My first autonomous flight – now i...

I’ve always considered the term “drone” to be an emotive word.  Most of the devices out there are simply radio-controlled model aircraft with a small camera attached – devices that have been around for decades without any real public or media interest.  For me, in order for something to really become a drone it needs to have some level of autonomy. My Phantom 2 Vision+ is a quadcopter (a helicopter with four rotors).  You fly it with a R/C controller and operate the on-board camera with an app on your mobile phone that uses a special wifi link to...

First Flight with DJI Phantom Vision+ Dr...

Flying cameras – what’s not to love? I recently replaced my Parrot AR Drone with the latest from DJI – a Phantom 2 Vision+. I found that the Parrot Drone has too many flaws and I stopped flying it. Despite claiming an “HD” camera, the photo and video quality of the AR Drone is relatively poor. It is flimsy and incapable of flying in anything but perfect weather conditions. It also has an annoying software glitch that performs an “emergency shutdown” if the angle from the nose to the tail is too steep – meaning that it shuts off the rotors and drops to...

Making your home internet connection fas...

I have a love hate relationship with my broadband provider (VirginMedia).  Their products are pretty great… when they work.  When they don’t work and you have to suffer the hell that is their customer service (in particular the offshored parts), then you are willing to throw everything away and start again.  It’s even worse when they become oversubscribed in an area and don’t seem to have a plan for upgrading the hardware to keep up with demand. This is what happened to me in April of this year.  My internet went down on Friday night at 6pm.  I...

How to use OCR in Evernote

I love Evernote – it’s become my second brain over the past couple of years – but I only just discovered its Optical Character Recognition (OCR) facility.  This means that any images or PDFs you store in Evernote will be processed and indexed so that you can find them again based on their contents. This is a really great feature – here’s a couple of ways you could use it: Store PDF white papers and eBooks that you may want to use as a reference for research in the future Store PDF versions of user / operations manuals Take photo of white...

My favourite methods for music discovery

I don’t listen to the radio.  I dislike radio advertising for both the interruption, volume increases, and the overall quality.  I also don’t like DJ’s generally – with the possible exception of morning radio shows.  I just want to listen to the music – perhaps with some news every now and then. I listen to my own music library on my iPhone or Sonos and I subscribe to Spotify — I am a huge fan of Spotify. The problem is that radio stations are a great source for discovering new music and when you only listen to music that you already...