Friday, October 24, 2014

Prepping my Icarus 653

Just so I have documented it somewhere, here's how my I've setup my Icarus 653 (open Android based E-Ink based Ebook Reader).

I manage my Ebooks with Calibre, so this is mostly about enjoying the "freedom" of the device not to use the builtin software for ebook reading.

  • Reset the device to get a clean slate.
  • Select Language.
  • Add the WLAN settings and connect.
  • Browse to Amazon Apps download page, install the Amazon Appstore app, that gives access to the Kindle app and other stuff.
  • Browse to f-droid to get their app downloader.
  • Install the Ebookreader (that's FBReader from in my case)
  • Install Calibre Compagnon via Amazon Appstore.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

SIM cards & Apple

Funny thing, Apple first kills the usability of SIM cards:

  • MiniSIMs are quite easy to handle, although there is a tendency that SIM cards get lost when they are not in the device.
  • MicroSIMs are not so much fun, but one can usually handle them by handling them slowly and carefully. These are somehow understandable, as they DO provide some tiny volume economy over MiniSIMs, and they are roughly the same size as MicroSDHC cards.
  • NanoSIMs are basically not changeable quickly on the road, you happen to need special tools and so on. The complexity of handling them stands in no relation to the volume savings.
Reality is that by introducing 2 additional formats for SIMs, their primary purpose (making linking a subscriber with the hardware changeable) is already compromised. Happened last week to me, at a meeting, where we had a NanoSIM from the good network with LTE coverage, a iPad mini that was not very reliable at tethering (well a dozen guys mean roughly 12-24 concurrent clients, that's way beyond of an iPad), and a Mifi hotspot that was very reliable, but could not use the NanoSIM, hence we ended up tethering to the Mifi hotspot that did WLAN forwarding to the iPad. Still did not work perfectly, but restarting the iPad hourly let us survive.

Now, let's take a perspective:

An iPad 3 mini is 200x134.7x7.5mm == 202050 cubic mm.
A MiniSIM is 285 cubic mm, that's 0.14% of the volume.
A MicroSIM is 136.8 cubic mm, that's 0.07% of the volume.
A NanoSIM is 72.52 cubic mm, that's 0.04% of the volume.

So the designers have gained 1/1000th of the volume of the device in exchange for the primary purpose of the SIM, easy changing of the subscribe identity. (Changing a MiniSIM is something that can be done easily enough when driving. Changing a NanoSIM is an engineering task for home.)

Even for a small phone like the iPhone 5s, the volume saving from MiniSIM => NanoSIM are 1/250th of the volume.

Apple to the rescue

Now that the design purpose of the SIM was gutted, Apple manages to ride to the rescue of it's user, by introducing a software switchable SIM. It's clearly more convenient than switching a NanoSIM. The convenience win is not so great compared to switching MiniSIMs. And even better, it binds the customer so much stronger to Apple. Well, better for Apple, I don't see the benefit here as a customer, but then I try to stick to user-friendly devices, at least for my purposes, and that means no NanoSIM devices for me.

Friday, December 28, 2012

SIM cards

One has to wonder slightly why mobile  manufacturers (Apple comes to mind but others are as guilty) try to shrink the SIM.

Don't  try tosell  the idea that mobiles are getting so small that every cubic mm is needed. Phones have been growing for  some time. Actually mobiles reached their smallest size as feature phones, compared to an average T9 entry phone even the first iPhone has been huge, so where is the argument for microscopic SIMs?

OTOH, there are good reasons to keep them  at a size that can be manipulated by an adult without special tools. Subscriber Identity Modules are meant to be changed when appropiate,  e.g. when wants to use a different phone, a cheap one for outdoor sports, or a different network (when roaming). so shrinking the SIM makes it worse at it's primary purpose.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Practical considerations

Python Diary: According to HTTP methods Logging out is a POST,2012/according-http-methods-logging-out-post.html

Well, logout via GET is basically okay, the strict requirement is that the  operation is idempotent. Logouts tend to be so.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Rapoo E6300

Upgraded my Nexus to Android 4.2, seems to work  better, we'll see.

Offtopic, but certain country bumpkins have claimed that this cannot happen.

Business Insider

Seems despite claims that with current state of medicine the life of the mother is never endangered, right?

Rapoo E6300 keymappings for Android

The Rapoo E6300 keyboard is officially sold ony for usage with the iPad but it is basically a normal bluetooth keyboard, so it pairs easily enough with Android devices.

Interestingly enough the keyboard offers all relevant key for controlling an android device, although the usage is not always easy to guess:

keycapwithout Fnwith Fn
EscHome buttonEscape key
F1Search button
F9turn screen off

Long pressing the home key gives the recent app menu, btw.

This post is naturally typed on the E6300, and as one can see one can use quite a bit of Android without touching the screen.