I messed around with Android, the results were surprising!

Alex General Nuggets, Technology, The Weird, Wired and Wacky World Of Alex Wornast 0 Comments

Let’s talk about phones. Yes that massive hunk of expensive junk that lives in your pocket that probably isn’t going to last long before you savagely replace it with a “fantastic shiny new model”.

Now I’m a fine one to talk

In fact you could probably call me a hypocrite because I bought a Google Pixel XL 128GB on pre-order day. Very recently, it had to go back to them due to shockingly poor battery performance, so I’m back to using my Cubot Note S which I bought for approximately 92.7% less.

I’ve always been under the impression of you get what you pay for

If it’s cheap there’s a reason for it, that’s a common sense fact ingrained into our brains from a very young age. For me, I would never spend under £400 on a laptop because anything lower than that is what I would view as cheap rubbish. Android though is an open source project, so while the devices may not be free, the software is!

I think it’s ludicrous that the likes of Google and Apple are charging £1,000 when I can build a computer  or a high-end spec laptop which would both be much more powerful for that at the same price. It would kind of be acceptable to charge that price if IU was buying something just as powerful, but I’m not so it’s not…

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£500 would be what I would deem as a reasonable price for most phones these days given top-end specs of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 128GB of storage space and at least 4GB of RAM. I’m pretty sure most people would agree with me. The Oneplus 5T (pictured right) delivers these specs for £449 and will have the latest version of Android too. It is however out of stock at the moment, suggesting the launch of the oneplus 6 is iniment.

 

 With great power comes great responsibility

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Android has a special feature, it’s called rooting and it’s ridiculously powerful! With a rooted device you can overclock the processor to make it faster, flash a custom ROM if you don’t like the operating system, improve battery performance by undervolting and truly customise your device the way you like.

Rooting can however be risky if you don’t follow the instructions correctly. You could end up bricking your device, this is when the device refuses to turn on leaving you with essentially a brick, hence the term of course. If you’re stupid enough to not make a backup, you could also end up bricking it as well. To put it simply, you have the power to break your phone, so be careful because your warranty can’t and most certainly won’t save you now!

I would like to point out that the following steps that I am about to highlight are purely things that I have done to my phone. it is not a guide to improve your own device nor a recommendation on what you should do if you do not like your device. I cannot accept responsibility or be held liable if you also decide to proceed or recreate any steps in this blog post. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

So can I make a rubbish phone good?

The Cubot Note S is by definition a decent device if you don’t mind the lack of fingerprint scanner, storage space, NFC and 4G connectivity… When I bought it back in August 2016, it cost me a mere £60. Its purpose was to serve as a temporary device after my Sony Xperia M2 died before the Pixel launched. Using it was bearable, if not a little bit annoying.

Okay I lied, it was rubbish. The software was dreadful and full of bloatware, the camera produced sub-par pictures with poor colour reproduction and blurriness and also it was just really really slow! I of course didn’t mind this so much considering its cheap price tag and the fact that I didn’t have to use it that long, however if I’d had to use it in its current state for any longer, then I’d probably want to chuck it out of a window or smash it with a rather large hammer.

The first thing I did was install TWRP

TWRP is a custom recovery operating system. It allows you to take backups of your device, recover these and even flash operating systems to your phone. It’s in my opinion a much better alternative to ABD which allows you to flash directly from the command line of your computer. Sure you have to flash TWRP and still go through the delightful process of unlocking your bootloader, but after that, the process is super simple. Of course on the Cubot Note S, there are absolutely no consequences of unlocking your bootloader apart from voiding your warranty.

Then I backed up my current installation

Which surprisingly didn’t take as long as I thought it would. Within 300 seconds, I had a complete backup of my phone minus of course the SD card, which I had already backed up earlier that day.

