Like converting your phone into a security cam or a radio controlled device, turning laptop into a streaming device etc.
The main board had failed so the screen was black and the backlight cycled on and off. After disconnecting the main board, the backlight stayed on. I am using the existing LED lights, but may replace them with the excellent color quality LEDs recommended by DIY Perks.
The boards tend to be used in multiple models of TV, so they're easier to find than you might think.
The study results indicate that LED blue-light exposure poses a great risk of retinal injury in awake, task-oriented rod-dominant animals. The wavelength-dependent effect should be considered carefully when switching to LED lighting applications.
Next, larger lens waiting at my brother's house will get a better treatment.
As an aside, it's a really neat project to do, my kids thought it was super cool to help with. Large one will go in stairwell.
* These things are seemingly indestructible. In 10 years, the only problems I had was a deteriorating battery (which I replaced once) and a broken back cover (which I replaced by a 2,99 EUR one from eBay). The screen is still unbroken, fully working, and without scratches
* They are small, handy, and slim (thinner than many modern smartphones)
* Browsing is so slow that I cannot do anything except checking Hackernews and reading the local news. So it is definitely not a procrastination tool for me
* The camera still works great, and makes good pictures
* I don't care about security holes. I have no important passwords stored on the phone, I don't use it to check my mail (for the reason above). The only password stored is the ical service password on my private server which is used to update the calendar app. I couldn't care less if anyone had this password, my calendar is really not interesting.
* Osmand (for OpenStreetMap) and the national route planning app for public transit still work
So basically, I have an extremely reliable pocket machine which can be used as a telephone, to send SMS, to do route planning, to check the news, to check my calendar, to provide a Wifi access point for my laptop and which is also a world wide map. I don't need anything else, so why replace it? During these 10 years, I saw my then-girlfriend and now-wife go through 5 new smartphones, which regularly broke. I used it to make pictures of all our vacations, our engagement, our wedding and our child as a new-born. It has accumulated an amount of experience-patina which is very rare for physical things these days, so I also cling to it out of sheer nostalgia.
6 months ago I got a OnePlus 7 Pro and installed LineageOS (continuation of CyanogenMod) on it. The 7 Pro has very small screen borders and no notch (iPhone) / punch hole (Samsung); instead a motor makes the selfie camera pop up & retract from the top of the phone. I also never updated LineageOS because it went from an unofficial build to officially supported so updating would require a complete reset.
About two months ago I noticed that the camera would pop up every once in a while for seemingly no reason.
I could only conclude that it was hacked; worse, I would have never noticed on a 'normal' phone without a pop-up camera. Was my phone also recording me the entire time?
I don't know what the vulnerability was - it could have been a remote exploit in Android itself that's also exploitable on your phone, or it could have been from an app that I had installed (the only apps I had with network usage + camera permissions were Firefox, and the latest version of WhatsApp from when I bought the phone (no updates since I don't have Google software on it, I just downloaded the WhatsApp APK when I set it up)).
You've said that you don't have any sensitive data on your phone, but still be careful.
I updated LineageOS and since then the issue has disappeared. I update the OS about every week now to hopefully prevent this from happening again.
That seems like a bit of a leap. Isn't it more likely to have been a software glitch of some sort?
And it hasn't happened again since I reinstalled the OS two months ago (though admittedly it took ~4 months to start happening the first time).
Doesn't seem like a very big leap to me.
(Not saying that's what happened, but I can easily hypothesize a scenario where this only happens after a while, after some specific app is installed or configured.)
I tried several approaches to this problem, with an ESP8266 and a water-flow measurement on the intake, via a microphone/vibration sensor catching the spin-cycle, and finally via measuring electrical consumption (again on the spin-cycle).
Sadly I had to remove the setup, but it was a fun project that took a few months of iteration to get working.
2KHz is the frequency of my machine's beep. Just triggering on overall noise level alone would notify me each time the machine goes into spin, but using the FFT allows it to be more discerning.
(I'll try to publish the code soon.)
Perhaps someone (with more patience than I for Android/Kotlin development) can tweak it so that is can listen for knocking on a door to trigger some sort of alert (email/txt/broadcast an intent).
Triggering an intent would be very helpful as then it could then be acted upon by Tasker or Automagic4Android.
