Doing real work on a tablet: 2014 Edition

About a month ago I sold my Chromebook. It was the HP 14. There was nothing wrong with it as a Chromebook but at the end of the day when it comes to a computer I really want to have Linux. Full unlimited Linux.

Then there was the size. I feel that 14 inches is not nearly as portable as I thought it would be. Lugging around a 14 laptop to do modest computing felt like over kill.

I decided on a Nexus 7. Android is not nearly as locked down as Chrome OS. It didn’t hurt that it was on sale for $150.

WordPress at full resolution with Firefox and SecondScreen.After rooting the tablet and installing CyanogenMod I have been tweaking it to suit my needs. I installed Hacker keyboard to make CSS and SSH through ConnectBot easier. Used SecondScreen to make Firefox scale more like a traditional laptop.

It’s almost flawless.

I can log into my VPS and install applications or edit files. I can log into WordPress sites with a desktop like screen. And it only takes twice as long to complete each task.

Yup. Not exactly efficient but totally functional. The truth is that i rely on a physical keyboard. When people constantly try to claim that the traditional PC is dead they clearly have never tried to set up a VPS with their phone.

Perhaps I’ll try again in the near future with a keyboard on my tablet but somehow i don’t think that’s easier to lug around than a laptop.

Avengers Age of Ultron Leaked Trailer (Updated!)

Here is the full version from Marvel.

Disconnected

Last month I took a trip to visit family in Denver. It was a trip I could barely afford. The trip itself was sponsored by my amazing parents. They wanted me at the first ever family reunion. I can’t thank them enough for the experience.

But like I said, it was a trip I couldn’t afford. With my rent paid but a two week gap in my financial I decided to trim the fat as much as I can.

As of yesterday I have no mobile service. I have no internet access at my house (used my phone for that) and I’ve ported my number to Google voice.

The plan was to switch back to MetroPCS from T-Mobile saving me about $15 a month for near identical service. However the going gets tough, the tough start WiFi calling.

So here is my test of Google Voice as my main provider until i have a enough cash to switch on service. Hopefully Google will have saved my communication situation.

Wish me luck.

UPDATE!

Foutune has smiled upon me in the form on my $50 T-Mobile deposit. I forgot I even put a deposit down.

Metro PCS Sim

Back online with unlimited data the way god intended us to be.

Winter is Coming…

It’s been getting darker earlier. Soon it’ll be completly dark by the time I finally crawl out from the depths of my job. The only tan I will get will emitted by the subtle luminescent glow of my workstation.

So naturally given any opertunity to lay out and bask on the rocks (picture related) will be fully taken advantage of. Early morning bike rides along with full Sundays might be blocked out as I attempt to rekindle my relationship with the sun.

Upside: Almost Christmas light season.

Buying Starbucks with Bitcoin

I’ve been a fan of Bitcoin since I first heard about it a few years back. I geek out on all the things you can do with it. I donated to a Humble Indy Bundle, I’ve bought a shirt from 6 Dollar Shirts.com, and today I just bought a large drink from Starbucks. The magic to buying Starbucks is a site called Coin for Coffee.

BitBucksCoin for Card is powered by Coinbase.  After you select how much you want to spend, the site redirects you to Coinbase and you can use any Bitcoin application you have on your phone to finish the transaction.  Soon you’re greeted with a barcode that represents a Starbucks giftcard.  You can scan just like you do with the official Starbucks app.

Not only does this system a great example of an open cashless system but it also works as a alternative to the card reward programs that collect all the data about you.  This is a near anonymous cashless transfer between you and a major corporation.

On the lookout for other things I can buy with Bitcoin.  Let’s hope that services like Eat24 start taking Bitcoin soon.

Web design Experiment

I’ve decided to edit my site live. I know that it is less than ideal but I figure it’s worth it. So for the next few weeks this site might have a bit of an interesting/half broken look. Enjoy!

