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Messages - Daniel W

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Cosmo Communicator - Hardware / Re: Fast charging port
« on: March 26, 2021, 08:07:30 pm »
One shouldn't need to be all that careful about what to plug in. The only thing that should happen when a charger and a device doesn't support the same fast charging standard, is that the charger should stick to the standard USB specification and stay at 5Volt.

That's why I can safely plug my (up to) 130W Dell USB-C charger (it's a powered docking station for a laptop, to be precise) into my Cosmo, and it will even work, though at 5V ~10W, with no fast charging. Only when that charger gets the secret handshake from a Dell laptop, will it kick the voltage up to 19.5V and allow 6.7A (which is beyond the USB PD standard, but that's how Dell did it).

FWIW, I have charged both my Gemini and Cosmo with various Samsung chargers many times. While the device, of course, wouldn't fast charge, it charged just fine. There is, of course, always the possibility that some chargers, especially off-brand models, might not follow the standards properly, so applying a bit of common sense is typically beneficial.

Gemini PDA - Android / Re: Official Gemini HDMI Cable Not Working
« on: March 26, 2021, 07:32:46 pm »
Today I dug my Gemini, which is updated to Android 8.1, out of storage, charged it up and hooked it up to the living room TV, using the Planet USB-C to HDMI adapter (and a HMDI cable). Technically it did work, but rather than being presented in proper landscape, the image was shrunk down and rotated 90 degrees, like this:

I read in this thread that the rotation issue can be worked around by disabling the app bar, but if you get no picture at all, that likely won't help you.

If you get no picture, it could be that your particular external screen can't handle the slightly odd 2160 x 1080 output (regular "full-HD" is 1920 x 1080). If it's a PAL TV, it might not like the 60Hz refresh rate (then again, my old TV is PAL, and it accepts a 60 fps signal just fine).

If you get a headphone symbol (I don't), I'm wondering if your adapter or connector might be faulty somehow? I suspect that something as simple as a headset identifies itself by some simple means, such as shorting two particular pins in the connector. Should a pin in your connector (either in the Gemini, adapter, HDMI cable or display device) be bent or otherwise damaged, that could perhaps explain both why you are not getting any image and why you are getting that headphone symbol. That doesn't mean I'm right, it's just a educated guess on my part. There could be any number of other reasons, beyond my comprehension, but you might want to have a look at your connectors with a good magnifier.

I use AirMail too, and as far as I can tell, mine works the same after the update to V25 as before.

Generally speaking, it seems fairly common for random things to act up a bit for a while after an update. The only thing I have noticed, thus far, after this particular update, is that my CoDi hasn't crashed today. That's unusual.

Edit: It is now the day after, and my CoDi just crashed. Let's hope it at least won't crash just as often.

The update itself was fairly smooth, for me anyway. On the first attempt, the firmware download stalled, without downloading anything, but I just backed out of it, tried again, and it worked. Both the download and the installation were fairly fast, so I reckon there weren't all that many changes this time.

Once Android was updated, I started the CoDi Assistant, which found and downloaded it quickly. Just trying to install it (I had to try) didn't work, as usual, but after going to flight mode, do not disturb and turning the CoDi off from the notification shade, it flashed successfully in just a few minutes, on the first attempt. I will presume I just got lucky. While previous updates of the CoDi, has been a two-step process, flashing resources and the firmware separately, it seemed to only flash the firmware this time. Perhaps it could (re)use the existing resources?

I mainly look forward to see if the CoDi will be any less unstable now. I usually have to restart mine from the notification shade five or so times a day, when it's stuck showing the Planet logo instead of the time, a broken menu or, most often, nothing. It would also be VERY nice if it could abstain from waking up all the time, unless there is something I might actually want to know - not just that, say, AirMail did NOT find anything to download... but, well, while "not crashing all the time" should be achievable, implementing a useful notification filter is, reasonably, much harder. 

[Edit 2021-Jun-04: Fixed a silly typo]

Astro Slide - Hardware / Re: Fin/Swe keyboard layout
« on: March 10, 2021, 07:21:32 pm »
Isn't "i" in Swedish the same as in Norwegian: "In" or "inside"?
You are quite correct. In Swedish "i" means the equivalent of "in", which is what I tried to type. Apparently, a typo occurred though (that lost the "n" and, somehow, made the remaining "i" upper case), which I won't be fixing now, since that would make your question seem strange ;). Well spotted. And, yes, "i" can be used to mean "inside" too. I just picked (what I think is) the most common translation.

