A mini review of the mini fridge Subcold Classic4

2023/09/10 - Tech

With my sister going to university, we both agreed that it would nice to have a small fridge in the room she’ll stay in. Something small and low noise with enough space to keep a drink (or something like that) cold.

Subcold Classic4

There are many options out there, from proper refrigerators with a lot of space, to very small ones where we can only fit a 33ml can. We ended up getting a Subcold Classic4, which has enough space to store 6 cans inside or “4 litres” of space and should be enough for what she’ll use it for.

I should mention that there are other very similar mini fridges and that this isn’t the cheapest one available. I paid £39 GBP on Amazon UK, (same price on eBay UK, but refurbished costs £30 on the brand’s store) there’s also the AstroAI Mini Fridge 4 Litre that currently costs £34. I didn’t have time to wait for the delivery, but on Aliexpress we can find alternatives like the VEVOR 10L Mini Fridge which looks nice and costs £40 (also a little bit larger) or a very similar copy of the Subcold Classic4 for just £34, although I don’t know if it works as well. Anyway, my point is, there are many similar products to choose from.

Among the reasons we picked the Subcold was its ability to cool and heat up. Another thing that caught my attention was the ability to run from a USB port. I wasn’t sure about how well it would do on that mode, but it’s nice to be able to run it with a powerbank. I think some of the others can also do this as long we have the cable, but they don’t promote it or include the cable. They’re usually sold as something that needs to be plugged into the wall or a car’s 12v socket.

The fridge:

This thing is so simple that there isn’t much to say about it, but a few points:

  • It’s small. A quick, not very accurate measurement: 25cm long, 26cm tall, and 18cm wide.
  • Everything is made of plastic. Probably one of the reasons why it’s so light.
  • The door is kept in place with magnets, so that bit that looks like a handle doesn’t really do anything. To open the door, pull the side towards you.
  • The power cable is plugged at the back. There we’ll also find a switch with 3 positions: cold, off, and hot. There are 3 “openings” for air flow (there’s a fan inside).
  • At the top there’s a handle to pick it up and 4 rubber feet in the bottom. That’s it.
  • Inside there are two shelves. One on the door and one almost at the top of the fridge. Both are small (so is the fridge) and removable.
  • It doesn’t seem to be very well insulated, but it works.
  • The fan is very quiet, but we can definitely hear it, especially when running at higher power/connected to the wall socket. USB mode is much quieter.
  • It runs continuously. No pauses after reaching a certain temperature (that I noticed).
  • This model comes with a USB-A cable and the wall adapter (UK in my case).

Regarding the noise, how audible it is will depend on what’s around the fridge, how close we are to it, and if we’re easily annoyed by these low noises or not. It’s probably not something I’d want to have next to my bed, but it’s probably fine a few meters away.

I’ll just say that they probably could have done better. The fan seems to be similar to what we can find on a computer tower and those can be pretty quiet. I’m not going to upgrade it, but yeah, it could be better.

Mitigating the Link Rot Problem

2023/07/01 - Tech

Links are one of the core features of the web. We use them to browse websites and to refer to content hosted somewhere else. The problem with links is that they might stop working at any time. Websites change and die, content is moved, modified and deleted, services introduce paywalls and login pages, laws make sites inaccessible. This is usually referred to as “link rot”.

Just a few hours ago Twitter decided to put all tweets[a] behind a login wall. This change might not be permanent if we are to believe a tweet from the owner (and of course you need an account to read it), but just like that, millions of links shared over the years, bookmarks, and open tabs no longer work as expected. And some of those links are important.

Sign in to Twitter

Popular services have been doing similar things for years. For example, Facebook and Instagram redirect users they don’t like (IP, browser, etc) to a login page independently of the content you’re trying to access (could be a meme or some announcement from your government). Reddit started hiding content from mobile users, requiring them to login or install their app (even though the content is right there behind the popup). Imgur, a very popular image hosting service, now has a problem with hosting images, started deleting content, and redirects users accessing images to pages with ads and trackers. Google tried very hard to create a Facebook competitor with Google+, but the service closed and a lot of content was lost.

This affects embedded content too. On top of the privacy problems of adding external content to pages, if the content isn’t really on the page, it might disappear, change or be put behind some wall. For some content this is not a big deal, but sometimes it is. For example, some news websites embed public posts from politicians. What if the post is removed? Did the person ever said what the site claims they did? Or what if the post is updated to say something else?

How to mitigate this?

There’s nothing we can do to stop links we don’t control from breaking, but we can duplicate the content so it exists in more than one place. We can:

  • Take screenshots of the page/content.
  • Archive the content on services like the Wayback Machine and Archive.today.
  • Provide different sources.
  • Keep our own copy of the content.

And so on.

Charging Control on LineageOS

2023/06/11 - Tech

I haven’t seen this mentioned anywhere else other than LineageOS’ changelog, but today’s build (2023-06-11, LineageOS 20) for my OnePlus 8 Pro (instantnoodlep) comes with a new feature called Charging Control which gives us some control over the charging of our devices.

There are 4 options at the moment:

  • Off: default, starts charging right away.
  • Automatic schedule: based on your alarm.
  • Custom schedule: set the start time and target time to be fully charged.
  • Limit charging: set the max % your battery should charge to (between 70 and 100%).

If charging is restricted by your settings, you’ll see a notification. This notification takes you to the settings page… which is okay, but it would be nice if we could quickly resume charging/temporary disable the restriction directly from the notification.

Charging Control Notification

Some Android brands and iOS have offered it for years (with different levels of control), but it’s nice to see this coming to a popular custom ROM like LineageOS and, eventually, to many others that follow LineageOS closely.

The “limit charging” option will be useful on a phone I use as hotspot. It sometimes spends days connected to a charger and it gets a bit warm. Currently I use a Magisk module to limit charging and this will allow me to accomplish the same without doing anything more advanced.

Poco F4 Review

2023/01/07 - Tech

Poco F4 Box

What’s in the Box

  • Poco F4 “Moonlight Silver”, 6GB+128GB, pre-applied screen protector.
  • 67W USB-A charger.
  • USB-A to USB-C cable.
  • USB-C to 3.5 mm headphone port.
  • Clear case.
  • SIM card remover tool.
  • The usual paper stuff (quick start guide, warranty notice, etc).

Other notes:

  • Bought directly from Xiaomi. I paid £229 GBP (around 266 euros or 273 dollars) for it in June 2022.
  • The phone is running MIUI 13.0.6 Global based on Android 12.
  • Out of the box, after the Play Store/Xiaomi updates installed apps and before uninstalling bloatware, there’s around 100GB of space free on this 128GB variant.