When Ekianjo asked me to write up about my daily use of my Pandora, I initially thought that would be an easy thing to do. But when I thought about it a bit more, I realized it won’t be that easy… as my usage of the Pandora probably is as flexible as the device.
(Note: This is a guest post written by EvilDragon, in charge of Open Pandora GmbH)
For example, right now, I’m lying in the bath tub writing this text while listening to some chiptunes (off my server, thanks to Samba) with Deadbeef. I definitely don’t do that daily, but it’s one of those use cases where no other device works as good.A netbook can’t be held in your hand and a tablet is too big to be held comfortably… it works okay if you’re just reading an ebook, but did you ever try to TYPE on your tablet while taking a nice hot bath?
I thought so.
I could use my smartphone, but the keyboard is only usable for typing short messages. While I certainly don’t do that daily, it’s a typical example of what I often use the Pandora for: Things where no other device works as good. Another example would be: Server administration while being on-the-go. While my smartphone HAS a keyboard, it’s nigh impossible to use for SSH. No tab, no CTRL, stuff like / hidden in an on-screen-sym-menu… naaa, no fun.But it’s good enough to provide an internet connection to the Pandora, so I can be online anywhere I am 🙂
I also use it for checking emails… hey, did someone say my smartphone can do that as well?
Well… yes, it can, but not as well. I’ve got 6 different email accounts setup via IMAP, with signatures, etc. I’ve been using ClawsMail on all of my PCs for years. Now, I’ve setup a few scripts to sync the configuration. So if I change the signature or configuration on one PC, I can sync that to all my other ClawsMail clients, also on the Pandora. It would’ve taken me a few hours to set up all my accounts incl. signatures on my Smartphone… and when I change a signature or similar, I would’ve to do the same on my phone as well. All I did on the Pandora was copying the configuration into the ClawsMail-Directory… and that was it. I don’t have much time, so setting up things should be as fast as possible for me. It’s a lot easier and faster if I have a full desktop Linux PC in my pocket instead of something else.
Okay, so my daily uses are emails, web and server administration on-the-go. That’s all business stuff – let’s head over to my private usage.
Of course, web surfing also is part of my private usage, but there’s a lot more: Playing games (one of the best parts of the Pandora). While I usually play with it each day, the way I’m playing differs A LOT. It depends on the amount of time I have and in what I currently like to do.
I love playing RPGs, and in my opinion, the best RPG consoles were SNES, PSX and PS2. For now, PS2 is not available on any handheld, but SNES and PSX is perfect on the Pandora. I own almost every PSX RPG there is (bought them all back then), but didn’t have time to play them. On a modern TV, these games don’t look very good… especially the 3D games look very basic… but on a handheld screen, they still look awesome (especially with the high res-filter of PCSX ReARMed). Playing RPGs is one thing I do (all the time when I’m on long train rides or holidays, as I usually only take my Pandora with me).
I’ve already played Suikoden 1 & 2, Threads of Fate, Silent Hill, Policenauts, Parasite Eve, Breath of Fire 4, Makaitoushi Saga (the Wonderswan remake) and replayed Xenogears. Right now I’m playing the Magical Land of Wozz and will play a lot more fan-translated RPGs that never saw the light of day outside of Japan before. Of course, that only works if I got some time… if I only have half an hour, I play some quick retro-games (Magical Drop III, etc.). Or I try out (mostly Japanese) games I’ve never heard of before. There are so many weird games out there, it’s fun to just see them. And if a good one is among them, I try to buy them in order to play them for longer periods of time (I want to play all my games legally).
It’s also fun to try out all these homebrew games. There are quite a few gems among them which I replay every once in a while. You could say I love trying out new stuff – and I love games in Retro-Style. Since skeezix released C4A (Compo4All), I also try beating some high-scores whenever I find some time. It’s great to play classic games against other community members. I never liked multiplayer games on XBox or PS3… you play against random opponents you never heard of before, and if you want to play against friends you either need to meet up or be really lucky. C4A allows me to challenge members I know from the boards at any time… no need to meet them online. I love that!
Besides playing games, I also sometimes work on some scripts when I have a new idea… for example the recently added LED-Settings script. Most of the time I code these directly on the Pandora, as it’s convenient to try them out directly on the system. I also check the web for unported easy stuff sometimes and try to compile it directly on the Pandora.
Or repackage it, like the few Visual Novels I put onto the repo.
As a summary, you could say while I’m using my Pandora almost daily, the things I do with it greatly vary. I guess it’s similar for other users as well, as the Pandora IS a very flexible system. The most awesome thing I did probably was transferring 100,000 EUR to Global Components for Pandora production… directly WITH my Pandora 🙂 I wouldn’t want to miss it.
If I have to wait somewhere, it never gets boring if you have a Pandora with you.