Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Cloud storage for Linux PCs

Having your resume, project files, assignments and other documents stored on the internet cloud is now a much more acceptable norm. Previously there were fears on privacy of the files from the providers and governments, possibility of the account being hacked or just plain poor software and hardware to protect integrity of the documents.

As cloud storage gain acceptance, there are more options available. Among the popular storage are Dropbox, gDrive and ownCloud as listed here.


Compare Dropbox gDrive OwnCloud
Storage (FREE) 2GB. Offers available up to 16GB 15GB. Include Google accounts like Gmail. Unlimited, provide your own
Availability Integration with MS O365, OneLogin, 1Password, MS Azure, Xero.
available Offline
Pretty much everything works with Google and Google Realtime API.
Available offline
Unlimited.
Not available offline
Features (General)
  • Accessible by main stream devices
  • Automatic updates
  • File sharing
  • Offline access
  • 256-bit AES encryption keys. 128-bit AES SSL/TLS encryption for files in transfer

  • Accessible by main stream devices
  • Automatic updates
  • File sharing
  • Offline access
  • File versioning
  • 128-bit AES encryption keys. 256-bit SSL/TLS encryption for files in transfer
Web based. 3rd party apps are available for wide variety of devices.

  • Open source licensed AGPLv3
  • File sharing
  • Comments and tagging
  • Versioning and undelete
  • Flexible external storage handling
  • Integration of anti-virus scanning

Its a matter of balancing your resources, needs and funding when deciding which services to take up.


Dropbox provide one of the most fancy looking and good security.

Google gDrive comes with a host of applications like Google Sheets, Docs, Presentation to open your documents on a PC and mobile devices. Truly any time, any where documents are available.

OwnCloud allows any individual and corporation to customise, design a security of their choosing and include branding with use of their own storage. With more controls, security exploits such as man-in-the-cloud attack can be avoided. Did I mention, you install the whole thing for FREE on your own (your ownCloud....get it)?

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Howto start Programming with Laravel

With the announcement Laravel 5.4 is released on 24.1.2017, a better PHP programming framework is now available. Here is how you can start programming with Laravel 5.

What is Laravel 5?

Its a PHP programming framework. Yes, you still need to know PHP programming. This framework allow quick creation of a CRUD application and connection to a database to store data. Lots of work have been done for you to complete standard task BUT it requires you to adhere certain styles and syntax. These you MUST learn in order to appreciate the power of Laravel framework and the learning curve is NOT steep.

From laravel.com get more information on what is Laravel, browse examples and then install Laravel framework. Once installed, open a command line terminal to create a new project framework.

Laravel have a tool called artisan to do all the wonderful stuff of the framework. Here is an example to display Laravel version.


Getting help

The installed framework comes with its own description of its command tools. To access this, open a command line interface and type;

 $ php artisan --help  

or to display for a specific command

 $ php artisan help serve  
 $ php artisan help migrate  

List to find further help can be found at Laravel and Getting Help.




Monday, January 23, 2017

Copyright photography laws impeding civilization growth?

Did you know that you need permission and probably make a payment to take a picture of the light display at Eiffel Tower in France? As social media continue to grow, more people will post photos of their trip to the Eiffel Tower.

How can you LEGALLY share your photo of the Eiffel Tower at night? Its simple, you must gain permission from Societe d'Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel.

Tourist: Whoaa....you mean I can't even share my holiday trip photos to my friends?

Tour guide: Sure you can. Take photos of Eiffel Tower in the daytime. You can publish a photo of Paris city scene where the Eiffel Tower appears. Those, you can share. Please be reminded, the same goes for Louvre's pyramid in Paris.

Tourist: I guess everyone's got to earn a living. Hope the artist gets some of the earnings from the copyright.

If its a private place like a home or a club, I can understand photography restrictions due to copyright issues. Soon tourist and business trip to these places would require you to wear special glasses to restrict vision of these copyrighted places. Kind of peculiar for people to soon think of no reproduction by camera, smart phone, drawing or even thinking about it copyright laws.

Are there other countries with similar copyright laws on photography of public places?

Its almost like being in a tyrannical state, right? but wait, because its widely implemented in Europe, groups have people have been working on changing these limiting laws. Currently, an exception to these copyright laws are being published on Wikipedia by Freedom of Panorama (FOP).

Learning through photo sharing experiences is so easy. To some, going to Paris might only be a reality through the Internet.


Friday, January 20, 2017

Raspberry Pi Programming - typical electric components

Raspberry Pi provides a great platform to learn programming and gain knowledge of basic electric components.

At this moment I am considering that the most basic projects for a newbie with no educational background in electrical or electronic engineering would cover;

  1. Basic of electric circuits and personal safety
  2. Use of battery, LED and resistors
  3. Buzzer and sensors
The Raspberry Pi would then be connected to turn on/off and detect state of the component. Basics of Python programming would be needed, see my previous post. This is going to be fun, but expect some parts to get fried along the way even with only 3volts.

Next couple of days will be used to sort out which components for upcoming basic projects.

Which components should I use?


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Python for kids

Every used Raspberry Pi and wanted to learn programming? It comes with a programming language called Python. You and any primary of secondary school going child can learn Python if they have access to the internet.

One such site is Learn Python
https://www.learnpython.org

An online compiler is provider with the tutorials and is a great start. Put aside all those daunting and distracting stuff, like it being Python version 2 or 3 and just dive into the lesson.