Astro Slide - Hardware / Re: Fin/Swe keyboard layout
« on: February 26, 2021, 04:08:14 pm »
While designing their Fin/Swe, layout I guess Planet, when they saw that a Fin/Swe PC keyboard has eleven letters on two of its rows, just moved the two rightmost letters to the Fn layer and called it good, thinking "Well, Finns and Swedes are both used to have Ö next to L", which isn't incorrect, but perhaps not the best adaptation to a "no more than ten letters per row" layout. Unless sufficient noise can be made about it, I doubt they will change it, though. If they'd make an official keyboard remapping tool, they could start selling a selection of key caps to those wanting to customize. I'd gladly pay €10 for an Ä key cap.

What makes Ä so relatively common in Swedish, is probably the word "är", which means "is". According to that cryptography page, it's the sixth most common Swedish word, after i(I), och(and), en(a), av(of) and som(as). We find an Å in the eighth most common word på(on) while the first Ö is found in the twelfth most common word för(for). In the top thirty Swedish words, there are a few more with Å and Ä in them, but no Ö.

On a side note, han(he) is the sixteenth most common word, while hon(she) doesn't even make the top thirty. It seems we still are a fair bit away from gender equality...

Cosmo Communicator - Hardware / Re: squeeky hinges
« on: February 25, 2021, 03:20:32 pm »
Hm... that looks a lot like my middle hinge, only worse.

I posted a picture of mine, a little over seven months ago, in the daily driver thread. It looked like this:

As far as I can tell, mine still looks very much the same, so mine doesn't seem to be gettings worse. Thus far, it works fine.

Astro Slide - Hardware / Re: Fin/Swe keyboard layout
« on: February 25, 2021, 02:40:11 pm »
And yes, Ö is used more in Ä in Swedish, while in Finnish it's vice versa.
As natively Swedish I'm not sure I agree, and neither does Wikipedia, it seems, which states that about 1.79% of Swedish consists of Ä, while 1.34% consists of Å and 1.30% consists of Ö. They, in turn, seems to have got their data from Pratical cryptography. Their data, based on some 90MB of raw text, suggests that Ö is the least used of the "special" Swedish characters, so swapping Ö and Ä on the Fin/Swe layout would seem to make sense from a letter frequency perspective.

On a side note, in Swedish, Q, W, X and Z together makes up less than 0.4% of written text.

Edit:My link tags got a bit chewed up. They should work now.

Cosmo Communicator - Hardware / Re: Why does Planet use Mediatek CPU?
« on: January 19, 2021, 07:02:23 pm »
For an authoritative answer, you would have to ask Planet themselves. The gist of my limited understanding is that fancy parts from, say, Qualcomm, are really expensive, if at all available, lest you can buy them in vast quantities, which Planet can't.

Someone making millions of phones, can buy each part a lot cheaper and have a way lower manufacturing cost, per device, than someone making a few thousand. Lest their products were to become silly expensive, Planet must thus try to get the best out of simpler parts and simpler manufacturing than the bigger brands. Also, when developing a phone, you can't just buy any SoC (System on Chip, containing, among other things, the CPU) you'd like. You must license the intellectual property (patents and stuff) involved, before you can even, legally, buy the chips. Licensing alone could probably eat Planets entire budget, so instead they are working with an ODM (Original Device Manufacturer, basically a phone factory) that already has the required licences.

An ODM having licenses for chips that are quite expensive, lest bought in big volumes, is likely going to be geared for big volumes and, thus, probably not interested in, or perhaps even capable of, making small production runs. So, the choices of a small vendor like Planet (with roughly a 0.001% market share) seems, to the best of my understanding, quite limited. They had to find an ODM they could afford, who could make small enough batches, cheaply enough to, at all, make their original Gemini possible.

Planet chose to work with East Aeon. We have been told they are only licensed to use MediaTek, so at least until Planet can find, afford, and wants to work with, another ODM, MediaTek it must be.

Cosmo Communicator - General Discussion / Re: Camera
« on: January 12, 2021, 01:20:36 pm »
Once again, thanks again, shuntcap. 8)

Just to add to the statistics, I see the camera sound toggle in v4.

