Encryption on Asus Fonepad FE170CG, or how to transform your phablet in something slow as a dog

I recently fixed a problem on an Asus Fonepad FE170CG. This tablet (or technically, more a phablet, since you can also make phone calls with it) is sold in Italy at the bargain price of 99€ and is quite popular in circles where people need a cheap appliance that can stand as access point, and make the occasional phone call.

Asus FE170CG fonepad

Asus  fonepad (courtesy asus.com)

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Ubuntu Trusty Tahr 14.04 LTS on less-than-optimal hardware

Another time, another LTS release. It’s has been a while and our 12.04 LTS is now pretty old…time to switch to the new 14.04 LTS. Or maybe not.

The good news is that it’s completely possible to do an upgrade from 12.04 LTS to 14.04 LTS. The good news is this update can be partially done offline, using the 14.04 bootdisk, or and usb drive made with Ubuntu’s startup disk creator or your favorite bootdisk application. Another good news is that the in-place upgrade works, without the need of re installing everything. I am not a big fan of mayor number version upgrade, but it may come handy sometimes. Of course a good backup before upgrading is recommended and nearly mandatory. It may be necessary to re install some packages after the upgrade (I suspect this happens with third party packages). Unfortunately, the upgrade didn’t say which ones, or maybe I wasn’t paying attention.  Continue reading