jueves, 1 de octubre de 2015

On the on and off relationship between FirefoxOS and WhatsApp

Good-bye, ConnectA2! 
Yesterday, my FirefoxOS gave me some bad news: ConnectA2, my chosen app to access the WhatsApp network was discontinued and that I should wait for a new soon-to-be ready app called "ConnectedIM".

ConnectA2 was not a perfect app.  Sometimes it would fail to connect and, after an update, it would constantly receive messages from +server saying "Unable to parse the resource".  This messages were annoying, specially because one could several during a day.  I once got 11 in two hours!

It also lacked certain characteristics from the real WhatsApp which, however, was never a problem for me.  I mean, I was conscious ConnectA2 was NOT WhatsApp.  So, expecting absolute equivalence was foolish.  After all, I was using a FirefoxOS phone, not an android phone.

LoquiIM...very similar to KDE's Kopete

Once that ConnectA2 got seriously broken, I had to remove it and started using LoquiIM.  This app lets one configure accounts on Facebook, Google Hangouts and, of course, WhatsApp.  I only used it to access the WhatsApp network and found it quite efficient.  However, every time WhatsApp released an app update, LoquiIM would fail.  Of course, I was then using a developer phone.  When I got the commercial FirefoxOS phone, LoquiIM was the only app that could access the WhatsApp network.

OpenWapp, show me what you can do
There was another change and LoquiIM started to underperform, so I went back to ConnectA2 for a while... that is, until yesterday.  Since ConnectA2 is no more, I had to decide if I stayed with LoquiIM or if I tried another app: OpenWapp.

 OpenWapp's design is very consistent with the rest of the apps on the FirefoxOS platform (HTML5?), so it feels very natural on the phone.  However, I have noticed that it takes some time to display incoming messages.

For the time being, I will keep using OpenWapp.  Let us see how it goes.  If it performs poorly, I can always go back to LoquiIM or, if they fulfill their promise, I can give ConnectedIM a try.

sábado, 19 de septiembre de 2015

Happy Software Freedom Day!

Because software freedom becomes significant when Microsoft wants to force Windows 10 into your computer regardless of your preference...

viernes, 18 de septiembre de 2015

The Changes in the Geography of Linux World

Maybe you remember how the explorer Dedoimedo, back on May 13, 2011, produced the first map showing the world of Linux.

Since then, many events have taken place in the universe of technology: Steve Jobs passed away and Tim Cook started directing Apple, Steve Ballmer, who called Linux a cancer, stepped down from his position as CEO and Satya Nadella took the reins at Microsoft, claiming that "Microsoft loves Linux".

One can also remember Valve's release of a native Linux Steam client, the systemd storm, the bankruptcy of Mandriva S.A., the tension between the Ubuntu community and Canonical, to mention some of the most notorious changes in the world of Linux in these four years that have elapsed since the map was created.

Those events have impacted the geography of Linux, so I decided to adapt the map to show the changes.

The geography of Linux in 2015.  Adapted from Dedoimedo's work.
1.  Xandros disappeared.
2.  Mepis has vanished; MX was created later.
3.  Mageia 1 was released.
4.  Pardus became Debianized, ditching the Pisi package manager in the process.  Pisi Linux is born as a response.
5.  The OpenMandriva Association released OpenMandriva Lx.
6.  Microsoft admits it is using Linux.

Wow!  All these in four years!

jueves, 13 de agosto de 2015

My ZTE Open Phone Finally Came Back!

Sometime ago, I managed to upgrade my Firefox OS on the ZTE Open to version 1.2.  However, this upgrade broke many things, like the GPS and other features.

No matter how much I tried to downgrade, the phone would never respond.

That changed today, though.

I tried a crazy approach and deleted a folder in the root folder.  Then, I put the 1.10B06 zip there and rebooted the phone.

While the phone was rebooting, I pressed the power and the volume up buttons together to enter recovery mode.  Once there, I selected the zip file without much hope because I had tried that a zillion times with no success.

But the phone acted differently and showed me a bar with the words "updating."

In less than 2 minutes, it showed "finished" and I rebooted the phone to a fully operational 1.1 downgrade.

The ConnectA2 app to use WhatsApp also works now.

Who would have said that a desperate move would save the phone?  But you know the saying:  Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% desperation! :P

On August and Broken Electronics

Some days ago, Nixie Pixel shared this image on Google+.  Unfortunately for her, August started with her cellphone, laptop, and desktop computer breaking.
One follower replied to her that he has seen that something always breaks in August and, therefore, he has learned to save money ahead of time, destined to the fixing expenses.

I was amused by the post until yesterday... The screen of my ZaReason Strata displayed a blue vertical stripe that eventually extended from the top to the bottom into a full line.

Blue line...
This happened because I was moving the laptop while carrying some books and I almost dropped it.  Not to let it slide to the floor, I exerted additional pressure on the lid against my leg and, surely, I damaged the screen.

The good thing is that there is a place nearby where I can take my laptop to have the screen replaced.  I trust the technician, too.

It turns out that I am the first client that brings him a Linux laptop.

He fixed the Strata fast and, as I tested the KDE effects on PCLinuxOS, he was impressed by the beauty of Linux. He also praised the solid construction of the Strata. He said that other clients have cracked the screen of their laptops with less than what I did to mine.

That confirms my decision.  I will keep buying from ZaReason. :) 

domingo, 19 de julio de 2015

Pisi Linux 1.2 is available!

This confirms Megatotoro's finding:  Pisi Linux is alive! 

At last in DistroWatch!

The kitty shows the famous smile of Korean actor-singer Bi (Rain)

And so I Won...!

I woke up early today with all the intention of tackling my morning jog, but I lacked the energy.

What to do?

I could go back to sleep or... play LIMBO.

Somehow, I knew I was very close to finishing it.  I mean, with all those gravitational spins, how much crazier could that creepy game become?

As an additional motivation, I reminded myself that I had not won any game on Linux.

So I opened Steam and played.

It took me less than one hour to finish LIMBO.
LIMBO:  The end sequence

Just like T.S. Eliot's Magi would have said, the ending was... satisfactory! ;-)

Interestingly, I experienced certain emotion (joy, a sense of achievement/completion?) from winning this game, something that resembles what one feels after finishing a jog.

I sort of understand gamers better now.