Holy friggin' help, please!

Discussion in 'Motorola Droid 2 Development' started by jlardino, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. jlardino
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    jlardino New Member

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    Hey - as noted in intro post, I'm a newly retired battalion fire chief and I am doing my best to hang with this technology. Gotta love that they have figured out how to squeeze more useful stuff into this little thing than we used to carry on a squad. That said, it's only good if you know where it is and how to use it...

    So, first, I'm pretty OK with the basics, so far. I think I can root around and find stuff to address issues I don't like with the phone (like getting aN app or rom or whatever to wipe the crap off - like Blockbuster... anyway, here's the bottom line: One of my hobbies is I chase trains and host a server site for a rail road enthusiasts' club/forum (ATCS Monitor on yahoo groups). So, my wife figured when she got this phone i could plug my little laptop into it and drive around tracking trains and the associated signalling for them. (Not an exciting hobby/past-time if you're not into trains...) Anyway, come to find out that I CANNOT just use my phone to turn my laptop into an on-the-go internet connected tool because that's an ADD-ON with Verizon (Whoops, forgot to tell ya that!). So, I have been reading and studying about what seem to be the two closest things to what i want to do: Tether or Root. Problem is, I don't get it. The terms/procedures come up together soooo often, it almost seems they are synonomous, but I know that's not the case.

    I have (specifically) a:
    Model Number: DROID2 GLOBAL
    Android version: 2.2
    Baseband version: N_01.48.05R
    System Version: version 2.4.330.A956.Verizon.en.US

    So, here are my questions:

    1) If all I really want to do is be able to use my D2G to get my laptop onto the internet while I'm out in the field (well, in my truck) chasing trains, what do I need (want) to do??? I don't care if I have to keep them pluggerd in together or not... Do I justy want to tether? Do I need to ROOT? Do I have to do both?
    2) With all that I have read about gingerbread men and other sh... I mean stuff, SBFing (what the hell is that?), Bricking (I think that means you killed the phone??), ROMS (I think they are small programs??) it seems that stuff to root or tether is very specific to model and version and ather narely mentioned bit possibly very important info like the Android version, baseband version, and system version... I am scared poopless I'm gonna ruin this thing...
    3) I know there are many posts with "step by step" diorections, but none seem to be specifically for the "ingredients" of my phone...

    Looking forward to your guys' help!

    Your friend,
    John lardino
  2. bplewis24
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    bplewis24 New Member

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    1) Rooting is not required to Tether. There is an app called PDANet that will allow you to tether your laptop to your phone. However, there are two differences between doing it this way and Rooting your phone and downloading other apps: a) you will have to be connected via USB and b) you will have to have PDANet software installed on the laptop in question.

    Rooting essentially gives you more freedom because you can install "rooted" apps that will allow you to wirelessly tether without any software on your PC. If you have root access, you can install an app called Wireless Tether, which works very well on my Droid and is simple to use. If you know how to connect your laptop to a wireless router, you already know how to connect it to your phone running the Wireless Tether app.

    Having software on your PC means that if PDANet ever updates on the phone side, it will also need to update on the PC side to communicate. So a bit more maintenance is required to keep it up and running. I haven't used PDANet in a long time (4+ months) so I don't know if it still works the same or not.

    2) You are correct in that the Root and ROM flashing process is specific and unique to each phone and it's hardware/software configuration. I know the general basics of how to flash ROMs and such, but my experience is with the original Droid, not the Droid Global. As such, I can't really give you any advice on how to do it. Having said that, I can give you some basic info which may help:

    Root(ing): Getting root access generally means you get more control over the phone. It is required to install any "root" apps or flash ROMs.

    SBF Files: I think SBF files are file types that are used to flash software on your phone using PC software called RSD Lite. The reason this method is often preferred is because even if you brick your phone (making it comatose) you can still resuscitate it using RSD Lite assuming you have a proper SBF file.

    ROMs: ROMs are customized software for your phone that are flashed using a specific process. Each ROM is specific to the make/model of your phone. ROMs can be as simple as giving you root access or as complex as changing the look and usability of your phone.