I then tried to flash a ROM

And it failed spectacularly. My phone got stuck in a bootloop because the ROM was all wrong. I was however able to restore my device because I wasn’t stupid enough not to make a backup. The next time I downloaded AOKP, which is short for the Android Open Kang Project. AOKP is of course a play on words of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and Kang which is slang for stolen code. Needless to say it worked absolutely perfectly, apart from the fact that it took ages to boot up, but that was only the first time that I booted the phone up of course. To my surprise, the operating system was almost exactly the same as what I had on my pixel when I first received it.

Next I had to get rid of those God damn awful blob emojis

The awful blob emojis

You can see what I mean right?

The blob emojis, for those who are uninitiated in legacy Android, are by far the worst emojis ever… Okay I did kind of like them in Android N, but they were improved so vastly in Oreo. I want to hurl now every time I see one of their blobby little faces… Thankfully there is a solution and you guessed it, it’s another zip file. Honestly what would we do without the XDA forum?

But with a TWRP enabled device, you could use non-native emojis like IOS emojis or the discord ones if you so wish.

Finally I rooted it

After verifying that I hadn’t installed a ROM that was absolute garbage and sorting out the stupid emojis, I decided to root my phone to increase processor speed. Again I launched back into TWRP recovery and installed the SuperSU.zip file, cleared the cache and rebooted. It took quite a while to reboot, so I pulled the battery and started the phone normally, which to my seemed to work.

So to answer the question…

Yes, well at least I can make it semi-decent software wise at least. I must admit, there wasn’t much I could do about the lack of 4G and NFC connectivity without ripping out the motherboard and fitting it with another one. The phone will probably burn a hole in my pocket due to the heat that it’s running at too. Saying that I have been impressed that I could install Android 7.1.2 on a pretty low-end device and furthermore have all the software features of my pixel for 92.7% less of the price!

Maybe if I had a phone with a bit more processing power and more storage space, I’d have been able to upgrade the  ROM to a 8.1 Oreo, but Nougat is a good enough anyway! The phone would probably run a bit cooler too as I wouldn’t have needed to clock the processor speed quite so high. A higher spec phone would also have NFC meaning I could use Google Pay like I did with my pixel.

Final Thoughts

So next time you look at the snazzy new models with an eye-watering prices, think about buying a cheaper one and installing the latest version of android yourself.

Excuses excuses

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So it really has been quite a while since my last blog post and a lot has changed over these past sixty days. Some of you may have thought that I went missing in action, which I guess in some respects could be true, because I did go off grid for a bit.

I’ve been really really busy..

Is probably the most common excuse that people use. Most people’s definition of this phrase however involves them sitting in their pants, picking their bum and possibly spending most of their time browsing through reams and reams of social media posts. I however spent my most recent day off getting new tyres, getting the weekly shopping, coming up with an improvement strategy for the Tetracious brand and helping to run a campfire. On top of this, I still managed to find some time for piano practice and to finish off reading the art of super prediction.

But I will admit, I have also been quite distracted

Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of field research on some theories that I’ve been reading about. These theories I will cover in a later post, although I suspect that most people will consider these to be somewhat questionable…

I was playing Hollow Knight

I realise that a lot of people reading this will have probably never even heard of Hollow Knight and if they do, it’s probably because I’ve been ranting and raving about it being the most amazing game ever! From this game however, I can conclude that I am rubbish at video games and that I should stick to programming and running, because those are the things I am good at.

I hate my writing!

In true Tetracious fashion, I wrote a few posts, proof read them, ended up not publishing them and chucking in a bin somewhere. In said there were also pictures of genitalia, which I had apparently shared on my local discord server on the 17th of August this year. I was rather surprised to find such things in there… In actuality, there was probably nothing wrong with these posts, I just go through phases of disliking my writing!

But to write a blog, one must have a life

I’m fairly sure someone said this in a film at some point, but I can’t remember for the life of me which film this was.

Speaking of life, I haven’t written much of my book yet

My book is due to be ready by June next year, when I will probably send it to everyone I know for proof reading. Now the title of this book hasn’t really been decided yet.

