Archive for December, 2010


I recently noticed something about my rooted Froyo HTC Desire which had me slightly worried, because I had little idea of when it had happened, and it caused my security to be slightly compromised.

I’d recently done a factory reset and reinstall, and noticed the other day, completely by accident, that when I drew my unlock pattern, I could draw it with one node missing and still get in!

The problem was easily solved, by entering a new unlock code, but just beware to those of you in the same position as me,  check to make sure your security is working after a restore.

Now, I’m a fan of Delicious, and have been for a couple of years now.

Being a techie, it’s been a boon to be able to build up a useful, search-able library of bookmarks that goes where I go, and is not restricted by browser.

So, I am not too happy that Yahoo are planning to ditch it, along with other services.

Now it does seem that Yahoo may be intent on selling it, rather than closing it down, which would be good, but I just have to say that if you do close down Delicious, you are all A BUNCH OF IDIOTS!!!

Now I have just registered with Diigo, and hopefully, I’ll be able to import my bookmarks, now exported from Delicious, in, since Diigo does seem to be a similar service.

So far I haven’t been able to import them, and I’m hoping it’s just because Diigo is swamped with disgruntled Delicious users all importing things in, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I’m also hanging on to my Delicious account by my fingernails, and will continue to use it until it stops working.

Hopefully some kind, huge corporate will buy it up. Fingers crossed, hey.

In the meantime I’d better continue my search for an online bookmark service that has browser integration and an android app!!

Given the time of year, I don’t think Bah Humbug is unreasonable!

I’ve always been looking for ways to try and eke out the memory on my phone, and what with upgrading to Froyo with its App to SD functionality, I’ve been doing pretty well. Don’t forget, my phone is rooted so if you have a vanilla Desire, you can’t do what I’ve done here. Rooting is truly the way forward!!

Now I’ve had 4 days off this week, and this spare time that I don’t usually have, led to a bit of tinkering. In short, I started looking a bit closer at Titanium Backup Pro, which I’d purchased and use as a scheduled backup tool.

However I found a feature amongst the batch processes that intrigued me. It’s called ‘Integrate updates of system apps into ROM’.

When I hit the run button, it suggested 6 apps that could have their updates rolled into the ROM:

  1. Flash
  2. Gmail
  3. Maps
  4. Market
  5. Street View
  6. Voice search

What this means is that updated system apps, that are considered part of the Android OS, can be moved from taking up space in RAM, into the system ROM, freeing up valuable space. This was just the thing I was looking for to give me a significant RAM boost!

So I approached with caution, and moved Flash first. The documentation for Titanium Backup Pro suggests a double reboot after using this batch procedure, so after rebooting twice, I tested Flash and all was good. More significantly a large chunk of RAM was now free.

So, I then moved on and tried Gmail and Voice Search. Again, success! More free RAM, a total of 19% freed by this process, and everything worked fine after a double reboot. A double reboot is nowhere near as classy as a double rainbow BTW!

Spurred on by my success I decided to try Market next. To my dismay, the phone rebooted halfway through, and Market no longer worked, even after a double reboot!

So, in for a penny, in for a pound, I also tried Maps and Street View, with the same reboot problem halfway through and dead apps afterwards. Titanium Backup couldn’t help either, despite my attempts to restore things back the way they were.

So, with a heavy heart, I carried out a factory reset. The phone came back fresh as a daisy, and I set about getting back into the Market and reinstalling Titanium Backup Pro. Since my license file was installed on my SD card, along with the backups, it all came back up nicely, and I was then able to restore my last backup and have my phone back the way it was before I mucked it up. Yes, it was my fault, but knowing better now, I have returned to the process and moved Flash, Gmail and Voice Search successfully again and regained the 19% space. So I went from 89% used, down to 70% used, and though there have been some updates to Market and Maps, I’m still only at 80%, which isn’t bad, since at the last count I had 70 apps installed!

I’m keen to get the rest moved to ROM, but I’m not in a hurry now. I’m probably going to email the dev for Titanium Backup Pro to ask if there are any caveats with the integration int ROM, but if I get any further with this and do successfully move the remainder, I’ll be sure to post here.

The moral of this story? If you have a good backup, you need never be afraid to factory reset!!

To be honest, doing an app of the week is difficult. Especially now I have my phone pretty well settled, so it is getting harder for me to come up with something new on a regular basis.

This week, I have had an app that got me in to quite a lot of trouble. So why is it app of the week? Because it also got me out of trouble, and because the trouble it got me into was really my fault!

The app in question is really only for rooted droids, mine being an HTC Desire, and the app in question is Titanium Backup Pro (Paid).

I’m going to write about how I got into trouble in a separate piece, but basically I had to factory reset my phone. I then restored using Titanium Backup Pro, and the whole process of factory reset to fully restored with all my tweaks took only around 1.5 hours.

If you have a rooted droid, I highly recommend this app, because it does a whole lot of other neat tricks too, not just backups.

Go buy it, its well worth it.

Well, it was only a fortnight ago that I was upgrading, and yet again, there’s another WordPress update.

However, in true WordPress style, it was yet again seamless, and my site was updated, including updates to 3 plugins and a DB backup, all within 5-10 minutes.

I guess that is one of the benefits of hosting sites on your own webserver, at least you have full access and control to do what is needed.

Rather that than hosting it somewhere else and having to suffer when they go down, as happened to somebody I know who recently moved their blog to Tumblr.

