Turn a broken smartphone into a home server with Servers Ultimate.

The most horrible sound that you can imagine is the sound of a smartphone clattering on the floor or the sickening crunch of a breaking tablet display. With many of our favorite devices made out of glass ( I still feel like the Monolith in 2001 a Space Odyssey was actually Apple’s first iPad add) the chance of some of those glass display’s shattering .. is real.  But what then ? What when hairline cracks criss cross your screen, (but the touch-part still works) ? What happens when your smart device becomes broken or obsolete. Should you throw away that old or broken phone or tablet ? If its and Android : Don’t ! There is still life in it !

Enter Servers Ultimate.

Servers Ultimate turns your Android device into a home server. It offers you the ability to run “services” on a smartphone or tablet, that are usually reserved for a VM or a beige box. But think about it ! : Your old phone is light, small, powerful, always connected AND has a built in UPS (uninterruptible power supply) called “A Battery”. Why not hook it up to its charger, plop it down somewhere in a corner and start “Serving”.

Servers Ultimate lets you run the following Services on your Android Device

  • https (webserver)
  • dlna (mediastreamer)
  • dyndns
  • irc (chat)
  • socks (proxy)
  • Webdav (web storage)
  • Scp (secure file transfer)
  • SSH 
  • ……

The free version of the app lets you run 2 services at the same time, the payed version lets you check all the boxes and turn that old DroidX into a small home server. Storage capacity depends on what you hook up to it ( Internal SD card of your phone or some external storage) Power depends on the processor in your smartphone. But all in all  : its a great way to setup a server in your house and re-use an old device.

I’m personally using Servers Ultimate to mess around with my MK802.22 stick to turn that into a home server with the Carbon Footprint of a small fly (its very low power) and hook it up the the wild wild web.  Servers Ultimate is Free , but the Pro version will cost you a measly 4.99 in the Google Play Store.

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This is why the internet should never be censored.

You hear a lot online about net neutrality and governments who try to “protect” their citizens from the dangers of the world wide web. From the great firewall of China to the corporate IT control freak who wants to whitelist ‘his’ part of the internet. The world is filled with people who try to impose their view of what is wrong or right. Here is what I have to say about those who try to regulate what we see :” DON’T ! ”  Yes, the internet is a crazy place without borders, and YES there are creepy guys out there trying to do all kinds of strange stuff… But its also a fun place, a wild unpredictable place where , under the banner of anonymity  we can expose our soul , our strangest cravings and our weirdest creativity. But more importantly .. the free and wild internet lets us connect with other humans on a fundamental level. In the blink of an eye we can share a moment, and experience with a total stranger. Behind the veil of anonymity and far away from the social clutter that is called Facebook .. We find the one thing we share in common with EVERY stranger on the internet. The fact that we are both human and can share the most primal emotions. Watch the video below and watch the reactions on all those faces. It takes a minute to get furiously angry at someone .. It takes only a second to share a common smile.    And I DARE YOU … try not to smile while watching the video … If you do ? Then you’re human after all 😉 

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Setup your new Ipad or Iphone in Record time.

With the holidays coming around, there is a good chance that you and your loved ones might be catching some Apple-Love under the tree in the form of some i-Devices. The new iPhone 5 might be the biggest overpriced gadget this year, but maybe you are going for one of the new iPads or iPad mini. The bummer with these devices is that you have to configure them. Set up the right Email accounts, Icons on the screen, links to websites or other i-Device related settings all need to be punched in after you unwrap your shiny new toy. What if we showed you a way to do all of that configuration work ahead of time AND from the comfort of your own desktop ?  Let us teach you how.

All you need to download is Apple’s iPhone Configuration tool. This nifty little program lets you pre-configure tons of settings on whatever I-Device you are going to purchase. 

