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Old October 25th, 2011, 04:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sanwich, Cyannogenmod 8/9 etc..

I am getting my first Android phone, an Atrix 4G in a few days, used, rooted and unlocked. I have rooted phones before but before Android, back in the Rokkr era when that Motorola platform had a pretty rudimentary version of Linux running on it. I also am a heavy Linux/Unix user outside of the smartphone world.

All having been said I am a newcomer to Android and smartphones. So I have a basic question-- to try to help me understand exactly what passes-and I am going to ask this from a necessarily Linux point of view...

When we talk about different versions i.e. Ice Cream, Gingerbread&c.... are we talking about a different desktop--like Gnome, KDE and so forth in Linux-- or are we talking about a completely different version of the operating system with not only the desktop(or user environment) but also a different kernel, different /dev files, different device drivers &c?

I obviously have a lot of learning to do and I have spent a lot of time in the last few days reading here since I am going to have an Atrix 4G but elsewhere as well--while I can see a lot of similarities to Linux and Unix I can also see a lot of differences as well--and dont want to end up bricking my phone.

Thanks to everyone here for an excellent forum. I ve been reading threads and learning a lot but have a long way to go.

Carr

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Old October 25th, 2011, 06:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Gingerbread and icecreamsandwich are different versions, like windows vista and xp. Cyanogen is a modded system. Each manufacturerhas an interface, I.e. touchwiz, sense, blur. Cyanogenmod is justlike that. Android witha different interface.
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Old October 25th, 2011, 07:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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chrisphoenix7

Many thanks for the interest and explanation. I want to try to understand as much as is possible what I am doing before the phone gets here.

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Old October 25th, 2011, 08:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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To expand on what Chris was saying...

Google decided to go with desert names for the builds of Android. Think of how Unbutu does with their Linux builds... Gusty Gibbon, Feisty Fawn...

You can see the list here: Android version history - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
They started this with Cupcake (1.5), then Donut (1.6), then Eclair (2.0/2.1), then FroYo (2.2), then Gingerbread (2.3).

They divided the OS into a tablet version called HoneyComb (3.0), but that caused a lot of confusion (Think back to when you had Windows 98 on personal computers and NT 4 on Corporate systems). So, with the new OS build they just launched, they are merging them back together. This is Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0).

Since you've used Linux for years, you'll find yourself at home. Android is just Linux in your hand. In fact, one of the first app's I'll recommend to you is called "Elixir2" - it's free in the market. It's the ultimate system info app. In there, you will even find that we are running Linux Kernel 2.6.32.9-00001



Here's a little more to read up on: Android (operating system) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Motoblur is a launcher (Like Launcher Pro, my favorite)... Launchers are going to be like KDE or GNOME.

CyanogenMod is a custom built ROM (Version of the OS). You will find that, on Android, like Linux, there are different builds of the OS. CyanogenMod would be to Android what Unbutu is to Linux... A custom developed version. I would say the stock ROM would be like Red Hat.
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Old October 25th, 2011, 08:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Wolfman Robby

Thanks for the clarification very much. I am looking forward to having an Atrix to play with.

Much appreciate it and the support I am finding here. My currentl phone is a Nokia Xpress Music 5800 that runs Symbios. I thought about rooting that one and decided against it because of non familiarity with that IS and a lack of support. The amount of support for Android is amazing to me. OS Rules!!

I do have one question off the subject. How does one tell, hands on the phone whether the phone is an Atrix, Atrix 4 G or Atrix 2??

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Old October 25th, 2011, 08:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The "Atrix" and "Atrix 4G" are the same phone. It's the model number MB860. Some people just get lazy and don't put the 4G part on there. Other's are like me and just refuse to accept any of these 3.5G techs (HSDPA, LTE or WiMax) as 4G.

The Atrix 2 just came out last week and is slightly larger. It also does not have the fingerprint scanner on the back (A dead giveaway).
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Old October 26th, 2011, 12:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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WolfmanRobby

Thanks for the info. Thought I would be completing an online transaction for an Atrix and have it in a few days. It fell thru due to some things on the sellers end. Found here locally (Mobile Al). a 4 month old Atrix 4G via Craigs List, met the guy last night and paid $180 for it with an otter box case and charger. Rooted it after I got home. Phenomenal piece of hardware !

Got to find another ROM for it, has the standard AT&T ware on it, bloat bloat bloat -- everything on the phone wants to call home all the time. I dont like that from a security standpoint. Plus need to investigate some rescue tools in case the ROM'ing doesnt go as planned. Used Petes root program from this site, rooting was dead easy. I wont tell you how long it took me to figure out where the trashcan was but thats another story. This is my first Android phone. I think its running Gingerbread if thats whatever the current stable release is.

Interesting. I am 60 years old and still pretty fluent in some things but jesus this is a dual core PHONE! LOL. Amazing on everything except battery life but I plan to kill a lot of procs and improve that.

Any recommendations or comments please feel free. I am creating thread drift here !

Regards and thanks again
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Old October 26th, 2011, 01:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Got to find another ROM for it, has the standard AT&T ware on it, bloat bloat bloat -- everything on the phone wants to call home all the time. I dont like that from a security standpoint.
Well, all that AT&T has to do with the OS is they test it, certify it works, and have their logo's and boot animation. All of that BLOAT is from Motorola and part of the MotoBlur.

The "Calling home" is something you REALLY will have to get used to. That's GOOGLE causing that. Remember, this is THEIR OS, and everything is linked to your Google account. This has been my biggest bone with Android, and a big privacy concern. But, no matter what ROM you use, if you load up the Google apps, it's going to phone home.

Don't load the Google apps and you pretty much neuter the phone.

EDIT - You will be surprised just how many app's insist on "Phoning home" constantly.

Honestly, the best thing to do is "UN-Root" it, run the stock OS, disable MotoBlur and add a 3rd party launcher (Like Launcher Pro). - This is how my phone is and I have ZERO problems with it!

Because, as long as it's rooted, and if you load another ROM (modify the boot loader), you can NEVER load a stock OS ROM on it again.

As a systems admin for over 20 years, I will tell you that my advice is that NO ONE should ROOT a phone. It's just like Running ROOT on Linux (or Administrator on a Windows PC). Any malware that gets on the phone or any website exploits will run with that ROOT level rights. Think of all of your personal info on that phone that could be compromised/stolen/wiped out.

My PERSONAL opinion is only a fool runs their phone as ROOT. Just like only a fool runs their web server as ROOT/Admin.


