Some tips from a seasoned Android user


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  1. CRPercodani

    CRPercodani OFWGKTA VIP Member This Topic's Starter

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    Hey guys/gals, I wanted to go over a few things with everyone. Don't any of you take this the wrong way as I am just writing this to try and help everyone new to the scene.

    When I first got into Android I had a G1, that was a little over a year ago. I used it stock for about 2 months and then started going to a site called xda developers. Some of you probably know about it, for those who don't it is a site that focuses on developing and hacking WinMo and Android. I learned a ton of stuff there, but at first it was SCARY, so much information and so many new technical terms I had never heard of before. I took my time reading things and asking people questions for about 2 weeks and when I was finally confident in myself I rooted my G1. It took me like 2+ hours to do it, I installed a new Recovery, flashed a new SPL and Radio, I even got a Sense UI ROM installed on it. It felt great.

    Now here we are with a much higher spec'd phone, the Droid, and it has attracted a TON of new users. It is great because now Android is evolving faster then it ever has, and we are getting tons of new developers creating some amazing stuff. It has all happened so fast and a lot of you are trying to learn everything as quickly as possible. The Sholes SMUpdater app has made all of this VERY easy for anyone to do, but the problem with this is that now when something goes wrong you have no idea how to fix it. When you want to do some modifications that involve ADB or Terminal Emulator you have no knowledge on how they work. By skipping all the hard parts you have basically shorted yourself on TONS of knowledge which, to me, is sort of a requirement to rooting/rom flashing.

    Now I agree that SMUpdater is a great tool to save time from having to learn everything, and it makes it easy to get the newest Sholes ROM. But there is SOOO much more to Android hacking/development then Sholes. When you want to try something new and different then what will you do? This is why I HIGHLY recommend that everyone does some heavy researching, take a weekend, or some blocks of free time, and read. Read until you can't see straight. Let it all sink in, and practice practice practice. I promise you will become such a better user, you will understand what is going on with the system.

    If you don't study and learn, then what happens when something breaks? You can't always expect someone on a forum to come to your rescue. Of course there will always be things that happen which require some really advanced users to fix, and even I have t ask for help from time to time. But to not learn even the basics is just absurd, it hurts you and it hurts the community because we have to spend all our time fixing very basic and simple problems.

    I hope no one here took offense to this because I am doing this to really help everyone here out. The more we all know then the more we can do.
     

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  2. dpeco33

    dpeco33 Active Member

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    Well all, I rooted my droid via the scholes updater, worked flawlessly, yet I got to thinking about CRPercodani's post and have to agree.

    I really did not know how I got there, just that I did. I really did not understand it and if I had a problem, would be screwed so.... I went back to stock. This is best for me anyway as I really will not have the time to devote to all the changes etc, and really...all I need the phone for is work and calls.

    I will continue to view and post here, as I do find it very interesting though.
    Cheers.
    Darren
     
  3. Fabolous

    Fabolous Superuser VIP Member

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    No need to create a new thread about it. You can continue the discussion in CRP's thread.
     
  4. dpeco33

    dpeco33 Active Member

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    Oh thanks!
    See told you I am not the most technically savvy!
     
  5. Needsdecaf

    Needsdecaf Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for posting what I have been thinking and posting since the SMUpdater came out.

    I think the SMUpdater is great. Personally, I use it. I have been rooted for some time, run a variety of ROMS, and am currently running Sholes. It's not the only good ROM out there, but right now it's working best for me.

    But I had the benefit of learning to root before the SMUpdater was out. I did it the hard way, tried to teach myself, and got some very helpful hints and encouragement from some other members on here. You know who you are. :cool:

    I learned what Root actually is from rootyourdroid.info, downloaded the Android Development Bridge and pushed a recovery console to my phone without a fancy "push to root" interface.

    I've had setbacks. I've had the phone stuck in a boot loop. I've lost Wifi, BT, apps, etc. But because I learned beforehand what was going on, I dealt with it. Again, with help.

    I encourage ALL of you to not root FIRST with the SMUpdater. Learn to do it the hard way. That way when you do it the easy way using the SMUpdater, you'll know what's going on and you won't freak out when something eventually does go wrong. Because IT WILL. It's bound to when you're screwing around at this level.

    As CRP said above, this is not meant to disrespect anyone. Many of us, myself included, are here to help and are willing to answer questions. Feel free to PM me and I will help - if I can, I am certainly no expert! However, it benefits both the questioner and the helper if you know what you're talking about and what you're doing. Understand what the process is. It's VERY hard to help if you can't accurately describe where you went wrong. For instance, don't say you went wrong rooting when you had an issue loading a ROM. Root is ONLY gaining superuser access, it is not all the other stuff.

    Again, please do not take this the wrong way (and I realize that some still will). I say this sincerely. I am a member on this board and a moderator of others so I've seen both sides of the fence. Please take the time to do the research before you root and load roms, etc. And if you don't know where to research, even ask that! There's no harm in admitting you don't know where to start. Search on here is pretty good, but if you don't know what you're searching for, you might not find what you need.

