Root to extend the ability of your phone

Seriously I think this is the last branded android phone I’m going to buy.

Chris Hernon sent me the bad news

Gutted. Might have to root… RT @verge: HTC’s One X and One X+ won’t get any more Android updates @cubicgarden

In the Verge article they point to HTC’s tweets where they admit they will not be releasing updates to their 2012 flagship phone.

We can confirm that the HTC One X and One X+ will not receive further Android OS updates beyond Android 4.2.2 with Sense 5. We realize this news will be met with disappointment by some, but our customers should feel confident that we have designed both devices to be optimized with our amazing camera and audio experiences.

This like my disappointment for HTC not releasing Gingerbread on the HTC Desire. The only reason I can see for the move is they can’t be bothered to move sense 5 to the HTC One X.

There’s no problem running Android 4.3 and I’m very sure Android 4.4 will be no problem for this beastie either. I’m sure Android 4.5 lemon-sherbet? Will run fine on it too.

Anyway, thanks HTC, happy they kept their promise to make the bootloader open but this need to put their Sense all over it is painful, specially when holding back a perfectly capable phone from new software.

The complete google experience is what I’m thinking from now on. Be that a nexus 5 or maybe the moto x? As Simon says, I’m so glad I rooted and upgraded to Cynaogenmod 10.1 or Android 4.3.1.

My advice… Root now!

Cyanogenmod on the playstore, Yeah!


I knew there was a push to make installing custom rom Cyanogen easier to install but I didn’t know they had already gone this far… Thanks to Chris for bring it to my attention

Two months after raising $7 million to build a better version of Android, CyanogenModhas released a one-click installer to put its custom firmware on your Android device. Installation requires the phone to be tethered to a Windows PC via a USB cable. A companion PC app will be released later today as a free download. “Our goal for the installer has always been to allow more users to experience the benefits of CyanogenMod, without the hassles of technical guides and concerns associated with the process,”

So I look forward to Linux support real soon? And you got to love the FAQ

  • Do I need to root my phone before installing?
    • No. You can have a rooted phone, or not. The installer doesn’t care.
  • Do I need to unlock my bootloader first?
    • No, you don’t. If your bootloader is locked, we’ll unlock it for you.
  • Can I install if I’m running a custom ROM?
    • Provided the installer can identify your phone correctly, it doesn’t matter which ROM you’re running.

And I was just thinking about rooting my HTC 1X to join my Samsung Galaxy Tab 7+ on Android 4.2.1. Now I don’t need to bother. Excellent news!

Android 4.2 here I am

Rooted my first generation Kindle Fire and installed an Android 4.2.2 ROM.  It's like having a new device.

I had enough of waiting for Samsung to officially update the Samsung Tab 7+ to Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). So one night when not able to sleep I rooted my Tab 7+. Its very easy to root and with something like AirDroid (which I swear by since Android doesn’t support mass storage anymore) its even easier. Yes middle of the night at about 4am, I looked over and thought I reckon its time I just rooted the Tablet. Within a 30mins I had found the correct files and done the rooting. Then went back to sleep…

About a month later, Android 4.0.4 was bugging me, specially since I have Andorid 4.1 (Jelly Bean) on my HTC One X phone. What bugged me the most wasn’t the Samsung touchwiz crazyness, it was a bug in the copy and paste system which Samsung are not going to fix until the Jelly Bean update. The bug meant copy and paste failed to work at all!

So I found decent up to date instructions and went through the process and installed the latest and greatest… Thank you cyanogenmod for once again extending the life of devices. Crazy to think it shipped with Android 3 (Honeycomb) and its now up 3 versions to Android 4.2 already. Root your devices people!

Of course before my phone was ahead and now its behind, so expect there to be some midnight rooting once HTC Sense bugs me enough.

A month into my rooted HTC Desire

With help from a friend, I rooted my HTC Desire so I could put CyanogenMod on it using the Rom Manager.

When I first rooted it, I didn’t do anything to it but after a while the same problems started happening with the lack of storage again even under Android 2.2 Froyo. This time, I installed Rom Manager and wiped the whole thing clean.

The Rom was the CyanogenMod 7.1 which means I’m now running Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread)

For the first week I wasn’t sure I liked everything, it was too basic. I had to install all the apps which usually come preinstalled. I had the basic Google apps but for some reason some of them were not installable so for a long time I couldn’t install Google Maps and Amazon Reader for example.

Having the raw Gingerbread Android operating system took a little while to get use to but its just so great not having all that Orange crap on the phone and not being able to remove it. Memory for storage was always a issue and because not every application can be moved to the SD card, it became a balancing act of not installing too much and clearing the cache a lot. But now those days are long gone, thankfully.

One of the highlights so far is the personal Wifi hotspot (MyFi) which was introduced in Froyo but for some reason never worked with my Kindle ever. Now it works and seems pretty stable, which is great. On the other hand the standard Gingerbread camera application is pretty crap and I’ve not really found a replacement worthy of keeping.

It is a real shame I had to root the device just to take control of the HTC Desire. I’m glad to see HTC finally did the right thing and decided not to lock down the bootloader.

