I Tried Using a Chromebook as My Main Computer, Here is What I Learned

I use Linux as my main computer, Android on my phone, Windows to play games, OS X to program iOS apps, and iOS to run the apps that I program. I also have several Raspberry Pis running smart home code, like Octoprint, Nextcloud, Home Assistant on Debian. The house has a ton of devices with embedded operating systems, like Tasmota, or Android TV. I even have several computers running on AWS and Digital Ocean. Overall I think I have around 25 full computers and 25 embedded Arduino like computers to manage and maintain.

For years I’ve been searching for the perfect computer. One that is mobile, runs my Android apps, runs my Linux apps, has Google Assistant built in, etc. Something that allows me to manage all of my devices from one place and lets me develop.

So when ChromeOS started supporting Linux and Android I started paying attention.

Continue reading

Extracting Android APKs like a Developer

If you’re a developer and own several Android devices changes are you’ve wanted to install additional apps that aren’t included in the base install of the OS and aren’t in the Play Store.

While there are many ways to sideload apps the best way is to extract an APK from one device and install it on another.

Continue reading

Enable Developer Mode on Android

Recently I’ve been consulting with a lot of startups employing several young and eager developers. My role has been to help with general architectural questions and be a source of knowledge on industry standards.

To that end I’m starting a series on less complex programming concepts focusing on mobile and server development. They will usually only cover one concept but will be good reference.

Continue reading

How to Install Tasmota on a Switch (Gosund KS-602S)

I love Tasmota. It runs on cheap ESP8266 hardware like the Sonoff basic and other devices like the D1 Mini. It’s perfect for home automation and integrates easily with Home Assistant.

So when I moved to a new house and needed to install new wall switches I had to decide if I was going to buy more Z-Wave switches or use (much) cheaper WiFi switches.

Continue reading

Building a $5 Smart Plug

I love home automation and have added all sorts of devices to my home over the last several years. For all the devices I have the most used and most useful are smart lights.

I’ve said many times to not use smart bulbs and to use smart switches instead, but what if you want to control more than just lights? What if you want to control power to something like 3d printers, a soldering iron, or even a flat iron; something that would be dangerous to keep on when away but something that don’t have just one location and thus doesn’t have just one switch to control it.

That is where smart plugs come in.

Continue reading

The Best 3D Printer?

I had been interested in 3d printing for a while and ordered a lot of things from 3D Hubs over the years and a few years ago I bought my first 3d printer. I’ve used and owned a few 3d printers since and finding what I liked and didn’t like about them I started looking for the printer that was perfect for me.

Continue reading

Why I Hated My Old Smart Home

I’ve had a smart home for over a year and learned a lot in that time. I’ve added devices, removed devices, and in the end have a nearly 100% different system than when I started.

The Beginning

I started with an Amazon Echo, a SmartThings hub, several Z-Wave light bulbs, and an ecobee 3 thermostat. Each of these devices was a great device to start with but I quickly outgrew them and have swamped them out for something better.

So why did I start with these devices, why did I change them, and what have I swapped them to?

Continue reading

How to Explain Machine Learning to Customers

Describing how machine learning systems work to customers is one of the hardest parts of explaining any technology stack. Customers often think we program machine learning system and we know every in and out of the system, like traditional programming, but that’s simply not the case.

Continue reading

Setting Up a Budget Security System

Several months ago my office was broken into. We lost several thousands of dollars of computers but that was honestly not the worst part. Because all of those computers were used for development they all had SSH keys on them that could be used to access our servers. We encrypt all of our computers and all use very secure passwords but we don’t take chances with security so everyone that has access to servers had to change their SSH keys.

The whole incident was infuriating, mostly because of the wasted time, and not having anyone to blame left us all feeling frustrated. After we got our digital security back in order we decided to take some precautions with physical security and setup a security system.

If you’ve never setup a security system you might think it’s easy. Buy some cameras and plug them in, right? You couldn’t be more wrong.

Continue reading

Google Home Mini Review

I love Google Assistant, and really love Google Home. I’ve talked about how it’s THE virtual digital assistant you should choose when setting up you smart home and how it’s years more advanced than any of the other competition.

I followed all the leaks and even Tweated about how I was going to buy a Google Home Mini the first day it came out, even though I already had two Google Homes.

Well, unfortunately the Google Home Mini is not what I was hoping for and not because I was expecting too much.

Continue reading

© 2019 Just Build Something

3.95.131.208
2019/12/12


CCBot/2.0 (https://commoncrawl.org/faq/)