  • The name of your device.
  • Set a passcode to unlock the device
  • Preconfigure the wifi network you want your iPad to connect to (including the wep or wpa2 password)
  • Setup a VPN configuration (should you have such a thing at home)
  • Preconfigure the email accounts on your iDevice.
  • Preconfigure the exchange connection to your Gmail account so you have Mail, Calendar and Contacts in Sync.
  • Connect to your own Calendar and contacts server (You can use Owncloud to set those up should you need to)
  • Preconfigure webclips (Website Shortcuts) on your homescreen.
How do I do it ? 
Just download the iPhone configuration utility (available for Windows and IOS) and open it up. From the filemenu choose “FILE > New configuration profile” and start dabbling away. Once you have configured the settings you want hit the ‘EXPORT” button. This will generate a profile file that, when opened on your iDevice, automatically configure the settings as you set them up in the iPhone configuration tool. You can choose to make a single profile with ALL your different settings ( Mail accounts, Wireless settings etc) or you can make a configuration file for each category. (A separate profile file for wifi , several for email etc etc) 
 
Letting it work for you.
If it comes down to “auto configuring” your own device, it might be a bit of a hassle to use the configuration tool, but it does come in handy when I want to make web-shortcuts to all the web-based devices and servers I have in and around the house. I just shoot out the profile to my iPad (using eMail or Dropbox) and I’m done. 
 
But the power lies in your service to others. Want to prevent the hassle of getting a phonecall from your parents or aunts over in “far-away-istan” the day after they bought their shiny iDevices ? Do you know the horror of talking a total newbie through setting up an email account on an ipad (without the possibility to see the screen) Have you ever explained “swipe here, pinch there” to a touch-interface-lamen ? Save yourself the hassle. Configure grandma’s email account in the iPhone configuration tool and just have her download the profile of your dropbox share. You will be thankful to me once the holiday rush commences.
 
The iPhone Configurator can be found HERE.
 

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‘Refurbished’ music by Planet Boelex.

if you listen closely to every episode of the Knightwise.com podcast, you are in fact, very familiar with the artist mentioned above. Our outro track is known as ” Sisumies”, a collaboration between Mosaic and Planet Boelex. It’s been a little quit around Planet Boelex after his release of the wonderful album “Suntaa” , so we are very happy to report that there are new sounds emanating from the north as winter is coming. (Can you tell we are watching Game of Thrones  ?) Today we bring you the new track by Planet Boelex “Refurbished”  The track is available on bandcamp as a drm free and money free download.. So get it now.

You can support Planet Boelex by buying his albums online

“Refurbished” by Planet Boelex (Track).

“Suntaa” by Planet Boelex (Album).

“Various” by Planet Boelex. (Album)

Meanwhile , enjoy the full “without me blabbering over it” version of Sisumies.

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Turn your home into a virtual datacenter with Virtualbox.

You’ve heard us talk lots of times about Virtualbox. Our FAVORITE free (as in ‘Gratis’) cross platform virtualisation software. As we mentioned in the previous podcast episode about “Proxmox” (a more serious virtualisation tool) the machines in our home with their I5 and i7 processors and “Gigglebytes” of ram .. are mostly idling around in a corner when you’re not playing Call of Duty (and perhaps you even do THAT on the Xbox) So lets give those machines something to DO ! Running a ‘dedicated’ solution like dropbox might just be a little too much, but perhaps you have some cycles to spare on another system that is also being used as a desktop ? Why not try Virtualbox.

As an example : Currently I have dragged my I7, 16 gigabyte’s of ram Mac Mini downstairs and hooked it up to our tv. Since it carries most of our media it was a little silly to have it running in my upstairs office and having to stream everything back to the TV using a second (front end) box. So now the little bugger sits in our media cabinet with some 4 terrabyte of USB Harddisks hooked up to it. Having it just sit there running OSX and acting as a mediaserver or fileserver was a waste of power and cpu cycles. So with virtualbox I gave it something to do. I installed Virtualbox, hooked up a big external usb drive and started cooking some VM’s.

