New Brain – was it worth it?

I originally started writing this post just shortly after the previous post about upgrading my phone – but i never finished it!! So here it is anyway – I will finish it at some point .. probably …

So last Thursday I settled down to install a new ROM on my Android Phone (HTC Desire). I have been living with the phone for a few days now so I thought it would be a good time to answer the question that was nagging me through the whole process … Is it worth it?

Breifly – Yep.

But as this is my blog and not twitter – I think I will expend on that a little!

Please note this isnt intended to be a generic review of the Cyanogenmod ROM, or indeed the Gingerbread build of Android that it is built on – its just me talking about my experience of moving from my old stock Orange ROM to Cyanogenmod 7.0.3. It does beg the question why am I blogging about this at all? It is my blog – but even I appreciate that the audience for appreciate this is small even amongst my friends who read this! But as someone else has pointed out – if I got commission on all my mates who had bought an Android – well i might be able to eat at Krispy Kreme for … well nearly a week … So hopefully even thought the audience is small = someone may find it useful and avoid falling in to the traps that I fell in to!

Numpty

Ok lets get this out of the way before we start – I am a numpty. I made a couple of key mistakes during this process. Mistakes that a self proclaimed geek such as my self shouldn’t have made. I got lucky with some of them my numtyness has had limited effect. With others I may well be walking away with my fingers in my ears going la, la, la, la ….. So in no particular order of numtyness – here are the main things to watch out for if you plan to follow in my footsteps.

  • Backup – Ok so I did backup, My ROM is backed up, My files are backed up to my pc … well most of them are…. you see when I copied across the files from my SD card to my pc … I didn’t select the hidden files and folders …. thankfully I didn’t loose everything as I still have the SD card with everything on it as I swapped it for my new card. If I needed to I could reinstall the old ROM and pop the SD card back in – hey presto all back as it was … probably. But really I don’t need to do that – most of the important stuff I have got – mostly its just been slightly dull resetting all my options and settings. But this hasn’t been totally bad – it has made me explore some of the new features of the ROM instead of just carrying on. But still … Numpty …
  • K.I.S.S – Keep It Simple Stupid … Rooting and upgrading a ROM on a phone is complicated enough – deciding to swap out the SD card at the same time … yep that was just daft. It does mean that I have a backup of my files – but the process of swapping the cards meant that any apps that had settings or files stored on my OLD SD card decided to (understandably) stop working when I booted the phone up with the new SD card inserted. This also had the unfortunate side effect of syncing backup to my Android Market account – so when I got around to booting up my phone my handy list of installed apps was now considerably shorter. I have spend the 1st couple of days with my phone remembering apps that I had installed and reinstalling them. So yep … Numpty …
  • Read and Read again … I did quite a bit of reading into this process. But I still came to points during the process where I realised I either hadn’t read it or appreciated what the instructions were asking. Its not that complicated – but if I had realised that one of the final stages would involve reformatting the SD card … Numpty.
  • Warranty – Ok so this is the difficult one. This process “voids your warranty”. Now I am reasonably sure if my phone gets to a point where it needs to go back to Orange – I can probably get it to a point where it “looks” like everything is “normal”… But that is a risk. I am not expecting to get the point of having to send my phone back – but there still a risk – so yes – you guessed it – numpty.

Right enough of the “look how stupid I am bits” – on with this “hey this is COOOL!” stuff.

OK 1st some details

Hardware:

HTC Desire – Orange Branded
8GB Micro SD Card – From Amazon

Software:

CyanogenMod 7.0.3
Launcher Pro (replaces ADW Launcher that comes with CyanogenMod)
A whole bunch of apps that I will mention as I go through if necessary.

To be continued ….

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