Welcome to the Nexus: A Beginner’s Guide to the Google Nexus 7



Welcome to the world of the Nexus! You hold in your hands one of the most powerful, versatile and fun pieces of technology currently available. This article will help new owners of the Google Nexus 7 get up to speed on their new tablet and learn how they can make the most out of their new purchase.

This article assumes you are new to the Nexus 7 and tablets in general – and that you are new to the Google Android Operating System (aka Jelly Bean). If you are migrating from another Android tablet, this article will be of some use to you but the bulk of the content is for brand new folks to the ecosystem. If this is your first Android-based tablet and you’re coming from WebOS or iOS, this article is definitely for you.

The goal of this article is not to belabor the obvious – but to show you some of the lesser known features of your tablet and the Android Operating System as well as get you acquainted with “outside the box” possibilities with your new bit of kit. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Google Drive: Why You Should Care



Introduction

Cloud storage is big business. Everyone wants to handle your online storage needs. If you go searching for a storage host, you’ll see venerable names like DropBox, Box, SkyDrive, Amazon – and some names you may not be familiar with like SpiderOak and SugarSync. There are a lot of potentials out there, but which one is for you? Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Nexus 7 Tutorial: Use Network Share as a Mount Point



UPDATED TO WORK ON JELLYBEAN 4.1.2!

This tutorial requires your Nexus 7 have ROOT access.  It is an “intermediate” difficulty level tutorial.

The Nexus 7 has no external storage medium like a microSD card.  You can use an OTG (on the go) cable to get access to removable media, keyboards, mice, etc. But wouldn’t it be nice if you could just use your home network’s Windows shares, NAS or network drive as a big fat storage unit for your brand new Nexus 7?

I know what you’re thinking.  But Shane … We have file managers with SMB (Samba/sharing) capabilities – why would we need this tutorial?

The simple answer is – this mounts your network shares as a device MOUNT POINT – meaning that share is available to all apps (emulators, media players, etc.) not just your favorite file manager.

That’s right – use any shared hard drive, network attached drive, NAS in your house/network as storage for your Nexus 7.   Sounds great, right?

For Windows folks; this is like mapping Drive S: to a network drive or remote network share.

You will need a few things:

  • Nexus 7 (Unlocked and Rooted – very easy to do with Nexus 7 Toolkit)
  • CIFS Modules (Download here)
  • Mount Manager App (Install here)
  • BusyBox (Install here)
  • Network Share on your WiFi (I’m using a GoFlex Home network drive – but any Windows share will do)
  • Some basic knowledge of working with files

Pre-Requisites:

  • Unlock/Root your Nexus 7.  This is not optional.
  • Install BusyBox
  • Ensure your network share is up and working.  If you’re sharing a Windows drive, I recommend setting up a NEW USER on Windows – one just to use for permissions for this share.

Getting it Working:

  • Unzip the CIFS modules – should be three .ko files in there.  You can put these anywhere you like – I put them on the Nexus “SDCard” folder under “mods” (/sdcard/mods)
  • Install Mount Manager on your Nexus 7.  Run it.  Grant ROOT access.
  • On the toolbar, hit the gear icon (settings).
  • Hit MANAGE MODULES.
  • Select ADD MODULE. Add each of the .ko files you extracted in Step 1.  Should look like this:

  •  Hit BACK.
  • Hit FORCE LOADING OF MODULES .. it should say CIFS MODULES ARE LOADED
    • Note: This may not work until you FORCE CLOSEthe app once:
      • Leave the app with BACK or HOME.
      • Hit the Apps button
      • Swipe off the Mount Manager app to close it
      • Reopen the app.
      • Check to see of the Modules loaded properly.
  • Hit BACK.
  • Hit the + toolbar icon to add a new mount.
  • Under Share Path, put your share: like 192.168.1.209/GoFlex Home Public or 10.1.1.14/Videos
  • (Use IP addresses not Windows PC names)
  •  Under MOUNT POINT, click the folder and it will open the default share folder.
  • Create a new folder for your share (if one wasn’t created) – the UI is a bit weird – use the Down Caret button for actions and SELECT the folder.
  • Under OPTIONS hit the + and add USERNAME.  Fill this in with your network resource username (PC username)
  • Hit the + again, add PASSWORD.  Fill this in with your network resource password (PC password()
  • Hit the + again, add IOCHARSET – fill this in with: utf8.
  • At this point it should look something like this:
    (if file_mode and dir_mode don’t fill in, add them)

  • Hit OK and your new mount is on the main screen.  Tap it.
  • If you did everything right, you will get a green check mark and it will look something like this:

  • At this point, you are ready to test.  Open a file manager, and navigate to the mount folder you made.
  • If all is good – you’re done!  You can mount and dismount this anytime from the Mount Manager.  You can automate this on boot up with the next steps.
  • Go to Mount Manager’s preferences and check LOAD MODULES and LOAD ON BOOT.  Also check ENABLE AUTO MOUNTS and AUTO MOUNT ON BOOT.
    There are also options to connect when wifi connections.

That’s it!  Enjoy your new found freedom.  Needless to say, this only works on your own network – but clever people might find a way to make it work from ANY access point anywhere.  Maybe the topic of a different tutorial.

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Filed under : Android Tablets, Tablets

Secret Treasures: SpaceSniffer (Windows)



If you work with computers long enough, you’re bound to create an arsenal of “secret treasures”; little programs that you may only use once a year – but are indispensable when you do need them.  Every time you use it, you think to yourself, “What would I do without this?” and you wonder whom else you know that might be able to make use of it.

Of course, you forget to share it; and another year goes by before you address it again.

My series of Secret Treasures will attempt to share with you some of the “toys” I hang on my Windows “bat utility belt” and see if I can help someone else out by unleashing a little known product into the masses.

Drive space.  Storage.  Strange times with hard drive storage space.  In the old days, we treasured storage space as if it were more precious than gold – because we had SO LITTLE OF IT.  Then, suddenly – hard drives were cheap.  People had a surplus; and nobody cared anymore about “wasting space”.  No need to clean up your drive; PLENTY OF ROOM. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

NFC Tags: Novelty or Ready for Prime Time?



A couple months ago, I ran across something from Samsung called “TecTiles”. Coupled with Samsung’s Android app, you could use these stylish $3 each “tiles” to cause your phone to perform functions – just by waving your phone over the tag. From placing a call to opening a web page … turning on GPS to dimming the screen … it seemed like an endless supply of possibility.

I got excited. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Ten Wii Guilty Pleasure Games Revealed



As the Wii ends its incredibly successful tenure as the best selling console, we have been throwing lists of great games you’ve never played.

Now? Ten great “guilty pleasure” games on the Wii. What is a “guilty pleasure”? Well, it is either a game that is just SO BAD that it’s good – or it is a game you would hate to admit to your friends and family that you actually play and enjoy.

So, here you are – my personal top ten “guilty pleasure” moments in Wii gaming history. They get more cheesy and shameful as the list counts down. Enjoy! Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Filed under : Consoles, Featured, Nintendo, Slideshow