Installing MaruOS 0.2.3

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A quick report on installing Maru OS to the Google LG Nexus 5 phone -- very easy.

I have a brand new Nexus 5 (international version, model D821), that I purchased from Hong Kong. It cost me AU$200 including postage, very cheap, it pays to buy a phone that is a year or two out-of-date!

Got it from "linda1023" on ebay, and I see it is now only AU$178:
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/262215646022

The phone works, but odd, the language is not English, looks like Russian, but easy enough to change to English.

I plugged it into a USB port on my laptop, and had to turn on "Developer mode", then "USB debugging", as explained in the HELP file (after unzipping the download).

The Maru download is from here:
https://github.com/maruos/maruos/releases

I have 0.2.3, the latest installer, though there are later bug fixes in github. But, taking baby steps.

After expanding the zip file, running Quirky Linux (Xerus 8.0), and enabling USB debugging on the phone, it was then a very simple matter of running "install.sh", as explained here:
https://github.com/maruos/maruos/wiki/Installation-Guide

It is Android 5.1.1, absolute vanilla flavoured. The lack of Google stuff such as gmail app and app-store app appeals to me.

So far, just playing with the phone, looks like a pretty normal Android. Have not yet tried an external monitor!


MaruOS on github

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The developer of MaruOS has uploaded everything to github, on August 11. So, now MaruOS is completely open sourced and ready for developers to get stuck in!

In summary, MaruOS runs Android on a phone, and simultaneously Ubuntu on an external monitor.

I have written about MaruOS previously:
http://barryk.org/news/?viewDetailed=00309
http://barryk.org/news/?viewDetailed=00363
http://barryk.org/news/?viewDetailed=00369

In anticipation, I have purchased a Nexus 5, the only phone that works with MaruOS, for now anyway. Note, not the Nexus 5X.

Github repo:
https://github.com/maruos

Developer guide:
https://github.com/maruos/maruos/wiki/Developer-Guide

Developer blog:
https://blog.maruos.com/

What is going to be very exciting, is to get the Superbook to work with MaruOS!


Samsung Note 7 ...no

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I have been thinking that sometime early in 2017 I might buy a new smartphone. I was thinking maybe will finally buy a Samsung Note. But, no, they have lost me.

It's that curved screen:
http://www.phonearena.com/news/Steepest-edge-curve-7000-series-alloy-dual-color-do-you-like-the-Note-7-design-story_id83888



The S-Pen on a flat screen makes sense. The curved edges are just a sales gimmick, bling. Distracting and totally useless.

A Samsung fanperson is trying to say that critics of the curved screen are "just flat wrong":
http://www.sammobile.com/2016/08/01/its-all-about-perspective-critics-of-the-curved-galaxy-note-7-are-just-flat-wrong/

...but the article does not present any justification at all to support why the edge is a good thing for the Note. Nothing at all.


Andromium Superbook

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I am a sucker for an innovative new project!

I have pledged US$99 (actually US$134 including postage to Australia) for the Andromium Superbook. Kickstarter project here:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/andromium/the-superbook-turn-your-smartphone-into-a-laptop-f/description

I reported on Andromium back in May 2015:
http://barryk.org/news/?viewDetailed=00202

Very interesting, perhaps the Superbook can be used for other projects, such as Maruos and Ubuntu Touch. Well, quite likely it can.

Of course one does have to contrast this with the cost of a basic laptop, that I can buy locally for AU$250 - AU$300, onto which I could install Linux.


Field Test 3

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Every now and again, I go on a hike, because I enjoy it, also to test my gear.

I recently acquired ultra-light tent and backpack, and I have been itching to test them in the field. So, Friday 22nd July, I set off for an overnighter on the Bibbulmun Track.

I introduced my tent, a Nemo Hornet 2P here:
http://barryk.org/news/?viewDetailed=00379

And my Zpacks Arc Blast backpack here:
http://barryk.org/news/?viewDetailed=00380

I made some notes on packing of my backpack here:
http://barryk.org/news/?viewDetailed=00381
http://barryk.org/news/?viewDetailed=00382

On this occasion, I neglected to weigh the backpack when packed, but I guess it would have been about 6 - 6.5kg.
This is a great backpack, all the weight got carried comfortably on my hips, and jumping ahead, I have to report that it stayed in-place on my hips, not once did I have to pull it up -- in contrast to my field test of my GG Pilgrim backpack:
http://barryk.org/light/field-tests/ft2-backpack.htm

My walk this time was a loop. I caught a bus to the town centre of Mundaring, then walked south along the Munda Biddi trail to Mundaring Weir. Once again, had lunch at the hotel.

This time, instead of walking east along the Bibbulmun Track, I walked west, heading toward the norther terminus of the track at Kalamunda.

This took me on the west side of the weir. Here I am approaching the weir:


This is down-stream of the weir, and I had to walk right down, then up the other side. At the bottom is the original pumping station, for pumping water by pipeline to Kalgoorlie. This was steam-powered and is now a museum:


looking at the weir, you might be able to see two young fools walking across the face of it. There are small horizontal grooves in the wall, just wide enough for a foot:


Here is part of the above photo:


On the other side of the weir, I walked westward, and came to a lookout:


Delightful scenery, and a lovely sunny but cool day. The lookout provides beautiful views of the weir and below.
It was just past here that I misplaced the track. No more wauguls, so I knew that I had missed a turn. Just then, a ranger drove up, and showed where I had gone wrong.

Late afternoon, I arrived at Hewitt's Hill shelter:


Mighty pleased with my backpack so far, now my tent got its turn to be evaluated:


I really don't have much to say about the tent, as it "just worked". Like the backpack. Both are so light, contributed to a very comfortable trek -- the next day, I had hard yakka down and up many valleys, clambering over rocks, and my feet felt fine -- very good sign, the feet not complaining too much.

The Hornet 2P erects very fast, and I put all of my gear inside, including my backpack. Shoes stayed in the vestibule.
I used four stakes, the minimum, OK in non-windy conditions.

There was plenty of room for one person. I would not recommend for two, unless you are on your honeymoon.

I did find myself thinking that this tent would be nicer if it was a proper two-pole crossover dome tent, rather than the 3-segment design. This design is to save weight, but does result in the sides caving in.
A traditional full two-pole-crosser design, as in my Big Sky Soul tent, would not increase the weight by much. But then, the Hornet 2P is an exercise in achieving lowest possible weight -- even so, I would prefer the full-poles configuration, just to keep those side out a bit more, and also it would be truly free-standing as is the Soul.

Regarding the Soul 1P, there were other things about it that I did not like, such as the narrow-end barely-existing vestibule, and the fact that it is 1P. I wrote about it here:
http://barryk.org/light/field-tests/ft2-backpack.htm

I had a pleasant overnight, then next day walked to Kalamunda, then bus to home, via Perth city. That walk was only about 10km, however, it was up and down, and in places very rough and rocky.
It took me almost 4 hours. Closer I got to Kalamunda, more people walking the Track, day-trippers.

Conclusions
Great backpack, great tent. Though note my musings on the tent, I still don't think it is the "perfect" hiking tent. But, I have spent enough money for awhile, like for the next year.


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