Category: Ubuntu

How to go around Google’s market/play: Manual installs of .apk files

This post is more for myself but if it works then I’ll leave it up for others.

Goal: To be able to put any .apk file on my Android phone without having to use a google account and use their servers

Problem summary: It seems as though Android doesn’t come with a .apk file installer, even though it is widely known that it’s possible.

Details of problem:

I want to be able to avoid needing Google to use my phone the way I want.  I paid a lot of my hard earned money for it and I don’t want someone telling me how I’m going to use it.  That’s why I bought Bondage Bot instead of the Fruit Company in the first place.  It was the lesser of two evils, I heard.  And Ubuntu Touch is not quite ready for this phone so triple lame.

My buddy told me about a .apk file that will allow me to download and install basically anything – both bad and good.  So, I got the .apk file on my SD card in my phone but couldn’t figure out how to install it.  It seems there is not an installer.  Lame. During the research I also found out that it seems Bondage Bot also does not have a file browser in the OS so I can’t just search for the file and click on it.

The Plan

Apparently if i download a .apk file from the internet it will prompt me to install it (as long as I’ve allowed my phone to do so).  So, I’m going to

1. upload the .apk file browser to this blog post

*FAIL! .apk is apparently not allowed to be uploaded ‘for security reasons’. Sheesh.

*Now uploaded to another site: see below

2. Upload the .apk file that allows me to get files in the future and attach to this blog post

3. Make sure my settings of phone allow installing of third party apps

4. Download the file browser .apk file (#1) through my phone’s web browser which will hopefully prompt me to download then even more hopefully, install it

5. open file browser app and search/find the ‘fake market’ app and install it

6. put any .apk file on the SD card and be able to install it with the file browser I installed.

Wish me luck.  If it worked, then I’ll leave post as is.  If not, I’ll come back and do some edits.

The Files

FILE BROWSER –File removed as you can search it and install it once you get the file below installed–

FAKE MARKET

 

Notes:

-Update: Almost worked. but says ‘has a problem parsing the package’ for file browser.

HOWEVER! the second one worked and now I will try to get the astro browser through the fake market.

– Update: Amazing. it worked.  I just searched ‘astro file manager’ in the Black mart app and now I’m downloading the file.  Hopefully it will install from there but if not I guess I don’t really need it anyways since I can get stuff through this app.

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Why Ubuntu: A Bird’s Eye View

I have been a happy member of the Ubuntu community and user of the product for years now.  Today I decided to ask the internet ‘why’.  I had my own reasons why but I wondered what Mr. WWW was telling people.

I was surprised.  I couldn’t find any short summary.  It was all too product-based or too philosophy based but didn’t quite sum up the ‘big picture’ for someone who wanted a quick read.  I was tempted to call this post “Ubuntu: Why all the Hype?”

I remember Randall Ross saying somewhere… or writing somewhere something about ‘How Many P’s are there in ‘Ubuntu’?”  I searched his blog but was unable to find the P’s.  I’ll kindly request that Randall officially publish those or if someone could fire a link to these in the the comments below that will be much appreciated.  The P’s that I remember are Philosophy, People, Product which are the key things that got me moved over to Ubuntu and kept me there.  I think Privacy might have been one, too.

Even the official Why Use Ubuntu page on ubuntu.com wasn’t really that satisfying for me.

So without further adieu, my spew:

~philosophy~

  • it doesn’t cost you money, and therefore is not reserved for the elite.  A child in a poor country has the same rights to be involved as a rich man
  • it is built by the community and therefore for the community.  Instead of a boardroom of software execs deciding which new thing they can craft up that will keep the users in bondage to their business model, a grandpa alone in Moosejaw (that’s a real place, by the way) can, with the help of the community, suggest or even write a change to the system and watch it take place before their eyes.  They can do software instead of being done by software.
  • you remain in control of your hardware that you paid for.  Now that I’ve been an Ubuntu fanboy for a while, I find it disturbing to think that the operating system – the thing that has complete control over your hardware – could be shipped to you pre-installed without your consent.  The company could limit you from what you could do with that hardware you paid for, or they could give themselves power over it without your consent.  I no like.

