The Wife’s phone is dying. She’s insisted she didn’t need a smartphone for decades, but now she wants one. One problem; we’re dead broke. We had to steal from Peter to pay Paul this month in the first place, large phone expenditures aren’t in the works for us. If you want a phone that works well with today’s apps, you seem to need a new phone.
There are actually multiple problems here. We found a service called Ting.com a while back, a service that saves us serious amounts of cash on cell phones. Ting.com makes them cheaper per line than standard wired service if you don’t spend hours on the phone every day. There is only one problem with this service, you have to provide your own hardware.
Luckily there is a service for that, too. Several of them, in fact. I like Glyde.com, I bought my current HTC device from them. My first foray into this strange world of buying used phones, I bought a different device, only to discover that the memory constraints on the phone were so limited I couldn’t update the phone to the current software. Couldn’t unlock the bootloader (whatever that was) much less root it. I picked HTC the second time out because HTC allows you to unlock the bootloader right on their website. Gave the first phone to my son. His first cell phone. That he leaves everywhere except in his pocket. Perfect phone for him.
Bootloaders. Rooting. It was a whole new language that I had resigned myself to learning, so I began exploring exactly how to even talk about what I wanted to do to the device, trying to figure out what the verb rooting really meant outside of swine behavior. I apparently needed a new rom to flash after this rooting thing; and I was certain I wanted to avoid bricking the phone, because that sounded bad. I mean, you can’t call with a brick, even the rocks know that.
I quickly discovered that it’s a minefield out there. Even if you find the right boards, half the links don’t work. Even if you find links that work, most of them lead to shady back-alley websites that I wouldn’t want to visit without protection; much less disable security on my phone and engage in behavior that my phone warns me I shouldn’t do even with people I know.
I’m under time pressure here. The Wife wants an iPhone. The cheapest one is twice what I could pay for a comparable android device. She’s listened to me whine about this HTC device for months now, I’ve convinced her that you can’t fix old phones to do the things we want them to do, and I haven’t even gotten to the point of trying to modify my phone. It is time for me to bite the bullet. Now or never.
About 12 hours ago, I jumped in with both feet. I got my token from HTC, Unlocked the bootloader. Rebooted. Yep, there goes all those old text messages. Glad I didn’t want to save those. Well, it doesn’t seem like I did anything else. Head scratcher. I scrounge around for old links. Hey, what’s this? I can just download one program from xdadevelopers and it’ll root my phone? Well, getting superuser status on the phone is the next step (what rooting means. SU, superuser. Known to those of us who Linux. Yeah, I knew that) so that’s probably the right thing. Xda’s users seem to be some of the more knowledgeable types out there, so I’ll bite.
Works like a charm. Now what? Can I delete apps? No. All that damn garbage like Sports & Racing apps still clogging up the system. I really, really don’t want to go find a rom (image) to flash (load) while under time pressure. That is the kind of thing you do to phones you’re not counting on using for a bit, altering all the interfaces and playing around trying to break the software. I just want a program. An app. Something that will delete crap I want gone, move crap that I want somewhere else so that the 500 megs of phone memory stays as open as I can get it. Back to the Google. Wait, there’s a root uninstaller? Really? On the Google store, even? Nice.
Bye bye Tweeter. Sports you are out of here. Racing, go drive somewhere else. All you old pre-installs for Twitter, Facebook, etc. All of you are now uninstalled. I’m going pro with this app. Hey, I can move stuff to the card with this puppy. This is what I’m talking about! Where was this power months ago? I feel like a programmer, which is a dangerous delusion for me.
I’ve been tweaking, deleting, and tweaking again for the last 12 hours. Convinced The Wife that we could save a few dollars on a second HTC device, and I can make it do what she wants it to do (fingers crossed now) so the time pressure is off. Now I’ll have a play phone for a few days at least. Time to find an alternate rom I want to play with. And backup. I need to find a rom builder. Back to the Google.
I received a brand new Nexus 5 for my birthday, and that has kept me beautifully distracted since I got it. I can finally play some of the games I’ve been wanting to play and install several apps that just were too big for the HTC Evo Shift. My heartfelt thanks to the friends and family who made the gift possible. It really was the only thing I wanted, one of the few things I can use while essentially bedridden for days at a time.