Saturday, July 30, 2011

Meta-Doctoring: Part 5 - Sign of Life Check [Updated x2]

The installation of the meta-doctored webOS 2.1.0 install has completed!

Now the hard part - making sure everything is still working!

Update: All features and functions of webOS 2.1 appear to be working! Whoo-hoo!

On the agenda for the post software load is to:

1. See if I can log into one of my Palm profiles - Working!
2. Verify that webOS is running as expected - Working!
3. Connect to a Wi-Fi hot spot - Working!
4. Verify developer mode is on or can be activated - Working! (webos20090606)
5. Restore my Sprint PRL software - Working! (no update possible going forward)
6. Install the latest build of Preware - Working!
7. Apply some basic patches - Working!
8. Apply software tweaks from the webOS 2 upgrade wiki post - Working!
9. Backup the Pre to my alternate Palm profile - Working!
10. Access the HP App Catalog, install software - Working!
11. GPS access - Working!

Meta-Doctoring: Part 4 - Building the New Doctor File

Continuing to play around with applying an unofficial version of webOS 2.1.0 to my Sprint Original Palm Pre smartphone, I've installed all the required tools to get the job done.

I've also taken the precaution to backup my PRL software so I can continue to apply Sprint preferred roaming list updates once the upgrade to webOS 2.1.0 has completed.

Now, I'm running the Unix command line tools on my Mac to download the webOS 2 doctor files, mash them all together, and churn out a new custom meta-doctored webOS doctor restore file.

There is a lot of Unix "gook" scrolling across my Terminal window which, I have to admit, not being a Unix/Linux propeller head, I have no idea what it's doing.  (I know my limits and I'm not a programmer nor am I a Unix geek.  I know just enough Unix and Linux to get myself in to serious trouble!)

So, with Daft Punk's Tron soundtrack thumping in the back ground, the lights down low, I'll grab my eighth Diet Coke for this project, and get to installing the new webOS Doctor!

Meta-Doctoring: Part 3 - Sprint PRL Backup

In preparing to perform an unofficial webOS 2.1.0 upgrade on my Sprint Palm Pre, I have read that you need to backup your PRL software so I can restore it to my phone later on.  This is an important step because Sprint doesn't offer webOS 2.1.0 for the Original Pre and you won't be able to use properly update your PRL on a meta-doctored Sprint Pre if you fail to do this step first.

What is PRL you ask?  Good question.  I don't really know either.  PRL stands for Preferred Roaming List.  Is is a database that gets downloaded to a smartphone that uses CDMA radios just like the ones in Sprint and Verizon Pre/Pre+ phones.  The database has a list of network IDs that Sprint has network sharing contracts with to allow your phone to "roam" on other carrier's network towers. (source)

The good folks at have a wiki page up on how to backup your PRL data before you go ahead and do the meta-doctor webOS 2.1.0 upgrade.

Just an important note: You must use your own PRL data.  It is tied specifically to your phone!

Meta-Doctoring: Part 2 [Updated]

Last night I got the bright idea to "meta-doctor"my Sprint Palm Pre to run webOS 2.1.0.

After spending hours researching, reading, re-reading, and lots of download, hard resetting, and rebooting...phew!...I think I'm ready to start on the process of "doctoring" a version of HP webOS 2.1.0 to run on my Palm Pre.

Here is a little sample of what the process looks like so far:

Unix commands being executed to install required software.

Exciting, huh?


The Meta-Doctor and GIT tools have been installed successfully!

"Meta-Doctoring" My Original Sprint Pre

Who am I to let a little thing like an OEM/wireless carrier spat get in the way of all of the fun an excitement of running webOS 2.x on my original Sprint Pre (some would refer to my webOS phone as the Sprint Pre Minus)?

I don't think so, either.  So with a new found bravery of software hacking my Pre smartphone (I also carry a company issued Motorola Droid Pro with me all the time), I'm researching all of the ninja-like things I'm going to have to do to mash up a Sprint Pre compatible version of webOS 2.1.0 together.

Reading the webOS Internals official wiki on the subject reads like a splashy summer murder mystery thriller.  You need to grab an unofficial build of webOS 2 that isn't customized for Sprint.  Then you need to download some tools that developers use to write software.  For extra fun, I'll need to take a trip to the Unix command line of my Pre using something called "Novacomm".

At the end of the process, if all goes well, I'll have a Sprint Pre running webOS 2.1.0 working with Sprint's network.  Oh, some things like Sprint Navigation may no longer work, but I use Google Navigation on my Droid Pro for directions in the car now.  I may also lose the ability to receive Sprint Roaming Profile Lists (RPLs), but hey, that's life in the fast lane for ya.

Now, I'm not really a risk taker when it matters.  I plan on using a separate Palm Profile account, not my primary one until I have confirmed that I have a (mostly) stable install on my phone.  Once you upgrade to webOS 2.x, your webOS 1.x profile is converted and I don't believe that there is a way to downgrade it once you've stepped up to webOS 2.  I've also backed up my USB partition to my Mac's hard drive.  And lastly, if things go really wrong, it looks like I'll be able to download the webOS Doctor file for the Sprint Pre and revert the phone back to an official webOS 1.4.5 build.

