Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - Daniel W

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 25
That's certainly a sign of life. Thank you for sharing that. For the benefit of us all, I wish you the best of luck in your negotiations.

As some kind of follow-up on my own situation: since Planet hasn't yet returned my Astro, doesn't answer email and my Cosmo is crumbling, I have now moved to a cheap regular smartphone (and an external bluetooth keyboard). While less convenient, it's nice to have a device with a somewhat current version of Android again, that I dare to update, and a camera driver written by someone with a hunch about photography.

Until, if ever, Planet gets anything smartphone related going again, I probably don't have much reason to be here, though I guess I'll check in once in a while anyway. It would be really nice if mid-spec productivity-oriented "real keyboard" phones could become a viable, stable "UMPC of Chromebooks" niche, perhaps in cooperation with an established manufacturer, rather than some nebulous "ODM partner" that might be gone tomorrow. Time will tell.

Sorry for further derailing this thread, but as "Q:Anything from Planet? A:No!" is kind of exhausted, here goes:

Yes, the ZAGG Pocket foldable bluetooth keyboard (194g and 223.5 x 54.5 x 14.5 mm folded) is pretty similar in design. This Voxicon BT Mini 199B is a wee tad neater (161g and about 202 x 46 x 15 mm folded), which makes the layout a tad cramped, with shrunk, incorrectly staggered number keys, and Ä in the wrong spot, but as it barely fits my relevant pockets, I can't really go bigger and I'm pretty pleased.

The device holder is basic and compact. For beyond 8" tablets, I'd recommend a larger keyboard. It charges via old Micro-USB. AFAIK Voxicon is a store brand for the Nordic web retailer Dustin. The keyboard presents itself as "DK-199B-G" which seems to be their article number. It might be a "B.O.W HB199", with a Nordic layout and a slightly different firmware.

Thank you for Jake suggesting the Unihertz. Long ago, I had devices in a similar form factor. Sony Ericsson P990, Nokia E70, E71 and E6-00 comes to mind. While useful for brief notes and basic messaging, they wouldn't do for things like taking real time meeting notes or working with larger documents. The longest text I've written on my Cosmo so far, is a bit over 800 000 characters, and it's not done yet.

For such use cases, putting a Gemini, Cosmo or Astro on a table and typing with both hands, is about as small as I can go. Once upon a time I had a Psion Revo, with a keyboard layout similar to the Planet devices, but rather than 14.5mm, the letter keys were about 13mm wide, which was too small for me, so something like a fxtec pro1x would probably just end up being frustrating for me.

I have a reasonably good (non backlit, unfortunately) foldable Bluetooth keyboard, with an integrated phone holder, 15.5mm wide letter keys (and dedicated keys for Å and Ä). It looks like this (Gemini keyboard and a swipe card for scale)

While nowhere near as convenient as an integrated keyboard, it at least works with most regular smartphones.

Oh, well, this is sliding off topic. Planet still hasn't replied to my third email in about a month, so I guess it about time to go shopping. Would the Astro ever return, it might be good to have a fully working spare phone, unless I'd find a new home for it. We'll see.

According to Astro Update #84 from July 18, 2023, they've fulfilled 1632 Astro perks, out of a 3000 unit production run, that stalled when state owned Yibin Electronics "acquired" their factory partner, which then lost key staff and, as it seems, basically confiscated the remaining produced stock and other parts Planet had already paid for. I doubt any further production has happened anywhere since then.

Though I know the Astro needs "a full project reboot" and the beige XR desktop lookalike in the Business London Press article might be part of that, at the moment, it seems they don't respond to e-mail or even repairs devices they previously requested to have sent in. Mine is in Limbo.

I've made one more e-mail attempt and will report back here when something happens, or not. If they still won't reply, I must probably get another phone. As the performance of a Cosmo is enough for me, it wouldn't have to be that expensive, but I would miss the keyboard.

