Wednesday, February 21, 2024

On getting a Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition phone

NOTE: This is a more personal post than usual.

I’ve used Linux for the first time in 1997 when I was just a teenager. By 2001 I had switched over completely, and since 2003 every job I had involved working with a lot of Open Source software. The “Debug, Fix, Report” cycle is so deeply rooted in my personality by now that I usually burst into a rant when I have to use proprietary software for more than an hour, because I can’t just pull the source code, look at it and fix that damn bug I’ve just run into. My colleagues and me manage an environment with several thousand servers and only a very tiny part of them runs something else than Linux.

Open Source software does not just pay for my bills and make the services we all love possible. It also gives me an incredible peace of mind. I want everything in the world to be open, I want to be able to poke at things. I want everybody else to be able to poke at things and then tell me that they’ve found, so that we can share our wisdom and reach our goal faster.

But most of all I want exact knowledge instead of hearsay. If something goes wrong in your Open Source system, you go through layer after layer until you find the actual reason for the problem. If something goes wrong in your proprietary system, you start browsing through shady online forums or call the equally shady manufacturer hotline, which is only available every third friday in leapyears, only to find out that deleting/moving/replacing a random file seems to fix the problem, but only for a week, and nobody knows why, but hey, who can expect anything to work if it is just 100 € a month.

About a year ago I started to contribute to Ubuntu Touch in various ways. I became an “Ubuntu Pioneer” for uploading one of the first apps to the App Store, I started hanging around on the IRC channel, I got a bq phone during the second flash sale, and at some point I started this blog to share my musings. Whenever I felt like something I knew could be useful to others I wrote it down, and when I realised that I didn’t know enough about the topic I took my phone and started poking at things until everything was clear. This resulted in the ongoing “Hacking Ubuntu Touch” series and a couple of bug reports.

I will be among the first to get a Meizu MX4, and already have some ideas for a series of articles on the phone once it is on my desk. Stay tuned.

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