PineBook Pro #168's harrowing adventure
My PineBook Pro arrived today, which is the most awesome thing to happen to me in several months at least.

First obstacle: the eMMC module fell out during shipping.  :s  The machine wouldn't boot and then I heard the module rattling inside the case. I had to get inside to install the NVMe adapter anyway, so while I was in there I put it back in place...

Second obstacle: The trackpad ribbon cable was routed directly under one of the screw holes for the NVMe adapter, and resisted every attempt to route it any other way. I ended up only using the other two screw holes. (Bonus minor problems: speakers fell out and I initially remounted them upside down, and the power jumper cables were taped in awkward places.)

Third obstacle: Once I got it booting, and tried to set up full disk encryption, I found that mrfixit's kernel doesn't include dm_crypt support. Just to see if an update would fix it, I clicked on the super friendly update button in the lower right, it downloaded a "pinebook" update, and ... bricked the machine. Heck! I never got it booting with root on eMMC again, even through hours of troubleshooting, reimaging, and weird bypasses. But I did eventually manage to get it booting from eMMC with encrypted root on NVMe, which is what I wanted anyway, so...

Fourth obstacle, still unresolved: I'm affected by the sometimes-screwy-input-on-keyboard-and-trackpad thing, and quite severely. :(

Overall I'm really happy with this device. This is the laptop I've been waiting the last two decades for. I hated the trackpad but I'm quickly getting used to it (same as every other trackpad I've ever used). Me being unused to ISO layout was completely mooted by switching in software to a more familiar layout. The straight pros: It's big enough for my piano monster hands. The key mechanisms are nice and crisp. The display is a gorgeous IPS panel; it's not 4:3, but I accept that that battle ended more than a decade ago. Mass storage is fast and all solid state. Case is stylish; light, yet sturdy. No moving parts to wear out. Enough processing power and RAM to do almost anything I ever need a computer for, while burning less energy than the LED lamp behind me. All that, and it respects my freedom!

Every time I see the lovely Pine64 logo on the Menu key, I'm gonna be smiling and sending a telepathic thank you to everyone who worked to make this possible. Once we get the input issue figured out, the PBP I'm posting from will become my main computer... and I expect it to stay that way for the next ten years, at least.

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PineBook Pro #168's harrowing adventure - by Solra Bizna - 11-01-2019, 02:25 AM

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