Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Looking at Nexus 7

This morning I was looking for a laptop / tablet to take to Ukraine as Mauser's laptop that I used in Bavaria is big, heavy, and slow.

I looked at the Google Nexus 7 tablet. Unfortunately this only has one USB port.

I looked at the iPad. Unfortunately this has no USB ports. There is a camera connection kit, but it seems this is only for connecting your camera via USB (very slow) or using SD cards (my camera uses CF).

I looked at netbooks - not as good for using on a train etc as need to rest the base on your lap. Heavier and larger than a tablet as well.

I looked at the macbook air - too expensive, even 2nd hand off ebay.

I looked at laptops - still large and heavy, would have better performance than Mauser's. But price is about £300, which is a lot just for a bit better performance.

Then I had a thought about using a USB hub with the Nexus 7. I then spent the rest of the morning researching this, and trying to see whether it would possible to get it working with NTFS formatted hard drives.

It is possible to use Nexus 7 with a USB hub, and memory sticks, you need a USB OTG cable, and the Nexus 7 rooted and with an app (stickmount) installed. I read on forums people talking about using the Nexus 7 with external hard drives, so that sounds good. It should work with card readers okay as well. To get NTFS write support, it seems that you need to install a custom kernel.

Here is a video I found, which shows using the Nexus 7 with a USB hub:

For viewing RAW files from the camera on the Nexus 7, it seems an app is required for that too.

Also this morning I had a look at the Nex 5N camera, as it seems like it might make a good snapshot camera (with an autofocus lens).

In the afternoon I received a Vivitar 283 flash, but the battery contacts were all rusty. So I had to spend quite a while cleaning the contacts. After that I removed the flash's fresnel lens and replaced it with clear plastic. This also took quite a long time since I had to cut out the plastic using a lot of strokes with a craft knife.

In the evening I went out to test a filter I got the other day.

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