FOSS dev, self-hosting fan, Matrix, degoogling, small tech, indie tech, friendly tech for families and schools. Let's own our own identity & data.

This article is about one particular step of the procedure for “flashing” a new android-compatible operating system onto a Samsung device to create a Freedom-Respecting Smart Phone or Tablet.


This is about flashing a custom operating system ROM in a Samsung Android device using the tool named Heimdall.

We may encounter a failure mode in which heimdall detect succeeds but heimdall flash and heimdall print-pit both fail, printing this:


This is about buying a Samsung Android tablet and replacing the privacy-invading proprietary Google and Samsung software with privacy-respecting Freedom Software: “degoogling” for short.

Why? In “The Problem” section below, we take a look back at how much we're giving up when we accept Google's and Samsung's terms.

I would like ordinary people, with a little technical skill, to be able to do this. The process unfortunately is currently far too difficult, especially so on Samsung devices.

My goals:

  • Install a privacy-preserving freedom-software operating system on my tablet
  • Make it easier for others to do the same

The cap leaks, from new, so unsuitable for carrying in a school bag. Now the bottom is cracked and leaking too, as soon as dropped from ~1m carrying heigh on its first morning going to school. Pointless.


The PineTime (open-source hardware and software) smart watch strap fits with a 20 mm pin connector, which is a common standard fitting. However, not all 20 mm straps fit, because of the shape of the housing around it.

I bought a cheap silicone 20mm watch strap. Its ends were 20mm wide but too fat to fit in the PineTime. I sliced off some silicone with a sharp craft knife. Now it fits. Not perfectly beautiful but unobtrusive and neat enough.

2024-04-19-10-28-12-585.jpg 2024-04-19-10-41-51-126.jpg 2024-04-19-10-56-59-742.jpg

#PineTime #openHardware


Completing This Phase

This is the last week of my funding on Moderator Tools for PubHubs. It has been a pleasure working with the PubHubs team. The time seems to go quickly.

Over the last few weeks I have been documenting everything about the Moderator Tools for PubHubs project on my dedicated web site, https://www.ph.trax.im/.

To summarise, these are the main work areas in this project, linking to their web site sections:

  1. Civilised Discourse

    • Researching best practices to inform the longer term design of PubHubs moderation facilities.
  2. Disclosure of Identity Attributes

    • Building a moderation tool specific to PubHubs' special features.
  3. Draupnir for PubHubs

    • Adapting the best existing moderation tool from the regular Matrix ecosystem (Draupnir), evaluating and extending it.

An idea for explaining Matrix: it's hi-fi separates vs. a mini-hi-fi.


We bought a solar panel installation and now generate more electricity than we use... sometimes. In principle, we can sell that electricity back to an energy company. In practice there are two caveats. The first is well known: the rate they pay us is only a small fraction of the price they charge us for electricity. The second problem I did not appreciate in advance: the hassle of applying for and setting up the payment scheme.


This is my POSSE copy of the announcement posted in This Week in Matrix (TWIM) 2024-03-29.


This is my POSSE copy of the announcement posted in This Week in Matrix (TWIM) 2024-03-29.