before there was an iPad or an Android Phone,
I saw the promise of
Portable Tablet Computing combined with Open
Source and UNIX-based
Software. In the late 1990's I, along with
did some work to modify existing XFree86
pen tablet drivers to support Fujitsu, Ricoh,
and IBM pen-based
Linuxslate.com was registered in 2000 to
distribute, document, discuss,
and support these drivers and related
Today, all Android Phones and Tablets are
and Linuxslate.com continues to provide
relevant software and
hardware development, commentary, and reviews,
commentary and reviews pertaining to other
technology and gadgets.
I am an Aerospace Engineer, Technology
Hobbyist, Technology Consumer
Advocate, and Open Source Evangelist.
discussing technology and educating others
technology and science. To this end, I
articles and post
them on the Commentary
I also do presentations
groups (Local computer users groups,
business groups, etc.)
has moved to OnNow.net.
supports Open Source Projects, so
Linuxslate.com Supports OnNow. Check
them out for your
25 September 2022 Tooobs! Linux supports High Bit Rate Audio files and once configured correctly, it will make the most out of High-End Digital to Analog Converters (DACs). But once that sound becomes analog, there's no better way to appreciate it than pure Vacuum Tube Audio*.
I repair vintage High Fidelity Vacuum Tube amplifiers, and design and build modern Hi-Fi amplifiers using new production tubes and modern Switch Mode Power Supplies.
Regulated SMPS power allows operation from 100-240 VAC, and maximizes tube heater life while maintaining exact tube bias.
Large value, high quality coupling capacitors. Combined with the nearly sag-free SMPS, this produces low-end power that exceeds expectations for tube amplifiers.
Some designs incorporate internal High Fidelity DACs.
My designs never pass audio through a potentiometer wiper or slide switch contact. Scratchy volume controls are a feature of vintage audio that I don't miss.
26 December 2019
As promised back in September, Linuxslate.com finaly gets back to its roots with a review of a cool and tiny linuxslate. Read the full review of the Xiaomi Qin 2 "AI Assistant" -- Including why this article is 2 months late... Continue reading here.
28 September 2019 What's All This About Radiation Meters on a Linux Website?!
Fear Not!! Check back soon for a review of a very unique, new, and inexpensive Linuxslate coming soon. So What will be reviewed? Well, here is a hint: Keep in mind that All Android Phones are Linuxslates. OK, So it is a mobile phone. That's not much of a hint!
OK, So here is a Bigger hint: This includes devices running Android 9 "Go". What's Android Go? Maybe you should read up here or here before the review.
28 September 2019
Linuxslate.com Reviews Yet Another Portable Radiaton detector.
How does the newest offering from Soeks-USA Stack up against the Rodnik 3 reviewed in the link below?
09 August 2014
review the iReadyGO MUCH G2 Android 4.2
Gaming Phone (and we don't
review the Much i5/i5s either.) Why is
reviewing these really cool Android Gaming
phones? Because there
are already great reviews by FreakTab user
Deen0X located here
(Much G2) and here
(Much i5). OK... Well maybe we
did review the Much G2 just a little...
Read my comments after Deen0X's in this
thread on FreakTab."If you are in
the market for a Chinese phone in this
price range, the MUCH G2 will not
disappoint you even if you are accustom to
phones from the major manufactures. You
also get some game controls (basically for
"free") as a nice additional aspect to an
occasional game. Just don't expect it to
really support every function of serious
--- 05 August 2014
USB charging isn't actually Evil, It's just
misunderstood. Let's learn a little
about these so-called wall-warts, and we'll
answer a few questions like:
Why does it
sometimes seem to take
a phone hours to charge, and other times
it seems to charge up rather
difference between a
slow charger and a fast charger?
Will a "Fast Charger" charge all
phones more quickly?
Will I burn out my
phone or it's battery if I charge it
with the charger that came with my
Can I use my
friend's charger for his HTC phone on my
Samsung phone (or vise-versa)?
Can someone steal
the pictures and other personal data
from my phone if I use an unknown
02 April 2014 It's
latest "invention"! I call it the WW3SSII
(Washer With 3
Screws Stuck In It), what what good is
a WW3SSII? It helps you
take over the world.... OK well, it probably
won't really help you do
that, at least not directly, but it will
help you make Cloverleaf
Antennas that are closer to commercially
built ones. Cloverleaf
antennas are used for FPV
flying of Radio Controlled aircraft.
