Welcome Back My Friends…

…to the show that never ends.

Last weekend was exciting – and frustrating.  Seven days ago, I decided that I needed to switch to a different ROM on my phone.  I loved Liberty GB.  But about a month ago, it lost all of its momentum.  Daily builds had dried up.  And there was no sustainable roadmap for future development.

But the CyanogenMod distribution was thriving.  Nightly builds were flourishing.  And this ROM was even pushing boundaries by adopting cutting edge features from many sources – including the carriers.  CM7 was headed towards Android 2.3.5 (which was delivered this past week).  And CM& has included the T-Mobile Theme Chooser.  This mod was smoking.

So last weekend, I took the plunge…

…and landed in a dry lake bed.

I really didn’t want to wipe my phone to bare metal.  I had read quite a bit that seemed to indicate that I would need to wipe the cache, data and even system files on my phone.  Since I had never wiped the system files and used SBF to rebuild my base system, I was nervous.  Then I read a whole lot of posts that said that if I was on a Gingerbread build (of Liberty), I could just wipe cache and data and then install.  So that’s what I did.  And that’s when I landed in the dry lake bed.

The result of this approach was a fully bricked phone.  In fact, I’ve never torched a system quite as successfully as I had torched my phone.  There was absolutely nothing left on my phone.  So I had to learn about SBF and then do it for myself.  Fortunately, the process is simple.  All you have to do is get the right software on your desktop, connect your phone via USB and then use the bootloader to re-deploy the basic image (that originally came from your carrier).

Once I flashed the phone, I was tempted to just stay put.  That temptation lasted thirty minutes before I flashed the base CyanogenMod system.

And what a wonderful change this has been.

I love this ROM.  It is fast.  It is stable.  Most importantly, it is actively developed.  In the past seven days, I’ve loaded six nightly builds.  The only reason that there weren’t seven nightlies is because one of the nightlies included a whole new Android build (i.e., 2.3.5).  So there was no new build on July 26.  I guess it took an extra day to put together such a big change.

It is even more exciting to see that CM7 is the productof a lot of code branches assembled together.  I am so impressed with the T-Mobile theme chooser.

Is it the best such tool?  Probably not.  But it was developed within a massive company.  Nevertheless, it was released as open source.  So the CM folks pulled it into their ROM distribution.  This is one of the greatest things about open source development.  You are able to pick and  choose the things you want to assemble together.  I suspect that this theme chooser will now find its way into almost every Android distribution.

Vive le difference.




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3 Comments on “Welcome Back My Friends…”

  1. ax0n Says:

    Once you have fully grokked the procedure for recovering from a “brick” scenario, tinkering becomes a lot more fun and feels a lot less risky.


    • cyclingroo Says:

      Very true. Everything is simpler when you know how to do it. At some point, the process of doing these things will become so simple that everyone will be doing it. 😉


  2. Tony Simons Says:

    Cm7 > Everything else, IMO


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