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Amazing on everything except battery life but I plan to kill a lot of procs and improve that.
Battery life sucks on Android and killing processes actually makes it WORSE. Because, many of those are needed services that the phone has to re-start. And, in some cases, I've seen processes freak out because a dependent process was "frozen" by the user. This put it into a loop trying to start that other process, overheating the phone and killing the battery in about an hour.

Since this is your first Android phone, I would suggest that you keep it as stock as you can. Then, pick up an el-cheapo phone (Used on eBay?) for under $100 that can be your test/learning phone. It doesn't even have to be another Atrix, as the basics of Android are all the same across the platforms.

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Any recommendations or comments please feel free. I am creating thread drift here !
It's your thread, take it in any direction YOU want.
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Old October 26th, 2011, 02:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Jesus thats unreal---- so when you root the phone then your user account is "root". Thats damn horrible because as we both know no one and I mean NO ONE would run any type of OS in anything other than a limited user account for day to day use.

So see this brings to mind something entirely different (drifting threads again) and I might add why I decided to dig out an old P4 desktop that had been sitting in a closet and load BSD on it a couple of weeks ago......the fact that-- with the proliferation of smart phones and particularly Android phones, --a group of friends and I were discussing this a few weeks ago...by the nature of smart phones and all of the critical personal data that they contain if one uses them as they were intended ("my whole life is on my cell phone")--and the dramatically increasing visibility of smartphones and their OS'es.....and seemingly that there is 1) no firewall 2) no anti virus 3) apparently no way of running a limited user account especiallyif rooted--- then we are creating a virtual field day for script kiddies. For years the 'nux community was very fortunate in security through obscurity. Now, with Android I think it could be argued that we are opening up a whole new malware/virus/pwowned vector into the nux community due to code and architecture similarities. I remember when I rooted my ROKKR, and the first telent session I was astounded that the entire linux file tree was visible. No way to FW, no space for an AV &c&c. So Android cant be run with a limited user account as well as having root availability eh? I never would have dreamed that.

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Old October 26th, 2011, 02:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Continuing on. There looks like there HAS to be some way to get root privs and still run with a limited user account. I am aware that of course one would not be able to say run a GUI as root(apparently thats what one is doing running rooted) but is there no way to get password protected SU at least or a telnet session? That may be something Google might not want (after all look at the flap going on in Europe over some 800 pages of data saved on each FAcebook user and I can send you links to this if you dont know about it) and Google is of course harvesting everything they can from anywhere they can.......

This machine is a core quad running a very locked down version of SUSe Linux. I do all of my browsing/email from only this machine. Only one browser set to accept cookies, the others not at all. The other machines are also locked down and I am behind a NAT firewall and individual SW firewalls.

Question-- is there an AV for this phone
Is there a FW for this phone?

Wonder if someone has written a version of the OS where one can su into root to do housekeeping &c and run from the GUI as a limited user (although with the google bloat not that limited eh? ) Program peermissions in this thing are unreal. EVERYTHING wants online.

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Old October 26th, 2011, 02:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by kycats View Post
Minus the AT&T Navigator, myAT&T, AT&T Code Scanner, AT&T Family Map, and AT&T Live TV (U-Verse) apps that were on my Atrix after unboxing.
Really? None of those were on mine when I got it in March. (Actually, we got 4 of them, Mine, My Fiance's and her kids - None of them had that crap on there like our BlackBerry's did!)


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That's not entirely true. There are multiple ways to flash back to the stock ROM. You just need to do a Nandroid backup of the stock ROM before flashing a new one. It's very easy with ClockworkMod Recovery. Myself and several friends have rooted and installed custom ROM's on several Android phones without incident. I've never had a problem flashing back to stock.
That's not the case with the Atrix. Once you unlock the Bootloader, you are done with STOCK.


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I agree with your assertion about running Root on Linux, however. That is a seriously bad idea!!
You do realize that Android IS Linux, right?? And it's JUST as bad of an idea to run ROOT on the phone as it is a Linux PC. Look at the screenshot I posted above and you'll see what version of the Linux Kernel we are running.

Basically, what you are saying is no different that someone saying it's a bad idea to run ROOT on a Red Hat Distro, but perfectly fine to run ROOT on an Unbutu Distro. After all, Android is just another Linux Distro when you get down to it.
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Old October 26th, 2011, 02:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Once you root, all you have to do is open a terminal and "su" and you have full control.

People don't get that.

As for firewall and AV, I use this... https://market.android.com/details?id=com.lookout&feature=search_result
I started using it on my BlackBerry a year or so ago and carried it over.
-It has MINIMAL overhead
-scan's all apps as you install them
-Runs a weekly, full A/V scan
-will back your contacts up to their servers (If you want, that can be turned off)
-will let you LOCATE your phone if its lost or stolen (All you need is a PC with a web browser and your account info)

I researched them and trust them.
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Old October 26th, 2011, 02:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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When you root the phone, it installs the Superuser app. Any app that requests root will prompt through Superuser.
Not completely true.

It's how it's SUPPOSED to be.... but....
The last dozen or so bits of Android Malware have used a script that bypasses that prompt. It's like a "Silent Mode" switch entered with the su command (I forget what the SYNTAX is).
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Old October 26th, 2011, 03:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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kycats thanks very much for joining in.WolfmanRobby thanks for the continuing participation as well.

All of this is amazing to me completely. Understand about being able to SU but----there s got to be a way to wall that off between the program area and the kernel area it looks like or next question are apps hooks into kernel space very different from say a linux or for that matter unix distro? I am still floored by this and had no idea before buying the phone that it was so.

That having been said I think its an awesome platform. I ve also enjoyed thoroughly beginnning to learn about the OS as well. When I rooted it I never had any idea that is what one was accomplishing. I probably am more paranoid than most because I used to trade index futures online from my own platforms with my own money- until 2008 anyway. Very small time and I was living in Mexico then (and had for the past 10 + years) and there with what the ISP's dont do its a lot like the wild west..... of course in 2008 the markets dramatically changed so for small retail investors like I am it was suicide to try to stay in....and then in 2009 the first kidnapping attempt happened and Im back in the USA. Ah well (talk about thread drift!!) so I am probably security aware more than most.

Thanks to both of you for recommending the tools you have. I am going to investigate those this evening.

More as it happens
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Old October 26th, 2011, 03:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Rereading to where we are to this point brings up something that bothers heck out of me....