Rooting your phone isn’t for everyone and I do have quite a bit more respect for what Orange do to a operating system to provide a usable experience for the most people. Its just a shame they also put all that crapware on the device too. If they allowed people to uninstall the crapware, I wouldn’t have had to root my device.

Like watching a baby playing with a loaded gun…

Baby face closeup

…Is what Miles said about me setting up my own virtual private server on the weekend. Yep I finally took bull by the horns and slapped down my credit card and decided to go with for's new resting place. To be fair I didn't really know what I was getting myself into. See I kind of thought Tomcat and Apache would be installed and ready to go. But nope I finally logged into my FreeBSD box and quickly found out that it was a barebones box and I would need to do the configuration of applications, permissions and users. Well trust me, this is no easy thing. I mean there something very different about running unix on the desktop and running it as a server. In a server environment permissions and applications running all need to be kept under tight wraps. I would agree this should be the case for a Desktop environment too, but you can be a little more flexable with the configuration of a desktop machine. Put it this way, being a admin with root access to your own server is certainly compareable to building your first F1 car then racing it along the streets of Monte Carlo. Or as Miles puts it a baby with a loaded gun.

Either way, with thanks to Miles and tons of resources online like this one, I'm almost up, running and hopefully pretty secure. Rather than the usual Apache 2.x and Tomcat 5.5.x type configuration with mod_jk, I've gone for Tomcat 5.5.x with Pen in front for a reverse proxy and load balancer. Miles suggested Pound and Balance but I couldn't get Pound to compile without seriously messing with OpenSSL and Balance didn't seem to forward HTTP traffic without stripping away the header information. Pen is just like Pound it would seem, but also runs on Windows which is good to remember for other projects I may have in mind with my old Windows 2000 box. So yeah its a pretty sweet setup so far and means I loose the overhead of running Apache when all I really want is Tomcat. By the way, I was very close to installing Resin 3.x but decided against it for now.

Compiling Cocoon only took 2 mins once I finally untared and gunzipped the source. Can I just say how much of a nightmare Compression is? This guide was very useful for not only uncompressing files (tar -xvvzf cocoon2.1.8.tar.gz) but also compressing them. It took me a while to work out the correct parameters to compress a directory of files and its contains but keep the permissions and modified dates (which is extreamly useful for moving blojsom blog entries) . tar -cRvzf archive.tar foldertocompress/. Anyway, Cocoon is running happily in Tomcat now and Blojsom is also running fine with everything this blog has up till Feb 26th. So I'll have to do another update just before I swap over to the new server. This will also mean there will be a period of maybe 2 days when the blog and RSS feeds may time out or seem out of date. Don't worry I'll warn you in advance of the exact day.

So what next on the horizon? Well I need to do some more securing and enable Log4J on Tomcat and Cocoon. I've also still got to sort out basic Unix type things. For example while I was setting up the server, the only text editor I had was vi and the only shells were tsch and some other weird ones. Yep thats right no Nano or Bash. I don't know how I managed, but trust me I'll be avoiding vi when ever possible. I've already chpass all the users and made Bash the default shell. Beyond this, I'm considering Hamachi for Linux which would mean I could securely login to Blojsom, Tomcat and anything else from anywhere without setting up that crazy port forwarding in Putty. This sounds over kill but I'm tempted to at least run Hamachi on my Smoothwall Firewall server at home.

In regards to Cocoon, well my next step which I had planned to do if I was not writing this long blog post, would be to install Saxon 8.7 (good to see a .net version btw) in Cocoon using this guide (I know it works, i already installed Saxon 8.4 on the development machine at work). While with Blojsom, I will start trimming down some of the outstanding issues I had.

Oh before I finish, did I say how great Wget and Sudo are? Loaded gun indeed.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]

Messy haxoring with metasploit caught on iptv

Its not quite as cool as it may sound from the title. I just watched epioside 13 of my lame-ass iptv soap, The scene. yes everyones got there weakness but if you put this against other soaps like Hollyoaks then it comes out quite well. Anyhow, I got a real kick out of main character trying to get root on windows box hosting a FTP server. They used the well established metasploit to find a flaw and exploit it. To be fair its one step up from the hack in the matrix reloaded and they did do a little homework to use the nice opensource framework metasploit. Its certainly a fine line between security tester and exploiter but the best tools always are.

Talking of which if you didnt catch the Security now podcast number 9 about rootkits, please do as it will give you a good old wake up call. I've been personally aware of rootkits for quite a long time but I didnt know spyware, adware applications were starting to use them just so they cant be removed from a computer. Its crazy, but its true. Honestly I wouldnt wish a rootkit on my worst enemy, I just cant imagine anything worst. Anyhow, Steve and Leo do a great job explaining how rootkits work. It is however really good to know Microsoft and Sysinternals are working on the problem. I did try out SysInternal's Rootkit Revealer on all my machines and I'm clean as expected but its good to be sure. I suggest everyone should give it a try, at least till Microsoft add rootkit scanning to there malicious software removal tool. No one likes to be rooted…

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]