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    I’ve found this comment by hackerfantastic:

    If you do order one of these, be very aware that the bottom of the case doubles as a CPU heat sink and should be used on a flat-surface to prevent overheating. That is literally the only gripe I have with it and not knowing this resulted in one being destroyed. Keep it on a table

    A bit dissapointing if you want to use it anywhere.

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      Never been a problem for my PBP, at least for “normal doing stuff” usage as opposed to “running old DOS games at max framerate for hours”. Having it on my lap is fine, on my lap on a blanket is fine, and I don’t have to worry about blocking fan vents.

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        Crap I should have noticed it with the seemingly exposed cpu to the backplate

        So much for lying around on the carpet although I used to keep a tray for my old Alienware

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          So can you use it on your lap?

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            I won’t deny that person’s lived experience, but mine has been different. My pinebook pro works just fine on my lap, and has since late December 2020. Perhaps my workload is so modest that it just doesn’t push the same thermal limits as theirs.

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          Software and FSF flailings? I don’t know much about Manjaro but it’s default setup sure feels a lot like the way Debian felt when they were under pressure to keep all non-free stuff segregated and partitioned away from users. The problem as it’s always been is that popular software has almost always been commercial, especially for normal uses. Turning on Community and Contributions should really be the default setting with people who want to be FSF pure having to click the button giving normal people the best possible experience. As an old person who’s been hearing about the ‘year of the Linux desktop’ is at hand back in 1997 (Va Linux et al), and been an on and off user since SLS, it’s always about the users. All the plugins and bookmarks and shared data stuff I have is on Chromium and having to hunt down how to turn it on sucked, as I was moments away from just doing the usual ‘user’ thing of wiping the install because I can’t find an app.

          Did the author even actually look into Manjaro? I mean, come on folks it’s got the AUR! The largest repository of third party software in the LInux world by far. It’s one of any Arch derivative’s biggest selling points!

          Also, as a PB Pro owner who has since given up, I’m super shocked that the author didn’t mention this laptop’s achilles heel - ‘disk’ IO. The emmc or SD card is just a fundamentally slow storage mechanism, and it’s my dim understanding that the way the machine is architected also contributes a good bit (Maybe all IO goes through some bus or other? I can’t remember).

          Also, the author doesn’t mention the fact that running other distributions on this puppy can be tricky. You will get GARBAGE performance unless, like the two ‘stock’ distros Manjaro and Debian, the distro you choose has optimized its kernel for the PBPro’s big/small core configuration.

          For what it’s worth, I have one of these, and would be delighted to gift it to someone who’s actually interested in exploring and ideally even contributing to the platform. I bought mine about a year ago at the start of COVID and as a result there was a manufacturing botch, so the magnet that controls the lid sensor is sim-positioned. I’m partially blind and find/gross motor impaired and the fix posted to the forums is well beyond my abilities but I suspect many of you fully sighted coordinated folks could handle it with aplomb.

          So, if the idea of the PBPro interests you, and you’d like to do some hacking on it drop me a PM and I’ll ship mine to you. I’ve upgraded the emmc, and I’ll ship but haven’t installed the SSD interface and debug cable.

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            Pine64 dot org: we make our hardware available to a community of hackers, tinkerers, geeks, to kickstart our ecosystem and your project!

            Reviewers, without fail: this isn’t usable without some expertise one star.

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              Well if you want non x86 on the go, the price simply cannot be beat.


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              The problem as it’s always been is that popular software has almost always been commercial, especially for normal uses.

              Am I the only one at a loss at that sentence? I can’t for the life of me figure out what software they might be talking about.

              As for the laptop, I have a decent Thinkpad so I don’t really need it. But it is pleasant to see that this much is possible at around $200 new.

              So, I look forward to future, more polished such devices but based on RISC-V architecture; I’d actually buy that, regardless of thinkpad.

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                I think all the years outside of English countries is making me lose the language.

                Anyway it’s stuff like chrome, Minecraft, that are always buried by default and force the user to find some way to invoke them, unlike how easy it is to use IE to download chrome and just run it.

                I just think the packaging options are backwards and people should opt out of having more choices instead of a barren default.

                Isn’t allwinner going to tap out a physical riscv? I’m sure it’ll happen soon enough

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                  The problem (as it’s always been) is that popular software has (almost always) been commercial (especially for normal uses)

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                    I have to wonder just how abnormal my uses are, and how unpopular the software I use is.

                    Outside of steam (and games installed through it) and, ages ago, the nvidia drivers (I use AMD these days), I haven’t installed proprietary software in decades.

                    The idea that a distribution is somehow unusable without installing proprietary software does thus manage to seem extremely questionable to me.

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                  I’m pretty happy with my pinebook pro, but I think it suffers from the same problem as the pinephone: the hardware is underpowered for the default software configuration. Unlike the pinephone, there are a lot of good alternatives you can easily configure.

                  My primary computer is a “portable in theory” mobile workstation that is just too big, and has too little battery life, to be reasonable to use if I want to work from the couch or from bed or something. I picked up the pinebook mostly to have a lightweight secondary laptop that I could use for web browsing and writing code. The initial plasma desktop experience was pretty miserable but with Sway set up and some lightweight services running, I can edit documents remotely on my other laptop with ssh, or and use Firefox locally, and the performance is pretty good.

                  A tiling window manager is probably not a good out of the box experience for most users, but I expect if they changed the default to xfce or some other lightweight but more traditional looking desktop environment things would feel a lot more smooth.

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                    On the mainboard there is 2 push buttons, and 2 sliding jumpers. One is hidden beneath the black tape. I hit the reset button, and slid both sliders up and down and then pressed down on the 64GB chip. I flipped it over to see if that did anything, and surprisingly it’d turn itself on!

                    I have a first gen regular Pinebook and have similar issues. After a deep discharge of the battery I am not able to charge it anymore and the charging circuit makes a buzzing noise when connected to the charger. I’ve read online that charging the LiPo with a proper charger fixes this. But since I don’t have a proper LiPo charger I won’t try this and accidentally burn my house down.

                    The regular pinebook only has one slider, which forces the headphone jack to be UART (serial console / debug) and the pushbutton enters FEL (recovery/USB bootloader) mode. What the other in the Pro do I don’t know.

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                      One of the posts I read had someone toggling one of the switches and I just did both to be sure..

                      I’d be worried about the battery too! So far it’s been fine doing the charge and discharge thing.