Everything, Everything - September 2016

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Wednesday 28th September, 2016 08:59
Windows Server 2016 is finally here! https://t.co/V6qVKJNesa
Computers Are Magic
Sunday 18th September, 2016 12:48
I've been watching Halt and Catch Fire on Amazon and it annoys me slightly when they introduce modern concepts to the past. Also, I feel like I should be able to see their screens flickering. However, watching the show reminds me of how far things have progressed over the last decade. A couple of decades ago I'd stare at a chunky CRT monitor, trying not to shake the massive desktop computer in case I damaged the hard disk. Resolutions were low. Videos were even worse and took up an entire CD. MP3 made it possible to store music files, but sometimes they'd stutter when you play them. Only having one single-core CPU was standard but also quite a limitation. Dual CPU systems were fairly uncommon, but then again so we're firewalls. Security involved running antivirus software as you ran everything else as an administrator. Encryption wasn't something people really talked about.

Okay, so not all of that has changed. Many people still use administrator accounts to do everything. Music can still stutter but mostly because we're streaming higher quality music over a mobile connection. Many people have given up storing music on their device. Most people have more than one device too. They all have multiple cores. Their screens are flicker-free and ridiculously thin and/or large, somehow squeezing 1080p resolutions into the palm of your hand - it probably won't be long before 4K becomes the norm. With solid state media you can drop your phone on the floor and the only thing that might happen is the screen could crack (especially if you're an iPhone user) or you dent the plastic.

Some of these things feel like magic. It's amazing to be able to see, hear, and do so much from the mobile phone in my hand, without it being physically connected to anything. I can't really imagine what will happen in another twenty years, I can only guess at what may or may not take off. In twenty years' time will we have fixed the problems of unencrypted email and websites, or will we have moved on (backwards?) to applications to communicate with each other? Will we replace screens with augmented reality? Will big data and AI completely replace traditionally manual tasks such as investments? Will we continue to progress, or will we regress like in Asimov's Foundation series of books?
Saturday 17th September, 2016 12:47
"Your client will happily derp away on SMB1 and share all its darkest secrets" LOL. Sigh. https://t.co/mVr0V353wB
Tuesday 13th September, 2016 19:51
Well that was a terrible start for Arsenal. Can't see us turning this around to a win. https://t.co/Gfi2Jveh1M
Saturday 10th September, 2016 13:10
Twitter's algorithm has clearly gone horribly wrong. Why would anyone follow an account about cups of tea? https://t.co/smayXM4eyv
Nexus 10 With CyanogenMod 13
Saturday 10th September, 2016 10:37
I recently retrieved my Nexus 10 from its drawer after several months of inactivity. Google abandoned the Nexus 10 earlier in 2016, as part of their standard support lifecycle. Nexus devices get security patches for at least 3 years from when the device first became available, or at least 18 months from when the Google Store last sold the device, whichever is longer. My Nexus phone is good for updates for another year (it may get the successor to Android 7?), and should get security updates for the next 2 years, so although I'm interested in the new Nexus phones (which may be sold under the Pixel brand?) I may stick with my phone for another year or two (assuming the power button doesn't go like on my old Nexus 5).

I've put older versions of CyanogenMod on some of my old devices in the past. My Samsung Galaxy Nexus was fairly slow with the latest stock, and moving to CyanogenMod didn't make things any better. I talked myself out of updating an original Nexus 7 to use CyanogenMod as there seems to be several known issues, plus it also is slow enough with stock. The Nexus 10 is a fairly decent device though. I decided to follow some basic instructions, but quickly worked out they were rubbish. It seems there have been problems in the past so people have suggested performing factory resets, which appears to wipe the files you've pushed to the device so you can't install them at the next step. I suspect the instructions may vary depending on the structure of your filesystem, so older Nexus 10 users may be able to get away with pushing files to other locations and maybe not losing them. In case anyone else wants to give this a try, here's what I did:

Download the files you need from the CyanogenMod and OpenGApps websites. I went with the latest releases and I'd recommend the nano version of Google Apps, although micro may work too.

Fire up Wug's Nexus Root Toolkit (NRT). I've used it many times in the past with my phones, but if this is your first time you'll want to install it and then do the Full Driver Installation and use the Google Drivers in Step 3. Make sure you get all the latest files for your device, although you'll only need the latest TWRP if all goes well. You could do everything from the command line, but why type when you can click?

Click the Launch button the get to the Advanced Utilities.

Fastboot Flash the Recovery and choose cm-13.0-20160820-SNAPSHOT-ZNH5YAO0J6-manta-recovery.img (you may want to use the latest TWRP, as I'm not that impressed with the CyanogenMod recovery if I'm honest, but I have no idea what the repercussions are).

Use Quick tools to Reboot Recovery

I used the CyanogenMod recovery and despite what I've read elsewhere, the options you need to choose are:

Select Factory reset then do a Full factory reset. This also wipes the /cache so you don't have to worry about the "Wipe" stage that some people mention.

Use NRT to Push/Pull Files and push the following files to /data/media (other guides may suggest other locations, but I had the best luck putting them here)
  • cm-13.0-20160820-SNAPSHOT-ZNH5YAO0J6-manta.zip
  • open_gapps-arm-6.0-nano-20160909.zip
Then use NRT to boot back into the CyanogenMod recovery and select Apply update

Choose from emulated and select the cm13* zip file you've already pushed to the device.

The instructions usually say to repeat the process for installing the latest Google Apps. I tried this with the Android 6 stock gapps zip, but it appears to be far too big for the relatively small system partition and results in a horrible error message. It seems this is a known issue, if you Google it, but isn't well communicated.

I rebooted to push the nano zip onto the device then booted back into recovery to try again separately. After doing this, CM13 was very unhappy with constant setup wizard and Google Play crash messages. I think I should have wiped the cache. To get around this, after clicking OK a lot I managed to swipe and bring up Settings and work my way to the factory reset option. This seemed to do the trick, but you probably just need to reboot into recovery and wipe the cache. Hopefully you'll avoid this step by installing the nano version of gapps.

I haven't tested if the mini gapps zip will fit, but it sounds like it could still be 30MB too big. You can probably fit the micro version, but nano will definitely work.

You should now be running CM13 with some Google applications. You can use the Play Store to manually install the other missing applications you'd normally get with stock. The Google Camera isn't easy to find, so I ended up going directly to this page using the device's browser, clicking on the Installed button (as it's installed on all my other devices?), and selecting my tablet.

Good luck!
Thursday 8th September, 2016 22:23
Google: "Eventually, we plan to label all HTTP pages as non-secure" https://t.co/jzrM8GQdbE
Sunday 4th September, 2016 18:42
Even with a one man advantage, this England team look poor. Such a boring football match. #SVKENG
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