Jan 272012
Rooting your Milestone 2

Without any good reason and no actual need and more for because-I-am-curious, I rooted my Milestone 2 (v2.3.4).

Instructions came mostly from here which pointed me into the right direction:

The actual commands I used were:
  1. Turn on the USB debugging on the Milestone: Settings/Applications/Development/USB Debugging must be checked
  2. Connect Milestone 2 via USB to my Linux machine
  3. Run “adb devices” as root. This starts the adb local server which connects to the phone via USB.
  4. adb push Exploit/zergRush /data/local/tmp
  5. adb shell
  6. cd /data/local/tmp
  7. chmod 777 zergRush
  8. ./zergRush
It’s fun to watch and in the end it said it has done its deed, and it closes the adb shell.
Back on the Linux machine:
  1. adb kill-server
  2. adb devices
  3. adb shell
and I had the # prompt in front of me. It’s that easy.
Now making it permanent:
  1. See what block device is used via: cat /proc/mounts
  2. In my case /system is mounted from /dev/block/mmcblk1p21
  3. mount -o remount,rw /dev/block/mmcblk1p21 /system
  4. exit
  5. adb push Dependencies/busybox /system/bin/busybox
  6. adb push Root/su-v2 /system/bin/su
  7. adb install Root/Superuser.apk
  8. adb shell
  9. chmod 4755 /system/bin/busybox
  10. chmod 4755 /system/bin/su
  11. mount -o remount,ro /dev/block/mmcblk1p21 /system
  12. exit
  13. adb reboot

The phone reboots here and it’s done. Next time I log in via “adb shell” I simply type “su” and I am root.


Dec 262011
Motorola Milestone 2 and Gingerbread!

Unbelievable, but my Milestone 2 has received its update to Android 2.3 AKA Gingerbread. When I bought it with Android 2.2 (Froyo) I though “Surely Motorola will bring out an update as soon as they can, as it will create brand loyality if the company shows after-sales support, so people will want to buy Motorola again.” Well, that turned out to be nonsense and Motorola did not even commit to any updates. I gave up all hope, but for fun I checked, and lo-and-behold: There’s an update available here.

Worked fine. Have patience and follow the instructions. There are 2 times when you think “now it crashed”, but it’s not. The full process takes about 20 min. Afterwards no loss of data (in my case), except my Bluetooth headset wanted to be authorized again. Everything is snappier now and looks better at the same time. It’s a worthy update and if it had some 6 months ago and announced when Gingerbread came out, it would have made me a Motorola fan.

That being said, Samsung is not better. So I guess the next phone or tablet will be a Nexus.

Jan 052011
Milestone 2 in Japan

I finally succumbed to the Android wave. It was always on my “nice-to-have” list but unfortunately also on the “running-costs-are-too-high” list. The prices range from about 30000 Yen up-front and about 10000 Yen/month running costs. And 2 years contracts.

Enter the age of SIM-lock free phones available in Japan. Thanks to Expansys I got a Motorola Milestone 2. The main reason was: new enough (Android 2.2) and it has a keyboard. And being SIM-lock-free means while I am outside Japan, I can get a (cheap) local SIM card and use it. Not a big deal, but a nice-to-have.

Android is only half as much fun without 3G connections, but neither Softbank nor Docomo like different than their own handsets. They’ll punish you with a special this-ain’t-our-handset monthly flat rate of about 11000 Yen max instead of 6000 Yen.

However b-mobile has a neat solution: b-mobileSIM U300: It’s using the Docomo FOMA (3G) network, runs on 850MHz and 2100MHz (compatible with W-CDMA). Costs about 13000 Yen for 6 months for a data flat rate, so about 2200 Yen/month. That’s far less than what Docomo and Softbank charge you, but it comes with 2 caveats:

  1. No voice, only data (read: Internet ok, nothing else, e.g. voice calls, SMS, etc.)
  2. Capped at 300 kbps

The main point for me of this handset is to have Internet and email available while commuting, so I do not need to spend much time at home reading and replying to emails or checking out things on the Internet. Watching video or streaming music is not high on my list of things I want to do while traveling, so those limitations I can live with.

