Two Linux Tablet Projects Take A Step Forward
Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:22 PM
There are a number of mission-critical problems with Linux. The first one is the converter software to put it on a stick. You could turn any pendrive into a Linux computer, essentially, if the converter software would cause the full capacity of the stick to be recognized. Then you could plug it into any computer you have, or any tablet which has a full OS installed, and run your device as if it were a Linux device.
Sadly, the converter software doesn't work like it needs to. Next, the problem of updates trashing the Linux kernel. Third, the fact that the updates are so many, so arcane, and the procedure for picking among them. It's mind-boggling. Took me 10 hours to update the Mint 13 stick, versus what would have been an hour tops, with Windows. At the end, the Mint update trashed the Linux kernel. So I'm glad it wasn't installed on a hard disk.
But on a stick, I can easily move from one computer to the next without damage to the underlying computer. No need for wubi, no sandboxing required, none of that other complicated nonsense. But the update problem (which jupiterbroadcasting's video explained briefly at about 5 minutes into the video) -- the update problem, kills the reliability of Linux. At least, for Mint, which is currently the most popular distribution over time (also shown in the jupiterbroadcasting video).
So until those issues are addressed, Linux will be a hard sell. Once those issues are addressed, everyone will be glad to pay for it.
This post has been edited by brainout: 14 February 2013 - 09:24 PM
Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:10 PM
Posted 15 February 2013 - 02:14 PM
Update stability varies greatly from package to package. Even Windows is known to experience problems following service pack updates, which are very similar to kernel updates in Linux. Linux users will see kernel and other major function updates more frequently than Windows users simply because Linux uses a more aggressive version update schedule (more easily compared to tablet and smartphone OS updates than to desktop OS updates--think Android or iOS).
Additionally, as madhank65 mentioned, overall system stability changes when running from flash drives than when the OS is installed locally to a hard drive. When one considers Linux is designed to boot and run from USB sticks where Windows is not, it should be understood that with the convenience of portability comes the risk of stability problems.
Posted 16 February 2013 - 05:00 AM
that boots Linaro Linux (which is an ARM derivative
of Ubuntu) from internal flash.
It has been so far stunning journey.
There is nothing in the tablet
world to compare it with.
1. I've run it for hours compiling Gambas3
and its barely warm. The reason I find out is that
it clocks down when idle and ramps up speed when CPU
is busy. No wasting of power here then. Since
the entire OS and BIOS like functions are under the
control of Linux, everything about power management
is 100% beautiful.
2. So I get Gambas3 to compile by downloading
everything flawlessly through WiFi.
(A bit complicated - follow the instructions
at gambas web site. If it reports missing libraries,
then install those. If it reports problems with GLUT,
then remove lib-mesa2 and compile again.)
When it compiles you got now a tool more powerful
than Visual Basic because you got your normal visual IDE,
a fast execution environment, and it connect into the thousands
of open source programs to control it, feed data into them,
or take data from them for analysis.
3. Then I connected my Startech USB ethernet interface.
It just ran - no fuss - no mess.
So now I got WiFi and I got physical internet.
4. I installed Apache after but
didn't realise how well it runs.
I loaded big html files with lots of big
images and lots of data. It seems it was quicker
to load from the Pengpod through local LAN than it was
to load it from a web server hosting company
with 70Mbit download link.
Pengpods are fast enough to be ARM microservers
on their own. I had 'top' running in a bash
terminal when I accessed
the apache. It hardly blinked!!
5. Unlike any competing tablets out there, the productivity
of Pengpod Desktop Linux tablets is just out of this world.
Particularly of if used with a real desktop PC and ssh.
Being able to use ssh and ssh -X to run applications on
your local desktop whilst actually running the application
on the tablet adds the third dimension to flat top
tablet computing!! :-)
Something with no one can compete with.
Its a big mistake whoever talked themselves into
ignoring 1GHz Linux on ARM tablet, and ssh / ssh -X.
Now I got myself a full ssh server + headless server + tablet
that is also a web server!!
6. I can use a proper pdf reader and read datasheets
manuals with same ease as desktops now!!
7. I got proper desktop firefox browser and not these crippled
dopey mobile browsers and I can do everything as on
real desktop - such as for example logging into
remote security cameras to view and control it.
8. The spreadsheets and wordprocessors are real as
real is on the desktop. With ssh -X, the work can
continue when you get home on your real desktop.
This a lot better than of fumbling around with grubby fingers
on a 7" tablet screen when you don't have to.
9. The UI has been improved over previous desktop Linux
Pressing the volume control brings up a scalable the touch
screen keyboard nicely.
Being resizable it is an immense help.
Touching and then holding and then dragging scroll bars work
intuitively. Again a big step up.
10. I tried barcode reader and it worked.
So now I can walk with this table, run a desktop Linux
stock taking program and use the barcode reader properly
as if I was carrying a desktop around with me.
11. Many other SB gadgets also seems to work and if you have
trouble with some device driver, just message the guys
and are ready to add some more drivers to the kernel.
A thing to watch out for is attempting to drive
too many devices through a small USB link. One or more
devices can drop out. But that happens with all products
of this type.
12. With gambas3 compiled and running and ssh working,
I set up a connection share with nautilus so I can
drag and drop files from desktop to Pengpod.
I can develop GUI applications on the desktop and drop
the compiled programs into tablet with drag and drop.
Click and run on the tablet and it works VERY FAST
for a developer environment to create GUI applications.
I made a simple application with big buttons like you would
see in a Kiosk computer and it just worked. I installed
espeak, and sure enough, when I press the buttons, I can
actually make the tablet talk back!!!
In all, no one ever had this kind of computing power
for $110 in such a small compact form factor.
If that isn't stunning experience with a tablet,
then I don't know what is! :-)