For example: we have a "spotiphone" which is an old iPhone with a shattered camera that has only Spotify installed that we use in our bedroom to control music/podcasts. Similar thing for where my partner meditates (but it's an old iPod touch).
Our real phones are usually left by the door when we come home.
From my laptop I can control it from afar, so it's been docked there for years.
My parents' tracking of me in the 1990s was awful enough. I dread to think what they have set up I were 12 years old today.
It works both ways: they can see at any moment in time where their parents are, which may be a soothing idea. With one parent travelling a lot for business the screen in the kitchen teaches them a bit about geography too. (What country is mummy in now?)
I worked around some of them — I joined an after school club for a while, but rarely attended which gave me about 45 minutes to wander around the city. One friend's parents thought mine were ridiculous, and would lie for me if I'd said I was at their house but wasn't.
It would have been a lot more difficult with an electronic tracker.
14 months after I bought it the hinge failed and the screen part physically detached from the base, with only the data/power wire holding them together. This also broke the screen beyond repair.
Low and behold there had been a recall issued on that model to fix the dodgy hinge. Despite me having registered my laptop with HP on day one, they never told me - and the refused to fix it now as it was out of warranty.
So I carefully detached what was left of the screen and was able to disconnect the wires with no issues. I built a box to hold the base, with holes to attach an external monitor and plug stuff in. It now functions as part family media server and computer for the children.
Also never buying HP again.
They are attempting to build a os for smartphones based on Alpine linux with the stated goal of supporting a 10 year life cycle. They have a limited list of devices they support but I have heard good things about them.
I really hope postmarketOS grows.
If you’re not silly you really don’t need much computing power, even then newer laptops aren’t big improvements so if your old one still works I don’t see why you would replace it.
This year, I bought a new IPS display, a matching keyboard and a new screen bezel for it. I'll hopefully be able to use it for some more years - I really love the form factor.
And the parts are cheap and plentiful. Get the docking station if you can, I paid 30$ for two a few years ago (top of the range dock, the one with all the connectors and 2x video out)
Also, the IPS upgrade is well worth it.
You may have already found and tried these possible fixes, but just in case you haven't-
1) There's a firmware update for the docks that is supposed to resolve a number of display issues.
2) It appears that similar issues can be caused by having a defective or incorrectly-sized dock power supply. So replacing the power supply with a known-good and/or bigger power supply might help.
Though, in my case, neither of the above helped. It turns out I had a bad HDMI/VGA adapter. Since eliminating that, I've had zero display issues. But I'm guessing that probably doesn't apply to you, since my configuration is a little unconventional.
Anyway, I hope you find something that fixes it for you.
Tell me more!
Alternatively, you can do a bit of soldering/modding and put in an aftermarket 1920x1080 panel. https://nitrocaster.me/store/x220-x230-fhd-mod-kit.html
Sadly though, I think I got the last generation of great MacBooks, and as much as I love it I fear for the day it finally dies, because I’m probably not getting another MacBook unless something changes, and there still isn’t a laptop out there that comes close to the good MacBooks (I know good one’s exist and I’ll manage, but they’re still not the same)
It really was a fantastic piece of hardware, and probably the only Mac I’ll ever live. The dual SSDs(I replaced the cd drive too) gave it a few more years for me.
I’m pretty happy with the replacement I got though. It’s and MSI gaming laptop, but without the “gamer” look. It’ll handle anything I throw at it, so now I can take VR in the go.
Still gonna miss that MacBook though
This things flies for most tasks, I only see it slow down when I try compiling Android apps.
For lots of cases, 1Gb-2Gb of RAM and some computing power is more than enough.
On another note, my 2003ish iBook G4 is still in functional condition and it gets a good deal of use recently as a game-device playing SimTower. I prefer its keyboard over most others in my house (MacBook Air aside) and as such I tend to do most of my writing on it using Pages.
- RTSP Camera Server on Moto G
- Address reservation for Moto G on DHCP server
- VLC and Shortcut to URL 
Worked like a charm. Much better than other solutions I considered trustworthy.
Then on your client device you need VLC. You can manually enter rtsp://PHONES_IP:PORT every time, or make a shortcut and place it on your homescreen. It was certainly easier for my wife. To make a shortcut use the Shortcut to URL app. It's quite easy to use.
For it to work you need to make sure that phone's IP address will not change under you. Your router should give the ability to assign an IP to a mac address. If you have your own home DNS server you probably did not have to read all that.
