Thursday, September 15, 2011

Enjoying the Android platform

It's about 13:37 here and about half way through the work day. Normally I use a mixture of my workstation, Alice, and my phone; lately I have been using Alice quite heavily. I guess there is enough crap going through the wires that sometimes it is better to offload some of the heavy network traffic, plus it is rather handy that if I need to get up and walk around to do something, I can bring my /entire/ session along with me. So my workstation isn't Mission Critical to doing my job. In fact, it is pretty much a heavy weight client doing what a humble X terminal could do really.

The important things to getting work done around here, in regards to all that, is a terminal, SSH client, and a web browser. Last night I setup the free Android Terminal Emulator app that I have on my phone, only to find that it seems to be crash happy on Andrea :'(. Likewise I setup ConnectBot for SSH access, only to find that it doesn't support real modifier keys. So I can't use it with my docks actual Control, Tab, Alt, etc. ConnectBot does work great on  my touch screen phone though. How did I solve these problems? After spending for the tablet and dock, I can't bitch about paying another $4 for Better Terminal Emulator Pro (BTEP). Not only is it stable, it includes ash (probably dash but I haven't checked), bash and busybox in its toolset. Dropbear is even slipped in for SSH, which while not something I like, will do fine for at work needs.

I can SSH into the development server at work, use tmux & vim, and go about doing stuff. Heck on a good signal day, I could stand next to the Microwave with the tablet portion and keep coding! I can do that with my phone too but practical issues like screen size/virtual keyboard, mean going from vim to ed. Emacs should even work but I don't use it. All that is missing is a native X Server, and I could fix that with some rooting and VNC stuff, or maybe try to write one, idk. My workstation can deal with that slice of stuff easily.

To top it off, 94.9 has always been a bug to keep playing since they moved to a Flash based web player. The iHeartRadio app on my phone works but ahem, sound quality blows. The app doesn't support Honeycomb tablets but I was able to download and install it manually, then setup the radio station to play using portrait orientation: the app doesn't do landscape. So now I can finally work and listen to music without having to periodically stop to kick the radio stream into working :-) :-) :-).

I is satisified so far!

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