~people~

  • you’re not alone.  There are people out there who are really excited about Ubuntu and they’ll help you.  They want to see you succeed because when you succeed so do they.  People are volunteering lots of their time to organize meetups, to write helpful material and to write code to improve everything.  You can join or start local groups and you can network online.  Instead of clicking aimlessly online you can talk to people.

~product~

  • it’s unified.  it is the only operating system to have unity (hence the name Unity) from a PC, to a laptop, to  a netbook, to a tablet, to a TV all the way down to a smart phone (search ‘Ubuntu Phone’).  Across all hardware, Ubuntu unites them.
  • it works.  Ubuntu never fails to amaze me.  Whenever I use it, everything just feels and works better.  I don’t get paralysing crashes, slow bootups, lag times, etc.  Its smooth and it works.
  • it’s fast.  On one occasion I was forced to use a big slow operating system.  For fun I decided to boot Ubuntu from a USB stick which should be slower than the native operating system since it’s running on the external drive.  To my surprise it was like someone handed me a new laptop – it was alive again and snappy fast.  The proof is in the pudding.
  • it’s safe.  I challenge you to find any virus written for Ubuntu and if you do, I challenge you to show me that it had any negative impact.  I have not so much as thought about viruses since I made the switch years ago.  Want the world to see everything you do on your hardware?  Do not use Ubuntu!
  • it’s both cool and creative.  I just love the way that every few months I have something to be excited about. I know that someone in the community has changed something for the better and that soon enough when I upgrade to the next release something will get cooler.  Compare that to my crippling and enslaving experience with big proprietary company’s updates when I dreaded the next release because I knew something I paid for in the past would no longer be supported and I would have to pay extra to get it working again.
  • it’s simple and easy.  My mom and dad are 74 years old and have been with Ubuntu for years.  They haven’t experienced any major problems and if they did the community was there to help get it resolved – for FREE
  • its growing.  Although I don’t have the reference here I was under the understanding that Ubuntu was the fastest growing operating system in the world (reference needed).  The point is is that it’s not dying like many other systems and seeing a downward curve.
  • its freakin’ awesome.  No further comments

~project~

I found another P in Ubuntu.

I hope that this has been helpful in converting you from darkness to light and from folly to wisdom.  The great part about having a free will is that no one will stop you from smashing your own head against a cement wall if you want to.  That’s your right.  No one  can take that from you (although they probably should).

Do what you choose but I strongly recommend doing your due diligence and doing the right thing wherever you can.  Imagine regaining your freedom and how sweet that would feel?  It’s empowering.

Join the Ubuntu Project today.

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Five Reasons Why I Already Hate My Iproduct

Originally posted at www.blenzseymour.com, Sat, 07/16/2011 – 23:47

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I avoided Apple for a long time.  A very long time.  While everyone was running around snapping up their expensive, locked-down hardware for extreme prices, I enjoyed more open items like Ubuntu operating systems and Android mobile devices.

However, we didn’t have a touch device for home, more specifically, for my wife who periodically wishes to distract our daughter with it.  During a marriage-altering blowup, my precious throws in her lack of an IPhone or IPod Touch (or my vehement opposition to its purchase) as one reason why I suck.  So, I decide to give my blessings towards the purchase of an Ipod Touch because at least we won’t be stuck on some wackage-package from a cell provider…

My woes didn’t take long to surface.  Here they are as I discovered them:

1. You cannot expand the storage memory at all!  Like.. no SD slot.  Nothing.  Further, there isn’t a micro USB input! Could you be any more lame?

2. No wall, 110V outlet power charger.  Just the USB charger.  I would love to charge for 5 times longer than necessary so please make sure to not include that in the box.  🙁

3. They force you to synchronize with Itunes!!!  Like… you can’t seem to move files back and forth without the installation of Itunes.  I accepted that, but then I found out the real doozy – you can’t put Itunes on Linux!!  Now I’m just fuming.  Not only do they lock you out, but they also lock you in!  It’s like the jail of jails.  You Apple to get in, and you need Apple (or Windows) to get out.  So lame.  So, so, lame.