And like I say, many things have changed

Which is probably exactly what you’d expect, because nothing stays the same for long. I’ll save that all for other posts though, there’s far too much explain right now. Besides who has time for excuses? Because I certainly don’t, despite the fact I just used a load….

Catch you all later,

Alex

Life is surreal

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“Y’know,” I said whilst taking a huge bite into the side of a bright green apple, “life’s a surreal experience.” My brother stared at me in bemusement, “how?” he said quizzically. I just shook my head and laughed. You see, much of life is defined by logic, I’ve a mathematical mind by nature and when someone asks me to paint a picture, well, I leave that to a certified artist; Human nature however is often not a logical or rational thing. Sure you can analyse its patterns , sure you can put people into boxes, but what you’ll begin to realise is that it’s not all black and white.

Perhaps you’ll write rulebooks, perhaps you’ll let them define who you are. Perhaps you’ll meet people, perhaps you’ll change because of their judgement. Perhaps you’ll learn not to care, but there will be some things you will still care about, because let’s face it, who really cares that it rains all day in Britain? One day you’ll have everything and the next, you’ll have nothing, but then again, that’s very much business as usual. Play the game, play it well or it will play you. Focus on what feels right, but don’t let that cloud your judgement.

Maybe you’ll create theories, I suspect you already have, you make guesses about how people will react in a given circumstance of course it’s not always that simple, but experience makes that easier to understand.

Sometimes when I played the game I won, other times, I lost but won in other ways, sometimes I was surprised by the game’s simplicity, sometimes I was crushed by my own defeat. But then there were other times, where I ran around like a headless chicken. No direction, no clue, yet all the energy in the world.

One day the universe drained me of my power. I laid lifelessly in my bed for a few days and drank until I felt physically sick, but not mentally anymore. I remained like this for many months. Alive on the outside, yet dead on the inside.

And then one day, the universe gave me my power back. Things started to change, maybe I killed him, that man for even I was ashamed of him for now in his place standing tall is him or rather me, who I am and not who I used to be. Confident, comfortable and capable. My only limitation? Boredom and lack of mental stimulation from what I used to describe as challenges.

I once questioned the difference, I once asked what’s changed. In a way I’d say there’s a lot of things that have changed, but in other ways, well, they haven’t. Perhaps they don’t need to. Your future? Well I don’t even know mine so how can I know yours? My future, well it’s unresolved, my mind can’t quite comprehend the dizzy heights of it all yet.

One thing I can say is that most people I meet, they resign themselves to a future that doesn’t expect anything from them. To me that sounds boring, don’t tell me that you don’t agree with me, tell me you’re different.

Am I evil or am I good? Maybe I don’t have an alignment, perhaps I’m neutral or perhaps my acts of good and evil cancel each other out. Either way, I know they don’t exist, these concepts I read once in an ancient library inside my mind. There are books there, fables of a past life, of an ancient empire that was burned down by a malevolent and blood thirsty tyrant.

Some people take life to seriously, they get wrapped up in it all and want explanations for everything. They thought I was a bit of an arsehole. Maybe is all I can say to that. Consider this, does the world exist if it isn’t observed, an extension to the classic of a tree falling in a forest.

Some days I woke up vengeful, on the warpath. I lost my faith in humanity, I learned to despise everything. I shouted, I cursed and like Cave Johnson took to the battlefield with combustible lemons to burn life’s house down. Cold and cynical yet down to earth.

One day I had to speak with sadness in my voice. I made a room of sad faces burst into tears, perhaps regretful that a man they hated so much could be such an icon to his adopted grandchildren when he married my grandmother.

One day someone restored my faith in humanity that day, someone dear to me ran away.