Just call me "Greg House, MD" this weekend.

(And yes, for my long time readers, the role of vicodin as seen in "House, M.D." will be replaced by a constant stream of cold cans of Diet Coke.)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rumor: iPhone 5 Sighting in the Wild

Is this an Apple iPhone 5 prototype?  I'll let you be the judge.


Sprint Loses 101,000 Post-Paid Customers

Sprint reported their quarterly earning and dropped a "small" detail that they lost 101,000 post-paid customers.  They expected to lose "just" 15,000.

In an article posted by AppleInsider today, they write:
"In its latest quarter, Sprint posted a net loss of 101,000 subscribers, far higher than the 15,000 loss analysts had expected it to suffer. In contrast, AT&T added 331,000 subscribers and Verizon added 1.3 million, aided by news sales of 2.3 million iPhones."
It seems that I really love underdogs; first Palm, and now Sprint.  If only they had the HP Pre3 or the Apple iPhone.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Facebook 2.0 Released for BlackBerry, BlackBerry Playbook

The Facebook 2.0 client is out for both current edition BlackBerry smartphones and the new BlackBerry Playbook.

The new features of Facebook 2.0 for BlackBerry include:

  • Facebook Places – Users choose to share where they are, what they are doing and who they are with – with Facebook friends. Get directions to and from a Facebook Places by clicking on the map image, which will seamlessly launch the Bing! Maps on the BlackBerry Playbook.
  • Facebook Events - View events and birthdays and receive notifications of new invitations. View event details like the time, place, guest list and more. Users can even RSVP and write on the event’s Wall.
  • View ‘Likes’ - See the names of the friends that ‘liked’ a user’s post. Users will also be able to tap their friends’ names to launch directly to their profiles.
  • Privacy control on status updates - Control who can see each update users share. Simply click the lock icon in the lower-right corner of the status publisher to select who to make the status update visible to before posting it.

As my long time readers know I own a BlackBerry Curve 8330 and most recently used a BlackBerry Storm2, which I had to turn in for a Droid Pro back around February.  I miss having my BlackBerry and still think about picking up a new Bold at some point.


Apple Releases iOS 4.3.5 Software Update

Yesterday afternoon, Apple released the iOS 4.3.5 software update for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

The software update addresses an issue with how security certificates are validated and does not add any new features.

The software update is for the GSM iPhone 4, the GSM iPhone 3GS, both editions of the iPad, and the 3rd and 4th generation iPod touch.

The CDMA iPhone 4 for Verizon updates to iOS 4.2.10, addressing the same problem.

The latest software updates are available now via iTunes when you connect your iDevice to sync it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lion Upgrade Journal: Day 1

Ok, Lion was installed yesterday and I was, apparently, in good company because 1 million other Mac owners upgraded along with me.

Scrolling with a Track Pad or Scroll Wheel

Ok, using the scroll wheel on my wireless Mighty Mouse is taking a little bit of getting used to.  In Lion, scrolling like like scrolling in iOS; you flick up to move the page down.  Basically, we're talking about an inverted y-axis here.  Fortunately, if you can't make the adjustment, of you're like me and I have to use a PC at the office, you can revert the scroll wheel functionality back to the way it was in Mac OS X Leopard and Snow Leopard in the Mouse control panel.

iChat Group Windows

Another application that I use all the time is iChat.  I use iChat as my client for Jabber chats like Google Talk or Facebook.  In Snow Leopard, I would have a chat window for each service.  Now, in Lion, all my friends and buddies show up in a single unified window.  When a new chat is started, a separate chat windows appears.  If I have multiple chats going on at the same time, I can use iChat's preferences to define if all of the chats should be combined into a single chats window with tabs along the left of the window for each chat thread, or to appear in separate chat windows, as was the case in Snow Leopard.

I had the chance to test both modes out while chatting with two of my friends this evening.  I like the consolidated buddies list, but I still prefer to keep the chat windows separate.  I very fine tweak to iChat if I do say so myself.

Migrating Data from Palm OS 3 and 4 Devices to webOS 1, 2 or 3 Devices

Through a very long string of back channel communications, I have received a question about moving data from a Handspring Visor Deluxe to a webOS device; I think it was a Pre.

There is no direct way to move data between a Palm OS device and a device that is running webOS.  Both operating systems were developed by Palm before being acquired by HP, but the underlying technologies are vastly different.  But there is still hope for people looking to move data from an old Palm OS device to a new webOS smartphone or tablet.

Keep reading for suggestions on how to move your data.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Apple Releases OS X Lion

Mac OS X Lion is "go for throttle up" today in the Mac App Store.  It's a 3.7GB download once you purchase the $29.99 upgrade.  My installer just finished downloading and I'll be upgrading some of my software over the next few days.  Check back here for updates as the week progresses.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

OS X Lion Arrives Tomorrow - July 20

During today's quarterly earnings report to investors, Apple confirmed that the next major release of the Mac operating system, OS X Lion, will be arriving in the Mac App Store for $29.

