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CRACKED! HP 17-F Motherboard DAY23AMB6C0 Rev. C, Model Y23A w/ AMD Processor, Fan (HP-17 F00 4DX)

We had an incident. A family member was having issues with Windows 8.1. It was midnight, a project was due, and Windows 8 was being it’s infamously unintuitive self. She walloped the HP-17 Envy right over it’s heart – over and over, I understand.
If she’d been right handed the damage to the HP-17 F00 4DX laptop might have been minimal. Instead, her left hand smashed the keyboard directly over the fan, the heat sink and processor. The Envy would boot only to shut off, again, immediately. At first there was no video, then there was video, and a message saying the fan was bad, that Windows had to shut down to protect it from hardware damage. And, the warranty period had just just ended.
The fan showed no damage, nor did the motherboard, several keys were stuck, a connector was loosened, half hanging on, but the CPU had been dislodged, and the paste had dried. We repasted the CPU. We prodded and encouraged the left side of the keyboard back into shape. We ordered a replacement fan from eBay.
We pasted the CPU in place, and installed the replacement fan, the computer booted up, and stayed on long enough to make replacement Windows disks, go online, tweak Windows 8 like adding a start menu, add boot to desktop, stop her desktop images from changing much too often, and on and on.
During this honeymoon with the HP machine we ran the four hour hardware test that stressed the machine to max. It tested memory, CPU, in fact, all the hardware; it passed all the tests. The CPU didn’t stutter once.
In fact as long as it sat there in one place, it worked perfectly. It ran without a glitch until we could stand it no more, and we moved the thing.
So, it was cracked. It malfunctioned when we gently tilted the laptop. We took it apart for the hundredth time to make sure a connector wasn’t lose or something we’d overlooked.
We examined the board from stem to stern but there were no hairline cracks that we could see. When we ran out of options we even considered reflowing the board in the oven, but the chips are soldered on the board, and couldn’t (shouldn’t) be removed.
This HP-17 system was a heavy duty, overlarge laptop that was designed to create movies and handle video projects. A complaint about the model HP-17 F00 4DX was that it was more like a desktop than a laptop. Because of it’s size and narrow market, it was hard to find a replacement motherboard. HP parts had none or would not offer any to an individual.
EBay had a used HP 17-F Motherboard DAY23AMB6C0 Rev. C, Model Y23A w/ AMD Processor, Fan that sold before we could buy it. So, now we’re searching for a substitute board with nearly the same specs that might line up with our keyboard and connectors, and chassis. Is that even possible?
Laptops are notoriously unaccommodating when interchanging parts. It’s either find a used replacement board at a decent price or attempt to jury rig a comparable motherboard.
Is that asking too much? Probably, but if anyone has an answer to that question, I’d sure appreciate hearing from you!

HP-17F00 4DX part # 763424-501
Model #17-F00 4DX
DAY23AMB6C0 Rev. C
Product # J6U79UA# AB

To one day get hardware that has low latency and good queue management at gigE speeds or higher requires better hardware offloading techniques than the bulk notions like GRO and TSO that exist today. And it has long been obvious that the rate limiting +
fq_codel techniques we now use successfully at sub 200mbit speeds do not scale higher well on low end chips to handle  #bufferbloat  . So the algorithms need to move into hardware, also.

******so… a brief commercial interruption****

I think the open source design method has worked spectacularly for software, and I think the same methods can work for hardware if only we can pull together larger communities to do the work, worldwide.

There are only 24 hours left on this kickstarter – we CAN start to take back the edge of the internet – if we can only find another 5k of funding. (obviously, more would be nice)

This FPGA board´s pcie interface and switch design – and the split memory interfaces between the programmable logic and the onboard dual A9 core – and reducing the cost from 7000 to 700 bucks – are the important parts to why the open source community needs this board – in my case – so that more of htb + fq_codel can move into hardware that anyone can build and use – in other cases? who knows what could be done with it!?

One day, we could move the logic into asics, and finally have proven, open source, binary blob-free hardware to work with for any network purpose.

