go green

I’ve recently installed a solar system for off-grid living. I’m pleased by the original selection to use devices made by Victron Energy, a Dutch company.

My first step was to review some of the full-kit versions of solar panel systems. I quickly found that the $6,000 price tag didn’t even include batteries. I even visited a downtown Albuquerque business but found that they were most definitely not interested in off-grid systems. In case you didn’t know it, there’s big money to be made in this technology niche. Next, I decided of course to purchase the individual pieces and to install it myself.

Most of the equipment I purchased in a single round-trip visit to SanTan Solar in southern Arizona. The inverter and related equipment were purchased from Solar-Biz which appears to operate somewhat remotely from Panama, the products were shipped directly from the manufacturer.

Solar Panels = $800

I purchased four Jinko 400W solar panels for the job. This then has the capacity of producing 1.6KW of power. I will note that the highest instantaneous power I’ve seen from the system just topped 1KW with a 30-day overall total of 60kWh so far (about $350/month then at average rates for power or at most a $4200/year payback). Not sure what I was thinking there but the $5.83/kWh figure I’d found on the Internet is way off from reality.

Charge Controller with Bluetooth = $785

The Victron SmartSolar MPPT 150/100 – TR charge controller manages the incoming solar power, matches it to the batteries and load and keeps track of its three modes of daily operation.


Batteries = $640

I purchased four deep-cycle Trojan T-105 6V batteries for the job, wired in series to present 24V to the charge controller and inverter. Each are rated for 225AH.


Battery Monitor with Bluetooth = $235

The Victron BMV-712 Smart provides a shunt to measure the power consumed across the circuits, a small LCD panel and the Bluetooth endpoint for monitoring it via the phone app.


Inverter with Bluetooth = $600

It’s the Victron Phoenix 24/1200 VE.Direct inverter which produces a sine wave output at 120VAC from the 24V provided from the battery bank. Add-ons allow it to be monitored over the phone app.



Wires, Accessories, Connectors and Such

Mounting the solar panels was sort of a pain, to be honest. I purchased some 4×4 posts, brackets in some cases, SuperStrut rails, SuperStrut sliding nuts and a variety of bolts, 2×4 lumber, nails and a few bags of QUIKRETE ($200). I left some room for expanding by a couple more panels in the future.


Of course, all this equipment had to be installed somewhere so I purchased and installed a SunCast storage shed ($700) having purchased pavers for a smooth footing ($84).


Both a battery cutoff switch ($20) and a circuit breaker ($15) were part of the design.



The panels were presented to the charge controller in a series/parallel way, electrically. This required MC4-style Y-adapters to be used ($24). The entire set is connected to the charge controller via PV cable ($30) and a pack of ten MC4 connectors ($10).

The battery wiring as well as the wiring to the cutoff switch, circuit breaker, shunt and inverter involved AWG-4 wire purchased in bulk in some cases ($10) plus jumpers ($30) and lug connectors ($20) as purchased from O’Reilly Auto Parts.


Monitoring Software

Fortunately, the Victron suite of products either directly have Bluetooth connectivity or an add-on feature which allows this. The net result is an entry in the Victron Connect phone app with usually several screens of functionality and configuration options.



Most of everything got installed into the storage shed. The inverter presents a single 120VAC outlet so I plugged in a three-outlet IKEA power strip for the sake of convenience. The box for the earlier DeWalt 1000W square-wave inverter is visible there in the corner. It decided to die during the first 30-days of use.


Total Cost = $4200

Wow. It’s almost impressive that the total cost in parts and delivery exactly matches the single-year payback in the electricity that it’s producing for me. Not sure what I was thinking earlier; I’d used a $5.83/kWh figure from the Internet which is totally wrong. It may take four to five years for this to pay itself off.


If you don’t have an off-grid solar system then you’re probably not savvy to the way the charge controller operates. As much as a third of the daylight hours might have the charge controller just idling.

