Showing posts from February, 2013

Installing Linux Mint on a Macbook Air

In late 2011 I bought the Apple Macbook Air 13" (model 4,2 with 128GB SSD) to replace my aging road-warrior Dell 420. As much as I was impressed by Apple's hardware and the Macbook Air in particular, I was never taken by their software or the OSX that comes with the Macbook Air when you buy it. So within a week or so, I started experimenting putting Ubuntu (my then favorite OS) onto it. Things may have improved by then, but it was quite a task to get Ubuntu installed and set up properly - much more difficult than setting up Linux on a non-Apple laptop. The end result was a functioning but fragile setup, where each update to Ubuntu (new kernel in particular) would require me to reboot into safe mode and manually edit various files. As chef Ramsay would say, what a f...... nightmare. After 1 1/2 year and a dangerously outdated system (so many Java vulnerabilities), I decided it was time for a re-install. This time around however, I chose to try out the new favorite kid on the

Rikomagic MK802IIIS (4'th gen Android-on-a-stick)

I am a bit of tinkerer... I like taking things apart, understanding how they work (to some degree) and come up with new combinations of what can be done. So when I saw the $54 MK802IIIS "Android on a stick" device with 4'th generation specs, I had to own one. Think of it as a tablet, without a display or battery, that you hook up to the TV instead. What makes the MK802IIIS so interesting? First and foremost, the device is obviously readily usable as a media player. It makes it possible to upgrade any TV with HDMI input, to a "smart TV". This is especially interesting these days, where TV-on-demand services like NetFlix, Hulu, HBO etc. are delivered via custom applications on a limited subset of TV's or via proprietary boxes. Since this stick is based on the popular Android platform, all you really need to do is visit the Google Play store and install the appropriate application from the content provider. Why Google hasn't pushed this cheap an