Skip to main content

Teeny Quadcopter Proves To Be Big Fun

I finally succumbed and purchased a quadcopter after some hand-wringing. I should mention that pretty much all my purchases are accompanied by hand-wringing, as I am a bit of a skinflint.

Naturally then, I purchased just about the cheapest little drone that I could for two reasons. The first was that - as mentioned - I don't like spending a lot of money on an indulgence like that for myself; that's just the way I am. 

Yep, the Cheerson CX-10 is really that small


Secondly, while the idea of buzzing a quadcopter around seems like fun, I have no clue if I actually would enjoy it, or if I have any aptitude for it. It demands some level of hand-eye coordination, after all.

I have a co-worker who builds his own drones, both for first-person drone racing and as a video camera platform. His video channel is here, and I find the footage mesmerizing. However, I am not going to spend several hundred dollars to find out if I can get my jollies from a quadcopter.

That said, I found a teeny-tiny "nano" quadcopter on sale for less that $20 at a local computer chain, ready-to-fly out of the box. The product - a Cheerson CX-10 - is actually pretty well-reviewed for what it is; a cheap no-frills way to get into the hobby. It's actually currently even cheaper on Amazon!

I have already flown it (indoors) and while it needs a light touch, it is fun. Now, the "nervous" nature of the flight characteristics are mainly due to 1) it's a very small device 2) it also has a very small (cheap) controller and 3) I have ham hands. Under those caveats, it flies quite well!

I have kept it away from our dogs so far, as feel the "buzzing" or "whining" motor sounds may freak them out, or they may think they are supposed to chase it or something; better safe than sorry on that score. It does not have prop guards and while the props are plastic, they could damage the eye of an excited dog lunging at it.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

VPN Use Is Up, Up, Up

Since the repeal of the Broadband Consumer Privacy Rules, VPN use and traffic is rather predictably spiking, according to many VPN providers. VPNs are not the b-all and end-all of privacy though, and indeed the usual cretins have stepped in to provide shady VPN services that may actually sell on user data.

Also remember:
ISPs still track your location data and DNS records, even if you're using a VPN. Similarly, a VPN doesn't stop a company from using on-device snoopware to track you (remember Carrier IQ?). Neither will it stop ISPs from charging you a premium for privacy (something both AT&T and Comcast have already experimented with). Nor will a VPN stop a company from using your credit score to provide worse customer service (something CableONE has crowed about). DSL Reports

Microsoft's Mild Mea Culpa Over Windows 10 Obscure Upgrade "Choice"

In a cleansing act before the turn of the year, a Microsoft bigwig has admitted that they may have gotten a little carried away in their zeal to upgrade as many users as possible to Windows 10.
Specifically, Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela referred to the upgrade notification that appeared to be deliberately deceptive in the way it handled a users response. If a user clicked the red "X" at the top right of the notice, that closed the dialog box but went ahead and installed the upgrade anyway.
To actually not accept the upgrade, you had to click a link in the notification window itself. Not a few users would come back later and find their system upgraded to Windows 10, or in the process of doing so, when they thought they had expressed their wish not to do so. "Within a couple of hours of that hitting the world, with the listening systems we have, we knew that we had gone too far and then, of course, it takes some time to roll out the update that changes that …

pCloud Cloud Storage On Linux

As a cheapskate user of the Dropbox free plan, I was looking to see if there was another provider that offered a little more free storage than the 2GB from Dropbox (I actually have 2.5GB, due to a couple of bonus offers).
After a bit of research, I came up with Swiss-based pCloud: it has a client for Linux, as well as Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. The free tier offers 10GB of Cloud storage with no file size limits, which is fantastic for my (pretty basic) needs. You can set up your account first from the pCloud website, or during the client install process.