4. When I finally got Itunes downloaded and ready to install on my virtual machine in Ubuntu, I discovered yet another thing that sucks – Itunes is one of the biggest most annoying programs I have ever installed!  It took me like five years to finally get it installed. I think I saw 4 million registry files being edited 🙁

5. Now that you finally have your precious and highly-proprietary Itunes installed on your Windows (or Mac)(but not any other OS) system, you’ll be pleased to know that the pain is only just beginning.  Now you have to become an Apple-Man and get yourself a IAccount.  This requires submitting pretty much everything about yourself to Apple headquarters.  Apple finalized the deal, after getting all that info from me, with a request for a credit card or some kind of payment information.  I assumed that you’d probably have to submit this even if you wanted free apps because they probably have a payment-portal system set up regardless of whether it’s free or not.  I’ll find out about that soon.

So, my first two hours of Apple have been poop-lame-sucky. I hope the actual use of this device makes me forget how black my soul got this evening 🙁

PS. Any of you who think this was all ‘ok’ should seriously check yourselves in. I’m here to tell you that THERE IS A BETTER WAY.  Make your next device NOT Apple even if it’s just for the stuff I blogged.

And three more un-smilies for the road 🙁 🙁 🙁

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If you Care about Freedom, Ramp up your Ham

I think it’s interesting how most people who claim to care about freedom don’t have a ham radio (amateur radio) license, especially you folks in open source.

You reject and rebel against the Monopolists in Redmond and the Fruit Devices from Cupertino recognizing that they are dictating how you will and will not use the thing you are spending all your money on.

You recognize that it’s freaky and weird to give all the power of your privacy and information over to a company.

You think it’s insane that someone would participate in something where not paying a license fee could jeopardize a business or the functionality of someone’s day-to-day.

You relish and brag about your freedom – and rightfully so.

You are a warrior in the battle against the Man and the eyes of Big Brother.

Have I puffed you up enough?  Very well, then. Get ready to be brought low.

If you don’t have a ham radio license don’t come around calling yourself a man.  You are a pansy-boy, sissy-girl.  And if you’re already a girl, you’re a flaky fan-girl – a Barbie Doll at best.

Real men have hams.

Real women have call signs.

Real men speak to real women with their ham radios.

The service on your cell phone (except for a 911 call) is merely leased to you by likely one of a few mobile service monopolists.  If they had their way, they would also charge you for that 911 call.  Until the Ubuntu Phone was announced a couple of days ago, even the operating system on that smart phone that you pack with you is owned by someone else – and the data on it – don’t kid yourself.

So don’t tell me you love freedom that much.

“Oh, but I use a dumb phone,” you say.

Nice try.  Let’s see how well your dumb phone works during an earthquake or if you don’t pay your bill.  But really, nice try.

A ham radio requires a little studying, but once you get it, you’ve got yourself a ‘free cell phone forever’ – if you can find someone to talk to.  And that, in essence, is the root of the problem.

The only people who seem to have a ham radio are wearing Depends, on serious medication or are serious geeks – and I mean serious.  That’s why I always went alone.  I didn’t want anyone to find out that I hung out with these people and liked what they liked.

But lately I’ve been thinking about it.  It’s almost like the whole system we live in is Anti-Ham.  The test isn’t that hard… so why aren’t more people doing it?  In Canada you get free custom license plates for your car with your call sign! Isn’t that reason enough?  Nope.  Still no one does it. You can make a free call to your family if they have licenses – unlimited airtime – for free. Not good enough.  You can connect to the internet with it and speak to ham radios all around the world: you could speak to your ham-buddy climbing a mountain in South Korea from  just like he’s around the corner – for free.  Still not good enough.

It’s almost as if the entire system is Anti-Ham and we shouldn’t be surprised.

