Mobile Technology Toys UNIX

Installing Gentoo Prefix on HP TouchPad

The ill-fated HP TouchPad has, ironically, proven itself to be a gem of a machine for those with a computing/hacking background – with a fast processor, plenty of memory, and the most open architecture of any tablet so far (in that webOS Doctor can be hacked to alter partition layout and contents on restore), there are few limits to what it could be used for. Android (hopefully within a webOS card) is coming, and already Ubuntu & Debian can be run from a chroot() environment. The ARM build of Gentoo can be run in the same way – but that’s relatively trivial and not especially interesting (in that it doesn’t integrate with the OS – you have to specifically enter the chroot() environment in order to make any use of the software).

I would now always choose to run Ubuntu in a desktop environment – Canonical have done a great job of generalising the historically painful job of getting hardware and software reliably working together (try getting Bluetooth HID devices and WPA Wifi working on Linux from first principals if you want a reminder of just how obtuse software can be…), but I’d still opt for Gentoo for a server/command-line environment. This is what we have with the TouchPad – a great visual OS, but a minimalist installed get of command-line tools. This – with it’s ability to build optimised, efficient, and light-weight packages with only the necessary optional features present – is where Gentoo shines.

Apple Mobile Technology Thoughts


A good summary of the arguments is here.

twitter is on fire over the issue too.

Apple Hardware Mobile Technology Toys

Mac OS 10.5/Leopard on the Samsung NC10

Initially I ordered a Dell Inspiron 910/Mini 9, after reading about how easy it was to get Leopard running on these machines. However, after initially quoting 15 days delivery then then, on the 15th day, extended this to 30 days – at which point I cancelled the order.

Instead, due to its looks and frankly astonishing battery life, I ordered a Samsung NC10.

As it turns out, although all Atom netbooks are created equal, some are more equal than others – especially where OS X compatibility is concerned…

Apple Mobile Technology

First post! (again…)

WordPress 1.0 for the iPhone has been released, and I’m using it to write this post. It’s been a little time coming, but it looks pretty fully-featured.

Apple Mobile Technology Thoughts

Indistinguishable from magic…

Gareth has an iPod Touch, which he’s just updated to firmware 2.0 (at even more cost – and that he’s not best pleased about…), which adds many of the iPhone’s location-aware services. The Touch, of course, lacks any 3G/GSM circuitry and bluetooth – leaving only WiFi for position acquisition. Even though my name-server at home doesn’t contain any geographic records, his Touch was able to instantly plot the specific location we were.

Apple Mobile Technology Thoughts

Breathtaking O2 incompetence reduces iPhone 3G launch to farce

Cambridge has one Apple Store (in the seemingly Bioshock-inspired Grand Arcade), one O2 shop, and two Carphone Warehouses.

Having decided that it’s finally time to replace my venerable Motorola RAZR V3, and never having been to an Apple product launch before* (albeit one at a local store) I decided to try my luck at the Apple Store itself – which turned out to have been a good idea for all of the wrong reasons…

Mobile Thoughts

Basic English: O2 Fail

So this morning at about 7:30am, O2 sent out an email to what is probably millions of punters (judging by the fact that their pre-orders site has crashed and burned) with the headline:

iPhone 3G is here and its free*

Anyone spot the problem with this?

Let’s see what Wikipedia has to say about this:

ITS, it’s or its can mean:

  • “its”, the possessive adjective and possessive pronoun form of the personal pronoun it
  • “it’s”, a contraction of “it is” or “it has”
  • The “It’s” man, a man with torn clothes and unkempt beard who appeared at the beginning of episodes of Monty Python’s Flying Circus

It comes to something when a corporation the size of O2 can’t even be bothered (or doesn’t have the knowledge – a more worrying conclusion) to get basic grammar and punctuation correct on what is unquestionably its biggest launch of the year.

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