Category: tech

redirect

i have migrated my blog posts to blogger.com for now. i will no longer be posting new content here.

in the future, i will direct the mocktech.com domain to that location (or another…still deciding on a self-hosted solution). i cannot make that change now for other purposes of the domain name like it is now.

if you want to visit the new site, the url is blog.mock.tech.




nexus 5 replaced

a couple of week before heading on vacation, i started having problems with my nexus 5. it had been trouble-free up until this point. then one fateful tuesday, all that changed.

my n5 started randomly rebooting. since i had manually flashed the latest version of lollipop (5.1.1), i considered it might have been something a little glitchy with how that had been done. i was doubtful, but as the frequency of the restarts increased i did a quick google search for cause and fix.

one suggestion was to clear the cache partition. i booted into recovery and wiped my cache out. it didn’t seem to have an effect. by the time i was driving home, it was consistently rebooting…and it just failed to start.

i got home and plugged the phone in for a standard power feed. it would boot for about one second then recycle. it wasn’t even long enough to get into the bootloader. without power, it wouldn’t boot.

i did quick surgery on it, taking the back off, unplugging the battery, and reattaching it. it acted like it had plugged it in (one second start up) and then nothing.

i had ordered a new battery for it from amazon, but it was set to arrive (from china) later in the month. i quick ordered another in case the battery was the issue somehow.

then i started to wonder if the battery was not the problem, would i have a working mobile device with me on vacation. i asked google support about things. they only cover it for a year, and this nexus 5 was a 18 months old. they suggested i contact lg, who manufactures the phone. i checked their support agreement, and i wasn’t sure they were going to cover the reason this was a problem.

i went to ebay to search for a used replacement. after poking around, i discovered a few in good condition which could hold me over until later this year when the next generation of the nexus 5 would be released.

after about five days of back and forth with a few sellers, i bagged a good black nexus 5 with 32gb storage (just like my original).

i did the transfer of all my stuff after, of course, unlocking the phone and dropping a new recovery image on it including root access. i have the device which i hope will last me until october (maybe october…or november).




more keyboard redesigns from lenovo

lenovo has had a history of screwing with keyboard layouts on their products. from thinkpads back as far as the T40 series, they have moved and shuffled keys around for the sake of the rest of their machines’ designs.

i recall glenn making a comment about his thinkpad because the escape key was placed above the F1 key. for a programmer running linux (and using vi), pressing the escape key is a regular occurrence. it’s maddening to get the help screen every time you reach up to exit insert mode!

there have been several lenovo laptops i’ve skipped over because the keyboard layout is non-standard.

and here is another example of this case: the new lenovo yoga 3. first, let’s look at a keyboard from the yoga 2, which follows a standard layout:

lenovo yoga 2 keyboard

see how the row of function keys are above the number keys and the tildé/accent key is above the tab key? that’s important. now, look at what they’ve done to their latest laptop keyboard:

lenovo yoga 3 keyboard

they have moved the tildé/accent key to the other side of the keyboard! they eliminated the whole function key row. i can already predict how my keyboarding experience would be on this laptop!

but perhaps i’m not seeing this as lenovo sees it. perhaps they don’t intend to market it to programmers or people who use that key in that spot often. given that they completely removed the function key row, non-techies seem to be more the audience for this device.

and it won’t matter anyway. lenovo will have yet another and different keyboard design next laptop line they introduce.