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  • Episode 599
  • March 13, 2019

Blocking Internet Ads and Porn With a Single Board Computer

With March Break in full swing, our two resident dads are looking for ways to keep their kids safe online. Enter Pi-Hole: a free DNS server program that turns any single board computer into a sophisticated DNS filtering service. It's built to block ads, which in turn improves your Internet speed. But using third-party lists, you can also use Pi-Hole to optionally block sites that serve up pornography.

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  • Episode 598
  • March 6, 2019

Improving Lighting In Your Photos

A great photo can be ruined by incorrect exposure or white balance. This week we'll show you how to correct some of the most common mistakes, such as backlighting or incorrect white balance using GIMP. Plus, as an added bonus, Robbie will provide a few quick tips that will help you get better photos from your DSLR camera even without retouching them.

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  • Episode 597
  • February 27, 2019

Debian Linux BitTorrent Server with the ODROID HC1

The ODROID HC1 is a 2.5-inch SSD enclosure that features a built-in 8-core SBC with 2 GB RAM and gigabit Ethernet. Since it runs Debian Linux (among others), there is really no limit to what you can create. For our first project out of the box, we'll setup the SSD to auto-mount on boot, and turn the unit into a self-contained BitTorrent seed server with a browser-based interface.

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  • Episode 596
  • February 20, 2019

It's Illuminating When We Go Live

Our live broadcast API tells whether Category5 TV is live on the air or not. This week, we'll create a simple circuit and code that will automatically turn on an LED light bulb whenever Category5 TV signs on. The fundamentals learned will help get makers started with Raspberry Pi GPIO programming in a fun and simple way. We'll also test Google Docs vs. MS Office Online Word and see how well each opens documents we created in LibreOffice Writer.

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  • Episode 595
  • February 13, 2019

Pocophone F1: A Low Cost Phone with High-End Features

Taking a risk on a refurbished smartphone proved disastrous for Robbie, so this time he took a different approach as a budget-minded phone shopper and picked up a Xiaomi Pocophone F1. We'll get into the box this week on Category5 TV and take the low-cost phone for a spin. Sasha also updates us on her mixed-environment word processing woes at work, and we have your week's top tech news.

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  • Episode 594
  • February 6, 2019

Software-Free Encrypted Flash Drive

The problem with encrypted flash drives has always been the software needed to be installed in order to operate it. This week we look at a device that eliminates that issue by using a keypad to decrypt the data, making it extremely easy to use and perfect for your purse or pocket.

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  • Episode 593
  • January 30, 2019

New PINE64 Products in 2019

It was such an honor to have Lukasz Erecinski from PINE64 join us for an interview where he revealed the exciting new product line from PINE64, including a "Pro" version of their popular Pinebook SOC laptop, and the world's first open source IP camera. We'll also take the RockPro64 for a spin just to see what kind of performance we can likely expect out of the Pinebook Pro.

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  • Episode 592
  • January 23, 2019

Artificial Intelligence in 2019

Our opinions of AI have been formed by mainstream media, but that stops now. This week we speak with New York Times best-selling author, Martin Ford about Artificial Intelligence. In his new book, Ford records the conversations he has had with the very people developing artificial intelligence. We'll chat about what's exciting, what's scary, and what's to come from machine learning.

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  • Episode 591
  • January 16, 2019

Wyze Cams and an ODROID C2

This week, Robbie and Sasha take a look at how the Wyze Cams work. They're the world's most affordable smart surveillance camera, and we'll give them a try. Then, let's open up an ODROID C2 single board computer. It's been around for a while, but it's still an awesome board in high demand. We also have what could be the best ODROID C2 case ever.

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  • Episode 590
  • January 9, 2019

Smart Home Surveillance and 4K Video Editing Magic

The Bald Nerd, CloudReady's official unofficial spokeswoman and the Ginja Ninja take a look at the Wyze Cam lineup, which makes smart home surveillance ultra-affordable. We'll also learn how to turn 4K video footage into multiple camera shots in CyberLink PowerDirector, and the results are mind blowing.

