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Samsung Galaxy S i9000 – Tips, Tricks, Hacks and Root Access

July 31st, 2010 No comments
Rating 3.77 out of 5


Avid Reader,

Yes… Can you believe it… I’ve changed phone again!

I’ve left the good ship Apple, and hoisting my Jolly Roger, jumped aboard the frigate Android.

My first impressions of Andriod (2.1) is that it is more powerful than iOS4, but perhaps not as polished. Clearly there are much better ways of doing certain things, and maybe Apple’s iOS (or iPhone itself for that matter…) are not as powerful, but you have to hand it to the guys down in Cupertino, they sure know how to give something ‘form’. That said, the Andriod OS provides a lot more flexability that iOS, and there are certain aspects of it which clearly surpass iOS.

At this stage I would say that I am 50/50 as to which is better, and I will be holding out my judgment until the Froyo update appears for my Samsung (next month I hope!)

Anyway, after wrestling with Android, these are my Tips ‘n Tricks to help you along your way…

Contacts & Calendar Syncronisation

Well forget doing a straightforward Contact Sync… it’s not going to happen with Outlook, at least not directly. The Samsung software is s**t, and there is no standard Andriod<->Outlook tool our there for free [Feel free to correct me if you know different! Ed.]

What I did was this:-

  • Exported all my contacts from Outlook to a CSV file.
  • Wiped my GMail contacts.
  • Imported (using their standard tool) the CSV file.
  • Android then auto-syncs the contacts.

Calendar syncing on the other hand is straightforward; Use the ‘Google Calendar Sync’ applet from Google (free) and that’s it! Android will sync back and forth with no issues.

Keyboard

After a little acclimatisation, I’ve found that the ‘Swype’ keyboard works really well. Just press and hold on any text input box to change the ‘Input Method’ to Swype. The tutorials (available by pressing the Swype button on the keyboard) really helped me a lot.

Desktop (or Winterboard for you iPhone users!)

Android has some nice features, some of which I think may be unique to the desktop on the Samsung version of 2.1, namely the ability to create folders, but not just folder that contain apps, but folders that (for instance) contain recently received files over Bluetooth, or Favourite contacts. In addition, you can add ‘widgets’ to the desktop (e.g. Facebook status, Twitter, Weather etc)

Global Search

This is acheived by pressing and holding the left-hand context menu. You can exclude/include search areas within the settings pages (e.g. Hide Twitter contacts)

Navigation & Augmented Reality

Make sure you download the latest ‘Google Maps’ and ‘Wikitude’, the former now has turn-by-turn (complete with Street View integration!), and the latter lets you use your phone to find, for instance, a local ATM by holding your phone up and layering the information over the camera’s view. Google Goggles is also very interesting and uses the camera to provide information & translations (e.g. point at a foreign road sign!)

Secret Codes (not tested by me…)

*#*#4636#*#* for battery and other general setttings like GSM/CDMA
*#*#8255#*#* for Gtalk service monitor
*#*#7780#*#* for factory data reset
*#*#34971539#*#* for information about phone camera (be very careful hitting options here)
*#*#7594#*#* change the “Power” button action in your phone.
*#*#197328640#*#* service mode
*#197238640# service mode
*#0*# testing mode
*#06# view IMEI number
*#1234# display phones current firmware
*#*#1472365#*#* gps test
*#0011# network mode/cell info/power info hidden menu
*#*#0*#*#* screen test menu

Rooting your Device (for Android 2.1)

  • update (this is the zip file you will need)
  1. First, install the correct drivers for the Galaxy S onto your computer.
  2. Connect your Galaxy S to your computer, and mount the internal storage drive.
    • It’s easiest to find out which is which by taking out the ‘external’ Micro SD card under the cover (if installed), that way only one  drive will appear when you mount the device.
    • To mount, pull down your notification bar and select the “USB connected” notification, then tap Mount.
  3. Place the file (link above) into the Internal storage.
  4. Now you want to get into the recovery mode.
    • Turn off your Galaxy, and hold down Volume Up and Home keys while pressing power.
    • Hold all three until you get the opening image, and then release the Power key, but keep the other two held until you end up in recovery mode.
    • To navigate, use the volume up and down to move the highlighted area, and the Power button to select.
  5. Select Reinstall Packages, and hit the power button.
  6. The file will install, allow it to do so and reboot.
  7. Once the Galaxy is rebooted, you should notice the SuperUser application in the app drawer. You’ve got root access, and the SuperUser applet will always pop up to ask if you want to permit an app to have root.

Once you have root, you can get some more interesting apps from the Marketplace – for instance, a screen capture app (yes… I know its built into iOS…) which works without having to use the SDK.