For those people who have a solar system tied to the grid, often the local power company is forced to pay you for the overage in power that you’re producing.

That said, if I’m over-producing power that can’t be directly used or which can’t be stored in the battery bank, the charge controller basically throws it away. Knowing this, I find myself today charging almost everything I can think of: MacBook, iPad, iPhone’s, USB-based storage devices, those 20V batteries for my DeWalt drill, etc.

What I plan to do later is to make a hot tub or similar and “dump” extra power into heating that water. Why not? Of course, I’ll also have a hot water heater and other appliances, but I probably won’t worry quite so much about wasting power during those days when there’s an abundance of sun.

I could just let the charge controller idle, ignore the extra power I’m not consuming and not worry about it. A better strategy though would be to figure out ways of storing that extra power…

For example, I’m thinking that one could use PEM cells and that extra power to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, storing each in separate containers. Later, when the energy is needed, PEM cells again can combine the two gases to generate power. It looks like the cost of PEM cells has risen sharply since the last time I dabbled in this technology, though.

One could also heat a large volume of water which is inside the house during the day and then allow it to radiate heat back to the house throughout the night hours.


The 1200W inverter is probably going to be enough for my needs for a while. During the construction phase I will note that I’m using a Briggs & Straton 3500W generator/inverter for running my power tools and such. So I’m not running a cement mixer from the Victron, in other words.

I’ll probably not plug in a hair dryer, a clothes iron or the espresso maker anytime soon. I’d hate to fry the electronics. I will probably try out the crock pot or smaller appliances, though. I’ve just tested running two simultaneous GermGuardian air purifiers on their highest settings, a Polar-Aire desk fan, a 4 cu. ft. Magic Chef refrigerator, lots of things charging all at once and the phone app reported perhaps a 70%-load at its worst. It’s working admirably, it was a fair investment up front but I think I’ll pay for all this within the span of a year.

the over-hyped flu virus

Comparing Covid to the common collection of flu statistics as seen year after year:

“CDC estimates that influenza has resulted in between 9 million to 45 million cases, between 140,000 – 810,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 – 61,000 deaths annually since 2010.”

(Given the exaggerated figures of Covid due to the financial incentives, it could be that Covid’s death rate is fairly on par with the standard statistics for influenza.) Compare that 810K flu hospitalization figure with the U.S.’s 83K data for Covid to-date. Covid hospitalizations haven’t even reached the flu’s minimum annual amount yet!

Obviously, Covid-19 is being marketed to us for the purpose of creating fear and presumably to gain more control over us. Let’s crunch some numbers to get at the truth (and not what the national media nor our elected officials would have you believe regarding the subject):

* current U.S. population: 330 million
* CDC statistic (37M tested with 3.5M indicating positive for Covid-19): 9%
* Rough extrapolation then of Americans who might have Covid-19: 29.7M
* CDC statistic (total deaths): 130K
* Ratio of deaths to positive: 0.004377 (0.4%)

Keep in mind that the tests are administered more heavily to people who are standing in an ER who have shown up with symptoms. As a result, the test group is heavily weighed to people who already think that they’re infected. In many venues, there are simply few/no tests available to prophylactically check an asymptomatic person.

In all actuality, the realistic risk of death is therefore likely a quarter of that 0.4% figure, more like 0.1%, in other words. In fact, even these reported numbers are probably skewed because they’re from the medical community…

Add to this the $39,000 benefit paid by Medicare to the hospital (at least three times higher than non-related reasons) if the patient is placed on a ventilator and the indicated reason is Covid. Sen. Scott Jensen of Minnesota suggests (USA Today) that this makes the doctors/hospitals “game the system” to collect a windfall of federal money by “pencil-whipping” a checkbox on some form. He indicates essentially that the lack of test-based criteria instead of the current “plausible guess” criteria would allow less fraudulent behavior from the country’s medical community.