    Again, I highly recommend rootyourdroid.info. You will learn a lot there..as I did.

    Good luck and enjoy your droid. It's a great device!
     
  6. alostpacket

    alostpacket Over Macho Grande? VIP Member

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    Very well said, CRP.
     
  7. CRPercodani

    CRPercodani OFWGKTA VIP Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks to everyone, and I just wanted to add that if anyone really wants to learn stuff and doesn't know where to start PM me or post here. I have no problem helping anyone find some info so don't be afraid to ask.
     
  8. El Blacksheep

    El Blacksheep Well-Known Member

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    I approve of this topic.
     
  9. aguillon5

    aguillon5 Well-Known Member

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    I am humbled and I appreciate the honesty. I went from first year apprentice to seasoned journeyman overnight. You are right I have no idea what ADB or Terminal Emulator or Nandroid Backup is. Maybe someone could start specific "ADB For Dummies" threads and guides. Thanks from all of us ahead of time that are going to PM you. I am pretty gun shy when it comes to starting a thread. :confused: (Worried someone else already did and can not find it through search):confused:
     
  10. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian VIP Member

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    The problems that stem from having such an app for a phone as powerful (and finicky, at times) as our DROIDs can easily be compared to a much broader spectrum - Operating Systems.

    Before the GUI, there was the command line. It was the end all, be all, for all things admin, to be restricted in use for regular lusers (and if you know that one, you're not only old but ancient). Along came the GUI, and poof- the computer was ready for the masses. The only problem? The end user doesn't understand that backend of things, and has to call upon those more knowledgeable in the field to fix even the simplest of things. It's how the elite came up with creative acronyms like PEBKAC & ID10T.

    I have always shuddered at finding the easy way to do things like a GUI, and AIO updater, etc. - I like being manual about it - it relegates me to a more controlling position when it comes to my hardware and the software that run on them. This is no different - while the SMUpdater is a nice app, it makes it too easy (IMNSHO) to do things that later on need to be undone / fixed - hence CRP's post.

    I am by no means even close to an advanced user when it comes to all things Android, but I read a lot (and get confused a lot). But, by and by, I pick it up - and the unfortunate downside hosing your phone is that it is not nearly as easy to find an expert who can get hand son with it to figure out what is going on - No Android Army (aka Geek Squad) to fall back on when something goes bad, and these forums (and others) are the final frontier when it comes to figuring out what went wrong - and how (if?) you can fix it.

    CRP's advice is not only poignant when it comes to playing with our phones, but also more generally applicable to all things electronic - pay attention, read carefully, absorb, and ask questions - before you just pick it up and go.

    If people had bothered to read about XP and how it was based upon NT and thus your default user should not be running as administrator we'd have a lot less problem with all the Malware out there. Hard to run on a machine that doesn't give you privileges to run on in the first place (aka *nix, Vista, Win 7, Server anything, and, in rare cases, XP, when changing the end user account to luser accounts, as is done in most corporate settings).

    If you're too impatient to read, then you're probably too impatient to sit by and cry while your DROID is sitting potentially bricked b/c of a mistake you made somewhere doing something to your phone that you learned by word of mouth. It's something to consider, is all I am saying. If you learn at least the basics, even if you cannot fix it with that knowledge, you'll also more likely to be helped given that you've already taken several basic troubleshooting steps and are now at a point where more involved / advanced help is required.

    And, before anyone goes off half-cocked and says "But this is perfectly fine, it won't break your DROID, blah blah blah...." Yeah, well, get this - it is an electronic device, and none of those ever made has ever shown a 100% immortality rate. If it is electronic, it can be hacked, and it can be corrupted. Simple as that.

    Heed his advice - it is *really* really good advice, and, as the saying goes - It's better to be safe than sorry.
     
  11. DroidSuks

    DroidSuks Well-Known Member

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    I agree. How about a list of links from which a beginner can start to learn to root. ... then install backup software.. then to roms. .. and of course beyond.

    I think there is so much out there. ... and its so easy to get lost that the journey seems daunting. Without good foundational guidance its easy to fall prey to the one hit SMUpdates of the world.
     
  12. DjSmooth

    DjSmooth Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for this thread, DOS - I still remember some, windows not an issue, Linux haven't a clue, but I would like to know the complete process / procedure for Rooting Android phones. I went over to rootyourdroid.info but it seems a whole bunch of other folks have to because they have "Reached their Bandwidth Limit" so is there another ground floor site someone can recommend...

    Thanks!
     
  13. eeraider

    eeraider Active Member

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    It seems that they are back up now with a lot more server capacity.

    Here is a really good place to start if you are completely new to rooting, and it is only four pages of reading.

    Start Here | Root Your Droid
     
  14. YankeeDudeL

    YankeeDudeL Well-Known Member

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    I learned how to root from rootyourdroid.info as well. I learned not only what to do, but what I was doing, and why I was doing it. It's this reason that I recommend this site as opposed to the app. I don't, however oppose the app itself. It's your phone, do w/ it as you please.

