Saturday, July 30, 2011

"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.)
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