Synergy

A blast from the past. I just rediscovered the joys of Synergy. I used to use it over a decade ago while still a lecturer at University. I needed a tool, before I finally abandoned Windows for good, to enable me to effortlessly switch between my Linux workstation, Gentoo at the time, and the Windows workstation. I didn’t want an additional keyboard and mouse to confuse my already cluttered academic brain.

In comes Synergy. It allows multiple workstations to be controlled by a keyboard and mouse connected to one of the devices. The mouse will move from the edge of one monitor to the other. Focus follows mouse and the keyboard then inputs on the client. It’s still the same simple application that can run on Linux, Mac and Windows. There is even a client for Android in alpha dev stage, synergyandroid, so as I’m typing this my mouse can seamlessly move from Laptop, to workstation to Android tablet.

section: screens
Laptop:
Desktop:
AndroidTablet:
end

section: links
Desktop:
left = AndroidTablet
right  = Laptop

Laptop:
left = Desktop

AndroidTablet:
right = Desktop

end

section: aliases
Desktop:
paul-Desktop
end

The config file, /etc/synergy.conf is all too simple to configure for this basic setup. The workstation is the server, and the laptop and tablet the clients. If one or more of the clients are not available that edge of the window disappears seamlessly.

Android rom development

I purchased a Toshiba Thrive tablet on the 16th of April. It was rooted in under an hour as the stock Honeycomb is a disaster. Even the Toshiba update to ICS is apparently a disgrace as its unstable and little support is forthcoming.

On the Thrive forums a gent with the nickname pio_masaki‎ and some of his friends put together a fantastic Jellybean rom on android 4.1.2 which is very stable and in daily use and he is working on a CM10.1, version 4.2.1 rom which is almost usable as a daily driver.

After flashing a couple of his releases I decided to settle on the Baked black bean rom on 4.1.2. But, I became curious about custom rom development.

Google AOSP documents how to download and build roms for your device.

Above you can see my new workstation chugging away at compiling aosp. It took surprisingly little time.

After 45 minutes I could boot the rom in an emulator. This is obviously not usable on a phone or tablet, but its a start. Now the difficult part begins. I’ve asked the dev on Thrive forums if I can use his code as a starting place and hope to hear back from him soon. Figuring the device trees and other profiles out all by myself is a bit much to start off with.

I’ll keep this site up to date with my experimentation.