OS X Lion is unique in that you won't be able to buy it on a disc.  Instead, the new OS will be purchased and downloaded from the Mac App Store as a 4.0GB file.  To upgrade to Lion, you will need to be running Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard with the 10.6.8 update applied.

In addition to purchasing the software from the Mac App Store, you will be able to upgrade every other Mac that you own without having to purchase another copy of Lion.  Simply sign in to the Mac App Store with the Apple ID you used to purchase Lion, and you will be able to download the software again to a new Mac.

Briefly Noted: iOS 4.3.4 Security Update Relesed

Just in case you may have missed it, last weekend Apple released a security update to iOS brining the mobile operating system to version 4.3.4.

The latest security update is largely intended to plug a security hole in how an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch handles malicious .pdf files to allow hackers to by pass safeguards in the operating system.  This same security hole was a means to allow people to install applications from Cydia, a third-party application source other than the iTunes App Store.  This process is commonly referred to as "jailbreaking."

iOS 4.3.4 was simultaneously released for the iPhone 4 (GSM edition), iPhone 3GS, the iPad 2, the iPad, and third and fourth generation iPod touch devices. iOS 4.2.9 was released specifically for the iPhone 4 (CDMA edition) on Verizon's network.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

HP TouchPad Support for webOS Apps

H/Palm takes so much out of Apple's playbook, couldn't they also include the same iPhone/iPad screen scaling feature too?  H/Palm tires really hard, but they always seem to come in second.


Rumor: Sprint webOS Customers Get Shafted. Again.

It's tough to be a webOS fan.  Especially on Sprint.  If it wasn't bad enough that Sprint Pre and Pixi customers have been left out in the cold for the webOS 2.0 party, but now a new rumor from a reliable source is saying that the Pre3 won't be coming to Sprint.
"Today the folks over at This Is My Next cited a “trusted source” in saying that the Pre3 - or any other webOS device - will not be coming to Sprint. We know a lot of you just died a little bit inside, and that’s not the news you wanted to hear today. On the flipside of the same coin, we’ve heard from plenty of “I talked to an HP rep” crowd that have heard that the Pre3 is coming to Sprint, along with Verizon and AT&T. You can hold out hope if you want, but trusted sources trump chatter in our book."
I was in line at 6am to one of the first people to get a Palm Pre on launch day.  With webOS market share below 5% in the US and the Pre3 not coming to Sprint any time soon, it just reaffirms my decision to switch phones this fall when the iPhone 5 goes live.  The only question that really remains is whether or not Sprint will get the iPhone 5.  If they do, I'll say with Sprint to grandfather in my unlimited data plan. If Sprint doesn't get the iPhone 5, then I'm looking to head over to AT&T Wireless.


Friday, July 8, 2011

What Do You Call a Pre-Beta Beta? Silly Rabbit, It's an Alpha Release

Is Microsoft looking to repeat their Windows Vista mistakes with Windows 8?

WinRumors writes:
"Microsoft’s 2012 CES will be full of Windows 8 according to company insiders. Microsoft is expected to deliver a beta copy of the next-generation operating system at its BUILD developer conference in September this year. Microsoft should be ready to deliver a second test copy of Windows 8 to the public at CES 2012. Ballmer will likely demo a number of ARM and Intel based Windows 8 tablets that will hit the market later in 2012 when Windows 8 is generally available."
No, that doesn't sound like they are rushing things at all.  Question: What do you call a September beta release before a January 2012 beta release?  Answer: An alpha release.

In an unrelated note, Microsoft has hired a "content coach" for Mr. Ballmer's 2012 CES keynote address.  Is Microsoft suffering from "Steve envy?"

[Via WinRumors...]

Monday, July 4, 2011

Firemint Sale: Redo

Firemint, the makers of a small collection of really awesome iOS apps for iPhone/iPod touch and iPad is at it again, today only, with an 80% off sale on Flight Control HD, Real Racing, Real Racing HD, Real Racing 2, and Real Racing 2 HD.

Check out the Firemint Facebook page for details, or head directly to the App Store to save on some of my favorite iOS games!

Happy Independence Day!

July 4th, is Independence Day here in the United States - the day we celebrate he birth of our nation.

Happy 4th of July, America!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

BlackBerry Bridge Now Available to AT&T PlayBook Owners

After a long string of bad news, a dramatic decline in stock prices, departures of senior management, and calls from investors and alleged employees to restructure how the CEO and President of the Board roles work, there was finally some good news for BlackBerry fans on AT&T who plan on purchasing a BlackBerry PlayBook.

Yesterday, AT&T allowed the BlackBerry Bridge software for AT&T branded BlackBerry phones to be released into the BlackBerry App World.
"BlackBerry Bridge is an app you can download to your smartphone to get access to your email, calendar, contacts, memo pad and tasks—all on the large tablet display. Depending on your wireless service provider you can even browse the web using your existing BlackBerry smartphone’s data plan."
That last item, browsing the web using your BlackBerry's data plan will run you an extra $20/month for the privilege AT&T has announced.

You can download BlackBerry Bridge from the BlackBerry App World (link).