Tag Archives: Wi-Fi

Electric roads coming to a year near you

One of the biggest hurdles for electric vehicles to overcome is the…inconvenience…of batteries. With a battery-dependent electric car, you can’t just drive into a service station and ‘fill’er up’. You have to wait, but we live in a society which has lost the art of patience. That is why we need to change the way we build roads:

We already have huge, road-building machines that lay bitumen at phenomenal speeds, so adapting them to build new, electric roads should not be a major problem. Adapating existing roads would be more time-consuming and expensive, but as the video clip shows, the technology is doable. Just imagine never having to worry about ‘filling ‘er up’ again!

For more details, please read this Quartz article:

https://futurism.com/scientists-have-officially-started-testing-wireless-charging-roads-for-electric-vehicles/

Back in my post about distributed power generation via solar and Tesla batteries, I explained the idea of distributed power generation via our homes. The electric roads of the future could allow us to do something similar with transportation. Imagine a future in which the electricity grid is powered not by one or two huge, highly vulnerable power plants but by millions of distributed generators – in our cars, in the home, on top of our buildings etc. Instead of being at the mercy of prices set by power companies, we would become the power companies with onboard accounting systems updating our net ‘worth’ in real-time.

And who knows? Maybe after homes and roads, we’ll add small scale power generation to every object and device we use – like mini-generators in the heels of our shoes. So much better than Get Smart’s shoe phone. 😀

cheers

Meeks


Mobile computing – not quite there yet :(

Hello world! You are receiving this missive from the Greensborough Plaza Shopping Centre in lovely downtown Greensborough, an outer-ish suburb of Melbourne, Australia.

For the first time ever, I’m composing this post on my new laptop via a free wi-fi connection that would make dialup cringe in shame.

It’s taken me half an hour to connect and get this far. 😦

To be fair, this is the second week of the school holidays and the centre is quite full, but I can’t see anyone else madly trying to use the wi-fi connection. So either a lot of hidden people are hogging the wi-fi, or the wi-fi connection is terrible.

Forgive me if I sound bitter, but I bought this laptop in the hope of being able to work on the great Australian sci-fi novel while out and about. Unfortunately, I’m using sync.com to connect to Innerscape [so I don’t have multiple versions of the story floating around], and sync.com requires a functional internet connection to work. And this isn’t it.

The one good thing about sitting in a great big shopping centre, bitching about the wi-fi connection is that the latte is excellent. It’s so good, in fact, that I haven’t completely given up all hope of one day being able to work while sipping lattes. All I have to do is wait for the NBN to come Greensborough.

For those not familiar with Australian abbreviations, NBN stands for National Broadband Network and was the Rudd Labor government’s brainchild to drag Australia into line with the rest of the developed world [we have terrible broadband and it’s horribly expensive].

Originally, the NBN was supposed to be bleeding edge technology that would bring fibre optic cables right into the home. Had this gone ahead, it would have meant blisteringly fast broadband. For once, we would have been ahead of the game and our broadband would have become the envy of the modern world.

Then politics raised its ugly head and we got NBN mark 2. We would still get fibre optics, but no longer right into the home. Instead, old school copper would connect the fibre optic cable to the house.

Apparently, NBN mark 2 would save a lot of government money that could then be spent on Naura and Manus Island, turning refugee maltreatment into an artform. The downside, however, would be a reduction in that blistering speed I mentioned. A bit like taking the water from a high pressure hose and funneling it through an ordinary garden hose.

You get the picture.

Speaking of which, I don’t dare post a pic because I have no idea how long it will take for text to be uploaded, much less graphics. But fear not, picture me sitting here, sipping a latte and snarling at all the kiddies running by. I’m not breathing fire yet, but a few smoke alarms have gone off in reaction to the smoke coming from my ears.

Have a wonderful day and may your internet connection be nothing like mine.

Meeks

p.s. the upload went surprisingly quickly. I guess only downloads are awful.


How to fix missing ebooks on your Kindle Fire 6

Last night I went to bed, got cosy, opened my Kindle Fire 6 and discovered that the ebook I’d been reading the night before was nowhere to be found. What the…?

This morning I discovered that missing ebooks are a known problem with a couple of solutions/workarounds. I could:

  1. De-register and re-register my Kindle, or
  2. Reset my Kindle to factory defaults

Not having a Wi-Fi modem* and remembering how hard it had been to register my Kindle Fire when I bought it [I had to go into work and ask to use their Wi-Fi connection], I quickly decided that the first option was not for me. Instead, I chose option 2 – resetting the Kindle to the factory defaults.

<<cue ominous music>>

This is where my geek friends roll around in fits of laughter, and my reputation as a baby geek takes a nose-dive. Let’s just say I should have known better. In my own defence, I have to say I did know that resetting the Kindle would mean losing all the ebooks I’d downloaded from Amazon, but in my wisdom I thought it would not matter because :

a) I’d already read those books anyway, and

b) I could always download them again from my Amazon account if I wanted to re-read them.