"will back your contacts up to their servers (If you want, that can be turned off)"

Now--- thats fine. But I want my contacts on the SIM card, not anywhere in a cloud. None of any one elses business. There is not an option that I can find anywhere on this phone to save a name and phone number to either the removable drive, the sim card or anywhere else....only save either to your Motorola space or your google space. <sigh> I didnt have Moammar's home, cell and satellite phone numbers or e mail address on my old phone but maybe I need to start carrying a sheet of paper in the Otter Box with contact info on it.........LOL

Any way to save contacts to phone memory?
Thanks guys
Carr

maybe I need to remember something Charles Darwin was supposed to have said "Evolve or Die".....
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Old October 26th, 2011, 03:31 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I have to agree with letting the phone save them to your Google account for SEVERAL reasons...

Backup - if you lose your phone, you lose your SIM and you lose your contacts with it. If they are on the Google servers, you can restore them to a replacement phone.

SIM card contacts are limited. They only allow one number per name. So, you have to have 3 contacts for someone if they have a Home, Work and Mobile number.

Most of my contacts have multiple numbers, Home and Work email addresses, Mailing addresses, Birthday's.... Photo of the person... There is no way I could work with the limited storage of contacts on the SIM.
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Old October 26th, 2011, 03:38 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Again, I wouldn't call Android a "distro" of Linux since it's based on Linux but can't run Linux applications. Semantics, I know, but there's a difference.
Symantics... yes... but look at it like this. Most SUV's are classified as "Trucks" and many are (or at least started out) being built on the truck chassis. Yet, they are not trucks. Regardless of what you want to call them or classify them, the same rules of the roads apply.

A PC is still a PC - Regardless of it's running Windows, Linux or OS/X.
(PC = Personal Computer, a phrase coined by Steve Job's)
So, does that mean that it's OK to run Linux as ROOT, but not Windows as ADMINISTRATOR?

Does that mean that you don't need passwords on one and not the other?

The basics of it are this... You are holding a personal computer in your hand. You should take the same precautions with it as you do with the one sitting on your desk, regardless of the OS running on it.
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Old October 26th, 2011, 03:48 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I did some research and you're correct! I learned that unlocking the bootloader burns a fuse and is irreversible due to the hardware change. You can run a script to hide the "Unlocked Bootloader" message at start-up, but you can't lock the bootloader again. That's just fascinating! Thank you for schooling me.
Between you and me, there has GOT to be a way to reverse it. I mean, it's not like it physically BURNS out a circuit. Technically, it flips a bit in the chip.

Any bit that get's flipped, should be able to be flipped back.

Unfortunately, I would think this might involve someone with the "Engineering cable" (Yeah, I know how to make one ) and the proper firmware flashing tools... not to mention a copy of the locked firmware.

I'm sure some tech in the Moto labs could plug it in on his test bench, flash the firmware in a couple of seconds and have it back to stock.

Hey, I didn't say it would be easy.... just not impossible.
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Old October 26th, 2011, 04:49 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Pretty fascinating-- first I have heard of E fuses thanks very much for the article !

and share the makings of that special cable with us if you will !!

Leads to another question-- It appears from my reading that I can "unroot" the phone- which would ostensibly leave a "blown fuse" somewhere (ahhh hand me that gum wrapper...no? Soldering iron and solder then...) but question is unrooting a rooted phone removes from what I understand the access to root returning one to the original "level" of security then yes?

This phone does not have any sort of terminal program on it that I have found so I assume that would be a 3rd party app.

Thanks as well for the AV recommendations. Interesting although none seem to indicate anything like application protection per se or a firewall but I will do a web search on that and post back what I find.

I at no point have been offered saving to the sim card or internal storage as an option. Not there in any settings files, not anywhere I can see in the GUI either. It never has been offered as an option <sigh>. Technically I guess its correct that having contacts on a cloud somewhere would be better in the case of loss, theft or destruction of the platform.

One question I do have is what are the keystrokes to put the Atrix into recovery mode..... I know according to Pete's root instructions hold power on and volume down then after seeing the prompt hold volume up. I did a web search on this and found one site that recommended on the 4 G holding the power button and the camera button. There isnt of course any HW camera button, maybe on the atrix eh? I think for the sake of sanity and tranquility I am going to install Clockwork Mod recovery.

If I say try another ROM and dont like it with Mod Recovery it seems that I could come back to what Im running now--Gingerbread.

If someone finds a ROM they like and installs it then one could ostensibly "unroot" to make a more secure platform, right?

When Ice Cream stable is released if I am running a custom ROM would I be able to load the android official release without bricking the phone?

I am such a noob on Android!! Thanks again guys for all the kind help and interest..... this is a great place !!

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Old October 26th, 2011, 08:24 PM   #20 (permalink)
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"eFuse"?? That's a new one on me. I've seen OEM's use bit checks in the main EPROM chips that "Flip" the bit if you make certian changes. You can usually "Reset" with the right software/cable. But, an actual FUSE???

Carr -

ROOTING does not burn out that fuse. That only happens if you unlock the bootloader. You would need to do that to load a Non-Stock ROM (like CyanogenMod).

If you UnRoot it, you are just back to how it was when you got it. You would have to do this before installing any OEM updates anyway. So far, none of their updates have installed if you are rooted.

As for being able to install an OFFICIAL ROM if you've installed a custom ROM.... NO. To install the custom ROM you would have to unlock the bootloader and that burns out the eFuse. Once that's burned, you can never go back to stock.

You ask about installing when Google releases the Official ICS (4.0) - that's not how it works. They do not release it directly. They release the source to the OEM's (And to the public). And, then the OEM's build their official ROM's, and custom ROM developers build their ROM's (Like CyanogenMod).

You wouldn't be able to download a "Generic" ROM from Google and load it. It's not like a PC OS where you just load the OS and the right drivers. Embedded OS's have to be custom built for the device they are loading on. That's why we could not take an ICS ROM built for another phone (Like the Nexus Prime) and load it.

If you unlock the bootloader and load a custom ROM, then you will not be able to install the Motorola Official ICS ROM (If Moto ever releases one. We have not got confirmation they will release a build for the Atrix). You would only be able to load a custom ICS ROM.

