Happy Holidays

You may have noticed that we made a few changes to the website, that hopefully will make it easier for our members to find content. So not only do we now have a couple of sliding rows, but we also have a place for early access content. Then to make learning easier, we have a new Courses area which should give you a clutter free and more structured layout to our content. So if you would like to take a look, please visit the Courses section which can now be found in the menu bar.

Matter is finally coming

Back in August we mentioned something called Matter, which is a “new smart home interoperability standard”, that will allow us to use a single app to control all Internet of things devices. However due to the scale of the Matter project, Matter has been in development hell for many years. So its great news that finally this month, we should start to see Matter roll out to the following Amazon Echo devices:

Echo Dot (5th gen), Echo Dot with Clock (5th gen), Echo (4th gen), Echo Dot (2018 release), Echo Studo, Echo Show 8 (2nd gen), Echo Show 10 (3rd gen), Echo Show 5 (2nd gen), Echo Dot with clock (3rd gen), Echo Dot with clock (4th gen), Echo Show 5, Echo (3rd gen), Echo Dot (4th gen), Echo Input, Echo Flex, Echo Plus (v2), and Echo Show 8 [The Verge]

Once the firmware arrives on these Alexa devices. If you have an Android phone, they should appear in any Matter compatible application. However, Matter on iOS devices seems to be a bit more messy. So while iOS 16.1 supports Matter, we might have to wait for app updates in order for Matter to work within apps like Apple Home, Alexa and Google Home.

As TPLink was also one of the first companies to be Matter certified. We have also heard that TPLink will be sending out firmware updates for their Tapo and Kasa product lines [TPLink statement]. However, according to The Verge, we will not see the Philips range of Hue products receive a Matter update until early next year. So while this is a good start, we are still some way off running all our IoT devices from within one App.

Buying a Framework Laptop

As part of our drive to be more environmentally friendly, we just built a Framework laptop. While a Framework laptop is in part made from recycled materials. It is also one of the few laptops designed so that we can repair it ourselves. However the thing we find most intriguing about this laptop, is that at least in theory, this computer should be future proof.

So because each component is replaceable, it is our hope that when we need a more powerful computer, we will just need to swap out components. However, this will be dependent on Framework engineers being able to squeeze, as yet unseen future technology, into a laptop case made in 2022. So by buying into this endeavour, we have taken a bit of a risk, but if Framework have truly made a self upgradeable laptop. Not only will we be helping the environment, but we could also save ourselves some money.

Web postings

For the first video of the month, we have decided to post another video from our Linux Development Environment series. This is because Torrent clients on ChromeOS tend to be a bit rubbish, so we thought it would be useful to demonstrate how you install QbitTorrent onto a Chromebook.

Then because we still use CD and DVD’s with our Apple Macintosh computer, we thought it might be fun to take a look at how we add a CD/DVD eject button to the menu bar of macOS. While only a small feature in macOS, we find it invaluable, so we will show you how to find this hidden feature and what you need to do to enable it.

Then for iPad users, we are going to demonstrate another terminal command that might be useful when setting up a Synology NAS. So we will be taking a look at a command we can run from our iPad, that will display the public IP address being used by a network.

As we post videos every Friday, and December has 5 Fridays. Towards the end of the month we will post another video for our LDE series. So because we like to use an audio editing tool called Audacity, we thought it would be useful to demonstrate how you can install Audacity on a Google Chromebook.

At the end of the month, our timed exclusive video takes a look at the alternative way you can give your Synology NAS, a static local IP address. While we recommend that you use the method we demonstrated in our beginners guide video. We felt that it was important to demonstrate the alternative method for assigning a static IP address to a NAS.

Youtube postings

For the YouTube channel, while we will be posting a host of Synology NAS videos. The first video of the month will continue our video series looking at how we install Linux applications onto a Google Chromebook. So for anyone who would prefer to use Firefox instead of Chrome browser, this video is for you.

Then for the second video of the month, we will be continuing our beginners guide on how to set-up a Synology NAS. However, because in this video we will be upgrading the RAM and installing Hard Drives. Later in the month we will also post a video on how we can test the RAM we fitted.

When you invest in a Synology NAS, you tie a lot of money into a small black box which is very easy to steal. So we thought it might be useful to demonstrate a cheap way you can physically secure your NAS, using something called a Kensington lock.

Finally as it’s Christmas, we wanted to do something a bit different. So for the final video of the year, we decided to walkthrough our experience buying and building a Framework laptop. However unlike most of our videos, this video will be released simultaneously on our website and on YouTube.

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