Club Admiralty

v7.2 - moving along, a point increase at a time

Club Admiralty Blog

A blog about life in general, in as many languages as I can manage. Ενα ιστολόγιο περι ζωής, πολυγλωσσο - σε όσες γλωσσες εχω μεράκι να γράψω.

Vintage Tech - Ericsson R380

Here's another one from 2019 lol :-)

Today's blog post is dedicated to the Ericsson R380w.  I think this may potentially be the first smartphone that I have ever seen in the wild. This phone came out in 1999 and I think it was the first device marketed as a smartphone.  While I think that connected PDAs had data devices connected to them before this, the R380w was an all-in-one device.

As you can see from the image below, the keypad flips down to reveal a bigger touch-screen PDA that you can use. This design language is probably where the designs of the SonyEricsson P800 and P900 came from a few years later. The 'w' in R380w meant that it was a world phone that supported the 900 and 1900 GMS bands (900 for Europe, and 1900 for North America). The European version was 900/1800 which allowed it to be used with more carriers.  Back then you couldn't be picky if you wanted to be a world traveler, you used the carrier whose bands your phone supported 😂

I saw one of these in the wild coming back from Greece in 2000 there was a guy a few rows ahead of me who was using his. I really wanted one, and it looked like a device from the future 😁. The problem was that the phone was around $700, so for a college student that was a little expensive.  

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Vintage Tech: Nokia N-Gage

Original N-Gage

Here's another one from the "drafts" pile from 2019 that I wanted to do a little write-up about, but...well it got lost in the blogging shuffle 😂. My original intent with this series of looking back at older tech was to talk a bit about the specs and the general reception, but since there are enough blogs, wikis, and YouTubers who already do that, why add to the chorus?  So, I decided that I'll just give my two cents on these devices.

Thi particular walk down memory lane is courtesy of Nokia's N-Gage duo. The original N-Gage was a neat idea at the time (2003). The only way you could play portable games at the time were on a PSP or a Nindendo DS (or older portable gaming consoles), but who wants multiple devices in their pockets?! The device ran the Series60 Symbian operating system, which meant that they could also run other PDA-style applications that were available on Nokia S60 phones.  The device was really half-baked though. The microphone and speaker were on the side of the device, which made it awkward to use, and in order to play games on cartridge (how they sold them back then, before appstores and quick downloads over wifi/wireless carrier), was to remove the battery and reset the device. 🤦‍♂️ Having to reboot your phone to change a game is a major failure.  The QD (second generation N-Gage), did fix things, but I think that mobile gaming of this sort wasn't ready for prime time.  Furthermore, other S60 devices could play the N-Gage games, seeing as their ran the same OS, so all you had to do was get a copy of the SIS file and play it on your N95 or other S60 phone.  Cool attempt, but poor execution IMO.

N-Gage QD

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Gemini PDA - A blast from the past

Well... Back in 2019 I had started to write this post, when the Gemini PDA was relatively new, and ... well it got forgotten in my drafts folder 😂.  The images of the device pictured are that of the Gemini PDA, which is a connected PDA that aims to replicate the look and feel of those older Psion Series 5 PDAs from the late 90s

The device runs Android, and it has a slot for a SIM so you can be connected, but I think talking on the phone only happens via a headset.  The concept is nice, but  the biggest drawback is that it doesn't seem like the manufacturer has bothered to update the version of android that's on it.  This particular model is stuck on Android 8.  A newer device, the Astro Glide, which is reminiscent of the Nokia E7, is listed as "new" on their website, but still runs Android 11. The current version of Android, as of this writing, is Android 13.  Overall, I'd say that both the Gemini and the Astro Glide are interesting, but they are held back, in my view, by old versions of android.    I know that the Gemini can dual boot, but if you install Linux on it, then you just an eeePC netbook, not a connected PDA.

Specs of the Gemini, if you're curious:


GSM: 850/900/1800/1900MHz

CDMA: 850/1900 MHz BC0 BC1+ EVDO

WCDMA: 900/2100MHz

LTE: 1/2/3/4/5/7/12/17/20/41

VoLTE: Compatible

SIM slot + eSIM (ready)

Display Type: 5.99 FHD+ (18:9) Size: 5.99 inch
Resolution: 2160x1080, 403 ppi
Multi Touch: Yes
Protection: Scratch-Resistant Glass

OS: Android OS 7.11 upgradable to 8.1 as standard.

User installable Sailfish, Linux Debian and Linux Kali.

Dual boot OS capability.