There are people on these lists with money, and there are those with talent and time, and it would be great if more of those people could
line up with each other. I put in all I could spare (8500 dollars) into this kickstarter.  I have one of their high end boards, already.

It´s great.

There is a “get one give one” program that I asked meshsr (the company making the board) to put in to try and enable connecting more developers up with this board. If there is anyone here that would like to help hack together the next generation of edge network hardware, after this kickstarter completes, let me know.

I return you now to your normal despair about vendors not listening,
and crappy OSes you can´t otherwise fix.

What does dead.phpYou have to do with Oprah? That was my first thought when I read the SMS in the wee hours of the morning, at least early enough that my feet hadn’t hit the tile. I hear a Hel-lo, two-beat beep, expecting an SMS from maybe family, but get this quizzical phishing request? It’s a text from Yahoo mail sent via iPhone. Any comments on whether my early morning missive is harmful or not?

Can read about it in the new Oprah book.

Can read about it in the new Oprah’s book. Alana

cisco m10

My daughter found an old Cisco Valet M10 router at a thrift shop for one dollar. She eyed the Cat5e cable that was attached, and it looked good. She knows that I’m always looking for patch cables, because I break the clips off the plugs from time to time, and the plug slips out of my router or laptop, and annoys me. So, she bought the Cisco Valet for it’s hefty, gray cable, probably thinking the router was worthless, and brought it home.

The Cisco blue-and-white router looks diminutive beside my old Linksys router, the WRT610N, and my newer Asus RT. The little Cisco router is famous for catching “The Moon” worm, a self-replicating, devil of a router infection, that jumps from one router to another. I’m not eager to mess with it. So, I research it, walk around it for a few days and say what the hell, let’s put DD-WRT on it.

For those of you who don’t know, DD-WRT is an alternative Linux firmware that replaces the buggy, insecure firmware that comes on 80% of the top 25 routers sold in the US. It will only work with certain routers, but when you get it right it’s incredibly flexible and secure. When you get it wrong you’ve bricked your router. Some can be resuscitated some not.

The Cisco Valet was offered for sale in 2010, and it was marketed as a mom router because of it’s ease of set up. A thumb drive containing the network configuration came packaged with the router. A user simply plugged the USB drive into the router, powered it up, and connected to the Internet, only it wasn’t that easy. The Cisco USB set up worked some of the time, but often people were frustrated with it, so you can still find a perfectly serviceable Valet router every so often.

The Cisco had 8 MB of flash memory. The Linux DD-WRT firmware I found was almost 4 MB, but it would fit, the serial numbers on the bottom of the router began with CVJO1K which meant it is Version 1, and compatible with DD-WRT, so that was a go. Play time! I thought I could make a repeater bridge out of the Cisco. It probably wouldn’t reach across the street as the Linksys 610N had when bridged, but it might serve as a back bedroom wireless extension.

I’d recently installed TomatoUSB by Shibby on my main router. Would tomato and DD-WRT play well together? Would they bridge and repeat together, or would I have to forward ports and finesse the whole thing, which I didn’t have the patience for. Although, there is quite a great collection of information out there about these two alternative router firmwares that I’d read in forums, this question about compatibility between the two when bridging hadn’t been mentioned. Maybe it was a non-issue, but so much with Linux is not trivial.

I’d bridged my original Asus router and my Linksys DD-WRT router with no problem. The repeating function not only reached through cinder block, but it crossed the street and into the far reaches of our neighbor’s home. This, however, was different. I’d just flashed TomatoUSB by Shibby on the Asus router, and I didn’t have the slick working original Ausus firmware to fall back on, so I didn’t know what to expect. I’d tinkered to get a bridge set up between tomato and DD-WRT, which is usually pretty easy, but still hadn’t gotten it to work.


The Cisco we bought for one dollar was so peppy and responsive, I had to try it. What did I have to lose if I wasted an old Cisco router, brick it in the name of fun, or maybe succeed at setting up a repeater bridge on it.

Because the router could have a virus or worm in it, I didn’t hook it up to my modem or the Internet. Instead, I hooked the cable that came with it into an old Acer laptop with Ubuntu Linux on it. I didn’t attempt to see if the USB worked, either. As a precaution, I planned to wipe out the Ubuntu desktop, and install a fresh version after I was finished playing, since I’m not sure how this worm propagates.

