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Search - "oneplus 6t"
Yesterday (or the day before that depending on your timezone and day-night schedule - this Friday) my OnePlus 6T arrived. After only 2 days of time between placing the order and actually getting the phone, quite impressive!
The DHL guy asked me upon receipt - is it the OnePlus 6T? - Yes it is!! - "An amazing device it is!", he said. And honestly.. he couldn't be more right.
I might be a bit biased on this because after all I did just spend €630 on this phone. But it feels so snappy, high quality, the 8GB of RAM is just.. it blows my mind. But I'm sure that the other reviews did this sort of jazz already.
The things that set this phone apart for me though were the following.
When I get a new phone or tablet, usually the first thing I do is rooting it. This one was no different, about an hour after receipt it was successfully rooted and loaded with Magisk. Currently I'm still in the phase of "getting to know the phone", wherein fuckups are usual. This time again being no different - I removed some apps and apparently did something to it that the search engines - both Google and DuckDuckGo - didn't quite like, as both of them would crash upon application launch. Me in full panic mode of course, desperately trying to find the stock ROM (which doesn't seem to be present in its usual form) or a new set of GApps (which didn't resolve the issue). OnePlus does seem to offer its OTA updates in zip archives though. So I downloaded its latest update (same as what was on the device) and applied it.
That's when the nerdgasm happened.
The "update" was simply a matter of going into the settings, tapping this and that and applying the update. No recovery, no unrooting, no nothing. The update just went like that despite the phone being rooted and just having had TWRP flashed to it. I always wanted this sort of thing, which even the Nexus couldn't offer - having the cake and eating it too. Being able to root the device and muck around with it while still being able to update the device timely without too many hurdles. This fucking thing does it!!!
That is to say, after my initial nerdgasm I did find that it bulldozed over my su binary (effectively unrooting the thing), custom emoji I've set (iOS 12 because fuck Google's most recent emoji set) and some other things. But those are easy to install back, much more so than it would've been to download a whole Android release and dirty flash it, as it was on the Nexus.
Other than that, battery life, dash charging (edit: on that topic, it does remain cool like a cucumber despite getting 15-20W of power jammed into it, quite impressive!), snappiness, the usual jazz.. eh, as I said earlier that's the usual reviewer stuff. But this feature of being able to upgrade the phone while it's modified, that's something which seems to be severely underrated by those.
Oh and during kernel builds, I couldn't quite get the source to work - probably due to my lack of experience with builds of Android kernels - but I did find that this phone actually exposes its kernel config through /proc/config.gz as it should. None of my MediaTek devices do this, so that's something that I found really appealing. Always nice to see when a manufacturer exposes this information to give you a stock sort of config that you can be rest assured will work configuration-wise. And it allows you to see what the stock kernel is actually built with, which again is really nice. I quite like this! It really encourages further development.11
Just came back from a new café (to the pedantic among us, yes I know it's a bar.. get over it).
And I met some Apple fanboy 🤭
So the guy kept on bragging about his shiny iPhone 6.. and I figured that I'd chime in. Due to my short-term memory being terrible, I'll be paraphrasing here.
S: iPhone usar _/\_
M: iPhone 6 ey..? I've heard about some devices in which the old ones are throttled down in a system update "to save the battery".
S: Yes, biweekly updates!! You can even delay them to tune them down to the time during which your device is charging and can commence its system update.
M (thinking): You've clearly missed the point sir.. but on Android, system updates don't need to be willfully delayed even. They (usually) won't commence unless your device is 80% and charging. OnePlus has been an exception to this though, probably under the assumption that their users are mostly power users that know what they're doing.
M: You do realize that given that your iPhone 6 is quite old already, Apple will very likely start throttling your device during a system update in the next few months, right.
S: What the hell dude.. look, look how smoothly it's been going for the last few years!!! Nothing wrong with that.
M: Just wait until your repair bill comes from those Geniuses 🤭
M: Sir, you do realize that Apple quotes €600 for battery repairs nowadays, right.
S: What the hell dude!!! I can buy a whole new phone for that much!!
M: Exactly!! That's exactly Apple's business tactic!!! They design their phones as such that the battery replacement (one of the most common repairs) requires you to replace not only the battery, but the whole chassis!!! And on the XS, the battery replacement is nothing short of atrocious!!!
M: Here, have a look at this: https://youtube.com/watch/...
*shows Louis' newest video about him switching to iPhone XS*
S: Yeah that's just bullshit. I bet you're showing me this on one of those crappy Samsungs.
