back to article Is Little Timmy still enthralled by his Leapfrog tablet? Maybe check he hasn't sideloaded an unrestricted OS onto it

A group of Android tinkerers have found a way of sideloading an unrestricted OS onto the LeapFrog Epic, a kid-friendly tablet. As detailed on the XDA Developers forums, the 2015 device proved somewhat complicated to hack due to the encrypted bootloader. This forced the creation of an unlocker tool, which circumvented these …

  1. ExampleOne

    Presumably, once you have 14.1 on it, making 17 work should simply be a matter of bumping version numbers in the build system? The technical challenge here is getting anything on to it in the first place?

    That said, it is still a LeapFrog device, so I would refuse to buy it or allow it into the house...

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      And what is it you have against this device ?

      Genuinely curious to know.

      The small children I see these days are always hogging their parent's mobile phone. I'd rather they have a simple, locked down environment to play in instead of a computing platform that can do almost everything.

      1. ExampleOne

        Nothing against the device, everything against the company.

        LeapFrog are owned by vTech, the company who when they had a data leak involving childrens personal information, simply updated their T&Cs to exclude liability [1, IIRC there was an article on this site that is escaping my google foo] and insist parents signed over any right to sue or complain, under an explicit agreement. This behaviour is beyond reprehensible, and is completely unacceptable generally, for a product targetting children.

        [1] - https://www.troyhunt.com/no-vtech-cannot-simply-absolve-itself/

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Wasn't aware of that, thanks for the heads-up.

          Another company on my Do Not Buy list.

        2. William Towle

          Nod.

          > 1, IIRC there was an article on this site that is escaping my google foo

          https://www.theregister.com/2015/11/27/vtech_hacked/ perhaps? And, later, https://www.theregister.com/2017/10/10/vtech_motion_dismissal_class_action/

  2. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Boffin

    The universe, for any engineer, is divided into to classes of stuff

    Things which are broken, and things which have not yet been sufficiently investigated.

    1. Antonius_Prime

      Re: The universe, for any engineer, is divided into to classes of stuff

      I work with engineers of many, many different (and often, conflicting) stripes.

      This is an absolute truism for understanding them...

      Ofc, as IT, it's clear the buggers don't understand computers...

    2. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      Re: The universe, for any engineer, is divided into to classes of stuff

      My father always said it was: Things that are broken, and Things I haven't gotten to yet.

      At first I thought he was just being funny. Then I figured out why my mom refused to let him anywhere near her car for any reason whatsoever.

      *Smirk*

  3. karlkarl Silver badge

    God forbid Little Timmy mistakenly gets access to an "open" platform that he can tinker with and.... *gulp*... learn from!

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Well, yes, Little Timmy should definitely not have unfettered access to an open platform, not until he has the smarts to deal with the openness.

      Children need to be guided. Throwing a child into a pool is generally not considered the best way for learning how to swim.

      1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

        "Throwing a child into a pool is generally not considered the best way for learning how to swim."

        My dad did that to me. It wasn't the slabs of bloody raw meat strapped to my sides I minded so much as it was the pond being full of hungry pirahna...

        *Cough*

        And my physical education teacher wondered at how fast I could swim.

        =-)p

        1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

          "Throwing a child into a pool is generally not considered the best way for learning how to swim."

          My father just threw me into the canal to teach me to swim.

          Once I was out of the sack with the bricks in, it was easy...

  4. Outer mongolian custard monster from outer space (honest)

    Well, if I bought my offspring a leapfrog, and they managed to root and sideload android onto it, I'd be super impressed and helping steer their path away from the darkside in future but inspiring them to learn more. I've done some mad pointless things, because I could, not because they made logical sense to a onlooker so hats off to the sideloaders.

    I gave my son a pc for xmas and he wanted admin on windows & root on the linux side, and I told him he could have them when he could work out how to get them for himself. It shouldn't be too difficult a task as there's more I could have done to stop it than I have, but he's going to have to do some research first, I'll probably regret this when I find the heating controller running doom or something in a few years ;)

    1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      Your Little Timmy will be devious...