Once thing that breifly threw me for a loop, was that, on my Cosmo, v4 didn't replace v3, but was installed in parallel to v3. I guess this might depend on the "ported fresh from scratch" part. Launching directly after installation, started v4, but my shortcut on the home screen kept pointing to v3, which later made me start the wrong version, and getting confused a few times, until I noticed I had two identical icons in my app drawer. In a way, I appreciate the parallel install, as it allows me to compare things between the versions more easily, and after updating my shortcut, I can now conveniently launch v4 from my home screen. I'll probably uninstall v3 pretty soon and for those not interested in going back and forth between v3 and v4, I'd recommend uninstalling v3 before installing v4, just to lessen the risk of confusion.

Astro Slide - Hardware / Re: Holy Downgrade, Batman!
« on: January 11, 2021, 02:25:23 pm »
Yeah, likely nobody, including Planet (nor, probably, MediaTek) likes this. On paper, we just lost about 1/3 of the CPU performance and more than half the GPU performance (though, in real life, thermal throttling and other power usage limits might make the actual differences smaller). I looked through the MediaTek web site, and currently, it seems no actual Dimensity 1000 (MT6889) exists in their marketing. The closest thing I found is a MediaTek 1000C, which, while said to have four A77 cores, still is limited to 2GHz and G57 GPU cores.

On the other hand, that 1000C specifies a max memory frequency of 1866MHz, while the Dimensity 800 is said to support up to 2133MHz (though we don't know what speed Planet refers to as "ultra-fast"). Also, just because MediaTek lists a 1000C, that doesn't say it's actually available. I suppose the same goes for the Dimensity 820, which, while still "only" having A76 cores, supposedly can reach 2.6GHz, and while "only" having G57 GPU cores "at least" has five of them. Had that chip actually been available to buy, I can't see why Planet would settle for the 800.

Personally, I couldn't care less about the lower theoretical up- and download speeds, as, at least here in Sweden, neither any broadband nor cellular networks, even in theory, seems to support anything even close to those speeds anyway, but your mileage may vary, as they say. Oh, well, the joys of supporting products before they actually exists, I guess. The Astro will still be faster than the Cosmo, which, for me, is fast enough. I just wish it wasn't as buggy. At least the Astro won't need that seemingly cursed CoDi... and it seems we might be getting UFS instead of the old eMMC. That should make the built-in flash storage a bit faster.

I'm wondering a bit about that BLE Audio. Officially, that seems to be a part of Bluetooth 5.2 and, as far as I can see, all MediaTek smartphone SoC supports, at most, 5.1, though, maybe it's possible to support 5.1 and BLE Audio, without offering full 5.2 support? I don't know. While I think the Bluetooh 5.2 LE Audio codec LC3 seems appealing, I'm mostly interested in significantly lowering the latency, from the ~40ms that seems possible today, to well below 10ms, for real time audio purposes. That seems to require the LC3+ Codec, which, as far as I know, isn't a mandatory part of any BT specification version yet, so I guess I wasn't going to get that, even if the Dimensity 1000 was real.

By the way, Update #18 has already arrived, requesting questions for a "first look" Vimeo video on January 19. That might be an opportunity to ask for clarifications.

Astro Slide - Hardware / Re: Key size
« on: January 11, 2021, 12:47:31 pm »
The narrowing of the two bottom keyboard rows on the Gemini and Cosmo came directly from the design of the Psion Series 5. Maybe keeping the sides of the Astro keyboard straight, works better with the slider, or, perhaps, they had to nudge things around, to make room for the fairly deep main camera module? They hinted at something to that effect in Astro Update #10. I wish Planet would be more vocal about such details.

Anyway, in all the Astro images and videos thus far, all rows of the keyboard has been of equal width, though, previously, the extra width of the two lower rows was added to the outermost keys on both sides. While I'm not into key swapping either, I do remember seeing someone putting all the arrow keys on the bottom row, allowing comma and period to sit to the right of M. That particular mod would have been possible, had the extra width been given to the outermost keys on both sides.

I'm a bit surprised to read that æ, ø and å wouldn't work with Caps Lock. At least on my Swedish Cosmo keyboard, Caps Lock works with the Swedish å, ä and ö.

Cosmo Communicator - CoDi / Re: Finer grained notification filtering?
« on: December 04, 2020, 03:47:28 pm »
Thank you for the suggestion. Reading the description of Notificon, it mainly seems to be a "notification sound manager app". While that could be nice for other purposes, I am not sure how Notificon, could stop the CoDi from waking up when, say, AirMail is looking for mail, but still ensure it does wake up when new mail is actually found. (I should perhaps not use AirMail, it's just a convenient example).

