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[OT] Discipulus got a phone..

by Discipulus (Abbot)
on Mar 19, 2021 at 10:57 UTC ( #11129956=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Discipulus has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Hello folks!

Yesterday, March 18th dies albo signanda lapillo! I received two new tools: an electric snaple/nail gun and my very first smartphone, the latter from $work.

I suspect I will enjoy more working with the first one (paying attention to not make confusion in their usage, as this can be dangerous ;) but, as many of you already know, I always owned and used a Nokia1100 so I'm here to collect your suggestions.

What I already know is Perl Tk run on Android. It works and the useful termux app. Then I was suggested to use AndroxIDE as program editor, but I have to ask here for more suggestions.

Infact the phone is an android one, dual sim model (Samsung A40) and I wonder if I can afford to use it as only phone, so dual life. Because of this I need to know:

  1. how can I manage at least two distinct Contact Lists, with the possibility to black list one of them outside working hours?
  2. the lack of the user concept is a big minus: there is something that can be done in this direction?
  3. which browser can I use to protect my privacy and how to use it?
  4. which file manager do you suggest, being simply and powerful? I'd like to simply decide which data will go in the SD card too.
  5. which backup manager? I saw in the past backup bound to ugly propietary software aimed to backup the whole phone: I dont think this is my need, but I'm open to suggestions
  6. which remote access software must I use (able to do RDP and ssh connections)?
  7. there is something to check and control my privacy in a unified program? The First Time Access was a dread: fingerprints, google account details, blood type.. :)
  8. there is something like a network manager, able to simplify the management of data connections of two distinct sims, the wifi of my home and office and vpn too?
  9. I was unable to spot the keyboard and video plugs.. ;) no, seriously: can be connected in some way to became an emergency pc?
  10. Being a perl programmer and system administrator which app cant I miss?
  11. If I have the will to try to program an app where can I start and with which tools?

I'm sure you will pardon my offtopicness but I have to fill in a 20 years techonlogy gap and here at perlmonks lurk the only people I can really trust about the topic

L*

There are no rules, there are no thumbs..
Reinvent the wheel, then learn The Wheel; may be one day you reinvent one of THE WHEELS.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: [OT] Discipulus got a phone..
by Corion (Pope) on Mar 19, 2021 at 12:04 UTC

    I have a (blog) post on that - What's on my Phone in 2020.

    For contact lists, I run a CalDAV server at home (Davical), but I'm not sure how to easily blacklist contacts from one source.

    Depending on the make of your phone, it hopefully has an USB port. Nowadays, this USB port can often work as USB master too, so you can simply plug an USB hub into it and then hang a keyboard and mouse from it.

    If the phone also has USB-C, it maybe even has HDMI-over-Thunderbolt-over-USB-C, and you maybe can use an USB-C -to-HDMI adapter to connect it to an HDMI display.

Re: [OT] Discipulus got a phone..
by bliako (Monsignor) on Mar 19, 2021 at 16:06 UTC

    I am in a dual-phones situation myself between a wooden nookia and a huawei "smart". So, on the safe side still as only part of me is "Pwned". I don't have any Perl-related tips but here is my experience:

    The first thing I learned was to search first the open-source https://www.f-droid.org before the usual app-stores. Secondly, I would make sure that the keyboard I use is not phoning home with my typing data to "improve" their algorithms. I am not sure if android standard keyboard is in this category but I changed it to something else anyway. I have also replaced the standard email app with one from the F-Droid repository. I have disabled all google maps and added open-source OpenStreetMap. As a browser I use firefox with uBlock-origin addon.

    I have done some android development and I have discovered a very powerful way to access a phone when in "developer mode". This is the super-powerful adb. Plug your phone with usb, then adb can be used to do a lot on it, perhaps even doing backups, sending SMS, placing calls (i think yes). Additionally, in Linux one can mount the phone and view it as any other device. Bewarned that "developer mode" has its own "dangers" but it is not "rooted mode".

    Edit: and remember, there is no way out with exorcisms or holymaries, once it's in, it's in.

    Edit2: hehe there's already a module for wrapping adb: Android::ADB. Just get a long enough rope emmm usb cable and you are all set to have a transparent experience from the comfort of your shell. In lockdown, desktop is king.

    bw, bliako

Re: [OT] Discipulus got a phone..
by LanX (Sage) on Mar 19, 2021 at 13:54 UTC
    > Then I was suggested to use AndroxIDE as program editor, but I have to ask here for more suggestions.

    I don't know this one, but it seems to be based on Geany, which is a very nice compact but scalable editor.

    The question has rather to be, what kind keyboard do you intend to use?

    Unless you are dragging an external keyboard with you, you'll need to figure out how best to input CTRL sequences.

    I'm personally using Emacs inside Termux with a standard touch keyboard supporting Swype-like input. (at least half of my posts here are made from mobile with swipe typing)

    Pressing the volume button up and down gives me ALT and CTRL sequences. Still not perfect, I might activate evil-mode in the future or try to activate "Doom Emacs" or "Space Emacs" which have a vim-philosophy.

    Support for swiping in Termux is a bit cumbersome, you need to switch the keyboard mode to be able to use it and the text is only introduced after switching back.

    Cheers Rolf
    (addicted to the Perl Programming Language :)
    Wikisyntax for the Monastery

    ) the setting is called Glide-Typing in my Android. I'm using "Swype" here like "Nutella", it's actually a brand's name representative for a whole class of products.

