Jul 28 2010

Flashing The Day Away!

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 10:50 pm

While Irina was not at home today, I spent most of my time flashing. Rather than calling the local authorities though, you should just nod and say “maladyets”.

The flashing consisted of SharpFin-ing (if it isn’t a verb, it should be) my Logik IR-100 internet radio, as well as my HTC TyTn II / Kaiser.

The internet radio has been unable to play BBC Radio on demand programs for more than a few minutes ever since April/May. Given that over here in Kazakhstan, the main reason I want the radio on is to catch up with UK based news programs and a little light comedy before falling asleep, the device was quickly losing any reason for using mains power up. I had wanted to apply a 3rd party update to the radio for a while, but whilst it was able to complete 95% of my requests without problem, I couldn’t justify risking bricking the thing. Not only is it no longer on sale back home, similar devices cost between two and five times as much, so had I cocked up and ended up with plastic box that did nothing, I’d have felt highly agrieved.
Now that the new linux components are installed and working OK, I can select different firmwares from Reciva (the company that runs the online access portal for it), play media files locally from a thumb drive, and even remotely administer it from my PC. There is only one (internal) USB socket on the motherboard, which is normally occupied by a caseless WiFi adaptor, however with a little brute force on a rear plastic grill, a USB hub that wasn’t used for anything important (only USB 1.1), and a few minutes re-checking procedures, Cygwin re-installation and telnetting, the radio has reprieved it’s binward journey. To get to this point, I did switch from Windows 7 to XP (problems with services blocking ports), at which point a different error appeared. Whilst fixing this DLL dependency problem, Anna decided to press the reset button the PC. When logging back in to XP, it appeared that the unscheduled reboot had caused a corrupt file. Luckily Vista saved the day (most likely the first and last time you’ll read that phrase without sarcasm on this blog.) Not only did the subterfuge of making the radio think my PC was a Reciva server, and so it could therefore accept my modifications, but it has proven the most stable and error free OS on my PC today. Obviously I didn’t actually boot into Ubuntu as I’m not comfy enough with it yet to try flashing other devices from it.
So, on to the second and slightly more fear-filled flashing incident today… my phone. As previously mentioned, the screen isn’t touchable in a few places due to a dodgy repair carried out by professionals back in Britain (need to contact them soon), and I was interested to find out what differences I could expect from the next phone we’re getting, which will have Windows Mobile 6.5, rather than 6.1. Given that I have a few backup phones that function perfectly well as phones, if not enterntainment/productivity enhnancing devices, I decided to take the plunge and see if I could hit two for two in terms of not killing lumps of plastic and silicon today. Skipping the usual routine of killing off processes in Windows to allow deeper access to the phone, I dumped the renamed ROM onto the microSD card, and told the phone to get on with it. No problems yet, though it is still very early days. The new interface is interesting, but I deliberately chose a light weight ROM with nearly all apps and bells and whistles removed. I’m slowly going through the process of reinstalling important apps (where simply re-creating shortcuts to the still present programs on the memory card won’t suffice), and I’ve not yet had to try and figure out how to text/call/live stream videos etc. in a rush, but I’m happy to know that the Touch Pro 2 from HTC will have this same OS version at it’s core, even if the interface will be bells and whistled to the hilt 🙂
Before I forget, welcome back home to Mum, John, Aunty Jean and Uncle Pete. Their well planned break took an early diversion, but more on that in the coming days.
Right, I’m off for now as I need to boot back into XP and re-sync contacts etc. from Outlook, so feel free to check out the rest of this page for a lot of photos and videos of Anna back when she was in Britain.

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