Posted in Apple, Design, Hardware

And now for something completely different…

Embrace yourselves… I have an iPhone. Yes, a restrictive non-jailbreaked close source Iphone. I love it so far.

I’m not a huge fan of smartphones, I don’t use them as extensively as others do.  In my opinion nothing beats a laptop or a netbook. In fact, I change phones only when my previous device gets broken.

But this is the very first time iPhone falls in my hands, so I’m pretty lost. Certain things are the same, it’s like a standard for all phone brands. But others, too many, are completely different. And let’s face it, Apple isn’t very helpful when it comes to newbies. It’s always assumed that you’re already an Apple user and you’re just changing/upgrading system or device.  The concept of  “newcomer” it’s completely unknown to Apple and its users.  I guess they think that God was using an iPod to listen music before creating the universe….

So I’m writing some stuff for beginners here…

 

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iOS 6 & 7

Battery stuff

First thing you need to know, iPhone doesn’t warn you when the battery is fully charged. Apparently older versions did but from iOS 7 and up, it doesn’t anymore. No change of icons, no sound or alert, just an Spartan  “100% charged”.

There’s a legend among Apple users that says that the lightning bolt icon will disappear when battery is fully charged. I can’t confirm.

By default, iPhone has everything on. Bluetooth, GPS, etc.  This will cause the battery to run dry quickly and while charging it may overheat. Turn everything you’re not using off. Warm is okay, but if it gets hot to the touch then it’s better to unplug it and see what’s wrong. Let it cool off before resume charging. Also avoid heavy game play or similar stuff while charging as that increases temperature.

If the device is second hand or you have been using it for a good while, check its cycles. The more cycles a battery has the shorter its life and capacity will be.

If you fully charge your phone over night and it’s on about 30/40% at the end of the day when you put it back on charge that’s good enough. Don’t expose it to extreme temperature conditions particularly while charging; too hot and too cold are equally bad for your device and can be dangerous for everyone else.
Letting it drain down to 1% occasionally to reset the battery memory is a good idea, but don’t do it all the time nor too often.

Your phone won’t explode because you leave it alone charging overnight. But won’t benefit it either. Also, if the battery is old or the place is too warm it may result in a accident.

Usually you get the equivalent of around 5% battery before they drop to 99%. From a full charge an iPhone does around 40 minutes usage sitting on 100%

Another legend says that a mysterious app named Coconut will help you to keep your battery healthy.  I think it’s like the Grail, everybody talked about it but nobody saw it.

 

Settings

When it comes to configure stuff iOS is the master race, at least at smartphone level. There’s a lot of refinement you can achieve just lurking in Settings. But some features and buttons are mysterious. E.g.: the Ring button. Because… you see, it’s not a button, it’s a switch. But the manual doesn’t say it, so you can keep trying to press it because buttons were made for being pressed, isn’t it?

So the easiest way to turn the iPhone ringer off is to flip a switch. On the left-hand side of the iPhone, there’s a small switch just above the two volume buttons. To turn the iPhone ringer off and put the phone into silent mode, simply flip this switch down towards the back of the phone.

BTW, you can also configure the volume buttons to work as such for ringing or only for general volume or music.

If you don’t like iOS appearance you can search on App Store, there are a handful of interesting apps to customise your interface. Maybe not at the extreme of Android but enough to not get bored.

 

Further reading

Five tips to for a better battery life   www.techrepublic.com/blog/five-apps/five-tips-for-extending-lithium-ion-battery-life

Get the most out of Lithium batteries   www.zdnet.com/article/how-to-get-the-most-from-li-ion-batteries

Don’t panic if your iPhone seems to run out of battery too quickly. Or not yet   http://bgr.com/2016/09/13/ios-10-battery-life-iphone-ipad

Popular Mechanics on batteries www.popularmechanics.com/technology/gadgets/a15731/best-way-to-keep-li-ion-batteries-charged

 

Thanks for reading. Next article:  Security and improvements

 

 

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Posted in Fedora, Hardware, System, Users

Problems with USB ports

 

If you’re experiencing problems with USB ports, ABRT is throwing system error messages or you something odd related to USB during the boot, here you have two ways to find out what’s going on.  Once you know there are two possible ways to sort it out. Let’s see.

