Archive for October, 2009

I have earlier written about my Solargorilla/Powergorilla – and I have tried charging the Powergorilla from the Solargorilla solar panel


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Yesterday was overcast – and I could not get the charging going at all.

But today was very sunny, and the Powergorilla started charging as soon as I connected it (as you can see I hung it up outside using the supplied velcro strap. After a couple of hours the Powergorilla was fully charged (it was showing 3/4 charge when I started) – so quite good.

I do suspect from last weekend when I tried charging it from fully discharged that at this time of the year it will not be possible to fully charge the Powergorilla with one Solargorilla in one day. This may be why the company sells a cable where 2 Solargorillas can be connected at the same time.

But I’m happy!

Wow – my Solargorilla can charge normal 12V batteries with tis handy cable :


I want one!

I got the combination powergorilla and Solargorilla for my birthday – as a result of trying to charge way too many things when we went camping in Switzerland this year, and I managed to both deplete it fully during a scout event this weekend, and then charge it again.

But back to basics :


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The device on the left is the Powergorilla – basically a big battery with 3 connectors

– USB out for charging devices such as the iPhone

– Power out for anything from 8.4V to 24V – and supplied with a humongous number of power “tips” for charging/running anything you care to use, including almost all you need to run a MacBoon (you need Apples airline adapter in addition to the Powergorilla)

– A socket for charging the Powergorilla – either from a mains adaptor or the SolarGorilla.

The device on the right is the Solargorilla, basically 2 solar panels you can fold out, hang from a tent/branch/etc with a supplied strap, and then run a cable to the Powergorilla.

– It can also (apparently) run devices directly as long as there is enough sunlight (the same “tips” come with this device as well.

– It comes with a 2m cable, making it possibly to hang it on the outside of the tent, with the battery on the inside.

Practical use

I used my MacBook for 5 hours last night to watch movies, running it purely from the PowerGorilla (it can’t charge the MacBook – just power it). And I charged the iPhone at the same time. Not bad.

Then I charged it from the SolarGorilla on a partially overcast day – to 3 out of 5 bars after 3 hours.

So I’m happy!

It’s seems to have been rebooting a lot today :


Update :


Ah-ha – it looks like O2 are making updates!

I’ve had a quick look at Google Wave (yes I have a account) – but I must admit it is not easy to understand. And it looks like a lot of other users have the same problem :


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It seems extraordinary (if true) – but it looks like T-mobile has been rather lax about backing up their servers, and therefore seems to have lost quite a lot of data :

Wow. T-Mobile and Danger, the Microsoft-owned subsidiary that makes the Sidekick, has just announced that they’ve likely lost all user data that was being stored on Microsoft’s servers due to a server failure. That means that any contacts, photos, calendars, or to-do lists that haven’t been locally backed up are gone. Apparently if you don’t turn off your Sidekick and make sure its battery doesn’t run out you can salvage what’s currently stored on the device, otherwise you’re out of luck: Microsoft/Danger is describing the likelihood of recovering the data from their servers as “extremely low”. [From T-Mobile Sidekick Disaster: Danger’s Servers Crashed, And They Don’t Have A Backup]

I assume someone is being let go from T-mobile’s IT department just now..

Update: I may have a update to this where T-mobile seems to blame Microsoft for the failure :

T-Mobile this Saturday has issued a warning to all Sidekick owners that their online data may have been permanently lost by Danger and its parent company Microsoft. In a note to customers, the carrier says the likelihood of recovering contacts, calendars and other information taken offline by a more than week-long outage is “extremely low” due to an assessment of the server failure. Customers may lose all their information if they have to reset their sidekicks or deprive them of power, according to the note

My T-Touch watch was starting to iritate me – as over time (especially since I change timezones a couple of times a week) the analogue hands and the digital time had started to diverge – and this morning it was 5 minutes between thwm.

So I did a hunt around to see if there was a way to synchronise them – and I found this:


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A very clear procedure for doing exactly that.

This project has a lot of promise for interesting way of using the Arduino:

Bluetooth is a technology for wireless file transfer very spread today in cell phones, but most people don’t know that it can be used to identify someone through the unique address each Bluetooth enabled device has. For example, if you see a number like “00:12:62:F8:E1:0C”, be sure it’s my cell phone.

So, to show this, I did a very simple experiment using Java SE, a Bluetooth (BT) enabled cell phone and an Arduino Board. The project is very simple: the Java SE application uses Project Marge, Avetana JSR-82 Implementation and a Bluetooth USB adapter to search for available devices in area. Once a registered device enter in area, like my cell phone, the Java App sends a signal through the USB port to the Arduino board (mapped as a tty device at Linux), which then interprets the signal and turns on a green LED ( light-emitting diode).

[From Hello mama, I’m home |]

I’ve had problems posting anything to Brightkite for the last 72 hours – but maybe the answer is in the banner on their website at the moment :


So just why did I move from Norway to the UK???

UN: Norway world’s best place to live, UK 21st
Norway has retained its status as the world’s most desirable country to live in, according to UN data, which ranks sub-Saharan African states afflicted by war and HIV/AIDS as the least attractive places, Reuters reports. The United Kingdom is 21st.

Data collected prior to the global economic crisis showed people in Norway, Australia and Iceland had the best living standards, while Niger, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone scored worst in terms of human development.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) index was compiled using 2007 data on GDP per capita, education, and life expectancy, and showed marked differences between the developed and developing world.

Life expectancy in Niger was 50, about 30 years shorter than Norway, according to the index. For every dollar earned per person in Niger, $85 was earned in Norway.

[From UN: Norway world’s best place to live, UK 21st | The Empire Chronicles]

To be honest – I prefer living in the UK (at least for now) – Norway is safe but dull IMHO. (-;