>Samsung Galaxy i7500 Rooting

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Ok, I’ve tried for a long time now to get my Galaxy as good as my HTC Magic. Looking at Hardware I did upgrade when I got the Samsung, the software however. I had grown to like the HTC tweaks in Android (you can read about my keyboard hassle in older posts…).

So last week I gave in, and since “root” is a fact. So what is Root? Since Android is a Linux system the community started using the normal term for “user in full control”. Compare it with a Windows system, there are things you can’t do if your account lacks Administrator rights. Root is when you got those rights. I won’t go into details about how to root your Galaxy, there are a lot of places to read this already and they are more likely to be kept up to date than my blog. Posting some links at the bottom for you…

So what did I get for my Root experiment?
First of all, I installed another ROM (basically the OS of the phone, installation of this is also known as  Flashing). What I installed is a custom ROM (user-made) by Drakaz called “GalaxoHero”. As the name implies it borrows some good stuff from the HTC Hero, it won’t give you the HTC Sense UI but a nice theme impersonating Sense.
What I like in bullets:

  • Keyboard! My beloved HTC Keyboard is back, in Swedish.
  • Exchange support, almost. HTC Hero ships with a application called “Work Mail” that will allow you sync with an Exchange server, only mail though. Very strange since my old HTC Magic had full native Exchange support. Need to look closer into this further down the road.
  • Speed. It will never stop to amuse me when users at home manage to build a quicker system than companies with lots of paid engineers. It was exactly the same with my old Windows Mobile when I started flashing it.
  • Additional settings. Being root allows you to change stuff that Samsung/Google didn’t think you needed. For example I disabled the camera button since a bug had it running 100% even when locked, quick way to drain the battery.
  • Battery, might have something to do with the above. Neither the less my battery always last a day, sometimes two days.
  • Market, if I wanted I could enable paid apps on the Android market even though it doesn’t support Sweden yet.

I hate that Samsung/Google “forced” me to do this. Talking to my iPhone packing friends I always said that I wouldn’t consider a product a success if I had to hack it to use it fully (iPhone Jailbreak). With my HTC Magic I never saw the need for root. Well, I can comfort myself with better hardware so maybe it was worth it, maybe :)

Links for rooting:

Official home of the Galaxo and GalaxoHero Roms:
Recovery Image:
Swedish root instructions:

>The quest for a useful keyboard on Samsung Galaxy

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When I first started to use my Samsung Galaxy most of it was just fine. Almost instantly however I started to go nuts on the stock Android keyboard. I was used to my old HTC Magic and figured that I’ll get used to my new one. I didn’t. It’s just not that good, not for me that doesn’t like fullqwerty on phones at least. On top of that I need Scandinavian (or rather Swedish) letters (åäö).

Stock keyboard to the right (picture borrowed from Phone Area)

Getting scandinavian letters are simple enough:

  1. Go to the Android Market
  2. Search and install “Scandinavian Keyboard” (by Trygve Aaberge)
  3. Go to Phone settings -> Locale & Text
  4. Check “Scandinavian Keyboard”
  5. Find an input field (mail, messaging, anything will do).
  6. Long-press (hold down) at the text field, in the popup select input method
  7. Choose Scandinavian Keyboard.
  8. All set!

To make it even more useful you can use a matching dictionary, look at the Scandinavian Keyboard settings in the Locale & Text section for a direct link to the market.

This works like a charm. The keyboard however is still the lousy stock one. My quest continues… Then I found the HTC keyboard online! No root (hacked device) needed. I followed the guide here: http://androinica.com/2009/08/25/how-to-install-the-htc-android-soft-keyboard-without-rooting-your-phone/ Works just fine for me. Note that if you have a Donut device (Android 1.6) you need another version of the HTC_IME.apk. Make a Google search for the file name an you’ll find it, the instructions are the same.

Unfortunately, the Scandinavian keyboard thing above only seems to affect your default keyboard. So now I can choose, being able to write in Swedish, or with a much nicer keyboard. Quite annoying really. I’m guessing that if I found a friend with a Swedish HTC Hero or Magic they could pull out the keyboard with the settings for different languages intact…hmm I need new friends :)

Updates will follow when/if I find a solution!