 

Commands

If the error, or at least the error message, just happened, you can run this command:

journalctl -xe

and this will show you what just happened.

If you only notice the problem time later, you can run this another command:

dmesg

and search for errors related to USB ports.

 

Looking for a solution

Now you know what happened you can search for it Google with a simple search, or in wiki pages or books, or in forums, groups and mailing lists.  If it’s not urgent, always try the Google Search first.

 

Aftermath

Write down the solutions that worked in a note and keep it handy.  That will save you time and headache in the next opportunity an error occurs.

 

Hope this is useful for you, thanks for reading!

 

 

Posted in Hardware, Open Source, Projects

The game is on!

 

“It is my business to know what other people don’t know”

After a whole week dealing with a netbook with OpenSuSe and almost a month without Fedora on my laptop, I finally got to install Fedora 25 Workstation on my laptop and Debian Testing on the netbook.  There is no much to say about Fedora, is the same I had but with a handful of updates.  But Debian….  it’s been years without using it so this is sort of interesting.  Is it still true that Debian runs smoothly on any machine even with limited resources? Is still a rather tricky distro to install and, perhaps, to use?  Is it Testing anything near to Fedora? Is it stable? What desktop would suit better?  Will I be able to do the same things as in Fedora?  What else I can do or try with this netbook?  What else I can learn?

 

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Game afoot

I bought and prepared two USB sticks as install media, one for Debian and one for Fedora.  Oddily enough, there is no way to use Fedora Media Writer in Linux  (except, of course, Fedora)  but it is possible to use it in Windows.

I booted them both and oh, wonder of wonders!  Debian installation process was fast and simple.  I selected to install Cinnamon and Mate because I don’t like XFCE, and I wanted to try different configurations.  All in all, that’s this netbook all about.  For playing.

I booted Fedora and the install process was exactly the opposite to Debian’s:  slow and complicated.  Two, maybe three versions ago, Fedora was pretty simple and fast, even on my OLPC netbook  (RIP).  But now installing Fedora is neat untill you have to partition your disk.  Then it’s an utter mess.  And the trick I used back in Fedora 24 doesn’t work anymore.  So I had to install Fedora on a tiny partition  (20GB)  despite I had plenty of free space.  And install twice because the first time, for some mysterious reason, it made separated partitions for /boot and /var  (I didn’t ask for and I know nobody who does that)  but didn’t separated  /home  which is the usual  (and more sensible)  case.  In any case, I installed and now it’s running reasonably fine.  I even have Recipes working.

 

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The Attic and the Lumber Room

Sherlock Holmes said:  “A man should keep his little brain attic stocked with all the furniture that he is likely to use, and the rest he can put away in the lumber-room of his library where he can get it if he wants.”  and I say the same applies to systems and development.  Place together in a system what is necessary to have a fully functioning computer with graphic session and connect to internet, and no more.  Everything else can be taken from library in the lumber room, that is to say installed afterwards from the package manager  (Apper, Yumex, Synaptic, etc.).

And this is how Debian it’s built.  You have all what you need to start, everything else is up to you.  So you configure your system right in the way you want. Besides, this is vital in a netbook that has no spare resources to waste.

So I logged in  (Mate)  and installed some useful software.  Given I can’t do my design/artistic work here, I need way less books to take from the lumber room. In case anyone is interested to know, here is the list of programmes I installed in Debian:

  • Bleachbit
  • Evolution
  • Parcellite
  • Themes & Icons
  • Chrome
  • Telegram

As a side note, Debian Testing has kernel 4.9 which is pretty new. Fedora has kernel 4.10 so they’re almost the same.

I tried Cinnamon  (software rendering)  and Mate; I prefer Mate.  Maybe the looks isn’t that attractive and lacks of  “Favourites” menu  (or menu entrance)  but it works better on this netbook up to now.

 

Looking ahead

What is next

I plan to start using Recipes on Fedora with a new user as it’s rather tricky to claim an old user when you make a fresh OS install.  Also, I’m planning to install Recipes on Debian.  If I didn’t yet is because it’s not built for i386 architectures.  But once this is done, I’ll install and start using it to see how it goes.  Maybe we can make it available for Debian/Ubuntu too?  Surely will be a smoother process than trying on OpenSuSe.

