Android 2.1 on the G1 – My Day in the Upgrade Barrel

Android 2.1 makes your G1 phone faster than it has ever been even since the first day you owned it! Simply put the speed is amazing! Rooting your G1 and upgrading it only takes 15 to 20 minutes.

Researching every step so that you end up with a working phone instead of a brick, priceless! Uh, I mean well that takes at least a day or two, because there are multiple steps documented on multiple sites and the authors don’t keep in sync with each other.

For example at one point in the process I had to do a backup and one site gave the correct command to do so EXCEPT that the author had updated the program and it now required a “#” in front of the command line to execute.

Simply put, that was one of those “Oh shit!” moments in the process.

In addition, the authors of these upgrade sites make a lot of assumptions that you know and understand their terminology.

UNDOCUMENTED SECRET that truly makes it all worthwhile: Before you begin this entire process, buy yourself a Class 6 Micro SD card. Why? Because Android 2.1 has an app called “App2SD” which (duh!) moves your apps out of the very limited system RAM to the SD card where they are stored and executed.

You want Class 6 because that’s high speed, so don’t buy a Class 4 or any other lower speeds. I bought an 8GB card for $20. 4GB cards sell for $12-$15 so why not double the capacity for a few more dollars? If you are truly feeling flush, you can purchase a 16GB card for around $60. As most Android apps are less than 1MB in size, even a 4GB would take a long time to fill. However you can also store music, photos and video on the SD card so that will add to using up space.

Go here: http://the-gadgeteer.com/2009/01/23/a-week-with-the-android-g1-smartphone/ to see a photo of where the SD card slot is located. The good news is that you don’t have to disassemble your G1 to replace the SD card. It’s about as simple as possible.

TERMINOLOGY LESSON #1: The G1 is referred to by its model name, DREAM.

OK, this isn’t a “pure” version of Android 2.1, it’s the CyanogenMod. If you want to wait on T-Mobile to provide an upgrade to 2.1, fine, but I have to say it appears to be a highly improbable scenario unless they sell the upgrade program on a CD. It would take an insane amount of bandwidth to do it over their network and frankly having gone through the process, I am pretty cynical about it ever happening for the G1.

Here is the site for the step by step instructions to root your G1 and then upgrade it. This site will take you off to other sites to get all the bits and pieces done.

STOP! This install guide is generally fine BUT it skips the entire important parts of correctly formatting and partitioning your new Class 6 Micro SD card! Go here first:

Once you understand the IMPORTANCE of having an “ext” partition on your SD card, THEN you can go to this site for the step by step instructions:

On this site, down under “Custom Recovery Image”, step 4; THAT line HAS to begin with a “#”! That was my “Oh Shit!” moment during installation.

TERMINOLOGY LESSON #2: Booting into “Recovery mode” means restarting your powered off phone by holding down the power button AND the HOME button.

TERMINOLOGY LESSON #3: Booting into “Fastboot mode” means restarting your powered off phone by holding down the power button AND the CAMERA button.

Part of the process will involve the installation of DangerSPL which you can find here: http://wiki.cyanogenmod.com/index.php/DangerSPL_and_CM_5_for_Dream

Carefully read the notes on installing the proper radio.

Following the steps on the above DangerSPL page will get you through the process.

Peace

"Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart."

We have a fridge magnet with this printed on it, and I always find it to be inspiring.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Wow! Finally caught the film version of this excellent book last night and it was great! Totally faithful to the book! I can only hope the other 2 books in the series are made into films of this caliber as well.

By the way, the actual title of this book in the original Swedish is: Men Who Hate Women.

More Federal Government Idiocy

A provision in the health care reform bill (H.R. 3590, Sect. 9006) requires any business that purchases more than $600 of goods or services from another business to provide that business and the IRS with a 1099 tax form. Goods and services purchased by a small business – ranging from internet and phone services, shipping services, travel, lodging, and food expenses – will now give rise to a new paperwork burden at tax time.


Obviously, this provision in the health care bill has nothing to do with health care.  The provision was added in order to claim another revenue source to fund the health care bill.  Regardless of what one’s view is with respect to the health care bill, it is my hope that we will all be able to agree that enlisting businesses as an enforcement arm of the IRS to snitch on companies with which they do business is the wrong way to proceed.