And, to be able to unroot after installing a custom ROM.... Not that I'm aware of. Every custom ROM I've worked with on my tablet requires you to be rooted. (That's why I use my "Other" Google account on my tablet. It has no personal info associated with it.)
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Old October 26th, 2011, 09:21 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Wolfman

OK this furthers my understanding a bit. I somehow thought that when you rooted the bootloader unlocked. So I guess that unlocking that is yet another step that must be undertaken before trying to flash a custom ROM.

In any case the way it sounds I probably wont flash a custom ROM at thispoint. What I have been trying to do for the last several hours is to install ROM manager only to back up what is already here in the event my fiddling breaks anything. Installing Clockworkmod's ROM manager however requires the installation of ClockworkMod's recovery bootstrap which looks like a nice tool. However getting the .img to the phone (it almost looks like either GRUB with various options or the Microsoft crash console) has proven difficult to impossible. I ve got conflicting drivers on the Windows 7 machine for this phone that apparently arent going to allow me to flash this image into the phone. Been a long day discovering......
OK so the act of flashing a ROM unlocks the bootloader and you are screwed to an extent. I am not so sure that this phone is intact anyway because it had been rooted when I bought it. I dont know whether the original owner had a custom ROM on here at one time or not. In any case it has Gingerbread and solely to appease me I am going to look at some custom launchers. I really would like recovery tools though.


Last time I had as much fun as I have trying to install ClockworkMod's recovery was setting up IP tables by hand on a Smoothwall installation in Mexico.

Time to stop for the night

Thanks to all for the kind direction and instructing a noob
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Old October 26th, 2011, 09:27 PM   #22 (permalink)
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By installing CWM, you may have tripped that fuse. I think it unlocks the bootloader. (I may be wrong.)

There is NO NEED to back up the Stock ROM. You can download it directly from Motorola's site, put it on the SD card and reload it directly.

Even then, you really have to screw it up to need to re-flash. Typically, if you screw things up, you can just do a factory reset. This takes the ROM back to stock settings. I don't have the instructions handy, but a quick search of the forums here will turn it up.
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Old October 26th, 2011, 09:50 PM   #23 (permalink)
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<<looks around for a multimeter with reeally smalllll probes. Unreal. I though we ran Open Source to try to get away from all this foolishness of control by a different version of Microflaccid dictating what you may and may not do with your machine. This risks making me an anarchist. I did not get CW Recovery installed in the phone. trying to do it thru USB from the computer. Hit a wall. I did get ROM manager installed and attempted to make a backup with it but it reboots and crashes (orphaned Inode Droid standing next to a triangle with a ! in the middle) so pulled the battery out, reinserted and restarted. I finally found that for ROM manager to work as advertised, one must have CW Recovery as well. Didnt say anything about that when I bought ROM Manager at the Store. <SIGH>

The more I fool with all of this the more I realize how much there is to know that I dont....

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Old October 26th, 2011, 10:54 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Well, I don't see it as "Microflaccid dictating what you may and may not do with your machine" - that's what Apple does by Locking it down to the point you can only install app's they approve, and even being able to REMOVE apps from YOUR phone.

You do have to remember, the big difference between a PC and the phone is the hardware. It's no where NEAR as flexible as a PC chassis. The hardware is all proprietary. And, space is limited. So, it's not like you have room for a large database of device drivers in the OS. That's one reason why each ROM is built by the OEM (And then the Custom Rom Builders tear that down to build a custom ROM) for each individual phone.

Also, look at the wide range of phones you have to choose from. All of them with different hardware, features.... If they all had to make the same phone, what would be the point in being able to choose? That's where the tradeoff is.... Being able to choose a phone based on features, or getting a carbon copy, everyone the same like iPhone so that there is ONE phone and only one set of hardware for drivers. The closest you will get to this is the "Nexus" series of phones. Those are the most generic Android phones out there.

Besides, it's not like you can open the phone and upgrade the video card, or CPU like you can a PC. So, if the OEM's HAVE to provide support, they do put some limitations on there.

When was the last time you decided to try another Linux distro and it BURNED OUT the components in your computer? Never. Yet, a bad ROM can burn out the parts in the phone. I've seen crappy ROM's burn out Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS chips because they used the wrong drivers, or they tweaked a setting that caused the phone to put constant, full power through the chip thinking that it would boost performance.

I firmly believe in the concept of "It's my phone, I can do what I want with it." That's why I choose Android over iPhone.
However, I also know that I am physically limited on what I can fix in the phone. And, Motorola know's much more about the workings of the hardware than I do. Most importantly, I NEED my phone to work. I live off my phone. So, when it comes to the base OS, I trust them over anyone else.
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Old October 27th, 2011, 12:02 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Wolf

Understood. I never stopped to consider that a phone is a much more closed device than is a PC. My error is of course from my PC perspective. Even with the hardware limitations the Atrix is amazing. Having not participated in the whole smart phone evolution from the first- the phone I used before last night was 3 years old, ancient in technology terms, the change is much more pronounced than to someone who has changed phones a time or two a year for the last 3 years. I ve been running the Atrix hard today with a lot of phone calls, downloading and between all of this keeping music going and I am right at 50 % battery life. Thinking about that, its pretty awesome. I expected to be needing a recharge before now.

One would think that had I opened up the boot loader then the machine would show CW Recovery but since I did not get that to load.... maybe not. I ve been reading a bit about Ice cream Sandwich and it looks interesting.Hopefully we will have that before the first of the year.

Also I have downloaded and installed Launcher Pro, Elixir 2 and Lookout. All great programs and thanks very much for the recommendations. Launcher Pro-- well its a different phone now. Elixir 2 is an amazing tool with its own version of top as well. I like that type of tool.

Many thanks again for helping me to put more of this in the perspective it needs to be in. Your comments about Apple are dead on-- never having used anything Apple in my life I dont know much about that whole environment. I have a photographer friend here who only will use things Apple as well as another on the West Coast who does video walls for concerts, car shows and the like. I never ventured into that environment because I ve always liked building my own machines which I have done all my life.

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Old October 27th, 2011, 01:27 AM   #26 (permalink)
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I stopped reading responses after a few posts, but to clarify a few things;

Android's su binary doesnt allow users to take root privs. Rooting replaces the su binary with one that can be invoked by users/apps similar to using sudo. It also installs several utilities that are usually associated with root level access/activities.

Rooting has been known to block updates on some phones, nut can be undone.

If you want to load ROMs you'll need to replace the bootloader as the stock one only supports installation of signed packages (no third party). In order to do that you have to unlock the bootloader, which voids the warranty and cannot be reversed.

