Upgrading your Xoom to Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich)

Motorola Mobility is currently in the process of a limited rollout of Android 4.0 – Ice Cream Sandwich (Version 4.0.3/Package IML77 to be precise). Instead of waiting for the wider release you can manually upgrade your Xoom to ICS.

Your will need

  • A USB host cable, and
  • A USB thumbdrive, or an sd-card on a single card reader also works. Not too sure about those N-in-1 card readers – I’d stay away from those. Also, it doesn’t work from the micro-sd drive in the Xoom.

I use an SD-Card connected to the Xoom via micro-USB host cable and a USB-2.0 SD-Card reader. My Xoom is the Wifi model running the latest US Honecomb 3.2 (i.e. HTK75D).

Instructions:

  1. Download the zip file from Google and save it into the root folder of your USB drive.
  2. Connect the USB drive to the Xoom using a Host cable.
  3. Shut down your Xoom.
  4. Switch it on and press the Volume Down button as soon as the red Motorola logo appears.
  5. It should say Android Recovery in the top left. If it doesn’t keep pressing Volume Down until you see it.
  6. Press Volume Up to select the option.
  7. When the Green Android with the Exclamation Point appears, hold the Power button and press Volume Up.
  8. Select Update from USB drive.
  9. Pick the downloaded zip file.
  10. Enjoy your Ice Cream Sandwich! 🙂

Source: XDA Forums / Bauxite

List of phones that come with the Carrier IQ spyware

Carrier IQ is a spyware program for mobile phones that has been in the news a fair amount in recent weeks. It is able to record many things including the list of installed apps, the location of the device, buttons pressed including keystrokes on the soft keyboard, and the content of messages. This data is sent to the Carrier IQ servers and then onto the mobile service provider which can be used for generating statistics or further relayed onto third parties such as advertisers, and law enforcement. This program cannot be uninstalled without rooting the phone.

While service providers and Carrier IQ claim that they do not store the content of messages, it has been found that they are infact doing this. They claim that this is a bug, and they are working on a fix.

Currently in the US, AT&T and T-Mobile include this program in their phones, while Verizon has made clear that they do not use it.

From an alleged T-Mobile document it appars that the following phones contain Carrier IQ:

  • HTC Amaze 4G
  • Samsung Galaxy S II
  • Samsung Exhibit II 4G
  • T-Mobile myTouch by LG
  • T-Mobile myTouch Q by LG
  • LG DoublePlay
  • BlackBerry 9900
  • BlackBerry 9360
  • BlackBerry 9810

So, I’d steer clear of any of those phones on AT&T or T-Mobile if I were you. (In fact I’d steer clear of those networks alltogether! :p)

Mobile operators in the UK do not use Carrier IQ.

via: The Verge

Apple’s advice to Samsung … Don’t make rectangular devices

Wow! Apple has suggested a few workarounds to Samsung to help them work around Apple’s design patents. They had to do this as part of their July request to ban imports of Samsung products. Redacted documents related to this request, including an expert declaration with workaround suggestions, are becoming available online. Here’s a few of the suggestions:

  • Front surface that isn’t black.
  • Overall shape that isn’t rectangular, or doesn’t have rounded corners.
  • Display screens that aren’t centered on the front face and have substantial lateral borders.
  • Front surfaces with substantial adornment.
  • Thick frames rather than a thin rim around the front surface.
  • Front surface that isn’t entirely flat.
  • Profiles that aren’t thin.
  • Cluttered appearance.

There’s only one reaction to this … WOW!

Moving the “Users” directory in Windows 7

This shows you how to move the C:\Users\ folder to a different location.

If you want to have your Users folder stored somewhere other than the default location, you generally need to do an unattended installation with a modified installation script. If want to move the folder on an existing installation, then you need to make a couple of changes to the registry and then move the folder yourself. This is what we’ll do here.

The Users folder is the default folder/directory name for the Windows ProfilesDirectory, and by default it is stored in %SystemDrive%. Typically this is your C:\ drive (unless you installed Windows on a different drive), so it looks like C:\User\. We’re going to move it to the D: drive.

First, as always, backup your files and create a restore point just in case something goes wrong. Once you’ve done that go through the following:

  1. Create a temporary admin user temp-admin.
  2. Log out from your current user and log back in as the temp-admin user. (Don’t just switch users, actually log-out and then back in.). If you encounter any files in your original user account that are still in use, try restarting the computer.
  3. Create a D:\Users\ folder.
  4. Move every folder except Public and temp-admin from C:\User\ to D:\User\. Make sure you include all the hidden folders too.
  5. Copy the Public folder from C:\User\ to D:\User\.
  6. Open the Registry Editor and go to HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList.
  7. Replace %SystemDrive% to D: in the Default, ProfilesDirectory, and Public keys.
  8. Expand the ProfileList tree-node to show all the profiles, and go through these replacing C: to D: in any ProfileImagePath that points to C:\Users\.... There should be one of these for each user account.
  9. Restart your computer and log in as your normal Admin user.
  10. The Users folder is now in the desired location. You can delete the temp-admin user.