      You won't just find Doom running on the thermostat, you'll wind up with the frig, the toaster, the microwave, & the lights all running CryptoMiners, talking/plotting amongst themselves on the best way to slaughter all those pesky Humans, & the cat refusing to come down off the tallest object in the home because the Roomba has now been "upgraded" with a Hunter/Killer functionality that makes it especially hostile to any/everything that sheds on its nice & clean floors.

      Don't even get me started on what he's accomplished with the unholy union of the car's infotainment system, your SmartTV, & the IOT-augmented toilet...

      =-)P

      My own Little Timmy has already graduated to getting his creations banned by the United Nations as Weapons of Mass Distraction... I'm so proud! XD

      1. Outer mongolian custard monster from outer space (honest)

        Re: Your Little Timmy will be devious...

        I personally cant wait for the day I walk to the toaster and hear "Hi, Im Talkie, would anyone like any toast?" :D

        1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

          Re: Your Little Timmy will be devious...

          Mine used a Raspberry Pi & a small speaker to add recordings that played every time you pushed down the lever on the toaster. When I heard it ask "Would you like some toast?" I nearly laughed myself sick. I spent WAAAAAY too long just pushing down the lever to hear all the different audio clips he'd pulled from my Red Dwarf audio book CD's for my own good.

          If you haven't already, give your Little Timmy a RPie, copies of HHGTTG, Red Dwarf, & Dr. Who. Tell Timmy he gets bonus points for creative mixing of clips to produce the most spit-spray-inducing results.

          I'll hand you a pint to salute our Little Timmy's, but not until they've finished with their most current evil plans so I don't hurt myself shooting my drink all over the walls.

          =-D

  5. Blackjack Silver badge

    1080p on an Android 4 tablet?

    No wonder they are having problems. Was that even possible on Android 4?

    And of course they have battery problems, Android 4 is way less hardware intensive.

  6. Mike 16 Silver badge

    kid's toy turned into a proper tablet computer

    My experience with iOS seems to be moving the opposite direction.

    1. Blackjack Silver badge

      Re: kid's toy turned into a proper tablet computer

      I wanna know the main reason non fanboys use Apple products, I am honesty curious since if you just want a work computer a PC with Windows tends to be cheaper and if you want something that needs powerful hardware... Apple doesn't do power computers... do they?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: kid's toy turned into a proper tablet computer

        They just work(tm) and tend to last quite a long time, both build quality and SW updates.

        Bought SHMBO a MacBook-Air about 5 years ago and haven't had to touch it - best $1000 ever spent.

        Used to get them for salespeoples. If it breaks, walk into a iStore in pretty much any city in the world, get it fixed or swapped, data automagically iRecovers from iBackup and they are back out on the streets.

        Wouldn't have one myself of course - but i like spending weekends trying to get Linux running on obscure hardware.

        1. Blackjack Silver badge

          Re: kid's toy turned into a proper tablet computer

          They literally forced you to use very crappy keyboards for years.

          And let's not get me started on Ipod cables and headphones that at first were of good quality. Then Apple decided to make the ones that came with the Ipod crap to force you to buy better ones.

          Is not like other companies don't pull abuse like this but sometimes I think most Apple fanboys must like the pain.

          Microsoft pulls this shit? No one forgives them. For Apple? It takes stuff like overcharging a monitor stand for even the fanboys to call them out.

        2. AK565

          Re: kid's toy turned into a proper tablet computer

          5 or 10 years ago there was a span of time when I had access to Macs almost daily. Memory's fuzzy.... While many things impressed me, I recall distinctly that any 'right click' functions were torturously complicated.

          The iPhone really blows my mind. I can tell you that whoever designed all the functions related to document and photo handling never had to do either for work. It took me an inexcusably long time to figure out how to turn off picture sharing suggestions.... As in I'd unlock my phone and a random pic from my porn stash would be front and center.

  7. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    I think I have one of these

    I think I still have one of these... don't know if it's Leapfrog, but some childrens tablet in a neon green bumper. On mine I went to "adult mode" (regular android) and put a bunch of wifi scanning tools and junk on it. Might be fun to see what something like that does with Android 7 8-).

  8. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    When I were a lad...

    ...we were content with dead frogs.

    Some kids didn't get the point, but the more dead frogs you had, the more platforms and sidings you could have.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020