I connected the cable on the one end to the Cisco router, port 4, and on the other end to my laptop’s Ethernet port, to get a local connection without Internet to allow me to connect to my laptop so I could open the router settings page. I opened my Firefox browser by typed in the search bar, and hit enter.

As I remember, admin, admin was the user name and password. “Frank & Louise” still had their information in there, along with a Bell South email address, and IP address. Apparently, it was a Canadian router that had been dropped off in Florida. Lots of information left in the router for anyone.

The Cisco M10 settings page was simplistic, with not too many options. I went to the administration page, and backed up the original firmware in case the dd-wrt flash didn’t work. I downloaded dd-wrt.v24-18946_NEWD-2_k2.6_openvpn_small.bin made especially for the Cisco Valet M10. I uploaded the DD-WRT firmware through the Cisco restore option, as per the guideline, which also said that often the Cisco router dialog would send a message saying the firmware was the wrong version, or it could just hang there and not finish. Neither happened, it installed like it was the original software. I got a message saying the restoration had succeeded. The settings page on the Cisco looks very much like my Linksys DD-WRT settings page.

Once more I try to set up a repeater bridge, but this time I go back to the original guidelines at the DD-WRT website. My notes had been wrong. The Cisco repeated immediately. It worked with TomatoUSB without a blip. Only thing is it was working at around 12 mbs, and barely had two bars in our back bedroom. It should have ran at 54 mbs. We get up to 72 mbs as we get closer to our router. I went on to set up my Linksys-dd-wrt and the TomatoUSB repeater bridge with no problem.

A footnote to my Cisco M10 signal and speed: Later I set up the Netgear WNDR 3800 CEROwrt router. I plugged the Netgear router into the Ethernet slot beside the WAN in my primary router, the Asus RT-N16 with TomatoUSB by Shibby, and the signal in the far bedroom on the Cisco M10 popped up to 54 mbs. The signal was full bars.

I didn’t get any encryption to work. The CEROwrt is set up to the internal IP,, unlike the TomatoUSB, which is At any rate, apparently, the Cerowrt could connect with my encrypted Internet, internally without any encryption. And when it connected it boosted each repeater or bridge router in the system. So, the little router who could, did, it reached through walls.



Email to Dave Taht, CEROwrt

One of the reasons I wrote “Flash Netgear WNDR 3800CH Router with TORONTO CEROwrt 3.10.50-1” is that the dev/user area at CEROwrt seemed to have only a few users; although, dev was very active.

CeroWrt  3.10.50-1 is ready for wider use —  if a non-coding user like me is installing it. I tinker but I don’t  hack code; I’m an end user. And, as full of errors as the story below might be it’s still one of a half-dozen stories on old blogs about Cerwrt that might familiarize people who search Google for information about this latest version of Cerowrt.

DD-WRT users are a group who might benefit from it, at this point in its development, but there are others like me who aren’t on those forums but might be encouraged to try it, with help.

I’d like to see a broad based users group come together. As a system this version of Cerowrt is pretty sweet. I’m as excited about it as i was when i first saw Linux many years ago. Users help each other. I want that help. I’m not an early adopter. I come in later when a technology is just ready to be baked in but too soon for the timid.

Could the site make a more visible area that doesn’t seem as formidable. I don’t belong w/ the devs, and other people w/ these routers don’t feel comfortable w/ the devs, we kind of feel in the way. There are a ton of these Chinese routers out there w/ buggy stock firmware but nice not-too-dated hardware. Can you refer me to anyone who might want to enlarge this User Area?

Thanks, also for the link on civil liberty, George Carlin style.

I bought a $50 Chinese router from Amazon.

Netgear WNDR 3800 Router

Netgear WNDR 3800 Router, WAN thru LAN with CEROwrt

The WNDR 3800 is a capable router, it’s in good shape, and it works as it should. But, it is a WNDR 3800CH, Chinese router, not a WNDR 3800 NA, North American router. And, it seems more used than I expected, not by appearance but by the fact it was previously commercially owned by a cable company, not an individual. I did finally make this router work with an alternative firmware, which was my goal, but not the alternative firmware I’d originally wanted.

