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Topics - Zarhan

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Cosmo Communicator - Linux / Making Linux more mobile friendly
« on: May 30, 2023, 04:45:20 am »

  I've been playing out a bit with the Gemian, and it's default desktop environment (which is Plasma&KDE).

  I have to say that the experience, is, frankly quite crappy. I use Plasma on my laptop and desktop and it is great with larger screen, but not really geared for mobile and touchscreen.

  Any suggestion on a more mobile-friendly (meaning: Small touchscreen, no mouse) desktop environment? I guess I could just use Fluxbox if all else fails, but right now trying to select the undersizes icons is intolerable.

  (Frankly, I'm now trying to figure out something usable to do with the Cosmo. With Astro in hand, it's kind of redundant. Because the HDMI out is crap (fixed resolution), it's not easy to use this as a living room PC either...)

Astro Slide - Android / Astro update to V07
« on: May 23, 2023, 09:19:25 am »
Ok... Planet updater is now saying that the promised FW update is there.

Has anyone dared to try it yet? Any hassles? Did they get rid of the other two updaters?

I finally got around to installing Linux on Cosmo, now that Astro is my daily driver. I followed the instructions from with the "v4". It's booting and all that, but for some reason, I cannot get it to connect to my home wifi.

If I intentionally type in a wrong WPA-PSK password, the fact that the password is wrong is recognized - so it's definitely doing *something* with the wifi. However, with correct password, it never gets an IP address. Cosmo just seems to give up eventually.

Any idea how to get this going? I'd like to install basic updates but cannot really connect even to the network now...


Good news for Planet phones (that don't get security updates in any meaningful sense) is that Mediatek SoC probably does not have this vulnerability. Could anyone confirm this?

Bad news is that you can compromise a phone just by dialing to it via VoLTE call. And Google removed the capability to disable VoLTE on their phones..


  I'm pondering the Astro's camera. I'm using opencamera (set to use the camera 2 API).

  I'm attaching a picture. It's nothing special, it's just a pic of the rental car we drove around in New Zealand, taken at the rental firms parking lot. Hence I used Astro's camera.

  Here's first the full pic, in all it's glory.


  Take a look at any part of the picture, zoomed in:


  What on earth is causing these artifacts? Wiggly bits going all over?

  You'll notice that this is taken on bright summer day, ISO 115. It's *not* noise due to heavy amplification.

  This seems to be present in lots of other images as well, especially when there's lots of white or black surfaces. For skintones and the like it's not that bad (but e.g. take a look at the hills in the background). Any ideas on what's going on and if there's some opencamera setting that would fix it?

  Also, there seems to be a distortions (rectangular fisheye effect, so to speak - see how distorted the buildings on the side are), but that's more of an optical issue.

Cosmo Communicator - General Discussion / Planet's service times
« on: January 16, 2023, 03:26:44 am »

  now that I've gotten my Astro shakedown cruise completed, I've been thinking about installing Linux for the Cosmo. However, my Cosmo has very bad battery and I'd like to get it replaced. Apparently Planet still has a few SXX600's around. I also have a broken CoDI - maybe get that fixed as well.

  Does anyone have any experiences in how long does Planet take to complete service if I ship this over to them?

  The cost is probably a quite high so if it's going to be a hassle to do business I think I'll just forget about it...

Astro Slide - General Discussion / Second impressions
« on: January 13, 2023, 06:12:36 pm »
Continuation from now that i put Astro through a major test - 3 week trip to New Zealand. I am typing this on Qantas flight from Sydney with their inflight wifi - on Astro.

Summary: I love the darn thing. Worked with Optus (AU), Spark (NZ) and some provider in Singapore as well. No issues with wifi either.
Location works, even in car and offline - most of the time. Ironically the only place where GPS fix would not be reliable was Queenstown... but then again, it is basically built in a valley. Worked quite nicely even inside a boat in Doubtful sound.

