Amiga on Fire on Playstore

The latest thing to try. A Cleanto Amiga Forever OS 3.1 install to SD card in the Amazon Fire 7. Is it the way to get a low power portable development system? Put an OS on an SD and save main memory? An efficient OS from times of sub 20 MHz, and 50 MB hard drives.

Is it relevant in the PC age? Yes. All the source code in Pascal or C can be shuffled to PC, and I might even develop some binary prototype apps. Maybe a simple web engine is a good thing to develop. With the low CSS bull and AROS open development for x86 architecture becoming better at making for a good VM sandbox experience with main browsing on a sub flavour of bloat OS 2020. A browser, a router and an Amiga.

Uae4arm is the emulation app available from the Playstore. I’m looking forward to some Aminet greatness. Some mildly irritated coding in free Pascal with objects these days, and a full GCC build chain. Even a licenced set of games will shrink the Android entertainment bloat. A bargain rush for the technical. Don’t worry you ST users, it’s a chance to dream.

Lazarus lives. Or at least Borglaz the great is as it was. Don’t expect to be developing video realtime code or supercomputer forecasts. I hear there is even a python. I wonder if there is some other nice things. GCC and a little GUI redo? It’s not about making replacements for Android apps, more a less bloat but a full do OS with enough test and utility grunt to make. I wonder how pas2js is. There is also AMOS 2.0 to turn AMOS source into nice web apps. It’s not as silly as it seems.

Retro minimalism is more power in the hands of code designers. A bit of flange and boilerplate later and it’s a consumer product option with some character.

So it needs about a 100 MB hard disk file located not on the SD as it needs write access, and some changes of disk later and a boot of a clean install is done. Add the downloads folder as a disk and alter the mouse speed for the plugged in OTG keyboard. Excellent. I’ve got more space and speed than I did in the early 90s and 128 MB of Zorro RAM. Still an AGA A1200 but with a 68040 on its fastest setting.

I’ve a plan to install free Pascal and GCC along with some other tools to take the ultra portable Amiga on the move. The night light on the little keyboard will be good for midnight use. Having a media player in the background will be fun and browser downloads should be easy to load.

I’ve installed total commander on the Android side to help with moving files about. The installed BSD socket library would allow running an old Mosaic browser, or AWeb but both are not really suited to any dynamic content. They would be fast though. In practice Chrome and a download mount is more realistic. It’s time to go Aminet fishing.

It turns out that is is possible to put hard files on the SD card, but they must be placed in the Android app data directory and made by the app for correct permissions. So a 512 MB disk was made for better use of larger development versions. This is good for the Pascal 3.1.1 version.

Onwards to install a good editor such as Black’s Editor and of course LHA and some other goodies such as NewIcons. I’ll delete the LCL alpha units from Pascal as these will not be used by me. I might even get into ARexx or some of the wonderfull things on those CD images from Meeting Pearls or a cover disk archive.

Update: For some reason the SD card hard disk image becomes read locked. The insistent gremlins of the demands of time value money. So it’s 100 MB and a few libraries short of C. Meanwhile Java N-IDE is churning out class files, PipedInputStream has the buffer to stop PipedOutputStream waffling on, filling up memory. Hecl the language is to be hooked into the CLI I’m throwing together. Then some data time streams and some algorithms. I think the interesting bit today was the idea of stream variables. No strings, a minimum would be a stream.

So after building a CLI and adding in some nice commands, maybe even JOGL as the Android graphics? You know the 32 and 64 bit restrictions (both) on the play store though. I wonder if both are pre-built as much of the regular Android development cycle is filled with crap. Flutter looks good, but for mobile CLI tools with some style of bitmap 80’s, it’s just a little too formulaic.

Kindle Android Memory Hogging Apps

The apps I have decided to hate because of simple things like move to SD card not being enabled, or even if moved to SD is OK, there is some other “feature” which is annoying (especially high memory use due to lazy programming).

  1. Twitter – on the surface a good app. No SD card, and very large for a texting app. Also should use multi-notifications, but the bird tweets each and every one.
  2. Facebook – this is on the SD card, but will not stop putting over 256 MB into the on-device flash memory. This is likely an arse elbow use of libraries and no common goal to lower the memory usage as it would interfere with competing apps for ad shows.
  3. Messenger – yes another 200 MB of flash busting erm, what exactly?
  4. Basically anything larger than Chrome which doesn’t do something very impressive.

So this on my kindle is (bold for not that impressive), Turmux, Google Play services, Messenger (replaced with Messenger Lite), Facebook (replaced with Facebook Lite), Google Sheets, Java N-IDE, Google Docs, Office Lens, LinkedIn (it went in the bin first, as it was just too big and sucks video bandwidth without options), YouTube and then Chrome. I think this in large part is due to a lack of a move to SD card, and/or then not compressing SQLite databases by using tokenization to an external resource file which can be moved to the SD Card, not compressing resources, adding in much useless animation. I have about 800 MB free. I wonder how long the bold shall last.

