Bluetooth Headphones with Dell XPS 9550 & Dell Wireless 1830 Card

I have a Dell XPS 9550 laptop with Windows 10, which uses the Dell Wireless 1830 Wifi + Bluetooth card. My bluetooth mouse connected and worked fine. I tried to connect a Plantronics Backbeat 505 bluetooth headphones to the laptop, it would pair but not connect. After much trial & error the solution is this:

  1. Download and install Dell Wireless 1830 Bluetooth Application (Communications_Application_8R3ND_WN32_12.0.1.720_A00.EXE) 
  2. Update the drivers for Dell Wireless 1830 Bluetooth via Windows Update

And this worked! Hurray!

Update 1: The bluetooth headphones are still working but the audio is a bit choppy. I don’t have a solution for that yet.


IOT Smoke Alarm Notifier

I tried to follow this tutorial ( but it didn’t really work. It didn’t really explain everything but I think I understood it. In the end I got this error in LuaLoader:

Executing Interrupt Sensor Software
Listening for Sensor Inputs…
PANIC: unprotected error in call to Lua API (1a_interruptSensor.lua:39: ‘<eof>’ expected near ‘end’)

I didn’t like this Lua interface so I’m going to try something else.

Few things to note:

  • you can no longer download the lua firmware, it is now a custom build service from where you can specify which modules you want


Xiaomi Xiaofang Smart Camera Setup

I recently bought the Xiaomi Xiaofang Smart Camera and here’s how I set it up:

1. Make sure your phone is connected to the internet and GPS is turned on (it asks for location services to be enabled which includes GPS)

2. Download the Mi Home app from your phone’s app store

3. Accept the terms and conditions for the app

4. Select the first locale (or server) in Chinese, which I believe is Mainland China. If you select the US server then it will not connect properly.



5. You need to sign in with your Mi Account.

Create a Mi account or sign in with your existing Mi account.
NOTE: Other sites are saying that you need to create a Mi account without connecting it to any social media network.


6. Tap on My Devices and then tap on Add Camera Products. Tap the highlighted icon,


7. Press the Setup button on the camera and wait the camera light to flash yellow and say something in Chinese. After you hear it, tap on “Wait until you hear a prompt” and then tap Next.


8. Tap on Tap to select Wi-Fi and you will see a list of Wifi access points your phone can see. Select the Wifi access point you wish to connected it.

NOTE: it will only work with 2.4 Ghz access points


9. Enter the username and password for the Wifi access point.


10. Hold the camera and point it to the QR displayed on your phone. If it works the camera will say something else in Chinese and then the camera light will flash blue.


11. It will now connect to the camera.


12. If it all works then you should see this.


13. Tap on a device location and tap Next.

14. On the main screen of the app you should see your new camera.

15. Tap the camera icon and you should see this.

16. Voila! 🙂


Raspberry Pi Camera Server

It’s so easy to set up a Raspberry Pi Camera Server because of RPi-Cam-Web-Interface. I’m using these materials;

  • Raspberry Pi Zero W with Jessie Lite
  • Raspberry Pi NoIR Camera Board, Version 2
  • Raspberry Pi Zero Camera Adapter (this is required because the camera port on the Raspberry Pi Zero is smaller compared to the camera port on the Raspberry Pi 2 or 3)

Here are the steps:

  1. Prepare a new Raspberry Pi with Raspbian
  2. Make sure it’s connected to a network and you can ping it from your computer
  3. Confirm that the camera is working, run this command you should see the live video for 6 seconds. If this works then proceed to the next step. Otherwise fix this first.
    raspistill -v -f -vf -t 6000
  4. Run these commands to install the RPi-Cam-Web-Interface:
    sudo apt-get update
    git clone RPi_Cam_Web_Interface
    chmod u+x *.sh
  5. From your computer, go to (IP is your Raspberry Pi’s IP)
  6. Voila!

Upgrade Windows 10 Home to Professional on a Dell laptop

I have a Dell XPS laptop and it came with Windows 10 Home installed. I had a Windows 10 Professional license tied to my Microsoft account.  I wanted to upgrade my Home installation to a Professional installation, here’s how I did it:

UPDATE: The following steps did not work as I had hoped. It didn’t not accept my other Microsoft account’s Windows 10 Pro license. I ended up buying the Windows 10 Pro license from Play-Asia for very cheap. I still went through steps 1-5 and then I entered the new Windows 10 Pro key. And it didn’t work! I ended up calling Microsoft and activated it over the phone. And done! 🙂

  1. Open Windows 10 Settings and go to activation
  2. Click on Product Key and use this one VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T. (This is a generic Windows 10 Professional key, it will simply allow you to perform the upgrade)
  3. Perform the upgrade
  4. After restart, Windows will ask for activation
  5. Open Windows 10 Settings and go to activation
  6. Click on Troubleshoot
  7. Click on “I recently changed hardware on this device” and select the license from the Microsoft account
  8. Sign in to your Microsoft account (the one with the Windows 10 Professional license) and voila!

Docker CE on Linux Mint 18.1

Here are the instructions to installing Docker CE on Linux Mint 18.1 Serena.

sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https ca-certificates curl software-properties-common
curl -fsSL | sudo apt-key add -

The following line in the SOURCE automatically determines the distribution, which is Serena, but there are no Linux Mint packages for Docker. You have to change it to the matching Ubuntu distribution. FYI Linux Mint Serena is based on Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial.

sudo add-apt-repository "deb [arch=amd64] xenial stable"
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install docker-ce

Test the Docker install with this command. It will automatically download the hello-world image and run it.

sudo docker run hello-world


Ubuntu 16.04 Argghh!

I have a simple request, put the minimize, maximize and close buttons on the right hand of the window. Guess what? Canonical have completely disabled the ability to do that. Argghh! For that reason I refuse to use Ubuntu. Linux is meant to be open and customizable! I’m looking for something else…I’m going to try Linux Mint 🙂