  • Ubuntu 12.10 vm with LXDE : This is my ‘internal’ ubuntu desktop. I use it for running cronjobs, copy operations and scripts that are meant for internal use only. Its my ‘Secure box’. I’ve enabled the RDP server on it (a builtin function of Virtualbox) so I can cantrol the screen of the virtual machine from afar.
  • Ubuntu 12.10 vm with LXDE : The second machine has a torrent client running as does the ‘dirty deeds’ that need to be done on the internet. Insecure surfing, downloading and remote access via SSH are its main goals. Once a week I ‘roll back’ the machine to its original (clean) post install state with the “snapshot” function of Virtualbox.
  • Ubuntu 12.10 Server : The main task of this machine is running OWNCLOUD (also featured in one of our podcasts) as my personal cloud storage.
  • Nas4Free : With a 1800 gigabyte virtual disk, this VIRTUAL machine acts as my main file storage system. So instead of putting my files on a disk and sharing them out via the file-sharing options on my (host) OSX system, I made a virtual machine of a linux application geared towards storage and filesharing … and put all of my files INSIDE a virtual machine. Performance is very good so far and the added perks to running Nas4free are going to be a topic for next weeks podcast.

In the end, controlling these virtual machines is a little messy sometimes. I mean you can’t just interrupt @Niejana when she is watching “Blood and Chrome” to say : Sorry about that, I need to mess with something on my Virtualbox and for that I need to use the TV ?   You need ‘remote’ ways to manage that virtual machine situation.

  • Controlling the Virtual Machines. Remote controlling the virtual machines is easy. You can use the built in RDP server in Virtualbox to use an RDP client (on any operating system) to open up the remote machine. If you also want to access them from the outside, try installing Teamviewer on the Virtual Machine.  If you are using a Linux operating system as your virtual machine you can enable the SSH Server and go in via the terminal.
  • Controlling Virtualbox. Unbeknown to many, virtualbox has a powerful set of terminal commands you can use. With a simple terminal window to my Mac (SSH) I can use the ‘VboxManage’ commands to do just about anything. Make a new virtual machine, clone a drive, resize a drive. Everything runs in the background and its a very very powerful tool. You can find the entire list of Virtualbox commands HERE
  • Controlling Virtualbox with a web interface. Virtualbox also has a web interface that helps you control your virtualmachines. In a point and click way you can start and stop VM’s and do anything you can do on the ‘regular’ desktop window. Installing it might be a little chore (depending on the host operating system you use) but the results are pretty spiffy. Find the howto HERE.  

And with those little tips you know can turn that headless box OR that powerful machine upstairs that is always on, but sometimes used by your kids for gaming… into your own personal datacenter. Don’t have the spare beige box for Proxmox ? Just have a desktop and want to get it to do some cool things ‘under the hood’. Want your own invisible datacenter ?  Here you go ! Download Virtualbox NOW.

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5 creative ways to use the new iBooks author.

One of the things that is pretty tricky about blogging, is that its actually “writing in disguise”. Sure we write up a post every day and all in all it doesn’t seem to add up to much text in the end (because you ADD junkies don’t have the attention span to finish an entire paragraph without rushing outside to ride shiny bikes) but still : If i where to bundle the 900+ articles on this site in a book.. that would be pretty nifty .. Right ?

But the task of preforming this epic contribution to mankind requires the right software and .. Word sure ain’t it. I shiver when I think back of the days where I had to write my paper in word. Hoping desperately that that single hard return wouldn’t mess up my layout 76 pages down the hill.. You know the scene. However !  With iBooks Author you no longer have that excuse anymore. Apple’s new update of its toe-dabbing into the world of creative writer software has just gotten an fancy update.  In short : iBooks author was made for making schoolbooks and textbooks filled with interactive content. Think of adding interactive slideshows, pictures, movies and more to a text document and really making ti pop. This of course would make all these different functionalities available only to iPad users (Apple do plans to take over the world you know) and the other major downside is that the initial edition of iBooks author was geared towards educational books.

This would be fine and great if your lifelong ambition is to become a Math book author .. just great .. but luckily you are a little cooler then that. So Apple put a bunch of new themes in this version of iBooks author that let you make more then just a boring textbook. 