>Samsung Galaxy vs HTC Magic

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Back in business!
I finaly got my Samsung Galxy and the world couldn’t be sweeter. I though that I would list a few things that differs from my old Magic.As always it’s much easier to identify the negative differences but I’ll try to raise above that and throw in a couple of good ones. Here goes:
  • Buttons, my phone has a bunch of them. Apart from me pushing the wrong one all the time this is a good thing. Dedicated lock button, dedicated camera etcetera.
  • Keyboard (on screen), HTC has their own keyboard very similar to the one I had in my Touch Diamond. Without doubt this is so far what bugs me the most, Samsung is far behind here. Now I got a very standard qwerty with quite small buttons, compared to the lovely compact qwerty in the HTC. It also lacked swedish lettering and dictonary. Lettering and dictonary was quickly solved and I’m looking into changing it all together, stay tuned for a how-to!

  • The screen, oh my god this AMOLED is sweet! Bright and samazing colour, less battery drain is a welcome feature.

  • Battery, really too early to say anything. The Galaxy has a better battery according to the specification and so far I would agree. What happens when I start playing around, well time will tell.

  • Exchange support, my HTC Magic had excellent Exchange support out of the box whilst my new Galaxy has nothing but POP/IMAP for mail. I’ll look into this and see what can be arranged and if I find anything you know where the how-to will be published :)

Thats all for now but considering my history of running into technical corners with my toys you can expect some posts on how to get out of them. I’ll take some photos of my new baby when I get home and update the post.

>Tough week

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This has really been a hard one, therefore no blogposts.
On Monday some sneaky bastard stole my phone and I’ve been trying to work without a calendar since then. Very confusing and with all the energy wasted on blocking the SIM, the phone, reporting to the police, the insurance company etcetera etcetera I haven’t had much left for the fun stuff in life. At least I finished last week with a high when installing Windows 7 so I can enjoy my laptop a bit extra now that my precious magic Android left me. On a side note, my brother just got a new phone…and he got himself an iPhone. Something must have gone bad in my attempts to save the world. Next week I’ll try to pick myself together and start thinking of who can ever replace the magic that once was, suggestions are welcome :)

