A Cruise Vacation’s not obvious and not needed essentials

These are all of the things I wanted when I was on my last cruise. You can decide what will help you on your next cruise.

Offline Data

Offline map of your ports will be helpful when you are walking around.

Offline TV Shows and Movies for passing time while over the ocean. Netflix and Amazon Video both offer this.

Blu-Ray or DVD player with HDMI to hook up to your state room TV.

Offline music for dancing in your state room.

Audiobook or podcasts for listening and learning.

No network required cell phone games.

Better state room

Fan to keep cool.

Bluetooth speaker to dance to loud music instead of a cell phone speaker.

Old hotel key or credit card to keep the lights and AC on when you are out of the room.

Hot water kettle for hot water or tea.

Wine bottle opener for opening wine, but they will provide a cheap one if you ask.


FireChat (android) (iOS) is an app that works over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, but no Internet connection is required. The more people that use it, the larger its network gets.

Walkie talkies for talking with each other but probably only useful on the smaller ships.

International phone (or T-Mobile for data) so you can call home or local businesses at port.

Fun and Games

Balance app on phone to see how much the boat is rocking.

Binoculars to look out your window at stars, the moon, and other ships.

Poloraid camera so you can capture the memories and enjoy them privately and immediately.


Hand sanitizer because everything could be dirty.

Spray sunscreen so you can quickly apply when you are on the deck or out at shore. Better than wasting time with the lotion sunscreen.

Extra clothes for changing a lot because there is a lot of fun in dressing up and getting out of sweaty clothes.


Gatorade power mix so you don’t have to drink just water and lemonade (no alcohol  and soda plan).

A money clip, see through phone case, or credit card pocket for phone because you only need to carry around your phone and room key while on the ship.

Posted in Suggestions | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Google Play on Kindle Fire

The blog post on SaintLad.com made installing the Google Play Store and Services onto a new Amazon Kindle very straightforward.

Helpful Advice

  1. This is a short link to visit to go directly to his website: https://goo.gl/YrJoSy
  2. apkmirror might say a newer version for an apk is available. Ignore that and install the links so they are all compatible with each other. Google Play can update itself later.
  3. Restart your device if you cannot press the “Next” or “Install” button.
  4. This does not work on Household/Secondary accounts.
Posted in Kindle Fire, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Best Nextcloud 11 Links

Getting Nextcloud ready is lots of fun, but getting it to a very stable state is tedious. I gathered the best of the best resources on the web from putting it up to backing it up.

Installing LAMP server

Follow it! It works for Linux Mint and Mariadb > MySQL.

Installing Nextcloud, Let’s Encrypt for HTTPS, Redis Cache

I was very impressed with the ease at installing and the correct suggestions, like separating the nextcloud config and nextcloud-data folders.

Mounting External Hard drive

Representing this site!

Backups with rsync (daily, weekly, monthly)

I tried many other solutions like fwbackup, bacula, etc. But doing it on the command is going to give you the most options for doing it correctly.

Posted in How-To, Nextcloud/OwnCloud | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Red screen at night on Linux

f.lux and Redshift are the two major players for making your laptop screen turn red. I had f.lux working on Linux Mint but recently upgraded to Linux Mint 18 and it stopped working. I cannot get the applet to show so I cannot turn f.lux on or off.

My workaround was to install Redshift. It does not have a GUI, so it is even less customizable, but at least you get a red screen. It can easily be installed from the Software Manager and you need three packages to get it to work. The Goeclue2 is needed or Redshift will not start!

  • Redshift
  • Redshift-gtk
  • Geoclue2

If you know how to get f.lux to start on Linux Mint, let me know!!


Posted in How-To, Linux | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Have Linux access Windows hard drive again

In Windows 8 and 10, Microsoft added a “Fast Startup” feature that saves a state of the computer to disk. This is like Hibernation, which for a while has prevented Linux from mounting a Windows partition. This new feature makes hibernation much more frequent, so dual-booting machines will start to see this much more often.

In this source, how to disable Fast Startup is explained. I also suggest disabling Hibernation when you close the lid, since Linux will boot when you turn the screen back on.


Posted in How-To, Linux, Windows | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brother printing blank pages on Linux

The Brother HL 2140 is a good printer but getting it to work on Linux Mint is a bit of a hassle. There are many forums online with the problem of the Brother printing many blank pages. Finally, I found one with the solution.

First, be familiar with the CUPS page on your machine: localhost:631/jobs/. Here, you can see/add/remove your printers and your print jobs. The CUPS drivers were installed by default for me on Linux Mint 18.

On this website, you can add a printer, for which it should detect your Brother printer on USB. When selecting the driver though, you need to select “Brother HL-2140 Foomatic/hpijs-pcl5e“. For me, it was no longer recommended, but it was the only driver that did not print only blank pages. A test page will verify your printer is working.

After this, you should try out Google Cloud Print so you can print from your phone and when you are on the road to your home printer.


Posted in How-To, Linux | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Plex Media Server Review

I am very impressed with the Plex Media server. It runs on all your operating systems but I have it running on Linux. It sets up the server and accessing the server through any of the Plex apps. It then will scan your folders on your hard drive, gather TV Shows into series and seasons, download an image for each TV Show or movie, description for each, and then keep track of your watched status. It works at home on a local network, on your phone, or at someone else’s house. The streaming is fluid. As long as you keep your laptop on, you got a home media server ready. It also is good for streaming your own, home videos to your TV. I highly recommend it.

They offer a Plex Premium account that has good features like offline content for smartphones and syncing with devices and the cloud.


  • Have needed to restart my laptop after the server had trouble indexing.
  • Lost TV show progress when upgrading the Plex Media server.


Posted in Reviews | Tagged , | Leave a comment