Status Update – and Google Nexus 7

James Young · September 16, 2012

Haven’t been doing too much on the electronics front lately, hence the lack of posts.  I did go and pick myself up a $12 cable tester and associated punchdown tools (Krone and 110/88).  I discovered that some of the ethernet ports in my house were nonfunctional, so with those tools in hand I was able to fix them all up.  Annoyingly, the wall sockets require a 110 tool, but the main patch panel is Krone.  Most of the failures appear to be related to the conductors being nicked when installed or excessive strain during installation pulling them loose from the punchdown terminal.  Aggravating, but at least the cabling in the wall is fine.

I’m in the process of trying to source an Ecobee smart thermostat in Australia, and associated interface relays to let me control a 240v thermostat device using it.  However, it’s proving very difficult to get an electrician to even return a call.  When/if I can get someone to actually respond to me, I’ll post up about the Ecobee.

Lastly, on Friday I went and picked myself up a Google Nexus 7 tablet.  I’ve been using a Kindle 4 e-reader for some time, but I wanted something that can do more.  I didn’t want to get an iPad due to the size (it’s too big to effectively hold in one hand while reading on the bus), and it turns out that the iPad Mini is probably vaporware.  So, the Google Nexus 7 gets rave reviews as the best of the bunch, and it’s sporting Android 4.1.1 .  So I went out and got one.

Anyway, so far I’ve been very impressed.  Smooth, similar size to the Kindle 4, and battery life is OK (still haven’t fully tested that).  Bluetooth internet tethering to my iPhone 3GS works perfectly, and WiFi works with my work’s Enterprise-WPA2 setup.

That said, I still firmly believe that the Kindle 4 (the e-Ink display versions) are better pure book readers.  The e-Ink display is very comfortable for reading text on, and the battery life is nothing short of incredible (we’re talking weeks here on one charge, and I read for ~2 hours a day or more).  But it doesn’t support Enterprise-WPA2 for wireless, and its pretty much balls for doing anything else.

Hence the Nexus.  I often find myself wanting to do some web browsing or access some email, and the iPhone is a bit annoying for that sort of thing.  The Nexus fits the bill.

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