M: No sir. I'm showing this on my Nexus 6P, that is tethered to my OnePlus 6T. Speaking of which, let me introduce you to the Nexus 6P's (one of the crappiest Android flagships to ever exist) repair, the battery replacement of which I've done myself.
(you can watch the iFixit video about it here: https://youtube.com/watch/...)
*explains heatgun, screwdriver, heatgun battery replacement of Nexus 6P and the time each step takes - more than an hour combined*
S: Yeah that's because it's one of those crappy Androids. That'd never happen to this shiny iPhone, look, I've got a $20 battery right here!!!
M: Sir... That's a battery for a MacBook. A laptop battery.... 🤨
I love how willfully ignorant these Apple users are. To them, all that exists is Apple and Samsung (both of which I hate because lockdown). And they apparently don't even know what repair they have to look for when they'll need one.. maybe that's why those Genius Bars exist? 🤭
I'd love to see the guy's face when the Geniuses quote him the price for battery replacement when his planned obsolescence time comes 🤭14
Long rant ahead.. 5k characters pretty much completely used. So feel free to have another cup of coffee and have a seat 🙂
So.. a while back this flash drive was stolen from me, right. Well it turns out that other than me, the other guy in that incident also got to the police 😃
Now, let me explain the smiley face. At the time of the incident I was completely at fault. I had no real reason to throw a punch at this guy and my only "excuse" would be that I was drunk as fuck - I've never drank so much as I did that day. Needless to say, not a very good excuse and I don't treat it as such.
But that guy and whoever else it was that he was with, that was the guy (or at least part of the group that did) that stole that flash drive from me.
Context: https://devrant.com/rants/2049733 and https://devrant.com/rants/2088970
So that's great! I thought that I'd lost this flash drive and most importantly the data on it forever. But just this Friday evening as I was meeting with my friend to buy some illicit electronics (high voltage, low frequency arc generators if you catch my drift), a policeman came along and told me about that other guy filing a report as well, with apparently much of the blame now lying on his side due to him having punched me right into the hospital.
So I told the cop, well most of the blame is on me really, I shouldn't have started that fight to begin with, and for that matter not have drunk that much, yada yada yada.. anyway he walked away (good grief, as I was having that friend on visit to purchase those electronics at that exact time!) and he said that this case could just be classified then. Maybe just come along next week to the police office to file a proper explanation but maybe even that won't be needed.
So yeah, great. But for me there's more in it of course - that other guy knows more about that flash drive and the data on it that I care about. So I figured, let's go to the police office and arrange an appointment with this guy. And I got thinking about the technicalities for if I see that drive back and want to recover its data.
So I've got 2 phones, 1 rooted but reliant on the other one that's unrooted for a data connection to my home (because Android Q, and no bootable TWRP available for it yet). And theoretically a laptop that I can put Arch on it no problem but its display backlight is cooked. So if I want to bring that one I'd have to rely on a display from them. Good luck getting that done. No option. And then there's a flash drive that I can bake up with a portable Arch install that I can sideload from one of their machines but on that.. even more so - good luck getting that done. So my phones are my only option.
Just to be clear, the technical challenge is to read that flash drive and get as much data off of it as possible. The drive is 32GB large and has about 16GB used. So I'll need at least that much on whatever I decide to store a copy on, assuming unchanged contents (unlikely). My Nexus 6P with a VPN profile to connect to my home network has 32GB of storage. So theoretically I could use dd and pipe it to gzip to compress the zeroes. That'd give me a resulting file that's close to the actual usage on the flash drive in size. But just in case.. my OnePlus 6T has 256GB of storage but it's got no root access.. so I don't have block access to an attached flash drive from it. Worst case I'd have to open a WiFi hotspot to it and get an sshd going for the Nexus to connect to.
And there we have it! A large storage device, no root access, that nonetheless can make use of something else that doesn't have the storage but satisfies the other requirements.
And then we have things like parted to read out the partition table (and if unchanged, cryptsetup to read out LUKS). Now, I don't know if Termux has these and frankly I don't care. What I need for that is a chroot. But I can't just install Arch x86_64 on a flash drive and plug it into my phone. Linux Deploy to the rescue! 😁
It can make chrooted installations of common distributions on arm64, and it comes extremely close to actual Linux. With some Linux magic I could make that able to read the block device from Android and do all the required sorcery with it. Just a USB-C to 3x USB-A hub required (which I have), with the target flash drive and one to store my chroot on, connected to my Nexus. And fixed!
Let's see if I can get that flash drive back!
