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Ever since I got the Urushi (Xperia Ray), I’ve wanted to port Android 4.0 to it. Unfortunately, having received the carrier branded variant of the phone, the phone’s bootloader is not fastboot enabled. Therefore, the bootloader is not unlockable via Sony Experia’s bootloader unlock site. I was, however able to root the device using the method found here. (Thanks again DoomLord!) I have done a bit of tweaking to the pre-installed ROM which I’ll describe below.

Automatic Light Sensor Hack:
This was rather simple.. so simple in fact that I was surprised that no one found it sooner. The hack involves two files, the hw_config.sh and als_curve.conf files in the /system/etc directory. In the hw_config.conf, find the line that looks like this:


echo 0,0,0,0 > $dev/lcd-backlight/als/params #[gain],[filter_up],[filter_
down],[offset]

and edit it to look like this:


echo 3,2,2,0 > $dev/lcd-backlight/als/params #[gain],[filter_up],[filter_down],[offset]

Then, using Terminal Emulator or another app capable of executing scripts, run hw_config.sh. *Make sure you have the backlight set to a value higher than 0 and lower than 100 or else the hack will not work!*

SD Card Read Cache Tweaking:
This one was also as simple if not more simple than the above hack. All thanks go to arcatarc for this hack (which you can find here). It requires either the use of Terminal Emulator, SD-Booster or any app capable of modifying text files with root privileges. ADB can also be used for this if you prefer to work with a full size keyboard. In Terminal Emulator, ADB, or similar go to /sys/devices/virtual/bdi/179:0/read_ahead_kb and change the value from 128 to whatever you choose. When using SD-Booster, all that needs to be done is input the value you want and tap the Apply button. I currently have the read cache set at 1152 and the the write speed has increased to 6.8 MB/s from 6.1 MB/s while the read speed has increased from 15.3 MB/s to 26.8 MB/s. This latter hack as proven to be the most useful of the two as the speed increase is clearly evident when shooting and reviewing photos.

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I finally got a new Motorola Milestone from the Telus store in the mall where I work. That however was on Sunday. It’s now Saturday and so far I’m truly enjoying the phone. It is heavy, solid and big especially with the OtterBox Commuter Case purchased for it. The great 3.7″ LCD screen is wonderful the look at and at a resolution of 480×854, it beats out the HTC Hero by over 2-1. The keyboard while good, has me wishing for a dedicated numerical row and a pipe symbol key combination. The camera is a great 5 MP unit that takes great pictures compared to other smartphones. It would even best a three year old Canon provided that the lens is absolutely clean. The Milestone proved to be an excellent phone when needed especially after I changed the CrystalTalk setting over to clear. Almost everything works as it should. As for my opinion on the OS, the phone is a blast to use with Android 2.0.1. Great as it is, there are issues that Motorola needs to address in the 2.1 update for Canadian Milestones on Telus:

  1. Audio playback skips when either the GSM radio switches protocols, a text message is received or data is being transferred. http://bit.ly/d72Lbc
  2. Failure to detect the USB cable when it’s plugged in. http://bit.ly/cd6u5A

Aside from these three bugs, the phone runs rock solid on Android 2.0.1. I use this phone in lieu of my MacBook when I’m out and about which is saying something.

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