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Meet Mycroft: An Open Source Virtual Assistant

19 Apr 2018

Posted by abarbarian in Hardware

Mycroft Mark II: The Open Source Answer to Amazon Echo and Google Home That Doesn’t Spy on You


Brief: If you want a smart speaker cum virtual assistant like Amazon Echo and Google Home that doesn’t spy on you, Mycroft Mark II is what you are looking for. The open source device is open for pre-order via its crowdfunding campaign.

This is the era of virtual home assistants. From setting alarms to get weather information, from playing your favorite music to play Netflix for you, these virtual assistants do it all. You just need to call their name and ask them the questions. You don’t even have to be nice to them, not that it hurts. All you need is a device that uses these virtual assistants.

The Kickstarter campaign,


The current Indiegogo campaign,


For those with a 3D printer,


Mark II Dev Kit – DIY
Are you a hacker or maker that loves to put things together? Choose this reward and get the chance to build it yourself! This reward comes with the PCBs, LCD, speakers and necessary cables, but no housing. This reward will ships with documentation, CAD files for 3D printing, and an SD card fully loaded with everything you need!


The Mycroft home page contains more information,


Install on a Desktop, buy a Mycroft Mark 1, or build with a Raspberry Pi.
See what potential open source AI has to offer!

A list of current "SKILLS" that Mycroft can do.


I like the sound of Mycroft. Even at this early stage it looks to have some neat and useful skills. Posted Image

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Spring Cleaning

19 Apr 2018

Posted by raymac46 in Hardware
Although spring has been slow in coming in my part of Canada this year, I decided to do some spring cleaning anyway.
I replaced a creaky old Antec case fan in my Acer Veriton M desktop. This desktop is a Sandy Bridge-based i5 model from 2012. It originally came with only a CPU fan on the heatsink, but since I have added a more robust power supply, a video card, and an SSD,  I thought it was a good idea to have some additional cooling. Now I have a new Arctic F9 PWM fan handling that.
I finished up by using my computer cleaner blower to get all the dust out of the case.
The system is running cool and quiet right now. With its upgrades, It is still a great system for my train sims and my wife's web surfing. It was quite a nice commercial grade desktop when new, and I've kept it current with the SSD and video card additions. Although it is now nearly six years old it is chugging along. I suppose I could use some USB 3.0 and PCI based SSD storage but I can cope without them for now.

Posted Image

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One Note Changes

18 Apr 2018

Posted by Corrine in All Things Windows
From The best version of OneNote on Windows - Microsoft Tech Community - 183974:


Beginning with the release of Office 2019, OneNote for Windows 10 will be the default OneNote experience for Office 365 and Office 2019. By focusing our efforts on a single Windows app, we’ll be able to bring you the very best experience and reduce any confusion about which app to use.


What’s happening to OneNote 2016?

While we’re no longer adding new features to OneNote 2016, it’ll still be there if you need it. OneNote 2016 is optionally available for anyone with Office 365 or Office 2019, but it will no longer be installed by default. If you currently use OneNote 2016, you won’t notice any changes when you update to Office 2019. We’ll continue to offer support, bug fixes, and security updates for OneNote 2016 for the duration of the Office 2016 support lifecycle, which runs through October 2020 for mainstream support and October 2025 for extended support. In other words, you'll still receive critical fixes—but not new features—for at least the next two years. For more details, please refer to this FAQ.

There is much, much more information in the referenced article especially about the "Top-requested features coming soon to OneNote for Windows 10".

Also see the topic here as well as these additional OneNote References:

What's the difference between OneNote and OneNote 2016? - OneNote
Get started with the new OneNote - Office Support

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