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  • Allen Knight 10:00 pm on 16 July 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    What to do if the Alexa app does not work on your Android phone or tablet 

    If you haven’t got a compatible Android device, you can set up your Echo Dot using the Firefox Browser. However, you cannot do anything on the Amazon. Alexa website beyond basically getting the Echo Dot working. To enable skills, you need the Alexa app. You may be able to install this if you install 386 Android using Virtual Box, or booting it from a USB stick. Website is here (only works with Firefox) :
    See the post earlier which features a video on installing Android on Virtual Box. Note you need the 32 bit version of Android. You cannot install 64 bit Android in Virtual Box, unless your machine has hardware support for virtualization. The fact that your machine is 64 bit, does not mean you can run 64 bit virtual box disk images. Quite a lot of machines, mostly laptops only support pseudo-virtualization, although they run 64 bit Windows. You may be able to get around this by using Virtual Box on Linux. Some 64 bit computers were supplied with 32 bit windows due to hardware limitations, but this caveat may not apply to Linux which is a much simpler operating system.

  • Allen Knight 9:46 pm on 16 July 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    How do you get Alexa to turn on a light? 

    Alexa is getting better at automatically discovering devices. However, if you find it doesn’t work, please read on…

    If you have purchased a smart light bulb and Alexa has not discovered it, then you have to create an account at the manufacturer’s website and then link that account to your Amazon account.

    Suppose you have bought a Tapo bulb, then create an account at the Tapo website, download the Tapo app and see if you can turn your light on and off with that. If that works, then proceed to the next step which is to link the Tapo account in the Alexa app.

    If the light bulb manufacturer’s app does not work on your Android device, you can authorize Alexa to use your TP-Link ID on your web browser by going to the manufacturer’s website.

    If you can turn the light bulb on and off using the manufacturer’s app, but not with Alexa, it means you have linked the light bulb’s account to the wrong Amazon account or vice versa. Fix: in the Alexa app unlink the light bulb’s account and re-link it to the correct account. The account for the lightbulb does not need to be the same email address and password you use to log into Amazon.

    Equipment needed: Amazon Echo dot, Android Tablet or Phone, Apple Phone or Tablet. (Amazon Alexa is not available for Chromebook Android). Preferably use an Amazon Echo Dot device – if you use an Alexa app on a Windows PC or Tablet, then that might not work.

    Apps needed: Amazon Alexa app, Tapo app (if that’s the make of lightbulb). Chrome for Android, Edge Browser for Windows, Safari for Mac OS.

    Step by Step

    1. Order an Echo Dot from Amazon, if you haven’t already got one.
    2. Order a smart light bulb.
    3. Switch on the Echo Dot.
    4. Create an account on the light bulb manufacturer’s website
    5. Download the light bulb manufacturer’s app. Link the light bulb to the manufacturer’s account.
    6. On the Amazon website,enable the skill
    Hint type eg “light tapo skill” in the search box
    . Test the light bulb with the manufacturer’s app.
    7. Download the Amazon Alexa app if you have not already done so.
    8. In the Alexa app, link the account your created at your light bulb manufacturer’s to your Amazon account. Add the light bulb to a group for the room it is in, such as ‘Bedroom’.
    9. Go into the room that has the Echo Dot in it and say out loud “Alexa, discover devices”.
    10 That’s it. The light should now turn on and off and change colour at your command!

    If you think you might forget the procedure you followed to get your particular device to work then please feel free to enter the information comments section at the very bottom of this webpage.

  • Allen Knight 9:38 am on 3 July 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    How to install the Amazon Alexa Android app on Windows 10 

    Follow this tutorial.

    How to Install Android in VirtualBox (2021)

  • Allen Knight 5:30 pm on 2 July 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    My Windows partition will not boot. What do I do?

    Boot-Repair is a simple tool to repair frequent boot issues you may encounter in Ubuntu like when you can’t boot Ubuntu after installing Windows or another Linux distribution, or when you can’t boot Windows after installing Ubuntu, or when GRUB is not displayed anymore, some upgrade breaks GRUB, etc.

    Installation and use:

    Boot into Ubuntu Live CD or USB
    Hit Alt+Ctrl+T to open terminal and run following commands:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair && sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair && boot-repair
    Once done Boot-Repair will open with two options choose the first option (Recommended repair).
    enter image description here

  • Allen Knight 5:09 pm on 28 June 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    Amiga Filing System on Ubuntu 

    How to Install disktype in Ubuntu 18.04

    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install disktype


    detection of content format of a disk or disk image

    The purpose of disktype is to detect the content format of a disk or disk image. It knows about common file systems, partition tables and boot codes. This software can be used for forensics analysis. . As of version 9, disktype knows about the following formats: . File systems: FAT12/FAT16/FAT32 NTFS HPFS MFS, HFS, HFS Plus ISO9660 (incl. Joliet, El Torito) UDF ext2/ext3 ext4 (patch from upstream CVS) btrfs (patch from upstream CVS) Minix ReiserFS Reiser4 Linux romfs Linux cramfs Linux squashfs UFS (some variations) SysV FS (some variations) JFS XFS Amiga FS/FFS Amiga SFS Amiga PFS BeOS BFS QNX4 FS 3DO CD-ROM FS Veritas VxFS Xbox DVD file system Partitioning: DOS/PC style EFI GPT Apple Amiga “Rigid Disk” ATARI ST (AHDI3) BSD disklabel Linux RAID physical disks Linux LVM1 physical volumes Linux LVM2 physical volumes Solaris SPARC disklabel Solaris x86 disklabel (vtoc) Other structures: Debian split floppy header Linux swap Disk images: Raw CD image (.bin) Virtual PC hard disk image Apple UDIF disk image (limited) Boot loaders: LILO GRUB SYSLINUX ISOLINUX Linux kernel FreeBSD loader Windows/MS-DOS loader BeOS loader, Haiku loader Sega Dreamcast Compression formats: gzip compress bzip2 Archive formats: tar cpio bar dump/restore


    Version: 9-6

  • Allen Knight 8:48 pm on 1 February 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    You can leave comments, but to do this you must click on the link to each individual blog entry and scroll to the bottom of the page. This WordPress blog is a free site, but it does allow you to leave questions which other readers can leave a reply. Thank you.