I bought the router to extend my network to a back bedroom, and to follow the EFF CEROwrt open router research and development projects. First I wanted to flash BrainSlayer’s DD-WRT on it, and maybe later, in a few months, play with the cutting-edge CEROwrt firmware. Nothing turned out as I’d imagined. I didn’t manage to flash BrainSlayer’s firmware.

I needed to downgrade the router to an earlier Netgear version, and this Chinese router is finicky about what firmware it accepts, unlike the North American version. And, though the Chinese WND R 3800 CH is cheap, keeping the original Netgear firmware is out of the question, it’s buggy and insecure, not to mention it’s Charter Communication’s firmware, which, if I’m not mistaken, leaves a back door for password changes when a customer cannot access their router.

The WNDR was advertised as new and open box without a setup CD. It came packed in a brown box that said, “used, like new, MADE IN CHINA.” The router was wrapped in clear cellophane with a white label for the Charter Communication’s SSID, MyCharterWiFi6a-2G, and password, cloudycanoe219.

The North American model’s last update was December 2013, and it was V1. This Asian model came with V1., a developer’s version. The guidelines for flashing DD-WRT onto the WNDR 3800 NA suggest downgrading to V1. so that the router can be flashed. Netgear added a marker to disallow installation of other firmware on their router after V1. I could not get the Chinese router to downgrade from the 51CH version to the earlier version.

I thought about boxing the router up and sending it back – the EFF site states that the CH version does not work with their research project, either. I did, however, find a very good CEROwrt CH version by a developer who changed some code, and engineered an up-to-date CEROwrt 3.10.50-1, with Heartbleed bug update, and other fixes. It’s referred to as the “ready to bake” version. It’s ready for the not-too-timid user to flash their primary router with, and use it day-to-day.

Toronto CEROwrt works great on the WNDR 3800 CH router; it’s tough, and kind of amazing. Turning the firewall on is a rush. It cascades down the page, live. The default password: Beatthebloat refers to removing the bloat to speed up the router, which apparently works. The link is snapon Lab Index of/~Cero2/test-wndr3800CH, and the code name is CEROwrt Toronto 3.10.50-1/LuCl Trunk, build 7/28/2014.

So, now I’m running a very fast TORONTO CEROwrt on the WNDR 3800 CH and wondering how to add a repeater bridge. It seems CEROwrt 3.10.50 CH doesn’t set up bridges in the old sense, it port forwards. It does repeat when I hook it into the Ethernet port on my primary router, the ASUS RT-N16 (TomatoUSB by Shibby). And, the speed tests done with the Netgear hooked into the Ethernet port of the Asus are far faster than done on the Asus alone.

After a week of tinkering, I have a router with an option for MESH, which I don’t yet understand, and a weird type of repeater, which I’m guessing is WAN through LAN (?), where I can plug or connect the Netgear WAN into the Asus Ethernet port 1 and use it for a DUAL LAN. This speeds up the wireless connections and increases signal for all the routers connected including the two additional Linksys routers that are repeater bridges.

The thing I haven’t figured out, is how and if I can add WPA2 to the WNDR 3800 WAN to LAN connection. And, this might not be in the spirit of Openwrt philosophy, but the WNDR 3800 won’t connect with encryption enabled while it’s hooked into the Asus Ethernet Port. Although, it has every kind of encryption combination you might want, and every service you might need, including, Polipio, a light, fast proxy, that runs by default, it can be overwhelming. The interface is slick, it’s professional, an unexpected gift. It’s a perfect fit for the WNDR 3800 CH.

This router wasn’t what I expected, but it’s definitely been fun, and now, it even seems rock solid. I might add there isn’t any going back to the original Netgear firmware after CEROwrt CH is flashed, unless maybe you download the CEROwrt V1. from a developer’s site, which I haven’t tried.