>Trouble shoot Google Sync for Windows Mobile

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This is not at all a complete troubleshoot guide and depending on what error you are experiencing this might not be the easiest way. But, when you googled for your support code or problem and didn’t really find anything usefull this might be a great place to start out. I won’t explain everything in the tiniest detail, if something is unclear please let me know and I’ll dig further down.
First of all, back-up. With that I mean both on your device and your data tied to your Google Account. Normally you don’t risk your google information at all but better be safe then sorry.
First and probably easiest step, start-all over!
Do this by either going through the Google step-by-step or my own WM 6.1 version (note that my guide was made before GMail push was supported, just ignore that). My instructions below, click it for a better view.
So any luck, no? Then let’s move on.
Next step is merely an extra validation, do you have Tasks selected?
Tasks is not supported by Google Sync for Windows Mobile and will mess things up if enabled. So double-check! Start-> Program-> Connections-> Activesync and check your settings.
Still here?
Next step is to see what actually do work and where you have your problem.
To do this you go back to the settings where you just checked that Tasks wasn’t enabled. First we try to synchronize nothing but air, we do this by deselecting every single type of data. Deselect Contacts, Calendar, Mail and the rest should always be deselected. Now try to synchronize. This really should work otherwise your set-up is most likely not correct. If it works, good. We now know that you have a working connection to the Google Servers.
This is the screen you should be at, just deselect everything:
Now we continue to rule out causes for your problem.
Enable Contacts (only contacts). Does it work? Great, now we know that Contacts isn’t your problem. Continue by deselecting contacts again and select calendar instead. You get it, try them one by one.
This is the time where the first weirdness often shows up. Did they all work separately? Strange…try them together! Many users reports that after doing the separate sync they can use them all together, weird weird but if it works don’t question it :)
If everything didn’t work you hopefully only got one type of data that didn’t (otherwise take the following steps for each affected type).
Calendar didn’t work? Follow me into the hardest and definitely less fun step.
Now we want to start with a clean calendar and gradually populate it with your events again. If you have everything in your Google Calendar it’s not that bad and you can just skip this step concerning device calendar.
The device calendar can contain the bad seed just as well as your Google calendar. Therefor you should back it up (sync with outlook or the calendar software of your choice) and then make sure it’s completely clean.
To clean your Google calendar without having to start all over just follow these steps. We are now going to take advantage of the fact that Google Sync doesn’t support multiple calendar sync. Create a new calendar from your computer, now in one way or another copy all your events from your standard calendar to that one. There are multiple ways to achieve this, synchronize it with Outlook or export your whole calendar, do as you please. If you want more details on how to export your calendar just give a comment and I’ll update with some additional info. Tada! Your synchronizing calender is clean.
Try a sync, if it works which is often the case you got yourself an “per-item error” or as you might put it, some of your events are to blame for your tears. There are no easy way to know which one. The way I’ve solved it was to add my old events back in batches of 50 events (if you have lots and lots of events you might wanna have bigger batches), when the sync stopped working I knew that in the last batch something is fishy. Smaller batch, and then I found 10 events with messed up categories.
If your calendar was to blame it should hopefully work now.
This step is for you who had the problem in Contacts, it’s more or less the same as for the calendar.
First make sure that your device is free from local contacts (sync with Outlook for example). Then login to your GMail account and go to Contacts. Create a new group by selecting the +Group-symbol (marked with “1” in the picture), let’s call it “Temp”.
Now you are going to assign that group to everyone in your “My Contacts” group. To do this open “My Contacts” then “Select all” then just select “Temp” below “Add to…”.
 “My Contacts” and “Temp” should now contain exactly the same people. Go to “Temp” and remove the “My Contacts” group from everyone (same procedure as above but “Remove from… My Contacts”. As “My Contacts” is the only group being synchronized you will now sync 0 contacts. Try it, it should work unless your connection set-up is messed up. Now start adding them back to “My Contacts”, depending on how many contacts you have you can start out with anything from 10-100 but more than that it will get a bit out of hand. When the sync stops, you know that something in that batch messed it up. Split it into smaller batches untill you find your problem. Either you can see that one/several field looks strange, or you can choose just to re-create those contacts that won’t sync.
Most of those “per-item-errors” originates from events or contacts created/synced with other software or even hardware. In my case it was old Palm events that was synced. Sometimes however you can’t really tell why a post won’t sync, this is why they call it beta I guess :-)
If your problem was with the mail sync I can’t say much. I switched from Windows Mobile before that was supported but you can always try my freestyling skills and ask anyway :) Feel free to comment if any part was extra useful or a waste of time. If you can’t get it to work I will gladly see what I can do, so post a comment or send me an email and I will answer.

>Blogger post template or justify by default

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Another one right away!
This is really a minor how-to, only interesting for other bloggers I would guess.
If you’re like me you like your edges on a text block as even as possible, when you’re not making a break row just to bring focus to a specific point. Also know as “justified”.
I haven’t bothered with this before (see earlier posts) since I know myself. Sooner or later I would forget to push that little “align=justify” button and having one or several posts differing from the rest is…not aesthetically appealing to say the least :)
Now however, I actually changed the posts on this page and all further posts will be justified and cute. What changed? I changed the default so it will always be justified, this is not hard but a feature that is easily forgotten (of course you could do the same for other layout preferences you might have).
This is how it’s done!
First we need some code, you’ll acquire this by making a new post. So choose to create a new post and then make the layout preferences of your choice, in my case “justify” (1. in figure).
Then you select the tab, “Edit HTML” (2. in figure). There you go, that’s your code. Now select it and copy.

Now we are going to set this as your default posting template. Discard your post and go back to your Blogger Dashboard. Select “Settings” for your blogg and then formatting. Right at the bottom you’ll see a field called “Post template”, this is where your code goes so paste it in.