You will emerge a very much better person after completing the lessons. Once you are done, pick up a Raspberry Pi project that uses Python and you are on the way to being in the Matrix. Examples of projects can be found at (link, link ) and www.raspberrypi.org.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Howto reinstall Samsung Galaxy S5

The Samsung Galaxy S5 is a powerful phone and have lasted me over 2 years. Regular updates and the many different applications installed and removed does cause the storage to be bloated and its good option to clear everything and reinstall only the required apps after such a long time.

I will be doing a factory reset (wipe out all data on phone) then allowing the Galaxy S5 to restore last saved settings and finally restore application settings from Samsung Smart Switch (the PC software provided by Samsung). A USB cable is required to connect Galaxy S5 with the PC running the Smart Switch. Make sure the phone is detected when using the USB cable, else you may need to get another USB cable.

IMPORTANT
Backup all your data before proceeding. Copy your login information for Google, Samsung and other apps on a paper, if you need to.

Before we begin, there are 2 steps to be carried out;

BACKUP PHONE INFORMATION
Use the Backup and Restore.
From the phone, select the Settings (This usually looks like a gear when you pull down to display the menu from top of the screen) and choose Backup and Restore. Choose your backup and restore settings, including storing it on Google drive.

Backup other settings and apps to a PC or external storage as needed.

SAMSUNG SMART SWITCH
We will be using Samsung Switch, so go ahead and install this on a PC.  Start Smart Switch, plugin the Galaxy S5 phone to the PC via USB cable, then do backup of applications and other media that you require.

Here are steps taken to reinstall the smart phone from Samsung. Make sure the phone is fully charged BEFORE you start.

Step 1. FACTORY RESET (optional)
From the phone, select the Settings (This usually looks like a gear when you pull down to display the menu from top of the screen) and choose Backup and Restore. Then choose Factory Reset.

This may take a while as it will also reinstall default applications found on the phone.

Step 2. INITIALISE THE PHONE
Start the phone and follow the instructions to setup. I choose not restore all Apps from google but only the settings. Finish the setup with last steps that include confirmation of the phone name.

Step 3. UPDATE AND RESTORE DATA
On the PC, start Smart Switch then plugin via USB the Galaxy S5 phone. If prompted to upgrade, accept and follow instructions provided. Strongly suggest that the CAUTION message displayed is followed to avoid wasted time on failed software update.

Smart Switch update software for Galaxy S5

Smart Switch CAUTION messages

You will need to disconnect the cable once its done. This will cause the phone to restart, wait a little bit as it flashes the text "SAMSUNG", then it will show "Android is upgrading" before the phone can resume as normal. For me, on the phone it mentioned optimizing app total of 284, and this restart process took just over 15minutes before I could get the login screen.

RESTORE DATA
Start Smart Switch on the PC. Login to the phone and plug it to the PC using the USB cable.

Smart Switch should detect the phone, then clik on the Restore button and follow the instructions. Once restore is complete, disconnect he USB cable. On the phone, Check the Contact, calendar and other contents that is needed.

TIPS
Find Lock a lost Samsung phone using a web browser.
Open a web browser and type location as https://findmymobile.samsung.com and login with the Samsung account used with the phone. Here is a well documented site on ensuring that you enable basic actions that you can take when the phone is lost.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Howto Install Laravel Using Composer

Following are instructions to install Laravel Framework 5.3.16 on a Centos Linux 7. The PHP Composer 1.2.2 is used to install all the dependency packages. Detailed instructions on MS Windows environment were initially prepared in previous blog Howto Install Laravel Framework using Composer.

The system on a x86 64-bit computer consist of
CentOS Linux 7.2
HTTPD 2.4.6-40.el7.centos.4
PHP 7.0.13
MySQL 5.7.16-1.el7

Step 1. Install Laravel

Login to a command line terminal (CLI) as a normal user (with sudo rights) and type

 $ sudo yum install composer  
 $ composer -V  

This installs Composer 1.2.2. Minimum requirement is PHP 5.3.2 as mentioned as Composer website.

Install Laravel

 $ sudo yum install composer  
 $ composer -V  

Create your first application called hello.

 $> composer create-project --prefer-dist laravel/laravel hello   

This install Laravel 5.3.16 as shown in the image below. The folder tests and vendor is not shown.

Listing in hello folder.



Step 2. Run Artisan Serve

Start local artisan server

 $ cd hello  
 $ php artisan serve  

Open a web browser and point to the provided URL http://localhost:8000

To allow access to this instance with a domain name such as tboxmy.blogspot.com, start the server with following command

 $ php artisan serve --host= tboxmy.blogspot.com --port=8000  

Step 3. View the Results in HelloWorld

Test Laravel with a helloworld file

Open a terminal and go to the project folder ->hello ->resources ->views
Create a file helloworld.blade.php with following text

1:   <!DOCTYPE html>   
2:   <html>   
3:    <head>   
4:     <title>Laravel</title>   
5:    </head>   
6:    <body>   
7:   Hello World!   
8:    </body>   
9:   </html>   

Display this "VIEW" when the URL is /hello by editing the file web.php in the project folder ->hello ->routes

1:   Route::get('/hello', function () {    
2:     return view('helloworld');   
3:   });   

Save the file and start the artisan serve.

Open a web browser and type the URL mentioned above in Step 2. E.g.
http://localhost:8000/hello

This displays the Hello World! page with HTML formatting from the file resources/views/helloworld.blade.php

Done