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Old 01-13-2012, 04:35 PM   #438
nicabod began at the beginning.
Posts: 12
Karma: 10
Join Date: Dec 2011
Device: B&N Nook, refurbed
Just a bit of follow-up on my 738b: Had a horrid, frustrating time trying to make a wireless connection. Not sure, but it seems that the tablet and my router shouldn't both be set up to automatically choose a channel for the connection. When I told both the router and the tablet to use a designated channel, that seems to have been what finally made it work. Along the way, it put up misleadingly-worded messages (see a recent post about this). In particular, "Out of range" was absurd.

I rooted it (wrote to the SD card from my desktop machine, and the tablet, while booting, undoubtedly "looked at" the SD card to see if there was anything interesting; there was. Intriguing to watch the yellow messages. (It took many minutes!) IIrc, I used Flushs firmware; that got me far enough (semi-root, sort of) to download a true root-access file manager. Again, intriguing; I'm quite familiar with Linux file structure, and this was recognizable, but different in many ways.

I also added a market app., and downloaded too many interesting apps, but didn't install most (ran out of energy; I'm 75, and don't lead a sensible life (too dull!)). (My T-shirt should read "I destroy operating systems", with a mandatory footnote "only my own".)

Considering that the local Rite Aid might still have some Craig netbooks, I dug for a review, and found it interesting:
<> I heartily agree that what we paid for Craig tablets and netbooks is a good price for the hardware, but, Good Lord -- the software (especially drivers and the like) is an horror show! Otoh, the Android kernel and a lot of its "core" software is probably quite the equal of a good Linux distro*; I'm confident that there are lots of capable, responsible developers "out there". *I like Mint; am soon going to try the Cinnamon desktop. What's gone terribly wrong (and in a very competitive market, at that) is that Android is sometimes customized for a given product by adequately-capable developers who seem not to be able to test anywhere near adequately. Did Craig choose a good group of developers? Methinks, hardly likely. Unfortunately, I lost track of a fascinating post by a Chinese gentleman who is intimately familiar with what's going on over in Shenzhen, including the Google Android software package constrained by license terms.

I booted up earlies this afternoon looking for any posts by (preferably non-malicious) hackers who have done Good Things with the netbook. Tentatively, concluded that the $100 and my chances of having a netbook that would do what I hope (hopes are not high) just don't match; that money would be far better spent on an Arduino (although it wouldn't do what I want.)

Last call! PHOTOS, if anyone wants, of the innards of a 738b, incl. well-focused* hi-res shots of the electronics -- JPEGs of maybe 3 MB. If interested, holler; I'm set up for e-mail notification if anyone posts a reply here.

*Focus failures: I think it's quite likely that most digital cameras have "double-touch" (I think that's a term from pipe organ tech.) "shutter" pushbuttons. Gentle pressure closes one set of contacts; a harder squeeze trips the shutter. Autofocus and auto-exposure both happen (typically) when you squeeze gently. I suspect that oodles of people don't know this, and don't give autofocus time to settle; it takes at least
tens and often 100s of milliseconds for it to settle. A good, hard, quick squeeze gives shutter priority, in focus, or not. "Better to get that shot /now/ than wait for autofocus to settle" seems to be the thinking. (I'm not totally off-topic; I suspect that the photos at the link I gave above are rather-badly defocused because the author didn't know this. (He's not dumb...)

Last thought: What are the rates of returns on Craig Androids? How many who bought them are quite disappointed, but haven't returned them? I don't know. Now, off to take a peek at Brian's Web site.

[P.S. I proofread this, and when I tried to post, I was told to log in. I had already done so, I'm certain! Fortunately, I'd saved this text. Spending 3/4 of an hour on a long message, only to see it hopelessly vanish, is psychological torture-by-software that simply must not happen, but does. It seems standard, in fact. /end rant]

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