One Tablet PC Per Child Tablet PC aka “iPad10”

I got to test out a number of Tablet PCs at one of the education projects I’m helping out. My opinion is that they are complete crap and even worse than I expected at the 81 USD price mark, for several reasons:

  • Of 6 units I tested, 2 were obviously defective (one would not charge past 12% and one constantly emitted a high-pitch squeal)
  • Overall build quality is poor
  • Devices show deep scratches, bubbles under the protective film, and other physical damage as delivered
  • Most of the cases I saw (I only checked a dozen or so out of 40 units delivered) were black or white, with some hot pink thrown in. This is a horrible thing for distributing to a group of kids.
  • Battery life is the worst I’ve ever heard of for any tablet PC – under 30 minutes of normal use
  • The touch screen is unresponsive and frustrating (removing the protective film made it a bit better, but resulted in really bad smudging)
  • Even though the battery capacity is so limited, charging time from near empty is around 80 minutes
  • Even the power adapters are crap; they get very hot and the cords are too short
  • This tablet is the second slowest I’ve ever used – the first being a very similar Chinese unit I tested two years ago
  • This tablet features perhaps the only graphical user interface I’ve ever used that doesn’t support drag and drop
  • The Android OS loads so slow, it has time to show off 3 boot screens/loading sequences

On the positive side:

  • The accessories for the tablets are good. The case, USB keyboard, and USB/ethernet dongle work just fine.
  • The product markings make for a fine conversation piece (iPad5, iPad6, iPad10, 4G, 64GB)


Software info:

I accidentally deleted all of my Gmail contacts with my Android phone…

…but this is why I use Gmail instead of, say, Hmail or Ymail. I restored all 1,000+ of my contacts by logging into Gmail on a PC and doing the following:

  1. Click Contacts.
  2. From the More actions drop-down menu, choose Restore contacts.
  3. Choose the time you’d like to revert your contacts list to (e.g. 10 minutes ago, one hour ago, one week ago, etc). We suggest that you also make a note of the time that you restore your contacts, in case you’d like to return to where you started.
  4. Click Restore. You’ll see a confirmation at the top of the screen when the rollback is complete.

You can perform a restore from up to 30 days ago.

This info plus more can be found on the relevant Google support page.

Installing Thai fonts on a Samsung Galaxy 5 i5503 (custom Froyo ROM)

Above: An example of something that didn't work.

Notes: I am writing this guide from memory and it shouldn’t be considered definitive (or even accurate, ha ha). Also, I get this sort of stuff done with heavy googling and then lots of trial and error, an approach that often ends in tears. It happened to work for me this time, but only after trying several different approaches and tools. It might not work for you and I accept no responsibility for that or what it might entail: Worst case, you might brick your phone.

That being said, it has made the Galaxy 5 one of the best values currently on the Thai smartphone market – cheap (about 5,000 Baht new last time I checked), fast, and installable with almost any app.

Credit where credit is due: The majority of the Thai font install procedure below was adapted from

One last thing, is it truly necessary to flash your firmware in order to install the fonts? Maybe not, but it was for me. I was previously using firmware I5500LUYJP2 from this page. I tried the same font installation procedure described below and it did not work until I tried different firmware..


1. Download firmware and follow the Flashing Instructions on this page: MAD ROM 2.3 Extreme App2SD Edition. If you don’t know how to use ODIN, etc., this guide can help you (just remember to use the firmware you just downloaded instead of the one linked in the guide).

2. After setup is complete, root your phone with Universal Androot (I’ve found that often the first try isn’t successful. Just try again.)

3. Next, install Terminal Emulator on your Galaxy 5.

4. Since Froyo lacks copy functionality from shell (for whatever stupid reason), you need to install busybox. Click this link to download busybox. Then copy it into the root directory of your SD card.

5. Make a new directory in the root of your SD card and name it font. Download this zip file, which contains the Droid Sans font files with Thai support. Unzip it, and copy all the .ttf files into the font directory you made.

6. Open Terminal Emulator on your phone, type each line below (without the $ or # symbols that are there to indicate a new line as shown in the application) and press the enter key.

$ su

Note: This command should open a prompt that asks if you want to grant Superuser privileges to the Terminal Emulator application. Click yes. After this point, the $ symbol before each new command should automatically change to a # symbol. This indicates superuser status.

# mount -o rw,remount -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock4 /system

# mkdir /data/busybox

# cat /sdcard/busybox > /data/busybox/busybox

# chmod 755 /data/busybox/busybox

# mkdir /data/local

# cd /data/busybox

# ./busybox –install
(That’s 2 dashes before install!!!)

# cp /sdcard/font/* /system/fonts


The fourth line from the bottom with the mkdir command probably isn’t necessary, but even if it isn’t, it will just return a harmless error. Also, the busybox install returned a bunch of errors for me, but seemed to work out in the end.

Samsung Kies Software

Is the worst piece of shit you ever did see. It’s super slow, bloated, and looks like the retarded monkey who decided on the design gave the job to a colorblind Amiga programmer.

Actually, I’ve never used any mobile phone/digicam/video cam maker’s software that was even close to being acceptable, but this Kies crap bundled with my Samsung Galaxy 5 is just laughably bad. Time to start up on my old desktop rig: FOUR TIMES longer than PhotoShop CS3.

This is just fucking unacceptable, shitty code. Shame on you, Samsung.

Why Android is the best for now

Two words: Google Maps

Yes, I know you have it on the iCrap, too, but Google will never make it as good for you. Fact.

I’m heading off on a trip to visit some 3rd year students interning in Saraburi, Trat, and Koh Chang for a few days. Leaving at 5AM tomorrow, so I’m starring destinations and saving route info (toll and non-toll, with different ferry options to the island)  in Google Maps on my PC. Tomorrow, I’ll be able to access it all from my phone. This is the kind of techno-wienery I’ve been dreaming about since I was 7.

Day 1: Maha Sarakham to Saraburi and Trat (city)

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Day 2: Trat (city) to Koh Chang Destinations

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