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Category: Small computers

Seven Versions of No Backup

When you configure a modern Android, it turns on Backup by Default.

Android 7 or 8, like their predecessors for some time now, offer you to make a backup. The config setup looks somewhat like above, and that’s seems to be quite good. It certainly looks like something you’d want.

Now, it’s 2018, and we all do have multple Android devices on the same account. So if you are using, say, a 5X, and it dies bootlooping, you’d might be tempted to revive an older device for a few days, until the replacement arrives.

Then this happens:

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BQ Aquaris X pro

Last weekend my Nexus 5X did the Boot Loop Thing (Article in German, refund only for US customers).

So I needed a new device, quickly. I am certainly not spending 1K Euro on hardware, so I was looking for a Nexus 5X priced device that does not suck.

Harald recommended I am looking at bq.com, a spanish company that makes 3D printers, and smartphones, and indeed the X pro delivers. 5X sized, the device can do dual-SIM or SIM+SD, has up to 128 GB memory (I got the 64 GB model), a decent camera and a close to stock Android with a bi-monthly update cycle. Android 7.1.1 with a late 2017 patchlevel in my code. Less than 300 EUR, performs as advertised.

Oh, and the selfie frontside flash is Men-in-Black level weird.

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Power budgets for computing resources – portable and stationary

A cellphone or tablet is a fanless device. So is the 12″ Macbook. That means you can do whatever is possible at any point in time within a TDP of approximately 5W.

Here is the power consumption of my cellphone over a 12h period. The scale on the left is mW, down is discharge, up is recharge (plugged in). It’s basically limited to 5W, and that only for short periods of time.

Cellphone power over time. Green bar = plugged in. Yellow bar = Screen on.

These devices also have batteries, and when they are running on batteries, they need to be sleeping most of the time and have their display off. Whenever they are not dark and/or sleeping, they drain the battery, fast.

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Backblazing…

So there is Backblaze B2. It’s a service where you can buy bulk disk space online for backup and restore.

I have a Linux server at home, which many harddisks and which downloads and saves all data from the various dedicated servers and cloud instances, receives several time machine backups from the inhouse Apples, and has local git repositories and stuff.

I mirror these things from the production filesystems to a set of mostly offline disks once, and I wanted an off-site backup as well for crash recovery. Bandwidth is not a problem, we are living on FTTH with 500/500.

So there is rclone for this. It’s like rsync for B2 or other services.

Like so:

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Qi in Apple, Otterbox makes wireless batteries, and David Foster left Google

So Google fucked the Nexus line, and did the lackluster and overpriced Pixel excursion. The guy who strategically fucked this up, David Foster, apparently goes back to Amazon.

Meanwhile it is an open secret that the iPhone 8 will have the Qi charging that the current Nexus and Pixels don’t have any more. Also, Otterbox and friends are already making contactless battery extensions. It’s not pretty and it’s not efficient, but after the “no ports for nobody” disaster of the current generation of Macbook Pros it’s at least consistent.

This leaves us with the question: Will Google make attractive phones again after Foster is gone now?

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