But here are some suggestions, with the holidays coming up and all that :

  • If you have friends and family that have an iPad ? Use iBooks author to make an interactive foto and video album. Just put the finished ibook up on dropbox and shoot them the link ! They will be able to download the book and open it in iBooks without having to connect to iTunes.
  • Surf around the net and bundle your kids favorite bedtime stories, look on Flickr for the coolest illustrations and make your own interactive bed-time story for the toddler (complete with music , slideshows and moving pictures)
  • Use iBooks author to write technical documentation and add weblinks , video’s and slideshows for those friends, family members and co-workers who “just don’t get it” when you try to explain it to them.
  • Bundle up your favorite blog items, stories and more .. and bundle them in a book. Export as ePub or PDF format and be your own publisher. Why not make it a digital scrapbook by adding some multimedia content.
  • Who ever said this years holiday card needed to be on paper. Dive into  iBooks, add family fotos, sing a carol together and plop the file on the net !

iBooks Author is available in the app store for free and exports to both iBook and ePub format. Most of the interactive features are only available in the iBook export format and adding a lot of videocontent does make it a hefty file. But thanks to iBooks you will be able to go where no Word, Pages or Publisher .. has gone before.

Download iBooks author from the app store.

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Free audiobooks and other strange stuff at the Internet Archive.

If there is one place you should check out for some interesting and crazy content , it has to be the internet archive. Now I know that ‘The archive’ is mostly known by many of you in the form of the “way back machine ” , a sort of time machine that stores old versions of websites. You can have a laugh looking at what yahoo.com looked like in 1994 , or even take a peek at Knightwise.com as it looked like 5 or 7 years ago. There is a lot of interesting stuff. Most of the content on the internet archive is stuff that no longer has any ‘intellectual rights’ tied to it. Meaning that the producers of the content are either dead, that the content is so old even their pet hamster is dead (and so there is no one left to state a claim) or that the creator of the content has donated the content to the public domain. (Like for example .. me !) So I know what you think : The internet archive is just filled with a load of old and useless crap ! .. But there you are wrong. Unlike the movie ‘A night at the museum’ , that still has me waking up screaming at night .. this ‘museum’ of content is filled with the strangest of things. We will tick off 5 interesting finds for you to take a peak at.

1984, by George Orwell‘. If you are in IT, Social Media, Management or … are a Biped alive in the 21st Century : This book is a must read. Social visionary Orwell describes a world of total control, zero privacy in a run down reality in 1984 ( Sounds like Myspace ! ) Why read if you can listen .. and why pay Audible some big bucks if you can download the audiobook for FREE 

NYFD Radio communication on 9/11′ A truly chilling listen : The radio communication logs of the New York Fire department on 9/11. Hearing them go into action , hearing the sirens, the noise and the confusion gives you a chilling feeling that you are part of that day in history … A tribute to the heroic firefighters if there ever was one. A must listen.

Cosmos , War of the planets’ A terrible B-movie filled with overacting, poor costumes , horrible screenplay and hilariously stupid aliens. Forget “The Avengers” .. Watch THIS 

Open Security Training”  How about a screen recording of an online tutorial on security ? If you are on the Internet archive .. Why not take the time to learn.

Nbc Short Stories‘ Nothing more nostalgic then picking up old radioshows that are by now only consumable halfway on the other side of the galaxy. Their radiowaves have long departed , but you can still listen to them HERE.

So enjoy your little trip through the internet archive. Everything is free and there is no farting allowed in the reading room.

(Thanx to listener Lorddrachenblut for the 1984 tip)

 

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Our five favorite free magazines for the iPad.

With an iPad and the iPad mini fighting for some free space on our coffee table, it has become obvious that there is no more room in our life for archaic forms of literary entertainment referred to as “magazines”. Its not that we are such high level nerds that the sheer smell of paper sends us scurrying to the lavatory .. but we don’t have the coffee table real estate .. comprende ?

Unless we do act now, the terrible alternative will be us turning into social neaderthals who, without their weekly dose of readable pulp, will no longer be aware when Jessica Biel went to bed with Justin Bieber and will completely miss out on any blurry pictures of Emma Watsons Nipslips on the beach in Saint Tropez … What to do ?

