Using Logitech Harmony with Alexa outside United States (per esempio in Italia)

Unlike the method with Google Assistant, this one is a bit tricky and has a big drawback: you are forced to use US skills and not your local one (altough you can talk with Alexa in your native language).

Since I bought Alexa only for home automation, this is not a problem for me.

For using Harmony in Italy we need to set out primary Amazon account to the US one (you can still use your local Amazon account, but not the Kindle books).

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Using Logitech Harmony with Google Home outside United States (per esempio in Italia)

From the Logitech Harmony support page of my expensive Logitech Harmony Ultimate I recently discovered that Google Assistant and Alexa support is only available for few countries and only in English.

The Harmony Action on the Google Assistant is currently only available for the English language in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Trying to link using Google Home app gives an error, for the reason above.

Using IFTTT partially solves the problem…until Google announced in the latest I/O that Google Home support for third party apps is being discontinued soon. Link.

As a software developer I don’t even want mention how really easy is add support for other languages (localization). It’s not a matter of developing new features, rather add few translations 😡

I live in Italy, and the official response I got in the forums was: we don’t care know.

Luckly for me, the workaround is quite easy. Just fool both Logitech and Google making them believe that I live in US in 3 simple steps.

PS: A guide for Alexa is available too.

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Promemoria per te stesso, ovvero: come effettuare un triple boot su iMac


Sì, questo articolo lo scrivo in italiano perchè ho già perso troppo tempo a fare andare tutta la baracca.

No, non è un tutorial. Sono solo appunti per un eventuale nuovo cataclisma informatico…perchè devi sapere che installare 3 sistemi operativi su questa benedettissima macchina non è così semplice come sembrava, se non sai bene cosa fare.

Antefatto: un bel giorno il tuo iMac 21” late 2011 (hard disk 1TB di serie + un SSD usato come primario) ha deciso di non voler avviare Windows dopo un “banale” resize di una partizione sul disco SSD.

Inutile dire che ne ho provate di ogni prima di arrendermi, ma alla fine (dopo 2 giorni) la pazienza è andata a farsi fottere e con l’occasione ho deciso di brasare tutto. Dio benedica Linux, che almeno mi ha permesso di effettuare gli ultimi backup.

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InMoov & My Robot Lab for Dummies (part 1)

Say hello to Qwerty 🙂

InMoov is a robot created in 2012 by a french sculptor named Gael Langevin. The cool thing about this project is that it is completely open source, printable using almost any 3D printer (like my Anet A8), and customizable with Arduino and many sensors.

Thanks to MyRobotLab, an open source software developed by many volunteers, working with Arduino, servos, cameras and other hardware is easier than write all the code from scratch.

This is my first serious work with my Anet A8, I decided to start printing the head and some part of torso: just to test the printer and my skills with Arduino.

During the building of the model I made some mistakes, learned a lot stuff and burned some components 😂: I dediced then to share my findings and what I used to help other people to build their own robot.















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InMoov & My Robot Lab for Dummies (part 2)


In this second part we will install and configure My Robot Lab (with a special emphasis on setting Italian as the main language) on a Windows 10 machine (other versions are supported too) and an Arduino Mega or Uno.


  • You have InMoov head and torso alreay assembled (see part 1)
  • Java 8 or higher is already installed
  • Arduino is installed and you are able to use it

Oh, and if you have Linux there is a section for you too.

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Apple Keyboard on Ubuntu: Italian style


Default settings of Apple slim aluminium keyboard doesn’t fit my italian needs, so here is a brief note, just in case I have to reinstall Ubuntu.

In particular:

  1. “Pipe” and “backslah” keys are swapped to the < and > ones.
  2. Fucntion keys (F1, F2…) have less priority than “special keys” (brightness, volume) you must press Fn in conjuction to the function keys to have the standard behaviour
  3. “Insert” key is missing (the fn key took its place): it is useful for rapid cut and paste (Ctrl-Insert is copy, Shift-Insert is paste)

To fix 1 and 2, add these lines on /etc/rc.local before the exit 0

# swap < and / keys
echo 0 | sudo tee /sys/module/hid_apple/parameters/iso_layout

# function keys priority
echo 2 | sudo tee /sys/module/hid_apple/parameters/fnmode

Reboot to take effect, it has system-wide effect.

To map the Insert key to the F13 key, add this line to ~/.Xmodmap (or create if you don’t have it)

keycode 191 = Insert

This setting is per-user based.

If you want to map Insert to another key, just grab the correct key code using this command:

xev | sed -n ‘s/^.*keycode *\([0-9]\+\).*$/keycode \1 = /p’

That’s all.

rEFInd and Mac OS Sierra: yes it still works (why it shouldn’t?)


After upgrading to the latest version of OS(X), rEFInd decided to disappear, leaving Sierra starting up without any bootlader prompt.

It usually happens when upgrading any of the 3 OS installed on my iMac (Linux, OSX, Windows), but every time I solved reinstalling rEFInd from OSX with the classic command:


from the rEFInd directory.

Strangely this time the commands didn’t have any effect, and the only way I had to boot Windows was pressing ALT key at boot, with no way to boot Linux.

Reading on the internet, I noticed that I was not the only one being affected by this issue (called “boot coup”), but the author was kind enough to explain how to fix (official documentation in detail).

Assuming that rEFInd is installed on a separate EFI partition (standard case), eg. disk0s1, just mount it and “bless” rEFInd executable.

Create a directory where mount the EFI partition:

mkdir /Volumes/ESP

Mount the EFI partition (assuming the partition is correct (diskutil list is your friend)):

mount -t msdos /dev/disk0s1 /Volumes/ESP/

God bless you:

bless --mount /Volumes/ESP/ --setBoot --file /Volumes/ESP/EFI/refind/refind_x64.efi --shortfor

Reboot, and you’re probably done.