Cynics Soapbox

Random thoughts...

Goodbye Zite

Of all the apps I have installed on my phone, the one I most frequently use is Zite. Following todays news that will be changing and the app will soon be uninstalled. It’s a shame, but doesn’t really come as a big surprise as Zite offered a useful, free service – something that is becoming rarer and rarer. It was my wife who first introduced me to Zite on her iPad. It was an app that filled a void...

Android Development Environment on Ubuntu 12.10

As with many people I’m using the 64-bit version of Ubuntu 12.10. This means that when you install the various pieces you need for android development the tools found in the platform-tools directory won’t run. They give the simple error message bash: android-sdk/platform-tools/adb: No such file or directory The solution is simple enough, but it took me a few minutes to find, so maybe this post will save someone else that time. The issue was...

Mainstream Fail

Making changes to a large project isn’t an easy decision and for a company like Google I’d imagine that such decisions are debated extensively, so when such changes are made I assume they bring genuine benefit. Having recently started using a Nexus 10 with Android 4.2.1 I was stunned when connecting it to the computer not to be able to simply transfer documents to it. A little googling around soon showed that the USB connectivity I’...

One year on...

Just over a year ago I wrote This is not the Android you want and as I’ve been spending time with android again I find it a little depressing how little progress has been made. Google have made their publishing process for AOSP slicker and quicker, the interfaces have gotten better and generally Android is much improved, but still things feel closed. The recent release of the Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) code has led to the usual raft of...

Android Kernel Debug

Recently I’ve been trying to trace some kernel debugging being generated on an android phone and the relative shortness of dmesg has been proving an issue. I figured there would be another way and of course there is… On a computer attached via a USB cable with USB debugging enabled, simply do adb shell cat /proc/kmsg<br></br> Simple when you know how 🙂...

Building for HTC Desire HD

This is for a build in ~/work/android/system rather than the usually quoted ~/android/system. Start off in the usual way… sudo apt-get install gcc-multilib<br></br> sudo apt-get install bison flex schedtool<br></br> cd work<br></br> mkdir bin<br></br> curl https://dl-ssl.google.com/dl/googlesource/git-repo/repo > bin/repo<br></br> chmod a+...

This is not the Android you want...

Compared to Apples “one size fits all” iOS, Googles Android comes in a myriad of different guises. By choosing to partner with different firms they have ceded absolute control over how their operating system will look to those how manufacture phones. I’ll leave it to others to debate the relative advantages and disadvantages of this approach, but the result is that my current phone ships with a customised version of Android. If the customisations were only skin deep then...

Kernel Building

First attempt at getting a new kernel for my phone, an HTC Desire HD. Download the source from http://developer.htc.com/ Expand it into a directory As we’ll be building for ARM, we need the cross compilation toolchain, so install relevant packages. Get the config from the phone. $ adb pull /proc/config.gz . $ gunzip config.gz && mv config .config Now try and build the kernel. $ make ARCH=arm CROSS_COMPILE=arm-linux-gnueabi- Answer questions for the config...

new mobile

It was finally time. The reduced battery life on the 6630 was starting to annoy. It’s failure to allow me to install Jargoing was the final straw, so I spoke with Vodafone. The phone I thought I wanted was the N80, but that’ no longer available and despite Toby & Andrew liking it, savs hasn’t been overly positive and the no-one I’ve spoken to at Vodafone rated it either. They offered me an E65, which after a...