We Should be Stealing Features

I’m sure that somewhere in the past I’ve made statements that were essentially the antithesis of what I’m going to be writing here.  If you do find those statements disregard them.  I was wrong. It’s good to be wrong.

There have been a lot of articles about how Apple has stolen features of their competitors software in the new OS X Yosemite and iOS 8.  Looking at some of the images that came from Apple’s developer conference it’s easy to make those claims.  In fact I will say that Apple stole a lot.  And it’s a good thing.

Lets rewind the clock back to a few weeks after the launch of iOS 7.  A friend came into my work holding the tiny plastic Apple branded iPhone 5C and I touched it.  The body of the hardware felt rugged and the software strangely familiar.  It looked and felt like an Android phone.  After a few moments of playing with the device it hit me.

Everyone should steal features from everyone.

This was the first time I enjoyed using an iPhone because it took features that I felt we fantastic about the Android OS.  I didn’t like these features because they were Android features but because they felt like excellent features for a phone.

Swype made a very popular gesture typing keyboard.  Everyone copied it, even Google.  The keyboard ecosystem in Android is better for it.  Microsoft stole that design for it’s new keyboard.  It’s a better system.  Everyone should have it and now Apple will have it too.

Let’s all get together and start stealing features.  I’d love to have bridge for SMS on my laptop.  I hope Apple lets users side load applications.  I hope that someday Windows gets a live environment for installing and repair.

Let’s steal it, rip it, remix it, and share it.  It’s great for us consumers and it keep the big boys like Apple on their toes.

The Long Beach Comic Expo (2014) – Gallery

Took some awesome pictures from the Long Beach Comic Expo.  Headed out there with my friend Kayleigh and my new friends Meisha and Bearrett.

Unlike the big ComiCon that happens in San Diego this one was only $20 for both Saturday and Sunday.  However it turns out that you don’t actually need the tickets to enjoy the convention.  In the main ballroom tons booths ranging everywhere from artist to comic store vendors are all kind of packed in there.  Most of the commotion has spilled out of the Ballroom, into the lobby and out in the courtyard.  No ticket required.  Most of the costumed heros pretty much stayed out of the ballroom.

This was my first experience at a comic convention and I enjoyed myself immensely.  I’ll definitely be attending more of these in the future but I’m not 100% sure if I’ll actually buy a ticket.

Enjoy the Gallery!

Read more →

Bikeracks in Long Beach

IMG_20140412_131020I live in a bicycle friendly city. It’s one of the reasons I moved back to Long Beach. I’ve recently gave up driving and now my transportation is predominately bicycle. For distances further than I’d like to ride or days where the weather is too brutal (rare as that is) Long Beach has a really good public transportation system.

There is a really good program for city funded bicycle racks. The great part of this program is that it help the cities local infrastructure with minimal expense to the local business owners. The down side is that not every business takes advantage of this program.

As you can see from the attached photo, some of these bike racks are quite inventive. As a caring cyclist in the city I guess it should be on me to try and convince local business that I fequent to sign up for the rack program. Anything that I add can only improve the infrastructure.

Passwords with APG

APG - arthursucks.com

I believe APG stands for Automatic Password Generator. I’m not 100% sure but I believe it’s installed in the Default of Ubuntu and Debain Linux. If not you can always just run:

sudo apt-get install apg

By default it will generate 6 passwords.

apg
KayRoowlUv8 (Kay-Roowl-Uv-EIGHT)
yeibfigsOis6 (yeib-figs-Ois-SIX)
wofJect6 (wof-Ject-SIX)
UzCyibShycs4 (Uz-Cyib-Shycs-FOUR)
Vafkarag9 (Vaf-kar-ag-NINE)

This includes the verbal pronunciation of the password by default.

I like to run the command:

apg -m 16

This will give you a minimum character count of 16. Personally I like to store my passwords in a spreadsheet. Weather you want local files or cloud based spreadsheets from Google or Microsoft is up to your discression.