Update: If you encounter the user profile service failed the logon error when you try to log in using an account created after moving the ProfilesDirectory, it is because you didn’t include the Default folder when moving folders from C:\Users\ to D:\Users\. This folder is used as a template for creating profiles for new accounts. Make sure it exists in your new ProfilesDirectory.

Thanks to a blog entry at rob.brooks-bilson.com for this update.

Motorola Xoom Keyboard and Mouse

Motorola Xoom Keyboard and Mouse

Finally got my free Xoom Keyboard and Mouse bundle from Motorola. The keyboard looks pretty slick, but the mouse looks like a basic portable mouse.

Pairing them with the Xoom was easy, just turn them on and wait for the lights to start flashing, then scan for devices from the Xoom. Once its found them, just pair them.

Android is suprisingly useable with a keyboard/mouse combination. You can double click on things, scroll through a window using the wheel, but you can also do the normal touch gestures with the mouse by holding the left button down. If it had a set of full desktop type apps such as Microsoft Office or even LibreOffice, it would have made a really good netbook OS.

Control your Canon EOS with DSLR Controller for Android

If you have a fairly recent Canon DSLR Camera and somewhat newer Android device, then you’re in luck … There is now an app which allows you to control the functions of your camera and take pictures straight from your Android tablet!

The app here is DSLR Controller by Chainfire. It streams the live-view to your phone and provides easy access to pretty much all camera settings like aperture, exposure time, ISO speed and a whole lot more. It can show a live historgram, zoom the live-view for better manual focus, and even lets you touch to focus!

Continue reading “Control your Canon EOS with DSLR Controller for Android”

Working with Windows Services using C# and WMI

I’ve been trying out various ways of intracting with Windows Services from C# code. From what I’ve seen, basically you have the following methods:

  • WMI Queries via classes in the System.Management namespace,
  • Strongly-typed WMI proxy classes generated using MgmtClassGen.exe, and
  • The System.ServiceProcess.ServiceController class.

Continue reading “Working with Windows Services using C# and WMI”

Remote WMI Access to a Windows XP machine

If you are getting a 0x80070005 COM exception (or UnauthorizedAccessException in C#) while attempting a remote WMI connection to a Windows XP host, even though you are connecting as an admin user in the remote host and you are providing the correct username and password, you may wish to check if ForceGuest is enabled on that host. It is enabled by default.

In C# it happens when you call the Connect() method of the ManagementScope object.

Set the value of the forceguest key to 0 in the following registry location:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa

This should fix the problem.

Issues in Android 3.2

Android 3.2 finally provides external storage support in actual android code, so the manufacturers don’t need to patch it in. However, it is currently just read-only. That seems to have dissapointed a few people.

One of the biggest niggles however in Android 3.2 is they introduced a bug in intents. Its the mechanism how one activity launches another one. If there are multiple apps installed which can handle an activity (e.g. if you have multiple image viewer apps), android gives you a window where you can pick which app you want to use. This bug prevents the picker window from coming up properly. Instead, the screen just darkens a little. The workaround is to rotate the device which will cause the window to come up.

Updating UK Xoom Wifi MZ604 from android 3.0.1 to 3.2

This shows how to upgrade your Xoom Wifi (MZ604) from Android/Honeycomb 3.0.1 to 3.2

As all the UK (as well as other non-US) Motorola Xoom owners are aware, their Xooms are stuck on Android 3.01 whereas the US version is already rolling onto 3.2. The European customers were promised version 3.1 a few weeks ago, but there is no news of anyone actually getting that update yet.

So … if you have a UK Xoom Wifi, here’s how you can get 3.2 installed on it. It’s not completely risk-free, and not entirely simple either, but it’s certainly less frustrating than dealing with Motorola Support when it comes to finding out information on updates.

I guess right now your About tablet screen looks like this …

… and that’s what we’re about to change!

The Process

The process you’ll follow is:

  1. Flash the U.S stock 3.0.1 image
  2. Auto-update to 3.1 (and then to 3.2)
  3. Flash the ClockworkMod Recovery image
  4. Flash the Rooted 3.2 image.

UPDATE: As a couple of comments have pointed out, the 3.2 update is now available OTA via the Auto Update. It is a two stage process, it will first update to 3.1 and reboot, after which, if you check for updates again it will find 3.2. So, follow steps 3 and 4 only if you want a rooted version of 3.2. Cheers commenters for pointing this out.

NOTE: By following these steps you’ll be voiding the warranty on your Xoom, and there is a chance you could brick your device. I’ve only tried it on the UK Wifi Xoom i.e. the MZ604. Also, this will erase all your data from the Xoom, so back things up!

These are quite detailed instructions so the process seems quite long, but it should take less than an hour to complete for most people. If you’ve done firmware updates before, it should really take around 20 minutes to fully root, or less than that to get the stock Android 3.2.
Continue reading “Updating UK Xoom Wifi MZ604 from android 3.0.1 to 3.2”