Astro Slide - General Discussion / Re: Astro screen randomly shutting off
« on: February 15, 2024, 06:38:56 am »
Sorry for being late to the party. I had this issue too, even before the V07 update.

In my case, I narrowed it down to the screen brightness. If set below 17%, my screen would soon go completely black. Increasing the brightness manually (Fn+N on my Fin/Swe layout) made it wake up again. This issue made auto brightness useless for me, as the screen would go black when it got dim enough, so I used to set my brightness manually and avoid going below 20%.

I hoped V07 would fix the issue, but it completely disabled my screen (my Astro has been with Planet for months, without getting fixed and now they seem to have stopped responding to e-mail too). :-\

Hi all.

From a personal point of view, they got my Astro for reflashing in early October -23 (the V07 update disabled my screen). When asking in late November, I was told they had it, and would get back to me. Then, nothing... One week apart, I recently made two attempts, to get an estimate of when I may get it back fixed. The auto-replies came quickly, but no actual responses. Yes, I checked my spam folder.

Their web site is up, with some things in stock, but also "Pre-order for Xmas 23 delivery"... Their shop has a few dozen articles, but mostly looks like a template. No stock status on anything, no terms, conditions, shipping, warranty or contact information, not even article numbers... The support site hasn't been touched since 2021.

I did find these articles from 2024

Both seems to suggest they are doing something... though fixing devices botched by their own software updates doesn't appear to be one of them.

So I wonder: Has anyone here seen any actual signs of life from Planet lately? I'm not into social media much. Are they posting anything there, with any regularity?

Astro Slide - Android / Re: Astro update to V07
« on: September 05, 2023, 11:34:50 am »
Just as a follow-up... I'm not solving this myself. Yesterday, I made a third attempt at contacting Planet. This time, they answered promptly and told me to send the device in to them. I just dropped it off at my postal service center, so all I can do for a while now is to wait and hope for the best.

Edit 2023-Oct-09: Apparently, my Astro arrived Planet today, after a month of "being customs cleared", which is extra weird, given that it is being (and is labelled as) returned for repairs, so it's not like it's being "imported" or should be subject to any further fee, or anything...

Astro Slide - Android / Re: Astro update to V07
« on: July 28, 2023, 07:04:09 pm »
I would find it rather intriguing if Daniel and others could fix their black screen issue by using the HDMI adapter and setting the brightness to max and/or setting the background to just a white image...
Sorry for being slow to react... been sick a few days.
Ten days ago I tried to create a new support issue. Beyond the automated confirmation of them receiving my e-mail... nothing. Disappointing.

If I, pre-V07, set my display brightness below 17%, the entire screen would go black. Turning the brightness up a bit with the keyboard shortcuts would reliably activate it again. To prolong the life of the screen, I mostly used fairly low brightness settings, but rarely below 20% due to the blackout issue. Since I applied the V07 update in the evening, the brightness was likely around that value then.

When my Astro restarted with a black screen, trying to turn the brightness up, was probably the first thing I tried. Once I had connected the HDMI, restarted and got a picture that way, I could see in the settings that the brightness was all the way up, at 100%, confirming that the Astro had indeed registered my repeated attempts, just without actually turning the screen on again.

To leave no stone unturned, I made a while background today and set it as both the lock screen and home screen. With the brightness still at 100%, I rebooted, disconnected the HDMI adapter and... nothing, as kind of expected. I then repeated the experiment at 50%, just in case, to no avail. I also tried turning on adaptive brightness, which promptly lowered the brightness to 16%, which at least pre-V07 would have given me a black screen, without HDMI.

It might be worth repeating that I know that the screen, technically speaking, is on when HDMI isn't connected. After each of the reboots today, I put on headphones, to hear the clicks when typing my SIM PIN on the keyboard. Tapping the black screen at that point, also produces the same clicks in my headphones, proving that the screen indeed registers them.

