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It would be foolish and a waste of time for me to post a tutorial on this, since there are already so many superior sources, but I figured I would share a few thoughts on Android tinkering and the evolution of the mobile space in general.

First off, if for whatever reason you’re reading this and have no interest in mobile phones or related technologies, you should.  Seriously, if you’re under 50 or so and still have to make money in your life in order to retire at a decent age, ignoring this space in business and society at large amounts to you effectively phasing yourself out of the world.  Whether it’s the job market or just everyday conversation, there is essentially no longer room for the ones who don’t get it and don’t want to.  We are in the age of continual individual evolution.  Young people don’t get to learn a skill set and stick with it until Social Security anymore.  Everything changes all the time, and you either keep up or you drown.  Try and keep an open mind.

Mobile technology is related to just about every topic from every angle these days.  In the not very near future, the majority of small everyday transactions will be conducted using mobile devices as the payment medium.  In 5-10 years, people just using a credit card will look like habitual check-writers do today, slow and irritating.  You don’t have to like any of this.  It’s happening whether you like it or not.  I can’t think of very many topics that are simultaneously more fascinating AND terrifying at the same time.

On to a few technical notes.  Yesterday I unlocked and rooted a friend’s Inspire 4g.  It was a relative pain in the ass, and after a couple hours of raw frustration, like with so many other things in life, the eventual solution was also the most simple one, and the last one to be thought of (wow what a bad run-on sentence, now I just need to put it all in CAPS).  Creating the goldcard was easy, where I screwed up was in having appropriate drivers for the device installed on my computer.  I absolutely could NOT get the adb (Android Debug Bridge) to detect the device, even after all the standard update attempts. The only way to get any kind of drivers for this thing was to go to HTC’s site and install their bloatware that lets you sync things like Outlook contacts to your phone.  After that *poof* no problems with the adb.  After that, it was just some more tedium to get everything pushed to the phone needed to complete the root and flash the radio and install CyanogenMod. Long story short, fellow Android amateurs, never underestimate the power of the OEMs to either intentionally or unintentionally make our lives needlessly frustrating.

Seriously, locked bootloaders, creating goldcards, why do these manufacturers bother?  People much more talented than I will come up with easy enough workarounds for the rest of us every time.  They really just need to save themselves a lot of time, and let us do what we want with these devices.  The majority of users don’t care and will never bother with any of this, and the ones of us who do care will then just expend a lot of time to circumvent their ridiculousness.  It’s akin to software piracy in the games industry (although I refuse to see any moral parallel between piracy and phone rooting), where legit buyers will always just buy, and pirates will always find a way to a free copy no matter what kind of DRM gets slapped on the the game.

I am a child of the American 90’s, come of age in the era of an emerging internet (remember when it was just called the “World Wide Web”?) and countless flavors and colors of Mountain Dew. My memories of growing up was of a society literally turning inward on itself, proclaiming the virtue of new technologies and our ability to be ever-connected, always aware of the world around us, even if we never left the house except to go to work or pick up groceries.

This was the context which has framed and informed most of my life ever since. I work in IT, have a minor gadget obsession, and am always painfully aware that I need to learn new technologies in order to advance my career. I still play games, with Master Chief and Gordon Freeman playing much bigger literary roles in my imagination than any Capulet or Valjean could have ever hoped. Not surprisingly, I often find my attention span lacking, and wouldn’t you know, I could stand to lose a few pounds.

Miraculously, I was born to a mother with a very different set of priorities. Besides video games and junk food, some of my other earliest memories revolve around being forced to weed the garden for several hours on Saturdays during the summer, when all I really wanted to do was, well, play video games and eat more junk food. I spent a lot of time resenting this, and came to view the rows of corn and beans as a literal summertime curse, returning year after year with the tenacity of a bad herpes outbreak. I made fun of it, and am ashamed to say, made fun of my mother a bit for it as well. Despite her best efforts, her love for the garden was not something I appreciated in my youth. I rebelled against it, just like almost anything else my parents ever tried to get me to do.

Of course if you’re over the age of 25, you know how these kind of things usually go. Proverbs says it best, ‘train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ As I shed my rebellious skin (which wasn’t even very impressive or courageous, mostly just obnoxious), the knowledge and forced labor put upon me by my mother in the garden stuck with me, and I found myself drawn to the very thing I spent so many years resenting.

The tipping point, the time in my life when I knew it was a part of me that deserved embracing, came with the onset of fatherhood and entering my mid-twenties. There is a terrible grinding and wearing down of the soul that comes with trying to keep up with our twenty-first century world. Many of my contemporaries may not realize it now, and some of them may never be aware of it at all, but there is a dear cost being paid to fuel the Rat Race. I believe it is taxing our humanity, our spirit, and our relationships with both our fellow man and the earth.

I realized how much of my life was spent at a desk or in front of a screen, plugged in but disconnected from the real world. At some point I realized the extent to which the human race was creating a fantasy world, and submersing itself in it entirely. For myself and most people that I knew, finding balance wasn’t even part of the equation; the fellows around me seemed perfectly content to lose themselves in this new world we were creating daily.

For me, gardening is a way to get back to the world we were born into.  It is the polar opposite to so many things in my daily life, sitting in front of computers, reading emails, writing up work documents, playing with my cell phone and other assorted gadgets.  It is an anchor of balance, the yin to the yang, blah blah blah.  It reminds me of the beauty that exists all around us, which in turn reminds me to come closer to my wife, my children, to the human beings who surround me everyday. Without it, I feel I would be much more disconnected to the real world.  Ironically, it’s a hobby I largely pursue on my own (I will be hospitalized of shock the day I ever see my wife with spade in hand), but I have found other compatriots who share my enthusiasm.  And it’s one of the ways that I thank my mother for the things she taught me, to understand my literal and metaphysical roots, to be a man who does more than just go to work and sit in front of the tv.

As expected, I have already failed to make these posts daily, but if to tell the truth I never really expected that to ever really be the case. Today was quite the bust. Our weather continues to disappoint, to the point of depression. The garden’s sunlovers suffer, and unless the summer is a long one, this year looks to be even worse than the last.

I plan on starting specific pieces for this site in the near future. I would like someone to read something at some point, I just need to have something worthy of reading.

This site is for anyone and no one, really.  Having exhausted my tolerance for social media and craving a greater sense of cowardly online anonymity, I’ve decided to start my own page where I can house my own thoughts, and hopefully some useful things that I can share with others.  For anyone who might stumble on this page, I’m a married father in my twenties, with more time on my hands than money.  Time often comes up short as well with young children in the house, so this site is also an exercise in effective time usage in the spirit of Carpe Diem.

Interests that I intend on touching on this site include current events, horticulture, humor (probably often somewhat inappropriate, but nothing morbid or disgusting), music, and games.

So if you find your way here, and you find some common interests, please come back and drop a comment or two.