Tips & Tricks

How to measure power consumption of a mini PC

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WARNING: Electricity can be dangerous if you don’t treat it with respect. If you follow the circuit, it will work but because we can’t control how you use it, this info comes with no warranty whatsoever – you use it at your own risk.
Quite often, the simplest way to measure power consumption of a mini PC is to simply throw an AC power meter onto the power brick feeding your device and take a look at the reading.… Read more

How to improve Wi-Fi speed

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For most of us, creating a Wi-Fi home network is pretty much a case of buying a wireless ADSL router, plugging it into the phone line and plonking it down in the corner. We then grab our wireless device, switch on the Wi-Fi adapter, get a signal, log in and away we go. However, the transmission of radio waves (for that’s what a Wi-Fi access point is really doing) is a bit of a black art and just because you’re “getting a signal” doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting a high-quality one.… Read more

Cydia Impactor uses vulernability to root Android devices including Google Glass

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Gaining root access to any Android device can be a complex route of  firmware flashing that is often ‘horses for courses’, relying on different techniques for different Android devices.
Cydia Impactor is different. Using what’s known as the Android ‘Master Key’ vulnerability, Cydia Impactor is a ‘work in progress’ Windows or MacOS X app that allows you to gain root access to most Android device, including Google Glass, by simply connecting it up to your computer and running this app.… Read more

Q&A: Any Android 4.3 mini PCs yet?

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Q: Are there any Android 4.3 mini PCs yet?
A: Short answer, no. At this stage, it will likely take the mini PC developers a few weeks to work out the new additions to the latest release of Google’s Jelly Bean operating system and what needs to be done to make it work.
In addition, the CPU makers like Rockchip and Allwinner will also need to qualify their chips to ensure they work correctly with the new operating system.… Read more

Q&A: CX-919 1080p custom ROM freezing?

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Q: Is there a reason why the 1080p custom ROM in my CX-919 keeps freezing?
A: Unfortunately, this is a question where the correct answer could fall through a gap wide enough for the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The reality is there are any number of reasons why the ROM could freeze – it could be a problem with the ROM kernel, the app you’re trying to run.… Read more

How to power a Raspberry Pi from your car battery

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The Raspberry Pi mini PC requires 5VDC power at around 500-700mA, so you can’t just plug it into your car’s 13.8V power system and expect it to survive. But there are a couple of simple options to getting a Pi powered up and running from your car’s electrical system.
The first is a USB car power adapter that plugs straight into your car’s cigarette lighter.… Read more

Q&A: RK3188 vs Raspberry Pi?

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Q: How does the RK3188 chip compare with a Raspberry Pi?
A: Well, to be frank, the Raspberry Pi doesn’t come close to the CPU power of the Rockchip RK3188 – but that doesn’t take into account what the Raspberry Pi is rather than does.
Looking at ‘speeds and feeds’, the Raspberry Pi features a 700MHz Broadcom BCM2835 ARM11 single-core SoC CPU with 512MB of RAM (version 2) whereas the Rockchip RK3188 is a quad-core Cortex A9 processor with a quad-core ARM Mali-400 MP4 graphics engine.… Read more

Q&A: Can you power a Raspberry Pi from two AAA batteries?

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Q: I want to build a portable Raspberry Pi project but want to keep it small. Can I power a Raspberry Pi from just two AAA batteries?
A: Yes, but not for very long. The Raspberry Pi needs a 5VDC input at around 500-700mA. With just two AAA batteries, assuming you’re using NiMH rechargeables, you’ve only got 2.4VDC nominal, so at the very least, you’ll need a DC-DC step-up voltage converter (pic).… Read more