As an extra confirmation, today I logged in blindly, double-tapped escape to start the camera app, and pecked at the black screen about where the shutter button would be. Sure enough, already on the first attempt (just luck), I heard the shutter sound in my headphones. When HDMI is connected though, it seems the internal screen is off completely or, at least, it or Android doesn't register taps.

Astro Slide - Android / Re: Astro update to V07
« on: July 18, 2023, 03:36:24 pm »
Thank you for sharing. I'm glad your screen reliability issue seemingly went away with a factory reset.
For Oliver Riesen, who seems to have a problem more similar to mine (his screen is on, but with trippy colours), a factory reset did not help. Since my screen remains off all the time, I'm reluctant to try a factory reset myself. Should, during any phase of the reset, external HDMI not work, I could get stuck, with no way out.

I finally got myself to contact Planet today again. Last time they stopped responding after two days, and the sad news of Update #84 might suggest they're currently busy with bigger problems than my screen, but, well... nothing is likely going to happen, unless I keep asking.

Astro Slide - Android / Re: Astro update to V07
« on: July 02, 2023, 04:37:30 pm »
Thank you for sharing. If this is correct, perhaps I lost a possible solution to my screen issue by installing 07B yesterday. As it installed fine, yet left the screen disabled, I have begun suspecting that the botched update did something it shouldn't have, perhaps to the display controller, and that whatever it did won't unhappen just by using another image, unless it is specifically crafted for the purpose.

If reverting to the factory boot slot could have helped, Planet should reasonably have mentioned it, weeks ago, while they still answered my e-mails, instead of just talking about the complexities of flashing. I may have to start over with a new support case and see if they begin answering again, though, in my experience, they tend to go quiet when don't have anything to say, so I'm not that hopeful.

Either way, if meaningful, I suppose flashing a copy, from somewhere, of the original image, would still, in theory, be possible. In reality, while I am a Windows software developer, with a few hours of Linux experience, I have no grasp on firmware flashing, and there seems to be plenty of pitfalls. As of now, though my Astro does show up for file transfer in Windows, when I plug in a USB cable to the right hand port, ADB can only see it via WiFi, which I suspect isn't low level enough, should it be needed for anything serious.

I did peek at your guide on rooting, which seems geared towards more knowledgeable tinkerers. From what I could grasp there, flashing seems to involve a command line Git client (which I have at work, but never use, as Visual Studio has an integrated frontend), some version of Python, Mtkclient and some serial port drivers... In other places I've read about things like scatter files, which, whatever they are, seems to ensure tragedy, unless treated exactly right...

Oh, well, I'm not even sure what I'm going on about here. It just seems getting this fixed at home, keeps getting ever more elusive...

Astro Slide - General Discussion / Re: Pictures of the Astro
« on: July 01, 2023, 06:33:49 pm »
I am posting to this old thread to keep these together with my previous Astro photos. Since the screen of my Astro didn't turn on again after the V07 Android update, I've been looking for things to try. Today, I carefully took a guitar pick and some patience to the rear cover to see if I could briefly unplug the battery to completely power cycle the motherboard (running down the battery until the Astro turned off didn't help). What I found looked a bit too scary to begin disassembling nilly-willy, so I just took a quick pictures and snapped the cover back on. Getting it to completely snap back into place was about as hard as getting it off in the first place. It seems it would be easy to break some little piece of plastic. Anyway, here's my pictures:

Astro Slide - Android / Re: Astro update to V07
« on: July 01, 2023, 05:07:05 pm »
In another thread I found this
Never use the `b` partition on the Astro. It's a bit odd in partition structure, but you should be using the 'a' slot - I believe 'b' acts as temporary storage for OTA updates, where the new files are written there, then copied over to the 'a' slot.
Good to know. It also means there never was a "good" partition to try to revert to anyway. The next thing then, was to try the 07B update, which, as I expected by now, changed nothing, so the screen in my Astro still will not turn on.

