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Nubia Z17 Lite (NX591J): How to Unlock & Install NubiaPixel ROM on Linux

1 month ago  •  Tutorials

The Nubia Z17 Lite is a pretty sweet phone for the price. However, its biggest flaw (for some) is it’s Nubia UI. Fortunately, tillaz from XDA Developers have been so awesome to release “NubiaPixel”, that aims to be AOSP with the stock Google pixel look and feel.

 

So, you might be here to replace Nubia UI or maybe you would just like to know how to unlock your bootloader? Well, that’s great! Just follow along.

 

The things we will need…

 

The first thing we got to do is unpack ADB and open the terminal inside it.

 

Open in Terminal

 

You can either right click on the folder and select “Open in Terminal” or you can “cd” your way into the folder from the terminal.

 

CD to/path/

 

Just make sure you are inside the folder with the files “adb” and “fastboot”.

 

Now we are ready to setup our phone to use ADB (platform tools). You will first need to enable developer options on your phone. Do this by going to Settings -> About Phone -> tap on Build number until it tells you developer options is activated.

 

Now go back to settings and select Developer options. Enable OEM unlock and USB debugging.

 



    

 

Then you connect your phone to the PC. Make sure to select “transfer files” when the notification about USB options show up.

 

Now, type “./adb devices” in the terminal. Your phone will now ask for permission, say yes. ADB should then show your device in the terminal. If not, try again with the command “adb devices” and make sure you allow the connection on your phone, when it asks.

 

Next we need to boot into the bootloader. Type “./adb reboot bootloader” and your phone should be restarting into bootloader.

So far, so good. Now that we are in the bootloader, type “fastboot devices”. Hopefully your phone will show up in the terminal.

 

Now we will unlock the bootloader. Type “./fastboot oem nubia_unlock NUBIA_NX591J” and your phone will be unlocked. Great! Next, we will install TWRP. If it complains about permissions, you might need to use sudo.

 

Unpack the TWRP file we downloaded earlier. Find the file “recovery.img” and place it inside the folder with the files “adb” and “fastboot”. Now use the command “./fastboot flash recovery recovery.img”.

 

Now choose to boot into recovery from the menu in the bootloader. It should now boot into TWRP.

 

Now that we have TWRP installed, we will need to place the NubiaPixel ROM in our internal storage. When that is done, in TWRP, go to “install” and select the ROM. After it is installed go to Advanced -> Root Tools -> Magisk root to root the phone. Otherwise the phone won’t boot.

 

NubiaPixel

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Teclast TbooK 16 Power - How To Install Windows 10

3 months ago  •  Tutorials

The TbooK 16 Power from Teclast normally comes with Android 6.0 and Windows 10. Both operation systems share about fifty-fifty of the 64GB storage available. I didn’t have any use for Android, so I wanted to use all the space for Windows. However, the version of Windows pre-installed is a Chinese, bloated version.

Before we move on, you have probably heard about several problems with the TbooK Power 16 and they are probably all true. The most common one is the dual boot option will suddenly disappear and depending on your luck, are only able to either boot Android or Windows.

I would like to just have Windows on my TbooK 16 Power, so the first I will do is create a Windows 10 bootable USB with Rufus. Before we continue, you need to download the drivers for the TbooK 16 Power, since nothing will work once Windows 10 is installed. Download the drivers from one of the links below and copy it to the USB drive.

Google Drive

Make sure “Fast Boot” is enabled and “USB Support” is set to “Full Initial” in the BIOS.

BIOS - FAST BOOT - FULL INITIAL

However, I immediately got into problems when I tried to boot from the Windows USB. It would start loading the Windows installation, but shortly after I would get blue-screen with the error message “ACPI_Error”.

I solved this by setting the “OS Image ID” to “Windows 8.1” in the BIOS.

Go to “Advanced” and select “System Component”.

BIOS Advanced

 Last, we set the “OS IMAGE ID” to “Windows 8.1”.

OS Image ID

All good. We are now able to boot the Windows USB and start the installation. Follow the instructions. When it’s done, you will realise that I was telling you the truth when I said nothing would work. Internet, touchscreen, sound etc.

Unpack the drivers and go to Device Manager. You will see a long list of “unknown Devices”. Start from the top of the list and work your way down. Right click and choose “Update Driver”. Then we choose “Browser my computer for driver software” and browse to the folder containing all the drivers.


Eventually there will be about 2-3 unknown devices left, but you should now have internet access. The last thing we need now is simply go to Windows Updates and update Windows. When that is done, restart and you will have a fully functional TbooK 16 Power with windows 10.

Troubleshooting

If your bootable USB created with Rufus won’t appear in the BIOS, it might work using a Linux distribution to create the bootable USB instead. Use something like WoeUSB or GNOME Multi-writer. Also make sure the OS Image ID is set to Windows 8.1.

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Tox - The Secure Instant Messenger Of The Future?

3 years ago  •  Reviews

A New Kind of Instant Messaging

“With the rise of government monitoring programs, Tox provides an easy to use application that allows you to connect with friends and family without anyone else listening in. While other big-name services require you to pay for features, Tox is totally free, and comes without advertising.”

Software like Tox is becoming more and more relevant in a world where shady governments spy on their citizens and collect data about everyone in huge amounts. Not only can this personal information be used against you, it is also sold to various corporations to better force advertisement on to you.

How does Tox help against that? Simple! It is a Peer-to-Peer, encrypted, instant messenger, that allows you to communicate with other people, just like Skype, Facebook Messenger and others do. Except, Tox is encrypted, which means no one else can listen in on your conversations.