Issues are minor, but ran into a few:

- Sometimes the device would not accept input from touch screen, and I had to reboot. It looks like some app is "overlaying" everything, including lock screen. Not sure how to repeat this.
- Android auto would sometimes fail. I could get it to work by either rebooting or killing navigation app (Here wego or google maps, both in offline mode). I noticed that AA would only work on right side USB port. Not sure if this was due to the rental car (Mitsubishi ASX, year 2020) or Astro
- USB charging did not work on planes. The usb port on the seat seemed to shut down both on Qantas A330 and Finnair A350. (Maybe fast charging negotiation?). Did not try on Qantas 737. OTOH, battery lasts a long time.

Anyway, I only hope that Planet would deliver the protection packs and gets those software updates going, but I love the hardware!

Astro Slide - Android / Astro's three (four?) system updaters
« on: December 15, 2022, 05:07:25 am »
I don't have the deejay-dota on my Astro that was mentioned in other thread, but I took at tcpdump out of my Wifi AP.

We have at least three system updaters in the system.

Under "About phone" we have Planet's updater. It talks to (and fails with a cert error). You can go with a browser to yourself and get a text "Cosmo Communicator Update Site ". Maybe this is spillover from Cosmo/ CoDi updater?

Then, next to that, we have "System update". It talks to Digitime, This reminds me of the problem with Cosmo. - not sure if I should be concerned.

Finally, under "system" we have yet another updater, that talks to and seems to have Google's look & feel to it.

I contacted Planet, let's see if they respond in any way about what's going on here..

Astro Slide - General Discussion / First impressions
« on: December 13, 2022, 01:30:17 pm »
Ok, got my Astro today...first impressions:

It's *thick*. The case I got earlier ( that fits just fine for Cosmo just barely closes with Astro, so it's *very* tight.
 => Minor annoyance: If the slider comes out even a millimeter when putting the device to case/pocket, the display comes on (locked of course). Of course it turns off after a while, but still...

Keyboard reassignment tool works, - I was able to swap the Ä/Ö for Finnish just fine, and I also mapped ALT+QWERTYUIOP  to 1234567890. This way, if I slide the device *almost* open but without rocking up, I'm able to type in numbers (only missing a convenient place to put backspace to... ).

I didn't get deejoy-dota problems or having the device coming with Chinese country settings. It started directly by asking my language & kb layout.

Disabled OneSearch.

Build quality has signs of slight shoddiness. On the left side, near Esc key, there's a tiny strip of plastic that is loose (just surrounding the keyboard). Might be that a *very* small drop of glue would fix this.

The Rockup mechanism/keyboard hinge is *metal* so not concerned about that breaking as such, but of course it might bend out of shape if I drop it. Anyway: METAL, not even reinforced plastic.

Installed OpenCamera, the camera quality with 48 MP looks quite good. Face detection works even in ridiculously dark light. Haven't of course done any involved quality measurements in case there's some quirks (as Shuntcap discovered with Cosmo).

Noticed that the navigation buttons (triangle, circle, square) in landscape mode appear in reverse order compared to Cosmo. This broke my muscle memory. I'm using Nova Launcher but that doesn't seem to be the cause. I'm not sure what is the "Correct" order but I prefer the triangle ("back") to be on top instead of bottom.

Sometimes, when I close the Rock-up, I get bunch of 'pppppppppppp's written to the google search bar. The sliding mechanism presses down on that key.

Need to put a SIM card in later this week and actually try some calls.

Astro Slide - Hardware / Astro battery module model
« on: November 04, 2022, 04:15:22 pm »
Question for those who have gotten their Astro: Have you checked out what the model of the battery is?

I'm just wondering, in light of the (un)availabity of Cosmo/Gemini SXX600's, whether they have picked a battery model that might have some longer sales period, or should we stock up spare batteries in advance just in case...

Astro Slide - General Discussion / Belt cases for Astro?
« on: October 29, 2022, 11:13:05 am »
With Cosmo, we had a thread before: - I got myself a case from eBay and have been generally happy with it.

