I’m in Germany, but the fundamentals of life are such they cannot be removed.
I see myself in the protagonists, and I see my ex in it too.
It seems like there is so much more to say, but there isn’t really.
Everybody’s experienced it before. Everybody already knows why things play out the way they do.
All we can do is steep in our implicit mutual understanding.
Ebert thinks it isn’t about the story, it’s about Wong Kar Wai playing Jean Luc Godard. Yes, it has a French plot, which is to say it goes nowhere. But to say that this movie is mainly a style exercise, with the plot just being there to fill things out, is ridiculous.
Everybody wants to tell their own story. We just want to express it in a cool way.
You’re gonna feel like a chicken who’s lost its head. Keep calm and carry on. Immediately think of how to replace stuff.
The wallet is not that important. You can lock and reorder every card within an hour or two, and you shouldn’t be walking around with more than 50EURs in cash anyway. The ID, however, can cost you time and money.
The smartphone is very important. Consider the amount of time it’ll take to earn the money required for a replacement, and setting it up with all your accounts (this takes me several hours). Also, your embarrassing naked photos are now public (not that I had any).
The keys are of utmost importance. You might have to jump through some hoops to copy the keys, and what would the landlord say? If there is any way to trace the keys to your place, there is now the possibility that someone can just walk in and walk out with something valuable.
And if you didn’t give a friend a spare key, you just got locked out. That’s seriously inconvenient.
I didn’t lose my laptop, but if I did, it would’ve been game over for me. It would be like losing the smartphone but 5 times worse, since I’m a programmer and setting everything up could take days.
When I got my wallet back, I wasn’t jumping up and down for joy. Everything had been locked and re-ordered, and the cash being completely emptied was to be expected. Instead, I was hoping to match some fingerprints on it, but as it turns out getting fingerprints from leather is hard enough that the police don’t want to do it over petty theft.
I suspect that they treat burglaries only slightly above petty theft, too. Murders, now that might cook their cockles. Murderers and escaped convicts
The policeman who filed the police statement wasn’t particularly enthused either. In fact, he seemed positively miffed that he had been singled out to file my statement. For a little under 3000EUR a month, he had better things to do than office work (but I suppose it beats getting shot at for that salary). The Berlin police are the worst paid police force in all of Germany.
In conclusion: the wallet is, contrary to popular opinion, not that important! Lock your cards with the hotline (in Germany it’s 116-116) and forget about it. Go shopping for a new one, it’s fun.
Infrastructure-related belongings are much more important, and cost more time and energy (potentially money as well) to replace.
On the importance of mindset
Something has changed in me. I was able to calm down quickly, assess the situation, reframe it positively, and quickly shift into “okay, now what” mode. Getting my brain to do this was not easy. It has been a 2 year long struggle at least.
I admit, I read and was applying mindset before Mike Cernovich’s Gorilla Mindset. But I have to say, that book has definitely helped. Reading it is easy. Applying its lessons will take years. It is not easy to reprogram your mind, because there is nothing that can help you fight it but yourself.
My LG G5 got stolen by a beggar in a leather jacket (but that’s not why I switched).
I keep the box on my desk to remind myself not to be so fucking stupid again.
The truth is, the camera wasn’t perfect. I dreamt of making it a mini-computer on the go, with a Bluetooth keyboard, Termux with so many packages installed, but then I realized:
I don’t want to see such little but important details being fucked up again.
I don’t trust that I’ll get Android updates in the future, and I don’t want to deal with custom ROMs anymore, because I don’t want my phone to be like a computer.
While I was back on my HTC, trying to run a recent version of Android (4.2) without crashing…
I saw my dad with his iPhone 4 running iOS 7. It’s slow, and the camera isn’t impressive. But the photos never had issues. The camera always takes a photo within 300ms, whether or not it is in focus. It is slow because of iOS 7, not because someone forgot to program TRIM support into the kernel (thank you Android!). And there’s still app support for iOS 7, so he can use it today.
I saw my friend with his iPhone 5, which came out the same year as my HTC One S. It runs the latest version of iOS, runs Google Maps faster than my phone, can even play Pokemon Go and run the number26 app (required to have a bank account with number26).
I bought an iPhone 5S for 260EURs. As of 2016, I estimate it has at least 3 more years of useful life left. The camera is still miles ahead of the Nexus 5X or 6P – it starts faster, burst mode is incredibly fast, and you don’t have to install another app for that. I only wish I had bought this phone in 2013.
Now although the G5 can take great photos, and the wide angle is truly useful:
I still found many things wrong with it:
In darker situations, the noise reduction is way too strong, making the photo look like a watercolour (the wide angle needs more light than the main camera). This is what I’m talking about:
Videos are the worst. Here’s an uncompressed still from a video quality comparison I made:
The noise reduction algorithm is the same (because they both use Qualcomm’s ISP), it’s just dialed down in OpenCamera. You can see the texture on the white wall now. The pillows look better. The texture on my dad’s underpants looks better. And despite what it looks like, my dad was not moving his arm in the first picture. Just look at the file sizes. The first is 820kB, the second is 1.8MB because it contains way more information.
LG’s Camera app only lets you take photos at full-res 16MP. I can’t believe nobody noticed this. I don’t want 3-5MBs of watercolour! In fact I don’t want to spend 3-5MB on each photo, period! In the end I had to write a python script to do the resizing.
It’s still slow to focus like a normal smartphone because it doesn’t have PDAF, or phase-detect autofocus. At this price range, it’s inexcusable. The Galaxy S7 is freaking fast. The iPhone 6 is second place. If my girlfriend makes a funny face, I don’t have 500ms to wait for the phone to focus.