But out of all of these moments, do any of them feel sane, do any of them feel real. If you can predict exactly what’s going to happen, is it really living? This is a question I ask myself as I tie up my laces and recite the numbers from one to one hundred backwards. Does everything really exist? As I gaze into the darkness of my room I seriously begin to doubt it.

Midnight Thoughts

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“Alex?”
“Mmmm?”
“What’s up?”
“Nothing much,” I replied as I smiled and stared at the ceiling in bewilderment.

The night air was filled with the sound of the gentle pitter-patter of rain, peaceful and hypnotic noise. Calming and comforting and only amplifying the coziness of the house. Things have changed, they have changed a lot in recent months, in recent years, but still I kept my logic. I cling to it as monkey’s tail clings to the trees, swinging from branch to branch as each opportunity comes.

Let me tell you something, perfection’s exahausting, but to me, good enough quite simply isn’t good enough. It is the enemy of my best, of your best, of anyone’s best, but it easier. I guess that’s why people settle for second best, why people don’t try to be better, why no one says “it has to be perfect” anymore, because it doesn’t, because you can’t be perfect. That’s not human. To be perfect, you have to become a machine, give up your humanity. Become cold, become hard, become a ruthless tyrant who rules with an iron fist because they understand what it means to be tough. But if you want to be great, should rule with compassion, with kindness and out of love or would you trade this all for absolute power?

There are people who still believe in the good of mankind. Am I one of those people,or do I condemn them due to my lack of sympathy and cold-heartedness? How could I hate humankind, when I see such purity in her eyes. A kind and giving soul who encourages me to live the way I know how to, not a way that I feel trapped into to prove myself superior. Someone who has shown nothing but kindness towards me, but most importantly someone who loves me for who I am and for who I decide to become.

And they are again, tears, just like the ones outside.

Ah Seattle, I Could Get Used To You

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So it’s 2am again and yet again, I’m being told off for still being awake. I doubt I’ll finish this post in one short session, so this’ll probably come at some really weird time or on a regular scheduled post slot. 

Adventure Awaits!

I wanted the freedom to do some exploring, so I decided to get a rental car and so after going through the ridiculously long process of looking for a rental company, who will actually be willing to lend me a car (and of course the joys of insurance), I signed my life away and was handed the keys to a very nice Toyota Camry. Now usually, I’m not really a fan of Toyotas, they look like the sort of thing some old man would drive. 

The only gripe I have with him is his lack of orange paint!

I decided to call this car Seraphina as a tribute to a character from my favourite webcomic, unordinary. My girlfriend, who came to meet me at the airport, decided that it looked more like a bloke and so we settled for Joshua. 
Now because my core sleeping hours are between 10pm and 1:30am, I was able to readjust my sleeping pattern quite well on the plane. Naturally, I wasn’t tired, so I dropped off my girlfriend, let her sleep (because she was quite clearly exahausted) and drove around the 217 square kilometres that the city has to offer. Now by far the most impressive building that is in Seattle is probably the space needle! 

This little guy is 604 feet tall. That’s approximately 184 metres or (for those of you who are hyper nerds) 6 metres shorter than the Gherkin! Shhhh, no I did not ask my Google assistant for any of these figures… Let tell you, the skyline here is far more impressive than that of many cities I have visited. My early morning drive also got me well aquainted with the area. 

Before I knew it, 9AM rolled around

And man, was I hungry. Sure I could’ve just gone to McDonald’s and bought a hashbrown and a greasy breakfast bap, but if your girlfriend offers to make you proper American style pancakes, you’re not likely to refuse are you? They were pretty darn good and certainly sated the appetite I worked up from my midnight wanderings. 

And then we went to the furry convention

Now my character is a lion called Archon, my girlfriend’s is a more simplistic, but is still rather effective! Now for those of you who haven’t done their research, there tends to be quite a large amount of drinking at these things, so we left Joshua and took some public transport.

