Bluetooth wireless solution for older speaker — getting rid of the 3.5mm cable

I have an old car which doesn’t have a bluetooth music streaming functionality on its stereo system. But like most other cars, it does have a 3.5mm AUX port for you to play music from a Smart Phone to the car’s speakers through a male to male 3.5mm AUX cable. I have always wondered how I can get rid of the 3.5mm cable to make everything less cluttered. So far, I have come across the following solutions:-

1 – BTunes

BTunes is a small Bluetooth device which gives you the ability to play music wirelessly to your speaker or headphones. It comes with different models such as the 3.5mm or 2.5mm one, amongst the others for different headphone brands.


2 – TP-Link HA100

A Bluetooth Music Receiver from TP-Link. Powered by a USB micro-B to USB cable, you can simply connect your speaker to this device using the provided male-to-male 3.5mm cable. Out of the box, it also comes with a 3.5mm to RCA cable (the white and red audio cable) incase your speaker has that.

TP-Link HA100

3 – Tunai Firefly

Tunai Firefly is the latest product I found on the Internet. Seems to be a simple with a USB plug and a 3.5mm AUX plug on each end.

No longer receive Apple SMS verification code

I enabled Two Step Authentication immediately after Apple provides this feature for their Apple members. Two step authentication basically means aside from your password, you also need a second trusted device to verify your identity. This can be a logged in Apple devices or phone number with SMS capability. If you somehow don’t have access to your second device, you will need a recovery code which was provided to you when you setup Two step authentication for the first time.

It was working totally fine until two weeks ago when I tried to login iTunes, iCloud or Apple ID management webpage, I no longer receive the SMS verification code. To make matters worse, I cannot find the recovery code. I have my Apple ID and password so I can login totally fine, but it just needs a security code via SMS to access the more sensitive information. I’m panicking, don’t know what to do, and decided to call AppleCare for assistance.

I told the AppleCare call centre operator that I have my Apple ID and password, and I just don’t receive any verification code via SMS, which is odd since I used to receive the codes perfectly fine. (Some operators will just say they can’t do anything from their end.) I called again the next day, the other operator escalated the case and transferred me to an AppleCare Senior Advisor.

She seemed to have more access than the call centre operator and could immediately see that all my trusted devices disappeared mysteriously on Apple’s side. She filed a case to the Apple Engineer. It seems to be the busiest time of the year so after two weeks of waiting, I tried to login iCloud again. YES!! An SMS notification appeared on my iPhone and I can access my iCloud again.

Thank you, Apple Support.

How to install the latest Nginx 1.8.0 Stable on Ubuntu Raspberry Pi 2

I installed Ubuntu 15.04 on my Raspberry Pi 2 Model B using this image built by mrengles. I personally prefer Ubuntu over the default Raspbian Wheezy simply because their packages are more stable and up-to-date. However still, the repo has an older version of Nginx (1.6.2). To install the newest Nginx 1.8.0 stable, you will either have to build it from source or install a binary prebuilt by someone. After some googling, I found it here.

Add the ppa repository:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:teward/nginx-stable-testing

You will see this message:

Staging PPA for nginx/stable PPA.

This contains all builds for the Stable PPA.  Good builds, bad builds, and old builds.  Please do not use this PPA unless you really know what you're doing.
 More info:
Press [ENTER] to continue or ctrl-c to cancel adding it

Follow the instruction and press [ENTER].

Go ahead and perform the normal apt-get update and apt-get install:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nginx

You may edit the settings from /etc/nginx/nginx.conf and /etc/nginx/sites-available/default as required. Then start Nginx normally:

sudo service nginx start

Open your browser to see if that works.

Macbook Pro blank screen on startup

Turned on my Late 2013 Macbook Pro Retina 13″ just now, and it booted into a black screen. It did produce a boot sound after I hit the power button. Googling a little bit and found the solution: Reset your computer’s PRAM. The MBPR starts normally again. Thanks my goodness sake. I’m writing this down for my own reference.

  1. Shut down your Mac.
  2. Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Option, Command (⌘), P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in step 4.
  3. Turn on your Mac.
  4. Immediately press and hold the Option-Command-P-R keys. You must press this key combination before the gray screen appears. Continue holding the keys down until your Mac restarts, and you hear the startup sound for the second time.
  5. Release the keys.


Mt Eden Summit car ban

So now the Maunga Authority plans to ban all cars from accessing one of Auckland’s popular tourists attraction Mt Eden Summit at the end of the year. They will spend $100,000 to install two electric gates (plus ongoing maintenance costs) which will be funded by Auckland Council, but taxpayers aren’t allowed to drive up anyway. I think they can charge an entry fee which could fund the gates. Owk-O, what if it’s a rainny day?