WARNING WARNING Danger, Will Robinson! This is a long, rambling post. It took up far more time than I thought it would and have probably ended up with an incomprehensible pile of nonsense. But I need to go now, and I don’t see a ‘save draft’ option, so I’m going to publish and be damned… apologies in advance!
A little about me first: I’m not new to computers (been using them for forty years, got a bachelor’s degree in computer science a couple dozen years back, though that knowledge is a bit out of date). Resisted use of a smartphone until last year (I’ve almost bumped into far too many meanderthals walking down the street; they give smartphones a bad vibe to those who don’t use them).
The thing is: I’m so old (and I do mean old) that I feel somewhat responsible (just a little bit) for the current situation regarding the ludicrous stranglehold that certain corporations now have over our lives. I was one of those who was fanatical about windoze when it first came out (because it was so much superior to DOS!), learnt as much as I could about it (by reading things called ‘manuals’, y’know, those books that aren’t even made any more) and subsequently acting as (unpaid, naturally) microsoft technical support for all and sundry. And then the internets came along, and, still being young and naive, I did much the same thing: delved into it, read up on it, spotted that google search was so vastly superior to the hotbots and altavistas and the like and promptly became an advocate for that, not realising that it would inevitably turn to the dark side despite its “don’t be evil” motto (of the time ).
At one point, I did have dreams about divesting myself of windows (my plan was to move to linux). But in 1995 I set up a web design company. All my customers were using windows… so I really had no choice but to continue using it so as to be able to support them. And in much the same way, I’m now looking at trying to degoogle my life, as I’m getting a bit sick and tired of my personal information being hijacked by ‘Big Tech’.
Anyway… where was I? Oh, yes. I’ve been looking around this forum for an hour or so now. I think I must be suffering from a tinge of dementia or something, because I can’t now for the life of me remember how I first started looking at F-Droid today (I had thought that my browser history would reveal some clues, but even that is silent on the matter).
You’re probably bored and have wandered off by now, but just in case you haven’t, my point is this: for some reason that I’m unable to determine, I arrived at the F-Droid home page earlier today.
I scanned the QR code (note that I’m not all that familiar with these) on that page in my mobile phone, and that downloaded the FDroid.apk file into my 'phone. And then I got a bit stuck (I’m not at all familiar with apk files). Did some searching, on this forum and on the web, and I now (think I) know that in order to be able to install F-Droid from this apk, I need to do some things first:
- back up the data on my phone just in case (I should of course have done this before now!)
- reassure myself that what I’m doing is wise
- validate the FDroid.apk file
- figure out how to ‘side load’ (new term to me!) the apk
OK, so, I have a plan. Concerning (1)… well, that actually turns out to be a bit of a problem. I’ll need to investigate, but won’t bore you with it here
(2) is really the stumbling block. As I mentioned, I now have no idea why I came to f-droid in the first place it all sounds like a Good Idea and all, but I’ve only just met you guys, and I need to ensure that this isn’t all just some really elaborate scam! Although I can only trust Big Tech as far as I can throw them, I do feel pretty certain that their systems are designed in such a way as to protect me from malicious software… and I’m going out on a bit of a limb if I go down this ‘side load’ path.
As pointed out in this thread here, all this stuff is pretty techie, Although I’m not completely clueless where it comes to technology, I am struggling with a lot of unfamiliar stuff here – and to be honest, I’m beginning to wonder whether it’s all worth the effort.
- VirusTotal gives the rather puzzling report on FDroid.apk ‘No engines detected this file’ – I assume that means it’s safe.
- Malwarebytes reports that the file is safe to install
- What am I missing?
I need to ‘enable Unknown Sources from the privacy settings’. I’ve looked all through my phone’s privacy settings and haven’t found a way to do that, yet. I’ll have to do some more research.
Any thoughts you may have on this insane rambling would be much appreciated.