When we arrived, I was pretty amazed

Fursuits are pretty darn cool, but they’re also pretty darn expensive, hence why, I don’t own one. Everyone was pretty friendly and exclaimed “Omg you’re British.” because apparently, I have the most British accent in the world! I’m not really sure what to say about it really other than you should probably go to one, because what’s not fun about interacting with a load of people about something interesting? Anyway we eventually staggered out (too much wine) and headed to some place for dinner!

Possibly the best burger restaurant?

I’m not going to argue here, red robin is probably one of the finest burger joints that I have ever had the pleasure of dining at. Of course a Whiskey River® BBQ burger and a bottomless glass of iced tea is probably by far the best combination. 

Come on now, go to sleep

I’m being beckoned to sleep, but I still want to explore, so before my phone is snatched away by her, I shall bid you all goodnight More stories for another time! 

Hello Seattle

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Finally, I’m here! I’ve got through customs and have arrived in Seattle. 

I love long journeys

The longest journey I ever had was probably when I went to Australia at the age of seven, although, unsurprisingly I was traveling with my parents at this time. While a ten hour flight might seem like a long time to most people, if you have a few decent books to finish and some writing to do, the time will quite literally fly by! 

Subliminal Songs

Back in 2008, which just so happens to be the last time that I was here, I went to Florida with my parents. At the time that we went, the new owl city album ocean eyes was released and the third track of this album was of course “Hello Seattle”. I recently dug through my music collection and about 45% of them have some reference to the city.

Sleep is for nighttime stuff

As a polyphasic sleeper, I’m used to incredibly short cycles of sleep. My general pattern matches that of an Everyman sleep cycle, which consists of three point five hours of core sleep and four twenty minute naps. So I constantly get told to go to sleep in the middle of the night. In fact, the fact that anyone is awake at 2am (which is about the time I landed) is surprisingly odd to me. Most people I know are usually going to bed while I’m waking up.

Tomorrow, I’m going to a furry convention

Or maybe I should say today… That’s right, at 12:30 PST, (20:30 BST) I will be going to a furry convention. This will be a new experience for me, I’ve read up on my facts, prepared my fursona and well, I think I have everything I need. 

So Hello Seattle, you beautiful place!

I could get comfortable here! 

I hate pears!

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​”I swear down Alex, if you’ve eaten a pear again, I am not going to be pleased.”

Shhhh, you know nothing!

There is no fruit quite as disatisfying as a pear. These completely unique shaped fruits generally have a disgusting wooly texture to them. In fact, if you are one of the few people who can somehow tolerate the scourge that is the pear, then I for one applaud you for your poor taste in fruity treats!

Pears are usually green

But you do occasionally get little brown pears that are shriveled, fermented and probably slightly alcoholic because of this. I reckon a fresher could probably find a way of getting drunk off about fifty of these seeing as it is every university student’s mission these days to drink enough alcohol to drown a small child in

If you like pears so much, why don’t you put it on your pizza?

Pear pizza truly is something to yelch about, unlike pineapple which quite clearly does and should belong on pizza.

And of course there’s this dilemma!

If a fair and just God existed, he wouldn’t allow the pear to exist! Although, knowing our almighty lord, the pear was probably the forbidden fruit and because Adam was so tempted by this wretched pathetic excuse for a fruit, he kept it in this world to punish us.

So if you like pears, you probably like being punished…

Which probably means you’re into really strange kinky things in the bedroom.

Even the Doctor doesn’t like pears

So seriously, just compost it!

Because your plants will love it and really, that’s all it’s good for!

From Software Engineer To Catapult Engineer

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For my birthday, I was lucky enough to get Da Vinci Catapult kit. Now for those of you who are unsure as to what this actually is, it’s a small working scale model that’s actually pretty powerful! 

Let’s talk Physics

Ugh, not physics, please anything but Physics. So this is a single armed catapult, Da Vinci did actually create a double armed one. Now the Physics behind this is solely based on the tension of the rope (or in my case string) on the catapultis what allows it to fire with so much force and much less effort than the standard catapult that we all know and love from the first century of the common era (that’s AD for all of you who still live in the past).

