[sf-lug] pinephone and tablet

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Tue Apr 19 10:36:36 PDT 2022

Quoting Bobbie Sellers (bliss-sf4ever at dslextreme.com):

> 	in this week's Distrowatch Newsletter we have a review of serveal
> other OSes for these devices.  You can read it atL
> <https://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20220418>

Just as a point, the "limited hardware" of the original PinePhone (which
author Jesse Smit explored) was a knowing limitation of the design,
which explains, e.g., his inability to use a huge, full-featured Firefox
Web browser and needing to use a smaller mobile Web browser.  People
basically say it's an OK phone but sometimes a little pokey.  It remains
a popular "Pine Store" offering, but those looking to avoid the "a
little pokey" thing can opt for the somewhat more expensive PinePhone
Pro (like the one in shipping towards me), which has more oomph.

https://liliputing.com/phones/pinephone-specs compares the two.

The DistroWatch issue's reader comment #36 is from someone who's
Shocked! Shocked! that the PINE64 community is insufficiently (for the
reader's tastes) focussed on the lower-end PinePhone now that they're 
also shipping the higher-end PinePhone Pro -- and unhappy that the
PINE64 community isn't also promising to maintain a bunch of Linux
distro ports to its phones, but rather looks to those OSes' communities
to do so. 

Well, guy, yes, PINE64's hardware line is not for you.  If you want
a fully commercially supported hardware + software whatsit, look elsewhere.

Found via that issue of DistroWatch:  Some progress is _finally_ occurring
about engineering a way to no longer need the Raspberry Pi's infamous
"raspi-firmware" proprietary firmware package, so that _finally_ it will
be possible to run them with open source -- and not be hobbled by a huge
piece of opaque, binary-only sludge.  (But it's been 10 years!)

The firmware "blobs" (binary large objects) required for an RPi to be
functional are larger and more intrusive than on other popular
computers, a serious issue most of the RPi's partisans seem to spend
their time ignoring even though it shoots them in the foot continually.

The workarounds are nowhere near either satisfactory or ready for prime
time, but at least there's progress.

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