Aaron's Lyfe

A blog on my lyfe

Category: Technology


Dear Samsung, You suck!!

Not really, but I keep seeing this trend with my favorite phone. Don’t buy the even numbered releases, but the odd numbered ones!  This is why I don’t think the S8 Active is a winner…

My first Samsung phone was the S5 Active.  I was looking for a phone that fit my lifestyle a little better. I’d lost all hope after Apple lost a few years of photos backed up on their cloud and went on the hunt.   Samsung’s Active line fit the bill perfectly for me and wasn’t a big deal since I was already an AT&T customer.  I mean it is awesome to be able to take a picture of a fish you just caught while still hooked standing in the middle of a river.  I mean, it is “Active” so that’s what I have used them for.

Samsung S5 Active

Samsung Galaxy S5 Active

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Vape Rant 001

The Vape Rant 001

I decided to start writing my so-called rants and this is a great place to do it.  Not too many people will read it, care about, or even comment it so here I go.  Since I have been reintroduced to the vape community and  market I have some things which I has made me think a little.  Thus me writing these banters to myself just to get it out of my head.

Today I will touch on vape marketing or there lack of it properly.  Way back, when something new and shiny was about to come out, the manufacturers would get items out to reviewers and start testing.  Then they would throw some teasers up on social media to build a little more hype.  Then they would take the time to add the upcoming devices on their websites to list stats, specs and whatnot’s.  By this time the reviewers would get a green light and post up some reviews and point their followers to how much it was and where it was launching at.

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The problem with forum over moderation

I won’t go into great detail which forum this happened to me on but I will touch on the subject none the less.   Today I ran into an issue on one of the Vaping forums  (that is known for doing this) and bam, a lot of my posts were deleted under an advocacy discussion.  What had accidentally turned into a slight topic derailment was actually an awesome thing that we find on forums.  People connecting and discussing things that spurred from the original topic.  Obviously this is a personal violation that some moderator deemed inappropriate.

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Vaping….. Again

Here we go again with vaping

This vape mail issue, hope I’m done for a while.  For nearly 2 years I have been solely using my IPV D2 daily…. still working just fine’ish. In fact when I bought that little guy and topped it with a Crown tank. I was done for the exception of my dripper and slowly tapered my vaping and vape mail down to essentials.  Batteries, DIY stuff, maybe a pack of spare coils just in case the RBA head jacked up.

Fused Clapton on Pharaoh RTA deck

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RGB on everything

So I got back into building custom PC’s this winter as I am still recovering from a motorcycle accident. It’s a perfect little indoor hobby to keep my. It also has reconnected me to some old friends since it has thrust me back into gaming. While I decide to dive into this build the big trend starting last year was RGB LED lighting in custom computers. I mean everyone has started to implement this but no one is doing it right! If they try to attempt to do it right it is usually encumbered by horrible software development.

5050 RGB LED

This standard RGB header which we see all the new motherboards coming out is a 4 pin type. It is not addressable which means you set a color on the chain they are are all that color.  It makes for a very limited lighting solution as it is either all on, off, color and brightness for that channel.  These types also require 12VDC which is good for lots of high current lighting, not so great for PC lighting as you don’t need a lot of current to run this limited amount of LEDs.



HL1606 LED

I haven’t had any time to play with these yet and I am not sure if many are still using this dated platform


The WS2801 is a “3-Channel Constant Current LED Driver With Programmable PWM Outputs”. It allows you to adjust the brightness of every LED in 256 steps using PWM. A WS2801 chip controls three channels, so you need one chip for every RGB LED. Theoretically this means the WS2801 strips can be cut next to every LED, but I haven’t seen any strips where this is the case. The chip runs on 3.3-5.5V.

  • Smart controller with easy control scheme
  • 8 bits, 256 levels per channel, 16.7 million colors total
  • English datasheet available


The LPD8806 is a lot like the WS2801 with the following differences: it works from 2.7V up and has six channels allowing it to control two RGB LEDs. The downside is that it only does 7 bit PWM, making 127 brightness levels per LED for up to 21 bit color (2 million colors). There are no LPD8806 Arduino library.











More to come as I dive into this project on advanced LED lighting which this computer I am building is the test bed.   Eventually at he end of the day when I start building my next home I will leveraging what I am developing here and doing a hybrid electrical system in the house.  My goal will be to light the house off of 99% solar/wind power.  Stay tuned!



About a month ago I decided to remove Facebook from my S5A.  I was doing some research on a few things and oddly enough one evening while having a conversation with my roommate on an unrelated topic.  Low and behold ads starting to show up on my Facebook feed about what we were taking about.  This was a freaky moment, I knew Facebook was tracking all sorts of things with their super cookies but this was a little too much.

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Samsung Galaxy S7 Active Preliminary Review

So I’m 5 days into my recently upgrade Samsung Galaxy S7 Active and here is the skinny on it. I’m not going into tech specs, drop tests or other things that have been posted a hundred times over. So what we have now (and all I can compare it to is from the S5 Active) is a pretty awesome phone.  It is a bit heavier than the its predecessors due to its huge 4000mah battery.

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