Statistically, you have a better chance of dying by suicide, kidney disease, flu/pneumonia, diabetes, Alzheimer disease, Cerebrovascular diseases, chronic lower respiratory diseases, accidents and unintentional injuries, cancer and heart disease… than of Covid-19.

I tutored college-level statistics years ago. Good science means that you must vet the incoming data from the test group and you must remove outliers from the dataset. It should be painfully obvious that this level of rigor is not happening with respect to Covid-related instances. If anything, the data is being padded to inflate that fear factor.

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

~ Samuel Clemens

What’s sad to me is that “Team Fear-Covid-Damn-the-Economy” suggests that they’re the force of reason, the voice of science. They indicate that they’re making policy based upon the science. What utter bullshit they speak in doing so. Policy-makers are innumerate little gits, if you ask me.

What’s going on, really?

Speaking of graphs of exponential functions, have you seen any global population charts in the national news lately? I bet you haven’t because they’re not telling the actual story of what’s going on.

Estimated world population figures, 10,000 BC–AD 2000 (log y scale)

Note that we’re well past the year 2000 now. Imagine being a member of the G8 five decades ago. You’d have been shitting your pants thinking about “the problem” and how to avoid a Soylent Green future for your respective constituents.

Presumably the G8’s favorite movie…

Soylent Green was a popular movie from 1973 (some fifty years ago) which painted an ugly outcome for the world (New York City, specifically). The year of this dystopian future was 2022. The problem portrayed in the narrative was that the world’s population had outstripped its resources and people were starving and rioting as a result.

So the G8 was biting their nails when the world’s population loomed at the 6B mark. And then it quickly passed the 7B point. And now, by the end of this year we’re poised to pass the 8B level. Each increase by another billion gets smaller and smaller; remember, we’re in that rapidly-increasing section of the curve. That’s just the nature of exponential growth.

Obviously, the G8 must have chosen to do something about “the problem”. We know that the HIV retrovirus was created in a lab by Dr. Robert Gallo and patented sometime in 1984. If you’re into the science, his 1971 paper describes the technique.

I’m not sure if you can believe the boldness of the quote but this article includes the following quote from Dr. Robert Gallo:

“I Invented AIDS To Depopulate Humanity”

~ Dr. Robert Gallo, inventor of AIDS/HIV

If you can believe this next article

“We were forced To Create The HIV Virus As a Secret Weapon To Wipe Out The African Race.”

~ Dr. Robert Gallo, inventor of AIDS/HIV

So part of this is a well-funded military program to create biological weapons. What we see though is the targeting of a particular racial group in what appears to be eugenics playing out at the global level.

SARS, H5N1, H1N1, MERS and Covid-19

The next three major pandemics likely had a similar lab-born genesis. SARS-2.0 virus was created in a lab. The H5N1 bird flu virus was created in a lab. A more virulent version of the H1N1 virus was created in a lab. The Covid-19 virus was created in a lab.

In October 2014, federal funding was stopped for lab research that would have altered three viruses to make them more lethal: the influenza virus; the virus behind Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and the virus behind severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

~ U.S. Lifts Ban on Laboratory-Made Lethal Viruses

It’s no big secret that super-viruses are manufactured in labs. On paper, they’re merely “studies” or “research”. In the news, we see these unfortunate “accidents” in which each virus is making its way out of the lab and into the population. What if these are planned accidents, though? Wouldn’t that make more sense at the highest level, that the G8 is attempting to—in their own minds at least—save the planet?

Jimmy Carter, philanthropist(?)

It’s not always about directly killing people, though. There is such a thing as soft kill. Imagine being able to get rid of people before they’re even born.


Look at all that free corn that Jimmy Carter and Dr. Norman Borlaug have GMO’d for the people of Africa. On paper, Borlaug’s AgBioWorld.org website would have you believe that they’re wonderful and helpful to starving people of the planet.

