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Tablet corruption

On Saturday late evening, I was watching Into The Badlands on Prime Video. I had downloaded four episodes. Watched two, and the tablet froze up at the end of the second of the episodes. I gave it a few minutes to respond, and when it didn't, I forced it to shutdown and then rebooted.

At which point it asked me for the password to unlock the tablet.

Small problem - I hadn't set up a password.

I tried a few (like my Google sign in password) but nothing worked. Everything kept arriving at a screen telling me that the tablet couldn't decrypt itself, and the only way forward is to wipe the thing and start all over again.

To continue, wipe everything
To continue, wipe everything...

Note that it is talking in French again.

So, I don't know if this is faulty flash or RAM, shonky programming, or what. I had no choice but to nuke everything. Luckily there wasn't anything of value on the device. A few screenshots. I had mostly used it for watching videos from Netflix or Prime.

Spent Sunday morning setting it all up again, which was a pain. I've set this device to back itself up to the cloud, so if it should screw itself up again, a reinstall ought to be easier. Whether or not that works in practice remains to be seen...

Still, it's a lesson worth learning about the transient nature of data on such devices. That something going wrong can render the entire filesystem null and void ought to be unacceptable. And, certainly, in my own use case I do not have any need for an encrypted filesystem at all. Indeed, I have disabled screen locking entirely. It's basically my television, so it goes straight to the home screen so I can fat-finger the black icon with the red 'N' inside. ☺

After all, this weekend I marathoned the entirety of season two of Into the Badlands and am starting on season three now...


Maybe a car?

I heard nothing back from the guys I mentioned in the previous article who "oopsie" made an error with the distance that their car had done.

The dealer who sold me Felicity got back in touch. I gave him a guideline price of €5500. He suggested a car costing €6800 and pointed out that for less than €6000ish I would not get a good car.

His suggestion is an Aixam GTO that is bright red, says "GTO" in black lettering on the sides, has chrome/red wheel trims, and a double chrome exhaust.

Okay, you can stop laughing now. I agree, a double chrome exhaust is ridiculous on a car that can have it's ass handed to it by a cyclist!
Did I mention... it even has a spoiler!

In real terms, it is from 2013 and has done 42,500km. It has a six month guarantee (on the engine, transmission, etc). Registration is offered, and home delivery is free (both of those "and other charges" are extras at VSP Full Race).
It has central locking, electric windows, some sort of reversing radar gizmo, better heating, and ABS brakes. Plus, it's a lot younger than Felicity. 1997 vs 2013 - it's like a third of the age!

Despite the obvious "boy racer wannabe" appeal, and that it would wipe out my savings, I am interested.

First of all, something that I inherited from mom is worrying about stuff. I don't know how many more kilometres Felicity has in her. She might go on for another two or three years, or she might break down in two or three weeks. I don't know. Given the difficulties of getting to work (especially if France should go back to a lockdown - which pretty much means that car sharing is forbidden), then how would I get to work?

My original plan was to buy a car in the 4-5K range, and look to starting driving lessons.

It seems, though, that I'm likely to buy a car in the 6.8K range, and have to start saving up all over again.

But - here's the second point. The price actually isn't unreasonable. Making comparisons with the other guys (and adding €500 to all the prices to cover the registration, delivery, and whatever extras) would appear to get me an older car with about the same sort of kilometrage. There are cheaper cars, but they are already in the 60K range. And, at least the guy was honest enough to suggest that the sorts of distances I travel (hell, it's mostly only to work and back, 13km each way!) the little Microcar wouldn't be up to it.

In a comment on the previous article, Zerosquare said that dealer prices were always high. I know that is generally true, however in the sphere of sans-permis cars, it seems as if all of the prices are insane. Somebody at work looked through Facebook Marketplace her phone, and the prices there were even scarier than dealer cars, and you don't get any sort of guarantee with a private sale. Looking on LeBonCoin, it seems that the less nuts prices were...actually listings put in place by the dealers!

Aside: Am I the only one disturbed that Facebook has a "marketplace"?


I'm going to have to have a good think about this, but I have asked if I can see the car, so... maybe.


