Thursday, September 29

Dell Streak Andriod Update

This weekend just gone I finally had enough of the bloated, slow, unreliable Dell/o2 ROM that had been installed on my Dell Streak.  So as the phone had already been rooted, (rooting is the act of getting full control of the super user or 'root' user to give you access everything) I decide to give a new ROM a try.  Being that I have a almost dead bit of hardware, that didn't sell well, mainly due to the issues I mentioned above, along with the bad delivery times when they did update it was going to be trouble.  While their are a number of people out there developing ROMs for this device its much smaller community then say those for the Samsung Galaxy S.
The main trick seems to be getting the ROM on, which was helped with a tool called 'Streak Mod recovery' as the other ROM managers don't work with the Dell Streak.  Once this is on you can get the ROM on and get the device updated, so lets got though what I did and can remember.
First I would say you need to get a backup of the system, in my case I use Titanium backup, its a pay for app but well worth it.  Something you need to remember is that if you move from one version of Android to another then you might find it does not recover correctly, for example my default ROM is 2.2 and not all install correctly on 2.3.  Some do work, like Angry Birds Rio is fine, but original Angry Birds just crashes and has to be removed and fresh installed from the market loosing any data.
Once you have the backup I recommend looking at this guide to install 'adb' and 'fastboot' which are utilities you enable you to access parts of the device to update the files to do the install - ADB/FASTBOOT
Once this is done you need to look at installing the 'StreakMod' to force the recovery of the ROM in place of the default system recovery, which this link covers - StreakMod
Once that is done you can simply download a ROM zip file and store it on you SD card, and use the StreakMod to recover it.  Now their are a few ROMs out and about and I have tired a few, CyanogenMod is still in development and not ready to be used, StreakDroid works but I have found stabilization issues.  StreadDroid is 2.3 so lots of old app backups will not recover correctly, but the one I have install Simple Streak 1.2 is Android 2.2, so works well.  The guide for this too can be found here - Simple Streak 1.2, its nice and light almost all the unimportant apps removed for a nice speedy ROM.
I did find one issue, as this has been developed out side the UK the default gps doesn't fix correctly.  But after some hunting about I found a fix, so here it is -

adb shell
mount -o remount,rw /dev/block/ /system
vi /system/etc/gps.conf
mount -o remount,ro /dev/block/ /system

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Tuesday, September 13

Shooting in the Woods

Nope its not some kind of coded message for something else, tonight I was taken to a shooting club and given the chance to fire off a few pistols and a rifle. Something that is very difficult to do in the UK and even more so fire anything over a .22. From the photo you can see left to right some of the spent rounds - 308, .45, 9mm and .22.
My favorite was the 9mm Beretta, though the 45 had a clear and prominent kick. The rifle was the biggest shock, with a serious punch and the target being 100 yards away I was surprised that I hit it with every shot.

In use at the range, the .22 pistol was a Colt Woodsman Sport, as mentioned a 9mm Beretta, followed by a USP .45 and finally a AR-15 rifle.


Monday, September 12

Tips and Travel Notes

Few tips and other notes taken from the travel experience that I have had over this weekend, with the joy of flight cancellation and the numerous check-ins and customs checks.

  1. At Chicago, America Airlines internal travel, terminal 3 don't go to the security check-in where bus/mono-rail drops you. Head for the ones at either end of the terminal, they are usually much quieter, and in our case we where the only people being checked.
  2. Chicago has no free wi-fi, if you can wait when you hop on to Rochester pick up any mail there as they give you it free in the airport, lovely people.
  3. If your flight is cancelled try to get to baggage claim as soon as you can as it closes at 10pm, or if your really unlucky eariler.
  4. If you can't get your bag make sure you ask them for the complementary 'toiletries', as if you don't ask they won't give it to you.
  5. Make sure you take something to read, listen, watch as you will be spending huge amount of time waiting at the airport for customs and such.
  6. 2hr change time between flights is the minimum you need to leave as the US customs checks take a huge amount of time.
That's all for now, but I'm sure more fun will come in time.


Welcome to America

Well I managed to get here, though so far it seems a bit of a fight. As I've spent more time in airports then on planes, which makes it all very painful. So in summary 8 hour flight with 4 hours in Heathrow, hour which is customs, then 7 hours in Chicago of which about 2½hrs was US customs. After which I had my flight cancelled and been put up in a hotel, so I have the joy of more airport time to get my 1pm fight today. Happy days...
America so far its been just great, but no ones told me to 'have a nice day' so that's a plus.

American Airlines at Chicago
Customs have let me in after a 2 hour queue.
My temporary hotel for the night
And the view from said hotel window