But seriously, I could probably do a lot of damage with this

In fact if I was hooligan who walked around in an ape-like manner, then: one, I probably wouldn’t be able to build this, because I:d be too uncivilised and wouldn’t possess enough brain power to follow instructions and two, if by some miracle I managed to get my hands on one of these, I could go smash some windows with it. 

So, how does it actually work?

Okay, so we’ve established that there is tension in the ropes on either side. There is a block wood which stops it from moving and holds the tension in the ropes. If we remove that, the tension releases converting all that potential energy into kinetic energy. Absolutely fascinating

And of course, it is a marvel to look at

It just took me forty-five minutes to build. Here are some more pictures of it and a video of it in action!

I’m Twenty; Now It’s Crunch Time!

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So here’s the day I was waiting for. My day of judgement, my day of reckoning. As I take a look back at my life, I accept that I truly have achieved a lot.

At 06:53 in the morning, two decades ago, I was born.

I was fed up of my mother’s uterus and decided to leave it two weeks earlier than everyone anticipated

As a result, I was yellow.

Juandice is quite common in new born babies, especially when they are born as prematurely as myself. So I was incubated, pricked with lots of needles and fed for a few days before I went home

Meanwhile, there was a flood in my house.

Apparently a water pipe burst causing some flooding a few days after I was born. So it’s probably just as well that I wasn’t at home. 

Thursday’s child has far to go

You know the daft old rhyme that your parents tell you.

Monday’s child is full of face, Tuesday’s child is full of grace, Wednesday’s child is full of woe, Thursday’s child has far to go, Friday’s child child is loving and giving Saturday’s child works hard for a living and then of course you have Sunday’s child who is apparently bonnie, blithe, good and gay. 

I digress, on this list, I’m Thursday’s child which means that I have far to go. Now I’ve always interpreted that as “I have a lot to learn” but what it’s actually supposed to mean is that I will have a lot of success over the years.

Like I’m sure most people would say, I never expected my life to turn out like this

It’s been long, it’s been hard, but finally at last I am the person who I have always wanted to be. 

My standards and expectations are high

They always have been. 

But I found what I was searching for. Resolution was easy to find when I gave myself the kick I needed

I’m sure most people think this post is jibberish by now, so I’m just going to round this off. 

Sleep well everyone!

It’s June

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It’s been a while since my last post, too long in fact. I thought I’d write a post to let you know what’s going on.

I now use Britain’s biggest carpark every weekday

Of course, I am talking about the infamous M25, which in truth, for me, hasn’t been to bad yet. Now I have said this however, I’ll most likely be halted there until my twentieth birthday.

Introducing Truly Tetracious

A long time ago (four years ago), I had a YouTube channel. Now four years on, I will be returning to the wonderful video sharing site to resurrect a space style adventure in SCHINE’s sandbox universe of StarMade. Dates for release of this series are still to be decided, although I am delighted to say that recording is underway. The channel will also be a great extension to the blog.

The Tetrapod

Think of them more like audioposts, because that’s what podcasts are really. Well, at least in my eyes anyway.

Yes I do still make time to play the piano too

I honestly don’t know where I find all the time to do this stuff.

But yes, Tetracious is growing

Much like GreatTree in my favourite game of all time.

And thank you for all your comments, I’ve just read them all

And welcome to all my new regular readers!

Tetracious Merch?

Some of you might have heard rumours that I am in process of writing a book. This is true. I’m currently identifying a market for other merchandise including mugs, t-shirts and stuff.

What’s happening to the Tetranet?

The Tetranet project is still very much alive. If you have an idea for a blog post or would like to be featured on Tetracious, pop an email through to me at alex.wornast@trulytetracious.uk

And that’s about it

Stay tuned, fresh new posts coming soon!