All apps are free and without ads and seem to be a labor of love.
The two sample pages seen there are hosted from this phone.
Edit: There's an Android version available as well.
I ended up buying an 8, by the way, and I like it much much less than I liked my SE, though it is a lot faster and the pictures are a little better. Still have the SE as a backup phone and because my banking software has no option to move between devices once configured. (Thank you Commerzbank!)
If you use your SE with one hand, be aware it is the last model of iPhone that can be used that way. Starting with the 6, all the larger ones have impossible reach from the bottom-right (typing) to the top-left (navigation), unless you have massive hands I suppose. In retrospect I wish I'd bought a couple of refurb SE's and not ever done a major-version iOS upgrade.
There are a few small phones available, but most of them are too small like the Palm phone or Unihertz Atom. There's nothing that's just normal with a 4" - 4.5" screen.
Edit: How is this working? I'm behind double NAT and other http servers do not work.
I used to run a 24/7 server (bittorrent, HTTP) on a fanless PC originally built for cash desks. Got it very cheap, ran several years till the Debian repo actually disappeared!! Consumption was 19W with HDD. It was replaced with a RaspPi and a SSD.
BTW almost all the laptops at home have been bought used (usually in Germany where offer is plenty). All the tablets (Google Nexus 7 1st gen) have been bought used. No regret when kids break one.
Do you know a company online that sells these second hand laptops? Or do you buy from classifieds, individual to individual?
Wouldn't it be easier to use a modern linux/freebsd kernel with a lightweight userspace?
On top of that curves and chacha20 could be used for ssh to reduce the CPU load.
 https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:frP4SG... (from cache as it doesn't seem to work right now)
Now, I'll say, after 30-40 batteries, I've never had one catch fire. I've had a few that I probably broke as a result of heat, and I suspect that if you've tested the cells carefully and the batteries are in good condition, that they tolerate the brief heating better than cells that are already damaged, but that's not something I'm willing to bet my shed or my body on.
In a typical "failed battery" there's rarely more than one dead cell in my experience. And I've had packs with as many as 9 cells.
From there, it's a matter of putting it all back together. There's soldering involved, and you have to be extremely careful -- hit the battery with the temp required to melt the solder for too long and you have a seriously dangerous situation on your hands. I use two 3D printed clips and alligator clamps to hold the wire, wand and battery at distance from one another, battery on the bottom, wand on the top, wire in-between, and a 120mm fan, requiring me to only hold the cable to the wand and the length of solder.
Can't caution enough that it's exceedingly dangerous soldering this kind of battery. I originally built the rig because I wanted to improve the quality of my soldering -- I'm pretty terrible with an iron, but I made several changes after I had a small number of batteries start failing after repair and a few searches led me to believe I may have damaged them with my poor soldering skills. My rig involves two 3D printed clips, one to hold the iron exactly where I want it, and one to secure the battery. The cable to the iron has a length of wax lace on it to let me pull it back up/remove the iron from the rig with a yank at a distance.
I use an alligator clip to hold the wiring in place and a long length of solder so that I can stand an arms length away. The iron "drops" in -- it's mounted on top, battery on bottom, wire in-between -- so I can heat it up an inch or so from the battery, I place tip of the length of solder in its spot and "tap" the wire of the iron to drop it into place. When I see it melt the tip of the length of solder and the small amount that's on the wire, I pull up on the string to move the iron away, wait a few seconds so the 120mm fan can cool things a little, and put a new battery in.
Goggles, gloves and a nearby fire extinguisher of the right kind are a really good idea. I also do the work in a large, mostly empty, shed with doors that, when opened, eliminate nearly an entire wall and work directly on the cement floor.
A lot of devices use 18650s and not all 18650s are the same. The one powering your drill might be able to handle higher drain than the one that came out of your laptop; don't mix those up. I was given a cardboard box full of dead laptop battery packs from the same model, so I was taking cells from a similar source each time.
 I use an adapter that lets me power a Raspberry Pi via an 18650.
 And likely made them into a fire hazard on their own.
I'm fairly certain you meant your comment in jest, but figured it was worth pointing out.
