Thursday, December 27, 2012

Belkin WeMo

Well for Christmas I received a Belkin WeMo Switch from Santa and I can say it was a great present for a gadget guy like me...

Within minutes of ripping the paper off, it, I had it plugged into the wall and configured on my iPAD - of course I had the Christmas Tree lights plugged into it, so was happily switching them on and off from my tablet.

I then tried it via the 3G instead of the house WiFi and it failed, I could not see the device...
A quick troll through the support pages in the internet, and I power cycled the WeMo (turned it off and on again - typical IT resolution) and low and behold it was seen on the iPAD via the 3G - superb!

From your phone/tablet, you can program the switch to turn on/off at times during the day and if you have a
WeMo Motion, you can set the switch to turn on/off when it detects that someone is in the room.

Belkin have also teamed up with so that you can get the switch to operate via triggers from time of day, the weather, SMS messages and e-mails, the possibilities are amazing (i.e. you can set the WeMo to turn on, via, when the sun sets).  I have set my iPAD up, using the Find My Friends app, to send an e-mail to turn on the WeMo when I get near my house, so that a light is already on when I walk in - I have seen another 'recipe' on the site where someone is controlling their Christmas tree lights using the WeMo, and has set them to flash when they are tagged in a photo on Facebook...

I will definitely be buying some more of these devices plus the WeMo Motion to automate more things in my house and garage...

You can follow the Belkin WeMo on Twitter or Facebook

Sunday, September 23, 2012

IOS6 - iTunes U

So what did I find in the IOS6 update from Apple, well SIRI appeared on the iPad, but after a brief exploratory encounter, we decided to agree to differ, it would not understand me and I was exasperated by it.

One App I did find, that was new to IOS 6 was the iTunes U, having a 'delve' into this revealed a wealth of information, it seems to be a training centre for all kinds of things, brought into one, easy to use, bookcase.

There are hundreds of courses to choose from, from applied mathematics (not for me) to zoology (also not for me).

A quick browse through and I have already subscribed to a course in Management and another in DNA, pretty random you may think, but I manage a team and am always open to new ideas, plus I work for a bio medical company, and we have many 'boffins' who I have no clue what they are on about.

The courses comprise of videos, podcasts and written notes, so they seem relatively easy to digest and everything is, as I say, in one place.

Go on, give it a try, I challenge you to learn something...


Monday, September 10, 2012

RAS UK Customer Roadshow

The Roche Applied Science Customer Roadshow is about to start.

The RAS Roadshow Truck, has parked up at the Burgess Hill office for employees to look around before it starts it's tour of the country.

It is exhibiting our range of state-of-the art research instrumentation including the GS Junior sequencer, recently used to identify a deadly bacterial infection in the US. Instruments which are helping to deliver on the Roche personalised healthcare strategy will also be on display and you will be able to view the full range of our LightCycler PCR systems as well.

For more information about Roche Applied Science visit our UK website

Here is the 1st peek at a LightCycler 96


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Where's Tony?

A friend of mine, (I hope I am ok in calling him a friend), Ted Meulenkamp, always travels around, and takes the odd little snippets of Roche Buildings and asks where they are, so here I go with plagiarising that idea to see how it takes off...



Saturday, June 16, 2012

Apple TV and iPad AirPlay without router?

Well I am sitting here on holiday in Devon for two weeks, the rain is chucking it down outside the window (don't believe the photo, that was taken last year when the weather was glorious), the ducks are having a whale of a time, but I am resigned to either finding somewhere to go that it inside (almost impossible), shopping with the misses, or catching up on my films - the films win!

I have downloaded about a dozen films to my iPad plus a number of books, so I have enough entertainment you could say, but not for long term use, plus Lynne would like to watch the films with me, she has brought her knitting....

I know thinking to myself, I will go into Exeter and buy another Apple TV, we have a TV in the lodge with HDMI inputs, perfect idea, plus I can re-use the Apple TV when I get home for the bedroom. So off to Exeter we go to the Apple store and purchase a shiny new Apple TV.

This is when my problems started...

Of course the Apple TV has a network port and is WiFi enabled, what I did not have was a network in the Lodge where we were staying, the light worked during the day, gravity was there, we had electric, but no WiFi. Both Lynne and I were using 3G cards in our devices to connect to the Internet (GPRS only) but this was no good for connecting the Apple TV up. Then I had an epiphany, I could use Lynne's Windows7 laptop as a WiFi hotspot/router. A quick trawl of Google gave me the information on how to set it up, instructions below...

