Cost Effective Computing 2024

Current cost-effective computing is focused on small, mobile, and Linux + Windows + Android. The Windows is for general familiarity and games for the children Current Devices Linux c214 - Ampton (ASUS C214MA) chromebook with Debian 12 (Bookworm) and Breath 4gb / 32gb + 256gb microsd n8 - NUC8i3BEH (Intel NUC) Debian 12 (Bookworm) 16gb ... Read more

Linux PDF Readers / Editors

There are many choices for PDF readers and editors for the Linux platform. I've used a variety over the years. Lately I had preferred these two: Xournal++ (xournalpp), which is a reader and editor, and is touted as a handwriting notetaking software with PDF annotation support ... supports pen input from devices such as Wacom ... Read more


Termux is an Android application (and plugins) which provides a Linux environment as a terminal emulator. Actually the Termux terminal doesn't need to be used, as it is possible to access various elements via API. The main support is various programming languages. Access to repositories via Git. And using Rclone, one can mount cloud drives ... Read more

LineageOS on Xiaomi

Major update to this post as of April 2024, nearly 4 years later The below is woefully out of date. Trying to do the same thing with the same product (but different device) results in tears, mainly around Xiaomi OEM unlocking. The unlock tools simply don't work on the Linux and Windows devices I've tried ... Read more

Debian Chromebook

Because ChromeOS is simply ridiculous in terms of resource requirements (on devices meant for it), the only proper approach is to install or boot from a USB drive running Debian Linux (in this case, Debian Stable. Note: there is GalliumOS but it seems to have stalled development. There are various steps involved in getting this ... Read more

Chromebooks in 2024

There are low-end and high-end Chromebooks. This is about relatively low-end devices, specifically an ASUS C214MA which is a cheap, somewhat small, ruggedized device meant for the schooling market. It has an 11.6" HD+ screen and a 4gb/32gb RAM/ROM configuration. In our household we've run up against the limits of this device in a variety ... Read more

Linode and Linux

I've used Linode for the past three years, and before that, another two years (with 3 years of AWS in between). There has been a (reasonable) increase in prices, and not much else since the acquisition by Akamai. Before Linode I used Servint which had more tools but also was much higher in prices, for ... Read more

Hardware Spec Minimums 2024

These specs are meant to help with acquisition decisions. More is usually better, and certainly for future-proofing purchases. Note that these are not adequate for modern games such as Starfield. Desktop and Laptop For processors, there is more leeway, but one should get the latest generation of whichever processor line is needed (e.g, for Intel ... Read more

Smart Control (drive health app)

[smartctl]( is a tool for testing hard drives. There is a graphical interface called gsmartcontrol which oddly cannot be found in the standard Debian testing repository but is otherwise available.