Category Archives: hardware


Everything You Know About the Internet of Things is Wrong — Backchannel — Medium

What about the low-cost Tablet Market?

Newcomers  are not always the happiest guy…. This because not often there is not  much room left by the first-comers that usually had the “good idea” and  consequently became the market leaders.

But sometimes things go differently. This is the case of low-cost tablet market where a  big number of semi-unknown producers from Asia have been able to create good products at a very affordable price.

If you google “tablet”  and visit some specialised, B2C, websites you can find some interesting  products. Obviously I’m not talking about the top of the production and you will not find any top level tablet but you could be interested to some of them if you consider their prices.

The middle level market wasn’t considered interesting by big players till now. But the  potential  increase of demand in this segment has changed the scenario. 

Tablets are very common devices and today many of us could be interested to have a second or third device to avoid the matter of carrying our expensive, branded tablet everywhere. Personally I am not planning to buy a second “branded” tablet to increase my comfort when in remote places but I could really consider to buy a second, not the top, device if it is really cheap. I am sure it will be a little be slower and less performant than the one I use every day but what does it matter if its price will be just a fraction of my main tablet?

For above marketing reasons Amazon is planning to sell a low-cost 50 USD tablet before the end of the year.

On one end the attended success of this marketing strategy could be read as another way to chain its customers to the brand. On the other end low-cost tablets represent a real remunerative economic niche that worths a good slice of the market (and consequently a lot of money).

Moreover the tablet market starts to be “mature” and this niche could be one of the last ones before the decline. Moreover Ubuntu is coming

In fact Ubuntu is actively working on a new generation of tablets that will run a native version of Linux. The tablet devices we are using today have enough power to smoothly run some of the main common Linux OS and overcome the main problems that were registered when some “primitive” Linux tablets were launched some years ago.

For this reason Linux enthusiasts like me hope in something new… and useful in the near future. Cross your fingers!




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Do you really need to buy a scanner?

Google DriveIf you work in an office where many document are daily processed you will appreciate one quick tip about using Google Drive as a on-the-go scanner. As you certainly know you can set Google Drive to always convert documents into Google Formats when you upload a new one. You can also decide to automate the process and Google will automatically convert the files without asking you again about it but, for my experience, it’s more more flexible and useful to define the conversion parameters every time I decide to upload a new document. For this reason I ticked the “Confirm settings before each upload” option in the upload menu.

One, not so known, feature is represented by the internal Google OCR that is able to read text also contained in jpg files. This means that you can simply take a picture of the text you want to modify and Google will convert it into a text file in few secs. During some test we made, a medium quality photograph is more than sufficient to have good results with Google OCR.

To activate this feature don’t forget to put a tick on the “Convert text from PDF and image files to Google documents” option and to specify the document language when you upload the jpg files into your Google Drive.  AddThis

How to fix monitor problems (bugs?) on Ubuntu 12.04 and later versions – Linux

Starting from Ubuntu 12.04 we observed different graphics problems with “old” computers. When I say “old” I don’t mean obsolete hardware but PC with not more than three years of usage.

Many problems were especially noticed in systems with dual monitors or involving laptops. In few words, Ubuntu was not able to keep and memorize the correct video settings and it was necessary to set-up monitors configuration almost each time you logged on your OS. If you have the same problem and you are surfing the net to fix this “bug” don’t forget to search for solutions strictly connected to the laptop or graphic card you are really using. In fact in our experience there are more than few solutions possible and what it’s resolving for some hardware could become a real mess for different (but similar) machines.

The risk of damaging Ubuntu graphical interface while you try to fix the laptop – dual monitors problem is high. Or it has been in our experience because after some tests we were just able to use Ubuntu through the old line way in its safe mode boot. In any way, in our experience (IBM Thinkpad T43 and a HP L1950g monitor using Ubuntu 12.04 LTS with MATE as graphical interface) we solved all the matter just using Terminal and typing:

 sudo apt-get update


sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

We are not able to explain why it works but it really fixed the bug. Probably, in one of the previous update one or more libraries conflicted with Ubuntu 12.04 configuration generating all the mess we fought against during the past months.

So, if you want to test our solution on your PC, do it at your risk, and type:

sudo apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-desktop


sudo apt-get install --reinstall xubuntu-desktop


sudo apt-get install --reinstall kubuntu-desktop


sudo apt-get install --reinstall lubuntu-desktop

If you want to reinstall all (k)ubuntu-desktop dependencies:

sudo apt-cache depends ubuntu-desktop | awk -F ":" '{print $2}' | sed '/^$/d' | xargs sudo apt-get install --reinstall --install-recommends --yes

Don’t forget to choose your favourite k-x-l-u-buntu-desktop when you type all the above code in just one line and !

Good luck!…. and touch wood while you fix this really annoying bug…..  AddThis