Cyanogen can be thought of as a distro that is built from AOSP source code. It is known as being very stable and fast. Version 7 is based on Gingerbread. Version 8 will never be released/developed since Google never released source code for Honeycomb. Version 9 is thought to be based on ICS, when the source is released of course.

One last point is that Motoblur runs somewhere between the kernel and user land. Many view it as a detriment but it's what allows features like webdock and dock audio to work.
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Old October 27th, 2011, 01:49 AM   #27 (permalink)
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To further clarify, while there are risks with rooting but even in a terminal you have to authorize su access.

If you back up your ROM after replacing the bootloader you can put it back on the phone. You'd then just need to unroot to be back to stock. Once the phone's booted it no longer needs the bootloader.

As for locking the bootloader back up or removing the Unlocked message, it used to be possible by flashing back to the stock using a Motorola .sbf file, which put you back to dead-bang stock. Since the Gingerbread update however trying to reflash an sbf after unlocking will hard brick the phone.

With regards to whether or not you should root, unlock, or flash a ROM, there are advantages and disadvantages to each. Research, do your homework, and make the call. Don't let anyone make the decision for you. Just remember that while it's your phone to do with as you please, the results are also your responsibility.
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Old October 27th, 2011, 06:54 AM   #28 (permalink)
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If you back up your ROM after replacing the bootloader you can put it back on the phone. You'd then just need to unroot to be back to stock. Once the phone's booted it no longer needs the bootloader.
Most of what you've said in your posts have been covered in other posts in this thread.

However, this is NOT CORRECT. If you read through the thread, you will find that Motorola put something new in the Atrix... an "eFuse" that will Blow out when you unlock the bootloader.

Once that "eFuse" is blown, you can not load a stock ROM back on there, even from a backup.

The Atrix is "Booby-Trapped" - once you trip the trap by unlocking the bootloader, you can't go back.
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Old October 27th, 2011, 07:03 AM   #29 (permalink)
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I ve been reading a bit about Ice cream Sandwich and it looks interesting.Hopefully we will have that before the first of the year.
Don't hold your breath. Motorola has only officially said 3 devices are getting ICS (So far). And, they shocked everyone yesterday by saying they would be able to get the builds out 6 weeks after the source is released by Google. (That's VERY fast in this world!!) But, that puts those devices getting it in January at the earliest.

http://www.androidauthority.com/motorola-ics-upgrade-bionic-razr-xoom-28656/

The Atrix is less than a year old, so I feel confident that Motorola will release an official ICS build for it. But, they've release a few other phones since then (Like the Atrix2) that I'm sure they will try to get the ICS builds out for first. The discussion we've had on it, I think most of us agree, it will be sometime next summer, maybe even next Fall.... IF we get it at all. Some have speculated that they rushed the Atrix2 out so they could abandon the Atrix.

And, if Motorola never releases an official build, we will have to wait on the 3rd party guys to build their own version.

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Also I have downloaded and installed Launcher Pro, Elixir 2 and Lookout. All great programs and thanks very much for the recommendations. Launcher Pro-- well its a different phone now. Elixir 2 is an amazing tool with its own version of top as well. I like that type of tool.
Those are some of my favorite apps. I've been using Android devices since "CupCake" - and I've built a small list of apps I like and don't like (for various reasons). So, if there is something you are wanting to do with the phone, give me a shout. I can probably recommend an app to you.
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Old October 27th, 2011, 11:07 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Most of what you've said in your posts have been covered in other posts in this thread.

However, this is NOT CORRECT. If you read through the thread, you will find that Motorola put something new in the Atrix... an "eFuse" that will Blow out when you unlock the bootloader.

Once that "eFuse" is blown, you can not load a stock ROM back on there, even from a backup.

The Atrix is "Booby-Trapped" - once you trip the trap by unlocking the bootloader, you can't go back.
Much of what I said has been previously stated, this is true, but it has at times been intermixed with equal portions of misinformation and opinions being expressed as facts. I won't apologize for attempting to clear up the resulting confusion.

As for the efuse thing, I did a quick search and found this thread, which hopefully will shed a little light on the subject.

As for going back to stock, I think two things are getting confused here. Remember that the bootloader doesn't determine what ROM you can or cannot use (the term 'ROM' refers to any software system running on the phone). While it is true that once unlocked you cannot go back to stock via an sbf once the phone has seen the Gingerbread update.

You can however make a backup of your phone in it's rooted state and then restore from that backup. From there you can reverse the root process. Your phone will always be unlocked and you may not be able to apply OTA updates once you change your bootloader however.

There are also ROMs based on the stock image out there, as well as ROMs that are mirrors of the stock image that can be flashed to the phone. It's true that they won't make your phone dead stock, but they'll get it to a point that the only difference is in the bootloader.

To continue the Linux analogy, think of the stock software as using LILO, and you're replacing it with GRUB (this being the recovery image). The 'bootloader' refers to the data on the boot sector of the boot drive that kicks off the whole process. Somehow software updates via official methods are only possible if LILO is installed, but GRUB allows you to do everything else including images that look identical to the updated systems. The analogy isn't perfect but hopefully it'll suffice.

As always, verify everything you read here before trusting it. If you decide to root, unlock, ROM, etc. make sure you have a clear understanding of what you're doing and why you're doing it before moving forward. Rooting isn't for everyone - this is true - but it is for some.
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Old October 27th, 2011, 11:18 AM   #31 (permalink)
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As for going back to stock, I think two things are getting confused here. Remember that the bootloader doesn't determine what ROM you can or cannot use
Again, NOT CORRECT.

The OEM (Stock) ROMs will not install if the Bootloader has been unlocked. Not because of the bootloader itself, but because of the eFuse that "Blows" when you unlock the bootloader. It's very simple programming for them to add in a check to the ROM un-packaging process that checks this and aborts the load.

EDIT - (For clarification)
No one has said the Bootloader stops you from loading the ROM. Please, take the time to RE-Read. It's the eFuse that stops it. If the eFuse is intact, Stock ROM's will load. If the eFuse is "Blown" then stock ROM's won't load. Unlocking the bootloader "Blows" this eFuse.
You are confusing the cause with the effect.
Your analogy of Grub and lilo are off base. This is more to the effect of a 64bit Linux Distro checking a computer's CPU and seeing it's a 32 bit and aborting the install process.

So far, (to my knowlege) no one has successfully been able to restore a backed up OEM ROM to an Atrix that has had the bootloader unlocked.

