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Root confused? YES I AM!

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Doobie, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. Doobie

    Doobie Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I understand the idea behind root. Things I don't get and cannot glean from reading the "all things root" threads:
    1. What the heck is a ROM?
    2. How many are there? (I won't ask which is better because I think I know the answer is varied)
    3. Do I really need a new ROM? What is wrong with the one I have (Stock)?
    4. Back-up before rooting?
    5. Kernals?
    6. Nandroid backup?
    7. Command line?
    8. SDK?
    There is a lot of "geek speak" in these "simple" root threads that really make feel like an idiot. I have had my eris for over a year now and want to improve the lag on the dialer, and maybe overclock it. I would like to keep sense UI if at all possible.
    It seems all of the tutorials make assumptions at some point that the reader knows what all of the terminology means. :thinking:

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  2. doogald

    doogald Extreme Android User

    1. A ROM is a packaged distribution that includes an alternative OS and apps specifically designed for the Eris. ROM is a strange name; it stands for Read Only Memory. Basically, you use a procedure that writes this package to erasable programable read-only memory (or EPROM), which is where the OS, Android and your system and user apps are stored on the phone.

    2. Quite a lot. See Droid Eris Android Development - xda-developers and search for the term "[ROM]".

    3. Not particularly. The stock Eris ROM is a proprietary HTC build of Android which replaces some of the stock Android apps. They also add some of what I will call crapware (Peep, Amazon MP3 store, Footprints) which are not user-uninstallable. Rooting gives you the option of removing these apps while keeping stock. Rooting also gives you the ability to install custom ROMs that takes this HTC builds and optimize them for speed, remove them altogether, add the ability to overclock and underclock the CPU for performance (when the CPU is busy) and battery savings (when it is not), or just provide stock, vanilla Android without the proprietary HTC bits.

    4. I would, in case you don't like what root gives you.

    5. Referencing the linux kernel that Android uses for basic operating system functions. With root you can replace the kernel on your stock phone OS with a customized version that allows you to overclock or underclock the CPU, just as an example.

    6. A process to save the state of your phone's OS, software and data at a particular time, which can be restored later.

    7. This should be obvious - running commands from a command line terminal window (think old-time green screen or DOS), as opposed to using the GUI to do things. I'm not sure why you are asking about this, though.

    8. Software Development Kit. Intended for Android developers, they are tools that allow developers to test apps, interface with the phone, etc. There are some useful things that people who have rooted their phone can do with the SDK using the ADB tool from a terminal window/command prompt on the host PC, but these days it is not necessary. (It once was required in order to root the Eris, but it is not any longer.)
  3. Podivin

    Podivin Android Expert

    I'll toss my two cents in, just because I feel like I have some extra cash... :)

    1) See Doogald's fine answer
    2) See 1
    3) See 1
    4) See 1
    5) It not really necessary that you understand this. Each ROM has a kernal, so you don't really have to 'do' anything for that. You may at some point find that you like/dislike one kernal over another, or you can be like me and go blissfully on your way and base your judgements solely on the ROM itself.
    6) See 1
    7) If you do the one-click root method, this is another thing that you don't HAVE to understand. Yes, it's generally better if you have a basic understanding of this, but it's possible that it's not anything you'd ever have to do.
    8) See 7.

  4. Alleycat

    Alleycat Member

    Your Eris is basically a mini computer. So, think of a ROM as the operating system for your phone, like Windows 7, Windows XP, Mac OS 10, or Linux.

    Doogald has a great answer why it's called a ROM rather than an OS. Basically, instead of copying files to a magnetic hard drive (as you would if you're installing Windows), you're "flashing" a memory chip.
  5. CXXV

    CXXV Android Enthusiast

    As an Electrical Engineer it has always bothered that we call these loads "ROM's" vs "OS's". I have always been a stickler for accuracy.

    Maybe we should call them BIOS's like on PC's. I know these are more than just BIOS, but what the heck.....
  6. Praetorian

    Praetorian Well-Known Member

    Ya except its more fun to tell a non-techie "I just rooted my phone and flashed a custom rom" and watch the blank stare.
  7. PiperCub49

    PiperCub49 Member

    +1! :D

    Seriously though, I wouldn't mind OS. I also appreciate correct terminology and have been confused by flashing "ROMs" before...
  8. Podivin

    Podivin Android Expert

    Hmmm.... I don't think you can start with "I have always been a sticker for accuracy' and end with " I know these are more than just BIOS, but what the heck...." Those two statements seem to contradict each other.... :D
  9. CXXV

    CXXV Android Enthusiast

    Sure I can...I was simply saying that to me the OS on the phone's ROM is behaving like a BIOS does in a PC ROM, since the phone OS is by definition on the ROM.

    It's not like Windows that sits on top of the BIOS. We are not flashing a new ROM. We are flashing new code onto an existing EPROM.

    That's my point....
  10. doogald

    doogald Extreme Android User

    I understand it. Flashing a new "ROM" is really no different from copying files onto a USB drive (or an SSD), really. I like "custom Android build", because that's what they are, but sometimes you're just stuck with inaccurate nomenclature. It's sort of like Leo Laporte's tilting against windmills, trying to change the name podcasts to netcasts (because you don't need an iPod to listen to them), or a bit like David Pogue of the NY Times now, who is trying to change the word "smartphone" to "app phone" (for some unfathomable reason; probably his ego if it sticks.) It's probably better just to not stress all that much over it and give in.
  11. MOS95B

    MOS95B Android Enthusiast

    When I update my phone, I tell all my non-Android friends "I am installing a new OS". It's just easier than explaining to them stuff they don't want to know anyway.

    And to the OP, I think all your questions have been answered.

    Join us.

    root your phone....

    Together we can rule as.....

  12. mema2.1

    mema2.1 Newbie

    Thanks for this very enlightening and simplifying thread. I just purchased an Eris and was told it was "rooted" and had kaosfroyo2.2 os on it and I was thoroughly confused. I was asked if I wanted them to restore it to the factory build or leave it and I was so confused :eek: I just asked them to leave it as it was and I'd figure it out once I got it. :p I'm sure you will hear more from me as I wade through this whole new venture in Androids and the Eris :rolleyes:
  13. CXXV

    CXXV Android Enthusiast

    Ah yes...SMARTPHONE....I hate that term. It's a PDA that has a phone chip in it.

HTC Droid Eris Forum

The HTC Droid Eris release date was November 2009. Features and Specs include a 3.2" inch screen, 5MP camera, 288GB RAM, MSM7600 processor, and 1300mAh battery.

November 2009
Release Date

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