Update 2: How the @madebygoogle Google Pixel 3 is making me switch to iPhone

I waited to post this update because I wanted to see if the phone was just acting weird because of updates or if it is just not performing well as I’ve come to expect from the Google Pixel 3.

The day I got the phone back, I turned it on and didn’t even run through a full setup. I didn’t enter any account information, download any apps, or even put in my SIM card. I just connected it to WiFi and got to the main screen after setup. Right away I was greeted with the notification that a system update was available to update to Android 10. I let it install this update which took an incredibly long time. I started it around 4:30 p.m. and it didn’t finish until almost 7:00 p.m.

When it came back up it did the normal optimizing applications and it was updating five applications from the Google Play store. I let it continue updating the apps. I checked on it about an hour and it was still updating the applications. The next day it was still updating the applications. I figured something has gone wrong so I did a factory reset on the phone and started all over. Just like before, I skipped most of the setup and got to the main screen. It wanted to update the applications again. Just like before it seemed to get stuck trying to update the applications. These are the built in Google Applications it is trying to update.

So I’ve let the phone to sit this entire time seeing if the applications will ever update. Occasionally I’m greeted by the message that the Google Play Store has stopped responding. It tries again and after a couple of days that message will come back.

Needless to say, I still haven’t gone back and finished setting up my Google Pixel 3 and I am still using the loaner iPhone 6.

I will note that I did receive the accessories today. For now I will be leaving them in the box in case I end up selling the phone.

How the @madebygoogle Google Pixel 3 is making me switch to iPhone

I switched from Apple to Android many years ago. My first Android phone was the HTC Droid Incredible and it made me fall in love with the Android experience because I could do so much more with Android. But now, after all the problems I have had with the Google Pixel 3 and evaluating what I need in the ecosystem, I’ve pretty much decided to go back to Apple iPhone and the Google Pixel 3 is the straw which broke the camel’s back.

Continue reading “How the @madebygoogle Google Pixel 3 is making me switch to iPhone”

RIP projects.mytestbox.org

A few weeks ago I was working on another VM on the same host. It wasn’t anything serious and I was just messing around seeing what I could do with it. If I got to a point where I messed up so badly, no big deal I just click the reinstall OS button and I have a fresh copy to play around with.

I was at that point again after trying to create a VPN in Ubuntu and messed up so badly I couldn’t even log in anymore. Unfortunately I click the reinstall OS button on my live site and soon my website, some programs which run on the same server, the weather log, and everything else was gone. Worst part is I had no recent backup. In fact, I don’t think I have a backup at all. I searched for the database file on all of my drives but cannot find it. Some of the programs I wrote I did have and I am running those locally.

So for now I will have to start over. I hope I can find cached versions and maybe recreate some of the pages I had made. I also have some new projects I will be posting here as well.

Binary clock using Arduino, DS3231 real time clock, and WS2811 Addressable LEDs

You may have remembered I started working on a binary clock project with the Arduino. There are two things I didn’t like about that project. First, the clock didn’t keep time. It ran about 37 seconds fast. Second, it required the use of almost all pins on the Arduino. I started working on a new binary clock project with the requirements that it kept accurate time, it didn’t use as many pins, and I could set the time. I sacrificed the addressable LEDs I had used for my Christmas Tree Lights and began to work on the new binary clock.

Continue reading “Binary clock using Arduino, DS3231 real time clock, and WS2811 Addressable LEDs”

LED lightning effect using an Arduino

Sorry for the poor video quality. Because of the flash rate and the way a CMOS senor works, it cannot record the true effect.

This lightning effect uses addressable LEDs. The code generates a random number of flashes, a random brightness level for each flash, a random delay between flashes, and a random delay between the overall effect. See the code after the break.

Continue reading “LED lightning effect using an Arduino”

Working on a binary clock

I started work on a binary clock. I found some code by Dennis Cwik and tweaked it to be able to rapidly advance the time as a crude way to set the clock. What I don’t like about this build is it is using all the digital outs. I think I will rewrite it to use addressable LEDs instead. That will only use one digital out and I can do so much more and look better as well. But for now, here’s what I have.

Spooky Mirror

In December, a friend approached me and asked if I could create a visual effect for him. The requirements are to flash a strobe light, activate only when someone is in front of the effect for a couple of seconds, and wait for the person to walk away before it can be activated again. It had to be hidden in a two-way mirror to illuminate a picture behind the glass.

Here’s the circuit I came up with. Unfortunately I never got to see it in action.

Continue reading “Spooky Mirror”