You seem to know a lot about Androids, but not that much about the Atrix itself. Motorola changed some of the rules when they built this device. They've done a lot (in typical Moto fashion) to try to discourage people from modifying the phone's OS to a custom ROM.

Since the Google terms prevents them from FULLY stopping people from doing it, they put in a LOT of roadblocks that prevent you from ever coming back if you go down that path. So, since they really can't "Stop" you from unlocking the bootloader and going with a custom ROM, they have done all they can to discourage it.
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Old October 27th, 2011, 11:33 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Ok, let's keep the discussion nice folks. It is perfectly fine to disagree with others, but let's avoid insults. If you need any clarification on acceptable posting practices then please see the links to the rules and ZTP in my signature.
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Old October 27th, 2011, 11:43 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Look up RSD Lite and what .sbf files do. The 'official' from-Motorola images are in the form of .sbf files and are installed using RSD Lite. Once you unlock your bootloader you cannot load an sbf file.

ROM != .sbf

You can load any ROM you want if you've unlocked your bootloader AND have installed a recovery that supports unsigned packages. It doesn't matter if that ROM is an exact copy of the stock software that Motorola ships. In that case the OS is the same, but the bootloader isn't. Again, it's not dead-bang stock because the bootloader is modified, but once you've booted the phone up the software is the same. The Fruitcake ROM was created for exactly this reason.

So, with an unlocked bootloader, going to stock via a ROM is fine. Attempting to go to stock using an sbf file will hard brick your phone. Caveats remain as previously stated.
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Old October 27th, 2011, 11:51 AM   #34 (permalink)
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I think you are completely missing my point.

Loading a CLONE of a Stock ROM that has been modified to work with the blown eFuse DOES NOT equal going back to stock.

I don't understand why you are arguing with me on this. As you said yourself, it's "not dead bang stock" - and that is my point! You can not go back to STOCK. Just something close to it.

Close is not stock.

Close only counts in horseshoes and hand-grenades.

My point stands.... Once you unlock the bootloader, you can never go back to STOCK.

And, if you are not "Dead Bang STOCK," you can't load OEM updates. They won't instal with a "Close to Stock ROM Clone." --- That's what I've been saying since I first posted it. It's not FUD or Misinformation. It's FACT.
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Old October 27th, 2011, 12:14 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Picard was a better Captain than Kirk!!!
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Old October 27th, 2011, 12:18 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Who's arguing? I don't see much point in getting upset about something someone says on the instanets .

I think we're using one word (stock) to describe two different states. Many of us consider stock to mean that the kernel-userland is the same as the from-Motorola software.

Many others (such as yourself) feel that a phone is not stock unless it's 100% as it was from the factory, bootloader state included. That's fine too and is a valid view; and in that interpretation the moment you unlock your bootloader you can never be stock with that phone again.

I don't personally see the former as a matter of "close enough".

We both were possibly being too vague and I will apologize if I'm guilty of that.

One thing I will say is that while rooting isn't for everyone it is for some people. I do feel though that rooting is not for people who can't follow directions or don't bother doing the proper amount of research and gaining the proper understanding before doing it. That goes triple for unlocking the bootloader.
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Old October 27th, 2011, 12:25 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Many others (such as yourself) feel that a phone is not stock unless it's 100% as it was from the factory, bootloader state included. That's fine too and is a valid view; and in that interpretation the moment you unlock your bootloader you can never be stock with that phone again.
That is EXACTLY the point.

I use the same definition that OEM's use when referring to warranty qualifications and what voids that warranty. STOCK is just like the phone came from the vendor with no modifications.

And, I would go so far as to say that it's not "Many Others" that view it this way. MOST of us interpret it this way. You could say that, on this view, "We are the 99%!!"

Some changes can be undone (Like rooting) so that are are back to STOCK.
Other changes (such as in this case, unlocking the bootloader) can never be undone. Therefore the phone will not be back to STOCK.
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Old October 27th, 2011, 12:34 PM   #38 (permalink)
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I'm OK with being the 1%. It wouldn't be the first time.

As for Picard vs. Kirk, that's a tough one. Both were complete bad-asses (should that be a hyphenate?). Picard definitely had better toys. I think the whole debate comes down to reckless abandon (Kirk) or quiet reserve and cold precision (Picard). I'm going to have to side with you and Picard on this one.
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Old October 27th, 2011, 12:40 PM   #39 (permalink)
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I'm OK with being the 1%. It wouldn't be the first time.

As for Picard vs. Kirk, that's a tough one. Both were complete bad-asses (should that be a hyphenate?). Picard definitely had better toys. I think the whole debate comes down to reckless abandon (Kirk) or quiet reserve and cold precision (Picard). I'm going to have to side with you and Picard on this one.
Exactly!

Kirk had the attitude of "If I can't screw it, I'll blow it up!"

Picard tried to be a little more tactful. But, if he couldn't negotiate with it, and Riker couldn't screw it, then he would unleash Worf and let him blow it to h*ll!!!
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Old October 27th, 2011, 03:24 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Kirk (Shatner) had better movies. Picard (Stewart) had a better show. Just my opinion, of course!
Picard had the balls to beam down in a red shirt!
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Old October 27th, 2011, 03:31 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Glad to see the "nerd fight" fizzled. I ran out of popcorn.

Plus I'm over my quota for today on edited posts, locked threads, infractions and bannings.

< double checking >

Hey, I've got a bonus dozen more of each. Go ahead and fight.. I'm ready.

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Old October 27th, 2011, 05:02 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Well...damn. Dunno whether I should stick my head back in here or not since Im a lightweight noob (I walk on a peg because I didnt put my phasor on safe before putting it in my pocket......)

Thanks to all. Good information. Given that Moto may not release ICS at all for the 4G...then that seems to me anyway to make the case--and let me predicate this by saying "in my situation"...for unlocking the bootloader.

This is my first new phone in 3 years. I have friends who change every few months. So if Moto wants to plan obsolesence by not supporting comaparitively recent platforms with a new release...then one might wonder how long one could find a ROM of a newer release that would work on their phone. Part of that might be answerable by the fact that droid seems to be completely platform specific in a distro where any variety of the nuxes or for that matter Microweasel is not. I assume Apple might be. Dont have all the /dev's included in a ROM. Interesting question is how similar is the platform architecture between say the 4 G and the Atrix 2. I read that the 2 has a different radio, less memory and so forth. I ve supported unsupported devices in Unix and Linux and it can be a huge PITA. On the other hand considering what I paid for this phone, its age and the seemingly short lifespan of smartphone models, then maybe in another year I will just buy something else. The toys are nice. I also believe that someone could build Droid where one could run in a user account but have /root with safety. To do that droid though would almost have to be multiuser. I never have thought how much that would bloat the OS though but looking at the 4G I never have seen heavy memory usage in the couple of days I ve had it--the heaviest seems to be streaming video. One can ask how much more capable is the platform than the OS takes advantage of.