I have noticed that if I have the HDMI adapter plugged in to the left hand port and a USB cable to a PC in the right hand port, the Astro typically does not show up in Windows, not even in the device manager. If I reboot with both cables still plugged in, the Astro does show up in Windows afterwards. I can also get it to show up by booting and logging in blindly, without the HDMI, and then plugging in just the USB cable to the PC in the right hand port. Thus, I'm able to transfer files that way now, should I want to, but I had already copied whatever I might care about to a micro SD card.

ADB still doesn't find the Astro in either cable configuration, which makes me wonder if whatever generic driver makes the Astro show up as a portable device in Windows isn't enough for ADB to work, but as my reason for wanting to use ADB in the first place, was to try the other boot slot, before trying the 07B update, I don't think I have any use for ADB at the moment anyway, so it may not matter much right now.

I suppose I'll have to make another attempt e-mailing Planet next week. That Jeff guy I was in contact with, stopped responding after a few e-mails. Perhaps he went on vacation or something. Other than that, I'm out of ideas for now.

Astro Slide - Android / Re: Astro update to V07
« on: June 19, 2023, 04:22:16 pm »
Well, it's ten days since my last email to Planet. No reply this time. Perhaps worse, I have discovered another issue with my Astro, which seems to make fixing my dead screen even harder.

Using the developer options, I set the default USB configuration to file transfer, so the Astro would immediately show up as a portable device in Windows as soon as I plug the USB cable in. I then rebooted without HDMI, logged in blindly and connected a USB cable from the left side port to a Windows computer. The Astro begun charging, but there was no USB connection sound and the Astro did neither show up in the file manager, nor in the device manager.

I tried another cable, another port, another computer. My Cosmo gladly shows up using any cable in any port on either computer. The Astro does not. I took a screenshot, just in case the Astro was showing an error on its disabled screen, but after rebooting with HDMI, the screenshot just showed my Android home screen. Being able to take a screenshot at least proved that the Astro was indeed fully booted and logged in, so it should really have showed up in Windows.

I installed ADB on my computer, rebooted the Astro blindly, and plugged in the USB cable again. Windows didn't detect it this time either and, as I suspected, ADB could not see any devices. After some tinkering I got ADB to work over WiFi, which is nice, since I can then use it while the HDMI is attached. I am able to start a shell via ADB over WiFi, but I'm not sure what I could use it for in this context. I am also able to reboot the Astro to fastboot mode. With HDMI attached I can see fastbootd start, but since fastbootd can't use WiFi, I have no way to see or set the active boot slot.

I could try the 07B update anyway and just hope for the best, but that would reasonably overwrite the boot slot with the factory image, meaning I would no longer have even a theoretical ability to return to a known good firmware image. That might be undesirable.

Ideas anyone? Having a non-mobile mobile is starting to get tedious.

Edit: Btw. I was also able to get screencasting from my Astro to computer working, but to see what I was doing on the Astro, I naturally had to also have HDMI attached, so I didn't gain much. Would I be able to somehow start the screencasting after a blind login, it might be useful, but there seems to be too many steps involved to be able to do that blindly, and as long as basic USB cable connectivity doesn't work, I'm kind of stuck anyway.

Astro Slide - Android / Re: Flash tool download - where?
« on: June 13, 2023, 06:31:15 am »
Edit: Oh... I just found your Dead screen thread, in which you already thought of a (non Planet?) HDMI adapter. Sorry about the noise below then...

One somewhat costly and possibly slow to arrive approach, might be to get a Planet HDMI adapter. In spite of "Gemini" in the name, the same adapter works with the Cosmo and Astro as well.

On the Astro, it is a bit painful to use. On the other Planet devices, you could plug it in whenever (provided a certain setting was on). On the Astro, the only opportunity to activate external HDMI is during boot, which on the other hand, has the "advantage" of not requiring any settings beforehand.

When my V07 update went wrong and the screen in my Astro stopped working, I plugged in the adapter in the left side USB-C port, connected an HDMI cable to the living room TV and forced a reboot by holding the power button for close to ten seconds, until the Astro vibrated shortly. That gave me an external screen to work with. (I also tried a 24" Dell monitor, but it didn't like the HDMI signal).

