Friday, December 18, 2015

Gigastrand Security: Tornado caught on security cam

It is amazing what security cameras capture when no one is looking. A good security system is key to knowing what happens when no one is around to see what is going on.

When choosing a video security system, never settle for appliances you can’t upgrade with cheap cameras and inexperienced installers. These types of systems will cost you more in the long run.

A good system will pay for itself several times over during its lifetime. Gigastrand custom-builds video security solutions tailored to your security needs and your business. We know what it takes to capture high-quality video and, as technology experts, we can help you take full advantage of the system and all its features.

The video below is not from one of our systems but is pretty spectacular nonetheless.


Gigastrand Security: Tornado caught on security cam

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

PC or PoC: Blackberry Classic

I am just going to come right out and say it: the Blackberry Classic is the very nearly the most perfect smartphone ever (and no, I am not being paid a dime to say it).

As many of the regular readers know (thank you, btw) I started with a Blackberry 8300 that I had to get along with for a while. I was surprised at how much that could be done on such limited hardware. I then upgraded to a Blackberry 8330. This was a considerable upgrade that I will blog about later. It was still very difficult to do much of what I needed, however, the communications blew my android phones out of the water and the battery life bested all other smart phones.

The 8330 did about 50% of what I needed to do which necessitated the purchase of an android tablet. Between the 2 devices I managed to do 99% of what I needed to do.

I began to run into limitations on both the tablet and the phone. For one, the tablet sucked at running Facebook. The app on the Blackberry was faster and better for messages. The Blackberry could also be used as a USB mass storage device, however it was limited to 32Gb and I really needed more space.

I considered a Q10. It had the storage I needed and because it was essentially an android phone with a different OS, I could maybe run some of the apps I needed.

The long and short of it is while deliberating, the Blackberry Classic came out. I decided to wait until it came out because it was 4 times the phone the Q10 is.

I bought it online and I was not disappointed. It is a very heavy phone by comparison to other devices. It is a little smaller than an S5 and the screen is about 60% the size of an S5 (40% is keyboard and buttons). It does everything my 8330 did and just as well (the Facebook app works similarly to the curve, but with much more improved features), plus it has 4GLTE, and it can do 98% of what my tablet can do. It is also faster than my wife's S5. Much faster.

Thanks to the folks over at Crackberry, I can load android apps and run nearly every one. Screen size is sometimes an issue with apps and a couple of places it falls down is Hangouts, Google+, and Hulu. I had to use Box rather than Google to automatically backup photos and video. I also had to turn off automatic updates in the Play Store so it didn't update software I loaded using other apps. Opera Mini is still my best friend on this phone for some things.

Full support for Google apps is one of the things that would really make it a perfect phone. It has very decent (not spectacular) battery life and will charge off nearly anything I can plug it in to. It is one of the only phones with a physical keyboard (could use a number row) and it doesn't screw around with proprietary drivers for USB mass storage. Send and end buttons are wonderful to have as well for phone communications. I can't think of how many times I fought with a touch screen on a phone trying to flash or end a call.

Blackberry has a winner here. In my opinion, they are currently the only manufacturer that really knows how to design a cell phone.


(This post composed primarily on my Blackberry using the Blogger app.)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Gigastrand 2.1 Out Soon - Build it now!

Gigastrand OS 2.1 will be released soon and it fixes a few minor issues with Virtual Box, Kompozer, Angry IP scanner, and Apper.

You can actually build this bugfix into your current installation of Gigastrand 2.0. Here's how.

1. Fix the sources.list
The original 2.0 sources.list has a few lines in it that are not accurate anymore. 

  • Go to /etc/apt and right-click on sources.list. 
  • From the menu select Root Actions>Open as Text. 
  • Delete everything
  • Replace it with the text below and save

# deb cdrom:[Debian GNU/Linux 7.1.0 _Wheezy_ - Official Multi-architecture amd64/i386 NETINST #1 20130615-23:44]/ wheezy main 
# deb cdrom:[Debian GNU/Linux 7.1.0 _Wheezy_ - Official Multi-architecture amd64/i386 NETINST #1 20130615-23:44]/ wheezy main 

deb wheezy main 
deb-src wheezy main 

deb wheezy main contrib non-free 
deb-src wheezy main contrib non-free 

deb wheezy/updates main 
deb-src wheezy/updates main 

deb wheezy-backports main 
deb wheezy contrib 

# wheezy-updates, previously known as 'volatile'
deb wheezy-updates main 
deb-src wheezy-updates main 

2. Run an apt update
Once you change the sources.list, you will need to open a terminal and enter the command

apt-get update

3. Download and install some things
In Apper:

  • linux-headers-3.16.0-0.bpo.4-686-pae
  • Virtual Box 4.3
  • Uninstall Kompozer

Install from the Gigastrand OS Support Repository:

4. Setup Virtual Box
Run the following command in terminal

sudo /etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup

And that's it. You now have Gigastrand OS 2.1.

Alternatively, you could wait for the release which will be out in .iso format in a few days from here: