I have been meaning to post and had some ideas for topics for over a week now. But life. So what’s been happening? Here’s a personal update, and a really cool and useful tech-tip.
I have not been very active at anything for the past week and a half because I got an ear infection. Yeah. Not sure how I got it, but as it progressed, the pressure from what was going on inside my ear caused my eardrum to rupture. If you’ve ever felt that pain, I’m sorry. If you haven’t, may you never. It’s excruciating. I compare it to a badly abscessed tooth, just that it’s inside your ear. Also, you can’t just go to the dentist and drill it out for relief. It’s a slow process of “taking your medicine” and waiting for the pain to subside. I have two antibiotics, one in tablet form, and another in drops that I put in my ear. For the pain they said “take ibuprofen.”
I was up to 600Mg every 6 hours before it put a dent in the pain. I figured out it was the correct dosage because in the middle of that day, about three or four hours after I took it, I woke up. I had not been sleeping because of the pain, so I guess I passed out when the pain subsided enough and my brain decided “sleep. now.”
Fun side effect of the infection/rupture is the complete hearing loss in that ear. I am on the downhill side of it all, the doc says the eardrum will heal, and everything should go back to normal. Too bad, because I was hoping the tinnitus might decrease. ha! Good times.
What about something cool and technical? Have I got just the thing!
I see you have a computer, or a phone, or tablet, since you’re reading this. I have a few devices running around the house too, from Windows machines to Linux to Android. There’s even an iPad in the house, but it’s not a part of this feature due to its mission profile.
So between the few laptops and several phones, there quite frequently arises a circumstance in which I need to have info from one device sent over to another device. Pictures from the phone shared to a computer, documents or forms downloaded to the PC would be handy to have on the phone, etc.
There are ways to do this, from sneakernet (put the file on a removable storage medium and walk over to the other device), to file servers, to cloud services, to messaging. I’ve used all of them, and none of them is a complete solution. What if you could eliminate the need for the intermediary?
Well now you can. You may already know this, since I’m perennially behind the curve, but there is a fantastic utility from the KDE folks called KDE Connect. KDE Connect allows your devices to communicate directly with each other. You don’t even have to have Linux, because they’re released it for Windows and MacOS, as well as Linux and Android, but no iOS yet, it appears. You can download it here or the Google Play store or F-Droid for your Android devices.
I installed it on my phone and my Linux Mint laptop, and once installed it looked promising, but here’s where I ran into the only hitch, and it’s a very small one: I had to reboot to get complete, reliable functionality. It’s 2020. You’re not supposed to have to reboot after installing something, but really, it’s trivial.
After the devices had been restarted, they readily found each other and I was able to select and configure the connection properties and features I wanted to implement, and the range of options is impressive. Not only is there file transfer capability, but you can locate your phone from your computer, you can get phone notification on the PC and PC notifications on the phone, and you can even use your phone as a presentation remote, among other things. It’s impressive, to me, what you can do with this utility.
So after playing with it on the Linux box, I snuck over to my wife’s Windows laptop and installed it there. Again, after a reboot, the deivce was discoverable to other KDE Connect devices on the network. Now I have a way to send files from my phone and laptop over to her, immediately, without email, messaging, or other intermediary storage/transport. This is a win for privacy because your data does not go over the internet, it’s not stored on your email server, doesn’t pass through Facebook’s messenger app, etc etc. It just goes from one device, over your home LAN/WiFi, straight to the other device.
It was so simple to install, and just worked so readily and easily, it really impressed me. I love this thing. It’s like the new “Warpdrive” in Mint, but more feature-rich and device/OS agnostic.
This is the Internet. Pics or it didn’t happen, right? Here are a few screenshots:
Pairing (connection) Request on Linux
Configure the phone things I want to see and do from my Laptop
(Android pics are huge because Markup and I’m a n00b. Couldn’t get HTML to play nice, so …)
On the Android Phone
Actions on Android for the Connected Device
Android App settings (not connection settings)
Connected and Remembered devices
This is #4 of #100DaystoOffload, a blogging challenge intended to get folks to “Just. Write.” If you’re a blogger, were a blogger, or want to be a blogger, jump in!