Now that field should look something like this (depending on your formatting choice):

Save it and you are all set! From now on your posts will be created with this formatting template and you’ll don’t have to remember pushing any buttons or making any changes, now how bout that?

>Star it, help me Change default calendar in Android

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I’m asking for a bit of help here…
At last I managed to find something that bugs the hell out of me in Android.
My Magic has three calendars (think I mentioned this before).
One local that is called “my Calendar”, my Google Calendar that I sync (a couple of them actually but lets not make this complicated) and an Exchange calendar from work that I also sync.
When ever I create a new calendar event I have to choose which calendar I want to put it in, not really a problem if I could change default since I like it synced and places almost all my events in my Google cal. But I can’t. Default is the local “My calendar” and it can’t be changed. Further more, when you created an event, you can’t move it from one calendar to another! Silly silly.
To the point where you help me out…
You can suggest changes and report bugs in Android. They are listed by popularity, that is how many that “starred” a specific suggestion. So help me out! Star this baby so I get a better phone :)
Cheers, thanks etc.

>Use Google Analytics with Blogger

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So here it is, as promised: a simple how-to for enabling some nice stats for your Blogger blogg. Google analytics actually gives you a lot of fun data. Things I know about my blogg that I found interesting: About half of you found me through a search engine, the rest on reffering sites (some very few typed the address in). Only 10% of the visits comes from Sweden (look at previous posts and you’ll noticed how almost everything is in English now) and a smashing 45% comes from the US. As mentioned earlier I also know what you read and what you ignore (at least as long as you look at the details on an entry).
First of all you need a blogg but lets assume you already got that part (uninteresting reading ahead otherwise). Now here we go!
  1. Start using Google Analytics
    Now, head over to http://google.com/analytics/
    If you are new to Analytics well then you click the “Sign up now” on your right.
    Otherwise you log in and add a new profile.
    These steps are rather straight forward, just answer the questions (IF you find something unclear, please post a comment and I’ll add this to the instruction).
  2. Collect your tracking code
    As one of the last steps both when signing up and adding a new profile you’ll find your Tracking Code. This is simply a block of JavaScript code that you Select and Copy.
  3. Get that code into Blogger
    Go to www.blogger.com (don’t you just love Tabs?:-)
    Sign in and choose the blogg that you want to track.
    Click on the tag “Template”.
    Scroll down to the end of the code in the html box and paste your Tracking Code just before the ending tags so it looks something like this:



    Save your template changes and choose Republish

  4. Was it tricky? Check your status!
    In Google Analytics your “Status” tells you wither or not you succeeded.
    It should now say Receiving data and not be a big warning sign :)
    If it is still a yellow sign saying Tracking unknown or Tracking not installed, well my instructions was a big fail. Give me a slap on the fingers and I’ll update the instructions so others won’t have to make the same mistake.
Epilogue
I’m well aware that this is not the only place you can find this info. You can even find it scattered among googles own support articles. One more place won’t harm, and maybe I gave some light to some part that was unclear earlier. Most of all I would like to know if there are still things you don’t understand so make a comment and I will get back to you.

>What a vacation eh?

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Now that was some vacation wouldn’t you say?
I am of course back some time ago, but my motivation took some extra.
I’ve been thinking about changing the focus on this blogg a bit.
Less news and most likely posts. Instead of trying to get you to come back here checking what I wrote this time I’ll try to write interesting stuff (according to the stats you seem to like instructions so expect more of those) that might lure some unsuspecting googlers of their track :)
Of course I want you to come back for more so I’ll try to keep em coming and the small suggestions and product heads-up will of course not stop.
That’s it for now, I’ve got a small and simple how-to enable stats for blogger (since Blogger decided to make it hard for us) coming up. Not the first one out there but having one more place to find it can’t hurt right?

>Vacation vacation!

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Time for some relaxing, no work, loads of sun and some plain old fun. This could mean that I won’t post as frequently, or the other way around. It depends on weather etcetera, but if I don’t post for a while then you know why. :)
Other than that I want to add my woho for Stockholm Pride that took place this weekend. Everyone should be able to stand by this message of freedom and love. Well back to techie again :)
Stick around!