I recently purchasd a Lenovo TAB2 A10 tablet computer (who thinks up these horrible names?) with 2GB RAM and a gorgeous 1920 × 1280 screen; the tablet has been on the market for about two years, so it’s no longer cutting edge, but the software is upt to date and the beautiful screen makes up for any deficiency. I bought it as a poor-man’s laptop, intending to carry it with me pretty much everywhere. I’m writing this exercise on my new tablet.

One of the programs I installed from the Google Play Store is GNUroot, which despite its name doesn’t root the tablet; it installs a Unix-like system within the sandbox of a normal Android application. It provides a console that looks like an ordinary Unix console. The sole user is root, with no password; a VNC server is provided if you want to use a graphics screen. The root directory has the normal Unix file structure, with /bin, /usr, /lib, /var, /etc, /home and all the others, and all the normal Unix utilities are present, including apt-get, which lets you install most of the GNU programs.

A simple apt-get install guile-2.0 gave me Guile, the GNU Scheme interpreter, which I’ve been playing with for the last few days. Guile is aggressively R5RS, with lots of extensions and libraries that are inconsistent with R6RS and R7RS; for instance, the module system is completely different. My first impression is good, even though the arguments to (sort list-or-vector lt?) are in the wrong order, and I’ll be exploring the library for the next few days. My .guile initialization file appears on the next page.

So there is no exercise today. You might wish to tell us about your computing environment or ask questions about GNUroot in the comments below.

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