JF Calling it Quits on ROM Making

JF

Sad news indeed:

I’ve decided to call it quits on the whole rom making thing. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I haven’t done much work on the rom lately anyway, not to mention the way overdue CRC1 rom that I never got out. I’ll still be around of course, working on smali and hanging out on freenode. But I just don’t have enough interest in doing rom work anymore to continue.

You can read the whole post here: http://jf.andblogs.net/2009/08/20/calling-it-quits/

He is right; the ROM has not have an update in a long time since 1.5.1 was released. Cyanogen has been constantly updating his ROM but I wonder how long will he last too? ROM making takes a lot of passion to do. My overall review of JF’s 1.5.1 is this: very good and stable. I had no problem with navigating through my applications. The occasional force closes were not the ROM’s fault but more of the over-clocking application “SetCPU” which I installed (I suspect). However, I have just installed Cyanogen’s ROM version 4.0.1 yesterday and it has been quite good except that it takes up more RAM space than JF’s. But this is expected since Cyanogen incorporates some elements from the Donut development branch.

Well, so long JF. It has been nice using your ROM. I had no idea that he was going to quit right the day after I install Cyanogen’s ROM… maybe it is just my intuition 🙂 Anyway, here’s to better cooked-ROMs that will extend HTC Dream’s usability to the end of next year!

HTC Dream – End of Life? No Donut or Enclair Updates?

This article here got me worried about the usefulness of HTC Dream. Have a read of the article from: http://androidandme.com/2009/08/news/the-g1-storage-problem-in-charts-and-numbers/

The premise is that each update takes a lot of memory from the in built storage (which is only 256MB). Each expansion and upgrade would significantly grow the size needed on the phone’s memory. Cupcake (Android 1.5) took quite a large chunk, depleting the alleged system storage to nearly zero. It seems that future upgrades are doubtful unless something can be done to trim down the update size or to install another SPL on the phone to reallocate memory allocation.

An excerpt of the relevant part from the article (I plagiarize a lot :P) –

The default partition sizes of a T-Mobile G1:

  • dev: 49460K
  • sqlite_stmt_journals: 4096k
  • system 69120K
  • data: 76544K
  • cache: 69120K

The largest partition is data which is where all your apps are installed.  Many users have experienced this filling up after installing 40-50 apps.  The next largest partitions are system and cache.  System is where the Android operating system is installed and cache is where OTA updates are stored.  Note they are the same size.  The cache needs to remain large so that system updates can be downloaded and stored on the device before flashing.

So how full exactly is the system partition where the Android OS is installed?  Out of an available 69120k of storage, 68780k is being used as of the last official T-Mobile update(CRC1).

This does not affect the latest Android phones or future ones since the base memory size are in the 512MB and above (I assume… for future versions). But the good news (although unofficial) is that the author got a reply from a T-Mobile rep that assured him that there will be future updates. The problem is that, this is a technical limitation, and it may really be a problem for all HTC Dream and T-Mobile G1 owners worldwide. But then, I am not too worried as my phone has been ROOTED. That means, there will be a very capable developer from xda-developers, who would cook a custom ROM that would fit nicely into my phone. Although with some major modifications of course 🙂

Anyway, it is a good observation on the part of the article writer 🙂 Hope to hear more news on this from the developers side (besides the one sourced in the article).

Sigh… cannot believe that this is the ‘end of life’ for my HTC Dream…. just when I am using it as my Mobile workstation 🙂

Singtel Android Cupcake OTA Rollout

According to some folks @ http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/showthread.php?t=2104567&page=121 that may seem to be the case. How it is being done is not certain at the moment. Some are claiming that you need to be in the Singtel Network to get the OTA. But that would not really make sense since OTA’s are done using normal internet connection (transfer of files from an ip address). The update seems to be standing at 44MB.

I think that a rooted phone is still the best road for a G1/HTC Dream phone. Why? You get to do some serious overclocking on the phone. The default maximum speed for the processor is only at 384Mhz. With software such as SetCPU (you can get it here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=505419) you can push it to the max… which is the original 528Mhz. The difference is very obvious. My phone is very stable even with this setting. No crashes, no freezes, etc.

But if you are a newbie and risk-aversed towards computers, I would suggest that you either:

1) Accept Singtel’s cupcake version and be happy with it!

2) Go to a computer shop that offers services to root it.

Why? Because Singtel is the LAST to push Cupcake 1.5 to its users in the world. Can you imagine, next month will be the release of other upgrades (like the hinted Donut), and you may not actually be able to enjoy such upgrades until 2/3 months after everyone else 🙂