Chipset: Mediatek MT6797X Helio X27 (Deca Core)

CPU: 2x Cortex A72 @ 2.6 GHz, 4x Cortex A53 @ 2.0 GHz, 4x Cortex A53 @ 1.6 GHz

GPU: Quad Core ARM Mali T880 MP4 @ 875MHz



Card Slot: microSD

Internal: 64GB

Speakers: Stereo Speakers

Microphones: Integrated Ambient Microphones

3.5mm Audio Jack: Yes

Bluetooth: v 4.1

GPS: Yes, with AGPS

USB: 2x USB Type-C, OTG support

Form Factor: Wide Clam Shell

Dimensions(mm): 171.4w x 79.25d x 15.1h

Weight: 308g

Battery: 4,220mAh

Camera: 5MP Front Camera (External 5MP camera additional accessory module also available)

Keyboard: Mechanical full keyboard

Keyboard Layouts: Arabic, Brazilian, Chinese, Czech, Croatian, Dvorak, Finnish, French, German/Austrian, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian/Danish, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Swiss, Thai, UK English, US English.

Voice Input: Dedicated voice assistance button

Sensors: Accelerometer, light sensor, gyroscope, magnetic-sensor

LED Lights: 5 programmable LEDs

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Moving Mastodon Servers


Well... I didn't think I'd be migrating from one Mastodon server to another one so soon (I just created the account this past spring!), but here we are! 🙄 I joined this particular server because it seemed like this was where fellow academics were going after they left Twitter (or while they were co-establishing their presence on Mastodon). I should have read the prohibitions a bit more carefully at the time, but I hadn't considered how I'd be using Mastodon.  In any case, recently, my account got limited by the server admin because I was using Fedica (formerly tweepsmap) to schedule my posts.  Technically speaking, I was also crossposting to Twitter, but the direction was A (Fedica) --> B (Mastodon) + C (Twitter), not B --> C  which is how I interpreted the rule🤷‍♂️.  In any case, since my profile would not be seen by folks on that server (and perhaps other parts of the Fediverse - unless they specifically looked for me), I decided to pack my bags and go somewhere else.  I did get a note from the server admin after I appealed the limitation - and the appeal was rejected. Here is the message:

"Hi, the point of the "no Twitter crossposters" rule is so that people participate at Scholar, rather than going to another site and sending us stuff as a kind of amplifier and not being a part of the community here

I'll amend the rule to make this clearer, let me know when you've disabled your timed post crossposter or set it to post as Unlisted and I'll un-limit your account"

You know... just because someone uses cross-posting and schedulers for spring doesn't mean that they aren't part of a community. These kinds of activities (posting and engaging) can happen synchronously or asynchronously. They can happen in tandem or parallel to one another. I don't have social media open all day long.  When I read my RSS feeds and decide what to share, I'd like to have things drip out, otherwise, I am spamming my timeline.  I guess this is a bit too hard to comprehend 🙄.  I don't want to be overly harsh on this server admin.  They own it, they pay for it, whatever.  However, it's a bit disingenuous of the fediverse to decry other social platforms of ideological bias when many parts of the fediverse exist as reactionaries to those biases with opposing bias-forces of their own (yet they don't acknowledge it).  How a user wants to engage with the community should be up to them. 

And another thing (picture Peter Griffin here 😂) If users forget to add alt-tags on images (which happened from time to time because fedica doesn't have this functionality), users shouldn't be badgered about it.  I migrated to another server without many issues, but all of my old posts (about 1800 of them) remain on the old server.  For a tool/technology that touts the ability to move from one server to another, this seems like a huge oversight.  OK - rant mode off 😂

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TV - Hawkey

It's weird that I started writing this last summer and I am only now getting to it... let's see how much I remember 😂.

OK, so last summer I watched this series.  The premise was quite simple: who's the next Hawkeye not that Hawkeye has "retired" from being a superhero? 

This series takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame. It's Christmas Time in New York, and all Clint Barton (Hawkeye) wants to do is to spend the holidays with his family. However, after meeting young archer, Kate Bishop, they both get tangled up in a murder mystery, an underground mob, and a much bigger threat. 

Before becoming an Avenger, Clint was much more of a Green Arrow vigilante kind of superhero, and his past life and deeds are now returning to haunt him, and by extension Kate who has found some of his old kit and has decided to become the next "guy with bow" ( much disparagement of a super hero who's not a scientist, rich guy, or god 😂).

