Ultralight blogging: tallbloke style

Posted: December 12, 2012 by tallbloke in Blog

Success. I’m heading down to Malaga on a Ryanair flight in a few days to meet Tim Cullen and get out into the limestone serrania around the Sierra de las Nieves for some scrambling and rambling. I  travel hand baggage class these days, so everything has to be light. But typing on phone screens is a pain, so I hacked a sony e-reader to blog on this evening. I just wrote this post with it. 🙂


And after saving the post as a draft online, I can edit it with the WordPress app on the phone and insert a photo or two.

How cool is that?

A clever Russian going by the handle ‘Rupor’ has written some useful patches for the e-reader to unleash the potential of the Android operating system underlying Sony’s firmware. After applying them, the WordPress for Android app installed flawlessly, et voila!

Just under 6oz for a unix platform with a 6″ E-ink screen I can read in bright sunlight, and a two week battery life. Exactly what every backpacking, sunseeking blogger needs.

Happy I am. 🙂

  1. Max™‮‮ says:

    All that on an etch-a-sketch! O.o I’m impressed.

  2. P.G. Sharrow says:

    @Tallbloke; Way cool toy! EMSmith has got to see this. I will link at his blog and check this out in more depth. thanks. pg

  3. Zeke says:

    Tallbloke is in away, travelling in Spain. That makes this an open thread, doesn’t it?

  4. Sparks says:

    Who would ever make a comment about that crap… D’oh!

    [Reply] Share something you think worth talking about then. We’ll make it an open thread as Zeke suggests.

  5. Sparks says:

    Lighten up, maybe I will 🙂

  6. tallbloke says:

    Sparks: Lightening up has been part of my life for a long time. Since I got out of hospital after my big crash, I’ve been designing and making ultralightweight backpacking equipment for my mountaineering and rambling trips.

    My summertime lowland kit is now very light indeed. Some of the home-made/adapted bits:

    Tent (cuben fibre 3/4oz/yard) 9oz
    Carbon fibre trekking poles (double as tent poles at night) 6oz
    Down quilt 17oz
    Mattress (modelling balloons) 2oz
    Stove (Cola tin) 1/2oz
    Head-torch/reading light (LED, out of a lighter) 1/4oz

    But I don’t want to be cut off from the blog so there are a couple of concessions to ‘extras’:

    Mobile phone 5oz
    E-reader 6oz
    Trickle charger (Seebeck effect) 3oz
    Solar panel 4oz

  7. Sparks says:

    I see what you’re missing… You cant bring the fire with ya! lol

    You should have invited me. anyway mate have a good time.

  8. tallbloke says:

    I cook on open fires where I can, but there are heavy restrictions in place in Spain’s national parks. When you walk through areas where forest fires have ravaged the hillsides, you understand why.

    And don’t worry, I’ll have a great time. I always do. 🙂

  9. Care to devote a post on these two items?

    Trickle charger (Seebeck effect) 3oz
    Solar panel 4oz

    [Reply] When I find time! 🙂

  10. Zeke says:

    Jeroen Pluimers says:
    December 13, 2012 at 9:39 am
    Care to devote a post on these two items?

    Trickle charger (Seebeck effect) 3oz
    Solar panel 4oz

    [Reply] When I find time! 🙂

    There is a post on the homespun trickle charger (Seebeck effect) that tallbloke uses to re-charge his batteries when camping. Maybe I can find it for you later. It was published about a year ago.

  11. mkelly says:

    Loved stopping in Malaga when I was in the USNavy. Loved the Baleric Islands too. Stationed in Rota for awhile. Hell I loved all of Spain. I think the prettiest girls in the world live in Malaga.

  12. I’m jealous. My work is done on a donated 2007 iMac having an OS level that just went obsolete, and my only phone is a landline one with metal bells inside of it.

    Send money. Make your checks out to “Cash”.

  13. tallbloke says:

    Russell: ebay beckons. I got the e-reader at a bargain price. Gadgeteering doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby.

  14. @tallbloke: Indeed, you speak the truth. A relative of mine got a really inexpensive 1st gen iPad since wireless hookups suit him fine. I thought that device was the neatest thing since sliced bread.

    But I am REALLY poor…..

  15. P.G. Sharrow says:

    @Tallbloke; for those of us that are financially challenged even $120.00 is a consideration. I just spent a couple of hours on ebay looking at the offerings. That Sony ebook looks to be the best value for a minimum device. EMSmith is also working on a minimal and secure internet device. pg

  16. Zeke says:

    Thanks for the nod for an open thread. But there seems to be too much going on right now, what with 100’s of blue storm troopers making the world safe for the VAT tax on the carbon emissions slips, and with the advance copy of the AR5 out.

    I have always disliked the use of co2 to drive the water vapor levels in the climate models. “Climate modelers assume that water vapor, the principle greenhouse gas, will increase with carbon dioxide, but the NVAP-M study shows this has not occurred. Carbon dioxide has continued to increase, but global water vapor has not.”

    That is another reason why I think there is a real problem with claiming that the ice flowing continuously off of Antarctica is automatically because of increased water vapor from global warming and precipitation on that continent.

  17. E.M.Smith says:

    Nice, very nice! I’ll have to look up what the ‘guts’ are and how secure the OS can be made.

    I’m working on a ‘Disposable Computer’ secure computing model myself. Raspberry Pi with USB kb, mouse, encrypted memory chip. Linux on an SD card (that saves nothing back to the card) and LCD screen with network ‘dongle’ that’s disposable.

    I describe it as being for a “Talbloke and the Constable Moment”, meaning that someone can knock on the door, take it, and 10 minutes later I’m back up and running while they have a $35 R-Pi and nothing they can read… (At the door-knock, the micro-SD chip in the SD-card adapter gets pulled and put just about anywhere. It will not be found. It could fit in your ear… and if it is found, it’s encrypted…)

    Hey, FOIA-2011 could just as easily have made his ‘announcement’ comment on my blog… so “be prepared’ as they say.

    I’ve got the general software approach running on an old WhiteBox PC from a Linux CD. Now just time to ‘reduce to silicon’ and the SBC. (Which involves a swap to an ARM chip so may not be as easy as I hope…)

    OTOH, if the sony e-reader is cheap enough 😉

    (Unfortunately, Android is a bit of a ‘chatty Cathy’ about who you are, what you are doing, and such, so would take a fair amount of ‘tightening up’ to be reliably secure. With luck, a admin user group will do that part for the rest of us… )

    Now why did I have to see this article just AFTER Christmas? 😉

  18. tallbloke says:

    Hi E.M.

    Android is indeed chatty and to get around that you have to get down and dirty with poking the memory registers in the firmware.
    Start here: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=162713

    Another additional approach is to use a sim card in the phone you connect to the net through which has a pay-as-you-go data connection and isn’t registered to you personally.

    I like the ‘linux in live memory’ approach too.

  19. tallbloke says:

    Or how about Bodhi Linux on a 7″ tablet device?