Good bye Android ? Hello Ubuntu ! Not yet unfortunately …

As a long-term Ubuntu user I am extremely interested in what Canonical and the Ubuntu community are doing on the mobile front. Their convergence strategy (I am testing Snappy Core on IoT devices as well) seems very well thought through and once the the Meizu MX4 phone was released I got myself an invite and ordered a unit. It took a while to ship and then also had to make it's way down under as Meizu only ship to Europe (and Asia I believe). Having played with Ubuntu on the phone a while ago on an old Nexus 4 as well as a Nexus 7 unit it was a much more pleasant initial experience and I was really hoping to make this my day-to-day phone. After the initial excitement and a few days of use (including with my main SIM card) however it is clear that we're not at this stage yet. I am quite prepared to forego some conveniences I got used to on CyanogenMod (Android) over the years, but at this stage there are just too many things not working consistently. On the surface most of the critical components are there, but there is just too many bugs and inconsistencies in heavy usage left to make this a solid experience unfortunately. The single button hardware also doesn't seem to work with the UI as in a lot of places you are searching for a back button and there ain't one. And to my surprise the browser feels pretty…

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SShuttle – quick and temporary VPN over SSH

Every once in a while you find a gem. One of these for me is SShuttle - until now I have not known about this one.    by  Stephan Geyer  Sometimes you need to quickly forward all your traffic via a remote server quickly. And while you can do all of this manually using OpenSSH it's not a quick one-step process (https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SSH/OpenSSH/PortForwarding). Dynamic SOCKS5 proxies are great if all you need is browser traffic, but there is always software that won't play ball with SOCKS. Use-case: I just been trying to get Ubuntu Make to install Eclipse IDE and the local AARNET download mirror is just refusing to cooperate (https://github.com/ubuntu/ubuntu-make/issues/90). A quick forward to a remote VPS fixed the issue without headaches Install sudo apt-get install sshuttle Run sshuttle -r username@servername.tld 0.0.0.0/0 -vv That's all - it sets up routing & iptable rules transparently and removes them after use. Kudos goes to https://github.com/apenwarr - thank you. A VERY useful utility !!! Source link: https://github.com/apenwarr/sshuttle

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Installing Ubuntu Phone (Touch) on Nexus 7 LTE

Add SDK repository sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-sdk-team/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install ubuntu-device-flash Enable USB Debugging on the device Make sure you have developer mode enabled (see http://developer.android.com/tools/device.html if you are unsure). Navigate to Settings > Developer options Enable USB Debugging. When a device is connected, you will be prompted in Android to authorize it. Unlock Bootloader adb reboot bootloader fastboot oem unlock fastboot reboot Check that you have the right device adb shell grep ro.product.name /system/build.prop > mydevicedata \ && adb shell grep ro.product.device /system/build.prop >> mydevicedata \ && adb shell grep build.id /system/build.prop >> mydevicedata ro.product.name=razorg ro.product.device=deb ro.build.id=KTU84P Check which channels are available ubuntu-device-flash --server="http://system-image.tasemnice.eu" query --list-channels --device=deb ubuntu-device-flash --server="http://system-image.tasemnice.eu" query --list-channels --device=deb ubuntu-touch/ubuntu-rtm/14.09 ubuntu-touch/ubuntu-rtm/14.09-proposed ubuntu-touch/utopic ubuntu-touch/utopic-proposed ubuntu-touch/vivid ubuntu-touch/vivid-proposed ubuntu-touch/devel (alias to ubuntu-touch/vivid) ubuntu-touch/devel-proposed (alias to ubuntu-touch/vivid-proposed) ubuntu-touch/ubuntu-rtm/devel (alias to ubuntu-touch/ubuntu-rtm/14.09) ubuntu-touch/ubuntu-rtm/devel-proposed (alias to ubuntu-touch/ubuntu-rtm/14.09-proposed) In my case I am going for the currently stable 'ubuntu-touch/vivid' channel. Install Ubuntu Touch ubuntu-device-flash --server="http://system-image.tasemnice.eu" touch --channel="ubuntu-touch/vivid" --bootstrap References Ubuntu Devices: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Touch/Devices

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CyanogenMod 12 on Sony Xperia Z2

Just a quick update of the previous article on "Sony Xperia Z2 upgrading to CyanogenMod 11". One thing is that CM now included the custom recovery and you do not need to download any other custom recoveries ! Download the CM 12 ZIP file for Sony Xperia Z2 (sirius) and extract the 'boot.img' file Download link: https://download.cyanogenmod.org/?device=sirius Get the device into fastboot (bootloader mode) fastboot -i 0xfce flash boot boot.img fastboot reboot Install CyanogenMod Choose the “Install zip from sdcard –> Install from sideload” option adb sideload cm-12-20150219-NIGHTLY-sirius.zip After the install has finished choose the “Reboot system now” option.

