Try Again

Dear J-

The few small successes I’ve had with backing devices are usually undone by something as simple as an upgrade or bugfix that requires me to go through an endless cycle of hacking and rehacking without an end in sight. I rooted my phone so that I could run a custom ROM and connect to a Bluetooth HID keyboard which worked great yesterday yet today requires an endless dance of pairing, unpairing, connecting and not connecting. This in turn leads me to think that maybe there’s a fix for this or a hack and please say that it’s not going to require me to re-load the ROM because then I lose all my settings and applications and …

You know, there’s just not enough time in the day to deal with all of that. I’ve been using a bluetooth keyboard (to be precise: the SAME bluetooth keyboard) for years now with several different devices, from a Treo 650 to Nokia N800 and now to this Android phone. A good keyboard is worth its weight in gold; devices, not so much. Given that time spent fiddling is not time spent using, there’s something inherently wrong with any device that requires you to spend more time setting up than using. The measure of success should be how quickly you’re able to get it working, and at the moment, iOS is winning that race. Note that it’s probably ludicrous to carry around a keyboard that’s larger than your phone in order to type efficiently, but we won’t get into that.

I remember this with the PSP, which sounded great at the time, promising emulation action — finally, here you could have a portable 16-bit Final Fantasy. The problem was two things happened: Square started going crazy with SNES/SFC remakes on the DS, and Sony started waging war with the hackers by forcing firmware upgrade after upgrade to play the latest games (and you could count a third cause, too: the PSP hardware was a battery-sucking hog on the order of the Nomad or Game Gear) and you had to choose: legitimate games or retain the hack? I eventually chose neither and the PSP has been sitting in a box somewhere for years now. It is why I’ve been so hesitant to root the phone: I’m sure it can be done. I just don’t have the time to deal with it.

Mike

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One Response to “Try Again”

  1. Junior Says:

    It’s usually the paralysis of indecision that ends up making these choices; as you say, one ends up essentially failing to choose, either through uncertainty as to how to proceed, lack of time, or concern that functionality will be lost through “upgrade.”

    I’m having a similar problem with OSX right at the moment; with the last update on my MacBook, a USB keyboard that Spouse had bought me suddenly started causing a whackload of kernel errors. Contacting life-works (makers of the device) results in empty assurances that updated drivers for the device are being “worked on” (but they were supposed to be ready by the end of August) and my increasing indecision about whether to roll back to a previous version of the operating system. Argh.

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