Raspberry Pi Portable Media Center Experiment

Not what it looks like

When I took delivery of my Raspberry Pi I knew straight away what my first project would be…..a simple portable all in one media center. My aim was to make a single item that would be battery powered, extremely portable and project movies anywhere I wanted. (I am aware similar functionaluty can be achieved via an SD card in a pico projector but this is a Raspberry Pi project and is much more powerful).

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I can has Raspberry Pi?

Raspberry Pi

Like every other geek I followed the launch of the Raspberry Pi last year, I really wanted one but couldn’t justify a reason of purpose for me having one, but since when has that stopped me before. So in true geek style, I ordered a Raspberry Pi model B last week. I can’t wait to try out some of the ideas I have.

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Write That Name – Update Your Contacts Automatically


I have recently been using a service called WriteThat.name. This great little service links with your google account and automatically extracts the contact information from incoming emails.

This syncs with google contacts and if like me you have your iPhone set up with your gmail account, unknown numbers start appearing with the name of the contact next to them.

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A Geek In Spain – Day 2


Day 2 was afternoon classes so I spent the morning discovering Valencia for myself and classes started at 3.30. We continued building on the work we had done the previous day. The classes are dynamic and interactive rather than stuffy and book focused. Everyone speaks in Spanish and native languages are only used for individual pieces of vocabulary.

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A Geek In Spain – Day 1

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I left for school early on Monday, as it was my first day (and about 20 others) we had to be at the school for 8.45 to find out our classes. Taronja school is a pleasant ten minute walk from the apartment and leaving early gave me the chance to pop into a cafe and use my most useful Spanish phrase “Uno café solo por favor”. I love Spanish coffee, the taste for me is in-between Italian and India coffee and it is good an strong.

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A Geek In Spain – Day 0

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On arrival in Valencia the warm sun’s rays and sea air let me know that I was in Spain, as did the journey from the airport to my accommodation. Immediately I had to put my Spanish into practice to negotiate the Valencian metro system, my destination Àngel Guimerã station which was only a short walk (and one lost metro ticket) away from “Taronja House”, a shared apartment and my home for the week.

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A Geek in Spain – Introduction


For those who don’t know and for full disclosure I was lucky enough to win the recent facebook photo competition ran by Cactus Language (http://www.cactuslanguage.com/en/). The competition was entitled “Culture and Travel” and the voters and judges agreed that my entry above embodied this theme.

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Long Time, No Post

I haven’t posted anything in a while so this is a bit of an update post, as for why no update? Well the usual crap really, work, wedding planning, going on an awesome trip to Belgium (and coming back with a trunk full of belgian beer). Read more

A Geeky Marriage


As you may or may not know, I am getting married next year. Now this in itself isn’t very geeky, however the website I set up to inform my guests is. Feel free to check it out http://www.hogarthortiz.com.

What makes it all the more geeky is our stop motion video Save the Date we sent out to guests recently.

Check it out on vimeo Gary & Thais – Save the Date/Reserva La Fecha – 26.05.2013 – l’Ametlla de Mar, Spain/España

Virgin Media – Possibly The Worst Company Ever

Well I warned people on twitter and facebook to expect a Virgin Media rant, so here it is. But first a little history of my relationship with Virgin Media, it hasn’t always been so bad years ago I vividly remember a company called NTL digging up the roads around my home town and laying cable everywhere. For some reason my strongest memory of this was the ever present scent of tar. Soon after we promptly signed up for NTL cable and were extremely happy with the service. Read more