Hosting your own stuff isn’t always a win win, because you have to sort it when it goes wrong, but I’m loving WordPress so far!

I’ve just had a bit of an EEK moment. Quite a big one actually.

I use ZoneEdit.com for my dynamic DNS. When I joined it was free and you got 5 zones free. I also use an application called DirectUpdate, since it supports ZoneEdit.com out of the box, and it is a pretty flexible app.

I hadn’t changed my ZoneEdit password for a while, and since I know it expires I thought I’d better get on to it. So, I changed the password, updated the accounts in DirectUpdate, and imagine my horror when NONE of my DNS was updating.

On looking in to it, I realised that the ZoneEdit site I was using, was now legacy.zoneedit.com, and zonedit.com had a new funky looking site, and my account hadn’t been migrated, and I couldn’t log in.

I managed to solve the problem, though it took a couple of hours that I’d set aside for other things. GRRRR

I solved the problem by editing the DirectUpdate config file belonging to Zonedit.com, located in the dns folder within the DirectUpdate installation. It was called ZoneEdit.com.dud, and I had to change it to be the following, items in red are what I changed (Yes, I took a backup of it first!):

[Info]
Name=legacy.ZoneEdit.com
TargetHost=1
Version=1
CLSID={8DCDE204-FAEB-47df-A0ED-7EE7340BA7BB}
Home=http://legacy.zoneedit.com/
Signup=http://legacy.zoneedit.com/signup.html?
Features=0x0158
Fields=0x0095
[Update]
BasicAuth=1
Server=dynamic.zoneedit.com
Path=/auth/dynamic.html?
Data=host=*domain*&dnsto=*IP*&type=A*extra1*
Offline=1,&park=,1,0
[Return]
; format is “Retx=error,flags,extra,string”
; see http://legacy.zoneedit.com/doc/dynamic/ReturnCodes.txt
Size=8
Ret0=0x00000000, 0, 0,SUCCESS CODE
Ret1=0x81830068, 1, 0,ERROR CODE=”701″ TEXT=”Zone is not set up in this account.”
Ret2=0x81830077, 1, 0,ERROR CODE=”702″ TEXT=”Update failed.”
Ret3=0x8183006B, 1, 0,ERROR CODE=”703″ TEXT=”one of either parameters ‘zones’ or ‘host’ are required.”
Ret4=0x81830067, 1, 0,ERROR CODE=”704″ TEXT=”Zone must be a valid ‘dotted’ internet name.”
Ret5=0x81830067, 1, 0,ERROR CODE=”705″ TEXT=”Zone cannot be empty”
Ret6=0x01830066, 0, 0,ERROR CODE=”707″ TEXT=”Duplicate updates for the same host/ip, adjust client settings”
Ret7=0x8183006F, 2, 300,ERROR CODE=”707″ TEXT=”Too frequent updates for the same host, adjust client settings”

I’ve also emailed ZoneEdit support, using the email address on the new site, asking for an account migration. Hopefully once that’s done, everything will be straight again and I can go back to using the unmodified ZoneEdit.com.dud file.

Furthermore, there seems to be a password length limit, mine was 12 characters and was getting truncated so updates weren’t working, though I’m not sure if this is a Zoneedit issue, or a Direct Update issue. I settled on a shorter password, and updated it where necessary, and all seems to be back to normal.

As a backup plan I now also send an email to my Hotmail and Gmail accounts, so that if the IP address changes, but Zoneedit doesn’t update for some reason, I will at least be able to go and manually update the DNS.

Very annoying indeed!!!

I’d heard a rumour that it is possible to sync your iTunes music with your HTC Desire, using the latest and greatest version of HTC Sync.

So, I went off to HTCs website, and downloaded the software and set about installing it. And it turns out to be true!

I was quite surprised, but not only does music I’ve ripped from CD into iTunes, but also music I’ve purchased will sync and play.

Quite handy really, seeing as I now have my phone with me all the time, and the iPod is permanently attached to the car.

I’m very impressed!!

Well, it’s been a while coming, but finally another emulator has arrived that is this weeks ‘App of the week’.

I grew up with 8Bit computers, starting off with a ZX81, the Spectrum, closely followed by Atari XLs and XEs, and various other less well known machines. Though I was never a CBM64 owner, well at least not until later life, friends had them and got to knew them and the games they played.

For me, the Ataris were better, had more interesting games and add ons, and were, if you knew where to look, surprisingly easy to buy things for.

I still have quite a collection of 8Bit hardware these days, and sometimes fondly retrieve them from the loft for a few days of retro gaming.

So, imagine my joy when I found, in amongst all the Atari 2600 emulators in the marketplace, a full blown Atari 400/800/XL/XE emulator!

I dug out all my old files I used with my PC based 8Bit emulator and copied them over to my Desire, and began to relive my Atari glory days!

Ok, it’s not perfect, and the lack of a soft keyboard is a pain, but it’ll do for now! Off for another session of missile command I think!

Download it and enjoy! Its called Droid800.

I’ve just upgraded to WordPress 3.0.2, and this time it was a smooth and satisfactory upgrade.

The key? Make sure you have the same permissions on the directory where WordPress lives as the user under which the site is run. That way the automated upgrade runs a dream!

If you can’t do that yourself, just follow the manual upgrade instructions that are linked to when the upgrade option appears in your control panel, and be certain you have a DB backup, just in case. Good luck, though with the professional way WordPress does things, I doubt you’ll need it.