In January I got rob while traveling. Sad, but nobody got hurt and that is the only thing that matters.

They got my kindle so for me was an opportunity to try something new. The kindle was a nice device, but the lock-in of the Amazon universe wasn't that appealing.

After stressing on which device I would go, my choice was between reMarkable and Boox NoteAir. Especially because I could benefit from a device I could take note in.

The reMarkable is an amazing product with a strong brand image, they definetly create a product that I will call Desiredable and probably that is why has so many fanboy outhere.

But the first considerations that let me choose NoteAir were:

  • Black lighting, this is most important factor. I read books at night and too often I'm not in great light conditions.
  • No Bluetooth connection. Which is essential if you want to just type something without cables around.
  • Few Apps, is true that main selling point of eReaders versus tablet is their distraction-free reading experience or note since the writing capabilities. But losing to the Kindle App, which contains many of the books that I bought was also a big Minus.

    And seriously, are you really willing to pay more than a few hundred euros to have a machine where you need to ssh into it, and start cloning and compiling code because some basic App are missing?

  • An expensive underpowered machine. Is true that you pay for the well design machine, hardware, and software, but all that tailor-made does contribute positively to the final product?

I end up with NoteAir, which I'm very happy about it, and here is I write up how I setup it up.

My Boox Noteair Setup.

  • Install TMux This can be done by installing a 3rd Application F-Droid which is a store of FOSS Applications.
  • Disable Settings > Applications > Automatic update Configuration config for third-party apps.
  • Disable Settings > Applications > Freeze third-party apps in the background by defaul.
  • Enable the Termux data sharing.
  • Create and establish a VPN connection on my subnet.
  • Add the Button Mapper application to create custom macros to switch apps. One of the flaws of Boox is that they build their custom Android service, so is not very customizable with adb.

Those steps are done to let me have a console to ssh in my computer, which is more powerful, so I can use it for some more serious development.

I'm coding this website currently from emacs that runs on my laptop. Where I also run a dev script to have a hot-reloading experience.

My router automatically alias network devices, so you can access like so:

But to make all this experience smooth I had to do some work, so here is how I set up my Termux.

My termux setup

  • Install git, emacs, openssh, mosh.
  • Create an ssh key.
  • Initialize git by setting the profile.
  • Clone doom on ~/.emacs.d.

One game-changer is mosh. My session is currently running for days, I can go and grab a coffee and take my reader without connection, get back home and continue where I left. This is mind-blowing 🎆.


So far is being a couple of days that I'm trying this device out, and let me tell you that completely fits most of my tasking. Let me say that I didn't expect such versatility, and I mainly bought this device for reading and take some notes.

Now I'm over-excited about what can I do with this small machine.

But don't get me wrong, this setup is expensive for what it is, and you need to be somehow, motivate between the struggles that you get to setup it.

I publish a picture on Reddit, and some concerns are about lagging and battery life, the lagging is noticeable, but so is the refresh rate of the screen, this is not an lcd. Also running emacs locally is somehow heavier then if I do on my remote machine, which increases the latency, which again, is not that bad for what I do.

Regarding the battery life, I had to disable a couple of settings that were meant for the Energy Saving configuration. But let me tell you that you can still do two days with this device on a full charge. And takes less then 20 minutes to get your battery full back.

I will probably write more in the future about this, but for today that's it.