“Soft kill”, the gentler solution to world population

But then again, why would a U.C. Davis professor-as-whistleblower lose his tenure over publicizing the GMO’d corn they were developing whose purpose is to lower sperm motility in the man who’d consumed it?

In this 2018 article, we see that men’s sperm counts are continuing to fall in the U.S. and Europe.

A pair of new studies unveiled this week at the Scientific Congress of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) in Denver suggest that American and European men’s sperm count and sperm motility—that is, the “swimming” ability of sperm cells—have declined in the past decade, which follows a similar, broader trend observed by many scientists over the past few decades.

In this article, research links GMO foods to infertility.


People at the highest level (G8) have been freaking out over the growth of the human race for at least five decades now. It seems certain that they’ve respectively tasked their local militaries and other shadowy entities to deal with the problem. In some ways, this looks like creating and releasing exotic viruses (often via vaccination programs). In some ways, this looks like lowering sperm motility via the consumption of genetically-modified foods (often via free food programs). It appears that the poor and people-of-color are being targeted. Any media over-hype related to Covid-19 (the current manufactured pandemic) is just hype and little more. We should go back to business-as-usual and push back to our elected officials when confronted by innumeracy.

Hacking agar.io

If you remember from previous posts on here, I managed to successfully hack the popular agar.io game to remove the advertisements. I thought I would follow-up with some pertinent information about the company Miniclip who makes the game. Please read on, you’ll be glad you did.

Over the months since then, those posts on my site have been quite popular. They’re quite possibly the 3rd-highest content for organic search engine hits here on WordPress for my blog. At some point, I would guess that my posts became known by the game makers themselves at Miniclip who have actually invested time and effort to try to block me from their game.

The first level of pushback from them came when they tried to prevent me from entering my name 👁‍🗨⚙ in the interface by messing with the character kerning between both characters, making it look stupid, basically (something like this 👁‍🗨          ⚙). So of course, I just changed my name to ⚙👁‍🗨 instead and played on.

This worked for some time (a year?) After this and for some unremembered reason, I wanted to temporarily change my name. When I went to change it back, I found that Miniclip now blocked me from entering either character—they actively prevent the use of these two characters in the game simply for the purpose of spiting me!

So I changed my name and played on. But perhaps three days ago, my iPad was bricked. I actually had to stay on the phone with Apple support since it wouldn’t get past the initial registration screen. So I had to restore the iPad and then apply a previous backup. After all that things seemed to be back to normal.

And then I played the agar.io game and it bricked itself during game play. You guessed it: Miniclip has added this evil code to their game for taking out users they don’t like.

From the wiki page on Miniclip:

On 1 September 2005, the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team issued an advisory concerning Miniclip:

The Retro64 / Miniclip CR64 Loader ActiveX control contains a buffer overflow vulnerability. This may allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to execute an arbitrary code on a vulnerable system…. Although the ActiveX control is no longer in use by either retro64.com or miniclip.com, any system that has used certain pages of these web sites in the past (prior to September, 2005) may be vulnerable.[7]

In 2006, several security firms reported that some Miniclip users had installed a “miniclipgameloader.dll” which contained the hostile code identified as “Trojan DownLoader 3069”.[8] In the same year, another download related to Miniclip installed “High Risk” malware called “Trojan-Downloader.CR64Loader”.[9]

So Miniclip already has a history of installing malware in their games for the purpose of hacking their users.

I would strongly suggest boycotting Miniclip and uninstalling any of their apps as a result of these findings. I will be reporting them to Apple iTunes as a result of this.

palago tiles

Palago is a simple-enough game that’s like Go but hexagonal instead of a grid pattern. It includes 48 identical tiles with a light/dark theme. Players vie to create closed shapes in their selected color.

