HTC Desire on Softbank :: update to Froyo

wireless and network settings tab

WiFi hotspot settings

Yesterday I’ve started the update process, getting a few ROM images from the Net and trying to make them work well with SoftBank. First, there was Aug,2010 version of Froyo ROM on MoDaCo, where Paul said he did not change anything except rooting the system. I’ve made a few changes in config files regarding SBM network settings and upgraded. Everything went fine, except the phone started to behave funny and today it even FC’ed its own Launcher (!). The version of ROM was 2.09.405.8 WWE.

Finally I gave up and downloaded official RUU with 2.29.405.5 WWE software. Extracted .zip file and applied all the same changes before flashing. The only difference was, I’ve decided to change ro.wifi.hotspotUI=0 to ro.wifi.hotspotUI=1 and see what happens. The results were interesting — I’ve got two extra menu items (1) in “Wireless and Networks” settings tab, which allow to setup and configure the wireless hot-spot and share internet connection wirelessly. Probably the cellular providers are not very happy with that, which resulted in these items being excluded away on most android phones.

Also, the interesting item was (2) “USB tethering”, allowing to convert the phone into RNDIS ethernet gadget and pour TCP/IP over USB link to the PC.

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SBM :: Froyo update secret radio options

Finally I’ve got time to prepare my personal Froyo image for HTC Desire, which is supposed to be stock WWE image with some tweaks and changes, that should allow it to work flawlessly on SBM network and don’t consume too much battery. First, the emergency call codes are supposed to be changed to the following (110 — police, 119 — fire/ambulance, and it still beats me what 118 means):,118,119

Besides the radio options used in the previous versions, there are a few new ones, not found anywhere else except the Softbank ROM image:

Not particularly sure what do they do, I think I might change hotspotUI to “yes” someday later. Also, “ro.telephony.default_network=2″ does not agree to the following piece found later in the same file, I wonder which one takes precedence, and what is network #2 in this context:

# Default network type.
# 0 => WCDMA preferred.

There’s also a few things not found in SBM image, but present in WWE release:


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Angry Birds :: plush toys

Angry Birds plush toys are on sale from Jan, 2011.
Birds are about 8″ tall, they look very pretty to me.

Pigs are also available if you like them too.

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Toshiba X02T (TG01) :: running Android on WinMobile phone

Last year I’ve got WinMobile phone (Toshiba X02T) from SoftBank, also known as TG01 in the rest of the world. I did not like it very much, so basically it slept in the box unused. Recently I’ve noticed some new development and decided to give Android a try, since I really enjoy to run games and software on large 4.1″ screen.

If you don’t like to read the whole thread on XDA-dev, here’s a quick summary: buttons, screen and sound do work, anything wireless (WiFi, GPS, calls, SMS, network access) does not (yet). So, it’s a bit early to use this on everyday phone, but quite good enough to install software and play games.

Current version of Android cannot be flashed to device, but works from SD card instead. To start Android you have to boot Windows first, run Explorer, scroll the file list and click on the .exe file, which will unload Windows and load Linux/Android, which works until power off. Next time the power is on, Windows boots up again, which is good, since I don’t want to lose the warranty and official support.

Linux boots on X02T

Android installation

Installation is quite simple. First you have to download the necessary software (there might be a new version, it’s a good idea to check the original thread for the new version if you are reading this after 2011.01.01). Then, I really loathe this step, you have to find 7zip to unpack the file, since the usual unzip will not work. After the file is unpacked, copy the “Android” folder to the SD card in your X02T phone. There should be some empty space left on the card, since additional files will be created when Android is run for the first time.

To run Android, first start the Explorer, go to SD card, open folder “Android” and run “clrcad.exe” (nothing visible will happen), then “haret.exe”. You should get the Linux boot screen.

Android Home on X02T

It might take a few minutes, and possibly a reboot or two, since hardware is checked and some files are created, but finally there will be initial setup screen and Android home page. Once you got there, everything else is quite easy.

You may read the system log with: adb logcat

The battery indicator might not work, so it’s a good idea to keep the USB cable connected. However, since we need to run the programs from SD card, the USB mode should be changed to ActiveSync once the files are successfully copied to the SD card.

Also, it’s a good idea to watch the temperature of the phone back side to avoid overheating.

Angry Birds on X02T

How to install the software?

Software installation can be done over USB link with ADB:

$ adb install AngryBirds_1.3.5.apk
* daemon not running. starting it now *
* daemon started successfully *
2546 KB/s (13466519 bytes in 5.165s)
pkg: /data/local/tmp/AngryBirds_1.3.5.apk
- waiting for device -

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SMS :: Whatsapp beta is free on Android Market

whatsapp logo
Another nice piece of software, which uses data connection to send SMS messages without borders. My provider charges about $1 for international SMS message, and this application lets me to talk with my overseas friends almost for free.

It’s required to have another Whatsapp installed on another phone, but since it’s available for Android (free), iPhone (paid), Blackberry and Nokia there’s a good chance it won’t be a problem. There’s no WinMo version and developers have said there will be none, but since no one I know is still on Windows Mobile I don’t really care about that.

