Projects

Securing My Android Phone

phone

tl;wr: I am paranoid about my personal data – especially when it comes to my phone. These are the things I do to try and make my phone secure.

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Projects

Waterfall Debt Repayment Calculator

I started reading money blogs a while back, after originally being linked from LifeHacker (I think). The first one that got my attention was Automating Your Money by Ramit Sethi on I Will Teach You to Be Rich. I have also started reading Get Rich Slowly. Somewhere along the line, although I can’t find the actual article, I learned about a method of paying off debt called Waterfall Debt Repayment.

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Projects

Synchronicity

When I was in school, I used a lot of computers, and even if I was in the same place, I wasn’t guaranteed to use the same computer in that place. At work, until I got an office, I used which ever computer was open when I got to the office. Any work I did in a computer lab was done on whatever available computer I could find. I had a computer at home, and from time to time, I may need to use one at the fraternity house. Not only were the computers I would use completely unpredictable, but the operating systems were, too. Because of this, I spent a great deal of time an effort in finding tools that were cross platform, and/or were browser-based. Below is a applications I use on a regular basis, which sync from computer to computer to phone, and in most cases, are either platform independent, or browser-based, along with a description of how I use them, and what operating systems and devices on which they can run.

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DIY, Projects

Convert an Old Laptop Into a Digital Photo Frame (3: Software)

As I mentioned in part 1, I used DSL for this. There were two reasons. 1) I would like to eventually get this to boot from a thumb drive and 2) I just wanted to play with DSL. Because DSL is meant mainly to be run from a live cd, it has some quirks when dealing with an actual install. I am using a PCMCIA ethernet card for network right now, and since fstab comes up before the card, I couldn’t mount the samba share using fstab. Instead, I used a script that as far as I know, only DSL uses. The file is /opt/bootlocal.sh and it executes on boot. So I put the samba mount in there. Next was the issue of launching the program to hide the mouse cursor, and launch the slideshow program. Taken from the blog mentioned in one of the other parts (part 1, I think) I used unclutter to hide the cursor and feh to do the actual slideshow. These files were put into .xinitrc in the default home directory. I had a problem with this, however. What I didn’t realize is that the window manager MUST be the last thing in the script, because it runs forever (essentially). So, the unclutter command and the feh command must come BEFORE the window manager (fluxbox in the case of DSL). Since all this does, and all I need it to do is show pictures, I removed the window manager from the file altogether. This means that if feh is killed, however, that X dies, and takes you back to a command prompt.

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DIY, Projects

Convert an Old Laptop Into a Digital Photo Frame (2: Hardware)

After getting the idea from this blog, I went to Walmart and found a basket to put the laptop board in. The laptop still needs the hard drive ( for now ), so I left that in, but removed the cd-rom and floppy drives. The heatsink was an issue. It has a giant piece of metal stuck to it, that was no longer vital, so I thought about ripping it off, until I realized I didn’t have a good way to attach the motherboard to the basket. I ended up cutting the wire connecting the speakers to the motherboard out, and wrapping them through the basket and around the weird metal piece. I didn’t get a good picture of what I am talking about, but you can see it a little bit in this picture.


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