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Android Hardware Linux

PengPod Crowdfunding a Tablet Made With OS-Switching In Mind 93

PengPod is running a crowdfunder to create a GNU Linux/Android tablet, the PengPod 1040. This is their second such product; the first was mentioned on Slashdot last year. PengPod has pledged to make all source and tools used to build the images available, so users can build their own OS top to bottom to guarantee that it's free of NSA tracking. The PengPod has previously found some success as a low-cost touch platform for industrial/commercial control systems and is partnered with ViewTouch, the original inventors of the graphical POS to offer PengPod1040s as restaurant register systems. The feature that the developers seem keenest to emphasize is that the PengPod is built to run conventional desktop Linux distros without special hacking required; Android is the default OS, but it's been tested with several others (including Ubuntu Touch) listed on their Indiegogo page.
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PengPod Crowdfunding a Tablet Made With OS-Switching In Mind

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  • Archaic Workflow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wjcofkc ( 964165 ) on Thursday October 10, 2013 @06:52PM (#45097017)
    Saving a spreadsheet downloaded in Android, then rebooting into Linux to edit it, then rebooting back into Android to send it back with a touch-centric email client, or any similar workflow seems rather archaic. It's like over a decade ago when on occasion I would absolutely have to reboot into Windows to get something done - it was annoying (and destroyed my uptime!). Further, you need a keyboard and mouse to operate this device under Linux - at least that's what the demo video shows, and I don't see how it could be done any other way (in a practical sense).

    This is the total wrong approach. Now that Android is making it's way onto desktop type machines, perhaps it's time to look at porting applications like LibreOffice and Gimp over to Android. You would still want to plug in a keyboard and mouse to use them, but at least you wouldn't have to reboot multiple times in order to complete what amounts to a single task. Also, it would be nice to drop my phone into a dock that connects it to a monitor, mouse, and keyboard - but only if I have desktop applications available. If for some Android OS-centric technical reason, porting full scale apps makes no sense, then it's time to look at some kind of practical OS hybridization. Not to mention the time is now to steal Microsoft's thunder and if we don't make such moves now, I can't promise it will still be that time in two or three years.
  • by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Thursday October 10, 2013 @06:55PM (#45097037)

    The project doesn't make any mention of the NSA. That's timmy inserting irrelevant editorial.

    And isn't even a valid point -- no one can audit every line of code in every piece of software they run - the linux kernel itself has over 5 million lines of code, and that doesn't even include applications.

    Even if you were certain that the code itself was clean, how do you know you can trust the firnware in the device, the compiler you're using to compile the code, and even your own computer?

    If you went back to a 1960's era wirewrapped computer [wikipedia.org], you might have some hope at validating the operating system and hardware, but there's no way for an individual to be 100% certain that a modern computer is free of software and hardware back doors when the bad guys could have compromised the hardware locked inside of the core chips that run the device.

  • Re:Why switch? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kLimePie ( 3031053 ) on Thursday October 10, 2013 @07:00PM (#45097075)
    VM's have a performance penalty. What's the state of virtualization in the ARM world anyway? Mere emulation similar to what you find in the Android SDK will run faster, but you won't get the full Android experience. Running Linux in a chroot inside the Android host might be a better option performance-wise, but the Android kernel and userland have quirks not found in desktop Linux.
  • Re:Archaic Workflow (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Connie_Lingus ( 317691 ) on Thursday October 10, 2013 @07:12PM (#45097165) Homepage

    then why not just get one of the gazillion inexpensive Android tablets that already saturate the market? ...and talk about archaic...why not just use google docs for your "office" needs? oh, you don't like the cloud that's ok i suppose.

    i'm sure you know you can run all sorts of Android VMs in virtualbox or whatever...Android on the desktop is already here.

    its probably only a matter of time before important OS apps get ported.

    and i agree...duel boot is a pita.

  • by elloz ( 3382559 ) on Thursday October 10, 2013 @07:45PM (#45097407)
    In 2009, Jane Silber became the CEO of Canonical in 2009. Canonical makes Ubuntu.

    Jane Silber's previous job was at that military contractor, namely the C4 Division of General Dynamics. It turns out that at the C4 Systems division is all about using computers for spying.

    From their website: "General Dynamics C4 Systems is a trusted leader in the development of intelligence and information gathering systems for national defense and homeland security. These systems are designed to receive, process, exploit and disseminate information -- in different forms and often from different networks -- and distribute relevant information to operators, both in the field and at higher headquarters."

  • Re:Archaic Workflow (Score:3, Interesting)

    by VVelox ( 819695 ) on Friday October 11, 2013 @12:34AM (#45098623) Homepage

    Because Google Docs sucks compared to a proper editor. Why do I want to be beholden to a closed sourced editor running on hardware outside of my control? If I wanted that I would be running a Microsoft product.

Would you people stop playing these stupid games?!?!?!!!!