Buh-bye Google Keep, OneNote, Evernote!

Open source Notesnook ( aims to be THE replacement for all your note taking needs. Fully encrypted on your device before storing on their cloud service (self-hosted option coming), it’s a zero knowledge service meaning they can’t decrypt your notes. With a web app ( and apps for iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows, and Linux you’re pretty much guaranteed to be able to use it wherever you need or want with full synchronization across all platforms. It’s still in its relative infancy and updates generally make it to the web app before other platforms. Roadmap at

Finally, a point-to-point VPN!

I’ve set up a VPN at home and, honestly, in my config, it’s a PAIN! I have 3 routers that need to have ports opened and then I need to make sure that certificates and passwords are all secure.

Then I found! What a breath of fresh air. Why didn’t anyone think of this before? Create an account on then install the tailscale service on the machine you want to be a part of the VPN and run it. The service connects to the tailscale server and it becomes an immediately available VPN target, complete with its own hostname (which you can change) and its VPN IP address. If you enable their “MagicDNS” in your settings then the hostnames all resolve to their VPN IP addresses (i.e. the hostname is first checked against the hostnames on the VPN before being checked against other DNS resolvers). Voila! No config, no ports to open, no firewall rules to manage! Now, when you’re away from home, you can get to your home server with confidence.

It’s free for a single hobby/personal user. There are a few restrictions as to how many subnets you have available but, honestly, if you’re a home user, the restrictions probably won’t bother you. It’s multi-platform with binaries for Android, MacOS, iOS, Windows, and Linux so you can connect just about anything you want. They’re on github at and a place to discuss it at And, yes, you can use tailscale to act as a subnet router – – to get to those devices (e.g. printers) on which you can’t install tailscale.

Apologies for the delay between postings but I prefer to try the things before I post about them and tailscale took a while.

I had a Pebble watch

This retrospective by the founder of Pebble is a must-read for anyone who contemplates starting or joining a startup. I’ve been through 5 (or more depending on how you count them), with more failures than successes and I have to say that I’ve learned MORE from the failures than the successes.

Yes, I backed Pebble on Kickstarter and still have the original laying around here somewhere in my museum or Blackberries, Amigas, Palms, etc. It was a valiant effort and defined an industry.

Google is bringing full on KVM to Android 13

Yeah! Now, you’ve gotta wonder how well it’ll perform but someone has already run Windows 11 on their Pixel 6 running the Android 13 preview. Here’s the tweets and here’s a link to an asrticle that goes into more detail about the KVM implementation if you want more info. is the source article with some higher level info

Kindle’s back in stock

Amazon’s Kindle is back in stock and has been for a week or so. A nice personal-type of unboxing is available here (complete with wife and baby) at Josh Bancroft’s Tiny Screenfuls.

I have a hard time laying out $400 for a grey-scale device but I think that’s just a rationalization on my part. For $400 you get portable reading of LOTS of titles that are stored in the device or (pretty much) immediately downloadable from Amazon. Books and publications are relatively cheap so, all in all, if you’re a reader, it’s probably worth it.

After a few days with the MOTOROKR T505

I have to say I love it … for $80. I wouldn’t love it for $120 but I’d still like it a lot.

OK, details. My Motorola MOTOROKR T505 arrived this past Wednesday. $80, about, at this Newegg page.

I guess I should start with a short description. It’s a Bluetooth speakphone with a built-in speaker. But the cool thing is it’s got an FM transmitter, too, so it can send audio to the radio in your car. Why is that cool, you ask? Because it also does A2DP which means you can stream audio (read: music) to it and it’ll forward that to your radio. And that’s the main reason I was after something like it. I looked at other items like it, too. The Parrot PMK5800 is nice and powered (you plug it into your cigaratte lighter or whatever they call the power outlet in your car nowadays). There’s got to be a problem with that, though, because that puts the microphone waaayyyyy below eye-level and, in my case, below the air conditioning outlets which would probably mean voice pickup wouldn’t be as good. I also think that modern cars have their FM antenna in the window or the roof and that means reception’s more difficult, too. The Venturi Mini has more features, including the ability to broadcast callerid to the radio using RDS, but, again, it plugs into a power outlet which puts it below my air conditioning vents.

So, I went with the Motorola unit. Call quality is excellent! I’ve got a Jabra BT8010 headset which also does A2DP and friends have told me that the Motorola speakerphone is clearer and rejects spurious sounds much better. Of course when I have calls piped through the stereo, I have no trouble hearing them, either.

The real question is how’s the music? The volume’s a little low and it’s a little heavy on the bass for me but the separation is good and the fidelity is great. And I like the sound better than my BT8010. YMMV — your ears may be better than mine, your car may be quieter or, well, who knows. But I like it. And I’m keeping it.

If you want more technical detail, download the Quick Start Guide from here. I’ve tried all the features except factory reset and they all work as advertised. But email or tweet me if you want more details.

Buddy has left the premises

Zoombak sells 2 devices in the US, both based on GPS and both incredibly simple: they keep track of things. Right now they’re a tad expensive so you probably won’t be tracking your keys with them but that day is coming! For the time being, you can attach one to your dog’s collar to keep track of his location and the other you can put in your car for, well, the same reasons. Yes, there’s a monthly charge but if you want it, you’ll pay.

Why am I telling you about this? Well, for one, it’s an interesting application of the technology but mainly it’s because I think we’re on the cusp of something big. We haven’t seen a game-changer yet but one is coming, trust me. I don’t know if it’s technology (e.g. a new chip) or a new application of an existing technology but between Bluetooth-enabled devices, GPS and cellular technology, all the ingredients are there for a phenomenal location-aware service. We’ve already got LimeJuice (see this TechCrunch artcle) and they’re not the first entry to that market.

So, heads-up!

Turn Your 3G Phone Into A Hotspot

This Yahoo! news story says that TapRoot Systems has (will have?) some new software called “WalkingHotSpot”. I haven’t found anything on TapRoot’s website yet but the article says it’ll support Windows Mobile and Symbian 60 phones. The demo version, which is to be free to individuals, supports one WiFi connection at a time. Keep your eye on this, especially if you keep forgetting your USB cable like I do.