Astro is slightly less wide than Cosmo, but bigger in the other dimensions (although that 1.4 mm difference in height could probably be worked around by Using the Force - leather is flexible). However, since it's also thicker, that will probably be a problem.

Astro Dimensions: 172.4 x 76.5 x 18.7mm
Cosmo Dimensions 171 x 79.3 x 17.3mm

So...any ideas on where to get a suitable belt case for this (that would allow horizontal placement?).

No, I still do not have the device. It's been at "contribution locked" since August and Planet has been giving pretty much useless or no updates at all, but I'm trying to remain positive that I'll get the darn thing soon, so starting to look into this as well.

Cosmo Communicator - Hardware / Cosmo batteries
« on: October 23, 2022, 03:34:56 pm »

  my Cosmo's battery is starting to be very degraded - I can get maybe 30 minutes of active usage out of it after disconnecting from charger.

  There doesn't seem to be any place left that would sell SXX600 batteries anymore.

  I was thinking about sending this to Planet for CoDI repairs and battery replacement after getting the Astro, but since that has been so ridiculously delayed and knowing Planet's service response times, I'd rather not part with my daily driver.

  Anyway, any idea where one could still source an SXX600 battery? I use a power bank for now and can probably live with it if I get Astro at some point "soon" (contribution has been locked since August...), but it would still be nice to get a fresh battery ASAP.

  I heard a rumor that Planet has a small stockpile of these, so if all else fails I guess I have to send it to them in the end if no other alternative exists...

Astro Slide - Android / Generic system images on Mediatek
« on: May 25, 2022, 03:30:03 am »
Hi, related to previous post about LineageOS, but the generic consensus seems to be that you cannot easily run custom Androids on Astro (or Cosmo, or Gemini) because mediatek does not have open source drivers.

Since I'm still worried that Planet does not really guarantee that they will provide timely updates, I'd like to somehow prepare for that eventuality.

However, I recently learned that there's this concept of GSI, and apparently that's a thing where the Android gets updated and drivers can remain so you do not need to rebuild them for every time the OS gets an update.

Can someone who knows a bit more about things that could this be used for ensuring software availability on an Astro for the foreseeable future? You'd of course lose all the Planet-specific stuff (Airmail etc), and possibly some event handling for when you open the keyboard and similar, but other than that, is this feasible? says

"Treble. The GSI includes full support for the AIDL/HIDL-based architectural changes (also known as Treble), including support for the AIDL interfaces and HIDL interfaces. You can use the GSI on any Android device that uses AIDL/HIDL vendor interfaces. (For more details, see Architecture resources.)".

Some thread on reddit included caveats like "you need to be able to unlock bootloader". Well, that's not a problem on Planet products.

And I also found this build of AOSP, - any thoughts?

I really wouldn't have this in mind at all if Planet's commitment to device support would be more transparent...but I'd like to be prepared.

Astro Slide - Hardware / Battery longevity, max/min charge level in Android
« on: February 15, 2022, 05:04:02 am »
As I hopefully get the Astroslide soon-ish I'd like to be prepared to perhaps treat it's battery better than Cosmo's.

Does Android 11 come with any battery charge level settings built-in? Or are we still required to root the phone and use software like this that may or may not work?

It's just that setting my EV to charge to max 80% every night is a trivial, built-in feature, and same goes for my Thinkpad laptop, do Android phones have any "elegant" options for setting the max battery charge level to 80% and making it not recharge until SoC has dropped below 40%? Or something like that...

Cosmo Communicator - Android / [Resolved] Recording phone calls
« on: October 06, 2021, 08:35:45 am »

  is there any free and preferably open source application for recording your phone calls? All I'd need it to do is save the calls to flash (or memory card). Having a 2-channel (stereo) recording with local and remote side on separate channels a bonus.

  I tried this, but it only recorded my end so doesn't really work...

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