Thursday, December 12, 2013

CyanogenMod 10.1.3 on the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S2 (I777)

So I am finally back in the world of Android after using an iPhone 4 for the past year or so. I had a Galaxy S3 for a few weeks but ended up having to sell it (long story). Luckily a friend of a friend had an old Galaxy S2 (AT&T I777) he was willing to part with for a decent price. If you've read the blog in the past you know I am a huge fan of this phone so I snatched it up quick.

Also, if you've read this blog in the past, you know I'm a big fan of running custom ROMs as well. So it only took about 30 minutes of getting it before I was working on installing CyanogenMod. It was a little more difficult than I remember... It had been a while since I had gotten to play with an Android but it didn't take long for it to all come back to me. I finally got it loaded up with CyanogenMod 10.1.3. Even though this is a bit of an older handset it is still, in my opinion, one of the best on the market. The S3 and S4 are obviously better but I will still put the S2 in the top 10 Android phones out right now.

CyanogenMod is just as awesome as I remember. The differences between it and the stock AT&T release are striking. AT&T is notorious for loading their phones with bloatware. A quick root and the installation of a custom ROM take care of all of this. Of them all, CyanogenMod is one of the sleekest as far as size. They keep things very light and fast with a minimum of "extras". However, everything you need is included right there, built in. The need for additional apps to do basic tasks is low. Even the performance enhancements that used to require an additional, usually paid, app are gone. You can adjust your CPU clock right there on the fly in the settings menu.

I'm not going to go into a ton of detail on CyanogenMod or the Galaxy S2. They are both subjects that have been beat to death online. They've both been out for long enough that if you have a question, someone out there has already answered it. That is another reason I am a bit of a fan of using what is considered by most to be an "older" handset. If it breaks? Someone else has already broken it the same way and posted a very detailed step-by-step on how to fix it. I can't count the number of times that I have had an issue and within minutes had the issue resolved with a simple Google search.

Which brings me to my last point... Don't expect a custom ROM to be perfect. There will always be bugs. When I first installed CM 10.1.3 onto the Galaxy S2, my MMS messages would not send or receive. After a quick Google search I popped into Root Browser, deleted a file, rebooted the phone and everything was working properly. Just don't get frustrated if everything doesn't work right out of the box. Play around with it, find something that doesn't work, and just Google it. Or head over to XDA. That is a community that definitely has it all figured out.

Monday, October 7, 2013

New beginnings and the comforts of familiarity

Yikes. It has been a while, eh? I'm horrible about leaving my blog to wither and die while I neglect it for "more important" things. My apologies.

It seems that, looking back over my posts, the one thing that inspires me to post is getting a new job. The more things change...

I recently made the switch back from the graphics/printing industry to another tech support role. I'm enjoying it very much so far. I'm still in the training phase but it is nice to be back in the tech side of things. I really do enjoy the graphics and printing work and I'm sure I will continue to do that sort of thing on the side from time to time. But the situation I was in at my last job was just getting to be too much. Without going into too much detail I will just say that the cons started to far outweigh the pros of the job.

So far the new job is going well. Once training is over I think I will enjoy it even more. I'll check back in with an update soon.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ain't nobody got time for that.

My life went from fairly calm to an out of control roller coaster in a very short period of time. All is well though, just incredibly busy. The new job is going very well. Much more fast-paced than my previous job. I'm enjoying it though.

I promise that once things calm down a bit I will get back into a regular posting routine. I hope you are all doing well.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Grumpy Cat

I've been away for a bit so I wanted to check in and leave you with some lulz.

Grumpy Cat shall supply said lulz.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Yep. I'm still alive.

Yes, I'm still alive. I apologize for my extended absence. I recently started a new job and made some other interesting changes in my life. I'm still getting everything sorted and settled. As soon as I do I will be back with you full time.

I hope you all are doing well.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Teacher builds computer lab... For free.

I don't normally just link to another blog/article but I couldn't pass this one up. It is a story that needs to be told and spread as much as possible...

Everyone knows that these days technology has become a huge part of education. There are tons of schools using laptops, iPads, digital whiteboards, etc. in the classroom now. Computers are an essential part of getting the younger generations ready to compete in the current and future job market. Without at least a basic set of computer skills there are many jobs that will simply be out of reach to them.

Unfortunately, there are still many schools that simply do not have the budget for a computer lab or other equipment to help their students get a head start on learning to deal with computers. Such was the case at ASCEND, a "small arts K-8 school in Alameda County School District" in California. With no budget for equipment, one teacher took it upon himself to make sure the students at his school had the basic tools they needed to jump-start their education in technology. With the help of donated computers and some Open-Source software (Ubuntu Linux) Robert Litt, a sixth-grade teacher, set up a full computer lab for his student for the grand total of $0.