I seem to recall that recent versions of Android should be able to tell different types of notifications from an app apart, but when I look at the settings for (again, just an example) AirMail, I just see checkboxes for "Airmail 1" and "Airmail 2", which, I suppose relates to the two e-mail accounts I have set up in AirMail. They seem to be per-account everything-or-nothing toggles, which isn't all that helpful.

Another example would be Google Play. Ideally I'd want notifications for app updates on the main screen status bar only, though I don't mind if the CoDi wakes up to tell me when there actually are updates. I do, however, not want the CoDi to wake up just because Google Play is looking for updates.

My end goal is that the CoDi should only wake up when something that might be at least a little bit urgent has happened.

Cosmo Communicator - CoDi / Finer grained notification filtering?
« on: December 03, 2020, 03:42:55 pm »
The CoDi, when enabled, seems to wake up for any and every notification, no matter how insignificant, even if it's just AirMail polling a POP server (I should perhaps use IMAP), Google Play just looking for updates or when the persistent notification I keep on the main screen status bar (showing the date) merely refreshed itself, because midnight happened.

As the CoDi software appears to offer no level of selectivity, can I, in some meaningful way, filter notifications elsewhere in Android? Preferably, the only notifications I'd want to show up on the CoDi are those that might require my immediate attention, such as text messages, new e-mail, Bluetooh file transfer requests, severe weather warnings, hacked account alerts, incoming calls in silent mode and such, basically, the sort of things for which a plain vanilla Android slab phone would decide to wake up its (only) main screen.

Turning off notifications completely in AirMail, Google Play (do they even let you do that?) or some other offending app, wouldn't be helpful, but being able to turn off certain types of notifications, either completely or just for the CoDi, would be a good start. What are my options in Android, if any?

[Edit: 2021-Jun-06: Typos]

Cosmo Communicator - General Discussion / Re: Camera
« on: December 03, 2020, 12:41:40 pm »
Small or not, those fixes were still very welcome, so thank you again. If the desired picture quality dictates RAW streaming for the viewfinder and that, in turn, gives a low-ish frame rate, then so be it. It really just means I will still need to keep, say, OpenCamera, installed as well, so I can swap back and forth depending on my subject, a bit like one might need to swap lenses on other cameras.

To me, it's more important that you looked into the viewfinder stream than whether you could actually do much about it or not, and the same goes for the peculiarities of the HDR+ mode. Now, we all know these are limitations not easily worked around, and, thus, things we probably will have to learn to live with. Still, thanks to your effort, we are now in a much better position than when we were stuck with just the really cheap kit lens... um... default camera software stack, that is.

A tad off topic, while I think the F(x)tec Pro1 X certainly seems interesting, even offering a Scandinavian keyboard layout, for us so inclined, from measuring available images, its horizontal key pitch seems to be about 9.7mm, which reminds me a bit too much about another Fx, my old Casio FX-850P, on which I typed quite a lot back in the days (I even wrote a ~100 location text adventure on it, now since long lost to battery failure and lack of secondary storage...) and while I think its 10.2mm pitch keyboard performed remarkably well for its size, I had my fill of "how small can you go" around the time of my SonyEricsson P990 (with a horizontal pitch of around 5mm, the tininess of which I thought was super cool back then...) so, personally, I am going to take my chances with the Astro, especially as the "RockUp" slider, should it actually work well (here's to hoping), would enable the first "as-wide-and-tall-as-the-device" physical keyboard on a slider phone, which, at least in theory, would seem, to me, like the ultimate form factor for a smartphone with a physical keyboard, since it maximizes the keyboard size, without interfering with portrait mode usage and doesn't require hacks like a secondary something (which, to me, typically is a hallmark of sub optimal design) to work well... oh, well, we'll see.

Somewhat back on topic, could Planet just get the 48-mega-photosite Astro sensor to actually output unresampled 12MP images, I think we'd be off to a decent start. Time will tell.

As a closing remark, should Cosmo GCam v3 turn out to be the final version, that's probably what I'll be using for >90% of my digital photos, for as long as I keep using the Cosmo. As that realistically means I'm going to, on average, use GCam at least once a day, that means it, and thus you, shuntcap, will likely, until Planet manages to ship the Astro, make my life a little bit better, on a daily basis. For that I am grateful.

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