P.S.: if you're into electronics and worried about getting stuff like this stolen, customize it. I happen to know one particular property of that flash drive that I can use for verification, although it wasn't explicitly customized. But for instance in that flash drive there was a decorative LED. Those are current limited by a resistor. Factory default can be say 200 ohm - replace it with one with a higher value. That way you can without any doubt verify it to be yours. Along with other extra security additions, this is one of the things I'll be adding to my "keychain v2".11
I've recently received another invitation to Google's Foobar challenges.
A while ago someone here on devRant (which I believe works at Google, and whose support I deeply appreciate) sent me a couple of links to it too. Unfortunately back then I didn't take the time to learn the programming languages (Python or Java) that Google requires for these challenges. This time I'm putting everything on Python, as it's the easiest language to learn when coming from Bash.
But at the end of the day.. I am a sysadmin, not a developer. I don't know a single thing about either of these languages. Yet I can't take these challenges as the sysadmin I am. Instead, I have to learn a new language which chances are I'll never need again outside of some HR dickhead's interview with lateral thinking questions and whiteboard programming, probably prohibited from using Google search like every sane programmer and/or sysadmin would for practical challenges that actually occur in real life.
I don't want to do that. Google is a once in a lifetime opportunity, I get that. Many people would probably even steal that foobar link from me if they could. But I don't think that for me it's the right thing to do. Google has made a serious difference by actually challenging developers with practical scenarios, and that's vastly superior to whatever a HR person at any other company could cobble together for an interview. But there's one thing that they don't seem to realize. A company like Google consists of more than just developers. Not only that, it probably consists - even within their developer circles - of more than just Python and Java developers. If any company would know about languages that are more optimized such as C, it would be Google that has to leverage this performance in order to be able to deliver their services.
I'll be frank here. Foobar has its own issues that I don't like. But if Google were a nice company, I'd go for it all the way nonetheless - after all, they are arguably the single biggest tech company in the world, and the tech industry itself is one of the biggest ones in the world nowadays. It's safe to say that there's likely no opportunity like working at Google. But I don't think it's the right thing. Even if I did know Python or Java... Even if I did. I don't like Google's business decisions.
I've recently flashed my OnePlus 6T with LineageOS. It's now completely Google-free, except for a stock Yalp account (that I'm too afraid to replace with my actual Google account because oh dear, third-party app stores, oh dear that could damage our business and has to be made highly illegal!1!). My contacts on that phone are are all gone. They're all stored on a Google server somewhere (except for some like @linuxxx' that I consciously stored on device storage and thus lost a while back), waiting for me to log back in and sync them back. I've never asked for this. If Google explicitly told me that they'd sync all my contacts to my Google account and offer feasible alternatives, I'd probably given more priority to building a CalDAV and CardDAV server of my own. Because I do have the skills and desire to maintain that myself. I don't want Google to do this for me.
Move fast and break things. I've even got a special Termux script on my home screen, aptly named Unfuck-Google-Play. Every other day I have to use it. Google Search. When I open it on my Nexus 6P, which was Google's foray into hardware and in which they failed quite spectacularly - I've even almost bent and killed it tonight, after cursing at that piece of shit every goddamn day - the Google app opens, I type some text into it.. and then it just jumps back to the beginning of whatever I was typing. A preloader of sorts. The app is a fucking web page parser, or heck probably even just an API parser. How does that in any way justify such shitty preloaders? How does that in any way justify such crappy performance on anything but the most recent flagships? I could go on about this all day... I used to run modern Linux on a 15 year old laptop, smoothly. So don't you Google tell me that a - probably trillion dollar - company can't do that shit right. When there's (commercialized) community projects like DuckDuckGo that do things a million times better than you do - yet they can't compete with you due to your shit being preloaded on every phone and tablet and impossible to remove without rooting - that you Google can't do that and a lot more. You've got fucking Google Assistant for fucks sake! Yet you can't make a decent search app - the goddamn thing that your company started with in the first place!?
I'm sorry. I'd love to work at Google and taste the diversity that this company has to offer. But there's *a lot* wrong with it at the business end too. That is something that - in that state - I don't think I want to contribute to, despite it being pretty much a lottery ticket that I've been fortunate enough to draw twice.
Maybe I should just start my own company.6
Fuck yeah!!! After over a month of being stuck without a phone, the funds have finally been released to buy a new one. It'll be the OnePlus 6T. Kernel source available on launch, wicked specs that rival PC's - 8GB of LPDDR4 RAM, a quarter TB of storage... Fuck yeah!!!! Never settle indeed!!! :D5
Am I the only one facing issue with this app on oneplus 6t to someone else also ?
Apparently when I click the notifications I get, the app doesn't open. Seems like a glitch.1