I backed up my original firmware but the CEROwrt declined to restore the backup. I ran a 30-30-30 to make sure old settings were gone. I waited 30 minutes for the flash to finish, and lost patience, and shut the router down. The Netgear router turned on and the lights flashed and I logged back on. The router with the CEROwrt seemed impervious to whatever I tried to do to it for about 4 hours of trial and error, to remove it. So, if you flash it you probably own it.

Would I buy the WNDR 3800 CH again? Yes. I wanted an inexpensive router that I could run alternative firmware on, and I didn’t want to pay over $50 for it. The router works like a new router, and I don’t like that it’s been used as much as it most likely has, but it is a powerful, older router that will most likely allow me to follow the EFF research and development as an offshoot, which will be interesting.

I do wish I hadn’t been surprised by the Chinese router. I don’t remember reading in the description that the router was Chinese not North American. And I’d like to read more war stories from early adopters who use TORONTO and it’s later iterations as a primary home router.

 THE INTERNET IS OFF AGAIN 8:00 AM. : The Internet went out again. All the lights were lit up as they should  appear on my modem. The blue light for the Internet was lit on my router. All was well with the world except the Internet would not work. Modem doesn’t work again this morning, Thursday, December 19, 2013. Unplugged, rebooted, waited 20 seconds, tried all the stuff you’re supposed to try. Hooked the modem directly to the computer, no router attached. Next move, the REFRESH.

Called Comcast technical support, asked for a modem refresh –not able to send a refresh rate message comes back, and I’m sent to TECHNICAL SUPPORT immediately. The last time, two days ago, when the Internet went out, the Internet signal intermittently did get through every 45-50 seconds before it went off, so it looked like we had signal, it seemed a whole lot harder to deal with. So, this time  got Dianna, quickly. She sounds Spanish, easy to understand. I ask for technical support to come to the house right off the bat, but Dianna asks to run diagnostics. After about 45 minutes, and several recycles she gets the modem working.

She says that if we continue to send signals from Comcast it could ruin my modem. She believes that there are STRONG POWER SURGES coming into the house causing the modem to go into STANDBY. She asks me if the modem is a Motorola. She says that an ARRIS modem would work better, they almost never have a problem with them. I say that I’ve been looking at the ARRIS. She doesn’t go as far as suggesting that I rent the Comcast modem. She explains that the ARRIS modems are built to deal with electrical current better than other brands.

Dianna also said to get something to modulate the power. Something on Reddit that I have to read. What’s the difference between upstream power and downstream power?  I’ll check those stats in my modem software page. Been having a problem with an intruder in Gmail and a few minor annoyances. Guessing that’s a coincidence. How unlikely is it that someone would attack a cable modem? I’m scratching my head here. Moving on. Will read reddit page again.

Dianna has explained each step that she has taken and why she has taken it. Part of the solution for Comcast is better customer service. Dianna is a better customer service representative than the last four to five male representatives I’ve had to deal with. In fact, the ARRIS female representative was better than those five males that I’ve dealt with in the last 30 days or so.

POWER SHUTDOWN:  As if on que, at 9:38 AM, the house power has flashed off and on, shut down my computer and the lights in the entire house have flashed off and on. A few moments later, and a resiet, and the modem is back up but the orange link light is flashing so that means the connection is slower. The blue solid light is gone, forever? grrrrh.

Next step: Go to reddit to read about a power modulator? Buy an Arris modem?



This guy’s book will cost 0.1 Bitcoin or approx. 2700 ripples if you care to convert your hoard to Bitcoin, which is about $11.64 (amirite or amiwrong?) When the book debuts on Amazon June 3, 2013,  it will cost $4.99 on Whisper net. It’s available pre-order on Amazon, only.

If anyone orders this book would you please let me know how easy (difficult) it was to buy the first book w/ Bitcoin.


CHOOSING YOURSELF by James Altucher, James Altucher is an American hedge fund manager, entrepreneur, and author. He has founded or cofounded over 20 companies, including Reset Inc. and StockPickr. Wikipedia

Found “Choose Yourself” review in a BUSINESS INSIDER story.