You guys have certainly shed some light on a lot of things here. I read ICS is going to provide better controls for apps that call home and reading between the lines maybe better access control and permissioning for apps that will equate to more security. We dont see permission escalation much in 'nux. We do see it a lot and historically have in Windows. Apparently there have been a couple of cases if it in droid. What I would like to see is a version of say ICS that loads bare. Basic GUI. NONE of this social networking and built in launcher stuff. Then you go out to the store and add what you want as you need it. But I would like to see that for the way I use the platform. The stock release for the 99% of course would be bloated with the eye candy and social networking stuff. Maybe it will happen because there seems to be a vibrant creative droid power users group around and the ware seems to be so much better than for example Symbian which my last phone ran. No support outside of Nokia to speak of.

Interesting article about the fuse thanks for that. Also thanks for the idea of whether/when/if ICS will be available for the 4G. One of the things I am beginning to have hope of is that the 4G wil prove to be reliable enough to save some weight on a backpacking trip I am trying to plan for sometime early next year. If it does I could leave a handheld GPS and my laptop at home. Buy one of the docking monitor/keyboard devices that Motorola makes for the 4G. The 4G certainly seems like its(with the Otterbox) rugged enough for that. As far as docking in the Motorola appliance all I wonder is whether or not the 4G has enough graphics horsepower to service the monitor without starting to eat up a lot of CPU time. One of the main reasons I am interested in being able to do this is to be able to get photos off my camera into a USB drive. I shoot RAW format-so each picture takes around 20 MB of space.

Thanks everyone for the great input. Didnt realize I was going to start an intergalactic war tho . Time to unscrew the peg for the day and have a drink......

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Old October 27th, 2011, 09:00 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Have a drink for me!

As for using it as a GPS on the hike... Take the GPSr. I've used mine on some SHORT hikes (Using the free "My Tracks" app). The GPS on the phones sucks battery like crazy!

Doing a short (8 Mile) hike, it drained the battery by 50% in 2 hours. (I was also in an area with mostly EDGE signal...).
A couple of week ago, some friends and I did a 15 mile hike up to Springer Mtn, and part of the Benton MacKey trail. It didn't make it. The battery just did not hold up.

Another hiker had one of those solar chargers on the top of her pack with a different Android phone in her pack. Even the solar charger could not keep her's juiced with the GPS and weak signal.
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Old October 27th, 2011, 10:17 PM   #44 (permalink)
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That is disappointing. I cycle and took the 4 G along today, not for a particularly long ride--10 miles. Ran the GPS. Didnt seem to make much difference in the battery. What I did do- I have another GPS on the handlebars, but I turned the GPS on the 4G on, got it to lock, had the map program going, shut the screen off and put it in my pocket. I stopped several times to check it and the position seemed always to be spot on but I have yet to figure out how to make it leave a trail of where I have been which my Garmin Oregon will do. Maybe if you are running the screen on all the time the graphics support is what eats the battery. Just a thought. I wonder if there are not other "frontends" for the map program using Google but allowing more features like a trail. I end up loading all of my own maps in the Oregon from a free topo site online and dont know about even attempting anything like that on the 4G. Of course with 32 GB addressable on the card one could put a lot of maps in the machine and get away from periodically having to go to the radio for downloads. I dont know whether how often it does downloads is zoom dependent or..... but that might explain part of the power hunger as well. I did find out my last itme in Central America that my Nokia had to have cell service to get the mps when using the GPS feature, something that failed me pretty badly because there are a lot of places there outside of the cities where there is no cell at all. Cup on a string time. I had specifically asked when I bought the phone whether the mapping could work from maps loaded on a card in the phone and was assured that it could. Experience proved different.

I get around 8-10 hours with the Oregon depending on what I am doing and on longer rides I do carry spare rechargeable AA's. I bet a lot of it was the Edge forcing the Tx in the phone to run full power. The Garmin of course has the maps internal but even so it can be hard on batteries dependingon what different features you have running. One thing I notice about the Garmin is that it has 2 different compasses--one magnetic and one direction derived from the GPS signal based on movement. If you run the magnetic compass enabled it shortens the battery life a fair amount. I wonder if the 4G isnt the same.

Ah yes drink time. Just got back on the bike from a drum circle about 4 miles from here in downtown Mobile. Definitely time for a drink.I am going to look at My Tracks. It may do some of what I would like to have.

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Old October 28th, 2011, 07:09 AM   #45 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carr View Post
I have yet to figure out how to make it leave a trail of where I have been which my Garmin Oregon will do.
Get the free "My Tracks" app from the market... Actually, I think mine was pre-loaded with it as it's a google app. Look for an Orange Arrow Icon.
https://market.android.com/details?id=com.google.android.maps.mytracks&featur e=search_result


Here's a sample track of one of my local, Sunday morning hikes...
Little Mulberry - Google Maps

On the left side of the page, click on "Little Mullberry End" to get a popup window with a report of the speed/distance/elevation/time....

Many people also like "All Sport GPS" - it's another app.

As for me, when I'm tracking myself with the GPS, I start it, make sure WiFi and BT are off, turn off the screen, and put the phone in the leg pocket of my cargo shorts. I use my MP3 player for music, when I want it.

I think what kills my battery is not just the GPS, but the poor signal. Remember, when the signal goes down, the phone amp's up the radio (It has that ability). This can cause it to get warm, and suck the battery down. So, there you have the GPS taking readings every few seconds and logging them, and the radio running full blast to maintain a decent cell signal and the battery does not stand a chance!

That could be two factors in why yours didn't seem to drain.
1) you were probably in an area with decent coverage, so the phone didn't have to boost power to the radio.
2) it wasn't "Tracking" you.. just getting a fix when you looked at the phone to see where you were.
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Old October 28th, 2011, 10:38 PM   #46 (permalink)
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That is a pretty good hike I am a flatlander recently so that elevation would kill me LOL.

