After almost 4 years of service, the time has come to replace my Netgear AirCard 340u. While it works great with my IdeaPad s405, it has problems with newer Intel systems (the AirCard falls into a cycle of infinite boot loops). Since I’m retiring the s405, it was time to find a new mobile data device. Unfortunately, the market for USB broadband modems has not advanced in the last 4 years (the AirCard 340u is still the most capable). So, I had to settle for a wireless hotspot.
The Alcatel LINKZONE 4824, at the time of writing this, is the latest wireless hotspot for T-Mobile USA. It supports 802.11b/g/n and emulates an Ethernet adapter over USB via RNDIS. On the data network side, it supports LET band 12 (T-Mobile USA’s 700MHz spectrum)—a significant advantage over the AirCard 340u in areas where band 12 has been deployed.
Both Gentoo and Funtoo provide Plex Media Server within their portage repositories via the plex-media-server ebuild. However, lately, Funtoo’s plex-media-server ebuild within media-kit has fallen behind Plex releases. The quick solution is to use Ghent’s funtoo-plex overlay. With Funtoo moving to kits, local overlays are quite easy to use.
Assuming an install setup per the Funtoo default kits instructions, start by creating a directory for your overlays. Then, clone Ghent’s funtoo-plex overlay:
git clone https://github.com/Ghent/funtoo-plex.git
At the time of writing, Ghent’s overlay is still configured for a pre-kits setup. Fortunately, migrating to a kits compatible setup is straight forward: open up /var/git/overlay/funtoo-plex/metadata/layout.conf and replace masters = gentoo with masters = core-kit.
The last step is to create /etc/portage/repos.conf/funtoo-plex.conf. Place the following into /etc/portage/repos.conf/funtoo-plex.conf:
Now, running emerge -av plex-media-server should grab the newer ebuilds from Ghent’s funtoo-plex overlay. Note that you will need to occasionally pull the latest master branch in the repo using git pull origin master from within /var/git/overlay/funtoo-plex/.
Introduced in Breadcrumb NavXT 5.7.0, bcn_display_json_ld() is the newest member of the bcn_display* family. Since it outputs the breadcrumb trail in a Schema.org BreadcrumbList compliant JSON-LD format, there are numerous uses for this function.
While the GoPro HERO is nice and small, a consequence of this small size is poor battery life. Battery backpacks can help extend the run-time. However, they can be finicky and do not add that much to the device run-time. Another solution is using a power cable. Preferably, one that plugs into the HERO port so that a case can be used.
After finding the PaPiRus ePaper panel, I picked up a Raspberry Pi Zero W to drive it. To be perfectly honest, the early Raspberry Pis never really excited me. However, the Raspberry Pi Zero’s small footprint caught my attention. Add in WiFi and Bluetooth, as found on the Zero W, and you have a solid IoT starter board.
Thanks to the popularity of the Raspberry Pi, both Funtoo and Gentoo have guides on setting up Funtoo/Gentoo on a Raspberry Pi. Getting a base system up and running is straightforward. Though, if you have to compile anything it will take a while.