I’ve made money, I’ve lost money. I’ve lost my home/family/friends. I’ve made some of the above back. I’ve gotten really lucky. Several times. With determination I’ll make it stick, and I think you will also.




 I expected to read details, hitherto unknown to us, about that weird country, North Korea, in Eric Schmidt’s book, The New Digital Age. After all, North Korea is a hot topic, and Schmidt, recently, had a bird’s eye view of it.

Schmidt is on the short list of a very few Americans to experience North Korea intimately, notwithstanding the blinkered Dennis Rodman, who attended a North Korean “celebrity sporting event” a month before Kim Jong-un threatened nuclear annihilation to four U.S. cities: Washington, Colorado Springs, Colo., Los Angeles and Honolulu.

Or, let’s not forget the photo-op of ashen-faced, hostage negotiator, ex-president, Bill Clinton who stood on stage beside the elder, Kim Jong-II during a tense hostage situation. We are curious about North Korea, as-is, on a day-to-day basis, rather than a sanitized distance. Schmidt entered the inner sanctum.

Yes, there were many quotable lines about North Korea and the future of business in Asia in The New Digital Age, but for the rest of us, seeking ephemera, the chapters were like dry lake beds encrusted with cracked mud. 

Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen dual authored The Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business. The book was published this April, several months after Schmidt’s business and sightseeing tour with his daughter, Sophie, to North Korea.

Since books are printed in bits instead of ink, mostly, nowadays, it seems like Schmidt and Cohen could’ve updated their Kindle version to include more North Korean local color before it was published; could’ve added a page or two of local kitsch slash melodrama for those readers who are so very curious about, but will never see the innards of North Korea; with those edits in mind, Schmidt could’ve let his daughter write the book.

Daughter, Sophie’s hot-wired blog post written after her visit to North Korea with her father, Eric Schmidt, was far more fun, informative, and readable than Schmidt’s and Cohen’s book. You might like to visit Sophie in North Korea or read Eric Schmidt’s Daughter Recounts the Duo’s Bizarre Trip to North Korea, a Gizmodo story. It’s lively.

Seemed like the Schmidt-Cohen combo was possibly cautious about letting loose Google secrets or damaging a future working relationship with that Manchurian Candidate-kind-of-country, North Korea. Or something.

A Kindle search for the phrase ‘North Korea’ in The New Digital Age leads to no less than thirty-four instances. But for all those talking points the authors might have been describing a dull gray, nondescript, electrical box that every body owns.

Yeah, we know the North Korean government filters their public Internet. Give us details we can chew on. Give us concreteness. Give us gossip, any morsel, scrap, tedious leftover. Linsday Lohan gets better coverage than that bad-boy, North Korea, after a Schmidt visit.

Maybe informed readers with insider views to Google, and the future, read more into Schmidt’s lines than disappointed reviewers read. I’m sure, reading between the lines totally titillates CEO’s and those who like to guess what Google’s next move is about — readers get that, but a good read that broadens our understanding of the future, sprinkled with some bling-bling, and magic dust, particularly, when describing North Korea is what most readers expected.

A few reviewers on Amazon reviews were disappointed. We were in the minority. Below is the gist of my comment left on Amazon:

Bought The New Digital Age book on Amazon Pre-Order because I thought it was a book I might enjoy a lot. Rarely do this. The first chapter was interesting enough, but the writing kept me, the reader at a distance.

After the first chapter I would find myself flipping through other books in my Kindle. I didn’t get much past the first chapter, though I sampled later chapters to try to find a place to anchor my interest. I gave up on it.

Had just finished reading James Merkosi’s Burning the Page with little effort; I read it page for page, and gave it a good review on my blog. The distance between the two books on the WOW scale was wide. I read Burning the Page without a bump, but there was nothing but turbulence in the cockpit when I attempted to navigate The New Digital Age.


Internet computer conversation has changed. I like to tinker. But, lately, it’s like standing in a room full of people chatting up something interesting like Mountain Lion 10.8 OS X when without notice you are alone. Everyone suddenly exits to see something more exciting outside the building. You wonder over to the window to see what all the babel is about. On the lawn techies are crowding around this seven-inch rectangular mirror thing that’s got everyone mesmerized. No mess of cords: simplicity.

