viernes, 29 de enero de 2016

Three changes in January 2016

This month is almost over and I can see that three changes have marked my relationship with technology.

1.  Android
After Mozilla announced that Firefox OS phones were history, I retired my well-loved Alcatel Fire C and bought a Blu Studio 5 C+C.  This turned me into another Android user.  The transition was painless (if I do not count the heartache that I felt).  The most difficult part was adjusting to the bigger unit.

2.  Amazon Kindle Fire
I bought this device two years ago, but never actually liked it.  The fact that it had a battery problem did not help: the unit had to be plugged to operate or it would quickly turn off.
However, I watched a video in YouTube and discovered that the battery had a loose connector.  Once fixed, using the Kindle has been better.  I still hate the whole concept (like the limitations to lend books and own content), but I must admit that the voice reading and sync with Linux PC and Android phone are truly useful.

3.  ISP Switch
I was simply fed up with my former ISP.  Not only was this company providing zero support for Linux, but it was also charging me an abusive price. To make matters worse, I couldn't even upload files larger than 142KB!
So I dropped the company and found another ISP that charges me a cheaper price for four times the download speed... and they do not brush off their responsibility because my machines run on Linux.

All this makes me think that 2016 is going to be a year full of change.

domingo, 17 de enero de 2016

Hello, Blu-ray Disc Player

My DVD player finally died, so I finally gave in and bought a Blu-ray Disc player.

I bought a really cheap model, a Samsung BD-F5100.

 This is a small unit, but you can connect it to your router (with a net cable) and to your TV with an HDMI cable.

That lets me play YouTube videos for my daughter without a fancy TV and with no need of the laptop.

It was a good deal.

sábado, 16 de enero de 2016

We Support Linux! (Maybe)

I have been receiving emails from a company that sells tablets and computers.  They are trying to establish a foothold in the university where I work with their products.  The problem is that they want me to buy a windows tablet.

I have a Tux plush!  Of course we support Linux!
Of course, I wrote back telling them that I have no interest on a windows tablet, but asked them to send information on tablets running Linux.  I told them that I know that companies are happy to void the warranty if one wipes out windows to replace it with Linux and that, if they sell a no-OS system, then they provide no support at all.

To my surprise, I got a reply from a representative assuring me that they were different and that they preloaded nothing unless I told them to do so and that they fully supported Linux.  This person even said that the warranty was not affected.

I inquired more only to find out that what the company actually does is to sell you a no-OS tablet and Linux can run on their hardware.  They do not preload Linux (although they do preload several versions of windows) and they have drivers available.  Oh, they can also save your "image" once you have succeeded installing and configuring Linux.

And they call that "supporting Linux"?

Of course, I dismissed the offer as a selling trick, just like the one a cable was pulling on my mother so that she dropped her ISP (which ACTUALLY supports her Pardus Linux install) and switched to them.

"But now WE also support Linux!", the guy said with a smile.

Fortunately, my mother asked them the killing question:  "Which distribution?"

The smile vanished and the guy showed that it was all trickery.

It's the Ides of August!

In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Roman general Julius Caesar is given an ominous message by the Soothsayer.  The message is a simple warn...