    3) Can't really help you here.

    I tried to be general with this information because I'm no expert and I don't want to give you technically incorrect info. Plus I have the flu and I'm not thinking clearly right now anyway. If any of this stuff is incorrect, hopefully somebody will correct me.

    Brandon
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011
  3. hookbill
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    hookbill Premium Member Premium Member

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    You did well Brandon, except for the explanation of what a ROM is.

    A custom ROM is the same as an OS. A ROM does not give you root access. You have to root by another means.

    I want to say a few words about rooting and the D2. I have had to sbf 4 times now. 3 times I was successful but on the 4th time my phone bricked, which is a way of saying it's broken.

    So I would caution you in doing rooting. I'm not an expert either, but I can tell you I did nothing wrong when I went to restore my phone from 2.3 stock to 2.2. I don't know what went wrong and it doesn't happen to a lot of people.

    I'll also be honest and tell you that if something like that happens you can probably easily get a replacement from Verizon, since when it is bricked they can't see what happened to it.

    Just a little something to chew on.
  4. jlardino
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    jlardino New Member

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    Brandon,
    Thanks for the response - you have given me a better explanation of the "Droid" world. I have read posts that ROOTing the phone is a big no-no with Verizon (and Motorola)... Wifey set me up with a one-on-one class with a Verizon rep on how to use my phone in a couple weekends (kinda cool they offer one-on-one classes for customers - good service in my book!) and now I'm scared to do anything until after the class in case he/she looks into the guts of the phone and says BUSTED!!! I'm such a chicken... I look forward to reading the input from theother group members! Get to feeling better soon!!

    Thanks again,
    Your friend,
    John
  5. jlardino
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    jlardino New Member

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    I have read that often times to root, you have to go BACKWARDS foth the system... That seems a litle weird. So, goven I have a class with Verizon and I'm absolutely OK with USB'ing the phone to the computer, would you say that at lweast for now as I learn, TETHERING would be fine for me?? I can get to the FUN stuff after my class with Verizon and after I become more confident and knowledgable with the phone... So, if I got it right, then, to TETHER, I need something like PDAnet (or any better suggestions), install it on my laptop, plug USB cable into phone and other end into computer and GO!?? I imagine there;s settings to be chenged somewhere, but am I at least warm? I'd consider that a moral victory!!

    Thanks in advance,
    Your friend,
    John
  6. Droid Firefighter
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    Droid Firefighter Active Member

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    Hey chief, congratulations on the retirement. Go through the class with Verizon and then return here to get all the juicy stuff they couldn't tell you at Verizon. There are a ton of people here with some pretty crazy skills that can and will walk you through everything you want to know. My father-in-law is into the train watching also (also a firefighter) so I know what you are looking at doing. If you need anything you can send me a pm and I will send you in the right direction if I can't help. Good Luck and have fun with it!

    Sent from my Droid using DroidForums
  7. CKD2
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    CKD2 New Member

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    First thing is you want to learn how to root your phone. A program called z4root is what I used and its very easy.
    http://www.droidforums.net/forum/dr...root-custom-recovery-sim-unlock-tutorial.html

    You are gonna need to purchase an app or two from the market so be ready for that. You def need a program called Droid Bootstrap Recovery. Easy to find on a market search.

    Also you wanna find a tether app form the market, do a search grab pdanet and another wireless tether free app.

    Search and read as much as you can around here. Also learn the lingo
    http://www.droidforums.net/forum/re...-dummies-guide-android-terminoligy-lingo.html

    Just figure out root and tether. Then move onto ROMs, Themes and Overclocking.

    Remember just like anything, its gonna take some time and trial and error to get to know everything. But You'll see that its easy and you'll get it.
  8. bplewis24
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    bplewis24 New Member

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    Yeah John, you're on the right track. Given your concerns and info, I'd say your best bet is to download PDANet from the app store, download the PC client for your laptop, and set the two up. I've included links to both in this paragraph.