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VOIP :: Nimbuzz

nimbuzz eating the battery
Fring and Skype broke up recently, so I have installed Nimbuzz for my communication needs. It supports a dozen of different messengers, including ICQ, GTalk, Yahoo and, most importantly, it supports Skype calls. Also, Nimbuzz allows to call mobile and landlines with the prices about 15% lower than Skype. I have made only a few calls (over WiFi, not 3G), so I cannot decide if the quality is better or worse, but with Skype Mobile stuck in the permanent infancy, there’s not much choice.

The only problem I found is the permanent 2-3%/hour battery drain, even if the WiFi is down and Nimbuzz is supposed to be asleep. Solution: select Nimbuzz and press “exit” when not using it. The picture on the right shows the battery voltage while it’s running and flat line soon after it’s killed.

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Rovio :: Angry Birds

angry birds
Rovio has released free version of Angry Birds for Android.

It’s available from the Market, or, if for some reason you prefer another source, it’s also available on Rapidshare. I cannot guarantee the rapidshare archive is genuine, so it’s recommended to get it from the Market.

The game is very addictive, please, have a few spare hours and charger handy.

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JARTIC :: traffic jam maps

highway traffic jams map
In September the treasure hunting season opens, otherwise I cannot explain why suddenly there are road workers everywhere, closing half the lanes and digging the rest until traffic stops completely. Fortunately, there’s a nice application on the Market (search for “JARTIC”), which downloads the fresh traffic jam maps for the chosen selection of japanese highways. Really, really nice application, which saved me yesterday about 2 hours, when I glanced on the screen and drove off the highway and used small local roads to avoid sitting in the traffic jam.

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Official HTC Froyo (2.2) image for Desire

Here’s official image from HTC, which may contain latest update for HTC Desire up to Froyo (version 2.2). Please, don’t forget to update radio, because Froyo requires at least version 5 and won’t work with outdated version 4.

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HOWTO :: Offline maps with Maverick from Code Sector

I like Google Maps. What I don’t like — these maps are not available offline, which is exactly the time I need them most of all, far away from home and, probably, without a reliable phone data connection. Actiually, there might be some way to cache Google Maps, and I’m sure my phone does that, but I could not figure out how to get it working reliably, it feels like cache time is very limited, maybe hours or minutes — definitely not enough for real-life applications.

Recently I’ve found Maverick from Code Sector. It shows the map, works with GPS and compass and does pretty much everything Google Maps does, and also it can cache and use offline maps. There’s even explanation about how to download and where to save map tiles.

However, the map downloading software just downloads everything within the selected region and did not care much if there’s real map data or just plain sea (Japan consists of many islands), so I did not want  to end up with numerous files with blue color inside and used my own downloader.

Fortunately, I have already downloaded plenty of Google Maps for offline use with some other software, so I did not want to redownload everything again, and just needed a way to reconvert and save map tiles appropriately for Maverick.

Maverick uses the following path for Google Maps : /sdcard/maverick/tiles/googlemaps/0/0/0.png.tile, I just need to figure out what are those numbers and how should I place my files there.

The first number is obviously zoom factor. Google Maps saves maps according to the zoom factor, the lowest zoom level is 0, which gives us 20 = 1 tile, covering the whole globe. Next zoom level 1 splits the globe into 2×2 = 4 tiles. Zoom level 2 results in 4×4 = 16 tiles. And for any given zoom level z we can calculate the number of tiles covering the whole globe as NxN, where N = 2z. Google Maps has only 17 zoom levels for maps, and maybe 19 for satellite images.

If we have latitude and longutide, the tile number can be calculated with the following code snippet (in Python) :

def coord2tile(lat_deg, lon_deg, zoom):
      lat_rad = math.radians(lat_deg)
      n = 2.0 ** zoom
      xtile = int((lon_deg + 180.0) / 360.0 * n)
      ytile = int((1.0 - math.log(math.tan(lat_rad) + (1 / math.cos(lat_rad))) / math.pi) / 2.0 * n)
      return(xtile, ytile)

And in the Maverick the X coordinate becomes the folder name (inside the zoom folder) and Y coordinate becomes the file name (sans ‘.png.tile’ extension), so the proper place for Google Maps tile is /sdcard/maverick/tiles/googlemaps/ZOOM/X/Y.png.tile

The whole world at zoom levels 4~6 does not take much space at all, whole Japan at zoom levels upto 13 is about 200mb, and some areas of interest, like Tokyo and Osaka at zoom levels up to 15 add about 800mb, so whole map of Japan takes about 1GB of map tiles and fits to 4GB of memory card (it takes more space on SD card because of large cluster size).

Predownloaded Google Maps

Whole world, zoom 4~6 (17mb) :
(MD5: C066DC7B3652661FFC70AB1128A63EDF)

Japan, zoom 7~12 (140mb) :
(MD5: 143D82C97E011EF403905647FA144997)

Japan, zoom 13 (200mb) :
(MD5: E91F1610B3428DD2ED47524B16B0BDFA)

Levels 14 and beyond take too much space, so you may download partial maps around the places you like yourself.

Also, be careful, if your SD card is formatted with 16kb cluster size, maps tend to occupy 3-4 times as much space as their size. 1GB of maps took about 4GB of space on my device, so if your SD card is small, it might be a good idea to format with 2~4k cluster size.