I’ve got a Droid on my back

My friend James Kendrick recent wrote about the Android Fiddling Ratio, the ratio of the time spent configuring/tinkering with an Android device versus the time spent using it. This has been a problem for me dating back to my Palm days (remember HackMaster?). Android and Windows Mobile are the worst for fiddling, but Palm OS and iOS certainly weren’t exempt (especially after jailbrraking the latter).

Last week I decided to try a different tack. A new leak of Gingerbread (Android 2.3) specifically for my Samsung Captivate landed on XDA-devs. I figured this was my best chance to return to running a “stock” ROM without all the fiddly bits without giving up the performance and data tethering I’d grown used to with Gingerbread.

That lasted a weekend, and only that long because I was still setting up my new apartment. I installed the beta of Cognition 5 by DesignGears this morning, which is based on the leaked stock Gingerbread I was running, but tweaked to avoid certain annoyances. A second beta is due out soon (edit: it’s out, and requires me to wipe and reinstall all my apps), which should support ClockworkMod Recovery, allowing me to flash further updates over the air rather than through my PC.

I need to break this habit. I have a LOT of fiction to write, and tinkering with technology is taking up time I really don’t have. How do you stay focused and control your technology, rather than the other way around?

7 thoughts on “I’ve got a Droid on my back”

  1. Just give up. I’ve settled on the stock 2.1 ROM for my X10 because I couldn’t find anything better where everything worked. In the end, I realised that I was just chasing my tail and getting nowhere. With the SBP Shell 3D and Beautiful Widgets, I’ve customised my X10 well enough that I don’t really need anything else. Looking forward to Gingerbread on the X10 in August, but primarily for the performance enhancements and Flash support. Surprisingly, I’ve discovered that with a new launcher, I’m quite happy with stock.

  2. @Kathleen:

    Mostly due to exhaustion, not lack of fiddly interest.


    I even put WordPress in the launcher dock on my phone! Or will again, after I flash the new beta…

  3. The way I’ve done it is not something you would like. When my last phone died, I “de-converged”. I downgraded to a feature phone, and started carrying my old Palm TX around again. It’s hard to fiddle with an abandoned platform.

  4. @Juli:

    Resisting temptation clearly isn’t an option for me *pokes shiny thing*


    Wow, that’s hard core. But I quit my T5 for a Treo for a reason. As much as I need a device to tinker with, I need the data. I need my internets. I don’t know what I’d do without 24/7 internet access. It’s my other (better) brain.

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