Users can activate the device and Wi-Fi hotspot through command line scripts (please run all Command Prompts with Administrative permissions) Start > Run > Cmd > (right click on Cmd.exe and choose run as adiminstrator)
a) Set the parameters for your Wi-Fi hotspot (first choose a name for your Wi-Fi hotspot and a password key)
run : netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=Hotspot key=passwordhere(where ssid = your Wi-Fi hotspot name, and key = your password key) (password key needs to be at least 8 characters)
b) Start the network adapter
run : netsh wlan start hostednetwork
c) Share the connection
- Open Network and Sharing Center, right click on "Microsoft Virtual WiFi Miniport Adapter",
- Go to Properties --> Sharing,
- Select 'Allow other network users to connect through this computer's Internet connection',
- Click 'Select a private network connection' and select your active internet connection,
- Click OK and close all tabs.
d) Disabling the Wi-Fi Hotspot
run : netsh wlan stop hostednetwork

This created a WiFi network that I could connect Lynne's iPod touch to, but the iPad and the Apple TV would not connect, they could see it but would not connect, (I have a feeling that they expected to see the Internet and they couldn't).

I then manually configured the IP settings on all three devices, so that they used the same IP range, with a subnet mask of and the laptop's IP address as the default gateway.

Low and behold, the iPad and Apple TV both connected straight away, and the iPad could AirPlay my films to the Apple TV, perfect.

So what if it is raining outside, I now have my cinema set up, armchair in front of the telly, beer by my side, pop corn the otherside, bliss...

Happy holibobs!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Apple TV and my Media Player

Well I took delivery of an Apple TV yesterday, and yet again, whoever designs the packaging for Apple ought to have an award, even the packaging was a delight to open.

The 1st job was to connect the Apple TV to my television, which was really easy, two cables, one HDMI and a mains cable, then came the setup, again, fairly straightforward, then onto the iTunes to set up Home Sharing.

So I had a working Apple TV system, I had downloaded the 'Remote' App from the App Store and had connected my iPad 2, a quick whiz round my iPad and I sussed how the AirPlay worked, I could remote control the Apple TV from my iPad, everything was looking rosy...



My main driver for getting the Apple TV, was to use the LoveFilm streaming service from my iPad via AirPlay, I know I can use LoveFilm on my XBox, but why should I pay another £35 a year for the XBox Gold so that I can connect to LoveFilm, I have LoveFilm on my Smart Tv, but it runs Android and always falls over halfway through the film. LoveFilm has always worked on the iPad though, so my thoughts were, "why not use it via the iPad to the Apple TV", until it tried it, and guess what, the LoveFilm Player, does not allow the mirroring. This sucks!


Media Center

I also have a Freecom Media Player, which I bought several years ago, this is a 500GB NAS box, capable of playing films, photographs and music, via HDMI, straight to my TV. Looking at the functionality between, this and the Apple TV, there is no comparison, this evening the Media Player will be consigned to the office, connected straight to my laptop, via USB, and I will start the process of converting all my digitised films to the Apple TV format using my Aimersoft Video Converter Application.
It may take me a while, to convert all my DIVX and AVI films, but at the end of the day, I will have the luxury of having all my films, music, photos, and iPad functionality in one place - my armchair in from of my TV - Nivarna!


Next Steps..

Do I REALLY want to look at the AirPlay games?

Well here is a really good resource on all thing AirPlay.

Another thing I will be investigating is setting up Apple TVs connected to the projectors in our office meeting rooms, this could well be an easy way for people to present, I will just have to figure out if the subnets will be a problem...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Blogsy App for the iPad

I have just downloaded the Blogsy App for the iPad. We shall have to see how easy and how good the App is to post to my various Blog sites.

160 x 50

220 x 70

Copying pictures straight from web pages is really easy, very impressed with that, although it did change the font size...

Dragging a video direct from my YouTube pages was a cinch, how easy is this...

Dragging a photo from my Picassa account is simple too.

Wow, even uploading photos from my iPad is easy, I can see why people like this App!




Thursday, April 12, 2012

TimeLapse Video

Now I am not a photographic geek, I like taking photos and video as a remembrance of an occasion like everyone else, this is why I love this App to do Time Lapse recordings.

I read a blog at the weekend where a guy had set up his Mac to take a time lapse video of a party, then at the end of the party he just uploaded the results to YouTube so that every one could see what went on at the part - cool I thought.

After a search in the App store on the iPad, I decided to give Quick Lapse HD designed by CodeCraft Technologies a try - it is possible to install the free App, but it only gives 3 seconds of recording, so I went for the full App as the cost is peanuts.

I was very impressed on how easy it was to get up and running, I have a gorilla mount for the iPAD, courtesy of a birthday present from my son, so I just attached it to the handrail in the atrium of my office and recorded the coffee bar for 10 minutes, I was very impressed with the results.

This was recorded in the App complete with soundtrack and uploaded direct to YouTube.

On the way home last night I attached the iPAD to the rear view mirror in my car and recorded my journey home, this time I took the recording and made some minor edits using the Video Editor App and uploaded that to YouTube, still pretty good for a 1st attempt.

So far I only have one grumble about the App, and that is if a notification/alert appears, the recording stops - this can be a bit of a downer if you have set the iPAD up to record a day's event and someone send you a calendar invitation an hour into the event.

The only thing I would like to see on the App is an idiots tool for setting the recording by 'Expected Recording Time' and 'Prefered Playback Time', at the moment you have to do some mental arithmetic to figure out the Timelapse Interval by the Frames Per second.

I already have a plethora of ideas where I can use this neat little App.