While the previous Planet devices would output the same resolution as their internal screens, the Astro outputs a 720p picture at 60Hz, which isn't ideal but mostly workable, especially after tweaking the screen scaling and the fonts to the smallest possible.

As, in my case, touch doesn't work either, I used keyboard shortcuts to get into the settings, turned on bluetooth and paired a bluetooth mouse. While in flight mode (might not be necessary, but I don't know how the Astro would otherwise have reacted to me opening the SIM tray) I inserted a micro-SD card for file backup (which I preferred over online backups).

That left the right side USB port free to plug in power. That side does not support fast-charging but can keep the device powered. After adding a wired headset, I had myself a kind of "stationary mobile", allowing me to use whatever backup tools I want.

Astro Slide - Android / Re: Astro update to V07
« on: June 09, 2023, 08:04:25 am »
How to update the Astro? I'm still on V01. When I launch the Planet Updater app it just gives an "java.lang.NullPointerException: Attempt to invoke virtual method 'int java.lang.String.length()' on a null object reference" error.
I'm probably not the right person to answer this, as my low level Astro knowledge is flaky, at best. As far I recall (which could be wrong), I too used to get this message before the V07 update was released. I'm guessing that Planet may have withdrawn the update, while they are investigating why a few Astros ended up with dysfunctional internal screens after the update?
I guess no updates have come from Planet...
Not to me anyway. I have sent them another e-mail today, with my latest (non-)findings. I have quoted what I wrote below.
Hi again.
It's now been about two weeks since we were last in touch regarding the botched update that caused the screen in my Astro to stop working. I would therefore like to ask how things are going for you. Any progress or ideas?
Meanwhile, I have learnt from the community that a factory reset does not resolve this issue (which makes me wonder if even a reflash would reliably remedy this).
One user was apparently able to make their screen turn on, though with completely wrong colors, by forcing a large number of reboots, holding the power button "much longer than anyone should". I tried that, for up to three minutes straight, with no success. Near the reboots, I saw brief flashes of white light on the screen, but that was all.
With HDMI connected, I played a video until my Astro shut down (when not having to power its internal screen, 45% charge lasted six hours). With HDMI still attached, I then confirmed it wouldn't turn on, neither normally nor in recovery mode.
When I pressed the power button in that state, the vibrator still buzzed briefly, suggesting the Astro wasn't completely unpowered. Had this been a Cosmo or Gemini, I may have disassembled it enough to physically unplug the battery and fully power down the electronics, but I'm not sure how to safely do that on an Astro. Do you have any suggestions on how to do that, given basic tools and moderate tinkering skills?
I then unplugged the HDMI and connected a charger. The LED close to the front camera came on in red, the one next to Q came on in blue shortly after and both stayed lit, which I take to mean the device was off and charging, but the screen remained off, never showing the charging animation.
When I then tried to turn it on, it booted normally, as far as I can tell from the vibrator and the LEDs, but still with its internal screen off, So I plugged in the HDMI again, forced another reboot and was back to where I were.
While the Astro kind-of-works on external HDMI and I have marshalled my Cosmo into basic service, via a spare SIM and call forwarding, this is getting increasingly impractical. I could move my main SIM to the Cosmo and make it my main phone again, but I'd have to get a new e-id, move stuff over and then reverse that once my Astro is back to normal. It's doable, but I'd rather not, if I don't have to.
Kind regards
Daniel Wikholm, Sweden

In theory (with USB attached to device):

Code: [Select]
adb reboot fastboot
fastboot getvar current-slot   => probably outputs "slot b"
fastboot --set-active=a  (if it was b)
fastboot reboot
Since I don't have the necessary tools on my PC, and normally wouldn't have any use for them, I would appreciate it, if that person didn't have to be me. I would still try this before sending my Astro away though.

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 25