Marco's Blog

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Pebble Is Dead - What Now?

2016-12-09 4 min read Hardware marco
The last we all heard of Pebble, they had funded a successful KickStarter campaign to get the new version of their smartwatches out. They had the Pebble 2, Pebble Time 2, Pebble Round 2 in the pipeline. I was waiting for my Pebble Time 2 to arrive any second – the Pebble 2 had already been shipped. Yesterday, I received not one but three updates. As Pebble put it, “due to various factors […] Pebble is no longer able to operate as an independent entity. Continue reading

Ubuntu on an ASUS Chromebook Flip

2016-03-12 4 min read Hardware marco
Ah, yes, my glamorous life of jet-setting and international travel! OK, so I barely managed to fly out to ski resorts this year, and instead of flying first class, business class, or any class at all, I had to make do with budget airlines and seats so cramped, my knees routinely touch the seat in front of me. Particularly annoying when you have a six-year-old in front of you who is bored to the point of kicking the chair during the entire trip. Continue reading

DYMO LabelWriter 4XL on Ubuntu

2014-10-19 6 min read Hardware marco
Call me a freak: I don’t like writing on envelopes. I dislike the way it feels when you push on an envelope already stuffed and sealed, I don’t like making a mistake and having to unseal and restuff. And let’s not even talk about the days when you have to send out a bunch of mailers – thankfully that’s become less common these days. So I got myself a Brother label printer. Continue reading

Samsung UD590 4k Monitor and Kubuntu 14.04

2014-05-21 6 min read Hardware marco
I confess I had an itch. Even in my dual monitor setup, I never seemed to have enough visual real estate. If I had the Android development UI full screen on one side and the emulator on the other, it took only a single konsole shell to fill up everything I had. Then I was left without space for instant messaging, writing, emailing, etc. It’s common year 2014. There are 10 inch tablets with 2560×1600 resolution (Google’s Nexus 10 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX 8. Continue reading

SparkFun Arduino Pro Micro and Linux

2013-03-16 4 min read Hardware marco
Lately, I’ve been working with Arduinos. If you don’t know what that is, it’s essentially a way for anyone to build their own intelligent hardware. There is a microcontroller (essentially, a really small and underpowered CPU), infrastructure to support programming it, and a series of ports that can be connected to sensors, motors, and the like. The Arduino has two major advantages that catapulted it into consciousness: it is open source, which makes it really easy to debug and extend; and it is exceedingly well-documented and reliable. Continue reading

Kubuntu 12.10 Quantal on a Samsung Series 9 (NP900X3D)

2013-02-12 6 min read Hardware marco
I had been following Ultrabooks for a while, but they seemed constantly overpriced. I loved the form factor, but the aesthetics and better hardware didn’t seem to justify a 100% increase in price. Especially since I am not really short on laptops. Something about the Series 9, though, was different. It was faster, lighter, thinner, and had a better screen resolution than other Ultrabooks, and those were my requirements to a tee. Continue reading

Brother HL4150 Color Laser on Linux (Kubuntu Natty)

2011-06-07 3 min read Hardware marco
Summary: WOW! Five Stars!!! I’ve had mixed luck with printers under Linux in the past ten years. Some of them would not work ever, others worked just fine, and a third kind worked some or most of the time, but you could never count on them. It used to be the case that printing on Linux depended on the standards used. Printers that internally used PostScript would work the best, GDI printers not at all, and most of the HPGL language printers would have some functionality available. Continue reading

Acer Aspire 1 (Linpus 8GB SSD)

2008-09-24 3 min read Hardware marco
This is the first laptop I buy that comes with Linux preinstalled. Unfortunately, it’s a relatively unknown distribution, and I will have to replace it with Kubuntu – but otherwise it’s amazing to see thing finally moving in the direction of economic logic. The Aspire 1 is a netbook, which by now defines a very clear category in the market – a category that is oddly much more consistent internally than other notebook segments. Continue reading