Message: previous - next
Month: June 2018

taking trinity to new frontiers

From: dep <dep@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2018 16:52:18 -0400

the people at amazon say it will be friday before my new power supply arrives, and i'm still on the X200 that won't connect its wireless. (new developments: neither network-manager nor wicd will recognize the wireless chip, but if i uninstall network-manager the little wifi LED goes out, so it seems to be getting closer. but in that my desktop machine isn't working, i can use the space its keyboard occupied to place the X200 and plug it in via a nice, normal cat5 cable, which is how i can send this note.) you would think that after being hammered by the supreme court last week amazon would be trying extra hard for my business rather than taking a frigging week to get me my power supply. perhaps soon there will be a computer store on every block, like there was 30 years ago. but i digress.)

the gemini project continues apace; the people at planet computing were in my estimation lying when they said it was an android/linux device. it is a medocre googledroid phone with a keyboard that through extensive hacking may me made to prove that linux isn't all that useful on such a device. when it was offered, i and others thought that this meant they had worked out the bugs. they hadn't, they haven't now, and they never will have -- the people working on it are all volunteers, working hard and well for free. i hope that the essential features come to work aceptably well before everybody says the hell with it, but i have little confidence in that outcome.

which brings us to the subject of this note. in the other room, attached to its charger, is a bright new GPD Pocket. it is gorgeous. it looks as if i didn't read the tag and put my macbook into the dryer and it shrank. it is twice the size of the gemini but a hundred times the computer in many respects. it does not have an eight-core SoC like the gemini does (though i think that at least half those cores are to report back to mediatek, google, and Gok who else). but it does have a nice intel x86 chip, and in a bit i shall be backing up the win10 that came on it and installing instead ubuntu 17.10 with the unity desktop. this is because a version of that tuned to the Pocket is available for download, and most everything works right out of the tin.

when i fired it up the thing booted to windows 10 and that screeching harridan "cortana" began issuing demands. (leave it to microsoft -- they can't even spell cortina correctly; a terrible car, but it was also my first car, a 1965 four-speed that i got in 1969, not knowing that cortinas had only about four and one-half years of use in them, and i loved it anyway.) i disabled cortina, misspelled, at the first opportunity.

it's now on the charger, because things are about to get pretty delicate. i have to reflash the bios. the initial one was crippled. (though, come to think of it, i might check first to see if maybe they're shipping the updated version, which would be nice and might be possible: we're not talking planet computers here.)

anyway, it is my (probably vastly inflated) expectation to have linux working on the Pocket by evening's end, after which the next and most important task will be getting the trinity desktop up and running on it. so now, finally, a couple of questions:

actually, one: will it work? the Pocket has a touchscreen but it also has a nice, thinkpad-style trackpoint, so if the touchscreen doesn't work at all it will be at the very most a minor inconvenience -- i'm typing away here on the thinkpad and never does it cross my mind to poke at the screen with my fingers. i've installed TDE on other atom-powered devics uneventfully. anyone know of things to watch out for?

(if i get it all working, next project will be to acquire and attach a cheap 4G dongle, whereupon i will have achieved what i was hoping for with the gemini, only on a robustly-built device big enough to use.)

think it will all work?


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