Do I Need A Google Account?

I’ve a fairly new mobile phone and it is no surprise it is powered by Android (the only other choice of OS would have been iOS – between them they have 99% of the market). The phone is great. Android is great….but perhaps a little too great for my liking.

Having used the Maps and enabled location I would later visit somewhere only to be prompted later with questions of “Did I go into X pub” ? “What did I think of Y place”? and “Is Z your place of work”?

This started to overstep my personal boundary of what I was after. So, knowing my Google account was separate to the actual phone, I removed the account to see what I could still do. The answer is actually quite limited. For starters I can still use Google maps to navigate point-to-point, I can still search the www, I can ring and text people.


But the contact names have all been lost – calls are just numbers which makes things awkward. Also the To-Do-List doesn’t work. What does annoy me is that the basic Android does not allow a simple phone-book as standard. Saving contacts prompts me now if I want to save them to my Yahoo account.

A friend said that I should just download a third-party phone-book app. Trouble there is that the PlayStore doesn’t work either without a Google Account. I’ll have to try out the AMazon store or one of the other free app repos.

What I’d really like to do is write my own using Android Studio, add some encryption, add some notes etc. When I manage that I’ll post the results here ūüôā


Pointers in C and C++

If you don’t understand pointers in C/C++ can I suggest running up a text editor+gcc or Visual Studio and just typing some code in. Play around with the code and see what you get. Try making a character pointer instead….e.g. the following code might make things easier to understand.

// Test_Pointers_1.cpp : main project file.
// This simple test program explores the basics of pointers in C++
// Pointers can cause a lot of confusion when learning C and C++ therefore
// I encourage you to change the code around until you understand it fully
// by:            Rodders
// created:        17th March 2016

#include "stdafx.h"

using namespace System;
using namespace std;

int main()
    int myVariable1 = 25;
    int myVariable2 = 44;

    int ValueHeld;

    int* myPointer;
    char Keyboard;

    Console::WriteLine(L"A Simple Program to Demonstrate Pointers in C++\n\n");

    cout << "The value held by myVariable1 is: " << myVariable1 << " which is held in 
          location: " << &myVariable1 << endl;
    cout << "The value held by myVariable2 is : " << myVariable2 << " which is held in
          location: " << &myVariable2 << endl;

    myPointer = &myVariable1;

    cout << "myPointer is now set to look at myVariable1" << endl;

    ValueHeld = *myPointer;
    cout << "And it points to a memory location that holds the value: " << ValueHeld  << endl;
    cout << "Where my pointer is: " << myPointer << endl;

    ValueHeld = *myPointer;
    cout << "\nIncrementing the pointer makes it point to a memory location that holds the value: " << ValueHeld << endl;
    cout << "Where my pointer is now: " << myPointer << endl;

    cout << "\nTherefore the compiler knew it had to add on 4 bytes to get the next integer pointer even though the code was myPointer++";

    cout << "\nPress return to exit";

    return 0;

Which gives:

A Simple Program to Demonstrate Pointers in C++

The value held by myVariable1 is: 25 which is held in location: 0018EE44
The value held by myVariable2 is : 44 which is held in location: 0018EE48
myPointer is now set to look at myVariable1
And it points to a memory location that holds the value: 25
Where my pointer is: 0018EE44

Incrementing the pointer makes it point to a memory location that holds the value: 44
Where my pointer is now: 0018EE48

Therefore the compiler knew it had to add on 4 bytes to get the next integer pointer 
even though the code was myPointer++
Press return to exit

Raspberry Pi Web Server

Having spent some of the Christmas holiday reading up on HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript I thought about putting it all together. I’ve always liked the idea of a ‘homepage’ on my home network but the cost of having a dedicated computer server (let alone the annual cost of the electricity). So I decided to set one up using my Raspberry Pi.

The Pi is connected to my home router (and as it’s behind that firewall will only serve the devices logged onto my own router). It has an ethernet lead to the router and a 5v USB power adapter. All control is via Secure Shell (SSH) and the command line from my windows PC (which is running PuTTY) so no need for an extra monitor, keyboard or mouse. The Pi only consumes a few Watts of electricity.

I installed Apache2 and the PHP package for Apache using the sudo apt-get command. I can now nagivate to the installed directory on my Pi (/var/www/html) and write some HTML or PHP code to see what is possible. Two great learning sites are and

The examples from those sites can be selected, copied and pasted into the text editor on the Raspberry Pi using a right click…..I use Nano text editor.

It really is as simple as that !

Then just work thought those examples trying out forms and other dynamic content.

Next I plan to install MySQL on the Pi so I can save the information from the client/browser and act on it at a later date.


sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install apache2 -y

sudo apt-get install php5 libapache2-mod-php5 -y


A Rainy Saturday

With heavy rain forecast in UK today it sounds like a good excuse to not do any gardening or house DIY (I don’t to be going back and forth to the shed to get tools and materials ! ).

The morning has been taken up experimenting with this new WordPress site and I can say I’m very impressed with it – it’s the startup options so completely free of charge.

Soon I’ll have some lunch and then what?

I think I’ll have a good look at a new programming language I have heard of called Haskell. I’ll have a play around with it and see what it is capable of. If I find anything interesting to others I’ll be sure to blog you.

Update: I actually got sidetracked and set my Raspberry Pi as a server on my home network.