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  • Episode 589
  • January 2, 2019

Let 'er Rip

Happy new year! This week we'll look back briefly on some of the fondest memories our hosts have of 2018, followed by a tutorial on how to rip episodic DVDs using the free Handbrake software on Windows 10.

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  • Episode 588
  • December 26, 2018

Category5 Christmas Musical

As Robbie, Sasha and Jeff take the week off to celebrate Christmas with their families, let's circle back to our Christmas special from 2012 when Category5 alumni of years gone by joined Robbie and Sasha for a very special night of amateur Christmas caroling.

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  • Episode 587
  • December 19, 2018

Don't Reset The Modem

Resetting a modem is not the same thing as rebooting a modem, as Sasha learned this week. Let's also unbox a Raspberry Pi 3 A+, a lighting rig to improve your product photographs on the cheap, and discuss the evolution of technology with Google Monocle.

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  • Episode 586
  • December 12, 2018

Battle of the Home Automation Assistants

Between the Google Home Mini and the latest Amazon Echo Dot, the price and promoted features are pretty similar. This week, we'll try to figure out which one is the best virtual assistant by putting the two smart home devices head-to-head.

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  • Episode 585
  • December 5, 2018

With Help From A Dummy Head

We pulled out the old dummy head again, because what better way is there to review a set of Bluetooth headphones? We've got the Bluedio T-Monitors, which are a budget set of wireless headphones that feel and sound great. Sasha is having trouble with Discord and Jeff is getting a lot of botspam.

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  • Episode 584
  • November 28, 2018

Displacing the SBC Champions

We continue our series of single board computer benchmarks, and this week we put the ODROID XU4Q and the NanoPi M4 up against one another, along with the results from last week's battle between the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+, PINE64 A64-LTS, Rock64 and RockPro64.

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  • Episode 583
  • November 21, 2018

Single Board Computer Deathmatch

We all love a good benchmark comparison, but what's been unclear up till now is how SBCs of varying price points compare once you factor in their cost. Does the Rock64 beat the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ even though it costs more? We'll set out to find out on this week's show.

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  • Episode 582
  • November 14, 2018

More Great Single Board Computers and Disabling Windows 10's Tablet Mode

Henry joins Robbie and Sasha to take a look at an assortment of Single Board Computers we'll be benchmarking in the next couple weeks. We'll also look at why Sasha's work computer went nutty after an update, and fix the stupid "Tablet Mode" by telling it to never turn on again.

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  • Episode 581
  • November 7, 2018

Make Any Notebook a Chromebook with Neverware CloudReady

Most of us have some old laptop or desktop computers kicking around. They seem useless because their OS is out of date, and the hardware isn't powerful enough to run the latest and greatest software. Enter CloudReady: a Chromium OS distribution that is built to run on your old (or new!) PC gear, and is free for personal use.

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  • Episode 580
  • October 31, 2018

Cheap Mics, Awesome SBCs and Costumes

Shizu Yamaguchi joins Robbie and Sasha this week, and everyone's dressed up for Halloween! We'll step outside the box with our review of a cheap condenser microphone off Amazon, and unbox the six-core NanoPi M4 single board computer.

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  • Episode 579
  • October 24, 2018

A DIY Retro Gaming Handheld Emulator and a Tool Bench PSU (With MarshMan)

MarshMan drove 8 hours to join us this week! We'll look at a cheap way to repurpose an old computer PSU, as well as the ODROID-GO - a GameBoy-like handheld that lets you play all the classics - and you get to build it yourself.

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  • Episode 578
  • October 17, 2018

A 6-Core SBC and Some Viewer Comments

We've finally got our hands on a RockPro64, and it's an incredible looking little single-board computer: 6 cores, 4 GB RAM and a PCIe slot. We've also got some great viewer comments that spark some interesting discussions.

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  • Episode 577
  • October 10, 2018

Making LibreOffice Look and Feel More Like Microsoft Office

There are some wonderful free alternatives available for commercial software, and LibreOffice is exactly that. But the interface isn't quite the same as Microsoft Office, and it can be a bit unfamiliar to users who are accustomed to the commercial counterpart. This week, we'll learn to make LibreOffice look and feel pretty similar to Microsoft's product, and who knows: you may just save some money.

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