Entries of the category : hardware


Beacon is a small device that uses a low-energy version of Bluetooth to broadcast its location. Modern smartphones can detect the presence and measure the approximate distance to the beacon. Apart from the obvious use for marketing and advertising (of very legitimate concerns about privacy and tracking users) beacons offer many other possibilities and allow to realize a very ambitious ideas of the Internet of Things.

We found this out by participating in two BeaconValley Hackathons. These events had one goal: to make within 24 hours a mobile application that uses kontakt.io’s beacons in interesting way.


The first time, in June, we designed and implemented an Android application to encourage people to books. The idea is that people at the bus stop receive a short excerpt from the book. In addition, those holding the handset could listen to an audiobook. Volume increases with a gradual approaching to the place where hidden beacon.

SmartBook app helps you discover books.

SmartBook app helps you discover books

Interested user could order the book via the internet or locate on the map bookstores that have it in stock.

City Games

The second global edition of the hackathon was held on 21-22 November. It held simultaneously in four cities: Krakow, New York, London and Guadalajara.

This time we proposed an interactive urban game designed for iOS devices (iPhone or iPad). Through interesting quests and simple interface it helps tourists explore visited places in an easy and fun way. We have prepared a sample scenario for the Museum of Monicipal Engineering in Krakow, where the event took place.

Thank you Peter, Michael, Christopher, Paul and Nicholas for fruitful cooperation and lot of fun. We learned useful technologies, spoke with representatives of many IT companies and got a bunch of gadgets. I had a great time and gained a lot of experience.


I  lately noticed increased temperature of my netbook. Sensors command gives near 90°C in stress. I decided to replace manufacturer thermal pasta on CPU and clean radiator.

Cleaning CPU unit. Above: the old, hardened, thermal paste on the copper pipe heat sink.

Cleaning CPU unit. Above: the old, hardened, thermal paste on the copper pipe heat sink.



Some time ago I bought the HP t5720 Thin Client terminal to run as server for my stuff. It has an AMD Geode NX 1500 (x86, 1000 MHz) / 512 MB ​​RAM / 6 USB ports / audio IO / VGA on board, and most importantly, it is completely silent. 512MB of manufacturer ATA flash memory allows only to place Windows XP Embedded or truncated Debian. Therefore, I installed Linux distribution on a cheap 4GB pendrive.

HP t5720 Thin Client (more…)


Unfortunately, a few weeks ago when I pulled my Kindle 3 Keyboard from a laptop bag  I couldn’t turn display on. I noticed some strange lines at the bottom of the screen. Those displays really ARE  fragile!

In this situation, you can sell ​​the device on your favorite auction site as damaged (they pay pretty good!) or replace the screen yourself.

Broken kindle keyboard display with some strange lines and new, replacement screen.

Broken kindle keyboard display with some strange lines and a replacement screen.



Parę lat temu poszukiwałem laptopa dla swojej rodzicielki. Pomimo koszmarnego wyglądu wybraliśmy lenovo SL400 ze względu na dobre jak na tamte czasy parametry, matową matrycę oraz legendarną markę ThinkPad. “Są niezniszczalne” powiedział nam sprzedawca pokazując swojego starego ThinkPada od IBM, “dzięki mocarnym zawiasom można je przenosić za ekran” powiedział.

Mama korzysta z notebooka tylko w domu i jako osobisty komputer zawsze leży sobie spokojnie na stoliku. Czasem pożyczałem go na konferencje czy robienie projektów w terenie. Nigdy nie upadł. Od początku napęd optyczny nie czytał większości wypalanych płyt, ale jakoś da się z tym żyć. Skończyła się dwuletnia gwarancja i wyłamał się lewy “mocarny” zawias.

Zepsuty zawias w lenovo SL400

Zepsuty zawias w lenovo SL400

[TL;DR] Laptopy ThinkPad nie są już takie solidne i chałupnicza wymiana jakiegoś kluczowego elementu wiąże się z rozmontowaniem kilkunastu innych. [/TL;DR]