Hacking Moto

So, if you watch my linklog, you’ll notice that I recently installed [moto4lin][] on [Ubuntu][] so that I could hack my [Razr][].


The primary reason for doing this was that the external screen would display my service provider’s icon. This, to me, seemed like a bit of an imposition – why should I be forced to advertise their product? I’ve already bought it – what more do they want? Blood?

So I created a 96×80 GIF image called cl.gif and uploaded it to the phone, overwriting the existing file in /a/mobile/system/ – worked a treat.

I then went to town getting rid of all the preinstalled crap that had been marked as read-only, and hence undeletable from within the phone’s menu.

Here’s where it gets interesting, because to give the user the impression that this crap isn’t taking up shedloads of space, the phone has been programmed to subtract the mass of this crap from the total space displayed when you request a memory report.

So, when I started out, I had these stats:

> Total: 7731 Kb
> Used: 510 Kb
> Free: 7221 Kb

Bearing in mind that this was clearly dubious anyway, as I know for a fact that my ringtone is a 775 Kb MP3, we’ll move on.

So, insert noise of much deleting occuring here. I’ll wait.

Now, the stats are:

> Total: 8969 Kb
> Used: 943 Kb
> Free: 8025 Kb

I must admit, the value for “Used” here does seem a bit more realistic now. But most remarkable is the total space – I’ve cleared out more than a megabyte of crap!

Another tweak that I’ve made is to replace the shutdown animation with a single-frame GIF. This greatly reduces the time taken to turn the phone off. I’ve tried to do the same with the startup animation, but for some reason it is still using the old anim, despite me apparently having overwritten it with a single-frame GIF. The mind boggles.

I’m reluctant to go crazy deleting files, partly because I’m not hideously strapped for space, and partly because I’m aware that by deleting protected files, I might be putting the phone into a state which the developers never anticipated it reaching – dependencies on certain files might be hardcoded into the software. However, I’m reasonably confident that with the right precautions, I could free up some more space in the following ways:

> Themes: 171 Kb
> Images: 364 Kb
> MMS Templates: 313 Kb

Bringing the total capacity of the phone to 9817 Kb. The [Wikipedia page][] refers to “User accessible memory: 5.5MB (10.5MB with some features removed)” which doesn’t seem like a far reach from my current limit, though I suspect that this may require removing the Java runtime environment.

[wikipedia page]:

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