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    The whole point in this post is to run your own VPN service, and allow you to connect remote devices to your home network.

    To start off yo…

    Showing posts with label google.

    Showing posts with label google.

    The beauty of the

    over the iPad, in my opinion, is that it plays content without discrimination – I can install Kodi (XBMC) on it without a problem, along with several other functions that Apple wish to lock down – and this is without modifying it. Other than features and functionality, the price point for entry into a tablet world is great!!  ,

    With the upcoming release of the Nexus 9, we will no doubt see a marked reduction in the price of the 7.

    I decided it was probably as good a time as any to mess around with modifying my

    – and I can tell you, I am nothing but pleased.

    Here is a summary of what is involved.

    My guide is based on Linux, Crunchbang to be specific, but you can do this on any OS.  As usual, I found my information on the internet.   and reference to Windows use, although beyond fastboot setup there is nothing different.

    The first thing to do here is install Android SDK on your computer, it in turn gives you fastboot and adb on your system.

    Update:  Here is a link for installing ADB and Fastboot on any system,:

    Following directions from this site, for Android SDK ()

    Regarding the last point, I had to add the environment information, as it wouldn’t run without it.

    Install JDK — sudo apt-get install openjdk-7-jdk

    Environment Variable — sudo nano /etc/environment adding the following line:

    JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/java-1.7.0-openjdk-i386

    Reboot, and Android Studio starts up.

    NOTE Unlocking the bootloader on a Nexus device will automatically wipe all device data.

    Power off your Nexus 7

    Press and hold the Volume Down and the Power button to power on the Nexus 7.

    Connect the device to the computer through USB.

    Verify your PC sees the device by typing:sudo fastboot devices

    If you don’t see your device serial number, and instead see “”, fastboot is not configured properly on your machine. See

    for more info.

    From the same terminal, type the following command to unlock the bootloader:fastboot oem unlock

    A disclaimer will display on the device that must be accepted. Use the volume keys to cycle through the options. Pressing the power button should confirm your selection.  If the device doesn’t automatically reboot, reboot it from the menu. It should now be unlocked. You can confirm this is the case if you see an unlocked icon at the bottom of the Google boot screen during reboots.

    At this point, download the Cyanogenmod, or whichever customer ROM you would like – to your download folder on your Nexus 7.

    Now you can install a variety of, I installed TeamWin, not the latest but here you can find the latest,

    Download the recovery software of your choosing to your PC.

    Power off your Nexus 7

    Press and hold the Volume Down and the Power button to power on the Nexus 7.

    Connect the Nexus 7 to the computer via USB.

    Verify your PC sees the device by typing:sudo fastboot devices

    If you don’t see your device serial number, and instead see “”, fastboot is not configured properly on your machine.

    Flash recovery onto your device by entering the following command:fastboot flash recovery your_recovery_image.img(Where the latter part is the filename of the recovery image)

    Navigate using the volume keys and select RECOVERY using the Power key.

    While in Recovery do the following:

    Wipe Data

    Select Install

    Reboot.

    Once the system has rebooted, give it some time to check for updates, once all updates to the ROM are finished, make note of the version you are running and proceed to the following location and download the appropriate Google Play Store APK to your download folder.

    Now to install Google Play Store to get back all your application goodness.

    Power off your Nexus 7

    Press and hold the Volume Down and the Power button to power on the Nexus 7.

    Navigate using the volume keys and select RECOVERY using the Power key.

    Select Install

    Reboot.

    Now you should be running an unlocked custom ROM on your .

    I got sucked into the internet of things some time ago, Philips Hue bulbs is what sparked my interest. This then turned into checking out IFTTT, which led to Belkin WeMo’s being purchased. I obviously use a media center, so I purchased the Harmony Ultimate – and gained some hue control.

    All these devices and no real common communication between them. Don’t get me wrong IFTTT is nice, but it also doesn’t play with everything. Step in SmartThings hub which can speak to ZigBee and Z-Wave, as well as the Hue hub – things get a little better.

    Having had this setup for months, consisting of the following:

    I can safely say I’m happy and I have a few automated activities setup, but I guess the worst thing is the range right now.

    My router is in my basement and it appears that the network is getting busy – I wonder how much g/n, Z-Wave, ZigBee traffic I can handle on my air-waves???

    I think I am hitting a limit.

    I am currently seeing issues with range in my WeMo’s. If my WeMo insight on my first floor is on, my 2nd floor bedroom devices aren’t detected – if I switch the first floor insight off and give it a minute, I see the previous problematic devices in the app again – I don’t believe this to be Belkin related, just network congestion/interference.

    Belkin decided to use standard Wi-Fi rather than ZigBee or Z-wave, and they “cheaped” out using G over N.  I have considered moving to Zigbee, because while they have a shorter range than Z-Wave, my Hue bulbs use ZigBee – and just list Z-wave, Zigbee creates a besh network for extending overall range.

    It does seem that Z-wave is far more popular than Zigbee.

    I have also considered if making changes at the router, I am wondering if purchasing an AC wireless router would improve anything???  I know I will be still using G, but will my transmission power be better?

    In summary, I’m an early adopter and I am happy with what I have gained. While some of the devices were expensive, I invest to make the future brighter for everyone. Hopefully we learn going forward.  Interested in what Google’s purchase of Nest will have on Google’s future in home automation.

    Does anyone have any tips or experiences about their own automation solutions?

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