer and screensaver as they have a huge database of some of the best photos around.

However, for some reason they’ve chosen to not get their program working on multiple monitors.

Luckily, its quite easy to get the screensaver working with UltraMon, just find where Webshots is installed, then copy the screensaver, (look for a “scr” extension) then copy it to your Windows directory (usually here: C:\WINDOWS\), it needs to be here for UltraMon to pick it up. Just NOTE: That once you move it you won’t be able to change the settings, so make sure you set it up before you move it.

Now just open up UltraMon and select screensavers, it should now appear in the list and you can set it to appear on all of you monitors.

Software here:

UltraMon – Dual Moniter software

This is a really nice piece of software for anyone with a dual (or more) monitor setup.

The really nice “killer” app is the ability to extend the task bar across all you monitors. This is really useful and improves your productivity, and its really cool too!

It also has some nice other features too. Unfortunately it is Shareware so you’ll have to eventually buy it, but you can get a free 30 day demo before you take the leap, here:

Just remember this: your going to really miss it once the 30 days is up!

Work equipment

I’ve finally got it all set up.

Bought a brand new computer, but the really interesting news is the beautiful dual screen setup. Two 19 Inch LCD monitors, how I’ve been surviving with two huge CRT monitors I don’t know! No more headaches for me!

I went for two of these:

And would certainly recommend them. I have one with a VGA cable and one with a DVI-D cable – but actually, the picture quality is almost identical between the two, that’s how good these monitors are.

I didn’t go for widescreen monitors as the two together give plenty of width, but widescreen wouldn’t give much height, and you need that for comfortable on screen reading.

And believe me, it is worth it. Any self respecting programmed NEEDS dual!

Of course, it your really extravagant you could always splash out on three, four or even eight monitors…: (http://digitaltigers.com/zenview.shtml?gclid=CK3fsN77iowCFQvtlAodbHIg3g)