I decided to design and 3D print a set. I’ve got the first tile now and I like it. I managed to create in one version a beautiful tile which prints nicely in two colors (on a single extruder printer). Both colors are at the same height which was a challenge…

What was interesting about the design is trying to allow the bevelled nozzle on the printer enough close access to lower layers in order to print this in multiple jobs. The base white part prints as the first job and finishes at 4mm in height; the next two print jobs are in a second-color of filament like blue in this case and start at the 2.4mm height layer and continue from there.

Screen Shot 2019-09-15 at 3.22.41 PM

It was necessary to manually edit the 2nd/3rd print job’s content for the sake of safety and to disable bed autoleveling (which could have caused problems). I was excited and nervous to push the Print button in OctoPrint and wincing a little as it begin. These things either work or they can go spectacularly wrong. Fortunately, it worked perfectly, the tolerances were exact and it produced a great-looking Palago tile.

is anybody out there?

Pink Floyd’s epic song of the same name is quite possibly the best piece on the album “The Wall”. Today’s post is about our creepy friend Alexa of Amazon fame.

Setting the Scene: 9AM, the desk next to my printer

I’m sitting here doing a little work and I notice that the Amazon Echo Dot at the 3D printer table next to me is doing an animated light show. Insufficiently-caffeinated, I’m trying to recall what this particular color show means. It finally dawns on me, ah, it’s rebooting. I didn’t ask it to reboot. And since it’s plugged into a good-quality UPS I’d have heard the relay click off if there had been a power problem and there wasn’t.

So I’m guessing it’s shenanigans (again) from Amazon.


It eventually gets done with its reboot and goes back into mute mode as before. As you might have remembered from an earlier post, Alexa is creepy, listens in on your conversations and shares what it’s heard with Amazon. So of course, it’s left with the microphone turned off most of the time.

Next, I visit the Alexa App on my phone and dig deep within the Settings interface to finally find that yes, they’ve turned on the Drop-In feature again.

…yes, they’ve turned on the (creepy) Drop-In feature again

Seriously? Is it time for a class-action lawsuit against these people? The Drop-In feature effectively allows others to spy on your audio feed. I don’t want that. I turned off the feature. Amazon turned it back on in an update I didn’t initiate.

What’s next? Will then auto-upgrade with the settings configured so that the Drop-In is toggled back on as well as the microphone? Hey Amazon, illegal wiretapping is illegal.

Hey Amazon, illegal wiretapping is illegal.

Consumers don’t opt-out of their constitutional or civic rights by purchasing a product and turning it on. Federal Law 18 U.S. Code § 2510 and the following sections describe the laws against wiretapping of conversations. Amazon, consider yourself warned.

mongodb is dead, long live… anything else

Well this sucks. The people who control MongoDB changed its licensing last year from open-source to closed-source. I would say that it was a very popular alternative in the many database-like offerings out there.



So it looks like everybody’s dumping them from operating systems’ distribution systems and now HomeBrew has followed suit.

Time to clean house

all your code base are belong to us

Okay, so it’s been a year since Microsoft purchased github for a cool US$7.5B. In today’s terms that’s merely Amazon’s annual gross in sales. Remember when a million dollars seemed like a lot of money?

For some of you who aren’t coders, you probably don’t understand the impact of this move especially within the context that Microsoft has a history of being sued for very questionable competitive practices. Github was likely the largest collection of freely-available source code in the public domain (also known as “open source”) and probably still so even after the acquisition. Do we even have to ponder the “why?” question at all?


Github had not just most of the open source code but it also contained countless private repositories from countless other entities. Imagine that almost overnight Microsoft then gained access to all the privately-held coding secrets of their competitors.

What does Microsoft really think of open source?

“The paradigm of freely sharing computer source code—a practice known as open source—traces back to the earliest commercial computers, whose user groups shared code to reduce duplicate work and costs. Following an antitrust suit that forced the unbundling of IBM’s hardware and software, a proprietary software industry grew throughout the 1970s, in which companies sought to protect their software products. The technology company Microsoft was founded in this period and has long been an embodiment of the proprietary paradigm and its tension with open source practices, well before the terms “free software” or “open source” were coined. Within a year of founding Microsoft, Bill Gates wrote an open letter that positioned the hobbyist act of copying software as a form of theft.” ~ Microsoft and open source – wikipedia

Is “Inner Source” actually Open Source?

