OpenMoko Re-Design: Now known as OM

This is interesting. Openmoko, the open source phone (Freerunner) manufacturer, and recent WikiReader producer has just changed their name to simply: OM.

Very simple design and I would have to say, it is a good re-branding exercise. “Openmoko” is a mouth full for anyone who has never come across with the company. The colour scheme of black and white works to focus on its simplicity (hopefully reflected in philosophy :P) in ideas (like WikiReader).

OM

The picture is a snapshot of the new revamped website.

Reasons Not to Upgrade O2 Stealth to WM6.5

I tried it twice… trying to use the cooked Chinese ROM (translated to English) and found that the device tends to slow down due to the very sad amount of free RAM available. Mind you that WM6.5 is slightly more resource intensive. I found that I could only run two programs at the same time when on WM6.5. It could have been the version I flashed, but seriously, 64MB RAM cannot allow you to do much. It was so bad that at times I had to clear all programs in order to use the camera!

Sad, but true. On the other hand, remember that it would not be a problem if you are not intending to use a resource hogger like I do (I use SPB’s excellent Mobile Shell 3.0) which makes WM more user friendly and useful. If you are fine with the default home page, then by all means, upgrade it to 6.5. Fundamentally, I see that there is no real difference between 6.5 and 5. You can still use most programs (since they are backwards compatible).

There is the lost of some default input types (on the 21725 version I think), which I have no problem with, since I use Resco’s Keyboard. In the end, the only reason why someone would use Windows Mobile in this generation of iPhone OS & Android OS is because of its customization and tweeking capabilities. The variety of software packages that you can try out is really limitless 🙂

So if you want a smooth performance, retain WM5 or maybe just upgrade to WM6.1. If not, be prepared to lose out on using 3rd party Home default programs 🙂 The choice is yours.

Support Radiant! (Hexage)

I bought this game: Radiant, because of the high quality in gameplay and graphical design. It is a modern Space Invaders that is definitely much better than its predecessor in many ways.

Check it out here: http://www.hexage.net/radiant/index.html

Buy the game from: http://www.cyrket.com/package/net.hexage.radiant

s5

Your mission? Blast the enemies and survive! 🙂 It’s that simple, yet done in a very modern-retro (I know… what a paradox!) feel that is easy on your eyes. I want a T-Shirt of this game done!!! 🙂 Hahahaha.

Anyway, Hexage (the development studio) has done a very good job at the moment in all their games. I hope they will support the Android platform as long as possible. The only way to support these good studios is by buying their applications. It costs less than RM10 ($1.50 UK Pound). And the playability is better than the new games you may have on the PC (at least it is for me).

Now, if only someone will get Dosbox to work for Android! 🙂

Upgrading to CyanogenMod 4.1.99 (now 4.1.999)

Update: The latest Beta (experimental release) is out, 4.1.999, which you can get from cyanogen’s XDA link below. You just have to ‘flash’ it by powering off your HTC Dream device, go into recovery console menu mode (pressing “Power” and “Home” buttons at the same time), selecting “apply any zip file from sd card” and then choosing the latest ROM build (4.1.999 – there’s an extra ‘9’ there). Voila… confirm and it will update itself. Enjoy!

For new HTC Dream (Singtel) phones, please refer to my previous post on the steps to root your phone. http://erlern.wordpress.com/2009/06/23/rooting-htc-dream-singtel/.

To update those who do not know anything at all, newbies (like me… I am just a slightly more experienced newbie in this Mod stuff): there are a lot of reasons why you would want to ROOT (gain complete access to your phone and do whatever you want with it) your HTC Dream. This is not illegal in any sense, but it comes with the price of losing your warranty (there are no way around this point since Singtel has NOT released the stock firmware (in other words, the original software that your phone came with) for HTC Dream (although they did release the original firmware for HTC Magic). The other, slightly dangerous downside, is the risk of being exploited by malicious software if you simply install any 3rd party applications without discernment.

Having said that, the mods (modifications) done on firmware softwares (ROMS) are done ‘cooked’ by passionate individuals (the ‘chefs’) who wants to share better ROM versions that are lighter (in size), more efficient (better performance & battery saving) and without the excess (redundant softwares). One of the most popular ROMS around is made by Steve Kondik aka Cyanogen (his nick) under the name coined by fans “CyanogenMod”. Due to some recent problems with Google, Cyanogen had to change the method in which his ROMS function. If you are into controversies, read http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=565510 and http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=564623 and move on.

Of course there are other ROM types out there; http://www.maximumpc.com/article/howtos/howto_hack_your_android_g1_phone?page=0,3 – it’s a long article, but it gives you a comprehensive overview of what is in the scene.

Anyway, I am only interested in CyanogenMod because it follows the Stock (original) ROM closely and improves on it a lot. For example, it incorporates the latest and best enhancements from Google, XDA and other contributors. The last stable release is designated 4.0.4, while the experimental branch ROM is 4.1.11.1. To tell the truth, the latter is very stable by itself. Anyway, because of the problem with Google’s legal department (which in actuality is a valid point since Google owns certain proprietary softwares within the Android system that is non-essential for Android to work), the method of upgrading to the latest DONUT release for CyanogenMod has been made slightly complicated. I really do mean ‘slightly’.

The steps are contained here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=567610

However, let me make a clearer step by step approach for the newbie.

Requirements: You need to be using CyanogenMod already (root your phone first using the previous link given on top). 4.0.4 or 4.1.11.1. It does not matter. You also need to have HTC Dream/G1 (T-Mobile’s).

That’s it.

Step 0: Make sure your phone is charged at more than 90% or is actually plugged to a power source. Most problems that I hear of occur because of this little oversight by many who are too eager to flash the ROM, only to have the whole process undone by the phone dying midway, causing problems that many others cannot help.

Step 1: Go to http://developer.htc.com/adp.html and scroll down to “Download Image Packages” and under Android 1.6, Recovery Image, download “signed-dream_devphone_userdebug-ota-14721.zip“, click agree and it will begin your download. Put the zip file into the root of your SD card (not into any folders).

Step 2: Download Cyanogen’s latest ROM from http://n0rp.chemlab.org/android/experimental/update-cm-4.1.99-signed.zip – and put the zip file into the root of your SD card.

Step 3: Turn off your phone completely.

Step 4: Press the “Home” and “Power” button at the same time and hold it, to boot the phone into Cyanogen’s Recovery Menu (if you have no idea what this is, you have not completed the first ‘rooting process’ I referred to previously. Go do that now).

Step 5: At the Menu, click “[Alt+A] apply any zip from sd” using your trackball and then select the first zip file we downloaded in Step 1. Let it ‘flash’ and it will bring you back to the recovery menu. Press “home + back: reboot system now ” and your radio software will be updated and you will return automatically to the recovery menu.

Step  6: click “apply any zip to sd” again, but now go to Cyanogen’s zip file… 4.1.99. Let it do what it does and you will return to the recovery menu again.

Step 7: Select and click on “repair ext file systems”, ‘ext’ refers to the partitions that you made for the linux portion of android (you dont need to know this).

Step 8: Select and click on “reboot system now”… and wait. Yes, the loading will take time, between 10 – 30 minutes. So be patient, and make sure your phone is charged up or is plugged to the power supply.

That’s it. You are up to speed with the latest DONUT updates for CyanogenMod. 🙂 Enjoy!