Tag Archives: cell phone

Android 1.6 on the G1 Dev Phone

Tonight I had some time and wanted to load the latest version of Android on my g1. This was one reason why I got it, even though I skipped over the 1.5 update and was still running 1.1. I haven’t been bold enough to load any custom ROM images yet so I go to the Android Dev Phone 1 site at HTC and grab an updated radio and recovery image. As time goes by I might go another route but for now those versions do the trick.

It has been a while since I blogged about the g1 and some things have changed. The T42 I was using fell victum to the well documented ThinkPad GPU reflow problem, probably the result of a fumble while at the Avis rental counter in the Denver airport back in April. I replaced it with another T42 from ThinkPad Depot a couple months ago and have been happy with it so far.

    Interesting those sound like topics worthy of a blog post but there are none !!! Will try to rectify that in the future.

So needing to start over I first grabbed the Eclipse for RCP and then the Android sdk. I followed the upgrade instructions and managed to have a problem with the adb tool that I think I ran into when I first got the phone and flashed it with 1.1. None the less I did some googling and found where the SD card should not be mounted and adb needs to run as root.

    The “needs to run as root” can be resolved with the right tweeking I believe but I haven’t spent enough time one it yet.

That said the flash went without a hitch for both the radio and recovery image. I’m looking forward to some of the new features, although I’m not sure about the virtual keyboard since it eats up half the screen. The nice part is if it’s a bust I can always try something different or go back.

HTC G1 rocks

A few years ago I switched cell service from Sprint to AT&T since Linux was starting to get a presence in the GSM arena. Then came OpenMoko and hope I’d soon have the same freedom on my phone as on the pc. That project has slowed a little but Google came along with Android and my hope stayed afloat.

The G1 has been out since last year but unfortunately it was exclusively sold through T-Mobile, the one carrier that doesn’t have decent coverage in my area. T-Mobile was being generous with “unlock codes” but it seemed to be a hassle to buy a phone from one carrier only to try an use it on another. I’m always up for a challenge but that was a little much. So I waited.

It was then in December Google offered an “unlocked” version called the Dev Phone 1 usable on any GSM network. That was more to my liking but I wasn’t ready to jump in. That all changed this week. Not really sure what prompted me now, it has been in the news a bit with more manufactures signing on. As well as a new release coming called cupcake. Regardless I took the plunge this week and registered as a Android developer and ordered it.

    You do not have to be a developer or prove that you can code to register. Registering is a requirement before you can order.

It arrived today and after a few hours of use so far I’m impressed. I already have a GMail account so it’s a good fit when it comes to some of the main features. Getting it to work with AT&T was pretty simple too following what others have already noted on the internet adding a APN for AT&T as follows.

name: AT&T
apn: wap.cingular
proxy blank
port blank
server blank
mmsc: http://mmsc.cingular.com
mms proxy: wireless.cingular.com
mms port: 80
apn type blank

.. and I was up and running. Of course having the GMail account for activation made things that much easier. All my GMail contacts and Calendars were synced immediately. When the contacts on my SIM weren’t loaded all I had to do was go to Contacts -> Menu -> Settings -> SIM contacts importer … done.

I’m not sure if I’ll do much on the development front but I do like that as an option. I’ve only just started looking at the app store, I’m sure I’ll get more into that as time goes on. I’ve yet to touch the GPS or camera and only played an mp3 or two. So for now my hats off to HTC and Google for putting out a quality phone with a wide array of features. Lets hope my attitude doesn’t change after a few months.

Clearing data from your old cell phone

Cell phones are almost becoming disposable these days, I’ve had two or three in the last five years. Getting a new one means getting rid of the old one and something you shouldn’t forget is the data that’s on the old phone. Recycling is a must when it comes to cell phones but before just dropping it off make sure you reset it back to factory defaults, and most importantly erase all your data. That means pictures, phone book entries, text messages, etc.

You might be thinking it will take a bit of time to do all that but thanks to the folks at Wireless Recycling it’s pretty easy. On their site you can find instructions for resetting almost any cell phone, restoring to the way it was when you purchased it.

So do your part by recycling old phones just don’t forget to erase all the data first.

A new phone

Earlier this week I turned my phone (SCP-6400) on to once again see the battery was dead. I’ve got a regular and extended life batter and this is happening with both. It seems like this happens after the phone is off for 8-12 hours. It is very strange and I dought there is anything wrong with the phone but seems like a good reason to get a new one.

It will be hard to top the 6400 as it has been rock solid with excellent reception and style. It is still the slimmist phone out there even though it is three years old. I’ve been shopping off and on and even plopped down $300 for an RL-7300 but took it back the next day. Sometimes you just know when a purchase was not right.

I’m glad I did cause the first of September Sprint offered two new Samsung phones, the PM-A840 and SPH-A560. The A560 is the low end model with the A840 being mid range. The nice features about both are a great UI and no external antenna. The A840 comes with a 640X480 camera, speaker phone, and a monochrome sub display. Some may think the black and white mini display is somewhat cheap but I think it make the phone more unique. Great styling in black and silver. I don’t need a camera but I liked the A840 a little better so I went with it.

You can see the monochrome display when the unit is closed and the black theme when it is open. I have not been a huge fan of flip phones but that seems to be the path many of the manufacutures have gone. It makes sense too since it provides the smallest form factor. Many of the Sanyo phones hinge differently, which i prefer but to sacrifice an antenna for a different hinge style I’m all about that. The way the black is carried on to the keypad is nice and will not show scratches as quickly as silver.

It has only been a few days and so far so good. Reception is just as good as the 6400 and battery life is as expected to date. A number of initial reviews are already out and each has their own opinion. For me I’m happy, it does the job and is a step up from what I had… only time will tell if it is just as good for the long haul like the 6400 was.