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Modding



Verb
1. Make partial or minor changes to (something), typically so as to improve it or to make it less extreme.
2. Transform (a structure) from its original anatomical form during development or evolution.

This may include any changes made to commercial hardware or software that cause it to function in ways other than was intended. Some may void your warranty, others may save it. All of this is somewhat anecdotal, so your mileage may vary. Each category (listed alphabetically) begins with an introductory Q and A followed by any other articles or reference materials. A proper Table of Contents is coming, once there are sufficient contents to table.



Android

Q & A

Q: What is it?

A: Android is an operating system that can be found on a variety of consumer goods from phones to gaming console to servers and laptops. Android is not itself any of these things, it is only software.

Q: What should I know?

A: Part of what drives any operating system is its usability and the number of useful applications being developed for it. The 'open source' nature of Android is part of what allows it to adapt to so many hardware systems, and offer such a wide selection of applications, however this also leads to the problem of fracturing.

Fracturing refers to the fact that support for each and every build is reliant on a team dedicated to that device. This means, (while not always) that just because one device gets an update, not everyone else can simply use that update. Earlier versions of Android such as Eclair and Frozen Yogurt (2.0 and 2.3 respectively) are still prevalent on many low end smartphones, and lack enticing features such as USB drive mounting, hardware video acceleration, and others.

If you want the best chance at staying up to date, there are two options. The first option is to choose a Google Genuine Experience Device (GED) which now amounts to essentially the NEXUS line of devices. The second option is to get a device with an unlocked bootloader and a respectable grassroots userbase. This option is not for the faint of heart, and is outlined in my Android Ownership guide.

Q: Why would anyone do that?

A: The top reasons for going the second route (which can take place even on a GED) is to gain control over the device, allowing you to run programs or interact with features that may have been neglected or disabled. It also permits the removal of 'bloatware', referring to applications which are included as part of licensing and advertising agreements. Finally you may just want a specific piece of high end hardware to have the best possible interface.

Q: What if none of that interests me?

A: The potential for customization aside, there are many reasons to consider Android. Most of the Google NEXUS line are still great, affordable devices. They can adapt to various needs in terms of e-mail, social networking, or good old fashion calling. The other advantage is that with the maturation of both processors and software, new devices from Samsung, Sony, HP, and even NVidia will run much faster than their predecessors.

Q: So I bought one, now what?

A: You may wish to at least glance at theAndroid Ownership guide. If you are a resident of the greater Toronto area, the cellular carrier chapter of the Toronto Telecom Guide might also prove useful to you. Then I would suggest seeking out a blog that delves to the appropriate knowledgebase for you. All available links for further research are at the bottom of the article.



Links


Basic
Intermediate
Advanced


Downloads





Blackberry

Q: What is it?

A: Blackberry is a telecommunications company based in Canada.

Q: What should I know?

A: You're a bit late to the party. Blackberry's dominance in emerging markets along with the business sector was a man in the middle operation that third party 'cloud' services scooped up handily. Things like BBM, or BES don't mean what they used to. The afterparty is the Z10, a solid piece of hardware moderatly hobbled by it's dependance on blackberry OS.

If you've been here since the beginning, and still enjoy the concrete reliability of a torch, pearl, bold or cure, the download section below might offer a few interesting application. Otherwise the jump to Blackberry 10 is going to be a bit of a bumpy ride. The imagineering that is gesture based menus can seem a tad unintuitive. Your phone will now be a full multitasking dual core computer.



Links



Downloads



Applications:
Microfire (Flashlight)
TrekBuddy (GPS NAV) [NOTE: TrekBuddy requires pre-made maps for offline navigation. I used Mobile Atlas Creator]
bbTracker (GPS logging)
Chronograph (Stopwatch)
MeBoy (gameboy emulator)
Textwarrior
BBnotePad
midpssh
Themes:
bPhone (Blackberry iPhone theme)