Welcome Motorola Droid Dudes and Dudettes

Robert Gentel
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2010 03:41 pm
Very nice writeup hazydave.

I do have a simple question though, does it still disallow installation of apps on the SD Card? When it came out, I remember it having only 256 MB for apps, which was a complete deal breaker for me as I have many apps that alone take up double that. I know that it was a software limitation that was supposed to be lifted but I haven't since heard anything about that. Has that been sorted?
Robert Gentel
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2010 03:45 pm
If you still have that URL lying around I'd like to see it. If not I'll just keep looking into it but I haven't been able to replicate.
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2010 03:50 pm
@The Chief,
Well, sure.

But it's not just control... most consumers aren't quite as wise to Apple's evil ways as some of us techies.

The main problem Apple has, and the main reason I figured Android would win, even a year back when I first played with a G1 is simple. It's the same reason the Macintosh is a bit player in a world dominated by standard PCs.. even now that it's just a standard PC itself, more or less.

You have Apple here, making the iPhone. There are two other proprietary systems of note, Palm's WebOS and RIM's Blackberry. And then there's Nokia, the champion of Symbian and also the Linux-based Maemo, and now moving to Meego, as part of Intel's plan to eventually figure out how to make an x86 that's power-competitive with the ARMs used in every smartphone on the planet.

EVERYONE ELSE IS MAKING ANDROID PHONES. Not exclusively, but yeah, everyone else. Motorola has 300+ people working on Android. Sony Ericsson, HTC, Samsung, LG, Panasonic, etc. are all doing Android devices. PC companies like Dell and Acer are doing likewise.. Dell has a contract to deliver phones to China Mobile, the 500-million-customer behemoth that's #1 in China. Apple's been working with #3 to bundle the iPhone (you can buy unlocked iPhones from Apple in Hong Kong, for about US$600, today).

This is exactly the same kind of dynamic that let the IBM PC + Clones beat Apple, and well, everyone else, to become the desktop standard. Only this time, it's actually a well designed system, and there's no demand for low-level compatibility. Designers can roam free with Android... and that's already happening. Very good stuff, exactly what I was looking for in a 21rst century smart phone.
0 Replies
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2010 04:10 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Ok, yeah, but here's the deal.

The reason you can't put the code on the SDHC card is part of the Android security model. Basically, they require full Linux protections to ensure that apps can't access critical data in the OS or other apps. That's fine.. but also a no-go on standard SDHC, because the SDHC spec calls for FAT32, which doesn't support proper protections.

Now, of course, non-critical data can and is put on the SDHC card, rather than in main memory. But eventually, sure, you could run out of internal memory before an iPhone would run out of its big block of fixed memory.

There are solutions... I have three in mind. The first is the one that folks are actually using.. you format your SDHC card in ext3. With that, no security issue, but you can no longer mount it as a USB drive under Windows (well not without an ext3 file system driver, and the one for Windows seems flakey). Works just dandy under Linux. And you need root access to do this, today, which isn't as evil as Apple's "jailbreak", but has similar connotations.

But in the future, an easy fix would be to let you format two partitions on the SDHC card, one FAT, one ext3. That could be added to Android in a day or so.

Next one... why not use ACLs (access control lists). I'm not sure if Linux is big on ACLs, but it's done on many other OSs. You could keep the ACL table for any number of SDHC cards in protected memory, and force the OS to use these before hitting SDHC. No errant app would be able to access FAT32 resources.. just as robust as ext3, from the Android phone's perspective.

A final one... create a virtual ext3 expansion disc as a file on FAT32. I use Sun's VirtualBox all the time, to run Linux under Windows. It creates a whole Linux disc as a file under Windows, one that grows and shrinks as needed. With an extra driver and setup API, this could allow for virtually unlimited app-space expansion, without compromising security or USB-drive access.

In short, there are a bunch of ways to fix this, entirely in software. I think the powers that be at Google will address this.. they pretty much have to. With that said, the 512MB in the Droid is just crazy cheap. I designed two radio controller units (Nomadio Sensor and React), each of which has 512MB of memory, just because it ran me relative few bucks. For $10, they could have at least doubled the internal capacity of the Droid. Sony's new X10 thing has the 1GB of internal memory.