There is also the new firmware updates which prevent chrome from saving to the SD card. I think all write permissions are voided except in specific to app directories. The default SD save directory though is not writable. I know it’s new firmware as it used to work before the updates.

Sideloaded Kindle Fire (Pt II)

It’s been a few days, and the best benefit as yet has been the Libby app. This gets your library card hooked up to the database of books and audio books to lend. There is quite a lot of “feature fight” between the Amazon and Google. The latest being what happens when there is an update of permissions to an app. It seems that although it does suspend an Amazon overwrite, Amazon will not stop bugging you about some updates which are available (but I have yet to analyze exactly how much this consumes in bandwidth, as the firmware update seemed to consume loads of data).

There are some really nice apps which blossom on the 7″ screen, and were just too tiny on a phone. It is good to not be limited to such a small screen now. A list of apps which are almost essentials will follow, as some of the “features” such as adding files (.mp3 for example) to a folder on the Kindle SD, will just not show up. This is likely of the form of marketing from the South Park cable guy school of what no services? Buy here.

So after getting Play Store up and running, what to install?

  1. Chrome – for all your browsing needs.
  2. Outlook – I actually like this from Microsoft, and it does pick up gmail after Chrome is installed. (Not before).
  3. Google Docs and Sheets – these are quite good with Word and Excel files, but do need settings altering for saving in those formats. (Naughty Google).
  4. Facebook, Twitter – although Twitter does need to employ someone with experience of multi-notifications. Maybe it’s a birds everywhere logo-ego design.
  5. Skype – actually not that bad.
  6. USP Spectrum Emulator – don’t tell everyone. It’s excellent if you’re into your retro.
  7. Libby – an excellent public library resource.
  8. Free42 – some consider this to be the pinnacle of calculators before needing to crack open a Mathematica workbook. (An excellent open source reworking not using any HP ROMs). The simple facts that it has such a wide range of open source utilities already written for the backward compatible HP-41 range, and has over 1MB available memory reported, makes it worth getting a Kindle just for this.
  9. VLC – this is quite a nice player of audio and video, and does work with the screen off (with audio). It also reads those hidden by “the cable guy” directories.

If you purchased it using a free Amazon gift voucher, I agree with your choice. Only time will tell the battery service life and the resultant reliance on sticky gum as an assembly procedure for confounding future recycling farce-sillities.

Amazon Kindle Fire 7″ (Minus Ads) + Raspbian PC

Well, they say it’s in the post. It should arrive before Christmas. This review will get longer as I test it out. I had to get the 8GB version as the lack of adverts was something that was essential. Maybe I’ll get better use of PDFs, and free up quite some space on my mobile by not needing all the document apps on it. I just wonder how much “junk” is installed by default, and how much can’t be disabled. Exciting! Alexa, swear like a sailor!

Quick side notes: I’m replacing my Debian by Raspbian Desktop for PC (Ooooooh). It’s going to be the standard OS of Linux in the company. Just updating the development with node, fpc and git. Along with httpd2, mariadb-server and php.

More gigs of android updates this morning. Why can’t android developers trim their code? The tools are available, but they seem not to be used, and the insistance of stuffing apps with excessive graphical resources continues. How many gig for a texting app?

So it was a little weird. First make sure you have plenty of data, as it will do a system update within a few hours. Get all the apps you can find off the AmazonStore (after you sign in) and be aware that not all the ones you want will be found. Then enable side loading of apps, and get the four needed .apk files for google store. Install these in the correct order, and open play store. Sign in. Get the play apps you want.

A note on compatibility. Microsoft Outlook will required Chrome to use gmail. The play store may try to download updates for some of your apps. This is OK, but some will give errors. This can be divided into 3 groups.

  1. Things like LinkedIn – Likely using a strange hack but it does work.
  2. Kindle app – Play store tries to update and fails, it needs setting to not automatic update in the play store (on the menu of the app listing in the store). This then seems to disappear after the firmware update.
  3. Things like Whatsapp – Just not compatible as there is no phone device.

Luckily the Fire does not try to auto-update apps which were sideloaded (or downloaded from play store). It tells you this in the library updates section, so don’t be tempted to enter update fight hell. This could be problematic. Some notes on the options I chose to ignore on the first setup.

  1. Ignore the Amazon, Facebook and Twitter integration. I mean you could try it, but I haven’t, as the play store apps work just fine.
  2. You must enable sideloading. This can be a problem later if you don’t understand the implication of downloading a .apk file. Remember the play store is the guest store, and so needs sideloading to work. But any random internet site could have a downloadable with bad intent.
  3. Alexa seems to want to work, but she hasn’t said anything yet. Maybe I’m just doing it wrong. This is the most likely option.

After a bit of connection to ADB, it looks like the Alexa service uses about 10% of the processor power just waiting for the word “Alexa”, which is a bit extreme for me. Gag ‘Lexa, oh yes!