I reverse engineered the API, documented it and built a re-implementation that makes the OUYAs fully working again: http://ouya.cweiske.de/
That being said both locations have a fibre and the distance between them is below 20 miles so neither bandwidth nor response times cause any issues
I tried to set up my home PC as a server with tincVPN and X2go, i couldn't get a usable performance. Well, to be fair i tried using KiCAD remotely but even the XFCE desktop interface felt sluggish. I also had fiber on the three nodes (Vultr server, home server and my local machine).
Since my work is mainly coding in IDE and working with several ssh sessions, I almost exclusively work with text which is much easier for a great remote desktop experience. On the other hand, when I tried watching videos over remote desktop it was really bad.
The other things that you might consider is UDP vs. TCP, especially since some routers can handle long UDP connections badly. Since you are using VPN tunneling, you should probably avoid TCP over TCP scenario: if the VPN connection is using TCP, then I would rather use UDP for remote desktop connection. I would aim for UDP over UDP, but in a situation where the router can't handle UDP properly you could try TCP over UDP (that is VPN: TCP, VNC: UDP).
You could also try to tune mtu size in tincvpn config.
I suspected ssh over tinc might bring latency since there is an extra layer of encryption, i will try ssh tunneling. Thanks!
I used a number of laptops as servers because of the built in battery backup. Less useful when they don't have on board ethernet since USB ethernet can be flakey. Opening them up to disconnect the display backlight insures they don't try to run themselves down by turning on the screen.
I've given away a number of machines to young people who wanted to learn programming and computers but their parents both wouldn't trust them with the "family" computer and they likely could not afford (or know how) to get a free one. Back before WeirdStuff closed in the Bay Area I had an after school activity that would be to take a few students to there and build a machine out of parts, limit $20. Put together some really interesting machines that we would install Linux on and be off and running.
Also have salvaged parts to make things, like PC power supplies to make a benchtop power supply.
I have an old iPhone with an app that uses the camera to watch for motion. If something happens, it takes a bunch of still pictures and stitches them together into a herky-jerky video and stores it for later.
I keep it on top of the kitchen cabinet to make sure the lady I pay to feed and play with my cats when I'm away does both things. So far, so good. It's hard to get people to actually play with pets when you're away, no matter how much you pay them.
I think the app is called "GorillaCam." I don't think it's on the app store anymore. But it reminds me that when the iPhone first came out, it didn't have the horsepower to do video. But not too long after the App Store came out there were third-party apps that would use the phone's still camera to make poor quality videos.
I didn't tell her that I record that she's arrived. Legally, I don't have to because she's in my house.
Ethically, it never occurred to me to tell her. But if I did I don't think she'd be surprised since so many of my neighbors have live-streaming cameras in their homes. Most of them not even hidden -- they're right there on the kitchen counter or on the piano with a blinking light.
I've dedicated a lot of time to compatibility, and now it is usable and fully feature-accessible in IE4, IE5.5, IE8, Netscape 3, 4, Opera 3-12, Lynx, w3m, Chrome 1.0, old Safari versions, etc.
I'm still working on a few IE3 issues, will be fixed soon.
Don't get me wrong. Great achievement, just curious.
It's also intended as inspiration for Web lovers of all kind to show that that it is possible.
Do you actually deliver different versions of the site depending on browser, with more and fancier features for modern browsers, or does it look the same on everything (with different CSS/JS fixes for all the horrible old browsers)?
Please, do check it out in Windows Phone. I have only tested it once so far. It worked, but it was a while ago.
tl;dr: It got rooted, and was reprogrammed to fetch an image from a local server running on Unraid. As I didn't know how to elegantly create an image from live data, I opted for a svg template. I placed placeholder texts in this svg, and then did a simple search & replace. With each update, I stored a copy of the template as the "live" version, and then used Imagemagick to convert the SVG to a format the Kindle would understand.
It was a nice project, but got replaced with a Grafana dashboard later last year. :)
I don't know if she uses it for anything other than audio, but she's a musician so I think that part is used pretty seriously.
That's not what I, an old Defy user, had in mind :/
A good phone is expensive enough that certain risks just aren't worth taking. :)
It tells the weather forecast and time for the next few days and at night it goes into 'dark mode' which is nice, have it in a corner in my living room.
Edit: forgot to mention that if you use it, remember to do the 'Add to Homescreen' so it displays in full screen.
I wish more apps like this worked on older versions of iOS or Android. No need to hack around with some alternative OS (not that there's anything wrong with that) - it's usable by any non-techie with some old iOS devices.
