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Steam Link Adventures

Recently I started to make more use of the Steam Link and Controller I bought about a year ago in the Summer Sale.

The Steam Link is a little box you connect to your TV via HDMI and which then allows you to stream Steam games running on your Windows machine to the TV.

The Steam Controller is a very very configurable game pad with some track pad like controls in addition to more conventional game pad controls like buttons and analog sticks.

It turns out that both together are the perfect way to play adventure games (my favorite genre) and share the experience with my wife.

It started a few months ago by accident. I was sick and had to stay in bed, so I hooked the Steam Link up to the bedroom TV and started playing Broken Sword 5. Using the controller as a mouse works fantastic. In the evening, Kaddi came home and joined me. She really liked watching me puzzling through the game and at the end we where both exchanging ideas on how to solve the puzzles.

After we finished, Kaddi wanted more. We played through a whole bunch of adventures by now, so here's a list and what we thought of them (in the order we played them):

Last updated: 2017/08/20 08:52 · Permalink · Comments

HASS, DuckDNS and Let's Encrypt

When you want to make a local HomeAssistant (a home automation software I mentioned before) available from the Internet, you probably want to secure it with SSL. There's an official tutorial on how to do that, but it has a few problems:

  • It uses the official certbot client, which is super heavy and does all kind of things you don't need
  • It requires that port 80 is not used while refreshing certificates
  • It requires to forward port 80 from the internet to your internal HomeAssistant server

So here's is how to do it differently:

  • we use the very lightweight dehydrated script (formerly known as letsencrypt.sh)
  • we use DNS-01 challenges to avoid needing any open ports

Last updated: 2017/08/10 21:48 · Permalink · Comments

New Phone

honor-9.jpg I bought a new phone. My Sony Z3 compact's battery was starting to give up, the internal storage was too limited, the backplate was loose and I wasn't too happy with its overall performance anymore. Unfortunately there seems to be no phone matching all my requirements:

  • recent model (2016+)
  • decent CPU
  • lots of RAM (>3GB)
  • large battery (>3000mAh)
  • lots of storage (>32GB) and SD card support
  • less than 500€
  • 4.7 inch display

Especially the last requirement is problematic. It seems I'm the last person who likes smaller phones. In the end I decided to to swallow the bitter pill and go with a bigger form factor and bought a Huawei Honor 9. It is very comparable to Google's Pixel 5 but is 44% cheaper than Google's pricy flagship:

Honor 9 Pixel 5
Dimensions 147.3×70.9×7.5mm 143.8×69.5×8.5 mm
Weight 155g 143g
Screen 5.15 inches 5.0 inches
Resolution 1080×1920 pixels (~428 ppi) 1080×1920 pixels (~441 ppi)
Storage 64GB 32GB
Card Slot MicroSD None
Memory 4GB 4GB
OS Android 7.0 (Nougat) Android 7.1 (Nougat)
Chipset HiSilicon Kirin 960 Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 821
CPU Octa-core (4×2.4 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A53) Quad-core (2×2.15 GHz Kryo & 2×1.6 GHz Kryo)
GPU Mali-G71 MP8 Adreno 530
Primary Camera Dual 20MP + 12MP
2x optical zoom
12.3MP
Secondary Camera 8MP 8MP
3.5mm jack yes yes
NFC yes yes
InfraRed yes no
USB USB-C USB-C
Fingerprint yes yes
Battery 3200mAh 2770mAh
Price 429€ 759€

So far I like it a lot. I switched Huawei's quite decent launcher against my personal favorite Nova Launcher and uninstalled most of the preinstalled apps. I haven't used the camera too much, but the very first snapshot came out quite nice:

img_20170630_190929.jpg

Tags:
phone, review, huawei
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Last updated: 2017/07/04 22:16 · Permalink · Comments

Automated Plant Watering

Our balcony is commonly known as the “Garden of Death”. Kaddi and I love to have herbs and flowers on the balcony but we suck at watering the plants. For years I said that we should have some kind of automatic system for that. This year I finally decided to build one.

Pictures at the very end.

Last updated: 2017/06/10 22:22 · Permalink · Comments

Mysterious Package Company

A while ago, I wrote about a curious letter I received and how with a bit of googling, I figured out what it was.

The letter was the first of more to follow, all part of a “Mystery” bought by my girlfriend at the Mysterious Package Company for me.

From time to time I get angry mail and comments about how my original blog post “spoils the fun” because it's now easy to figure out what's going on by a quick google search. I find that a bit silly, since it's a blog post about how I used Google to figure out what the letter is about. So my blog post may have made it a bit simpler, but as I wrote – the mystery was solvable already before my post.

Nonetheless I redacted the names and identifiers in my original post. But Google continued to find my post anyway. So today I created a robots.txt entry which should remove the post from search engines altogether.

However sometimes people ask how the thing continued and if I spoiled it for my self by googling. So here's a bit of a review on the mystery I received. If you currently have your own mystery going, you might want to stop reading here.

Last updated: 2017/05/18 16:24 · Permalink · Comments

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