27 February 2014 It's
the First New
Review in Quite a While: The
RCA 7" Android Internet Music System.
The best way to
explain it is to simply list out why this is
poor Android tablet -- and then I will
explain why it doesn't matter. This unit,
combined with an HD TV,
a Google Chromecast make a great bedroom or
spare room media
It's not quite ready for Joe
consumer, but it's a must-have for
true Android affectionado.
05 November 2012
Guide Posted - The
Buyers Guide to Android HDMI Sticks,
Set-top Boxes, and
Seemingly thousands of small,
Android-powered mini-PC's have appeared
on the market recently. Media Players,
Boxes, Smart TV Sticks, Mini-PC's... call
them what you want, but
they are miniature computers that run the
Android Operating System. But
buying one of these devices can be an
intimidating step, especially
if you are not an Android "Pro". This
article will explain these
devices, and cover various features.
20 March 2012
OK, it's been a while since I've posted
anything to this site. It
may seem counter-intuitive, but that is
because too much is going
on. Since almost every* Android device
is a Linux Slate, there
are now hundreds, if not thousands of them,
and they are the sold in
the largest quantity of any platform.
Thousands of sites provide
reviews, forums, and advice. This site
was the first (That I know
of), and it's time has passed. We
really do live in an Linuxslate
I'll keep maintaining the site, and when I
have something to say, I
will. I'm also on Google
so ad me to your circles there for quick
updates and news.
I also want to give one last (for now) bit
of advice. When
deciding what Android device to buy, make
sure that there is a mature
and well maintained community firmware, such
available or in serious development for
it. Unfortunately, with
things like CarrierIQ, and so much bloatware
being installed by the
carriers, this is a necessity. It does
not mean you have to use a
community firmware, it just means you should
know you can fall back on
it should you need to. A
list of devices currently
supported by Cyanogen(mod) is listed here.
Lastly, I want to mention Linuxslate.com's
new sister website,
CarCynic.com. Like the tag-line says,
Technology, and other Absolute
Nonsense". There's not much there
now, but hopefully we'll have some fun,
humor, and just a little bit of
actual useful information.
Please hit CarCynic.com.
* So what Android devices are not
Linuxslates? There are several
Android set-top boxes and media players that
do not have their own
screens at all, so they are not slates.
25 November 2010 New
Review: The Viewsonic G-Tablet.
It's a Good news - Bad news - Good news
story with this NVidia
based 10 inch Android Tablet. Really
great hardware is ruined by
poor firmware. Fortunately, again the
community comes to the
rescue with a largely fixed firmware. Read
16 October 2010 Back
in the days when I was a laser tech, I
worked on a
500 mW air cooled Argon laser. I
remember being impressed that it
plugged into a standard outlet, and did not
require water cooling. The
laser head and the power supply could both
fit on a moderately sized
table. Back then, the idea of a hand
laser that could run on a single, small
rechargeable battery and
nearly twice that much power was pure
fantasy. But in one of the most
impressive cases of science fiction becoming
reality I have seen in my
lifetime, it's now true. The Wicked
Lasers Arctic Sypder III 1 Watt Blue Hand
Held Laser is a
revolutionary product, but as is often the
case with such cutting edge
technology, the first generation (G1) of
these products are widely
suffer from early failures. Mine was
one of the first ones
shipped, and it lasted only a few days of
sporadic use before failing. Rather than
deal with the cost and time
involved with returning the laser to China,
as well as the risk that a
replacement laser may be delayed or
confiscated by US Customs, I
decided to attempt to diagnose and repair
the laser myself. My
findings, and a technical description of
part of the circuitry of this
controversial and revolutionary product can
be found in this
paper (PDF format). Article
14 October 2010 To go along
the Dell Streak Mini USB adapter listed
below, I have made a USB
cable. This allows not only USB
keyboards to be used with the
Dell Streak (host mode), but also some other
USB devices such as USB
Flash Drives, and even Hard Drives. My
cable also works with the Dell Streak Home Dock.
access, and the O2 2.1 firmware is required
for USB Storage Device
support. Details of what's needed to use USB
Storage Devices on the
Dell Streak is detailed in this
on the Linuxslate.com Forums.