We need our magazines digitally. So enter “Bookshellf” Yes. that annoying IOS application that has an icon you can no longer delete or hide in another folder. Forced to sit passively as the very last icon on our furthest homescreen , Bookshellf is useless .. or is it.

Sure , you can use it to BUY subscriptions to tons of magazines. But we refouse adamently to pay any amount of cash for a magazine that does not come in a form usable for wiping ones buttocks should the need arise. (The iPad Mini just isn’t pliable enough for the job). Thus we present you with a welcome alternative to papparazi-deprivation and outright privacy : Here is our top five FREE magazines you can subscribe to in the Bookshelf app.

Endgadget Distro : Well done, well built and very informative glossy magazine for the geek. A must read.

iGIZMO magazine : The glossy side of Gizmodo.

GameQ : For gamers who can read (or at least stare at glossy pictures below 99 fps)

CPU : For hardware geeks who like to set their clocks to overclock.

Gadchick : For those geeks among us who cannot pee standing up (without accesories)

Do you have some more ? Tell us in the comment section and eternal fame and glory .. is yours ! 

There are also plenty more where these came from . To get you started here is the complete list.

Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine
WebMD the Magazine
#5 Magazine
Sporting News
Ensign
Co-op Food Mag
Snap Magazine
LEVELED
Gamereactor
Lowdown Magazine
Alligator Magazine
Enjoying Everyday Life Magazine
Project Sounds
The Watch Magazine
Psychic Today
SLH Beinspired.

Thanx Macrumors for the source.

 

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A tribute to 80’s cartoon heroes.

As the madam of the house pointed out yesterday : “Cartoons these days are by far what they used to be”. After watching 20 seconds of  ‘Dora the explorer’ I am forced to agree with her. Either this might be a sign that I lack the medication/harddrugs to actually understand the storyline in a Dora or Winx-Club episode,  or that I am just getting old.  And to surpress any rumors of the latter I offer you the proof that Cartoon Heroes of the 80’s are far superiour to the colored drool slobbering on the inside of our TV’s these days. Agreeing with me is not a sign of age. Recognising the characters in this clip .. IS.

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Access your ebook collection on your smartphone with Calibre and OPDS.

Calibre. Without a shadow of a doubt out favorite cross platform ebook management application, is once again the topic of conversation for today.  For whoever came up with the idea that ebooks should and could be managed through iTunes .. should be shot, brought back to life, shot again, cremated and have his/her ashes scattered on piles of horse shit. Managing your eBook collection in Calibre on the other hand is a bundle of joy. Ordering and cataloging your books, adding keywords, sorting them around AND converting them to your favorite format .. is exactly what Calibre is good at. So what gives ? Well , imagine you and your favorite ebook reader are out and about on the road ? What if you would like to grab that copy of the Twilight Saga you have stored on your computer at home ? Is there no hope ?  Sure there is  ! Calibre comes with a built in webserver that lets you acces your ebook directory via a browser .. exactly what you want .. is it not ? “Hotdiggedy YeS” I hear you scream .. but what if you don’t have access to a browser ?  (or are in the inability to transfer the downloaded files to your favorite reading app ?) Are you lost ? Should you revert to reading the cerealbox for all eternity ? No ! Enter ODPS : A standard for interacting with ebooks libraries. 

How does it work ? 

  • Make sure you have installed calibre on your machine (Duh)
  • Enable the Calibre web service and make sure to enter a username / password. (you don’t want the entire world to know you read my-little-pony cartoons )
  • Open up the correct ports on your router (if you want to access this from the outside)
  • Pick up an ebook reader app on your IOS or Android device that is able to open OPDS libraries.
  • Setup your home calibre library in the apps OPDS preferences.
  • Access your ebooks from anywhere.

What do you need ? 

And now ? 
Now you will be able to access your library directly from the application and get your ebooks from anywhere.
 
Help ? 
No worriez , we got you some manuals.

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