Enthusiasm for hobbies waxes and wanes over time.
I mean - some days, I’m real keen to go curling, some days I can’t be arsed.
Some days, I blog, most days I don’t.
The things that ceaselessly continue to fascinate me, however, are the inner workings of computers and radios.
Of course - I work in telecomms, so radios and networks kinda keep themselves on my periphery at all times and I get to have fascinating discussions about them, like,all the time.It’s cool.
So, last time on hibby’s exciting blog of joy I said that I broke my nexus 7 into the real world of linux, not the java-sandboxed-happy-appy kinda-linux world that is android.
Well, I’ve been living with it and I have mixed feelings. Here are some of them for you to peruse, traveller.
Ubuntu on nexus 7 is fantastic. I love the idea, I love the capability that it offers, I love my hardware and I’ve been yearning for something similar for a while. Just so happened that Ubuntu were first past the post.
It does come with some caveats. What it isn’t is a tablet OS. Straight up. What’s happened is that a desktop/laptop/netbook OS has been given hardware capability for a platform that just so happens to be used in a tablet device.
So - day to day tablet things become impossible, and you don’t realise it until it’s happened. Screen lock, for instance, doesn’t exist here - the screen dims and turns off. This is fine - I’ve set it for 1 minute timeout, but it makes reading difficult.
Reading webpages is difficult! Using a finger to manage the scroll bar in $browser_of_choice is difficult - pages skip and things get weird.
The input driver is, for lack of a better word, terrible. It’s really bad - multitouch isn’t supported. The emulated ‘mouse button’ sticks when you click too quickly and the system has to be rebooted. It makes the whole experience just feel difficult and inaccessible. This is also the root of my keyboard issues. I’d like to retract my previous statement in this area and say that the keyboard is pretty good OnBoard is fantastic software, and I can see some really versatile and surprising layouts appearing from it in future.
Suspending the system to ram saves loads of battery, it’s great, but it’s hard - it requires a few screen touches, and if I’m in a hurry that’s a pain.
There’s other stuff, but these are my main issues. They’re all listed as bugs on the official bugtracker, so that’s good.
Regardless, I don’t care about them that much as it’s just so damn cool! I love it!
So: I said my goals were to install KDE. Did it, was good - plagued by the same input issues, sadly, and plasma active wasn’t included as default.
Sad Hibby. I’ll be investigating e17 next!
What else? Oh - yeah aprsmap. That works. No big deal.
I had to install (from the top!) libgtk2.0-dev, libsoup-gnome2.4-dev, osmgpsmap-dev, libsqlite3-dev .. these are all in the ubuntu repos. If you’re foolish enough to follow me on my quest, it’s
sudo apt-get install libgtk2.0-dev libsoup-gnome2.4-dev osmgpsmap-dev libsqlite3-dev
Yeeah, boii, almost all good to go. Next up, my personal favourite, libfap! Get that source code downloaded, get some
./configure && make && sudo make install
on the go because you’re a total badass and then make some shared library magic happen by using dh_make and debuild.
Admittedly, I had some issues at this point, but where it crapped out I could copy the files that live in the subfolders ../debian/libfap-dev/usr to the same subfolders in /usr, and you’ll be good to build, once you’ve cloned the source from git…
./waf configure and then ./waf gets you it built…
build/aprsmap will run it, and then the (ham radio) universe is yours (to map)!
Okay, I admit that was an awful description of how I did things, but that’s fine - it works, you don’t really care and it’s cool - the people that do care know how to translate Hibby into making things work…
Resource usage is low - i’ve had it plotting all uk stations for well over an hour and dragging the map around // zooming only peaks at 15% cpu usage, ram usage is down at 2-3%. YMMV, of course.
Once I find a ligher weight DE (i.e not unity), I’ll see how performance improves on the whole system.
Oh, and here’s the obligatory terribad cam picture to prove it works:
How does this relate to what I said at the start?
It’s making radios and the insides of computers talk, obviously.
And the title is a terrible reference to the platform the N7 runs on. Cortex A9, if you must know.