Question The Rules - Yet another "send us your money" ploy

The above link takes you to yet another $97 "Get Rich" course from the usual boring blogger crowd that offers the same tired advice over and over in new packages. Tossing the "magic advice" of other A or B or in this case even C list bloggers is yet another old tactic. I especially am irked by the Internet marketing belief that if the price ends in a 7, people will subconsciously associate that with luck. Well luck is what you will need if you keep tossing cash into these courses.


Even more annoying is how all of these bloggers refer to each other as "friends", which is a whole new meaning for "if I plug your bullshit, make sure you plug my bullshit".


I still admire and agree with the wag who refers to these Internet books and courses on "changing your life and becoming rich" as "a vast Ponzi scheme".

7 Truths

This is a truly amazing posting that I highly recommend about the things you avoid in life and how to break out of your existing patterns.

The Mask of the Guru

As one wag put it, "the Internet is turning into a giant Ponzi scheme". His perspective was that we get hooked into someone else's success and think that by purchasing their ebook, that we will also be purchasing their success.

I got involved with one of the very well known blogger/writers out there and found that behind the "mask of the guru" was a person that was really just out to suck as much cash out of your pocket as possible while giving you a big smile and encouraging you on "your journey to success". The reality is that your money is keeping them on their "journey to success".

While many of the people marketing self-help are sincere, the creeping majority seem to feel a need to tell you about the "A-list" bloggers that they know and to assure you that their next $97 ebook "is really important and relevant to anyone wanting change in their life".

Bermuda lacks a Starbucks

Yes, there are Starbucks coffee shops in Africa, former Soviet bloc countries and other third world areas.

Bermuda does NOT have a Starbucks (or for that matter any other coffee shop chain).

You see, this is why they REALLY had the Boston Tea Party where they threw all the tea into Boston Harbor. The citizens were fed up with drinking tea and wanted coffee.

Bermuda, being on the side of the tea drinking sore losers of the Revolutionary War lacks decent coffee anyway.

Sigh.

Microsoft BizSpark Support SUCKS!

I had an Avanade MSDN subscription (expired) and a BizSpark MSDN subscription.

In a moment of not paying attention, I deleted the unusable Avanade MSDN subscription.

Unfortunately it was the "default' MSDN account.

Now without a "default" MSDN account, I was locked out of my BizSpark MSDN subscription.

So, I called Microsoft support which is based in India and spoke at (not with as that would imply some modicrum of communication) a representative regarding what had happened.

His response was that since I could no longer access my BizSpark MSDN account that I must no longer be in the program, although my BizSpark membership doesn't expire until August 2012!!

Today I went to see if anything had been done, and sure enough the IDIOT in India had totally removed my BizSpark account!

So now I am truly screwed over once again by the incompetents at Microsoft.

(Microsoft fixed this, but I am still kind of pissed off about it.)

JetBlue flight attendants

Bleh! I was on the red eye from Sacramento to JFK, and I found it difficult to sleep.

So, seeing that there was an empty exit row, I moved there, stretched out and went to sleep.

About 2 hours later, 2 flight attendants woke me up and told me that because the exit rows have more room there's a $25 upgrade fee to sit there. They wanted me to either pay them $25 (you can bet there would be NO receipt) or move.

Then they walked away. So, while risking being sent to Gitmo, I stayed in my seat (OK, I had the whole row) and they didn't return and ask for money or threaten me so I suppose it all worked out. They also hustled a woman who was sitting there with her infant, and she moved back to her original seat.

However, they never made any announcements about "upgrading" to that row and frankly they had sold 2 of the rows to a couple of less than 100 pound ballerinas. The emergency exit doors weigh 33 pounds so try to imagine one of those young girls attempting to lift one third of her body weight.

Anyway that incident soured the flight for me.

The Engineering Gap

The Economist in their January 30th, 2010 issue, published a report on Aspiring Minds, a company in India who tested thousands of IT workers who had graduated from schools in India.

Their results:

4.2% of India's engineers are fit to work in a software product firm and just 17.8% are employable by an IT services company, regardless of how much training and education they have had.