Rooting 2.2 (Froyo)

Simply visit here:-

http://www.addictivetips.com/mobile/how-to-root-and-unroot-samsung-galaxy-s-i9000-with-a-single-click/

Rooting 2.2 + Speed Fix (Froyo + Speed Fix)

This is a *really* good site, complete with a (non-megashare style) download link!

http://hemorrdroids.net/froyo-with-new-speed-fix/

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Categories: General Stuff Tags:

Installing Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon on my Asus Eee PC

November 26th, 2007 5 comments
Rating 4.75 out of 5


You can still play a blackjack hand blackjack hand or two even with Ubuntu, as long as you use the blackjack odds charts, casino blackjack strategy, and Blackjack Tip guides from CasinoBonus.org!


Ubuntu on Eee PC Printer

Click on the Pic to see a bigger version

Hi All,

Well I went and got myself an Asus Eee PC the other day. What a fantastic piece of kit… but I have to say I didn’t like the OS much. You either have a ‘fisher price’ Xandros Linux desktop, or a Xandros KDE based one… Personally (and I am new to linux) I prefer Ubuntu’s Gnome-based layout.

Now in theory, this shouldn’t be too hard, but in order to make sure that this all works properly, I spent a great deal of time researching the process at EeeUser.com and various other sites.

This is my ‘How to’

  1. Reboot your Eee PC and ensure that the boot sequence is set to ATAPI CD Rom as the first choice.
  2. Plug in a USB CD Caddy and insert your Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon Live CD (Download Here)
  3. Once booted, click on Applications, Terminal and type gconf-editor
  4. Browse to apps/compiz/plugins/move/allscreens/options and uncheck constrain_y (Full details Here) – This allows you to move any window up beyond the height of the screen, which is very much needed during this install.
  5. Double Click on the “Install” Icon on the Desktop. Any time a window doesn’t fit, hold down the Alt key and drag the window off the top of the screen so you can see the buttons.
  6. Go through all the normal bits until you get to the Partitioning. Select manual and delete all the existing partitions. Create one partition of 4001Mb that is EXT2 and has a mount point of “/” – Ignore any “swap partition” warnings.
  7. Complete Install (answering any obvious questions accordingly)
  8. Reboot (after removing the CD)
  9. Redo Step 4 again (it gets lost in the install)
  10. Acknowledge the Athos “Restricted Driver” message
  11. Minimise Disk Writes (All obtained from Eeeuser.com) by doing the following:-
    1. Adding the following to /etc/fstab tmpfs /var/log tmpfs defaults,noatime 0 0
    2. Repeat for /tmp, /var/lock, /var/run and /var/tmp
    3. Set defaults,noatime 0 2 on the main ext2 partition (See HERE for more details) to prevent excessive wear and tear on your SSD
    4. If you ignored me and added a swap partition as well, then edit the /etc/sysctl.conf and add a line at the end that says vm.swappiness=0 this will tell the OS to use RAM in preference to Swap files.
    5. Go into Add/Remove, and remove the pointless applications that are taking up room on your little 4Gb SSD… I removed the following:-
    1. Most of the games (Really…How often are you actually going to play these?)
    2. F-spot Photo Manager (I user Flikr, so not needed)
    3. OnBoard (on-screen keyboard… not needed as we have one!)
    4. Orca (I can see just fine thank you…)
    5. Xsane (Nope… no scanners or faxes plugged into my Eee)
  12. Get your GMAIL all set up (Samsung tips here apply equally well… http://www.internet-tools.co.uk/blog/index.php?s=gmail)

Ok. So we have a working Eee PC running Ubuntu, but there are a few things ‘Broken’…. Battery Indicator, Wireless Lan, Webcam, Power Buttons, Lid sensor, Skype…..

Go the the Eeeuser.com site HERE to fix these issues (far to long to cut’n'paste here) and pn Samiux’s Blog HERE

But things I did fix from the Eeeuser site were:-

  • Wireless network (via ndiswrapper method)
  • Suspend/Resume/Power Down issues
  • Webcam support (you have to enable it in the BIOS for Ubuntu to see it – it will reboot twice once enabled)

Ubuntu on Eee PC Printer

Click on the Pic to see a bigger version

The next thing was to make sure that everything took up as little space as possible. These were the steps I took:-

  • Installed the ‘Littlefox’ theme into FireFox (takes up much less screen real-estate)
  • Went into Appearance Preferences and set:-
    • All the fonts to 8pt
    • Icons to “Icon Only” (no text)
  • Adjusted mouse sensitivity (wasn’t detecting my touchpad-taps very well)
  • Set both status bars to 19 pixels in height
  • Added my networked HP printer (I use a wireless gateway adapter connected to the Ethernet port on the OfficeJet)

Then I added some goodies…

  • Enabled all the repositories in System, Administration, Software Sources
  • Updated everything by going into System, Administration, Update Manager
  • Installed all the BlueTooth stuff (so I can beam from my Samsung to the Eee PC)
  • Installed Camorama (Web Cam Capture and Test App)
  • Installed v2 of Skype (it has webcam support under linux)

And thats it…. all working, and I am in fact completing this blog entry on my Eee PC with Ubuntu!