I think that this was a one-season-one-off, but it would be fun to get to see more of Hawkeye: The Next Generation ;-)

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TV - People of Earth

Here's another show from my sci-fi catch-up watch.  This one was on Hulu, I think, and it's a comedy about alien abductees.

The series follows city journalist Ozzie Graham, played by Wyatt Cenac, who travels to Beacon, New York to write a piece on a support group called "StarCrossed," who are survivors of alien encounters. The abductees are stereotypical tin-foil-hat folks. Although skeptical at first, Ozzie realizes the truth of the group's claims when he begins to recall similar experiences. Ozzie eventually quits his job and moves to Beacon to further investigate the town's strange occurrences, as well as resolve issues in his past related to his possible abduction.

As the series progresses, Ozzie gradually learns that his employer, Jonathan Walsh, is a reptilian (alien) in disguise. Jonathan, who has considered him a friend since he abducted the young Ozzie, explains that the Trinity Federation, an alliance among three races of extra-terrestrials (greys, whites, and reptilians), was sent many years ago to conquer Earth under reptilian leadership. However, in his time on Earth, Jonathan has developed sympathy for humans and wants to expose the truth about the invasion, so he hopes to persuade his alien coworkers and the humans he calls friends to help.

This was a fun show, which unfortunately only had two seasons.  I would have loved to have seen more interactions with the aliens. The three kinds of aliens seen in the show come from real life alledged abductions, and the whole vibe between the aliens species reminded me of Third Rock from the Sun, and Sgt. Frog.
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TV - Extant

Last year, at some point, I was going through old science fiction series that I had missed while they were on TV. I thought it would be neat to go back and watch some of them, and to some extent I still am going through and watching them.  My Space: 1999 watch has stalled a bit. It's hard some times to watch this level of camp and appreciate it with a 1960's frame of mind when we live in the 2020's...

Anyway, this show had two seasons. I think the first season was pretty interesting and novel, and the second season was a "WTF?" rollecoaster.  The story follows Molly Woods, an astronaut with ISEA (International Space Exploration Agency) who is assigned a 13-month solo mission aboard space station Seraphim. She returns home to her husband John, a robotics engineer who created their son Ethan, a prototype android called a "humanich"(pronounced Human-ik). When Molly discovers that she has mysteriously become pregnant despite years of infertility, she begins a search for answers.

The first season started strong. The second season was tonally very different from first, to the point it was really really bad.  The husband (John) is no longer in the picture, the pregnancy resulted in some sort of human/alien hybrid which included some kind of grand conspiracy. I mean, even bringing in Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Richard T Jones could fix this hot mess of a season.  I wonder what happened between seasons to change things so much.

Worth watching?  If you're a completist, you might as well watch it - or you can just skip it.
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Apple VisionPro - some thoughts

Wow! Almost a month since I started to comment on this and only now do I have some free time to actually finish my comments 😂.

OK, I am an Apple fan. I've gotten a bit more critical over the years, but I still like their products (more or less).  I think VisionPro (AVP) is a bit rushed to market.  No one is saying the β word, and people are treating this as the product, but I honestly think this is a little half-baked, sort of like the original iPhone.  It does have really innovative things. The ability to have multiple windows open in a virtual space is pretty nifty.  If I lived alone, maybe the theatrical surround sound would be great, but my television and movie-watching experiences do involve other people.  This device is also $3500, which means that it's out of the reach of most folks; and as we know Apple doesn't just target Enterprise consumers  - so it's still TBD if this is going to flop as a first-gen product.

The lack of hand controllers is an innovation IMO.  I think that controllers could be developed as add-on peripherals, in the same way as we have peripherals for our desktop computing devices, but being able to use a device without peripherals is revolutionary in my view.

So...what's your use case for one of these? While I think that it's geared toward productivity and movies in the Apple pitches, I think gaming is still the killer app for these things.

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Assassin's Creed Mirage

 OK, this is one the last blog from my backlog with a games-related theme ;-)

Not gonna lie, at the end of Assassin's Creed Valhalla I was in a "WTF?!?!" mood. I wasn't really sure I wanted to know more about Basim and his ways, that there's a trailer out and we get to see Basim's origin story (and hopefully some kind of redemption arc in the modern day...) I can't wait for this game to come out :-)

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Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown

Another one from my blog backlog.  This one is the trailer for the next Prince of Persia game, subtitled "The Lost Crown". It's been a while since I've played a Prince of Persia game, and this looks interesting. I don't often play platformers, but this looks interesting. Knowing that Assassin's Creed started off as a Prince of Persia game, I really hope to see crossovers from AC to PoP in this game ;-)

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