Monday, February 28, 2011

Mobile Phone Upgrade

Well, my HD2 has been with me for nearly 2 years. While that's sounds like the normal life cycle of a mobile phone these days, it's been like dog years for my HD2.

From cracking the screen, to being flung in a drain to being dropped on gravel roads, my HD2 has been through a lot. However, its performed beyond expectations with me having loaded about 15 different WinMo 6.5 ROM's onto it. Then came Froyo, which was nice change. Finally, Windows Phone 7 to which it ran a lot smoother than Froyo.

Alas, it is now overheating for no reason, unlocking itself and uploading pictures of my armpit to Facebook and not responding at times. While I am sure a software refresh would fix it, its best to look at the available upgrade paths.

First up, we have the currently available HTC HD7 running Windows Phone 7. I loved my WP7 experience on my HD2 eventhough it was limited due to the hardware. Since I already have a Galaxy Tab running Android, it would be nice to have a phone running something else, just to add some flavour to life. A summarised run down of the specs below show that this is quite a beast of a phone :

  1. Released October 2010
  2. 122mm x 68mm x 11.2mm
  3. 162g
  4. LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
  5. 480 x 800, 4.3 inches
  6. 16GB with 512ROM and 576 RAM (No expandable memory)
  7. HSDPA 7.2Mbps, HSUPA 2Mbps, and WiFi (b/g/n)
  8. 5MP, 2592 x 1944 pixels, AF and dual-LED Flash
  9. 720p recording
  10. No secondary camera
  11. 1Ghz Scorpion processor, Andreno 200 GPU
  12. 1230 mAh battery
The rest of the specs are what you usually find on a higher end mobile phone these days. Full review can be found here.

At one point, this was a no brainer. However, Samsung had to come along and spoil the fun. The Samsung Galaxy S II was announced at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) and will be available soon. Specs below:
  1. To be released Q1 2011
  2. 125.3mm x 66.1mm x 8.5mm
  3. 116g
  4. Super AMOLED Plus capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
  5. 480 x 800 pixels, 4.3 inches
  6. 16GB/32GB Storage with 1GB of RAM (MicroSD expandable memory)
  7. HSDPA 21Mbps, HSUPA 5.76Mbps, and WiFi (b/g/n), DLNA and Bluetooth 3.0
  8. 8MP, 3264 x 2488 pixels, AF and LED Flash
  9. 1080p recording
  10. Secondary 2MP camera
  11. Dual-core 1Ghz ARM, Mali - 400MP GPU
  12. 1650 mAh battery
The HD7 loses on every single count. On the software end, the HD7 is running the latest and greatest Windows Phone 7. The Galaxy S II will be running Gingerbread.

The HD7 is currently going for RM 1,388 with a 24 month, 3GB data plan with Maxis.


Monday, January 31, 2011

Rooting your Android device

Couple of people have been asking me how I got Skype and a bunch of other apps on my Galaxy Tab when they cant see it in the Android Market.

Reason being, the market is limited by region. As such, you have to Root your device. Think of it as something similar to jailbreaking an iPhone/iPad. The process is not harmful to your device nor is it permanent. Removing the root can be something as simple as restarting your device.

Here goes:

Getting the files needed
  1. Download Z4Root from here. Thanks to the RyanZA from XDA forums for this.
  2. Copy the file onto your device.
  3. Go to the Android Market and look for File Expert. Find it and install it like any other app you have in the past.
  4. Download MarketAcess from here.
Remember to only install File Expert. Do not install any of other files yet. Follow the steps below once you have done the above.


  1. Launch File Expert.
  2. Browse to the location where you saved Z4Root. Tap Z4Root to install it.
  3. Go to your settings page. Go to Applications. Go to Development. Select USB debugging
  4. Go to your applications and launch Z4Root.
  5. Select Temprary Root.
  6. Let it do its thing. After a while, it should say Temporary Root Successful. You have now successfully rooted your device.
  7. Next, launch File Expert again. Browse to the location you copied Market Access to and install it.
  8. Launch Market Access.
  9. Select Backup Value. After the confirmation pop-up, select the Providers tab at the top. Select T-Mobile [US].
  10. YOU'RE DONE !!!
Now you can go to the Market and have a look at a plethora of additional apps including the all time favourite, Skype.