It did not even occur to me that there might be an option ‘c’ to consider. 😦

So…I did the deed. I’m not providing pictures because I don’t want to make this too easy in case someone does it by mistake, or in a drunken fit. Anyway, the steps are detailed below:

With the Kindle Fire 6 turned on, swipe to unlock, tap Apps, tap Settings, tap Device Options, and finally, if you’re brave [or foolhardy] tap Reset to Factory Defaults. You’ll be given one chance to change your mind, but once you tap OK you won’t be able to stop the process; everything currently on your Kindle Fire will be erased.

Sadly, it was only when the screen prompted me to register my newly empty Kindle that I realised I’d done the very thing I had not wanted to do – i.e. I’d erased the registration data along with everything else. Ut oh….

I won’t detail the choice words that flew around my office at that point. Suffice to say I was not happy. I did consider asking my neighbour if I could use her Wi-Fi connection to re-register my Kindle Fire, but embarrassment stopped me before I could dial her number. I hate having to explain that I’m not really a complete luddite, just a scrooge. [I built my house with Cat 5 cabling in the walls so my network is hardwired. I don’t need Wi-Fi…except at times like these.]

Anyway, that was when desperation made me remember something I’d read about using a mobile phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Could I do it?

Much research later, I finally found a video clip that detailed how to turn a Samsung Galaxy S2, Android version Jellybean [exactly what I now have] into a mobile hotspot. And this is it:

It’s a great video, but it does go very quickly so I’ve provided a sort of step-by-step transcript below:

  1. Make sure your S2 is fully charged
  2. Turn it on and swipe to unlock
  3. On the home screen tap Apps
  4. Then tap Settings
  5. Then tap …More settings
  6. Then tap Tethering and portable hotspot

The next bit involves a slight change of technique.

When you see an option called Portable Wi-Fi hotspot, don’t tap it. Instead, tap-hold-slide the slider bar from ‘O‘ across to ‘I‘ as shown below:

Wifi hotspot 1

Now tap Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot. You will get a warning message that says turning the portable Wi-Fi hotspot on will turn the phone’s Wi-Fi off. Tap OK.

Next you will get a message saying ‘enabling Wi-Fi Hotspot’. When it’s finished doing what it needs to do, the display changes to show the ‘I’ lit up in green:

Wifi hotspot 2

Tap the Portable Wi-Fi hotspot option to display the configuration options as shown below:

Wifi hotspot 3Your phone will have a default name and password. At this point you have two options, you can either change the default name and password on your phone, or you can leave it as is and simply connect your Kindle to the phone’s default hotspot settings. Either way, your Samsung Galaxy S2, Android version Jellybean is now an active mobile hotspot.

Now to connect your Kindle Fire to the Wi-Fi.

Keep your phone set to portable Wi-Fi hotspot.

Turn the Kindle Fire on.

Swipe to unlock.

At the top of the screen, tap Apps.

Tap the Settings option.

Tap Wireless and VPN.

Tap Wi-Fi.

The next Wi-Fi option is set to ‘Off’. Tap it once to change ‘Off’ to ‘On’.

You should now see the name of your mobile phone in the list of available hotspots. If it’s not there, tap ‘join another network’ to make your Kindle sense the mobile phone’s presence.

Once you see the name of your mobile phone on the list, tap it to select it.

You may now be asked for the phone’s password. This will be the password shown on the configuration screen of your mobile phone!

Tap in the password and the Kindle should show a connection to your mobile hotspot. Yay!

Now, follow the Kindle Fire onscreen prompts to complete the registration of your device.

Note: The email address required to register your Kindle will be the email address you use to login to Amazon. Similarly, the password will be the normal password you use to log in to Amazon.

Once you’re done, your Kindle Fire should sync with your Amazon account and display your most recent purchases. I downloaded my two missing ebooks via the mobile hotspot but doing so does chew up quite a bit of the data allocation – i.e. it’s expensive so be warned.

Finally, when everything is ticketty boo again, close Wi-Fi on your Kindle Fire.

Now to fix up your phone.

If the screen has gone black, just tap the ‘On’ button at the side of the phone to wake it up. It should still be showing the configuration screen for the portable Wi-Fi hotspot.

Turn the portable Wi-Fi hotspot off by moving the slider bar from ‘I’ back to ‘O’.

Your mobile hotspot is now off but you are not finished yet. Go back to Settings/Wireless and networks and turn the [ordinary] Wi-Fi option back to ‘I‘.

[Do not get confused, this is the setting your phone uses. It is not the portable hotspot setting].

And that is that. A lot of work to fix a silly error. The only good thing to come out of this is that I’ve got my new ebooks back and I’ll have something to read tonight. Oh and I’ve learned some new stuff about my phone. 🙂

cheers

Meeks

*Normally when I buy ebooks from Amazon, I download them to my pc and then sideload them onto my Kindle device[s].

 


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