Monday, August 23, 2010

Bliss and the art of root.

I tried to resist, really I did. I fought the allure that comes from the latest and greatest as long as possible. I ignored that newer phones where getting the latest and greatest Android and I was still on 2.1, which I enjoyed and was grateful when the over the air update arrived. However, we have a need for honesty, I'm only human, and I'm subject to wanting the latest and greatest. One option would have been to get a new phone and that would have been a practical one if it wasn't for the fact that I don't want a new contract and I don't have any money. So what's a faithful free software advocate to do but exercise his DMCA given rights and root baby, ROOT!

I have the sad, forgotten by its Android brethren phone, HTC Droid Eris. Knowing full well that it's OTA update future was as bleak as Minnesota's hope of wining an NFL championship. I had little hope of just holding out for Verizon to come through and give me 2.2 OTA. So, I looked into custom ROM options and lo and behold, what should my wonder eyes meet, but a shiny fully functional Froyo port for the Eris on the xda-developers forums by a guy that goes by the handle Kaos.

So, first things first, we need to root. For this I used the one click root also available on the xda forums. It's as simple as running the app, rebooting holding the down volume button and the power, flashing the zip file the app places on your sd card and BAM!, you have root. Now, if all you want is simple things like the ability to tether over wi-fi then this is enough. However, if you want the whole Froyo enchilada it's time to load KaosFroyo.

Kaosfroyo rom is a port of Cyanoginmod 6 to the Eris and overclocked by default to 710mhz. The steps I used to flash are as follows.

1. Download the rom zip onto the SD card(Don't place it in a folder).
2. Reboot the phone into recovery mode(hold down vol-down and power then select recovery from the menu with the track ball.
3. Back up the existing rom using Nandbackup.
4. Wipe the Android and Dalvek partitions.
5. Flash the rom with the flash utility.

There you have it. Froyo on your Eris. What will this give you? Faster, speak to text everywhere, live wallpapers and the ability to tweak your phone to your heart's content. Is it worth it? Hell yeah it is.

After flashing I was given an extremely in-depth tutorial on setting up and tweaking the phone by a very patient and knowledgable IRC user in #droideris on andirc. His handle is the_fly and if you see him in there tell him to get his tutorial on a blog soon so I don't have to remember it all. :)

So, Thank you very much XDA developer, Kaos, the_fly and all the rest of the people behind Android and it's hacker community. You ROCK!
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