As a final note - now that I have some time to look for a car and a budget to play with (just!) rather than "the cheapest thing in the least time", it does suggest that Felicity's 58K kilometres on a car dating from 1997 was... probably a highly optimistic guess. ☺


Going to work tomorrow?

Possibly not.

It was raining an hour ago (which would have been horrible when it froze, it's supposed to be really cold until the weekend), but somewhere between closing the shutters and feeding Anna, the rain had turned into heavy snow.
I just took this:

It doesn't look like much yet, but it's only just started and it's coming down really heavily. Who knows what it'll look like come tomorrow morning!

If it's much worse than that, I will call my friend (she lives closer to where I work, and told me it is raining - but maybe the snow hasn't reached her yet?). If it's not snowy for her, I'll head out and turn back if I don't like the conditions. If it's like 10cm or something, I just won't attempt it at all. Remember, my car doesn't have gears, and it weighs about 350kg unladen!
I don't fancy seeing if Felicity can cut it as a ballerina.



Your comments:

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Robin, 9th February 2021, 21:01
I had this happen with a OnePlus 3 I have. Also had to wipe it. However, it seemed like a degenerative problem, and it happened again a week later then again after va couple days and eventually would no longer boot at all reliably.
David Boddie, 10th February 2021, 01:53
Is it possible the tablet overheated and powered itself off as a safety measure? 
There may be a way to nicely get the device temperature, perhaps an app, though you can also get it via a console with something like Termux (
Rick, 10th February 2021, 07:29
It didn't power itself off, it froze up. I was the one who eventually forced a power off. 
I wouldn't have thought watching video would heat it up all that much, the hard work gets handed off to the GPU. It's probably more stressful rendering a web page. ;-)
David Boddie, 10th February 2021, 15:20
A lot of browsers rely on GPUs these days. You can never tell what's using them and what isn't. 
On my old tablet, you can turn on process stats if you enable developer mode. There's a special dance you have to go through in the settings to do that.
David Pilling, 10th February 2021, 18:45
With cars, beware the bathtub curve - once things start going wrong, more will follow. Parking sensors (radar) are great. Best thing about a private sale is if you know the vendor and know what they have been up to with the car. Otherwise it is all gambling - a dealer guarantee is something.
Rick, 10th February 2021, 20:08
Oh, I think Felicity is so far along the bathtub curve that I'm basically staring down the plug hole. 
Remember, I've spent about a thousand in parts and labour (mostly labour) already... 
Pieter, 12th February 2021, 07:06
Would a moped be a solution in the meantime? 
I bought one instead of a small car and have not looked back since. My little Honda (yes, you indeed meet the nicest people on a Honda) has worked absolutely reliably and maintenance free for over four years already, except for one flat tire. My only cost is fuel, approximately 4L/100km in town. It is as fast as Felicity and has a box on the rear carrier so storage and shopping are no problem either.
Rick, 13th February 2021, 22:32
Maybe a car? Definitely a car. I'm seeing it on Monday afternoon, and unless there's something obviously wrong I'll be buying it. 
Felicity is not in a good way so a replacement is needed. Details in the entry of 13th Feb. 
Pieter - I wouldn't ride a moped around here. Open narrow roads and crazy drivers. I've seen one fatal accident on the way to work, and know one employee that lost her life and one that is probably dead as well (last I knew several years ago, alive but vegetative). I worry how safe I am in a Playmobil car. As for a moped? That's a flat no. 
Back in the UK, mom had a little Honda so I'm familiar with them. But then Brits tend to suffer from road rage or lane hogging on motorways, not the evil mixture of excessive speed and arrogance (must be first in the queue, I have priority even when the sign says otherwise) that far too many French drivers seem to be afflicted by. 
But don't think I'm picking on the French. I'd be dead by now if I was living in Spain or Italy. 😉 
It seems the further south you get (in Europe) the crazier the drivers are. 
(special dispensation for Finland because they're just badass) 
Pieter, 19th February 2021, 01:50
I can understand that. I am lucky to drive my moped here in Japan, where traffic is relatively civilized compared to some countries (including France), also helped by lower speed limits. 
I just read 2/15 about new little Red. Congratulations! I wish you many happy kilometers.

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