Raspberry Pi 3 over VNC

Geeky fun…today I setup my Raspberry Pi 3 so I could control it through my Mac.

I previously installed Raspbian on the Pi 3 and also had the WiFi setup so it would connect to my home network.

Today I plugged the Pi 3 in to the wall (powering it up) and then, SSH’d to the Pi 3 using Terminal on my Mac. I used SSH to install a VNC client on the Pi 3 and get that configured. Once that was done I installed the VNC Viewer app on my Mac and I can now play with the Pi 3 without needing another keyboard, mouse or monitor.

Overall pretty simple, but still geeky fun.

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Project Fi hooked me with the data-only SIM

When I switched to Project Fi it was mainly a matter of curiosity, and also some filling in the gaps of coverage. I wanted to see how the WiFi, T-Mobile and Sprint network switching would work. More to the point, I was hoping the WiFi and Sprint coverage would fill in some of the T-Mobile gaps. I’ve now been with Project Fi since the beginning of July 2015 and at this point it seems I am in for a much longer ride. Project Fi has been working really good for me.

The coverage has been great, and while I am paying a few dollars more per month, about $5, I now have insurance coverage on my phone. And for those curious, I switched from the $30 per month T-Mobile prepaid plan that offers 100 minutes, unlimited messages and 5GB of LTE data.

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I don’t think Project Fi is about being cheap (the lowest priced)

I’ll preface this by saying that I am a happy Project Fi customer. I signed up back at the beginning of July, and have been happy with the quality of service and with the price. So, having said that, I’d like to address a common complaint.

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I see lots of people criticizing Project Fi with arguments of price. And it is true, the monthly price can really add up if you are a heavy data user. But I think Project Fi is more about the network. Don’t get me wrong, I like the lower price (as I am a low data user), but feel the real feature here is the network.

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NFC Chip Implant: One Year Later

Even with a close look at my left hand you would most likely miss what sits just below the skin. You see, just under the surface, sitting between my thumb and pointer finger, is an NFC chip. Today, September 16, 2015, marks the one year anniversary of the implant and I wanted to write a little follow up of sorts.

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I wrote about my initial experience a little more than a month after getting the implant. The reason for the initial 30 day wait was simple — I wanted to make sure there wasn’t going to be any issues. And well, I figured if things looked good at 30 days, it was likely they would stay good.

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Project Fi: After A Month

I’ve been using Google’s new Project Fi service for just over a month now. You pay in advance for Fi service, so that means I just received my second monthly bill. And in a bit of good news for those who tend to fear their wireless bills — mine came with a credit. You see, one of the perks of Project Fi is that you only pay for the data you actually use. I signed up for 1.0GB of data and used a little over 0.6GB, which meant I went into month two with a small credit for the unused portion. But I am getting ahead of myself here.

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For those unfamiliar with Project Fi — this is a pre-paid phone service from Google. Project Fi is sort of limited at the moment. Right now you’ll need an invitation to get started, and the service only works with the Nexus 6. But outside of those limitations, which will likely change in time, there are a few solid perks.

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The Google Glass experience story you may not have heard

Google Glass has already lived and died in the tech press. And to some extent, as Google has closed the Explorer program, Glass is dead at the moment. It also feels like the once vocal group of users has gotten a bit quieter. That isn’t to say Glass users have all gone away, and in fact, I’m still actively wearing mine.

On one side we have what feels like a shrinking user community. And on the other side we have begun hearing rumors and reports about an enterprise version of Glass. So far there hasn’t been anything official from Google in the way of an announcement. But as these rumors and reports have been popping up, the tech press has again been discussing Glass.

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And to that point, we are once again hearing about how the public perceived Glass as this privacy invading gadget, and about how everyone (aside from those actively wearing it), hated and feared Glass. Google Glass wasn’t a perfect product, but I also feel there was more to the story that was being told.

You have to remember that only the sensational headlines get the clicks. Anyone who follows along with the tech scene likely remembers the time when someone had Glass ripped from their head, or the time when someone got kicked out of a bar for wearing them, or the time when someone got a ticket for wearing them while driving.

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I’m switching from the OnePlus One to a Nexus 6 for Google’s Project Fi

Camera quality and battery life are the two most important features on my smartphone. In fact, those are the two main reasons why I’ve been using the OnePlus One. But while the OnePlus One has pretty stellar battery life and an above average camera, I am getting ready to switch to the Nexus 6. You may be wondering, why would someone go from the OnePlus One (a phone they are happy with), to a Nexus 6, which is a good phone, but probably not quite as stellar in terms of camera quality and battery life.

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Well, I am making the switch so I can become one of the early users of Project Fi.

For those unfamiliar, Project Fi is a new offering from Google that takes advantage of Wi-Fi, T-Mobile, and Sprint for coverage. Project Fi is a contract-free service and you pay $20 per month for unlimited calling and messaging. Data will then cost you $10 per 1GB. This means if you use 1GB you pay $30 that month, or if you use 2GB you pay $40 that month, and so on. You have to pay in advance, but Google will credit you back for any unused portion of data that you paid for.

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Switching to prepaid, and likely sticking with a 2013 Moto X

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My family spends a small fortune on cellular service each month. Just above $300 with taxes and all that good stuff. We have solid service, in fact, I’ll likely miss what what we have, but it is time to start thinking in terms of dollars. Or more specifically, in terms of saving some dollars. We’ve decided to go prepaid, and will begin using the $30 per month (100 minutes, unlimited messages, 5GB of data) plan from T-Mobile. We currently have four lines and will be moving to prepaid accounts as those contracts expire.

The first of the four lines to come off contract is mine, and that will happen in about a weeks time. That means it is time for me to start thinking about a new phone, as my current will not work with T-Mobile. That may give a good hint of my current carrier. But current carrier aside, I’ve been using, and loving the 2013 Moto X. I like this handset due to the size (I always run with my phone in hand), and also for the ability to unlock using the Motorola Skip functionality, which I actually have programmed not to a Skip, but to an NFC chip I have implanted in my left hand.

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These random images are why I really like the Narrative Clip

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The above pic is far from the best image, but it the reason why I REALLY love my Narrative Clip. I had left the camera clipped to my sun visor when I left the car, and it captured this random image as we were walking back to the car. This is a picture I was not expecting to see (to have taken) and wouldn’t have otherwise gotten.