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Unknown Lamer's Journal: New Phone, New Desktop...

Journal by Unknown Lamer

Continuing with my quest to write at an abyss...

I ended up getting the mytouch 4G Slide (HTC Doubletouch) from newegg ($130 + 24 months further enslavement to T-Mobile + if-you-cancel-within-six-months-you-owe-us-$400 standard reseller crap). And then the despair began, as the Internet informed me I had to do crap like run an untested binary to exploit the userspace and bootloader instead of a simple unlocking procedure... but then a friend who had done something similar let me know that, *phew*, you only had to do that if you wanted the "easy" way of reflashing from Android (before getting your new image installed, naturally).

I just had to use the HTC bootloader unlocker and flash Clockwork Recovery, fastboot flash the kernel, and then use the recovery image to flash the new /system. I.e. the way it had to be done on the G1... yes, much much more difficult than exploiting Linux and some vulnerability in the bootloader...

With that out of the way, I now have CM9 (Android 4.0.3). So far it's running well... my first day battery life was great, yesterday not so much (suspecting something with wakelocks, the phone refused to suspend to ram after I ran maps...). I'm also trying to use as much Free Software as possible: I installed the Google apps for now because ... I am weak, and I like the calendar and maps. But, otherwise, I'm trying only to use software from F-Droid (or things not in F-Droid that are Free of course, but in an ideal world I'd also be submitting those for inclusion). The bad: the keyboard kind of sucks. There's basically no tactile feedback, they removed the tab button for a stupid "www/com" button (hoping I can remap that, but this is Android and not X11), and it's uncomfortably wide. Dear HTC: Please, please, resurrect the Dream's hinge... I thought the hinge would be the first part to fail on my G1, but it was solid until the end. That extra bit of vertical space was nice (5 rows!), and gave a more natural horizontal spacing between keys (I could reach 3/4 of my G1 keyboard with one thumb, now it's about half for each).

Still, Android on a device with lots of processor power and RAM is actually pleasant to use, instead of an exercise in seeing how many profanities you can utter at a device.

And now for MORE FUN: at some point I did an apt-get upgrade to get a slightly newer X server and ... where did my network printer go? Oh no, cups was repackaged and I need to install these new driver packages? They rely on GNOME 3 components... no, no, no is this really happening... thus died my gnome-session + sawfish + xfce-panel desktop :(. I gave GNOME 3 a five minute shot and it confirmed my suspicions: gnome-shell sucks. I have yet to futz with getting fallback mode working with sawfish et al, and am just using KDE 4.7 now. Which is a lot nicer than 4.5, and may actually suffice for my needs. We'll see. The big thing is that it seems to handle multiple monitors reasonably well now (before hotplugging never did the right thing; I have a laptop + 24" display for when I'm at my desk, so I plug/unplug on a daily basis).

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New Phone, New Desktop...

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