Microsoft is now embracing something they’re calling Inner Source for their own internal coding. Clearly, Microsoft loves the infrastructure of tools and the free availability of open source… only they truly do not understand the idea of then sharing back with others.

Microsoft’s own Inner Source is like walking around the table in a poker game, freely viewing the cards in your opponent’s hands, purposely hiding your own cards and then expecting to be able to continue playing in the game.

Sorry, but I have to call bullshit on all this. Microsoft isn’t to be trusted. They’re not our friends. They’re stealing secrets from their competitors and they’re using those secrets to create closed-source software (business as usual). They’re destroying the very ethos of open source with every passing day.

you’d think timezones would be sacrosanct

Somethings in life are supposed to be rock solid, unchanging & immutable. Not so for the list of available U.S.-based timezones as seen in Raspbian lately. In Buster, the latest operating system version (based on Debian), they decided to just arbitrarily remove a timezone selection for the United States.

Debian post

It all stems from the introduction of a second Pacific-based timezone called Pacific-New. This zone related to legislation that would have prevented daylight savings time changes to interrupt a presidential election. And yet, the bill never passed and this timezone made it into Debian (and Raspbian).

Like many users in the U.S., when presented with the two options (Pacific, Pacific-New) we selected the latter, possibly assuming that “Pacific” was some sort of designator for U.S.-islands-in-the-Pacific-which-weren’t-Hawaii.

So now with this Buster release, Pacific-New vanished into thin air and without any information to the community who support it.

But it doesn’t end there. The contents of files like /etc/timezone in Buster now don’t contain US/Pacific as one might expect. They now contain America/Los_Angeles instead. Seriously? Just think of all the shell scripts that are now buggy as a result of changes like this.

The folks from Raspbian suggest that all US/timezone​ timezones are now deprecated in lieu of America/City_Name. The entire point to having the former is that it allows pulldown menus in software to indicate a short list to the enduser. There are literally hundreds of city name entries within the America listing since it includes North, Central and South America of course.

This is a real face-palm moment for software developers and for endusers as well. Instead of selecting from perhaps five timezones, you’ll now need to select from hundreds of representative cities within two continents.

new phone, new e-waste

I really enjoyed my iPhone 5S, to be honest. I liked that it was small enough to fit into any pocket I had. Part of Apple’s business plan appears to be to force older products into landfill by prematurely making them obsolete. And one aspect of that plan seems to be to strong-arm carriers like Comcast to not allow transfers of service onto older phones like mine. It’s too bad, really, because the phone otherwise works well for me.

The reason behind the carrier switch

I’ve recently moved and my Metro PCS (now T-Mobile) service is terrible here. And at $45/month that’s just not something I intend to keep.

Comcast’s up-sell attempt

So in Comcast’s retail store, the guy’s telling me that they can’t won’t transfer my phone number to an iPhone 5. “So how much is your used iPhone 6?“, I ask. (They want $450 plus tax which is so not going to happen.) He then gives me the hard-sell by suggesting that he could only give me the $100 transfer rebate by the end of tomorrow.

Somewhat-frantic used phone search

The next couple of hours involved me trying to find a local business which would sell me a used or refurbished iPhone 6 (noting of course that the iPhone X is the current model). I managed to find that Fry’s Electronics at the local branch had a refurbished one. And of course the sale ends by the end of that same day.

The purchase

So in this world-wind period I immediately jump into my car and visit Fry’s. Indeed, the sale ends on the same day so I’m reasonably forced to make the purchase on-the-spot. Of course, the phone has zero charge so I can’t even really verify that it’s not bricked. The price tag out the door is something like $180, less than half what Comcast would have charged me.