That’s how I felt as a tinkerer before Nexus 7 Tablet arrived at my place. Alone, behind times. OS X was no longer fresh. I was on the line about abandoning Snow Leopard 10.6.8Mountain Lion 10.8 was more of the same, a buggy system that requires updates to fix the bugs that the last version didn’t fix. Shades of Windows. My 2006 Intel dual core PC is to this day a work horse, ahead of it’s time when I bought the $1500 motherboard and power supply fashionably ensconced in what is still a bad ass black X Blade case.

It became clearer everyday that if I wanted to stay current with OS X I had to buy more hardware like a sound card, video, or buy a motherboard, and Mountain Lion OS software. I adopted a used Mac desktop from a family member who couldn’t fix it. It just quit. Took it apart to find a tiny bit of solder missing on a fragile metal object that made it not fixable, at least by me.

Windows 7 shelf date came and went, OS X grew a dull patina starting with boot, too. When Google Chrome developers decided to dump OS X Chrome browser, and it acted finicky when video played, that was it. What is a middling, not serious tinkerer to do? Buy a $180 video card. Throw good money after bad? TonyMacX86, goodbye. You’ve been a great site!

I de-tethered from my desktop. I want battery life that is as promised. Nexus 7 has 10-11 hour sustainable battery power. My HP Pavilion DV7 lasted three hours when it was new. Writing a simple column on battery only was a pain. No goofing off with housework to return to a black screen from where the battery had fully discharged, and lost text.

In two years the HP battery was dead, anyway. I either had to spend more dollars to replace it or stay hooked to an outlet. That’s for a device that is stationary, runs too hot to balance on my lap, and runs the power hogging OS, Windows 7. HP runs Ubuntu or a Linux, too, of course, and can do OS X, but like Windows those have lost luster. Drag that five pound monster to Starbucks, and all the fun is missing.

I wanted a genuinely portable tablet like the Amazon Fire, like the one I bought for my daughter. Kindle Fire is has an elegant design, limited browsing power but is a damn good first in an affordable 8 GB tablet. Ever since I booted the Kindle I’ve wanted to break it, to root it, but since it was her gift, bricking was not in the spirit of the gift. This spring Google announced Nexus 7. The reviews read like every nerd’s dream, every spec covered most of my bases, and those things that were not covered, new apps like the Nexus Media Importer and the new OTG hardware hack written about on forums, made possible the last wish on my list.

The final Lego fell into place when Larry Page (I think) dropped a tidbit about wired Ethernet as a possibility. A hack made possible by the On The Go or OTG cable. Our Internet is wired. If I were to run the wireless I had to interrupt the household Internet for fifteen minutes to get online for minimal browsing, and email. OTG, an unpublicized option, made my decision final. The Nexus 7 Tablet 16 GB was my next computer system. I didn’t have the cash to spend upgrading hopelessly clunky systems.

The OTG cable hooked into Ethernet, and a 50 ft. cable, LOL. (and Belkin USB Ethernet adapter.) A wireless tablet is nice but a wired tablet is really nice. I wanted the option to tether my phone, ditto. Bluetooth, ditto. I wanted the option to type on a keyboard for speed or thumb-type-touch for convenience. I wanted to connect at Starbucks without weight or complexity. And I wanted to try the apps tech writers raved about.

Google gave a $25.00 gift certificate to spend on Google Play with purchase. Spending someone else’s money is fun I’ve got to tell you. Google’s money was spent well. It was a win/win. Google educated me about their App Store and Google Wallet in a direct meaningful way that it would have taken me years to get to.

I bought my first apps, yes, I know this is sad, but these were the first Apps I’d needed to buy since I own an inexpensive Samsung phone. I have never owned an iPhone or iPad, nor have I wanted to own one. Those systems are too slick — to limiting — too expensive.

A big chunk went to Quick Office. And a good choice for a writer. At first it didn’t seem that way. Now, after three weeks, Quick office is a ritual. After I check my email, browse the news, I open Office to write. I get a choice in file formats.

