WQHD Monitors

What appears to be a fantastic combination of features is the new WQHD monitors which are 3440x1440 at 110ppi. The diagonal size most popular is 34". This means software scaling is not required for display, and essentially it can provide about the same screen real estate as two 1920x1080 22" monitors (which have 100ppi). WQHD has 110ppi, and is nearly 5 million pixels (4,953,600) while two 1080p monitors are just over 4 million (4,147,200).

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Thoughts on Amazon Echo Show

The new Amazon Echo Show looks great. Watching the video, it is striking that the interface appears so clean. This is obvious when using voice, since buttons don't really count. Also, the fact that this is not just a piece of hardware and natural language interface, these are applications being shown. In terms of video/voice ... Read more

Xiaomi Redmi 4A (aka Rolex)

See also LineageOS on Xiaomi

The Xiaomi Redmi 4A (aka Rolex) is a cheap (~100 USD) and lightweight (131.5g) 5" phone. For price, weight, and size, there is not much competiton. The screen is a 720 x 1280 px 16x9 screen that is pretty decent. Its got a Snapdragon 425 and 2gb of RAM with 16 or 32 gb of storage, and supports dual sim or single sim + microsd card.

On the negative side, the camera is weak, it is slow to open, and of course stock MIUI is slow and bloated, along with an annoying reminder to register your sim aka spyware on the prowl.

That said, there is nothing in a 5" screen that is as light and as cheap, and that means very strong value.

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Xiaomi Mi Pad 4

See also LineageOS on the Xiaomi Mi Pad 4

Google Play Store on Xiaomi Mi Pad 4

While the Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 ships with Google Play installed, if one does a factory reset, then the resulting MIUI 9.x does not bundle with Google Play Store or the GBoard keyboard. There are several steps needed to get it set up, including:

  • Find, download, install Google Play Store + Google Play Services
  • Install and enable the Google Gboard, and Gboard Keyboards

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Onyx Boox Nova Pro

The Onyx Boox Nova Pro is a popular 7.8" eNote device with grayscale e-ink Carta screen, and a Wacom touchscreen layer, under mobius and glass. The hardware includes USB-C, an on/off/sleep button and a back button, along with bluetooth and wifi. The main advantage, though still a bit incomplete, is the ability to read and ... Read more

OSMC = Debian + Kodi for Vero 4K

I've gotten fed up with the nonsense that is Chromecast (slow, limited), Apple TV (slow, limited), and Fire TV Stick (slow, limited). I ran across the Vero 4K, which was announced in February, 2017. Besides good reviews about good hardware, the responsive and active half-way decent, half-asshat forum (using Discourse), the system uses OSMC (open source media center) which is an Embedded Linux (Debian) system that uses Kodi as the default UI. In addition, the main developers contribute upstream. This is something I can support, and it looks like a viable way toward a more functional set-top-box/iptv/pvr/media-center.

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