February 2009

RC33 comes out for the G1

T-Mobile began distributing RC33 on February 5th. This isn’t the rumored “cupcake” update (if you’re not familiar with what cupcake is in this context, do a search for cupcake and Android — you’ll find a lot of hits) and didn’t contain A2DP for Android but it did fix a number of problems and introduced some new functionality (Android Market will now notify you when there are updates to your installed apps, for instance).

The stock T-Mobile builds don’t allow root access to the phone but the gang over at the XDA Dream Android Development forum wasted no time repackaging the build to allow root access (the Dream [aka G1] is an HTC phone and uses pretty much the same mechanisms to boot as previous HTC phones so they’ve got a LOT of practice hacking them). It wasn’t too long before a “rooted” RC33 was available … and I installed it Friday. The rooted build also includes browser multi-touch support which is nice but takes a little getting used to, an updated Busybox, a terminal emulator (which you use for access to the G1’s Linux command line on the phone), relatively complete versions of less and even an implementation of vi. From the command line there’s a lot you can do — there’s an SSH server and an SSh client so I can SSH from my phone to my Linux desktop, there’s a VNC client for Android so I can use VNC to login to my Windows/Linux desktop and add in root and you’ve got pretty much endless possibilities open to you — cron, modifications to the stock mount tables and so on.

Wow, what a phone!

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Linkstation Quad

Well, after that post on January 12 discussing the relative merits of low power PC versus a NAS, Fry’s put the 2TB model of the Buffalo Linkstation Quad on sale for $529 and I bought it. I’ve been running it for a little over 3 weeks and am really pleased with it. If the Quad would’ve cost $600 or more, I would’ve bought the QNAP TS-409 Pro Turbo and outfitted it with a couple of hard drives but for $529 I didn’t even think about it.

1) Price.
2) Support forums.
3) Web access from outside your firewall.
4) The UI is the usual Buffalo NAS UI, enhanced for the additional RAID levels and the additional web access capabilities.
5) SSH server is still there and can be started if you pay attention to the howtos over at the Buffalo forums at NAS Central.
6) With a little sleuthing you can figure out how to submit cron jobs to do you backups to another Linkstation as opposed to using the web UI.

1) Slower CPU (but still very capable in my opinion).
2) Media player isn’t that cool.
3) No access via iPhone/G1!
4) Not as great a selection of pre-loaded apps available as on the QNAP.
5) Disks aren’t hot-plug (but does anyone really need this?
6) Can’t upgrade RAID levels nondestructively like the QNAP.

So, on the whole, I’m pleased I bought it.

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