HTC Hero Rom overview

So I spent the last 2 weeks testing available custom Roms for the HTC Hero. Here are my conclusions so far…


– all Version used are for GSM Heros – please dont install them on non GSM Heros

– not tested with paid Apps since I dont use them, if you do buy apps from the market, its probably best to stick with the official releases

– havent tested any Facebook/Twitter kind of stuff

Modaco 2.x/3.x custom rom (Based on Android 1.5)

I have been using this Rom ever since I unboxed my HTC Hero back in August finding the preinstalled Rom provided by HTC lacking performance making it very unpleasant to use for a touch device.

The features in this Rom make it the closest you can probably get to a true Linux device including a dropbear SSH server, busybox, a wide range of supported Filesystems (EXT2/3/4, NFS, CramFS, SquashFS), parted and sqlite toolset and many more.

Stability and Performance have a negligible price – The Roms are based on Android 1.5 which is pretty much out of date compared to the newer Android phones. If you don’t need the new Market or the Google Maps Navigation features – this is the Rom to go with.

Hero/Espresso Hybrid – v1.2 (based on Android 2.1)

Since an official Android 2.x release is yet to come for the Hero, most 2.x custom Roms using leaked HTC Roms have limited Sense UI app and widget support. Many widgets will constantly fault close due to a lot of bugs waiting to be fixed.

This is one of the few 2.x releases with most of the Sense UI apps and widgets working quite stable. Since this release is based on a G1 port, performance is still a little sluggish but should improve with the next few releases.

If you are desperate for Android 2.x and in need of the HTC Sense UI functionality – this would be my recommendation.

Hero21 Community (based on Android 2.1)

I have been putting my hopes on this one for a while. There are still quite some bugs in the HTC apps (Music, Alarm Clock, Weather)

Be sure to check with the change logs to make sure apps vital to you are working.

KaguDroid 1.0 (based on Android 2.0)

Very fast and perform-ant Rom but no Sense UI. After using Sense for a couple of months now, i simply don’t want to miss it. If you like the standard Android interface – this is certainly worth looking at, as it is a lightweight Rom for your Hero.

Hik@Ri 2.1.0_0 (based on Android 2.1)

This is a WWE release (stands for World Wide English) with a functional Sense UI in Android but some minor bugs in the HTC apps & widgets

Mobile (WordPress) version online

Just installed the WordPress Mobile Plugin, so you should be able to view this blog from mobile devices. Just gave it at test on my HTC Hero. Not too fancy but functional 😉

Here is a Screenshot of Interconnecting Worlds on the Dolphin Browser taken with ShootMe (Android).


Android mobile client for Nagios

Nagroid is a mobile client that speaks to nagios via http/https licensed under GPLv2.

The client will let you configure category aware notification sounds for either Warning Alarms, Critical Alarms or Down/Unreachable alarms and allows you to filter handled problems.

This app goes along very well with ConnectBot (GPLv3) if  https/https access via SSH tunnel is required.

Pretty neat, but I guess the xmpp notifiaction is more practical to me when it comes to Nagios.

Creating bootable devices with unetbootin

Unetbootin is an application which allows you to create bootable flash memory devices such as SD cards or USB memory.

In addition to the manual selection of image files there is a large selection of OS distributions to choose from which will be downloaded from an online source.

A full list of featured distros along with the installation packages (also including the Windows app) can be obtained from

Unetbootin is also included in the Ubuntu repository so you can install it using:

apt-get install unetbootin


Netbooks & Serial Network device configuration

I recently bought some Cisco equiptment (a Catalyst 2924-XL-EN and a 2611 router ) to play around with in my spare time. In order to get the equiptment running for a test lab using telnet configuration, I had to connect via the serial console which can be a hassle due to the lack of serial rs232 ports on modern computer devices.

I bought a Serial USB adapter eager to find out if this will actually work (had some compatibility issues with other devices in the past)

So i got a cheap USB adapter from my local computer store (link on Amazon – this one definitely works with Cisco Catalyst Switches, I will test it on a 2600 router as soon as it gets delivered to me ) and plugged it into my Aspire One netbook running Ubuntu 8.10. After dmesg confirmed the device (in my case ttyUSB0) I needed to get a serial based terminal emulator for console configuration.

Minicom is the good old Linux serial terminal emulator, so a simple

sudo apt-get install minicom

will provide you with the required app on Ubuntu/Debian. If you are running Vista, I recommend tutty since HyperTerminal is no longer included.

The next step will be to set up the device parameters for minicom by running

minicom -s

Set your serial device to the equivalent (should be ttyUSBx) and set the following connection values:

  • Baud Rate: 9600
  • Data Bits: 8
  • Stop Bits: 1
  • Flow Control: none

Now save your config file (the default config is dfl) and launch the program. The values for any Windows software are the same.

GNU ddrescue – Recovery Enhanced dd

Creating images of a drive prior to the recovery processing is always a good idea. If you will be expecting a lot of I/O errors, ddrescue might be interesting for you.

GNU ddrescue is a data recovery tool. It copies data from one file or block device (hard disc, cdrom, etc) to another, trying hard to rescue data in case of read errors. GNU ddrescue does not truncate the output file if not asked to. So, every time you run it on the same output file, it tries to fill in the gaps. The basic operation of GNU ddrescue is fully automatic. That is, you don’t have to wait for an error, stop the program, read the log, run it in reverse mode, etc. If you use the logfile feature of GNU ddrescue, the data is rescued very efficiently (only the needed blocks are read). Also you can interrupt the rescue at any time and resume it later at the same point.

Combine this with a cheap USB2IDE or USB2SATA adaptor and keep it in your geek bag!

Current Study reveals Acer as Netbook market leader

A current Quarterly Notebook PC Shipment and Forecast Report by reveals Acer as the current leader on the Netbook market.

Here are the figures:

  • Acer — 38.3
  • Asus — 30.3
  • HP — 5.8
  • MSI — 5.7
  • Dell — 2.8
  • OLPC — 2.3
  • Medion — 2.3
  • Kohjinsha — 1.0
  • Intel — 1.0
  • Lenovo — 0.7
  • Toshiba — 0.5
  • All others — 9.1

Further info can be found at:

Managing Bookmarks on multiple machines

Ok, so you’ve got like 2 workstations, a notebook perhaps some netbooks and you have a load of bookmarks you want to have on all machines…. perhaps including your machine @ work….

There is a pretty nifty online bookmark manager plugin from StartAid which will allow you to manage your bookmarks online, publish them to other users and export to XML or HTML.

Get the Extension here

Here are some of the key features taken directly from the addon site:

– Similar feel to built in bookmark manager.
– All your bookmarks are accessible from Firefox and VIA through your personal account
– Built in Side Bar
– No Synchronization required, all changes are real-time
– Import existing bookmarks from your browser or favorite social bookmarking site.
– Your personal profile will allow you to track all your bookmark stats.
– Drag and Drop management system.
– Quick and Detailed bookmarking options.
– Organize bookmarks allows you to move multiple bookmarks and categories at once
– Quick Link buttons for your toolbar