Metro PCS

I get the iPhone 6 home, charge it up (“100%”) and the next morning visit Comcast Metro PCS. You’re probably wondering why I didn’t just go straight over to Comcast. Because Comcast won’t just help me in this situation; they insist that the iPhone 6 be provisioned by my losing carrier first. So the Metro PCS people must be told by me that I’m innocently just upgrading my phone on the day before my new payment is due. I’m charged $15 for the changeover.


Next stop is Comcast again and they can transfer the phone number. While the number is transferring, the iPhone dies from lack of battery charge. Er, what? It was 100% when I left this morning and I’ve barely used the phone. The iPhone 5S would go days before needing a recharge.

Research time

Back home—and with the phone on the charger again—I discover that Apple had a recall and a class action lawsuit regarding this particular phone with respect to the battery. I contact Apple Support to determine whether or not I can get the battery replaced for free. They indicate that they won’t pay for it but they can assist getting me into the service queue for the local store.

Apple Store

So I arrange the support visit at Apple only to find that I and many other people will be sitting here waiting to be helped for some time. I took the option to drop off my phone and to pick it up the following day.

The next day arrives and I find that I and many other people will be waiting some more to be helped for quite some time. I find it odd that a simple pickup like this took well over an hour. What I find even odder is that Apple would replace a battery and not charge it; the phone arrived with literally 0% charge and no way to determine whether the battery’s health was verifiable. The overworked support person—holding literally four products at once to deliver almost simultaneous to four customers—essentially put me on “ignore” when I indicated that it would be nice to know if my phone was working after the service-related activity. I think I paid $45 plus tax to get out the door.

New phone

So, now I have a new, working iPhone 6. Honestly, I didn’t need a new phone. I felt coerced into the upgrade to be honest.

Of course, then, I designed a new-and-improved holder for this one using Autodesk Fusion 360. It will clip onto the shoulder strap of my laptop bag and suitable for playing music while walking somewhere. I’ll print it on the 3D printer as soon as I get that unboxed and back in action.

Screen Shot 2019-07-05 at 11.29.29 AM

What next? (a.k.a. Combating e-waste)

I really have a hard time with this disposable-technology mentality. If we’re tied to a single operating system like iOS and it’s under Apple’s Machiavellian business plan then we’re left with two viable options: throw it away or change the operating system.

Having searched the Internet, I see no solutions in which someone has replaced iOS on an iPhone with anything like Linux. In theory, an older phone could be hacked as an amazing IoT device of some kind since the camera technology, RAM, processor and storage is killer compared to a Raspberry Pi, for instance. The street price two years ago for a used iPhone 5S was a mere $100 as I recall. So today, the street price of an iPhone 5 should be sub-$100. (I’ve just reviewed an eBay iPhone 4 ad which asks $7 as the price!) Imagine the supercomputer which you could build from a boxful of discarded iPhone 4’s and 5’s.

[Assuming that we’ve replaced iOS on each…] imagine the supercomputer which you could build from a boxful of discarded iPhone 4’s and 5’s…

  • I’m sure the average phone retailer has a stash of these in their back office and would be delighted to remove them from the playing field.
  • You wouldn’t need it to be a phone anymore or to have a carrier.
  • At it’s heart, the average (old) smartphone is a very fast computer with lots of RAM and an amazing camera and hard drive.
  • In the average supercomputer scenario, you wouldn’t worry about batteries since it would be tethered to power. Most battery-related issues could then be ignored.
  • In theory, you could create low-cost projects which involve sending multiple old phones up into the stratosphere via a helium balloon, collecting a 360° views and transmitting them back.
  • Similarly, you could create a drone submarine with a dedicated old phone at every porthole to capture and forward live, streaming video.

I’ll continue to look into this as an option. There has to be a way of hacking these phones. Just imagine the possibilities if you could.

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