I'll update this post with
pictures in a day or so. Article
21 Aug 2010 I have made
my own mini USB
adapter for the Dell Streak. Here's a
short video demostrating this device.
A Dell USB Charge/Sync
cable gave it's life for this since I have
not yet been able buy the
Here to See
the Video on Youtube. Article
18 Aug 2010 A
brand new Dell
Home Dock has gone under the screwdriver in
the name of science.
Based on this tear-down,
Linuxslate.com can confirm that the Dell
Streak is using PDMI
testing shows that the Dock Connector pinout
is in agreement with what
is shown in this Pinout
I cannot confirm presence or absence of the
USB 3.0 Pins as these are
not brought out to any connector on the Dell
Home Dock. With the
exception of one tiny 6 pin component
associated with the HDMI
connector, a few small filter capacitors,
and some 0 Ohm protection
jumpers, there is no actual circuitry in the
dock. Click on the
picture for a larger view, and click here for
a closeup of the board. --- Oh,
and how did the story end?
[Additional Tags: Disassembly, HDMI, DVI,
30 July 2010 Sometimes
good to be wrong. My local Kmart just
got the Augen 7"
Android tablet, and I just picked one
up. I have a quick
which I'll update as I gain more experience
with this unit..
27 July 2010 As the Dell
US Launch Fiasco continues, I get news
of more cool
technology you can't buy, Kmart
is advertising this Augen 7" Android Tablet
in this week's sales flyer,
but you can't order it on line, and the
local Kmart has not seen
No one else has yet either,
apparently. Kmart says they are
for the so-far nonexistent unit at a sale
price of $149.99.
Even at the non-sale price of $169.99, it
would be a great deal if
are much better than similar
units sold through the direct from
places: 800MHz processor 2MB of internal
storage, SD Card Slot, and
Android 2.1 on board -- I sure hope
I'm wrong, and these units
actually show up at the store. If they
do, you'll see at least a
review here, but until then, count me as a
27 July 2010
Updated: 02 Dec 2010 At
first glance the Dell Streak
seems to have the same
30 pin connector as the iPhone/iPod.
shows that such is not the case. So
what sort of connector is
that? Is it proprietary? Why use
it instead of Mini or
Micro USB? What signals are available?
Can we home-brew some
cables and adapters? Well, I don't
even have my Streak yet, but I
have a suspicion. I think the Dell
Streak is one of the first
major devices to use the PDMI standard, or
at least a variation of
it. PDMI stands for Portable Digital
Media Interface and is an
ANSI/CEA standard. It defines a 30 pin
connector with the following
USB 2.0 Port, including limited
Current Charging and
High Current Charging (for faster
charging of devices
with higher capacity batteries)
Stereo Analog Audio
USB 3.0 Port
2 Lane Display Port (Digital Video and
The page on the right from the CEA PDMI
Technical Overview shows the
Click for a larger view or get the document
from the links below.
Of course this does not mean that the Streak
supports all of
these. In addition, 1080p Video
requires a 4 Lane Display Port,
so the Streak is hardware limited to
something less i.e. 720p. Update: A reader points out
that 2 Lane
Display Port is capable of
1080p (albeit with certain color and scan
rate limitations), but the
overall point is still the same -- the Dell
Streak is still likely
hardware limited to 720p video out. Wikipedia
on PDMI (Source for this article) DisplayPort
(PDF) (Includes Pinout on Page 74)
02 July 2010 Why
am I so anxious for a Dell
Streak when Dell is getting another
of bad press from the capacitor issue?
there are 2 aspects to this. First is
the issue of
trust and goodwill toward the company, and
Second is the Streak itself.
I believe Dell did not behave properly when
the capacitor issue hit.