  • Allen Knight 10:44 pm on 31 January 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Dynamis Ultima   

    Bachmann Dynamis Ultima USB interface 

    Dynamis Handset

    The Bachmann Dynamis Ultima is a version of the now-discontinued ESU Navigator in white plastic which was almost identical. Two versions of Navigator, were sold – there is the 50300 one which is DCC and Motorola/Marklin compliant, and there was the 50302 model which is DCC only and was mostly sold in the USA and included with Tillig starter train sets in Europe. The ESU Navigator and the Bachmann Dynamis both work by using an infra-red remote control in the manner of a television set. The ESU Navigator is an obsolete product and you can’t buy it nowadays except second-hand or old stock. However the Navigator continues to be available in its guise as the Bachmann Ultima.

    Do not confuse Bachmann Dynamis with the similar looking ECoSControl Radio handset shown here:

    Two versions of the Bachmann Dynamis have been sold – the original version which did not include a USB interface, the currently available Dynamis Ultima which does. The original Dynamis could not read CVs unless you purchased the optional ProBox, but that did not have a USB interface.

    The Dynamis Ultima has a USB-B socket which takes a standard USB to printer lead. Windows 7 and later comes with the required driver built-in. The Bachmann Railcontroller program included on CD in the Dynamis Ultima retail box installs the required driver on earlier versions of Windows.

    The interface description and commands are available on ESU’s website, but of this writing they are only available in German, so that’s why I have this entry in this blog.

    What you have to do is quite simple. You connect your PC with a standard printer lead and then communicate with your Dynamis using a terminal program. The one I have been using for testing purposes is Putty which is freeware.

    Once you have downloaded and installed Putty, launch it and choose the ‘serial’ option. Enter 115200 baud, 8n1, XON/XOFF set to ‘none’.

    If you now type lower case ‘i’ <space bar> 0 <zero> <return>

    i 0

    It will return “i 0 ESU NAVIGATOR”

    Put a loco on the track. In my case, I have a class 395 Javelin with the DCC address of 3590.

    So if I type:

    l 3950 30 11

    That is <lower case L> <space bar> <3950> <space bar> <three zero> <space bar> < one one>

    That will set the loco going at speed 30 turning the directional lighting on!

    Note you cannot turn the lights on or off or specify any function without also specifying a speed.

    The command

    S stop

    will stop your train.

    Typing a lower case S followed by <return> will cause Dynamis to show track voltage and current.

    If you type

    r get

    It will return the complete list of locomotives in your handset!

    More information

    Schnittstellenbeschreibung für das PC-Interface

    Dynamis Ultima does not work with JMRI. Why is this? According to the document at the link above ESU only gives permission for the protocol it has devised to be used with a Windows PC computer. As JMRI is cross-platform, it would appear to contravene this. However, the Dynamis Ultima can be used with RocRail, but of course, that only works on Windows!

    If you would like to use JMRI, which is freeware at the moment, then it does work with Sprog II.

  • Allen Knight 10:06 am on 21 December 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Merging MPEG2 files founds on DVDs etc

    This is actually the simplest of the simple examples of how files can be merged. Multiple MPEG2 files of the same resolution can be combined or concatenated into one file with the cat command. If you have mounted a DVD on say /mnt/tmp/ you will have a /mnt/tmp/VIDEO_TS/ folder with MPEG2-formatted files called VTS_01_0.VOB, VTS_01_1.VOB and so on. You can simply cat these into one file:

    cat VTS_01_0.VOB VTS_01_1.VOB > $HOME/MyDVDRIPedFile.mpg

  • Allen Knight 8:30 am on 19 December 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Raspberry Pi 400   

    Micro SD card slot fix. Raspberry Pi 400.

    If your R-Pi 400 will not boot from the built-in micro SD card, there is a simple remedy.

  • Allen Knight 9:59 pm on 18 December 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    Linux System Notes

    Friday 18 December 2020

    Successfully Installed Lubuntu 16.04.2 Desktop amd64 on Acer Aspire X3200
    Installed Lubuntu 16.04.2 by copying ISO image to Traxdata USB stick using Rufus 2.11. Later versions of Rufus 3.x require Windows 7 or later and do not work on Vista.
    Booted X3200 from USB stick by altering BIOS to see USB stick as a removable hard drive. When you do this, you nevertheless have to press F12 during POST (Power-on-self-test)
    And select the USB stick as your boot device.

    Tried Linux Mint 20 – it caused an error with incompatible video driver.
    Tried Ubuntu Mate 20 – it also failed with the same error.
    Made two ‘coasters’ this way before resorting to Rufus method.

    I have a Lubuntu 16.04.2 on Acer Aspire 5630 laptop and it’s okay on that.

    Things to do: Add grub-customizer to X3200, Add HP printer driver.

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