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Archive for Mobile:

Root and Install Custom ROM on HTC Desire HD

So maybe you've decided it's time to run a custom ROM on your Android phone? Well, it might be a really good decision! Here's a tutorial on how to make the process a bit easier.

First of all, rooting your phone is much easier today than it was. Seriously. In theory, you just have to grab the latest AAHK (Advanced Ace Hack Kit), make sure you meet the requirements and press Go. Now this absolutely might work for some, but for many of us it will not. Before you proceed, also know that rooting your phone will void its warranty. If you're lucky that won't matter if the phone must go on service, but if you're unlucky, you're stranded.

Now, onwards. Here's what you should do if you want to root your phone and install a custom ROM!

Prepare your phone

First, plugin your phone to your computer's USB:

  • Make sure the mode is set to Charge only.
  • Also, you need to turn on USB debugging:
    Menu -> Settings ->Applications -> Development -> Check USB Debugging

It also helps having a brand new micro SD card. There's been problems with well used micro SD cards and AAHK, but it's not entirely sure you'll have problems with your SD card. Just follow the instructions below and let's see what happens for you. Also, have a look at the Problem solving section below.

Download and run AAHK

  1. Download the latest AAHK, unzip.
  2. Run hack-ace.cmd (as Administrator if you're in Windows).
    Also, read effen-manual.html (it's located in the root).
  3. You will be asked for the pass key. Take a look in the file /tools/txt/CAJUN.TXT and copy the contents of that file to the command prompt. 
  4. Now you should see this screen:
    AAHK screenshot
  5. The toggle flash method should be hbootPD98IMG. If it isn't, press 't' and then enter.
  6. Now it's time for the fun! Choose 1 Hack Ace and enter. Watch the magic happen :-) This will take a while, probably 5-10 minutes.

Download and Install Custom ROM

After the rooting is complete, you should now have a fully working rooted Android phone. Next it's time to install a custom ROM. This is easy.

Download ROM Manager from Play Store.  Open the app and choose Flash ClockworkMod Recovery the first thing you do.

ROM Manager

Now you can choose to either do this the easiest way or the manual way. The easiest way includes buying ROM Manager Premium and letting it download and install everything you need. The manual way is cheaper and works well too.

The ROM Manager Premium way:

  1. In ROM Manager, choose Download ROM and find your ROM of choice.
  2. Make sure you tick Backup Existing ROM, Wipe Data and Cache, Wipe Dalvik Cache and proceed.
  3. Watch and enjoy. The process will take a while and once it's done you should run your custom ROM of choice!

The manual way:

  1. Figure out which custom ROM you want, there's a great list of custom ROMs for Desire HD here. Download.
  2. Rename the downloaded file's name to update.zip and place it in the root of your SD card.
  3. In ROM Manager, choose Install ROM from SD Card, tap update.zip.
    Make sure you tick Backup Existing ROM, Wipe Data and Cache, Wipe Dalvik Cache and proceed.
  4. Let the phone work for a while and then you'll have the custom ROM installed!

Problem solving

When AAHK does its magic, it might get stuck. You might encounter error messages like:

/sdcard/PD98IMG.zip no such file or directory

and similar. That should be nothing to worry about. AAHK has its own PD98IMG.zip and everything will be fine.

However you might have to wait a while for the "sending zip" process to complete. If it doesn't within a couple of minutes, you have to try three things:

  • First, make sure you set flash method to hbootPD98img
  • Try another USB port or USB cable
  • If that didn't work, buy a new micro SD card

And restart the process from step 2.

A Month With iPhone: A Month With Pain

In November I wrote about iOS vs Android and what I felt were the immediate drawbacks and positives with iOS after one week's use.

After my stint with iPhone 3GS and iOS 5 was over, I felt a bit.. empty. Was this it? Had I missed something?

Now don't get me wrong. I still think the UI is slick, that iOS 5 seems quite a thorough OS. However, I can't understand the hype. Ok, Apple were the first ones to give a great and smooth smart phone to the masses, and they still deliver. The competition has however come leaps and bounds and I didn't feel Apple improved my life with their latest OS on one of their best selling cell phones ever, 3GS.

Also, three things bothered me:

  1. Many apps didn't save the state, meaning I would fire up an app, do something, then fire up another app, do something, go back to the former app just to see what I did now was gone. Dislike.
  2. In general, you had to pay for good apps. Since I'm an Android user, I'm not really used to paying for good apps. I pay for great apps that improve my life.
  3. You had to use iTunes to even change the ring signal. No way I would bloat my laptop with that crap.
For me, Android with its Market is a clear winner, although there of course are drawbacks there too. For now though, I won't even consider being an iPhone user, if I'm not forced to.

 

iOS vs Android - 1st Day Battle

iOS 5Since I'm a pretty avid Android user, and barely have touched Apple devices at all, I somehow felt enthustiastic when I got the chance to try out an iPhone 3GS with iOS 5 for a couple of weeks.

This is my second day using an iPhone, ever, and here are my thoughts on the smartphone and its latest OS so far:

Pros

  • Very slick UI, iPhone might actually be the easiest phone ever to get started with.
  • The keyboard just works and is very accurate more often than not. Normally, I'm having a torrid time using the keyboard on new smartphones, but this keyboard is nothing like it. And this is the standard iOS keyboard..
  • Of course, the number of apps in The App Store. It's filled with goodies and there's plenty to choose from.
  • Once you get used to it, Notification Center is great for a productivity guy like me.

Cons

  • I have to fill in my Apple Id password every time I download something from The App Store. Not OK.
  • I miss some Android apps, like my keyboard SwiftKey X, the best Facebook app FriendCaster and remote app Unified Remote. Even after some research, I've not found anything similar that is as good as these apps.
  • I'd like The App Store to have a filter for games vs just apps. I'm not interested in games at all, which means browsing The App Store for the most popular apps would be so much better if I could filter out the games. As a new iOS user, I'd like the most used apps presented for me in an instant.
  • To set up complete Gmail syncronization, with e-mail, calendar and contacts, you have to setup an Exchange account. The Gmail account alternative won't syncronize your contacts. I haven't tried iCloud, even though I can imagine it's a life saver for many?

I'll be posting more stuff on my experiences with iOS. Feel free to join the discussion!

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