I’ll try Cinnamon  (normal mode)  to see how it goes and if there is any difference between this and the software rendering mode, and compared to Mate Desktop.

 

And the game is off…  by now.  Thanks for reading!

 

 

Posted in Hardware, Open Source, OpenSuSe, Projects

One happy bunny

 

My friend Heinrich had abandoned an Acer Aspire One  (10.1″ screen, Atom N450, 1GB RAM) inside a box.  He has a better bigger computer with a huge screen where to watch movies and series at will.  I asked him if I could play with it and he gave me absolute freedom.  So I decided to start installing SuSe  (as it´s the only install media I have by now)  with the intention of turning it into Tumbleweed.  Unfortunately, I couldn´t as every time I tried  (spent a whole day on it)  either it failed or it left me without internet.  So I had to give up and stay with Leap.

 

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What I can do so far

Given the small size and low resources, it´s pointless to use it on design and photography. But because of its small size and light weight is perfect for simple daily tasks like mail and writing as I can easily take it with me everywhere. I can do all the things I can do in the OpenSuSe I have installed in my laptop.

The main options, KDE & Gnome, are way too heavy to use them in a netbook so I installed the third option: XFCE.  But I don´t like it so I installed Mate Desktop and Cinnamon to try which one works best.  Definitely, Mate and Cinnamon, with Cinnamon desktop being the prettiest according to myself.

I have GDM as Display Manager but I´m researching the way to change it.

I´m planning to add more RAM but I need to open it and see if my RAM sticks are compatible.

 

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What I cannot

As I already said, I can´t do any kind of arts or editing, it simply has no resources for that.  I can´t  write fast because it has a Deutsche QWERTZ  instead of QUERTY as keyboard.  I can´t use Recipes because it doesn´t work in any other distribution but Fedora.  I can install it and run it but it doesn´t work fine.  I can´t multitask because of its RAM and I must be careful with certain programmes like Yast and Firefox.  It often freezes or hangs, sometimes coming back to activity minutes later and sometimes not.  Sometimes it fails to start or hangs somewhere midway.  And it really gets very hot while using it.

And I didn´t get to use it with full charged battery.  No matter for how long I have it plugged, it never goes beyond 98%.

 

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A funny bit

I already noticed that the touchpad seemed to be wore out and that it used to have some kind of instructions that were faded.  Also noticed that some angles had more signals of use than others.  Not to mention the netbook was very dirty and with its battery absolutely exhausted when I found it.  Actually Henry thought it was broken.  But the computer is actually in perfect shape and it´s obvious he cared about it.  It’s impeccable except a little mark on the lid and the touchpad.

Ah! The Touchpad! Its look and feel was weird because Henry never removed the protecting film from it.  When I told him he smiled but it was obvious he didn’t even know it had a film.  Definitely, computers aren´t his metier.

You can see the marks of the protecting film still on the touchpad after removing it, on the picture above.

P1000291

And you can see in this other picture the protecting film already removed.

After cleaning the touchpad it became very clear why I was finding it so slow and weird.  Now it´s free from covers, it´s a very comfortable device.

 

Now I have this working…  The game is on!

 

Posted in Hardware, OpenSuSe, System

Update on touchpad issues

 

As you could read in this post I experienced issues with my touchpad for a month or so before finding  (almost by luck)  the solution.  Now I come to know that this solution is Fedora specific.  I recently installed OpenSuSe in my laptop and went to the touchpad configuration.  As I expected  (SuSe uses software that is slightly older than Fedora)  everything worked except scrolling.  Therefore, I deactivated my touchpad and started using mouse again.

Today I decided to use the solution provided by a dev in Riot as you can see here, but it turned out that this command doesn’t work in OpenSuSe.  I thought I had to resign to keep using mouse but before giving up I tried my touchpad again.  And it works.  The command doesn’t work but an update solved the issue days ago.  I just didn’t know.

Now I’m happy using my touchpad again.  On OpenSuSe.