Joho the Blog » droid

May 28, 2010

Linux on a stick

I’m excited. On the plane ride today, I got Linux loaded onto a USB stick which I then used to boot my Acer One netbook into Linux. Nothing special about that, but because Linux saves onto a 4G section of my USB stick, I now have a tiny, portable OS that saves the stuff I download and create.

My netbook comes loaded with Windows XP on one partition and Android on another. But it’s a particular sucky version of Android, and I’ve found I’m not using it for anything. But I’d rather not be running Windows when I don’t have to. So, the portable USB-ized Ubuntu is perfect for me.

It took me a few tries to get it so that the USB saves the stuff I create while running Linux, and I’m not entirely sure why the slider that sets up the save area was grayed out. Eventually I booted into Linux off of another USB stick, and then used Linux’s own “create startup disk” feature to erase (and format?) the USB stick, which then, at last, let me set aside a save area.

Unfortunately, I have not yet found a way to tether the netbook to my Droid so I can avoid the $15/day Net access charge at the hotel while running Linux. So, for now I’m booting into Windows and using the fabulous PDAnet app.

5 Comments »

December 21, 2009

[droid] Owned-by app for lost Droids

After five days with my Droid, I listed some things I liked and didn’t like. Among the didn’ts: No way to put your contact info on the lock screen so that if someone finds it, she can notify you.

Well, there’s an app for that. At the Market, search for “Owner Information.” It displays a small block of text above the dot pattern on your lock screen. Exactly what I was looking for. (It’s free. Thanks!)

Among other apps I’m using with some frequency: WordPlayer (ebook reader), NewsRob (RSS reader), Twidroid (twitter client), Dolphin browser, and when I need to bend people to my will, Hypnotic Spiral.

Be the first to comment »

November 14, 2009

How to connect your Droid to a Mac

It took only a little googling, but it isn’t dead obvious — until you know how to do it — so here’s how you connect your Droid to your Mac.

Connect the two via USB.

Pull down the Notifications sheet on the Droid. You do that by pulling with your finger on the very topmost menu bar in the system. You should see a USB symbol in that bar.

Click on the obvious entry in the notifications, which says something like “Mount USB” or some such.

Check the Finder on your Mac. It should show a “NO NAME” mounted under devices. Welcome to your Droid.

(And then be prepared to trash your SD card by accident.)

50 Comments »

November 7, 2009

Google plays the openness card

While Apple has blocked the Someecards app because some of the cards have made fun of public figures, Google has asked the app to port on over to Android phones.

(BTW, I got a Droid today.)

3 Comments »

October 29, 2009

Taking sides with Droid: Hippies vs. Geeks

I’m finding the cultural politics of Droid‘s marketing to be fascinating.

Droid is Motorola’s competitor to the iPhone, based on Google’s open source Android operating system. Of course it’s marketing itself head-to-head against the iPhone. Verizon’s “iDon’t” ad was totally in iPhone’s face: iPhone doesn’t do x, y, and z, but Droid does.

But Droid isn’t just going against iPhone’s features. It’s drawing a cultural line. Apple is for hippies, it’s saying. Droid is for power geeks.

For example, at Verizon’s “Droid Does” page, if you click on “Open Development,” the message is:

Droid doesn’t judge app makers. We don’t care about their politics, their lifestyles or their attitude. If they make a great app, we will share it. That’s how we have over 10,000 apps in Android Marketâ„¢. Simple, isn’t it?

This is cross-over geek and business trash talk.

At “Hardcore,” the text is:

This is no granola crunching, flower child phone. It’s more powerful than you need and faster than you can handle. Basically, it’s everything you’ve ever wanted. And it’s ready to do your bidding. What shall you have it do first.

Weird anti-hippie, geek power lord, high-performance sports car, S&M vibe.

“Power” continues the sports car trope:

Look under the hood of this machine if you dare. There’s a fast CortextA8 processor, 16gb of memory expandable to 32gb and a WVGA 854×480 screen. Now step back. It’s revving up.

Out of my way, hippie!

And perhaps: Out of my way, girls! The Droid marketing is hitting a lot of (traditionally) male notes.

The cultural alignment will be fascinating to watch.

7 Comments »

October 18, 2009

Tales of technolust: the appStoreless Droid

My Blackberry 8830 does what it needs to do. I can type on it. I can take it to Europe. With the Gmail app installed, I can read and delete emails and have them deleted from my gmail inbox. I an view web pages through a keyhole. I can recharge it off of my laptop. I can run the vaguely accurate Verizon GPS on it. I can fit a couple of downloads on it.

But I don’t love. I’m very glad to have it. But it does nothing for my hormone levels.

My eye now is roving. Verizon has announced it will be offering the Motorola Droid in November, which runs Google’s Android operating system. Unless there are some gotchas — if it has half of what we’re expecting, can we call it the Hemodrhoid? — I’m going to be explaining to my BBerry that the problem is really with me, not it, and then making the switch.

I don’t expect it the Droid to be as beautiful as the iPhone. Nor will there be as many apps. But, it will be beautiful enough, and as people write more skins for it, it may get better with age. And there are already more than enough Android apps, which is exactly how many I need.

Most of all, though, there won’t be an AppStore. The AppStore is the seductive angel of death for computing. It enables Apple to keep quality up and, more important, to keep support costs down. But a computer that can’t be programmed except by its manufacturer (or with the permission of its manufacturer) isn’t a real computer. The success of the AppStore is a gloomy, scary harbinger. From controlling the apps that can go on its mobile phone, it’s a short step for Apple to decide to control the apps that can go on its rumored slate/netbook device. And since so much of the future of computing will occur on mobiles and netbooks, this portends a serious de-generation of computing, as predicted by Jonathan Zittrain in The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It.

So, some of my technolust for a phone I haven’t even seen yet is due to the political hope it promises. Rally ’round the Droid, boys and girls!

Unless, of course, it sucks.

8 Comments »


Switch to our mobile site