DIY: Black Rolls/Trigger Point-like foam rollers for myofascial release

Black RollsFinished DIY version

I am a big fan of using foam rollers for myofascial release, especially after workout.

There are a lot of foam roller products for myofascial trigger point treatment out there, but I am too cheap to buy a piece of recycled plastic pressed into a cylindrical form for 20 EUR or higher. This is one of the easiest DIY projects possible, so make your own! Continue reading

DIY: “barefoot”/natural running shoes

Finished sole

At the end of last year I went to a sports and health fair, where I wanted to have a closer look at the available natural running shoes, especially the ones from Vibram (FiveFingers) and Leguano. Both type of shoes were comfortable and seemed to be of good quality. However, with an above the 70 EUR price range, they are quite expensive for a shoe that aims to be like no shoe at all. In fact, they are more like a pair of high quality socks with a special thin rubber layer glued to the sole (whereas the Vibram FiveFingers also seem to have some supportive structure integrated, which is kind of a contradiction to the barefoot philosophy). Making a custom fitted version should not be that hard, so I decided to make my own.

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Samsung SSD 840 EVO 2.5 Zoll SATA – Firmware update under GNU/Linux

I recently bought a Samsung SSD to replace my HDD in my Arch Linux notebook. It is a “Samsung SSD 840 EVO 2.5 Zoll SATA”. One of the first things I do when I get new hardware is to make sure the latest firmware is installed. Mine did not have the latest firmware update and – as it was to expect – Samsung SSD firmware updates under GNU/Linux are not (officially) supported. Samsung ships only Microsoft Windows software, called “Magician”, which can directly update the firmware or create a live USB-Stick to do the update. Additionally, they provide *.iso image files (one for Microsoft Windows systems and one for Apple computer, respectively) to update the firmware from a live CD. The *.iso image file intended for Microsoft Windows would also work under GNU/Linux, only that my notebook does not have a CD Drive anymore. Obvioulsy, the only option left was to create my own live USB-Stick under GNU/Linux – without using Microsoft Windows and that crappy Samsung “Magician” software. A simple “dd” comand to “burn” the *.iso file on an USB-Stick did not do the trick, as the Isolinux version Samsung uses is over 10 years (!) old.

This article shows how to update the firmware of a “Samsung SSD 840 EVO 2.5 Zoll SATA” under GNU/Linux using a bootable live USB-Stick.

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UEFI, GNU/Linux and HP notebooks – problems and how to get it working

There is a lot of confusion and wrong information in the internet about the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) and how to set it up correctly – especially under GNU/Linux. What makes things worse and also confused me a lot is that all vendors tend to implement this “standard” differently. So although UEFI is defined as a new industry standard replacing the BIOS, it can hardly be called “standard” at this time. Yet another problem of understanding UEFI is, that people seem to mix up words that have a special meaning.

My old notebook still uses the old BIOS-MBR setup, not capable of any UEFI fancy-ness. But it is dying, so I recently bought a new one. It is an “HP EliteBook 840 G1”. I used that opportunity to familiarize myself with UEFI and GNU/Linux.

This article explains two things (only taking GPT setups into account):

  • How is UEFI implemented in practice and set up with GNU/Linux?
  • How to set up UEFI and GNU/Linux on HP notebooks?

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Android ADB over Bluetooth

Today I had no WiFi. And no USB cable. So I figured out a way to use ADB over bluetooth, because no one can stop me from developing an App. It is a rather simple hack, which should work on any rooted phone (or tablet).

All you need is a terminal emulator for android, and a bluetooth capable linux computer, of course.
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Cheap Home Server: Introducing the Thin-Server

A little while ago I finally made the decision that I would like to have a server at home and I was at first fascinated by the SheevaPlug, but many people complained that the powersupply of it would die within weeks, so I needed an alternative but I still didn’t want to use a regular computer because of several disadvantages;

  • It would be to loud
  • It would consume too much energy
  • It would be overkill for my purposes
  • The hardware is relatively expensive

But when I had a look on Ebay, I stumbled upon a Thin-Client, which is essentially a small, low power computer, that is used in companies as something like a next-generation terminal. Since it did only cost 50€ I thought I would just give it a try.

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Building a Super Nintendo USB Gamepad for Android Tablets

I recently build a little USB-SNES-Gamepad for my Android Tablet, because I didn’t like using the on screen controls of the emulators. It just wasn’t fun playing the games of my childhood without the original controller in my hands. Luckily my Tablet has a standard USB port with host capability and supports thumbdrives, keyboards and mice out-of-the-box. So I figuered I could easily put the controllerboard of a usb keyboard inside the spare original SNES gamepad i had liying around.

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