Tuesday, August 07, 2012

I Screamed

For ice cream! Ice cream sandwich that is! **Warning, all computery type talk ahead**

I had a bit of a nerdgasm yesterday when I read online that Ice Cream Sandwich was available for me. For those slightly less nerdly, Ice Cream Sandwich is the nickname for version 4 of the Android Operating System. It has been available on certain smart phones and tablet devices for a while, but yesterday the company that makes my Android Tablet (Toshiba) released a version for my tablet.

This was not all good news. Most users got a notification on their actual devices that they could connect to the Toshiba update location and download the new OS and have in installed automatically. This option was not available to me. Being a nerd, I "rooted" my tablet the day I received it. It's called "rooting" because you are giving yourself "root" access to the device, derived from the unix meaning of root access, meaning total access.

Basically when you run the stock version of the operating system on these devices, you are at the mercy of the manufacturer. If they want you to have certain applications on your device, you cannot delete them. If they don't want you using certain features of the device or running certain applications, they will block your ability to use them. They aren't overly restrictive, but it's annoying that they are using up your precious memory space with programs you may not want, and it's even more annoying that you are not free to do whatever you like with a device you purchased.

When you have root access, you can delete or install whatever you like. You have unrestricted access to all the features and workings of your device. This is good and bad, you could potentially break something, which is also not impossible with a stock device but a bit less likely, and you lose access to the approved update mechanism, which gets you the latest improvements and updates. And this improvement and update was something I really wanted.

Luckily for me the people who develop hacked ROMs for my tablet were really on the ball and had a rooted version of the new operating system an hour after the official version was released. AN HOUR! To say these folks were looking forward to this release is a vast understatement.

So last night was spent backing up and downloading and installing and restoring and all kinds of nerd fun. I am really liking the new OS so far. The greatest improvement is in the speed of browsing the internet and the smoothness of video playback. Since those are two of the three things I do the most on my tablet, I'd call that a tremendous improvement.

I haven't run into any bugs or significant interface changes that have bothered me. It's slightly less intuitive than it was, which is strange, but interfaces change all the time.


Josie said...

OMFG Next time, please post in English.

grrouchie said...

I've been waiting for my Ice Cream push notification as well.

I originally rooted my device the day that I got it but had to take it back the next day because of a screen issue. Unroot and a return later I just never got around to rooting the new one as I was going to wait and make sure all was kosher before hand then got lazy and life interfered.

However, I'm thinking about Rooting my Bionic because I'm tired of waiting for Ice Cream.
Also thinking about rooting my Kindle Fire just because I can.

I feel like I'm missing out on life since pushing my nerd side to the side