To read the whole story, check out: "How One Teacher Built a Computer Lab for Free" at

How One Teacher Built a Computer Lab for Free
Donated Computers


How One Teacher Built a Computer Lab for Free
Open Source Operating Systems


How One Teacher Built a Computer Lab for Free
A Free Computer Lab!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Neck/Back Injury, Worker's Compensation, and Other Updates

First of all, I want to apologize to everyone for being absent for so long. I've been meaning to post lately but between work, doctor visits, and family obligations things have been a bit stressful. Why the doctor visits, you ask? Because the human body is stupid. The other day I was at work and had to move around some big rolls of print material to get to the roll that I needed. Over the course of my graphic design/digital printing career I have done this hundreds upon hundreds of times. It is usually a very easy process. The rolls are 54" tall and weigh anywhere from 5 to 80 pounds depending on how much material is left on the roll. You only have to lift them a few inches off the ground to move them so it is usually a pretty simple process. I lifted this particular roll the same way I have lifted countless others. 

Something went wrong this time though. When I lifted it I immediately felt a sharp, stabbing pain in the base of my neck and through my upper back. It didn't really hurt that bad at first, just enough to be noticeable, but I went and sat down for a bit anyway. The pain slowly got worse so the office filled out the incident reports for worker's compensation just in case. I decided to put a visit to the doctor off to see if it would work itself out. Unfortunately, it didn't. So the next day I went to the doctor to get it checked out. They gave me some meds and told me to take it easy for a few days and to come back in a week if it wasn't better. It has been getting increasingly more painful and my range of motion is pretty limited. So I went back to the doctor today and they gave me more meds and are scheduling me an MRI.

While all of this has been going on I've been on restricted duty. No lifting more than 5lbs., etc. So I've pretty much been chained to my desk. It is starting to suck. While my main job is graphic design, I also run the printers and other hardware in the art department. I enjoy that part of the job. It gets me away from my computer for a bit and makes the day seem to go by faster. Now I'm stuck at my desk for a full 8 hours. It is making me twitchy. I'm hoping my neck is just strained or something and will get better soon. I feel like a wuss just sitting around while everyone else is doing the "real work." I even had to ask my boss to come upstairs the other day to load a roll of material onto the printer. He was happy to do it but I still don't like being "that guy."

Other than that things have been going pretty well. Even though I'm still in a financial black hole, I almost have my student loan situation lined out. Once everything is processed I'll be able to go back to school. Sometimes I feel like I'm too old to even bother but it has always been a goal of mine to finish my education. And if I can get it done I'll still have many years left to teach. I know a lot of professors who worked well into their 70's. I'm still a long way off from my goals but as long as I am making progress it keeps me motivated.

I'll try to get back to posting on a regular schedule soon. I got a new phone, and its pretty awesome, so I'm planning on doing a review on it. And of course football season is coming up so there will no doubt be many Fantasy Football posts to come.

I hope you are all doing well. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Being an adult is stupid.

Sorry I have been absent for the past few days, folks. My real job has gotten in the way of my aspirations of blogger stardom. Things should slow down back to normal after today and I can get back to being an internet junkie again.

Until then...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

It is so incredibly hot in my office...

So let me tell you a bit about my job. I am, for the lack of a better term, a graphic designer. I refuse to call myself a graphic "artist" like many in my line of work do simply because what I do is not art. I work for a sign company. I'm not so much talking street signs as I am big monstrosities of metal and electronics. You know those big school and church signs with the LED message boards and all that in them? Yeah, I design those. Not exactly where I pictured myself at this point in my life but the bills have to be paid.

So in addition to designing these ginormous (Holy crap! Ginormous is a word? I fully expected spell check to tell me I was stupid. But it didn't. That's pretty awesome.) signs we also do a full line of graphics and printing. You know, car wraps and murals and stuff like that. Our machine prints directly onto vinyl that has an adhesive backing. This material must be kept in a climate-controlled area with a consistent temperature and humidity level or else all sorts of havoc will be played on it.

So, I told you all this to tell you this:

It's fucking hot in my office...

I always leave the A/C set to 78 degrees when I leave the office. When I get here in the morning I turn it down to 72. As hot as it gets here the A/C runs pretty much all day and keeps my office around 76 degrees. This is comfortable to me and is a good temperature range for the vinyl. But apparently someone decided to turn the A/C in my office completely off after I left yesterday.

I hate everyone and everything right now.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

We have a new domain!

I just wanted to take a moment and let everyone know that you can now visit us by going to You can still access the site through the current address as well.

I also want to thank you all for reading. This blog is growing everyday and has gone well beyond where I ever thought it would be. That just makes me want to put even more effort into making it even better.

I really appreciate you all!