Burst mode does not work in Manual mode. Why? The Galaxy S7 can do this.
The volume-down shortcut to quickly launch the camera is great – but LG uses the proximity sensor so it doesn’t launch if the G5 thinks it’s in your pocket, so you can’t ‘preload’ the camera in your pocket. There’s no need for this. The volume buttons are hard to accidentally press in your pocket anyway.
For the past month I’ve been hard at work writing a Linux tutorial. What, you say? Aren’t there enough Linux tutorials out there, the Linux Documentation Project, the installation guides etc? And wait, who are you to teach anything? And what, I have to pay for it?
Yes, there are many guides out there that can teach you about Linux for free. But none of them tell you why things are so, how they came to be this way, and what’s the rationale for doing things this way. The worst ones just tell you what to type at the terminal.
Not to mention, which of these would you sit down and read if you were bored? None of them, that’s what. You’d only read them if you wanted to install Linux.
So this pet project is my challenge – to take everything I know about computers and write about it in an interesting way.
I’ve already put the first few chapters up for free, so you can decide for yourself if you like the way I explain things. Later on I will release the ebook that explains networking and how to host your own site with WordPress, as well as how it all works internally.
Although I haven’t been blogging that much recently (been focused on real life), I found that I had so much content on my old blog that it was kinda silly to just leave it there.
Bit by bit, the few useless blog posts from long ago built up into something rather useful – if only to see my mental state back then
It also helps search engine traffic for this blog. Apparently many people found my blog by searching for Ellen Fein’s The Rules – I wrote twoarticles on why they sucked, although these days I’m sure I can explain why much better.
Android phones have 3 system levels:
Each level can modify the level above it. So in order to modify system, you need to first make recovery do your bidding. And to do that, you need to unlock the bootloader.
In Android phones, internal storage is split up into partitions:
/boot: contains the Linux kernel and ramdisk. SuperSU and no-dm-verity will patch the files here.
/data: Apps and settings are installed here. A factory reset just wipes this partition.
/recovery: recovery system goes here. We will flash TWRP onto it.
/cache: amongst other uses, LG’s Software Update downloads OTAs here.
Android platform tools:
adb: works in recovery and Android (if Development Mode is enabled and USB mode is not Charging Only)
fastboot: works in bootloader
adb reboot (bootloader or recovery) – Totally great! Now you don’t have to fiddle with button combos to get into recovery.
adb push/pull – really easy way to get/put files on phone’s storage. Uses MTP
fastboot flash (image) – flashes a certain partition with whatever image file you have on the computer.
LG G5’s recovery button combo:
Hold Volume Down+Power.
When you see the LG logo, let go of Power and press it down again (keep it pressed).
Keep holding both buttons.
It will ask you if you want to factory reset. Say yes only if you want to lose your data.
You will lose all your data. Get it off the phone.
First you must unlock the bootloader. Follow LG’s instructions here.
After you do this, from now on whenever you boot your phone it will say “Your device software can’t be checked for corruption”.
Now that the bootloader will let you flash something onto it, you can change the recovery. The stock recovery only displays an Android with an open stomach – you can’t do anything on it. Download TWRP for the LG G5 here.
With your phone plugged into your computer and USB debugging enabled, type: adb reboot bootloader
The phone will reboot into a black screen with some small text that includes “Welcome to Fastboot Mode”: fastboot flash recovery twrp-3.0.2-0-h850.img
Upon reboot, the G5’s system will find that the recovery has been flashed, and will restore the old version. You don’t want that. So send TWRP to the phone again and tell the phone to boot directly into it: fastboot boot twrp-3.0.2-0-h850.img
When booted, TWRP will automatically patch /system so that it won’t try to overwrite TWRP on the next boot.
Put a microSD into the LG G5, because /data (internal storage) is encrypted and TWRP can’t read/write to it. That’s why we’re going to wipe /data later and patch Android to not use encryption.
OK, now you’re in TWRP. It’ll ask you to swipe right if you really want to allow system modifications. After you swipe right, you need to flash no-verity-opt-encrypt.zip or else you won’t be able to boot into Android again, only into the bootloader/recovery.
Backup your /boot and /system partitions. Tell TWRP to save the backup to the microSD card.
Download SuperSU and no-verity-opt-encrypt.zip, and use adb to push these files from the computer onto the G5’s microSD over USB. adb push no-verity-opt-encrypt.zip /external_sd
adb push SuperSU.zip /external_sd
Install SuperSU.zip and no-verity-opt-encrypt.zip using TWRP. These will modify the /system and /boot partitions, which is why we backed those up earlier.
Go to Wipe->Format Data. Don’t Swipe to Factory Reset – it’s not the same thing. It removes all the files in /data but it can only do that if it can read/write /data – which it can’t at the moment.
Congratulations. Just Reboot->System.
If you ever get stuck at a white screen that says “Encrypting”, boot back into TWRP and Wipe->Format Data. And make sure you flashed no-verity-opt-encrypt.zip.
This is what we’ve all been waiting for.
Hate Facebook/Instagram/Evernote? Want to get rid of those stock apps? They’re in /data/data.
Hate ads in free apps and websites? Install Adaway. Of course, you won’t find it on the Play Store 😉
Wifi passwords are stored in plaintext in /data/misc/wifi/wpa_supplicant.conf
Install TitaniumBackup. it’s so much more flexible than backing up /data, because you can transfer your apps+data into a totally different ROM, like Cyanogenmod.