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Asus Transformer, Tegra driver

November 30, 2012 — BarryK
I sometimes dream about the "ideal" tablet/pc highly portable runs-all-day-from-the-battery, with keyboard and touch screen, high-resolution screen, quality construction, and of course will run Puppy.

Of course, we could go on adding nice things we would like in this ideal computing device...

What sparked my interest recently is that the NVIDIA Tegra GPU will have open-source 2D acceleration, now being merged into the 3.8 Linux kernel. See news about this:

This is particularly interesting, as some of the recent high-end tablets have the NVIDIA Tegra GPU.
Including the Asus Transformer Infinity:

...interesting that it doesn't have 3G builtin. I have been debating with myself the pros and cons of that. Microsoft Surface is the same, no 3G.

If I got Puppy running on the Transformer, with the video acceleration, that would be lovely. Then I could develop a new paradigm for a touch interface, based around the traditional UI (pull-down menus, scrollbars, desktop, etc.)

Heh heh, exiting from dream-mode.

A review of the Transformer Infinity:

One comment in that review that I found particularly interesting:

the Jelly Bean upgrade didn't solve the performance, lag, and stuttering issues that are all too endemic to Android. The Infinity still lags a bit when launching or closing apps, and scrolling in the browser is still pretty clunky. Everything's better, for sure, and thanks to the 1.6GHz Tegra 3 processor this is as capable a gaming tablet as I've used. Still, the Infinity's general performance still lags behind the iPad's fluidity and smoothness, and even that of the Nexus 7.

Jelly Bean is the latest Android, version 4.1.

I am sure that Android is hampered by it's fundamental dependence on Java. Java apps, like Python, rely on a runtime VM or interpreter, which invariably is going to be slow, even for JIT compiling, there is going to be startup delay, then the compiled code is no where near as efficient as that created by a normal compiler (C, C++, BaCon, Vala, etc.).

If Puppy was running on the Transformer, running mostly truly-compiled apps, it would fly.

Hmmm, exit rave-mode also.

No, I'm not enticed enough to buy it. Maybe will look at what is available about middle of 2013.


C# and .net
Username: BarryK
I should add too, that Microsoft went the same way, with the scripting language C# and .net. Due to various issues, and my guess is performance was one of them, they dumped .net and have gone back to C++. Also left a lot of developers in the lurch.

Username: 01micko
"C# is a compiled language, very similar in syntax to Vala. It is supported in Mono, the open source implementation of dotNET. In an effort to keep up with mobile computing trends, microsoft seem to be shifting to open web technologies such as html5 and javascript. Interesting article, though a bit dated:

Re C#
Username: BarryK
"01micko, I thought that C# compiles to "bytecode", that requires a runtime VM, just like Python and Java. Hmmm, maybe I have misunderstood C# all these years... googling it now... I haven't got it wrong. C#, .net and mono overview here: Microsoft name "bytecode" as Common Intermediate Language.

3g or 3G or 3?
Username: scsijon
"I suspect most of the manufacturers are getting a little '?towie' about putting internet inside since it cost 'someone' quite a lot of money with the 4g debarkle. 4G currently has so far, five independant standards. 3G is a little easier to deal with, being basically software controlled to differentiate, but there are still three major recognized 3g standards in the world. Plus the problem of different isp's across the world. At least this one seems to still have a full size usb port on an edge to plug your internet dongle into, some don't and some are even using the micro usb and therefore can't be connected!

Re oops
Username: BarryK
"scsijon, I am currently using a Vodafone Pocket WiFi, one of those standalone thingys that allow up to 5 computers to access the Internet by wireless network. Which gets around the problem, as the tablet has WiFi. Note, I get a much speedier connection with Vodafone in my location than I do with Optus, which is a turnaround from what I have experienced in the past. I have an Optus USB 3G dongle also, with a 365 days expiry prepaid, but keeping it for backup only. Hey, if anyone comes across a online report of someone having successfully ported Linux onto one of those Transformers, let me know! I am very interested to know if it is doable -- well, pretty certain it is doable, but it would be useful to know what hurdles have to be jumped over to do it.

install ubuntu on Nexen 7
Username: don570
" Ubuntu has put a lot of resources into porting Ubuntu to the Nexen 7 tablet. It's interesting to read this website..

asus charger
Username: aarf
"have previously had conversations with sage about my asus charger with a small head that plugs into the laptop. just want to note here that no further issues have occurred, the charger is working as it was designed to. ensure that the head is fully into the laptop by double pushing it in as it sometimes doesnt go in all the way properly if you push it in quickly. past issue that was discussed i believe was due to the overtaxed powersupply in the hotel i was staying in. no re-occurrence has occurred. so need not worry about this small plugin head charger issue if considering a new asus transformer.

Tags: general