Posts

My Lenovo Tab E7 Tablet 5 Months Later

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It’s been five months since I bought a Lenovo Tab E7 Android Go tablet. My main motivation was I always loved the 7” slate form factor. Now I have much more experience with the device and what’s best for, how are things going?

System and performance Performance is still more than adequate, with a caveat.
Although the tablet boots up reasonably quickly, it’s still laggy for some time after the lock screen shows up. Given the limited hardware resources, the device needs time to start up all system services and the built-in bloatware, as well as caching enough key apps and executable modules. A workaround is not to use the device for at least 5-10 minutes after powering it up so that the lag can settle.
Despite being a low-end, cheap device released two years ago, the Tab E7 continues receiving system updates. As I write this in early April 2020, I have Android Go 8.1 with 28 Feb 2020 baseband and 5 Feb 2020 security patch.
I occasionally get updates to Lenovo’s pre-installed software, not al…

My Favorite Tech and Creator Newsletters

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I don’t like the social platform algorithms that decide what ends up in my feed.

That’s why for my content consumption I want tools that, instead of filtering, deliver all the content only from all the sources I want. My information hub is an RSS feed reader, Feedly. In addition, since before starting my own email newsletter Practicing Google, I have been subscribing to a growing number of newsletters on a variety of topics. From technology and software development, to content creation and publishing.


Here are the newsletters I subscribe to. I prefer niche, obscure, or unique sources, so I hope this list will help you discover valuable content that’s not mainstream.

Creator Tools Weekly: Apps or tools to help create, publish or sell content.For The Interested: Ideas for producing, publishing, promoting, and monetizing content.InboxReads: A weekly roundup of interesting newsletters.Not A Newsletter: A guide to sending better emails and newsletters with a focus on news organizations.PyCo…

I Was Interviewed by OnEBoard

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The members of OnEBoard interviewed me for their On E Board Home series. I chatted with them about why my blog is my online home, how I started my newsletter, my space outreach activities, understanding and keeping up to date with the Google ecosystem, and more.

Here's the preview of the interview. Watch also the full interview.


OnEBoard is a network of creators who collaborate over the web. The group has its roots in projects they started on Google+.

Thanks to Bob Danley, Peggy Kolm, Monika Schmidt, and Nina Trankova for having me as a guest and for their questions. Nina and Peggy are also fellow members of the Google Product Experts Program.

These questions were an opportunity for thinking about and reflecting on my work and interests.

Experimenting With a Buy Me A Coffee Membership Plan

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After setting up a Buy Me A Coffee page for onetime support, I’m experimenting with a membership plan for recurring contributions.

Buy Me A Coffee is a creator support and crowdfunding platform similar to Patreon. I use it for allowing the readers of my blog and newsletter to support me if they like my work.


When visiting a creator’s Buy Me A Coffee page, membership is now the default payment option if both are present, so I needed one. I’m starting with these rewards:

a coupon for a discount on the purchase of 1, 10, or 50 copies of my book Space Apps for Androidmembers-only posts featuring my Google and tech reading list (see a sample post)
The main motivation is I can provide these rewards right now with not much additional effort.

I generated the discount coupon with Leanpub, the self-publishing platform I use. It’s a link I include in the Buy Me A Coffee thank-you message automatically emailed to new members. Why the options for 10 and 50 copies? For the readers who wish to buy add…

Chromehooked: 5 Years Since My First Chromebook

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Five years ago these days I bought my first Chromebook, an Acer C720. It was an impulse buy I planned for months.


Chrome OS had always intrigued me.

Back then, I felt the need for a secondary computer besides my primary desktop PC running Ubuntu Linux. I was living in Chrome and the Google ecosystem anyway most of the time, so getting a Chromebook was an easy decision.

Chrome OS immediately felt natural. That humble device, the Acer C720, had enough performance for my typical needs.

There’s another reason I wanted to give Chrome OS a go: I had had enough with maintaining Linux.

When I got the Chromebook, I had been using Linux only for the previous decade and a half. After trying several distributions, I settled on Ubuntu.

I dreaded the Russian roulette of system updates. All went well most of the time but, once every few weeks, a version mismatch between the kernel and some device drivers or kernel modules would dump me into a text console, forcing me to unwanted and long troubleshoo…

Space Apps for Android: 1 Mar 2020 Update

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The March 1, 2020 update of my book Space Apps for Android: Discover the Best Astronomy and Space Apps is out. If you purchased the book, the latest version is available for free download in ePub, Mobi, and PDF format in your Leanpub library.


In chapter Introduction, I moved the description of my blog to the new subsection Learn more and mentioned my newsletter there, too.

Chapter Ephemeris and Astronomical Phenomena has a new entry for the app Nightshift: Stargazing & Astronomy.

Finally, the new appendix Release Notes lists the changes in all the versions of the book.

I updated the book because I’m self-publishing it as a work in-progress with the Lean Publishing process. Therefore, I constantly revise and expand it.

Creating Subdomains For a Blog, a Newsletter, and Books

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If you own an Internet domain, you can create subdomains for your properties such as a blog, a newsletter, and books.


For example, my domain is paoloamoroso.com and my personal website is www.paoloamoroso.com I set up the subdomains blog.paoloamoroso.com for my blog, newsletter.paoloamoroso.com for my newsletter, and books.paoloamoroso.com for a list of my books. blog points to my Blogger-hosted blog. newsletter and books are redirects. The former to my page on the Revue newsletter publishing platform, the latter to a page on my personal site.

These URLs are good mnemonics and a branding opportunity.

They are easy to remember and say when talking in person or in phone conversations. And you can include the URLs in business cards or promotional material. blog.paoloamoroso.com has another benefit as it allows to rename the blog without changing the domain, should I ever need to.

The specifics of creating the subdomains depend on the domain or hosting provider.