Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks

(Android) Tinkering Thursday: Introduction Edition


Hello, hello, hello! So I'd been pondering this for awhile now because sometimes I get asked about this sort of stuff online and offline beyond regularly and don't like mixing the tinkering related stuff with my regular Wednesday Android Update post.

So welcome! Officially on Thursdays I will now do a new post that is purely tinkering related. That means I might cover something like just what exactly root is how to sideload an OTA update or maybe even how to flash a custom recovery and install a new ROM or any of a number of different things or focus on how to do this or that on specific devices.


I'd also like to state that this might not be a weekly thing, but it'll definitely be a Thursday thing when it does happen. Why is that? Because there's just so much tinkering related stuff out there and despite having delved into that world years ago with the OG Evo, a story you'll get here in a bit, there's just too much to cover adequately and without overloading those of you who haven't already jumped into that world. These posts, this one and the Wednesday one, are for the non-tech enthusiasts out there. The people who don't live on Android Police and Android Central and Droid Life and Phandroid and the XDA forums and everywhere else the rest of us live. So for those people, some of whom are likely reading this, I keep things simple for you all and hopefully also relatively informative. And no, the simple thing isn't cause I think anyone is an idiot. Just cause there's so much you can do with Android that it's best to break it down when discussing it to those who aren't familiar with it.

My first time... ; )

So story time! In regards to my first time really tinkering with Android, it was ages ago it seems back when the original Evo dropped on Sprint.


I'd drooled over it at the time but just couldn't justify it to myself to get the phone, plus at the time I seriously hated phones cause I don't like people being able to find me. So naturally I didn't get the phone but Android appealed to me and rooting more so once I learned what it was. I read up on EVERYTHING! One day one of my cousins was there bitching about how he wished he could tether for free on his phone and that's when the magic happened.


"You know, if you let me root and ROM your phone and throw CM7 (CyanogenMod) on there you could do exactly that."


My cousin was floored, "Go for it!" Little did he know I'd never setup ADB before or pushed files with it to a phone and done this or that. Life was a lot harder back in those dark days.

I grabbed his phone and it was off to the races. He eventually wandered over and started watching me do my thing and he was like, "Wow. You seem to know what you're doing like a champ." At which point I broke the news that almost made him freak out. "Dude, I've never done this before." LOL.


Long story made short, I rooted his phone, threw a custom recovery on it and flashed CM7 on it. I learned a ton and from there I became known locally in quite a few circles as "the kid who can get you free tethering". And basically I've been doing it ever since.

And so it begins! Muahahaha!

I kid, today you won't be forced to learn or try anything. Well, mostly. If you're at all genuinely interested in any of this and you think you might want to give it a try sometime, anything tinkering related that is, then you can do one thing today that is easy peasy.


You can setup ADB/fastboot and install the necessary Android drivers you'll be needing.

Go here and download that tool. Keeping in mind it is for Windows only, you 'nix and OS X users are gonna have to get things setup on your own. Mostly cause I've never done anything tinkering related using either OS.


The version of the software you're going to want to grab is v.1.4.2 and you can actually skip that first link and just get it straight from here instead.


As to the install process, it is as follows.

1. Run it (Require administrator privileges)

2. Press Y/Yes to install ADB and Fastboot or N/No to skip

3. Press Y/Yes to install ADB system-wide or N/No for current user only

4. Press Y/Yes to install Drivers or N/No to skip

5. Continue Driver installation

6. 15 seconds passed - finished!

Just FYI, you're going to want to hit Y/Yes for the three choices you have to make.


That's it! You've officially setup ADB/fastboot on your computer! Congratulations! You deserve a reward!


That is it for today. Like I said though if you're interested at all in tinkering now or someday do that ADB/fastboot setup. Also read the two posts I linked to at the beginning of this. You'll learn quite a bit.

Next week I shall teach you how to root a Nexus device. : ) My first Android phone was a Nexus S 4G and it's the gem that really set the stage for me just going on a tear through the XDA forums learning everything possible. When I get home I'll take a picture of my baby, even if it is dead. I still keep it on my desk and randomly pick it up and remember the fun I had messing with it. So trust me when I say I know how to root a Nexus device and it is beyond easy. You guys/gals who want to give it a try will be surprised at how easy it is.


But that's it for now!

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