JP Vossen on 6 Jul 2012 23:15:05 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Linux friendly tablet?

Giant reply to this thread...  Many thanks to all those who replied!

Bottom line, it looks like I was operating under a mistaken assumption that you would at least sometimes need to plug a tablet into a "real" computer to "do stuff" (like my TomTom example or an MP3 player or camera). The more I think about that the less sense it makes, but at the time... What can I say?

Otherwise, thanks for all the input, I've learned a lot from this.

Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2012 06:56:03 -0400
From: Rich Freeman <>

Well, the Nexus 7 is just coming out at $199, so it obviously makes
sense to take a look at that.  The Kindle Fire is also popular but is
less of a traditional Android experience.  I know somebody who is
happy with a Galaxy Tab,  ...

I've heard of those. The Fire sounded interesting, but also non-traditional, as you say.

I've been struggling with what I'd use it for too. I probably won't use it for anything, but as I said my wife has some good ideas for one. (Though I have to say, the app lists from Julien & Jeff are quite interesting.)

Date: Fri, 06 Jul 2012 07:40:02 -0400
From: David Coulson <>

What about it needs to be  'Linux friendly'?

See? There's my mistaken assumption! I though I'd have to plug it in and I want to make sure it actually worked (iPods, I'm looking at you!).

Short of rooting an android
device, the fact that it runs Linux has nothing to do with the usability
or functionality of the device. If you buy consumer devices because of
what kernel they run, you're probably going to end up disappointed. IOS
uses a BSD variant, so it's not like it is worlds apart from Android.

I'm a Linux guy, and I have an iPad - IMHO, superior user interface and
in general it's more consistent than Android. That said, I don't really
care what it's running under the hood - As long as it works for me 100%
of the time so I can get my job done with it, I'm happy.

I hear that a lot when I poke at folks who bring Apple devices to PLUG meetings, and I have to disagree and invoke ESR again with:

Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2012 09:15:33 -0400
From: "Eric H. Johnson" <>

> I don't think it is a technical issue as much as a preference to not > be held hostage to Apple's walled garden.

Largely that, partly that I hate the Mac interface (much less relevant on a tablet, but there it is), partly I was thinking you had to plug it in, and an iDevice is gonna want an iComputer, and a lot of what ESR said above.

> I am not sure what you consider inexpensive ...

I'm not either, that's part of why I asked, though the Linux compatibility non-issue makes this a less list-relevant question than I thought it was... :-)

Date: Fri, 06 Jul 2012 09:26:11 -0400
From: Julien Vehent <>

> I got one for those LePan 2 a couple months bacK ...

Ha, out of stock for the moment at least.


>> * Video creator (hate to admit it, but iMovie is pretty awesome)
> On a tablet ? Haven't tried. Video creation is usually something I
> want horsepower for.

A friend used iMovie on an iTablet of some kind (yeah, I appreciate the irony) to create a really cool "adventure movie trailer" for the kids on a lake in about 5 minutes. It looks really, really awesome. And it took 5 minutes, I watched him do it...

Aldiko. MX player. Open Street Map. Downloadable locally via Osman
to go on trips. 3D google earth. dropbox. k-9 mail. Firefox. IMDB.
sketch ndraw. amazon Kindle app. Hell, it even has Skype!

Awesome, thanks!

Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2012 09:59:37 -0400
From: Conor Schaefer <>

> JP: my vote for the cheap tablet goes to the $200 Nexus 7.

Lots of details on that one in the thread, though the Google part makes me nervous (see below for more on that).

Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2012 10:13:52 -0400
From: jeff <>

Following are used on tablet and android phone:

Timeriffic - controls most functions to save battery and not be bothered
G Strings - guitar tuner
AndroidVNC - access your boxes
there are a bunch of remote access/admin apps that are pretty cool
wifi analyzer
QuickPic - gallery replacement
XiaaLive Lite - streaming audio player
Android Assistant - 18 utils in one, incl backup
Firefox/Opera/Dolphin browsers
Hacker News
Scanner Radio - police/fire scanners
World Newspapers - read newspapers, magazines, RSS
AK Notepad - yellow pad
Passdroid - keep passwords [encrypted, local only - does not use cloud]
AirPush detector - crapware detector
ES File Explorer
Sparse RSS - exactly what it says
TV Listings - broadcast or cable

More great stuff!  I've read about some on your blog.  But... Winamp?  :-)

Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2012 13:27:43 -0400
From: Doug Stewart <>

I do find it ironic that everyone bemoaning Apple's walled garden
freely admits to slinging money at the telcos, i.e. those who
practically INVENTED the walled gardens.

Yup, that's why I said WiFi only. Not paying any $$$ to any of them for this.

Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2012 14:16:38 -0400
From: Morgan Jones <>

> There seems to be a lot of ignorance is this crowd about iOS and iOS
> devices.

I don't think it's ignorance so much as philosophical dislike on level such as company practices including lack of openness, and interface design. See the above ESR URL.

Remember, too, that Android is owned by a huge corporation which
doesn't have your best interest at heart, they just happen to open
source some of their software. Android is open source because it suits
Google and they are hardly benevolent. Google is profit motivated just
like Apple, they just chose to use open source as part of their marketing.

I have to agree here. Thus the Nexus makes me nervous, though elsewhere in the thread Rich says you can root it out-of-the-box and use without using Google, which makes me feel a little better.

Plus your parents/spouse/kids can use them with just about no support.

I have to disagree here. *I* can't use Apple stuff. I simply do not grok the way they do things, and as far as I can tell (and this *is* ignorance talking) it's their way or the highway, and I don't like their way... And that's aside from the philosophical issues.

Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2012 14:46:58 -0400
From: Art Alexion <>

> This has been a pretty interesting thread for me. ...

Yeah, me too.  And thanks for the thoughts.

Thanks again everyone, and sorry this was less list-relevant than I thought,
JP Vossen, CISSP            |:::======|
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