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Accessing your cloud desktop from Chromebook

One of the main reasons for setting up a cloud desktop is that I tend to use a lot of different devices some of which are not very powerful. One of my favorite devices of late has been a HP 11 Chromebook. I originally bought it for a new employee and wanted to check myself how this thing stacks up to do day-to-day computing tasks more efficiently than a standard laptop without all the headaches of running Windows (viruses, endless driver installs, bloatware, malware, ...). We already have several people at work working exclusively from Chromebooks and they absolutely love them. Long story short - I ended up keeping the Chromebook for myself as it's an absolutely great secondary device for me. I can carry it with me everywhere (doesn't weigh much more than a tablet, roughly the same size as a tablet & has a keyboard and is so much more useful than a tablet). Initially I was using it more as a secondary device, but lately I have been thinking that I will not even take my main notebook at all for travels. The problem with this is that I do (sometimes - very infrequently) need access to software not available on such a limited device. Accessing your Cloud Desktop via SSH (I know there seem to be people allowing direct VNC access - but that is just asking for trouble) is highly recommended. I also use RSA keys instead of password authentication. Copy SSH Private Key (generated…

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Vodafone LTE mobile data on Cyanogen Mod

I have had some issues recently with getting LTE (4G) connectivity on the Vodafone Australia Network using CyanogenMod 11 on multiple devices (http://forum.cyanogenmod.org/topic/92919-no-4g-signal-on-vodafone-au/). Turns out that it was an APN issue after all. The APN provisioned by default when the Voda SIM card is inserted (vfinternet.au) does not work for the LTE Data Network. It works with GPRS & WCDMA, but fails to connect when the phone is set to prefer LTE (4G) Networks and they are actually available. It means that the handset will loose mobile data connectivity altogether. There are various APN Settings floating around on the interwebs, but any I tried previously did not fix the issue. Ater needing to call Vodafone support for another device (on GPE Stock Android) that was experiencing the same issue I got given these APN Settings: Settings --> Mobile Networks --> Access Point Names APN Name: Vodafone AU APN URI: live.vodafone.com Leave all other settings at default (for MMS settings see the link to VF Support below). I have tested this for 2 days and works beautifully. The correct APN settings can be found here: http://support.vodafone.com.au/articles/FAQ/APN-Settings

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Sony Xperia Z2 upgrading to CyanogenMod 11

Contrary to my normal inclinations not to buy anything but Stock Android phones I ended up with a Sony Xperia Z2 in a hurry over the weekend (it's a long story...). It appears to be quite a decent handset (with a pretty good camera actually) and one of the main reason to choose this over the other options was that is was one of the few high-end devices which already had a CM snapshot rather than just nightly releases. However similar to their colleagues at Samsung the Sony people also opted to stuff all sorts of crap-ware bloat onto the Android base OS. It appears not to be as bad as the Samsung (who are the kings of crap) mods, but for somebody used to the clean Android experience it's just very annoying. So I opted to flash it straight to CyanogenMod.    by  epct414  Prerequisites You need the Android SDK installed and on your Path - see one of my other posts on how to do this. Get Bootloader Unlock Code Another annoying step which is not required with Google Nexus series. http://unlockbootloader.sonyericsson.com/instructions You will need to enter and confirm your email (WTF?) and need your IMEI number and at the end of the process you will get an update key that is required below. Put phone into bootloader (fastboot) mode Insert one end of the USB cable into your PC. Turn off the device and wait at least 5 seconds. Press and hold the Volume Down button and plug…

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Finding a private location check-in service

