Monday, 30 April 2012

Upgrading Dell Streak 5 to Android 2.3.3

UPDATE 12/6/12 - Having played with the Streak with this ROM for a while I've decided to revert to the O2 stock ROM - various problems including the Korean stock apps and the voicemail not working have put me off it. To revert, simply download the last official O2 ROM and recovery image from the XDA Developers site and follow the same procedure.

There's no new information in this post that doesn't exist elsewhere - I'm just putting it here as a reference for myself so that I've got everything in one easy to find place.

  1. Install the driver from Dell for the Streak. Package R291096.exe found at
  2. Create a folder on the root of C: called Flash 350
  3. Go to and download the files from the here link in Step 6. Extract these to the Flash350 folder
  4. Go to and download the 350 package (click on 350 on the left of the table) and the Recovery package.
  5. Save both of these to the Flash350 folder and rename the pkg file to update.pkg
  6. Plug in the Streak via USB and copy only the update.pkg file to the root of the SD card
  7. Unplug the streak and power it off. Take the battery out for good measure and then put it back in.
  8. Boot into fastboot mode - hold down the camera button and then press power. You should get a white screen with Fastboot in the top right corner. click on Fastboot.
  9. There'll be a message of "Wait for USB Fastboot detect" in the bottom left corner. Plug the streak back in via USB. The screen should change to Fastboot_Mode.
  10. back in your Flash350 folder double-click ApplyRecovery.bat. when it gets to the pause stage the Streak should display a completed message. Be ready to hold down the volume buttons...
  11. Once you're sure it's completed, press enter on the PC keyboard to reboot the Streak. as soon as the Streak goes black, hold down the volume up and down buttons until recovery mode starts.
  12. select option 2 "Software upgrade via Update.pkg on SD card" with the camera button. Press camera again to install which takes about 10 minutes.
  13. When it boots it'll be in Korean - press the button in the bottom right (which is Change language) to choose English.
  14. Go via Software Update to download the 2.3.3 update which is the last official Dell update.

Credit to the following websites for where I got this info:

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Studying with the OU

Don't think I've mentioned this previously on this blog but just now I'm studying with the Open University. In fact, I'm fast approaching the end of my first ever course - which is called My Digital Life (TU100) - and the first step on the road to what I hope will end up being a BSc in Computing and IT.

"So what?" I hear you cry. Well, it's been an interesting ride for me and I wanted to get some of my thoughts down now before they all disappear.

I suppose I should start with why I'm studying. It may seem a little strange to some that at this stage in my life, career etc I'm choosing to do a degree in a subject relating to an industry that I've been working in for the last 11 years or so. And those people are probably right. I dropped out of Uni back in 1998, went off, did some very random stuff with my life, and then worked my way back into IT from the bottom up. Throughout that time I've (very smugly at times) told people that "I don't need a degree to do my job", that "I've already got far more valuable experience" and also that practically nobody I know who has a degree does anything relevant with it (back in the NHS some of my colleagues had degrees in Modern Languages, Fine Art and Pharmacology. Very relevant.)

But then in 2010 I was doing a Leadership and Management course through work. I'll be honest and say that it wasn't my cup of tea - I thought that those things that were of any use were either obvious or things I had been doing for years. However, towards the end we did an exercise that was essentially (i) where we were, (ii) where we wanted to be (given an ideal world) and (iii) whether there was anything we could do to reconcile the two. Now don't get me wrong, I do not have a bad job, but like most people it's not my dream job. In an ideal world I'd be a software developer of some kind. Any chance I've had over the years to roll up my sleeves and do some coding I've jumped at and loved - there's a real deep sense of fulfillment for me in creating something new to solve a problem; the nearest I get to that in my normal day to day life is working out why a particular system keeps falling over and applying the recommended fix. In fact, the best and most enjoyable example of that is the reason this blog was started (the Windows 7 SP1 problem).

But I digress. I decided that in an ideal world I'd retrain, get a degree and get into software development. And I realised that I COULD do that - there was nothing stopping me from studying part time, getting my degree and then either finding a new job or (hopefully) re-sculpting my current job more in the direction of software development.

So I applied to Edinburgh Napier to study with them part-time for a degree. Shockingly I got accepted very quickly. Even more shockingly they offered me direct entry into 3rd year! Starting that week!! Amazing and ego boosting though that was, it was unrealistic for a couple of reasons. Most importantly, when I applied to study I had incorrectly assumed that I'd be able to do it evenings and weekends which I couldn't - I'd need to be in there for a minimum of a day and a half a week during term time. There was no realistic way that work were going to let me do that (well, not AND pay me for the privilege!) Also, it was just too scary an option to go right into 3rd year study after such an absence from studying for me. So, I thanked them very much but turned down the offer and instead looked at the OU.

Which pretty much brings me to where I am now. I'm one of the first batch of students to take on TU100 and it's been an interesting experience. The Sense programming language they use (based on MIT's Scratch language) is great for anyone who hasn't done any programming before as it allows you to learn about the fundamental concepts of programming without having to learn a language - it uses a drag and drop GUI interface. The Senseboard they supply you with has some interesting possibilities and makes things a bit more fun. I'll admit that there have been some elements of the course that I didn't enjoy - things like researching information and looking at the Data Protection Act - but you can't expect to love everything can you? It's been hard at times to find the time to study - 16 hours a week turns out to be quite a lot when you're out of the house for 12 hours every weekday and have a 2 year old to contend with - but I've managed it. And I'm pleased (and a little big headed) to say that I've had pretty good marks for my assignments - at present I'm averaging just over 90% :-D.

As the course draws to a close I'm considering my next move and I've decided that I could do with something slightly less intensive so I've picked a 30 point module in Microsoft Server Technologies (TM128). At half the points of TU100 it should be a bit less work and, to be fair, I work with Windows Server 2008 on a daily basis. I'm hoping a lot of it will therefore be stuff I do every day or just a bit of revision. After that I get to move on to some more meaty stuff - there's a new course starting in Java that I quite like the sound of so I'll probably pick that up early next year.

To sum up, although I'm drawing to the end of one set of studying, it's far from being the end of study all together. I reckon I've got about another 5 or 6 years to go before the degree is finished. So, by the time I'm 40... I'll have a degree! No problem then eh? *ehem*

However, I know it's going to be worth it.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Eat the whole frikin cake!

To quote Peter Griffin, "you know what really grinds my gears?"

I'll tell you - people who can't eat a whole cake. Behold exhibit A:

I came into the office today to find the above on the kitchen table. It's not the first time it's happened either; last week I threw out half a muffin that had been sat there so long it left a dent in the bin as I dropped it in.

And it really winds me up!

There's an inability in my office to either finish off food or eat an entire <fill in name of delicious goody here>, which results in people cutting things into smaller and smaller pieces so that they don't take the last piece. In fact, it's almost biblical - one can only wonder at what might happen if I bought in some loaves and fishes.

Come on people - eat the whole frikin cake. It's not going to kill you, make you the size of the Goodyear blimp or offend every other member of the office. We will not talk about you in hushed tones around the water cooler or start refering to you only as "fatty cake eater".