Compu-Crafts: More Phone Hijinks!

Yes, I just spent a good portion of last weekend monkeying with my phone. Not only did I do things to the user interface to make it look pretty, but I also installed new software on it.

That software was awesome.

Then, this last Monday, the news came out that with Cyanogen (the new software we’d put on our phones), our phones couldn’t dial 911.

It’s not a problem with all phones. It’s not even a problem with some phones. It’s a problem specifically with this one model of phone, the Samsung Vibrant, which just happens to be the one model of phone that Scott and I both have. But this is the kind of freaky fluke thing that happens to us all the time. We’ve had these phones for a year and a half. We’ve thought about changing the software off and on for over a year. We finally do it, and the very next day, the software developer says sorry, no longer supporting your phone, because Samsung has it wired in some totally wack way that we can’t work around.

GREAT.

So I made it through the week without needing to call 911, thank goodness. This weekend I researched putting the original Samsung software back on the phone, which kills my soul a little bit, because they loaded it up with dozens of crappy programs that I don’t want, don’t use, and can’t delete. That’s right, they filled it up with tons of bloat and don’t give you the ability to get rid of it. At least Windows lets you delete the AOL setup software if you don’t want it, am I right?

Fortunately, you can re-install the original Samsung software and then root the phone, which gives you deep-down access to everything. Of course, rooting the phone voids the warranty, but I’d already voided the warranty by installing the Cyanogen software, so what the heck.

So it’s back to stock Samsung Froyo, but rooted. And with root access, I can delete programs that Samsung wants me to keep. Goodbye Layar, and Gogo, and MobiTV, and The Sims 3, and the movie Avatar. Don’t want any of you, don’t need any of you.

I also added in a new launcher, since the stock TouchWiz launcher is also a stinker. I’d used Launcher Pro before, but saw that Go Launcher EX has a ton of themes to choose from.

And the developer offers a theme-making program.

How could I not?

Here’s my first attempt at my own theme, to get comfortable with the program. I based some of the icons off of another theme that I mostly liked, but wasn’t 100% in love with.

I also made a new battery widget. Although this is not my weather widget; I found this one that was already in the Beautiful Widgets download section, and liked it a lot. (Please don’t hate on our weather; we tolerate four ghastly months in the summer and this is our reward.)

Here’s inside the app drawer:

Now that I’m familiar with the theme-building program, I’ll have to think about what icon theme to build. I have two three-day weekends coming up, and Scott’s working all of those days, so I’ll have some time on my hands. Maybe a full Basic Instructions theme, although I can’t quite see yet what the icons would be.

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