Ham radio gives power to the people – like Ubuntu, unions or voting.  To put it in perspective, you can take away my cell phone and I can still remain connected to the world – while mobile.  That’s a power I’m assuming the mobile service providers don’t want you to know or think about.  I’m assuming they are not rushing around trying to help promote ham radio.

My parents have a cabin where only one cellular network works.  Instead of taking my advice and getting licensed and throw a killer ham radio in their car and cabin (maybe $500-$750 capital investment?) they will likely spend well over $2400 over the next five years to get suited up with a monthly mobile plan on that network.

Hams own their own network!

Enough about this already.  You get the point.  Get licensed and track me down on the ham waves.

My call sign is VE7CAK (that’s Charlie Alpha Kilo” to you)

“Be a man.  Do da light fing.” – R. Peters

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How do you pronounce the word Ubuntu?

First, why does it matter?

One time a woman named ‘Pam’ got very angry at me for calling her ‘Pamela’.  It didn’t matter to me, but it mattered to her.  It’s kind of like when you’re talking on your phone really loudly but don’t realize it until other peoples’ eye daggers start piercing your vital organs.  It’s kind of like putting your dirty feet on someone’s chair. If it negatively affects others, it matters.

What about foreign words?  Well, there are three choices:

  1. Say it right or do your best trying and continually try to improve towards the correct pronunciation each time you try)
  2. Make a word for it in your own language (like how the Americans changed ‘croissant’ to ‘crescent roll’)
  3. Shut your pie-hole

Number three is hard if you need to talk about the subject, and number two makes you look culturally arrogant. Option number 1 is the best way to win friends and influence people – say it right or die trying.

Let’s run the scenario with a name.  Let’s choose a Korean name like Eun Kyung Shin.

With option 3 (above) you will have to forever avoid talking about poor Ms. Shin.  You’ll have to use words like ‘you’ and ‘her’ and ‘your friend’ and ‘your wife’.  Eventually she will figure out you don’t know or can’t say the name and this will usually happen down the road and make for a more difficult recovery.

With option 2, after she says, “My name is Eun Kyung Shin” you say ‘So what’s your English name?  Annie?”  Enough said.

With option 1 you will embarrass the snot out of yourself trying to learn the name, but a breakthrough will eventually come and that person will love you for trying and finally getting it right.

So how is this related to Ubuntu?

It’s OO-BOON-TOO.

It’s an African word.

It matters.

Stop saying it incorrectly and demonstrating your ignorance.

Quit saying “That’s how we say it down here.” and showcasing your arrogance.

Learn it.  It’s super easy.  It’s easier than the version you are working so hard to defend.  They are long vowel sounds that a baby can slobber.  It’s all the same long u sound as in ‘cartoon’ or ‘soon’ or ‘He mooned me’.

OOOOOOOOOOOOO-

BOOOOOOOOOOON-

TOOOOOOOOOOOO

So if you ended up at this post, don’t be offended.  Just learn it.  Thank the person who sent you here to get schooled.

 

 

 

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The Ubuntu Phone (U-Phone)

I don’t usually get excited much these days because all advancements in smart phone technology seem to be coalescing to a very dangerous point – monopoly of your life and complete control over your privacy.

In Randall’s article he announced the first thing that excited me in this arena since Angry Birds – The Ubuntu Phone. He explains well about why it’s awesome.  However, he only hints as to why it’s important but I wanted to make sure people started thinking about the ‘why’ right away.

No one can deny that there are currently really only two options out there for people who want to own a smart phone: Bondage Bot (Android) and Fruit Devices (Apple products).

Symbian (Nokia) seems dead.  Rest in peace, by the way.  You were the best before this U-Phone announcement.

Microsoft is laughable.  Actually, it’s more like an uncomfortable laugh –  like when you politely laugh at the socially-awkward person who inappropriately blurts something weird out as they try desperately to fit in to what’s happening.

Blackberry is App-less in Arizona (that looks like ‘appless’ without the dash which is weird, eh?).