Re: [OT] Discipulus got a phone..
by Anonymous Monk on Mar 20, 2021 at 07:33 UTC
    Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate.
    the lack of the user concept is a big minus: there is something that can be done in this direction?
    I've seen phones (made by Oppo?) that do offer the concept of "second user". Searching the Web reveals that this has been available since Android 5.0 (and even some 4.4 devices) but disabled by default by phone vendors. If a custom build of AOSP for your phone exists, you could install that, but then security updates would become a problem.
    which browser can I use to protect my privacy and how to use it?
    This question (similar to ones about different operating systems and programming languages) is likely to become a flamewar, but I'll try to answer carefully. <opinion>If you want the best compatibility to most websites, the choice on Android is the same as on the PC: Chrome and Firefox (there are no other supported browser engines left; even Opera is Chrome-based). There are browsers that use the system Android WebView (also Chrome-based). Any vendor-specific browser probably spies for the vendor. I haven't used Chrome because I think it's irredeemable with regards to spying. This leaves Firefox, but privacy-related add-ons work best on the PC, and I think they have broken the installation of most add-ons (there's now a small list of phone-compatible add-ons) and about:config (which people used to allow installation of other add-ons) in the newer versions of Firefox for Android.</opinion>
    which file manager do you suggest, being simply and powerful? I'd like to simply decide which data will go in the SD card too.
    I have used DoubleCommander from the F-Droid repo. It has SMB and SFTP support, but not public key authentication.
    which remote access software must I use (able to do RDP and ssh connections)?
    I have used ConnectBot from F-Droid for SSH.
    there is something to check and control my privacy in a unified program? The First Time Access was a dread: fingerprints, google account details, blood type.. :)
    In Settings → Applications you could remove most permissions you consider invasive from the apps that really shouldn't have to use them, but then they would stop working (until you allow them again). <opinion>Finding an app that doen't require the blood of your firstborn to use the camera flash as a flashlight takes a while and such applications typically lose in terms of functionality (since the ones that do infringe on your privacy get more money to invest in features).</opinion> Privacy-oriented Android forks like LineageOS used to be able to "sandbox" applications, giving them fake location/contact-list/IMEI/whatever instead of denying the permission altogether, but good luck getting that to work on a specific phone you already have. If you root your phone and tinker with the firmware, maybe you could install the so-called Xposed framework and XPrivacyLua on top of that.
    I was unable to spot the keyboard and video plugs.. ;) no, seriously: can be connected in some way to became an emergency pc?
    The keyword to search for is "OTG"; with type-C it's even easier: you might be able to plug a type-C hub into the phone and plug the keyboard and the mouse and even a monitor into the hub. My scientific advisor insists that smartphones are so great you could even do useful work on them without a keyboard or a mouse, but he's yet to write an article or perform any useful spectroscopy analysis on his. (It doesn't help that there's no Origin for Android.)
    If I have the will to try to program an app where can I start and with which tools?
    I think Android Studio is the only officially supported way of doing that. Of course language X runs on Android (it's just Linux underneath, after all), but doing anything interesting (and especially getting to the point where it's an icon on your home screen) probably involves calling Android API via Java, so you might as well be doing that, unless you are interested in calling some other APIs that wrap the Android APIs, e.g. JUCE (C++) or Xamarin (C#).
Re: [OT] Discipulus got a phone..
by soonix (Canon) on Mar 23, 2021 at 10:46 UTC
    I seldom use the smartphone for remoting in, but I have successfully used RD Client.

    For "click-and-knock-over-the-coffepot" type of remoting, or if you'll use it frequently, I recommend an OTG adapter for connecting an external keybord and/or mouse.

Re: [OT] Discipulus got a phone..
by Anonymous Monk on Mar 19, 2021 at 22:14 UTC
    My brother, even though he is a software project manager, still hasn't given up his "flip phone." 🤷‍♂️
      I can't blame him. Makes for good work / life balance. And I'll bet he gets 2-3-4 days per charge.

      I recently moved to my first smartphone only after I ran over my Nokia brick with the lawnmower. Work paid $300 for the phone and they pay for most of the service, so I really couldn't fight it anymore. (My Nokia was like $7 / month.)

      I miss the Nokia, but multi-factor authentication is just way easier with a smartphone.

      Cheers,

      Brent

      -- Yeah, I'm a Delt.
        And I'll bet he gets 2-3-4 days per charge.

        My dad has a really cheap smartphone that one day started to drain its battery (less than 12 hours per charge), a replacement battery did not help. He bought a new one, and because he still needs to transfer some stuff, he kept the old one and put it into flight mode, i.e. all radios (Bluetooth, WLAN, 2G/3G/3G) off. He occasionally uses it as an alarm clock, and easily gets three to four days per charge. Granted, an offline smartphone isn't that smart, and I expected more battery drain from the display or CPU-intensive apps, but this one drains the battery via one of the radios.

        Perhaps I should try to scan it for malware, maybe there is something on it that tries phoning home all times.

        Nokia brick

        Yeah, my old Nokia 5130 brick needed one tank stop at the charger per week, and that's with a really tiny battery compared to modern smartphones. My Samsung GT-i8200N, still my first smartphone, is good for more than one day on a cheap aftermarket battery and with light use (i.e. one or two phone calls per day, 15 min or less surfing the web, reading five mails). Charging over night every night was something to be learned after the Nokia, but you get used to it.

        I think it's like switching from a Otto or Diesel car to an electric car. You charge slowly whenever you don't need the car instead of doing a tank stop / high current charge when the tank / battery is empty.

        A note on my phone usage: I don't really need a cell phone or a smartphone. It's mainly an emergency system, so that I can call for help from anywhere, and to be reachable for my family and a few important people. Occasionally, I use it as a camera, as a torch light, to take notes, play musik or look up something on Wikipedia or Google. But most times, I just carry it around like my keys or my swiss army knife. My main means of communication are my PC and my landline telephone.

        Alexander

        --
        Today I will gladly share my knowledge and experience, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so". ;-)

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