* Please note that this apparently doesn't work with the latest firmware update from Samsung. This just serves as a guide and I am not responsible for any damage caused to your device.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

HD2 Windows Phone 7

Things you will need

  1. HTC HD2 that is charged to at least 50%.
  2. Data sync cable.
  3. If you are on Win XP, you must have Active Snyc installed. Vista and Win7 dont need additional software.
  4. SD Card (the card will be formatted!).
  5. Only some Radio's seem to work. I used (Download from here).
  6. Download the WP7 ROM and MAGDLR from here.
  7. Make sure you have HardSPL on your HD2. You can read about what it is and download it from XDA Forums.
  8. Bottle of Mountain Dew.

Installation Steps

  1. Connect your HD2 to your PC. Make sure the Connection Type is set to ActiveSync (these options usually pop up on your phone when connect the cable.
  2. To check if its connected via ActiveSnyc, Windows Mobile Device Center should pop up (for Win7 and Vista users) or MS ActiveSync should pop up (for XP users).
  3. Open up the folder where you saved the Radio. Double click the CustomRUU.exe
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  5. After the reboot, open the Win7 ROM file you downloaded above. There should be 2 folders. Open the MAGLDR112 first. Run the ROMUpdateUtility.exe.
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  7. Once it reboots again, it will go into MAGDLR...after a few seconds, you will see a list of options. Use the Volume rocker to move down to the 5th option (USB Flasher) and select it. It will then say "Waiting for USB"
  8. Open up the Win7 ROM rar and open the LEO70_ROM folder. Run DWI.exe
  9. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  10. If you did all of the above, when the last step is complete, the phone should boot into Windows Phone 7 !!! Enjoy...


Here are some of the problems I ran into whilst flashing
  1. When it was loading WP7, on the phone it goes through 4 steps...mine failed at step 4...some formatting error. To fix this, you need to re-load your original ROM and start again from step 1 above. Before proceeding, take out your Micro SD and plug it into your PC and format it. That helped me.


Almost a year since I posted...seemed like flashing my HD2 to Windows Phone 7 would serve as a good revival of this blog.

I have had my HD2 for about 14 months only. Since then, it has seen varied WinMo 6.5 ROM's like Chucky, Artemis, Stellar and others. A couple of months ago, I loaded Froyo 2.2 on it and have been dual booting. Froyo is pretty cool. The icon set is brilliant for the display. There are some lag issues but seeing as how the phone isn't even supposed to have Froyo on it, the lag issues were tolerable.

Windows Phone 7 was released a few months back and with a slew of new phones. I had my eye on the HTC HD7 but before it got launched, I made an impulse buy of the Samsung Galaxy Tab (hope to review that too) and my purchase was put off.

However, thanks to the members of the Dark Forces Team, a new stable WP7 ROM has been released for the HD2. A guide and my feedback will appear in the Reviews section shortly (if all goes well!)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

3 for 3 ?

So, it was recently announced the governments proposal for the GST is postponed.

This comes after the cancellation of the tiered fuel system and the reintroduction of the RPGT late last year.

As far as I can see, things aren't looking good for the current administration. The infamous Khir Toyo came out saying that our PM is smart for trying new things and postponing them after listening to the voices of the Rakyat.

While I do agree with the concept of new ideas to help, especially the lower income groups, what I don't understand is suggesting something that even a common person can tell you is a crazy idea. Even the MyKad is not perfected. I can't find one person who agreed that the tiered fuel system would have been a good idea. How much time and money went into that?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Toll Traffic...

Now that I work in Glenmarie, I have to use the toll twice a day and there is something that baffles me. The queue at the cash lane.

I don't get it. Fine, if you want to argue that the SmartTag cost about 100 bucks to get, I understand. But as far as I know, the Touch N Go card is virtually free. Why don't more people just get that?

I save AT LEAST 20 minutes of travelling time by not paying cash and using a SmartTag.

Surely the queue can't be caused purely by people wanting receipts or not having enough on their Touch N Go?