Ubuntu Linux coming to the Google Android platform.

If you remember this you are as old as I am.
If you remember this you are as old as I am.

The Ubuntu Linux distribution is coming to the Google Android hardware platform. This means that the secure and open Linux operating system will be coming to the popular Android hardware. The Google Android operating system, although it is based on Linux, has been the subject of much controversy over the security issues that have plagued that mobile OS. The Ubuntu Unity interface is meant to power mobile tablet devices anyway, as I wrote in this post: the Ubuntu Linux distribution is destined for mobile devices anyway, this is not surprising at all. http://www.securitronlinux.com/uncategorized/ubuntu-14-04-future/. it is amazing what the modern mobile phones can do compared to a computer from 1995. This article comparing the computers of today to those of 1995 is an interesting read. We have come a long way since we were using a 486 sx33 with 4MiB of Random Access Memory. In 1981, a 64KB upgrade would set you back US$100.00, in 1991 a generic brand 1MB RAM SIMM would cost US$50.00, while a specialised 1MB Toshiba SIMM cost US$600.00! Nowadays you can get a CORSAIR TWINX1024-3200C2 RAM Chip For AU$169.00 as of the 2nd of July 2006. @ http://www.scorptec.com.au. And a USB 2.0 LEADTEK 1.5G DIGIBANK Flash Disk can be had for AU$99.00 from the aforementioned website. Today, a 4GiB Random Access Memory DDr3 stick is available for AU$25.00!

The technology is getting cheaper and cheaper. I remember my father sending me to pick up a 1MiB extension ISA card for our computer, this was a full length ISA card that extended the memory of our 8086 machine by a massive 1 Megabyte and cost AU$600.00! What a time that was. Another thing you do not see any more are the 200MiB hard drives that were mounted on a ISA card that you plugged into your computer and they allowed you to extend your hard disk space by that amount. These are called Hardcards and were another way to install more hard disk storage on your computer. With modern USB 2.0 external hard disks that contain 2 Gigabytes of data, this sort of hardware would not really be popular any more. Even if it plugged into a PCIe slot and gave fast speeds, it is better to use ESATA or USB 2.0. An operation that would have taken a 486 or a Pentium 1 hours can now be accomplished in a second or so with a modern computer. And now we do not need to use the autoexec.bat or config.sys files to configure the startup of our machines, and we do not need to use a config.sys menu to choose which drivers to load with MSDOS. That was quite a cool feature of MSDOS 6.22, but nowadays we have Windows 7 and Linux that can pretty well automatically configure the startup themselves. With Windows 7 you can press F8 when the computer starts up to choose from the boot options menu, but it is rare that you would need to do that. With Linux, you can use the grub boot menu as well as the many configuration files in /etc to choose which services are loaded at startup.

DOS Booting up.
DOS Booting up.

With modern computers we can use the suspend option to put the computer to sleep at night and then wake it up afterwards in no time at all. With a 486 you could not do that, you had to switch it off totally and then switch it back on in the morning. I remember with Windows `98 you had the screen that would show at the end of the shutdown sequence that would tell you it is now safe to switch off your computer. That was before modern hardware that could switch itself off. The modern smarthphones that you can create office documents on, play videos and music as well as take 5 Megapixel photos are far beyond the VGA cameras that were in the early mobile phones and have a lot more power than the computers in 1995. Running Ubuntu on a mobile phone is pretty awesome, and you could get Doom running on one easily if you did a bit of fiddling. There is a video here that shows Ubuntu running on a Nexus One. and the Gnome menus are usable with the touch screen interface. There is a tutorial on this website showing how to perform the installation of the Ubuntu distribution alongside the Android operating system.

5 Comments

  • Super Jamie
    Posted February 26, 2012 at 10:14 PM | Permalink

    Um, what? The Android kernel is a fork of the Linux kernel. Recently there has been discussion about having Google’s AOSP changes accepted back into the mainline tree, essentially making Android just another build option.

    Any security issues around Android have stemmed from Google’s open policy of accepting any publisher and application on Market, and lesser people exploiting that.

  • Posted February 27, 2012 at 10:34 AM | Permalink

    That was just a typo on my part. But it is cool to see the videos of Ubuntu running on a Nexus `phone and the person using Gnome 2 on a mobile phone. How long until we can run FreeDoom on a mobile telephone? That would be cool.

    • Super Jamie
      Posted February 29, 2012 at 11:20 PM | Permalink

      There were Doom ports on Symbian phones, and there have been PrBoom ports on Android since the G1 was out. Substitute in the FreeDoom IWAD and you’re away.

      • Posted March 1, 2012 at 7:34 AM | Permalink

        I installed Cdoom on my Nokia E72, but it is asking for a serial key, I need to remove it and install the single-player only free version, is that Doom Legacy? I heard somewhere that Cdoom is based on Legacy.

        • Posted March 1, 2012 at 3:35 PM | Permalink

          I installed the Cdoom core package instead on my phone and it works perfectly, now I just need to copy the Ultimate Doom IWAD to my phone and it will be awesome.

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