I don’t think we need to worry too much about the latter three, but the former two do concern me.

The Fruit People from Cupertino seem to want to control their victims by telling them how they will or will not use the hardware (that they paid way too much for) and by making them think they are cool.

Team Bondage-Bot seem to make the most useful and addictive tools for our daily lives while subtly buying every small company under the sun and gathering every last piece of information about you and storing it on their servers.

Both options are freaky and I no rike it.

So, a big thank you to all the people out there in Ubuntu-Land who have given me something to be excited about again – a smart phone that leaves me with the freedom we deserve.  This is Ubuntu Gangnam Style

 

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Do You Commit, Man?

So there I am talking to the Bitter Barista.  The Bitter Barista (aka Bitter or BitBar), if you don’t know him, runs Ubuntu Central, a nick-name given to this branded cafe that hosts many of the Ubuntu Loco meetups in Vancouver.  He feels it’s his job to train the public to become better people.  He also believes it’s his job to filter the quality of people who go to his cafe believing that if you get rid of a few bad apples that more good apples will come.  You may, therefore, not like him if you happen to be one he believes is a bad apple.  Many, however, who have chosen not to get offended and hear his perspective have built lasting friendships with him and Bitter will protect them against bad apples in their life as well.  Point is this – he says what he believes and gives everyone the chance to start a great relationship with him.

Bitter is also a serious believer in the Ubuntu Project.  He ‘gets’ it.  He started out like many people as just some dude who wanted his computer to run better and more securely but then discovered the bigger picture.  He’s not a super technical guy but appreciates and knows how to relate to those who are.  He’s serious about doing whatever it takes to make Ubuntu the driving force behind how we relate to our technology and making sure we’re not getting unknowingly (or knowingly) abused.  He believes that “the Ubuntu brand and public perception is key to pulling more people into Ubuntu-land” as he said and, “A few bad Ubuntu apples can make a barista really bitter.”

So there I am, talking to Bitter.  He starts telling me this story.  I asked him if I could record and transcribe it so it’s bang-on accurate and he agrees. *Disclaimer: the audio transcription you are about to read may or may not have been perfectly transcribed and some off-colour comments have been removed to keep it family-friendly.

So this dude comes in for a coffee. First of all, he annoys me at the till.  He’s with this quiet girl and is clearly trying to impress her by being ultra-casual with me and trying to force some small talk and act like he’s my buddy. Then he orders a drink for himself but not a drink for the girl. This guy should have kept workin’ the girl until she gave in and ordered something.  You could totally tell she wanted a hot chocolate. So this dude doesn’t even buy the girl he’s with a drink.  Fail.  I’m bitter.  And once I’m bitter, you can’t fix it without a lot of hard work.  Who is this guy anyways?  So I stop talkin’ to him as soon as possible by pretending to wipe counters.  Thankfully another customer came who was boring and predictable because it was a big improvement over Loudmouth.

A little while later, I notice out of my peripheral vision that Loudcakes is heading for the door with Victim-girl.  Phew!  Thank goodness.  So I prepare to not interact with him to make sure he doesn’t think I want to be his buddy.  Then, to my dismay I hear this annoying, loud voice ring out,

“Hey! Where’d you get THIS?” holdin’ up an Ubuntu Vancouver Loco marketing page.  I don’t see what he’s talking about, so I say,

“What, man?  Where’d I get what?”

“This!” he says holding up the Ubuntu brochure.

“Oh, that.  I’m a member of Ubuntu Vancouver.  In fact we use this cafe for various events.”

“Do you commit, man?” he yells.  I look at the girl whose eyes also gloss over.

“Commit?  What are you talking about?”

“Commit!” He says again louder and more annoyingly.

“Dude.  I commit to many things.  Why are asking me this?”

“Commit code, man!”  He attempts to clarify.

“What are you TALKING about, man? Are you asking me if I’m a programmer or something?”

“Yeah!” he happily beams.

“No. I’m a user of the software and a member of the Ubuntu community.”