It's not a long term issue anyway. If you had an Android phone with 256MB, that's a bad idea. With 512MB.. given that I have 100+ apps installed, and still over 100MB of free internal memory, less of an issue. Go to 1GB, and I might never run out of space. Any of my suggested changes could give you another 1GB or whatever you need.
0 Replies
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2010 04:15 pm
@Robert Gentel,
First fail, in Chrome, clicked in email client:

Second fail, in Chrome, direct paste

Succeed, using Firefox:

Oh, curious thing... they were not the same.

In the first two, the email subject was:
Login information for able2know

And there was no activation key explicitly mentioned in the email.. I just figured it out from the URl.

In the third, the email subject was:
hazydave, welcome to able2know. Here is the information to activate your account.

And the key was called out in the email itself. I didn't notice this first.. maybe it's something weird at your end, not a Chrome issue.
Diest TKO
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2010 04:56 pm
I've played with the andriod OS, and it was nice. I own an iphone, and I guess my thought is that at no point did I go: "damn, I have to get one of these!" The product is good, and does represent a very competent challenge to the iphone. If it overtakes Apple's market, it will be due to market factors driving their cost down. This is likely IMO.

The hardware on the Droid and Nexus 1 is great, but people are most enchanted by the app community, and less the hardware IMO. The Droid appeals to many high end users, but apple made a smart move by marketing their phone as easy to use for the average user. I think the android phones should shift their marketing stance from this is the most bad-ass phone to this is a fun and easy phone.

Look at a iphone commercial. They are light hearted with playful music. They simply demonstrate a neat application and how to use it. Now look at Droid commercials, they are dark and elite with special effects. It is a very different message, and it's not really the message I think will win people over away from the iphone. It could bring in new users into the smart phone market though.

0 Replies
Robert Gentel
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2010 06:03 pm
Thank you! I get the bug now (you needed to activate your account because we neglected to set that flag in the database) and it will be fixed right away (and now it is). Basically what happens is you need a key to reset your password but you also need a key to activate your account. It was working but you were being redirected to the activate your account page, which requires a separate key.

This is very bad behavior and we are going to make it much more intelligent (resetting the password of an inactive account should activate it, after all they proved email access anyway) but we went ahead and activated all the droid folks.

That was not going to be easy to spot without a heads up from a user, or without you noticing the different emails (I'd have kept looking for bugs in reset password when the issue was the double whammy of needing activation as well). Thanks for the extra detail, I'd have never figured this one out without it and you just helped us make a core part of our site more usable.
0 Replies
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2010 06:27 pm
Phhhbbbtttt !! Of course we know what a droid is...we watch Star Wars.
0 Replies
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2010 06:36 pm
I often google stuff using bing.

How they would HATE that.
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Reply Mon 22 Feb, 2010 12:22 am
hazydave wrote:

Oh, yeah, and if the beer was actually cold... this "cellar temperature" thing only works for porters, stouts, and heavy ales.

Whaddya mean the beer isn't cold?!

This isn't a pommy place, ya know!
It's summer - the beer's cold and there's plenty of it!

C'mon in!

(dadpad, dlowan, me - we're antipodean!)
0 Replies
Reply Tue 23 Feb, 2010 02:31 am
Dudes and Dudettes? I'm a Dude! Even better, I'm a DudeL. A YankeeDudeL!!

Oh, I'm a YankeeDudeL Dandy, a YankeeDudeL do or die....

Yeah, I'm a bit random sometimes.
Reply Tue 23 Feb, 2010 02:33 am
You should fit right in at a2k then.
Reply Tue 23 Feb, 2010 05:19 am
We dig random.
0 Replies
Bella Dea
Reply Tue 13 Apr, 2010 06:48 am
I just got my new Moto Droid. The jury is still out on it. I am sure that there are just so many things I don't know about it yet and that's why I don't love it. But I get frustrated because I will hit the speaker button, or the mute button, or the hang up button with my face while I'm talking. It isn't suppose to allow you to do that so maybe it's my head. Do I have a weird head?
Reply Tue 13 Apr, 2010 10:05 am
@Bella Dea,
Welcome Bella Dea. The welcome committee led by Tryagain should be arriving shortly! Smile

Sorry your having issues with your phone, while in a call your screen should go black and all buttons rendered useless, you may have a faulty unit.

But by the look of your avatar, yes your head is misshapen. Wink
0 Replies

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