I save doc files compatible with 1997-2003 Office — my current software version. Upload the docs to Google drive or email them to my personal email account without ever exposing my business account to Android’s ever-open email access. Download the files to my HP laptop, which is looking useful again, and print them. Or I could print them from the cloud. Or upload posts to my blogsite The Nexus 7 Android OS, Jelly Bean 4.1, ecosystem is consumer friendly.

Google has thought the Nexus 7 Tablet strategy through. They’ve integrated their ecosystem, which is remarkably like the one I want, to make email simple, browsing fast, an ecosystem that has open frontiers to explore. It’s not a walled-in community on the level that Amazon built.

Kindle books are a must. The reader is backlit. Kindle is awesome on Nexus 7. Sunlight. I can sit under the canopy at Starbucks to type or browse. Google needs a shipping and customer infrastructure to match their product but as a frontier-settler-nerd this works exceptionally well for me. I had one disappointment.

The Nexus 7 official case covers were sold out at $20. I ordered the swiss army knife for Nexus covers from a company named CrazyOnDigital, described as a “Rotating Stand Leather Case Cover for Google Nexus 7 Tablet (Black)[Smart Cover Function: Automatically Wakes and Puts the Nexus 7 to Sleep” from Amazon. Got it in a few days at a cost of $14.85. And it absolutely revolutionized productivity on the Nexus.

And, behold another computer system has come to my attention, the Raspberry Pi. Gotta have the $35 credit card size motherboard to make a HDMI home theater. Android Ice Cream Sandwich works for video on the Raspberry Pi. If only it played sound. Google’s AudioFlinger is missing. Debian works pretty good for now. Oh, well, another day. Another OS. Reprint from defunct blog at


BURNING THE PAGE: THE EBOOK REVOLUTION AND THE FUTURE OF READING. It shows us how magic came to be. It tells the story about a modern day sorcerer, Jason Merkoski, who spent his life working on the “front lines of the ebook revolution.”

Like FAHRENHEIT 451 the page was burnt, destroyed in the most anarchic invention in the twenty-first century, the Kindle book. To save the page it was deconstructed from atoms, and resurrected to bits.

From paper to zeros and ones. From print to Kindle, and later from bits to bits, conceived on a screen and published onscreen. James Merkoski and the Amazon team quietly changed our lives, and changed a world-wide paradigm that’s been the thread woven into our daily life for centuries – the bound book.

It’s a narrative about the Kindle-dot-com – Amazon, about “Google, Jeff Bezos, and the ghost of Gutenberg. It’s a true story of the eBook revolution—what eBooks are and what they mean for you and me, for our future, and for reading itself,” but mostly it’s the intimate memoir of an inventor entwined w/ the memoir of the Gutenberg invention, the book from beginning to present.

It’s a love letter written to the book as we’ve known it and an elegy to it’s passing. It’s an imaginative glimpse into the new technology that has revolutionized reading and writing books; it is the socialization of books.

Digital books were available before the Kindle; only the Kindle caused a revolution in reading. Before that digital texts were the province of disparate publishers of history books, technical manuals, and fiction books, mostly from established writers like Stephen King. eBook publishing was reserved for the few forward thinkers, sometimes self-publishers, the techno-savvy who, early on, published eBooks in the digital space as a PDF file, a file both awkward and serviceable. The personal Kindle reader, and app, and the flexible-format MOBI file revolutionized eBooks.

The Kindle incarnation proved it could almost displace the much-loved book bound in leather, paper, and cloth with distinct smells and feels, and an almost living presence to bibliophiles. It begrudgingly won us over.

Burning the Page carries forward this astounding history that has happened right under our noses, in writing, story, and a style that begets “pastness, presentness, and futureness, joined by association” tying all these concepts together. It’s a complex style that works as best I can describe it.

Amazon Kindle books have breached the “third digital revolution” described by Neil Gershenfeld, “in which matter and information merge”, where things are turned into bits and bits are turned into things. James Merkoski captured a Gutenberg moment in his book just as one epoch is ending and another beginning. Book lovers and Technosociofiles will not want to miss this one.