Google Maps is a bit sluggish. Needs patience. Quite a lot, especially when used with satellite view or Street View.

Feb 142010
Fixing Emobile S21HT

I have a H11T from Emobile. Simple phone. Works well for connecting computers via Bluetooth or USB to the Internet. The phone itself is medicore. Web browsing is a pain as the phone constantly runs out of memory and reflowing web pages is a big challenge for the phone. Unfortunately there is no Android phone available from Emobile. Otherwise I would have bought one.

I got my fingers on an Emobile S21HT (AKA HTC Touch Diamond). Not the most modern phone, but not bad either. And it’s surprisingly small with a nice display. But it has one severe flaw: It runs Windows Mobile 6.1. For phones it is the most horrible OS possible in my opinion. Sluggish. Non-intuitive usage. It is Japanese only, which does not help here.

Luckily there is fix available for those shortcomings: Android On HTC which allows you to install Android (currently 2.01) on several HTC Windows phones. Like the HTC Touch Diamond.

Initially it failed for me. haret displayed an error message which did not make much sense. What fixed it was a full reset of the phone including formatting the internal flash.

For those who want to fix their S21HT too: here is the link for the download. Phone works. Internet works. WiFi works. And using it is far more intuitive now.

Small problem: the buttons at the bottom are swapped. The very bottom one and the top one are swapped. The neat thing is, that when you start to touch one, the other one starts to glow. Neat.

Not everything works though: This table shows what works and what does not. Mostly the cameras and GPS does not work. Luckily my real phone has both, so I don’t care.

So far I am happy. It is a bit slower than I expected (but snappier than on Windows Mobile), but it is great to do my first steps on Android and I can figure out whether this is something I want or not.

Update: 3G data transmission has to be set up. I found the settings here. In short: APN=emb.ne.jp,  Username=Password=em, MCC=440, MNC=00

I have to admit I have no clue what those things means, but once set up, browsing the web via 3G works like a charm.

Oct 162009
SH906i and Music

Found here: how to convert music files for SH906i (and similar phones).
Put those MMFxxxx.M4A files into private/docomo/mmfile/mud001/
You can create more mudxxx directories.


cd $1
ls|while read f
  echo Encoding: $f
  #len=`expr length $f`
  #len=`expr $len - 4`
  #ren=`expr substr $f 1 $len`

  # 名前をつけるMMF0001〜
  i=`expr $i + 1`
  name=`printf %04d $i`

  lame --decode $f $name.wav
  faac -w $name.wav
  rm $name.wav
  echo Encoded: $name.m4a

To play on the phone, go to databox/music/i-mode/mud001.
As it is, it works, but you ‘fly blind’ unless you remember what number is what song. But in this state it’s good enough to play music and thus it saves me to buy a separate music player.

PS: I found out that the limit is 400 songs per directory.

FeliCa and USIM

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Apr 102009
FeliCa and USIM

I always wondered how the phone, which contains the FeliCa chip, and the USIM card, which contains your identity. E.g., when you move a USIM card from phone A to B, where’s your money stored, e.g. your balance with edy which uses FeliCa?

Today I got the answer.

The FeliCa chip gets ‘branded’ with a USIM card. Once done, the FeliCa chip won’t talk to any other USIM card. So if you want to use a phone with another USIM card, you have to erase the contents of the FeliCa chip. The phone with your new USIM card cannot do this though as it cannot talk to the FeliCa chip. In my case I had to go to a docomo shop and they erased it via a FeliCa reader/writer.

Afterward using FeliCa is no problem. Before that I always got an error about “there’s stuff there, erase first” without telling me that as much as I try, this is not something I can do.

Jun 112008

It works with Linux!

Making it work involves 2 things:

  1. Setting up /dev/rfcomm, which is setting up /etc/bluetooth/rfcomm.conf (and restarting the bluetooth stack) and
  2. Setting up the configuration for the modem.

In the latter case I used KPPP and it was very simple. The only issue I had was using 921600 bit/s is too fast and no modem is found. using 460800 bit/s was ok though.