Foursquare decided that it was too hard for them to compete with location services like Yelp and split their app into two separate apps. Whilst that might make sense to the 4Square CEO and his VC masters, it makes no sense from a users perspective. Foursquare can be a bit of a battery hog already, and having 2 apps to open and "annoy" you with notifications is not an improvement by any means. And if I wanted Foursquare to be Yelp - I would have used Yelp in the first place. So no - I do not want to install another separate check-in App (called Swarm). One battery hogging location app was enough.    by  leogaggl  The other argument used by 4Square's CEO is that he didn't want users confused about the "gamification" aspects of 4Square. I personally think that this is highly patronising to the Foursquare user base. I am sure most users would be able to work out what it is useful for. Since I have always used 4Square mainly as a means to get some analytics of my movements and historic record of where I was at what time (I always downloaded my checkins to Thinkup on my own server) I was trying to find something that would fit the same use case. Meet Ushahidi (http://www.ushahidi.com/) - an excellent geo-coded "reporting" service developed in Kenya. I have been following this project for years already. Dynamic Timeline Track your reports on the map and over time, filter your data…

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Upgrading Nokia X to CyanogenMod 11 (via Ubuntu)

The Nokia X seems to be a nice piece of hardware for just around $125 AUD. Nothing spectacular in terms of computing power, but much better build quality than your average cheap Chinese Android clone. I have always been a fan of Nokia hardware until they decided to commit suicide by firstly adding CEO Stephen Elop and ditching all of their software for Windows Mobile. The problem with the device out of the box is that is has a horribly butchered version of Android. And by horribly I mean way worse than the usual bloat and crapware that poor Samsung, HTC or Sony users are normally subjected to. Hopefully this is only Nokia's first step to a more open platform, but I wouldn't hold my breath on that one. Before committing to buy this device I made sure that I could flash it to CyanogenMod as soon as it arrives. Sidenote: I purchased from Mobicity AU - which turned out to be a big mistake. Do yourself a favour and go somewhere else unless you have weeks to wait. Boot Mode - Nokia X Nokia Recovery Mode: 1. Turn off your device 2. Press Volume + and Power Button 15 seconds Dependencies If you haven't got the Android SDK or tools yet you need to install sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb android-tools-fastboot USB Configuration sudo vim /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules #add the following line SUBSYSTEMS=="usb", ATTR{idVendor}=="0421", MODE="0666", OWNER="plugdev" sudo service udev restart vim ~/.android/adb_usb.ini #add at the end of the file 0x0421 sudo adb…

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Apache Cordova development environment install on Ubuntu

Apache Cordova has very nice documentation, however as so many projects it is focused on the Windows/MacOS duopolies only. Fortunately it's not too hard to work out the differences. Installing dependencies Thanks to: https://github.com/joyent/node/wiki/Installing-Node.js-via-package-manager sudo apt-get install python-software-properties python g++ make ant openjdk-7-jre openjdk-7-jdk Installing Android SDK Please note: one of the problems I found was that I had some Android tools from the Ubuntu repos that were conflicting with the SDK install. It's probably a good idea to remove them first. That might save you from a lot of headaches down the line (and time to troubleshoot). sudo apt-get remove android-tools-adb android-tools-fastboot Download as per http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html wget http://dl.google.com/android/android-sdk_r22.6.2-linux.tgz Note: check for updated link version obviously vim ~/.bashrc Add the PATH variables to the top of the file #AndroidDev PATH export PATH=${PATH}:~/android-sdk-linux/tools export PATH=${PATH}:~/android-sdk-linux/platform-tools Reload bash variables without reboot / logout source ~/.bashrc Testing SDK android This command should now bring up the SDK manager. Installing Eclipse IDE This is obviously an optional step depending on the IDE you want to use. I have previously covered a manual Eclipse install (as opposed to the Ubuntu repositories). Install Eclipse ADT Plugin As per: http://developer.android.com/sdk/installing/installing-adt.html Node.js Install The main difficulty on Ubuntu (as with so many development tools - see Eclipse above) is that the included node.js version in the Ubuntu repositories is outdated (remove the Ubuntu version with 'sudo apt-get remove node'). sudo add-apt-repository ppa:chris-lea/node.js sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install python-software-properties python g++ make nodejs Install Cordova sudo npm install…

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