Android

Posted by Orville Bennett on August 31, 2010
Read time: about 3 minutes

Heeeeeey. So I got married to the love of my life and whatnot last Saturday. Fun times, lemme tell yah. But that’s another (potentially too long) story for another day.

Today let’s talk about … ANDROID. Yes, the little, mostly open source operating mobile operating system that could. I got a T-Mobile G1 last year sometime and have been rooting and romming it ever since. Since I knew I was pretty much getting married, and the wife demanded family plannings (phonewise at least) I had to get her a new T-Mobile phone as she was previously with Verizon Mobile, aka The Evil Empire (again, another post for another day).

The MyTouch 3G slide was on my radar for a few months prior (Engadget, Phandroid, etc) so when I showed it to her and she actually liked it I figured that would be a good phone to get her. The problem here of course, is that this meant her phone would then be better than mine. Luckily the T-Mobile Vibrant, essentially a branded Samsung Galaxy S was also about to be released. To make a long story short, we got both phones; her the 3G Slide (MT3G Slide) and me the Vibrant. And so began the rooting and rommings, again.

The Vibrant, compared to the MT3G Slide was a much simpler device to root. Alas, though there was rooting, there wasn’t really any romming as only modified stock roms were available, which annoyed me greatly.

Moreover this 1 GHz monster was crippled by some rather poor software choices which progressively became more and more annoying. And this I found out after going taking the time to fix the glass touchscreen on the Vibrant, which I had cracked after allowing a TV to fall on it.

Meanwhile the wife was getting annoyed with her phone as it had pretty low signal inside the house, something I never experienced on my phone.

The solution? Switch phones. Now although the MT3G was a less powerful phone it suited me just fine, mostly due to the sense interface customizations and the physical keyboard. Oh, and the MT3G Slide actually felt like I could someone to death with it in as opposed to the lightweight Vibrant. I like the hefty feeling, feels less fragile. So switch we did which gave her the rooted Vibrant and me the not-so-rooted MT3G Slide.

Now Espresso/Sense is pretty close to awesomesauce, but a non rooted phone is … well, it’s a non-rooted phone: lamesauce. So over the course of the next two days I read and read a great number of threads over @ xda-dev HQ until I was sure I could root this bad boy. It was the hardest root I’ve ever had to do. Eventually though I had gotten it rooted, thrown a modified Espresso rooted rom on there, and all was well with my world. Then came CyanogenMod 6.0.

CyanogenMod is a community-based android rom (started by ‘cyanogen’) that grown by leaps and bounds throughout the various incarnations I’ve used (v3-5 and 6-RC2 on the G1, v6 on the Slide). Version 6 brings the latest and greatest from Froyo land and a stable version was released for the slide on the 28th of August. Yep, my wedding day. Awesome present, I know.

So I threw CyanogenMod 6.0.0 on this thing and it runs great. There are some things from the Stock slide rom I was missing though, so I figured I’d post them here. Future reference and all that.

  1. Rom Manager - For flashing new roms and backing up old ones. It can also DL cyanogenmod roms for supported archs within the app.
  2. Swype - I’d signed up for the beta so I was able to get the latest beta. However, the phone I bought came w/ swype too. I found a version 1.60 on the internets (have yet to install this though). I tried installing the version on our Vibrant, but that failed miserably.
  3. SetCPU - this is an app which managers the cpu
  4. VatSense Theme - for CM 6.0. To get back to the Sense Look/n/Feel xda-developers.com
  5. EStrongs File Explorer - can do root w/ cyanogenmod. Free, Adfree, and looks good.
  6. Barnacle Wifi Tether - because Wireless Tether for Root makes the Slide freeze then reboot.
  7. Latest Radio for MT3G Slide

TODO - OverClock Kernel - To get the most out of SetCPU

Now our phones don’t have any better reception inside, but the switch has proven to be a rousing success. She likes the shiny, and I like the tiny. And that’s been my android adventure for the past two months or so. Fun times, all made possible by Linux. :-D