martes, 17 de septiembre de 2013

ZaReason Makes its Open Tablet: The ZaTab ZT2

Visiting ZaReason, a vendor of Linux PCs, I discovered that now they are offering a new device, ZaTab ZT2.  That's, according to their site, "the first open and hackable tablet":

"Some manufacturers consider "root" to be a four-letter-word. We don't. The ZaTab is an open device. The bootloader is unlocked. Root access is available. We welcome the community to develop custom ROMs and port other Linux distros to the ZaTab." 

I must say they got my attention.  I bought a laptop from them last year, an Alto 4330, and its specs and performance really satisfied me.  In fact, I am typing this entry from it.  

I've been reluctant to buy a tablet because I wanted an open device.  I've been waiting for the Vivaldi tablet, of course...but I think I may give the ZaTab ZT2 a try meanwhile.  It costs $300.

Unlike the other systems that ZaReason offers, you cannot choose the OS to be preloaded.  It is Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. 

Here are the tablet's specs:

  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • Allwinner A31 SoC (4-core CPU, 8-core GPU)
  • 10.1" IPS 1280x800 display
  • 5 point capacitive touchscreen
  • 8 GB internal storage + microSD for additional storage
  • 2 GB RAM
  • WiFi (802.11 b/g/n)
  • Front (.3 megapixels) and Back (5 megapixels) cameras
  • Sturdy metal back
  • Stereo Speakers
  • High-capacity 6000 mAh battery
  • Ultra-light 600 grams
  • Headphone
  • microSD card slot
  • miniHDMI video out
  • microUSB port
Package includes:
  • Tablet
  • AC Adapter
  • USB Cable
  • Source Code

It's good to have vendors that offer open devices!

jueves, 5 de septiembre de 2013

Advancements with Pisi Linux

Although Pisi Linux is still in developing stages, this little distro is very promising.  Yesterday, motivated by another Pisi user, I installed Enlightenment.  This is what I got after some minor customizing:

I found an issue, though.  When trying to activate my wireless connection, I found out that it was asking for EConnMan, a little package that was not included in the Enlightenment category.  No big deal, it was in the repositories.  After installing it, I got my wireless working on my new DE.

After reporting my experience in the forums, a developer kindly added the package to Enlightenment's dependencies.  Pisi may be a new little distro, but you can surely say its developers and community work passionately.  Another user is putting together a video tutorial site.

Back to my new DE, I must confess I still need to get used to my Enlightened Pisi...but I am very happy I got the options to explore different software and different DEs.  It makes you feel free and it gives you the chance to learn and keep your mind young!

martes, 3 de septiembre de 2013


I've been waiting for Jetpack 2...but its release date is not in sight.

Apparently, I'm not the only one.  Another Kickstarter backer of the project posted this on JetpackHQ's forum:

As a Kickstarter backer I was thrilled to be able to back this game and really looked forward to being able to play it in December of 2012.
Here we are 8 months overdue and still nothing.
Is there a realistic update to the release date?

The developer replied the following:

I was overly ambitious with that date and since I missed it I decided to complete the mission pack idea.  I'm shooting for December of this year.
There should be the first beta release of the web game in about a month.
Thanks for your support!

I've been waiting for quite a long time, so I guess I can wait a bit more. 

Also, I'm waiting for Pisi Linux 1.0 to be released.  Both the forum and PisiLife have been silent in that sense.  Although they never mentioned a release date, I hope to hear from them soon.

Another release that has become a test of patience is MEPIS 12. The good thing with MEPIS is that there has never been a release date, so we are used to waiting (im)patiently :P

In the meantime, I'll keep using my beta releases of Pisi and MEPIS, which have been working perfectly.