Saturday, 26 November 2016

How to create an A0 VM instance on Azure

So I played with Azure hosting today.
You can currently get a free trial and e.g. £125 of credit.

But I thought I would try a really cheap server £9->£10/month server to play around with - i.e. the "A0" instance, to see what was possible on a low spec vm.

But, when you create a new VM, the A0 build doesn't seem to be an option.

So I selected the cheapest option they gave me and tried to resize it.
But that gave an error saying something about it not being available due to premium storage.

So, what I had to do was delete that VM and all the associated resources. Then:

1. create a new VM, but make sure you choose "HDD" and not "SSD" for the non-premium storage.
2. choose the A1 size (not the A0 size at this point, that wouldn't come up).
3. wait for it to finish deploying and enter the running state
4. click on the VM and stop it, then wait for it to enter the deallocated state
5. click on "size" for the VN and resize it A0

Obvious huh?

An A0 instance is very low spec, so I wouldn't recommend running windows on it due to the UI-heavy interface of windows for administration. Better to run linux, or perhaps try the windows nano server.
Also, be careful of additional costs like storage, you may want to resize them down too, and with all these cloud services, there are plenty of other costs/limits for bandwidth etc. so take a look at your billing daily until you know what's what.
Currently, if you are on a free trial, then according to an MS post " you will not be charged for your free trial at any point unless you explicitly take the action of upgrading to a paid subscription. If you do nothing, the trial will just end without charging your card." 

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Route planning, GPX file import, mobile/phone - Tyre and Osmand

this is quick, unformatted reminder for me, and hopefully helpful to bikers/car enthusiasts/cyclists and other route planning types.

i was struggling for a while to find a combination of a decent GPS route planning/mapping tool and a sat nav phone app that could read it.

the route planning tools were a pain, including google maps which only lets you set urm 8 waypoints atm?

the sat nav apps that supported gpx files, e.g. copilot insisted on changing the route on me and bypassing waypoints i had set.

anyway, long story short, i found that the best combination so far seems to be "Tyre" on the PC and "Osmand" on the mobile.

1. download Tyre, note - windows only and must have a later version of IE installed.
alternatively if you don't have a PC, try e.g.
tyre is better than anything online atm though 2. tyre, right click on a road, and choose "add new waypoint (immediately)" repeatedly until you have built your route.
b. save this in the standard format (better for re-editing in case it doesn't like the gpx).
c. now save this in gpx format.

3. install Osmand on your device, the following instructions relate to android, but it is available for iphone

from one of these:

4. connect your phone to your windows PC, enable file browsing on your phone (click the usb message popup on the phone)

a. using windows explorer, browse to your phone storage and create a folder e.g. /OSMAND or /sdcard/OSMAND
b. now create a folder called tracks
c. copy the gpx file you created from your computer into the tracks folder

6. in the Osmand app go to menu/settings/general settings and click on data storage folder - change this folder to the folder that you created at 5a. 
e.g. /OSMAND or /sdcard/OSMAND

(the main point in 5+6 is to ensure that windows will be have permission to see the Osmand data folder without messing about with permissions. you can also e.g. email gpx files to yourself and open gpx files directly on your phone and osmand will import them)

a. in Osmand app, download the base (or overview) world map, and also the regional map covering your route, e.g. europe/uk/england. 
b. once those 2 maps are completely downloaded, go to menu/configure map/gpx track...   then select the track that you want, and select current track
(if you load another track later, you may wish to deselect current track then).

so that's just a quick run down. mostly for me for when i lose my phone and don't remember how to set all this up )

hopefully i didn't miss anything. 
when i am planning a route on tyre, i also have google earth/streetview up on the other screen so i can check out the roads.

don't forget to backup your routes to e.g. dropbox