Eclipse by Native Union – My first impression

Today I would like to talk about a Kickstarter Project called “Eclipse” I backed a year ago, and where the product was delivered a few weeks ago. I really wanted to give it some testing and usage before producing my review.

So first I have to say that the creator Native Union did communicate over the whole time in an exemplary way! They explained delays and problems they ran into an always kept the backers up to date, so I never got the felling that the product would not be delivered. So thumbs up for that! As a backer of such projects, you have to consider that the product will arrive later than they expected! But if they keep the clients updated, I think regular clients will not argue around the delay.

So the product itself arrived at my home. Again shipping and tracking etc was no issue at all! Perfect packaging made it again a thumbs up again. So the unpacking could take place. I have to admit that the box, its content and the protection of the device itself were perfect. Honestly, I haven’t had so much fun unboxing a device for some time. Yes I was excited for some time because I was anxious to get the charger into my hands since I knew it was on its way, but I have to admit that the designers definitely did put time into the packaging! Nice job there again! But the packaging isn’t everything. How does the device work and behave?

The device definitely does what it is designed for! It charges up to 3 devices simultaneously, has an LED light which can be turned on and for the main part it looks good. Yes! It is a nice looking, well designed stylish charger for Phones and other USB devices. The cables appear to be of high quality and I think that the designer did put a lot of thoughts into the small details of the charger.

So the first look was not disappointing at all! I had decided myself to buy a nice, well designed and stylish charger to put it onto my nightstand and to charge my phones. That was the idea and unfortunately my story has a downside…

After a few weeks my wife decided to ban her charger from her side of the bed! Why? So at night, when everybody calms down and everything becomes quiet, you often hear the things and the sounds your house makes, which you do not realize due to all the background noises during the day. And unfortunately the Eclipse does such a noise… Yes you have to listen very closely but if you charge at least one device the device starts to make some humming noise, some dissonance or whatever you would like to call it. It is that kind of noise which is annoying if you ever heard it and that once you know it is there, hunts you over and over again. It is that kind of noise cheap chargers might do, but I am sure that the creators used high quality components.

So my final opinion is not yet fixed. I will not be using the chargers, I bought two of them, for the purpose they were thought for. I am using one now in the living room and it fits in there perfectly! The second one has not yet found its final position and that’s why I am a little bit disappointed about the product. But that’s the risk if you invest into a Kickstarter Project! You might not get the product you hoped for.

 

                

Managing multiple WordPress Sites

So do you need to update more than one WordPress Site? If this is the case you might look around for managing multiple Sites over a singe interface. A few weeks ago I did have a look into that topic due to the fact that I didn’t want to spend an hour every month logging into various sites I keep an eye on, simply to click and update everything. So I had a look over the horizon of these programs.

I found a few but most f them were managed somehow by companies where you needed to somehow provide them your log in’s, which seems logical if you want them to update your sites. But as I am a somebody suspicious, I wanted to stay the boss of my data and so I decided myself for a tool called “MainWP”. So if you should ever consider getting something similar, you might have a look at the program.

You simply have to install the plugin on your main Site, and install on the sites you want to manage a child plugin. That’s it! No fancy registration etc. Very easy! And you stay Master of your passwords and log in’s!

The tool itself comes as a simple plugin for WordPress. They recommend setting up an own WordPress Site for the tool, which I definitely can confirm! It simplifies things and keeps it more clear and clean. Another thing I recommend is enabling the unique security ID on the “child” sites, those are the sites you want to manage over your central site. This gives your managed sites more security. I am not sure that without enabling this feature, it would not be possible for anybody to modify your site. But anyway… Enabling security features isn’t a mistake! Never!

For the rest you should simply try it out yourself. It’s worth a try! Yes there are other sites with more features and you might need to put up an own cron-job, but you stay your very own Key-Master.

P.S. Sites / URL’s have been blanked out!

Virtual Server made easy

I was shown by a colleague of mine a nice tool I wanted to share. Ever wanted to have your own cheap Linux server on the net? So did I and the prices were not so, let’s simply say, attractive! Either you get a real Virtual Server and these come starting for at least 10€ / month, but you can find prices for about 5€ / month where you get a scalable server.

The service I tried out is called DigitalOcean and it appears to be one of the most simple services in this sector. You can, in less than a Minute, create a new server, scale them up and much much more. And the best of it, you pay as you use it. Not using any space or CPU etc, means you’re not paying anything.

It’s easier than running your own Raspberry at home and not having a fix IP etc. For the fix IP you’re already paying much more, and many tools need an own IP so if you’re interested in this, you might have a look at it.

That’s the way the cookie crumbles…

Time-Lapse Project – Part 1 – The Parts

So i had the idea to create a timelapse movie and had been looking for some time to get a “Very long term” timelapse device. You can find quiet a few cameras on the market which do give you the possibility to create such series of pictures, but they all come down to the same issue: the problem of power! Most of these devices have internal batteries which need to be charged over (Micro) USB cables which in outdoor situations becomes difficult to keep it dry. Special casings might help but it always becomes a risk factor, because those devices are not ment to function like that.

The only option i found were cameras from a brand called Brinno. I had seen one before at a friend´s but what irritated me most was the fact, that these devices could not do Full HD. Their maximum Resolution was 1280×720, which is nice but the cheaper ones even only do 720p. And honestly they do not come in cheap… But i have to say, they are solid, the picture quality is okay and they do run over weeks and even month without changing batteries. So for a project without energy they are in my eyes definitely the best option!

And so i ended up in a plan constructing a Raspi-Camera with an Outdoor Water Proof Case. Finding such a thing is almost impossible! You could take an old CCTV Outdoor Case, but honestly they are simply huge! Something small and discrete looks different… So i ended up with a Kickstarter Project called PiCE which was realized in 2013. Luckily i was able to buy a “used” case on ebay. But i have to admit that i had the chance to get a case which was never really used. Only a few scratches but that´s it, it had never even been assembled.

So after having my case, i had to start planning the rest. An old Raspi B was luckily on hand, because that was the device at that time the case was designed for. I bought a new Camera and started my assembly. For the software part i chose motionEye OS, which is a nice environment if it works, easy to use with a very user friendly interface. It can even stitch your time-lapse video together! So maybe no need for post production.

That´s the plan, follow up will come next month with some problems i ran into and where i am seeking for solutions =) But that´s how it is with the Pi. It´s always work in progress.