Got My Tracks. Have not had an opportunity to use it yet. Did put DroidWall on the phone as well as a couple of interesting tools, Open Signal for GSM and it will do WiFi as well as a program called GPS Status-- which when using the GPS I find useful in that it tells you about the GPS rx status where nothing I ve found on the phone will do that. Another tool I have discovered is WiFi Analyzer. All of these are in the Market..

Helped a friend root and rom a Pan digital novel tablet with CyanogenMod. Tablet thinks its a phone. Works though. Other than that CyanogenMod is pretty impressive.....

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Old October 29th, 2011, 03:20 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Unless the tablet is running HoneyComb, it's going to think it's a phone. That's because the non 3.x OS's are built and designed with the phone's in mind.

I use GPS Status a LOT. I'm a beta tester for an app developer. The app is for Geocaching (It's not on the market, YET - CacheSense - Paperless Geocaching for your BlackBerry - That's for the BB version that's been out for a couple of years now). We've been having a bug in the app where sorting the DB using the GPS can take FOREVER to get a fix. The developer was blaming how Android accesses the GPS. I pointed out how GPS Status get's a fix, usually in less than 5 seconds. And, if I launch that first, his app gets an instant fix. What I found was that I had set GPS status to pull the A-GPS XDATA at startup if it's older than 1 hour. We think that's what's giving the boost. So, now he's looking into integrating such a function into CacheSense to speed it up.
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Old October 29th, 2011, 03:49 PM   #48 (permalink)
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From my having spent a number of years at sea and used GPS, I like to be able to see what the system is doing. I was pretty amazed on how quickly the 4G GPS unit gets a fix from start-- your new app sounds interesting. I have not done any geocaching yet.

The Pan Digital does think its a phone. This brings up a question. I have always been under the impression that most Microsoft OS'es work from a static registry and therein lies some of the problems with stability. Linux OTOH I have always understood works with a dynamic "registry" if one will where its rebuilt at boot. That includes certain peripherals either being there or not. What surprised me when we burned the ROM into the tablet, was that the phone portion got loaded irrespective of whether the hardware was there or not. So that indicates to me that an Android ROM is like a pre installed version of Linux i.e. all of the expected devices are mapped, those drivers included along with their kernel hooks &c and the ware for "missing devices" gets loaded irrespective of the platform. I am beginning to have a little more of an understanding of what Android is from a very general perspective. One could argue then that if one had /src then it could be compiled for each platform.... or maybe not I dunno. It is an interesting OS. One thing I use is a program called Task manager--it has an option since the phone is rooted, to be able to force close whatever program or process you elect (from including said process on a list) minutes after the screen blanks. I have not tried this with any of the system processes but have used it for a number of things that keep running like the updating of a lot of the social networking apps, that apparently happens constantly.

As an aside I appreciate that the moderators and other forum members have been so tolerant of the thread drift here. I have learned a lot from this thread and want to express my appreciation to everyone here for the tolerance and interest. I am a noob and its made the experience educational, and I hope our ramblings have shed light into the corners of Android for other new people.

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Old October 29th, 2011, 05:47 PM   #49 (permalink)
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A ROM is basically an IMAGE of the OS, pre-packaged for a specific device. It's not like loading Windows or Linux where it checks what hardware is there and modifies the system.

The device does not "Check" for hardware on boot. Once the OS is unpacked on the device, it that tells the device what it has, and it accepts that. That's one reason why you can't take a ROM from one phone and load it on another. If you head over to the CyanogenMod site, you'll see, there is a version for EACH device they are developing for.

It's a VERY closed system because of the hardware, and the need to preserve space on the device. So, they don't bloat it down with things like hardware checks, a large listing of device drivers.... Each device gets an OS loaded that says "You have X Radio, Y CPU, Z WiFi Chip...." and the device goes with that.

The ROM developers can only "Strip" certain parts out. For a long time, I just accepted (Since I'm no a programmer) that the phone components were hard coded into the OS and could not be stripped out with the SDK the developers use. Even my ViewSonic G-Tablet that came with FroYo (2.2) had the "phone" parts embedded in the OS out of the box. I tried a couple of after market ROM's on it and they were there as well. A few weeks ago, I loaded the VeganTab ROM (Best ROM for the ViewSonic! It makes it out perform a co-workers Zoom!!!). I've yet to find the phone functions in the OS anywhere. It's GB build, meaning Google put them in there. But, the developer of this ROM either managed to Strip them out, or suppress them.

This was one of the things some developers liked about HoneyComb... it was a tablet only OS without the phone bits in there. Unfortunately, Google never released the source code for it (As far as I know).
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Old October 29th, 2011, 07:42 PM   #50 (permalink)
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Yep you have just confirmed what I began to suspect about the way Android is "boxed" if one will. That clears a number of things up and thanks very much for the information.

Since we are drifting around here and since we want to be conscious about what we are doing with all of that-- and particularly since I am running by choice a rooted phone-- I set up DroidWall today with what I consider a fairly restrictive ruleset about what can and can not call home. In the process I tried most of the apps on the phone. While doing that I flipped back and forth between task manager and the various apps. The question is this--

Most of these apps do not have any sort of exit key. the apparent way to get out of an app or go to something else is with the "return" button, the dedicated soft key on the bottom of the phone. When you use the return key to get out of an app does that end the app or is it suspended for an indefinite period of time. I notice that one can switch apps by holding down the home key which gives you a list of most recently used apps. As one trips merrily down the road in using different things, the most recently used apps fill this list and the ones not so recent disappear off the back end. In looking at TaskManager or Elixir (what a great program!) one can still see the app and the memory it reserves although when the app is not actually on the screen and doing some work there appears to be no CPU usage. I am curious about how terminating an app is different than merely suspending app A via use of the home key and selecting app B.

We can run a bunch of stuff in background in the nuxes--I understand that system processes do this routinely as well as suspended user apps with all of the different spawned child processes &c. We know as well how garbagy code can leave child processes spawned by a dead or closed application running, and how memory can gradually be eaten up by closed apps not freeing up memory reservations. I get the impression that Android does much the same thing as far as background stuff goes. What I do wonder is how clean things are. I dont like to go off and leave un needed stuff running and with the lack of an exit or close key on most of the apps in the phone I wonder what really happens...and they for sure do take up memory space. Taskmanager has a feature that will force close selected apps after 2 minutes of phone standby. I have put a bunch of stuff on that list with so far no ill effects.

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