Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Unusual Christmas

It’s normal for us to have an unusual Christmas lunch.  One year it was jam sandwiches on the side of the road half way between Sydney and Adelaide.  Another year we had tomato sandwiches.  A BBQ in the nearby park another time.  Yesterday it was a Chinese takeaway!

Later in the day our son and I went to the Birmingham IMAX cinema and watched the latest Star Wars film in 3D.

Today Jan got to play with her Christmas Present.  It’s a coffee machine.


It takes coffee capsules and also has a removable milk container.  I hate coffee so I can’t write much more about the workings of the machine.  What I can tell you is the combined output of the two alternators on the Beta 43 boat engine produced enough electricity to power the machine without drawing anything from the domestic battery bank.

I’ve kept myself amused by changing the firmware on the Samsung Galaxy S4 boat phone.  Samsung have ceased providing updates for this model phone.  My plan was to upgrade the firmware from Android 4 to Android 6 using a custom ROM (firmware).  This would have three advantages.

  1. Install a more modern version of the Android operating system.
  2. The custom ROM allowed me to exclude much of the “bloatware” Samsung places on the phone.
  3. Using a custom ROM and alternative APN setting is supposed to improve internet tethering.

After some fiddling I managed to install the custom ROM.  However I decided not to install the Google GApps which means the phone now doesn’t have access to applications like Chrome, GMail, Google Maps, etc.  But it’s the boat phone so none of these applications are currently essential and by doing this I’ve removed more “bloat” from the phone hopefully making it faster.

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