Android without Google (Part 2: Moving to CalyxOS)

2021-06-14 20:16:40 +0200

Once you’ve installed CalyxOS on your (Pixel) phone you’re ready to play with settings and preinstalled apps. If you’d like to give it a clean start you can simply reset to factory settings as you would with stock ROM (Settings -> System -> Advanced -> Reset Options -> Delete all data). Make sure not to delete your eSIM if you’re using one. After the phone restarts you need to go through the initial setup again (language, time zone, WiFi, etc…)



Android without Google (Part 1: Installing CalyxOS)

2021-05-31 20:35:29 +0200

For a couple of years already I like to get rid of Google on my Android powered smartphone. Though I think that technically Google’s services cannot be outmatched: they just work, are easy to use and from what I understand pretty secure, they’re not really coming for “free”: you will “pay” with your data. Unfortunately there is no real good alternative when it comes to smartphones. You could go with Apple if you don’t mind being locked into Apple’s ecosystem (besides I’m not sure if you’re better off with Apple in terms of privacy). So far I never called a smartphone my own which was actually well supported by alternative Android ROMs like LineageOS for example. The phones which are best supported by custom ROMs are part of Google’s own Pixel lineup. It’s kind of funny when you think of it: if you want to remove Google from your phone, get a phone by Google… Anyway, I really wanted to check this out now so I got myself a second hand Google Pixel 3a for testing purposes.



Music streaming services and sound quality

2018-03-10 21:52:00 +0100

Back when I was a teenager I spent a lot of time listening to music. I mean really listening to it - not just keeping it running in the background while doing other stuff. First I had a radio alarm clock with (cassette-)tape recorder. So I mostly listened to tapes which where recorded from radio. Of course the quality of those recordings and of the tape player itself would not stand any quality standards ;-) A little later I got my hands on my father’s stereo equipment (SABA receiver and tape deck with a DUAL turntable and some nice Canton speakers). This caused my standards to rise. I began buying records and copied them to tape. If I really liked the record it went on a “metal” tape, but usually I spent my money on “CrO2” tapes. But why buy a record and then copy it to tape? Why not buy the tape in the first place?



Mobile messenger apps

2017-06-02 16:56:00 +0200

The thing about trust is it’s a very individual matter. For example I do trust Google (to a certain degree), however I do not trust WhatsApp or even less Facebook. There might be no logic in this, but fact is I always disliked that the latter had a copy of my address book whereas I didn’t hesitate storing it with the former. Also, I personally don’t trust Apple software due to the fact that their security bugs are not being fixed in a timely manner or their way of pre-configuring their OS’s in an insecure way (i.e. at least with MacOSX 10.x the firewall is still disabled as default). As company storing my data I’d probably trust them. That of course is my personal opinion.



Manjaro Linux

2016-12-20 19:17:00 +0100

Since I last posted about a Linux distribution it’s been a while and it was all about Arch Linux. Well, four years later it’s again about Arch - more or less: Manjaro Linux. This distribution is based on Arch Linux, is completely binary compatible with it’s ancestor but maintains it’s own repositories. During the last couple of years I mostly kept Debian based distros running on my laptop (it’s still this one :-) ), sometimes Debian itself and sometimes Ubuntu. I did not have the time to go through the Arch Linux installation routine which - by my last post you might have guessed - can be a little daunting. However, I do think that Arch’s “pacman” package manager and their build system is one of the finest out there. This is where Manjaro comes in handy: it provides a live system with a GUI installer which doesn’t take more than 10 to 15 minutes and it’s all done.