Ubuntu on Eee PC Printer

Click on the Pic to see a bigger version

27th November – NOTE: When installing the ndiswrapper, make sure you place the ndis folder that you downloaded from the cd/website somewhere sensible! I deleted the folder (thinking that ndiswrapper would copy the relevant files somewhere) and spent 2 hours trying to get my wireless lan working again :(

29th November – Added some screenshots of it in action.

30th November – Firstly… sorry if you haven’t been able to view this blog… Fasthosts cobbled my MySQL server :( Secondly… I have had a minor problem (irritating, more than an issue) where the Eee PC will randomly reboot during the initial boot sequence. Essentially it gets ‘stuck’ about 20% through the first Ubuntu progress bar, and then reboots just fine. Haven’t sussed what it is yet, but it only happened after I enabled the Webcam in the BIOS…

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Even more Samsung Blackjack SGH-i600 Tips and Tricks

October 13th, 2007 6 comments
Rating 4.25 out of 5


Hi gang,

I have a new list of goodies for your Samsung i600 – the only thing I can’t seem to solve yet is the WM5 Bluetooth DUN issue. For those of you who are unaware, Microsoft (in their infinite wisdom) have removed DUN [dial-up networking] from the Bluetooth Stack. The net effect of this is that things like TomTom can no longer access the phone as a data modem for traffic downloads etc… Really bloody annoying….

Anyway, some more top tips and software for you:-

More Codes

*#1546792*# – this code provide access to the Network & Call Settings – This allows you to switch off 3G functionality, which will considerably increase battery life if you don’t use your phone for data. Once in the menu, select 3, then 5 and then change to GSM

Ringtones from Storage Card

If you want to store all your ringtones on your memory card in order to save space, you can make it show them automatically by placing them in the \Storage Card\My Documents folder.

Software

Registry Editing – Something we have to do from time-to-time in order to hack our little phones… well here is a nice free one for you; Total Commander [link]

Screen Capture – This freeware application from Iliumsoft lets you capture your screens so that you can show them in your blog [link]

Customising the Main Screen (Cardwheel Theme)

First, copy the following files from the Samsung and save them (make a backup copy as well!!!!!) – All are located in the \Windows folder on the Phone; background_320x240.bmp, center_tile.png, top1.png, top2.png, low1.png, low2.png, low3.png

[photopress:sshot001.jpg,full,centered]

Edit all the images, based on these rules;

Transparencies figure a lot in this template – use a decent editor like Photoshop or PaintShopPro 9/10

background_320x240.bmp – This is the main background when the screen is first drawn.

top2.png – First menu bar (Where it says ‘Now Playing’)
top1.png – Second menu bar (Where it says ‘Favourite Contacts’)
Both of these have different degrees of transparency set in the Alpha channels… Don’t mess with this! (Keep it the same on any new image)

center_tile.png – Main Card Area (Where is shows ‘Gmail’ and icons)
Ensure that this is a solid image (no Transparency) with hi-contrast to make the text show.

low1.png – 1st lower menu Bar (‘appointments’)
low2.png - 2nd lower menu Bar (‘profiles’)
low3.png – 3rd lower Bar – visible when card wheel scrolls
Again, both these images have transparency set in the alpha channels, which should stay the same on any edited image.

Once you have edited your images, change the theme, copy the files over the top of the originals (back them up first!) and then change the theme back to Card Wheel.

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Categories: Hacking, Mobile, Modding Tags:

Samsung SGH-i600 debranding, unbricking & hacking.

October 1st, 2007 15 comments
Rating 4.50 out of 5


Hi all,

Well as you may (or may not!) know, I am a gadget-freak! I *love* new toys, and my latest in a long line of mobile phones is the Samsung SGH-i600

First of all, here are a few things to note about this phone:-

  • It runs Windows Mobile Edition 5 or 6 (but comes with WM5 in the UK under Orange PCS)
  • It is similar but not exactly the same as the USA “Blackjack” version.
  • It features GSM, EDGE, WiFi and 3G (Well… the European version anyway….)
  • It is quite ‘hackable’ if you have the time (and like me, *hate* the ‘Orange’ branding!)

The phone itself was the usual “Free” upgrade from Orange, but (like almost all phones I have got from them) was crippled with the horrible, slow, nasty (are you getting the picture yet?) ‘Orange’ branding.