    Wait to do more advanced things until after your meet with Verizon, and in the mean time just read the links that people have posted in this thread to get you acquainted with the terms and procedures.

    Brandon
  9. jlardino
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    jlardino New Member

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    Hey - you guys are OK in my book! I have been poking around and reading as much as I can in some of the referred threads, but, as Droid Firefighter can probably attest, as a chief, we tend to be way too anal retentive and assumption averse! (Laughing at myself) A lot of the threads imply to do something, but don't come right out and say it completely... It'd be kinda like me or DroidFF saying "Go to the roof" at a fire. He and I know that means get your tools and your butt up there on the roof and start making vent openings so the peeps inside have less chance of being cooked. You would probably be like "Huh? And do whaaattt??? It's on FIRE under there!" That's kind of how I am with this whole deal, but you have all done a great job of making me feel well supported, as opposed to berating me for absence of knowledge. I appreciate it, especially as I have seen several other forums where Johnny NewBoots is berated mercilessly!!! And, it's good to know there is at least one brother in the forum (and how coincidental you dad likes trains and you know what I'm talking about!! Small world, really, isn't it!!??). I sincerely appreciate the patience, guidance, and support! One thing Droif FF may know off hand - my wifey and I were talking about apps that basically "scan" for fire dispatches. I know such apps at least used to exist as one of our guys in CLFD had it on his BlackBerry and was demonstrating it for us and it even had our own dispatch on it! After a fulltime career in the service, I have come to find that while I don't miss the TONS of BS associated with the job (esp. at the BC level where you're taking gas from ALL sides!), I do miss the "fighting and winning" and especially the teaching part of it...

    Looking forward to becoming better friends with you all and being able to pay it forward some day with other people new to the group!!

    Your friend,
    John Lardino
    Crystal Lake, IL
  10. Inverse
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    Inverse New Member

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    This forum rocks, even though the subject material is so dorky. <3 Welcome to the forum.
  11. Droid Firefighter
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    Droid Firefighter Active Member

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    Just do a search for "scanner" in the market. Lots of them to choose from. You might even able to find a train scanner as well. I was shocked to find my county and department in the lists. I've listened to FDNY, LAFD, CHICAGO, INDY all the way to small departments. Try the free ones first. If you find some functionality in the free version that is locked out, it will be available in the paid version. Good luck and have fun!

    Sent from my Droid using DroidForums
  12. jlardino
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    jlardino New Member

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    Hey man, thanks! Yeah - I actually sat down at my desk and googled and found several. Like you mention, there are lots out there and for about everything from trains, planes, cops, fire, and more. It's amazing, though, how quickly the "fed up with the radio traffic and associated annoyances" comes back! LOL... Our department is about 72ish full-time FF/P on 3 24/48 shifts and we run about 5100-5200 calls per year. It looks like I'm gonna have to find a way to scrounge a Minitor up from somewhere... I guess it was like when we "wanted" a puppy. Turns out we really only wanted to want a puppy. I just want to know when something's on fire. As my crews used to say "Dino ain't goin' unless there's flames showin!" I was fortunate enough to have company officers who were real pros; They liked to run their scenes, as I did when I was a C/O. My goal ws always - ALWAYS - to cancel the BC before he got on scene!! They always knew I'd be there inthe blink of an eye if there was any doubt if they'd need help... Kinda like this forum!!

    Stay safe!

    Your friend,
    John Lardino
    Crystal Lake, IL
  13. kickyindahead
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    kickyindahead New Member

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    just wanna say welcome to droidforums and hopefully you will enjoy your droid 2 global as much as i have mine. I havent been able to test out the global part of the phone yet as im still stuck in the states until i can get up enough money to run away for a while. Congratulations on retirement. I have a lot of old high school buddies that are firefighters and police officers as well. One of my good friends was just appointed chief in the town i grew up in. If you need any assistance... i feel that i kind of know my way around the droid 2 global pretty well considering i havent put it down since i got it 3 months ago. Also there are more knowledgable people in the droid 2 global section of the forums... especially the people from team get~r~done... theyve been really helpful.
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