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A backup for a backup... and tablet overheating?

Well, this tablet runs VFR charts, and topo charts for crossing the Alps or Pyrenees above an overcast (or god forbid, in IMC ) so it isn’t entirely a backup.

< boredom warning >

Unfortunately I could not back it up. It is a Lenovo Tablet 2 (a win8 tablet was chosen because winXP,7,8 is the only means of talking to any Thuraya satphone, short of implementing a wifi add-on which I could not get to work and which has other issues e.g. firewalling) and Lenovo implemented a “secure BIOS”. Pointless, since anybody in a position to boot a computer from some dodgy media has physical access to it and as we all know, physical access = zero security.

This meant I could not back it up, because any real backup is an image backup and all image backup solutions require booting the target device from some external media. In the case of Trueimage it is a customised Linux boot CD. WinPE is another (doesn’t work). The built-in “win7” backup is another (doesn’t work). And there is a lot of config on it… Not just the firewall config, required to stop the satphone account balance getting trashed by some app trying to download a 50MB update ($6/MB).

So I put up a $200/€200/£200 reward for anybody who can clone the old tablet to a “new” (out of production now) identical model I bought on Ebay. It was eventually solved using a UK Trueimage-like product called Macrium Reflect.

I guess with an Ipad one can do an exact duplicate via Apple’s online storage service or their Time machine product.

As an aside, it is odd there is no app which can just clone one HD to another, over USB or a LAN. Obviously it could be written. The target device code would have to be wholly RAM-resident, elevate its privileges to the highest (device driver) level, and kill the currently running OS. Like everybody already does, you rip off most of the code from Linux to get e.g. LAN chip support. In the DOS days, Laplink did exactly this, and it had a really cunning way of installing itself over the (RS232) wire too which I won’t go into

Anyway, next issue is that the micro-USB connector (at bottom left) is crappily done and breaks, and then you can’t charge it. The bottom one in the pic is my old one and I modified the USB with a Lemo connector. I now need to mod the upper one the same.

This leaves the issue of overheating. All reasonably powerful tablets, any OS, I have ever tried will shut down at altitude in a warm cockpit. Android ones don’t but they are much less powerful (PDF rendering can be very slow) and there is no way to use the satphone. Since there are obvious hot spots on the back surface, I reckon a copper or aluminium sheet, say 1mm, covering the entire back surface and attached with epoxy, would take care of it.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Regarding the “Secure BIOS” can you not turn off “Secure Boot” inside the BIOS?

EIWT Weston

Peter wrote:

This leaves the issue of overheating. All reasonably powerful tablets, any OS, I have ever tried will shut down at altitude in a warm cockpit. Android ones don’t but they are much less powerful (PDF rendering can be very slow) and there is no way to use the satphone. Since there are obvious hot spots on the back surface, I reckon a copper or aluminium sheet, say 1mm, covering the entire back surface and attached with epoxy, would take care of it.

Overheating is certainly a potential issue for iPads in hot climates. I love the heat sink idea and I think it might work , but if done, my iPad wouldn’t fit the mount I use. Mounting the iPad in front of a canopy air vent continues to work reliably for me, but wouldn’t be much use in a cold climate, or in rain, and I would not want to tune the iPad thermal management to match the weather on every flight. I really wonder why the maker doesn’t offer an industrially hardened iPad, given the increasing range of applications for which they are used.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 15 Oct 14:40

Regarding the “Secure BIOS” can you not turn off “Secure Boot” inside the BIOS?

Yes, secure BIOS is OFF but UEFI is a lot more complicated. There is still other stuff involved. The booting is done partly by the BIOS and partly by some code on the SSD which validates the boot media. And Microsoft (win8 tablet) block unix boot media, apparently.

Mounting the iPad in front of a canopy air vent continues to work reliably for me

Yes, that works in all cases, but is rarely possible while keeping it in view, in the TB20

I really wonder why the maker doesn’t offer an industrially hardened iPad, given the increasing range of applications for which they are used.

It is an “edge case” (C) Steve Jobs. Too small a market. But a 3rd party company could rebuild/convert Ipads appropriately.

Most of the industrial/military tablets, costing 2k+, have historically been windows based. I have not followed that business lately, however.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Here’s a funny one.

Two Buffalo 2TB network drives, LS210 but slightly different types. Different locations, one home, one office. One was bought in 2016 and the other 2010. Both work off UPSs.

The office one fails with 7 red flashes (hardware failure on interface).
I get home and the other is doing the same!

Both go in the bin… Neither had unique data; all of it existed elsewhere, on more pricey Synology network drives. They were just backups for backups.

Later I found this (corrupted firmware, possibly doable with a TFTP update).

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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