Centralised vs. Decentralised vs. Distributed Network

Since Tox is Peer-to-Peer, there is no central server that will keep track of your conversations, limit your usage or have downtimes that can prevent you from getting in contact with friends or family. Tox is truly a distributed (meshed) instant messenger!

So what are the trade-offs and why do I care about encryption and privacy when I’m not really doing anything illegal? Let’s first do a little comparison between some of the popular instant messengers.

Comparison Skype Facebook Telegram Viber Tox
Open Source No No Partial No Yes
Encryption No No Partial No Yes
Distributed No No No No Yes
Video Chat Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Voice Chat Yes Yes No Yes Yes
File Sharing Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Synchronisation Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Ads Yes Yes No No No
Desktop App Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Web App No Yes Yes No Yes
Platforms Windows, Linux, OSX, Android, iOS Android, iOS, WP Windows, Linux, OSX, Android, iOS, WP Windows, Linux, OSX, Android, iOS, WP Windows, Linux, OSX, Androud, iOS

So there’s obviously a lot of ups and downs when it comes to all these different instant messengers and these 5 are just a few among the countless of instant messengers out there! The biggest one for me, personally, is open source and the usage of a distributed (meshed) network. I love open source and I believe it’s what we need more of in the world. Not just when it comes to software, but food, medicine, technology. You name it. The easier access, the better the world will be.

qTox Group Chat

Anyway, so why care about privacy, encryption and even distributed (meshed) networks, instead of just using centralisation? Imagine a world where a computer collects every little detail about you. Whatever you do, something is logging everything you do on the internet. This is called “data mining” and there is countless of companies out there that specialize in just that. Without your consent, they collect every little piece of information about you and sell it to the highest bidder. Luckily, this information is mostly only used to target ads at you, but data can easily be stolen or misused...

Okay, rant over. So what makes Tox a better alternative? If you are concerned about your privacy, love cryptography, new technology and want to fight against centralisation, then I guess Tox is a pretty good choice.

qTox Encryption Of Personal Data

It got pretty much everything you need, except it’s still in early development. Which means, it doesn’t synchronise your conversations between devices, it uses a lot of bandwidth, so do not use it on your limited mobile bandwidth and you can’t message your contacts or add new contacts, unless they are online. Adding contacts in general, can also be very tedious, as you will need to know a very long ID. There is no way to add someone by username or e-mail, unless you use something like toxme.se.

Some of these faults are being worked on though. Like synchronised conversations, but Tox really is in a very early stage in development. So keep that in mind!

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WebP vs. JPEG - Which Image Format Is The Best?

3 years ago  •  Reviews

I like technology. Especially technology that’s open source. This is where the image format WebP really got my attention. Not only is WebP an open format, but it also promises between 28-48% in file-size reduction! Wow! That’s amazing. Even though our internet connections become faster and faster, we still want to savor as much bandwidth as possible and spend less time waiting for a page to load.

Let’s start out with a quick comparison between JPEG, PNG and WebP.

Comparison JPEG PNG WebP
Browser Support All All Chrome, Opera, Firefox
Open Format? No Yes Yes
Alpha Channel? No Yes Yes
Lossless? No Yes Yes
Animation? No No Yes

This is my rough comparison between these 3 image formats. I included PNG just because. In general, WebP  can achieve a much smaller file size than the PNG format and I'm a lot more interested in seeing if WebP can compete with the closed format, JPEG.

You will need to use a browser that supports the WebP format, before you can actually see the comparison. You can also download the images and make the comparison, should you have other software that's capable of handling WebP. If you do have a capable browser, simply hover over the images with your mouse to see the difference.

JPEG File WebP File

 

I must admit, I'm no photographer, but I am a "perfectionist". I like to have my images look the best they possibly can. Some people just keep compressing their images, ruining the quality beyond bad.

I started out with compressing the JPEG as far as I could, before I felt it started to become pixelated and noisy/grain-ish. I'm sure a lot of people would say I could go further, but I already think I went too far! Even when the JPEG is compressed 60%, its size is still bigger than its WebP counterpart...

JPEG File WebP File

 

Here I couldn't venture that far with the compression before my eyes started to bleed. If you look closely at the stones beneath the white house, on the left, you will see how the stones gets blurry on the WebP image. This is something I see again and again. WebP tends to blur out the image, the more you compress it. When it comes to JPEG, the image gets more noisy. So it really depends on the image. Does it still look fine with a little blur? Or should it look a little noisy instead? It's a tradeoff, I guess. In this case, we save about 20KB if we were using the WebP format, but someone could most likely get the JPEG format down to that size as well, if that person is ready to compromise the quality even further.

JPEG File WebP File

 

Here's one where I just went to the extreme and compressed it as much as possible, without totally ruining the image. Judge for yourself.

I must admit, it's hard to see THAT big of a difference between the two formats. Obviously, JPEG is a lot more convenient for most people. It's a standard and everything supports it's. However, WebP is an open format and I love that. That's really enough for me and all it take is a little code, a converter and you are ready to serve the WebP format to Chrome and Opera users, and JPEG for the rest.

There's a good amount of WebP converters out there and I'm sure you'll get different results from all of them. I used gThumb 3.2.7 to compress the images and I really don't have any idea how good gThumb is. I think it did the job though.

Anyway, thanks for reading my very first post. I hope you enjoyed some of it. I don't claim to be a pro! If you have any suggestions or comments, please don't hold back. I'm thinking of doing a comparison between WebP and GIF. So let me know if that might have an interest!

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