android OS swapout, switcheroo, and switch back

I felt some stress as I was coming home from work yesterday.  For years, my favorite stress/anxiety reducer has been messing with the Linux boxes.  I swap out one distro for another, change desktops, tweak, try a new experiment, etc.  I have the Linux computers nearly perfect, and they give no trouble, so it’s time to leave them alone for now.

What to do if I want to mess with tech as a relaxer?  All that is left for getting a good hard tech f**k is the Android devices.  It’s a little unnerving because those things are expensive, and if you screw up or brick them, you’re off the air.  I have two older Nexus S that were replaced by Nexus 4’s, so they were good candidates for an OS (operating system) swap.

Swapping out the stock Android for the popular CyanogenMod was actually quite easy, and I didn’t even use the new automatic installer.  Just download a couple of files and issue several fairly easy commands.  The important thing was to carefully read through the instructions and take it slow and easy, step by step.

I learned how to change the default recovery to ClockworkMod, do backups and restores, change stock Android to CyanogenMod, and switch it back.  For some reason things like this make my stress melt away…after it’s all done.  While I’m learning it, I often spit, swear, and fly into rages.  Strange how that works.  It’s kind of a catharsis.

Screenie of CyanogenMod on a Nexus S.  I’ll consider it for the Nexus 4’s later.  At least I got it down now.


9 responses to “android OS swapout, switcheroo, and switch back

  1. I wasn’t that aware of this OS previously. My ancient ‘phone still runs Gingerbread. When I eventually replace it I may well mess about with Cyanogenmod.

  2. I have the same stress/anxiety reducers, but also including playing guitar! 😀

  3. Wow! Hacking your phone seems like quite the adventure. I built my own Windows PC in 2003 or thereabouts. Later, I set up Ubuntu Linux on a separate hard drive and played around with it. But it frequently crashed, as did the Linux version of Firefox, and I decided (perhaps incorrectly) that Linux was not ready for daily, trouble-free use.

    I’m not sure I’m ready to have a phone that crashes all the time either. I hope yours doesn’t.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we find it amazing that you de-stress fiddling with software. We need something more tangible.

    • I’ve rarely had stability/crashing issues with Linux. Usually it’s the other way around, i.e. Windows, though since XP, things seem pretty good there. The stability of Firefox has come and gone over time. For me, it has now had a good long run of nearly “pristine”. Firefox and Chromium (Chrome) both run beautifully for me.

      I view most people’s methods of de-stressing as reasonably worthy, whether it’s investigating software, reading the Bible, swilling gin, knitting, running, whatever. There are certain hazards with some of those, however. The co-op near me is giving free knitting classes this winter. I’d like to go but can’t match up a time. Maybe Linux/Android and the gin will get me by.

  4. See, this is the kind of thing that when you post about it I shake my head and chuckle because when I post about some of my exploits with linux you often say, “Yeah well, I don’t know about that kinda jive. It’s over my head.”

    Whatever. 😛

    • Good point Andrew. Some of the things you do with Linux, I don’t know WTF you’re talking about. lol. I’m usually aware of the points you mention but have little to no understanding of some of them. I think it’s just different experiences and interests.

      As far as the Android swap-a-roonie, it captivated me. As I navigated through the night’s procedures, things varied between “aww fuck” to “hell yeah”. I’d been reading about people’s exploits with mobile devices, so I knew the vocabulary. Doing it myself made it real and brought on the pleasure.

      The device I used that night was my previous retiree. If I get ballsy, I’ll try it on my current model. That’s part of the reason I covered backup and restore several times.

      All that tech fun on so little booze that night – 2 drinks. The old Linux installs went best while I was half crocked. I didn’t really start understanding Slackware until one night when I was drunk as shit….oh, never mind. lol.

  5. I’ve never really found a custom distro for phones that suits me, and the make-your-own ones are always non-working in some capacity (usually the exact combination I’d use).

    Of course, in the old days all firmware updates were done via downloads that could go wrong at any minute and that needed custom software in order to link to and install on your phone. If you had connections with the companies you could get some pretty funky stuff going on. I remember gutting an early smartphone (has anyone in the history of the world used a converter on a phone?) and applying the extra RAM to the browser directly. Used to do that a lot until Opera Mini came along, and then it was all about tricking the server into believing I was in Norway so I could use that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s