    The newest 2.1 version of BBeast has a lot of things included in the rom such as Busybox, a default HQ YouTube app, disabling of OTAs and flash image. These are things I did individually at rootyourdroid.info. Because I did it there, I have a much better understanding of these tasks and what they do, as well as how my Droid handles each process.

    Oh, and I feel super cool now. I wear my sunglasses at night.
     
  15. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian VIP Member

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    lmfao - great song by Canadian Corey Hart - what ever happened to him?

    (Besides getting married, having 4 kids and doing a remix back in 2002)?
     
  16. alamoe

    alamoe Well-Known Member

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    It's funny you say that because their is actually a thread titled "ADB for Dummies" on XDA; a quick search on XDA should lead you to it. :)
     
  17. aguillon5

    aguillon5 Well-Known Member

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    I hope I don't get nailed for copyright infringement!! :eek:
     
  18. MisterB

    MisterB Well-Known Member

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    Boy, what a shame that it is such a hassle to root.

    It sounds like in order to do it properly, you have to be the type of guy that can read a 70 page digital camera manual cover to cover before taking your first picture. Either that, or you must have an interest in gluing match sticks together for hours at a time, or maybe even building little toy ships in a bottle :rolleyes:

    I really like my stock Hero, but I would definitely like to have the features that rooting the phone would give me. I'm not, however, willing to devote as much time to rooting a damn phone, as it would take to learn a new foreign language, and also add the risk of having stuff not work right on the phone. I just need the phone to work. Period. Right now, it works.
     
  19. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian VIP Member

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    The problem, as so many other people keep trying to show you, is that the process of rooting, even if automated to the point of a single click, is not 100% infallible - and if you come into this without knowing what is up, and something *does* happen, then you are going to be clueless as to what to do, what you might try to fix, and that can be disastrous.

    The suggestion is to read and learn. The option is to ignore the suggestion and forage ahead with the SMUpdater.

    The choice is yours.
     
  20. droidpcguru

    droidpcguru Well-Known Member

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    I am one of those that started with SMupdater. BUT, I have lots of computer knowledge(Hence the PCGuru part of my nickname). Unfortunatley, Linux is not one of my areas of expertise. So far I have done a ton of reading, and instead of installing the SDK on my PC and going through all the command line stuff from there, I have just installed Terminal Emulator and Connectbot. From these, not to mention SPrecovery+Nandroid backups, I am fairly confident that I can do most of what I desire to my Droid. If I happen to flop, I will go back to a backup or 2.0.1-whichever is more possible/practical at the time.

    If neither of those are possible , I guess its time to toss my Droid into a puddle and run it over with the car.:rolleyes:

    Either way, I will not venture into anything that I'm not confident I can do safely. I take my time, and verify my commands before hitting enter(or so to speak). This is the best advice I can give to anyone.

    There will come a time when I feel I have learned enough to be confident to try the rest,,maybe even mix up a ROM a bit to my liking..but for now I'm just starting off:)
     
  21. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian VIP Member

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    I'm with you, droidpcguru - I have lots of experience with PC hardware, a good bit with PC software, lots with Windows and some with *nix and even some with MacOS.

    However, I opted for the SDK install as I was curious about learning Android programming and becoming a developer of an app or two. My biggest issue now is time - not enough of it specifically.

    Still, having added the SDK to my PATH I can now open a CMD line and immediately start running ADB commands regardless of where the prompt opens to. I can also run DDMS.bat from anywhere, allowing me to quickly and easily take screencaps off the DROID.

    Feh, to each their own. I guess I am sort of old school in that I like to learn what the heck I am doing before I do it, so I don't feel like a n00b with a phone that is not responsive. I also tend to ask lots of questions, and then get impatient and go reading on my own anyway. Hell, it's how I first learned how to streamline Fedora Core 3 with a Con Kalivas patched kernel, and compiling it myself, saving a whopping 1 minute and 20 seconds off my boot time on a 486 machine with a GB of RAM.

    I never consider myself an expert - there are more than enough of those here - but I still have to agree with CRP's original statement and strongly support that before you jump into the deep end of the pool, you need more information and need to understand the process better so you can recover from errors / mistakes / glitches.
     
  22. droidpcguru

    droidpcguru Well-Known Member

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    Time is exactly the problem with me starting the more proper but hard way:p. I'm just careful for now to not do anything too risky until I finally get the chance to learn the rest:) For now I'm covered, though. I do understand and agree with the advice in this thread, though..just kinda took my own approach to it. I had learned of Nandroid backups and recovery techniques before I installed a ROM:)
     
  23. SteveC

    SteveC Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad that Sholes came up with the updater. I have used it and it allowed me to get an eye into the world of root and overclocking. I know know that stock will never be the same. Having said that, I also think CRPercodani is more than likely correct. I am still reading and checking the various ROMS. One day, I will return to 2.0.1 and install another ROM manually, use it for a while and install another, just to teach myself how to do it. But Sholes and the easy way started me out, even the easy way taught me more than a lot of reading and standing by the sidelines. I don't want a brick and I plan to be careful and meticulous.
     
  24. DjSmooth

    DjSmooth Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I'll be checking that out tonight at work :) tonight...
     

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