“Oh.  You’re just a user.” he says somewhat disappointed.

“No, man. I’m not ‘just a user’.  I’m a user and a member of the Ubuntu community.  And thanks for coming. Have a good one!” I said with the nasty fake smile.  Even this guy figured out it meant ‘get out and let’s end this conversation’.

What a loser.  Seriously.  If I met this guy and he represented, say, a coffee shop… I’d take out my pen, write down the name and location of the shop and make sure I never ended up there.  I think if you just give me the power to give prison terms for talking about Ubuntu in public you’d have at least 80% more saturation in the market.

True enough that BitBar is a bit bitter, but his points are valid.  Every major proprietary competitor to Ubuntu has marketing specialists they pay to make sure they project a certain image of the brand and product.  This makes sure that people feel a sense of ‘pride’ related to their choice of Operating System (OS) and the people who use that OS.  But they take money from every corner of the world to fund that.

Ubuntu is different.

BitBar, whether he likes Loudcakes or not, has to accept him in his family like the socially awkward uncle at the family reunion whether he likes it or not.  That’s the downside of freedom.

So then how does Ubuntu brand itself and attract more family members?

With people.  That’s how.

Ubuntu people need to attract more people who can attractively represent the Ubuntu brand.  Simultaneously, Ubuntu needs to have a kind of marketing program/code of conduct where guys like Loudcakes can be given the tools to talk about Ubuntu in a way that doesn’t make people want to run away like from a fart in an Austin Mini.   Even though I know first hand of the dangers that lurk in the Jehovah Witness faith, who can fault them for looking bad? I bet they have attracted most of their members by dressing up well and politely handing out deceptive pamphlets.  They are well trained on how to act and what words to say, but also what not to say. On the occasions when I did stop to chat, they have always been polite and very well-adjusted people with a variety of racial and age representation.  They ‘appear’ as a family.

They don’t yell, “Hey man!  Do you commit?”

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Smack Me Again, Baby – I Like it

People who use proprietary operating systems (OS) are like those people who like physically abusive relationships.

I was having a business conversation with a non-profit organization on another topic. During the conversation I noticed that they had older computers. When I noticed the somewhat dated machines, she explained that they don’t want to waste the donor’s hard-earned money on new computers and these could ‘get the job done’. Watching her use it was quite painful.

During the conversation, she also mentioned to me that she didn’t reply to my email because she had received a virus which crippled her machine and that she was paying someone to fix it.

I left the meeting and went about my life for a while when all of a sudden it dawned on me – THEY SHOULD COMPLETELY SWITCH THEIR ORGANIZATION OVER TO UBUNTU!

It would solve everything:

  1. It would be free (no wasting any of their donor’s money)
  2. It would run faster (Ubuntu runs very lean on any machine)
  3. She would not have been affected by that virus that was designed for her proprietary OS
  4. It’s brain-dead simple and these people were clearly not interested in something complicated
  5. It’s more secure (no viruses, less risks of outsiders gaining access to the organization’s data)

I was so excited that I stopped what I was doing, contacted to inform her that I would – for free – come and explain Ubuntu and even help them install it and get started. To my complete surprise, she replied “We just set these computers up so no thanks.

I had to read it again.

Was she really rejecting a free solution and labour that would solve her entire organization’s issues? I couldn’t believe it so I made it even more convincing by reassuring her that some major governments and some of the largest technology and information companies are using Ubuntu.

She again rejected my offer.

That’s when it dawned on me that she actually liked the pain. There’s no other explanation. She’s comfortable in her abuse. Every time her proprietary operating system beats her and her colleagues down, they just accept it like it’s okay. They shut their eyes to the truth that there actually is a better way – a way that doesn’t hurt so much.

I then had the creepy revelation that it’s like the physically abusive boyfriend who beats the girl and after each beating apologises, tries to apply a band-aid solution and whispers kind words and promises of improvement.

But abuse is abuse.

We need to start a 1-800 helpline for these poor people. As for my family, we will use Ubuntu.

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