Listener Feedback

5150 on G+

To sales.pine64.org, I addressed to following question which many of us might be interested in an answer:

TL Lim

9:23 PM (1 hour ago)

to me, Sales

Hi FiftyOne Fifty,

I am TL Lim, PINE64 founder.
1. Modularity: We were really expecting a laptop with a conventional Pine64 inside, rather like a PiTop (which, by the way, the PineBook kicks all kind of butt in relationship to). OK, no way you could have made it as thin and light. But we were kind of hoping when there was a new SBC, slide the old one out and slide the new one in. I do know the PineBook is electronically compatible with a Pine64, since I am running a Pine64 Ubuntu Mate image on the EMMC. I don’t know how hard it would be to change out the two boards inside. Maybe there could be an upgrade kit to the next generation platform with a “dock” to turn the original boards into a Pine64?

[Ans] Actually we have explore using PINE A64 SOM call SOPine on Pinebook. However, due to physical concern, end up need to design a dedicated board. We have plan on the release an upgraded mainboard in near future that user can change themselves.

2. Trackpad: I know you were trying real hard to keep the price point under $100. I appreciate that, but every PineBook owner I know would have been willing to spend a little more on a better trackpad. Two finger scroll is truly dismal. I’m looking to get one of those ring mounted track ball doohickeys if they still make them.

[ans] We will keep source for a better trackpad and still need to keep budget in control.

3. Speakers: In my podcast reviews, I’ve probably been harshest on this point, going so far to say the speakers “are not fit for purpose”. OK, I understand the original Pine64 was meant to be connected to HDMI or external powered speakers and thus had no prevision for an internal amp. I assume adding an amp would tax the external power supply. That being said, throwing all the software tricks I can, such as installing Pulse Audio Volume Control and maxing every available slider clear to the right, in a very quiet room I can only just make out audio and only with considerable effort. I also realize this may be insurmountable with SBC power input levels. I use my PineBook as a workstation when away from home, if I want to consume media, I carry a ChromeCast and plug it into the hotel TV. A podcaster friend of mine tends to carry a laptop around the house and find a private place to consume media where he won’t disturb the family. He was hoping to replace his power hungry MacBook with the PineBook, but the weak speakers make that impossible. Perhaps we should both invest in battery powered Bluetooth speakers?

[ans] There is a power amp in side Pinebook, please refer to page 8 on schematic that we posted on wiki page. We have source a louder sound speaker for next batch Pinebook. Whether to use external bluetooth speaker, this is up to individual choice.

4. Battery life: You probably don’t get this criticism often, my friends who take PineBooks to work say they have battery for days. My problem is, I really wanted to use the PineBook on IT assignments. Since that is not my primary business, I’m called intermittently. We have found, unlike most laptops, if you don’t leave the PineBook plugged in, the charge dissipates less than a week, even without use. So, if I want the Pinebook to be ready to go, I have to leave it plugged in rather than in my go bag.

[ans] When totally shutdown, Pinebook still can maintain 90% power even idle for a month.

5. Hollow interior freaks out the TSA: Actually, I find this one rather entertaining, but maybe your firm could do more to educate our stalwart defenders of airline safety. I actually might have single handedly educated the TSA at Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport, because, unlike previous trips, I had no question getting on my flights from Wichita, likewise coming back from Detroit (Penguicon). Every time I flew with the PineBook before, I got the explosives wipedown and strange looks from the TSA. On the trip back this spring from Seattle (LFNW), I got a TSA employee who put her hands on her hips and said “Sir, why is you laptop hollow”. I quietly replied, “It’s based on Single Board Computing technology, and it has all it needs”. It helped that I’d been using it in the last 24 hours (see point 4) and had enough charge to boot up.

[ans] Thanks on sharing the story :–) I have travel with Pinebook in State, Asia and Europe, but not been question by airport security.

Thanks on your suggested and a Pinebook user. Please try out the new KDE Plasma OS build, you may like it.

TL Lim, PINE64 Founder

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These others were posted by 5150 to Public, they seem appropriate for show discussion:

OK, here’s a screenshot from FreeOffice 2018 TextMaker. Look familiar?  So must wasted whitespace (OK, a “feature” of any modern GUI word processor). Send me back to WordPerfect 6.0. Okay, I see this if you are dragging a closed source culture kicking and screaming to the right of things. Is Zorin still out there? “No, trust me, it’s Windows 11.” There is a Linux Presentations Client as well as FreeOffice Planmaker (spreadsheet). Unfortunately, there are Windows word processor and .PDF clients only.  I’m all for competing projects, and it should be noted you can also use a conventional File/Edit/View etc menu instead.

Also, if you are into keeping things well organized, extract the setup and image files for FreeOffice into a folder of your creation (as opposed to the .deb and .rpm files). Expect the generic installer to take several minutes.

Fifty OneFiftyModerator
Wasn’t the whole idea of the ribbon to be copy proof? Well, I’m not part of the FreeOffice legal team.

Things that are 1/3 off on IndieGoGo right now. First is the Atari VCS goo.gl/eoSast Granted you only get 1/3 off if you pre-registered like I did and if so you already have a link in your mail. It ships with 100+ Atari nostalgia games, but also works as a Linux PC and can play Linux games. I expect it to be very much like a low end Linux Steambox, with more Linux desktop options. At $200 (for pre-registers) and $300 for everyone else, I wouldn’t expect it to run top end games.

Next up, we have the World’s smallest mini-PC +DoorToDoorGeek and company, take note. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-world-s-most-powerful-pocket-sized-pc/x/2452202#/ Perhaps smallest running an Intel processor. Found it when getting the IndieGoGo link from above. Refreshed the page, and the early bird price seems to have suddenly dropped from $189 to $159. Reviews point out that this seems to just be HIGOLE GOL1 which you can find on Ali Express from $149 and up with a processor and memory upgrade. Comes with Windows 10 🙁 and Android (5.x on the GOLE1, though you can pay $15 to get the IndieGoGo one, “Mi Mini-PC” upgraded to 7.1). Even though GearBest says it would not be easy to install Linux https://www.gearbest.com/tv-box-mini-pc/pp_372951.html, I might grab it at the early bird and cross my fingers. Mi comes with foldable Bluetooth keyboard and a travel case/stand that would make it to big for my pocket.

5150 also later updated the topic to say Project Founder Leo Cheung responded to an inquiry by e-mail.  Cheung ensures us the Mi does indeed support multi-boot with Linux.

Show Topics

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Retaliate against robo callers
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Here we go again, Intel/AMD vulnerability at the kernel level
ChromeOS to get Linux app support w/o Developer Mode
youtube-dl like software with support for more websites
ytfs YouTube File System:  Use Fuse to mount YouTube’s storage as an external drive
Update your distro

[assuming you have Python3 installed]

sudo pip install fusepy
sudo pip install olefile
pip3 install ytfs
mkdir youtube
ytfs youtube
cd youtube
mkdir “justinscarred”
Partial success.  I have a ~/youtube/justinscarred mounted, but there are only recent videos, all 4.1k mpegs, and they don’t copy or play.

EU Parliament to vote on ending “fair use”
Tesla releases code for cars

Next time, I’ll be fresh back from South East Linux Fest and meeting friends/heros like Chad, Dave, and dann.

android auto on a raspberry pi

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