But who exactly am I going to buy a phone
from? Apple has had issues
the past, and arguably is not doing
the right thing now with the
issue. Then there was the Sony
debacle. There's HP's little spying
and how about Motorola and possible GPL
violations? I could go
on. To be clear, I am not saying any
of these actions are OK, but
it's not a choice of Dell vs. "Good
Company", it's buy or don't buy,
and I want -- arguably need -- a
phone. As far as the capacitors
themselves, it's true that this was not just
a Dell issue. I know
because I've replaced bad electrolytics in
many devices. I expect
that the build quality of the Streak will be
better than off-brand
Chinese stuff, and probably better than HTC,
but less than the Motorola
Milestone or the iPhone3GS. Building one of
these things is not like
building a PC. In a device with this
high a parts density, and
this type of SMT,
there is just not that much variation in
build. The story is the same
for the parts suppliers. The device has also
be pretty durable.
I think is is very nearly as nice looking as
the Motorola Milestone,
but has better specs, and is likely to be
cheaper than I can get a
North American version of a Milestone
for. I like the slate
form factor (I wonder why?), and if I am
going to have nearly 4x the
pixels of 1st gen Android Phones, I'd
actually like to be able to see
them. I almost always wear cargo pants, so
carrying it will not be a
problem. If I want a large screen
Android phone with replaceable
storage, and a front facing camera, my
choice of alternatives pretty
much goes to zero. Will I look silly holding
something so large to the
side of my head when I make a call?
Nah... I have a Bluetooth
Banana, so I won't
look silly at all!
28 June 2010 The
Streak is now on sale SIM-Free in the UK.
cost is \A3449 with VAT and UK Shipping
(\A3365.11 Without VAT or
shipping.) As far as a US price, the
number $500.00 has been
circulating around the 'net based on a
comment made in a video
All Things D. A Dell Media
Contact has informed
Linuxslate.com that Dell has not
announced a price for an unlocked
Streak in the US. What was meant
in the video is that typically,
unsubsidized, unlocked, smart phones cost
about $500 more than the
subsidized price (2 year contract,
locked phone), and that the
Streak would likely not be significantly
different. (Watch the video
and see what the Dell guy actually says.)
So, if the Streak is (My
example) $99 w/ a 2 year plan on AT&T,
them we might expect
it to be $599 unlocked on Dell.com, If it's
$199 With a 2 year plan, it
may be $699 unlocked (My numbers
again). As of this
writing, \A3449 is approx. $678, so
those figures are in line with
the UK pricing.
Additionally, The UK version has only
900/2100 MHz UMTS support.
This means that if you buy a unlocked
UK Dell Streak and try to
use it on AT&T in the US, 3G will not
work. (Edit: Removed
possibly incorrect T-Mobile Statement) Rumor
has it that the US version will have
850/1900/2100 MHz UMTS.
Oh... One other thing about the Dell
Streak... I WANT ONE !!
11 May 2010 My
latest article has nothing to do with Linux,
and nothing to do with
slates. As forum
readers know, I am a Citroen automobile
enthusiast and owner.
I'll have more posted about my car
eventually, but for now, here's
article on Citroen - Related Music.
Even if you don't have a
Citroen, you may discover some interesting
13 December 2009 Mini
Banana sold by DealExtreme:
a Bluetooth headset in plastic banana, it
can be paired with anything
that supports the BT handsfree or headset
profile. Yes, it's
silly, but its useful too.
Makes a great VoIP handset for your
PC, Laptop, MID
Reduces RF exposure as compared to
mobile next to your brain.
realistic looking, I've reached for it
thinking it was a real banana.
The slightly rubberized paint
makes is almost feel real too.
Buttons work well; not likely to make
Multicolor LED gives clear indication
Good range and battery life.
People who see you use it will think
you are CrAzY.
(No, I did not get this point in
the wrong place.)
Can only be paired to one device at a
Charge connector is not standard
Tin-ey sound quality.
The let down that occurs when you are
realize you can't actually eat it.
You can contact me by sending email to any
user name at this domain, or
sending email to:
Why is this a
instead of a mailto: link? Spammers and
viruses often scan webpages to look for email
also scan webpages in infected computer's web
caches. (80% of spam is spread by
infected Windows computers
scanners are usually simple text scanners, and
they cannot read the above graphic into
characters like a human can.
The background is intened to both look cool,
and possibly fool programs
that attempt to read the graphic.
Linux is a
trademark of Linus
the property of the companies
that own them.
Tux, the Linux
created by Larry Ewing.