Was using Raspberry Pis before, but given that many Docker containers don't support ARMv7, I'm just utilizing the luxury of AMD64 (and using Docker Compose, Traefik, and Wireguard to do scaling and networking).
What kind of websites?
GCP instance is like the main Wireguard peer and I can easily add my laptop to the VPN so I can remotely ssh into my server.
Now I can do my coding using VSCode, except I can do it from any computer that has a browser (although Chrome seems to work the best).
I highly recommend checking out CodeServer (no affiliation)
I also use an old iPhone mounted inside the front door as a Touch ID enabled alarm control panel for a DIY HomeKit alarm system. This is using a Homebridge plugin I wrote:
My laptop is always plugged to my TV via HDMI. It's my multimedia center, I use PopCorn Time every day on it. It has a bluetooth keyboard/mouse set.
It's also my main workstation, I develop Android apps on my spare time at home, and nowadays I'm getting more money from the apps than from my 9to5 corporate job, so this side gig is becoming more and more of a main gig.
I love this setup, it's better than ANY smart tv OS, there's simply no replacement to a full-fledged Linux OS on your big screen TV and a real, full sized keyboard and mouse. And to code sitting on a huge armchair is pretty nice too.
Over the last couple years I have increasingly started using my iPhone for navigation using GaiaGPS and Avenza PDF Maps.
My old phone, though unpowered for day to day life still functions great for navigation. On long trips I’ll bring this second phone as a backup map/gps which is smaller and lighter than the equivalent paper maps and navigation tools.
It's been fun building custom iOS apps for HA tasks.
edit: even games! Even moderately-recent ones!
The app has some cool and unique features:
- pink noise to help our baby fall asleep faster and sleep longer
- works in the background
- low baby monitor battery warning
Initially, there are 4 hours of free monitoring time, but as the app is new I'm happy to give promo codes with extra time. Just drop me a message (contact info is the app) and I'll send you one.
Im using an ex corporate hp dl380e server for my home lab, loads of computing power for dirt cheap because there is no SLA.
The server was cheap but the electricity is not, and while its powerful I could get a modern quad core would be as powerful and use less electricity for about the same cost over three years.
A lot of this stuff is e-waste not because its no longer powerful but because it is no longer economically viable. A lot of e-waste, phones in particular go to Africa to be reused, outside of this I don't see any reuse / recycling thats realistic.
Dunno if it'll actually end up working, right now I'm doing a backup and iTunes is saying it's "over capacity by 634 MB" and pinwheeling, but at least it's an attempt.
edit, an hour later: IT WORKS YAY, thanks for giving me a reason to fool with it.
I couldn't call it a "project," but I've installed a music player (Rhythmbox, but pick whatever software you like) and hooked it up to some premium speakers. It's the best music player I could hope for -- it can play literally any format, doesn't phone home, and uses very little energy.
It's great to have a permanent visible reminder of what I intended to be doing. I used to do that with sticky notes, but that had the big disadvantage of not being visible except right at my desk.
What I ended up doing was chaining them together to use as a single multiprocessor PC. Those 8, working together, came very close to reaching the same performance as a low-end "modern" PC of the time.
Some years ago it stop supporting direct upload of workouts and I had to send the gpx file via bluetooth.
Last year battery died and I haven't found cheap replacements.
Would be interesting to find a way to flash old dumbphones for something.
...struggling to work out what to do now though as the next generation of laptops needs to retire. Might try donating but I'm not optimistic
+ Samsung Galaxy Express I8730 (2013) as a remote control for that media center
It’s a better display and cheaper than any off-the-shelf digital photo frames. Fotoo syncs the photos from cloud storage, so family members can upload to the frame, too.
It was my partner's former phone but she eventually broke the camera, and it was quite sluggish.
However, it has a big screen, a big battery life, and had cost me 150€ anyway.
It runs LineageOS just fine and I can barely tell it from a new phone. The drawback is the camera is not as good as current flagships but I can live with that as photos are still pretty good.
Loved this little Nokia because Maemo OS was Linux-based, had a keyboard and terminal.
It is easy to set up (just screate an account with scienceunited.org) and great to contribute to. It runs on Linux, macOS, Windows and Android!
I'm wondering if I should just trash my old desktop, especially if it'll be cheaper in the long term to get something more power-efficient.