In order to get all the sexy features like “Card Wheel” home screen, you have to flash your phone with a better version of software. This will also work for ‘Bricked’ phones (dead because the wrong firmware applied etc…)

[photopress:Home_screen.jpg,thumb,pp_image][photopress:home_screen_setup.jpg,thumb,pp_image]

Now this procedure isn’t for the faint-of-heart. You will lose *all* settings, address book….. basically like doing a ‘factory reset’ on the phone. But in turn you will have a fully-featured phone *without* carrier placed menu restrictions or branding. It will also lose all your SMS/WAP/MMS settings, so make a note of them first, or refer to this excellent site that shows them all for each carrier: http://www.filesaveas.com

At this point, I will just say:-

This information is provided as-is and without warranty. Anyone using this information does so at their own risk, and I will not be held responsible for any damage caused directly or indirectly by this information. It is produced as a ‘guide’ for information purposes only. If you ‘Brick’ your phone, it’s your fault! – NOTE: I have only tested this on a UK Orange Branded SGH-i600

Now…. due to copyrights etc, I will not post any links or files in this blog, but I will tell you what to look for. This guide is an abridged version of something I found by Volker Weber on vowe.net - The instructions there were for upgrade to Version 6 of Windows Mobile, but I never went that far. Once I removed the branding, WM5 was fine and dandy for me. I will also say (and this should be taken as anecedotal) that my phone has been a lot more stable (no lock-ups) since I loaded this firmware.

You will need:-

  • Samsung Data Link Cable (should have come with the phone)
  • “Blackjack” modem driver (different from the one on the CD that came with the phone) – This is also known as the “Samsung Composite USB Driver 4.34″
  • A suitable “Flash” file

Now the driver and “Flash” file can be found together in a RAR file called “Firmware_i600_XXGD1.rar” the XX indicates that it is not tied to a particular country. You can get this from various places, but the one I have also has a .txt file in the RAR called NO Brand.txt – if you find that one, it worked perfectly for me.

  1. Install the Samsung Drivers
  2. Disable ActiveSync (you can un-check the “Allow USB connections” in Connection Settings)
  3. Put the Phone into ‘special mode’
    1. Turn phone off.
    2. Turn phone on whilst holding the Right Soft-key and the Back/Cancel key on the side#
    3. If you have done this correctly, the phone will show something like “* USB Downloader Open 1.1″
  4. Install the update – Warning: Takes a very long time. Be patient.
  5. If doesn’t appear to work. Retry from Step 2.
  6. Re-enable ActiveSync (after the phone has rebooted)

Hurrah – you should have a de-branded Windows Mobile 5 working on your Samsung i600 now, and should see some nice home-screen themes etc.

 Of course, the next thing you need to do is make it a bit more useful.

Mobile Office

This version of office is available for Windows Mobile 6 only. However… A few clever souls de-packaged it, and re-packaged it for WM5. Search the usual torrent locations for Office.WM6.WCE.BY – nuff said?

Instant Messaging

Ok – tried lots of them, the best of the best are:-

  • Fring – Free application
  • Agile Messenger – Commercial

Gmail

Gmail is so easy to set up on your Samsung.

  1. Enable POP3 in your Gmail account settings.
  2. Go into Messaging on the Samsung and add a new account.
  3. Set up the screens as shown here

[photopress:gmail_1.jpg,thumb,pp_image][photopress:gmail_2.jpg,thumb,pp_image][photopress:gmail_3.jpg,thumb,pp_image]

[photopress:gmail_4.jpg,thumb,pp_image][photopress:gmail_5.jpg,thumb,pp_image][photopress:gmail_6.jpg,thumb,pp_image]

Note: If you retrieve your mail from another PC, it magically disappears off your phone next time you sync. It is also advisabled NOT to use the auto-download unless you are on an unlimited data plan, or connected via WiFi all the time.

Other useful tools

WiFiFoFum2 – This allows to to ‘Scan’ for local WiFi networks (a bit like NetStumbler, but works!)

zaTelnetSP5 – Allows you to ‘Telnet’ into a host (pretty good actually!)

BTCrawler – Lets you BlueJack (to a certain degree anyway….)

SKTools – Excellent app for ‘cleaning’ your Mobile Windows OS and Registry. Commercial App.

Tips and Tricks

T9 Dictionary – Press the “*” key in SMS mode, and you can select T9 in the list. More useful on this with a full QWERTY keyboard than any other phone I’ve used bizarrely…

Task Manager – Press and hold either the “Home” key.

Shortcut Menu – Press and hold the navi-wheel in, you can select an existing shortcut, or “edit” to add/delete them.

Hidden Codes

I take no responsibility for the use of these codes. They are provided for information only.

*#1546792*#  – Service Menu

From here you can check software / hardware / firmware versions, get the MAC address for your WiFi adapter etc.

*#81230*# – Passcode for “Pre-configuration” (apparently you can change country/carrier here – DOES A FACTORY RESET AND WIPES ALL INFO!)

*#06# – Show IMEI Number (works on almost any phone)

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Categories: Hacking, Modding Tags: