And then the ball came crashing down.

Android 4.2.2

Android 4.3 or CM 10.2 looks oh so nice, with the much vaunted, highly secured CM account to locate my device and what else?

What else? Well the random soft reset every few times an hour starting from 11 Sep to once or twice a day in 23 Sep. It’s a bit disconcerting when you are browsing on WhatsApp and suddenly you are looking at the spinning circle. My blood pressure rose a bit when that happened. But never mind since I wasn’t doing anything critical then. The strange thing is that I can’t capture any error logs. The Up Time counter was not affected and there were no dump logs. It just looks like the launcher and other bits of software got restarted.

A few mornings later, the Alarm Droid went off. I lean over to silence it and guess what? It went into soft reset. Now that is not good. Hmm not good, since the rest of the family depended on me to get them out of bed, that could have disastrous effect. It is time to change the threat level from green to yellow. Yesterday morning, the same thing happened, it soft reboot for another alarm. Ok now it is getting on my nerves.

These days on the way to work, I noticed that the 3G network performance has been spotty. Some areas I got literally no bars when I knew there is coverage. The threat level now is now up another notch. Today, I got a call from my kids and the phone drop the connection to no bars.

Time to go back to Android 4.2

CM 10.1.3 stable is out courtesy of @infected_ at XDA Developers. But I want a known good nightly in case of problems encountered in the downgrade. I have no idea how accurate I was. I dirty flashed 13 Aug CM10.1 nightly, cleared all caches and reboot. The phone stuck on boot. I hard powered off by pressing power button for 10 seconds and reboot to Recovery using the 3 finger salute of Vol up, Power and Home. This is a small miracle considering the bad condition of my Home button. This time I wiped the System partition and flash again. Same result. Reboot into Recovery again, execute Wipe Data/Factory reset. Now it boots and I have lost all my SMSes.

Since I don’t have access to the work place WiFi, I was forced to re-install using 3G, putting the most of my 12GB bandwidth cap to work. It is a slow process but moving. I encountered a Play Store error 923 due to my APN was set to GPRS. It is true that Google knows how to access all the AP in world as the restore include my home AP settings, but strangely not the Wireless@SG.

While waiting for the CM10.1 stable to come out and CM10.2 to stabilize, I decided that to correct a mistake a long time ago. I have messed up my modem software. That is another post.

Soft reset / reboot / restart

Frozen Roti Prata

Here are 6 reasons why a pack of frozen Roti Prata is handy. I prefer the plain version so that it blends well with other food. There are pratas with French onion or spring onion flavours. Popiah skin does nearly the same job but it is usually bulk packed and nearly impossible to separate when frozen.

  1. Pan fried with a dash or dashes of sugar for an instant meal.
  2. You can substitute sugar with a slice of cheese.
  3. For a much healthier choice, you can pour a whipped egg over the prata while frying.
  4. Leftover vegetables? Fry up a  Roti Prata, roll it up the veggies like a popiah and dig in.
  5. You can do the same with meat, although roasted meat works best. Drop in some sliced lettuce you will get something like a shawarma or kebab.
  6. Roti Prata can be used as pizza base. You need to dust the base with flour and be lightning quick while prepping the pizza. When the prata defrosts before is cooked, it can be very sticky.
  7. Extra curry? Its prata time.

Other similar alternatives include Naan or Chappati.

Android 4.3

I have been closely watching the progress of Android 4.3 or Cyanogenmod (CM) 10.2 development progress. There were some hiccups, but the quality of the ROM increased by leaps and bounds. At the same time my email flow is increasing. I know that sooner or later I will need to put the corporate mail on the phone. The problem is that the security policy requires device encryption. From the posts of some users, encryption did not survive the upgrade process from 10.1 to 10.2.

The internal SD card seems to the issue. An encrypted internal SD card in CM10.1 when upgraded to CM10.2, the storage will never be accessible again. A full wipe and restore is required. Not exactly a fun thing to do in the middle of an upgrade.

So what I have decided to do is to upgrade before doing the encryption.

After a weekend of use, I have found that Android 4.3 is usable, there some weird self-restart. In the past, CM10 and CM10.1 I have found that when an app crashed so horribly that a self or force reboot is required, it only happens once per app. So far CM10.2 has not breached that baseline, well at least for the 11 Sep nightly.

I have upgraded to the 17 Sep nightly. I was watching a 30 minute Youtube video and it crashed 3 times. I am not even halfway through the video. I have decided rarely used apps, to reclaim some free space. When I uninstalled the LTA app, MyTransportSG, the period between self-restart increases. Hmmm I installed back the app, played the video and it works fine for the rest of the afternoon. On the way back from work, it died again. I think I will take it out permanently and monitor some more.

This blog was written using MS Word 2010. Nice eh?

Update 21 Sep 13
I am now on 17 Sep nightly. The phone is . still not good enough as a daily driver.  Prolong use of network sometimes cause the phone to restart.  Strangely the Up Time counter was not reset.  Some kind of soft-restart or the launcher did.  This morning I had encountered the infamous Android freeze.  I might go ahead a few more nightlies to see if things improve, otherwise is back to 4.2.2 RC2  With turbulent times ahead for Cyanogenmod team, the end is drawing close for this phone.

Update 25 Apr 14
Android 4.3 or CM 10.2  has a memory bug that causes the kernel to run out of memory and crash.  This happens approximately after 2 days of use.  I have tried Gustavo, Apolo and Dorimanx to no success.  In the end I upgraded to Android 4.4.2 or CM11

Have you lost your mojo?

mojo  (ˈməʊdʒəʊ) 

—  , pl mojos mojoes
1. a. an amulet, charm, or magic spell
b. ( as modifier ): ancient mojo spells
2. the art of casting magic spells
3. uncanny personal power or influence

dictionary.com link 

mojo

N.
1. Self-confidence, Self-assuredness. As in basis for belief in ones self in a situation. Esp. I context of contest or display of skill such as sexual advances or going into battle.
2. Good luck fetish / charm to bolster confidence.
3. ability to bounce back from a debilitating trauma and negative attitude

urban dictionary link

I thought there should be several webpages on Google search result.  I was too lazy to verify this.

I found this link and it resonated with me.  At least you know what you don’t know.  Plans can be put in place to do something about it.  Self assessment on today’s skills and for the next leap is another good way to recover your mojo.

link

CM10.1 is now Release Candidate on Samsung S2 GT-9100

Android 4.2.2

As the development efforts start moving over to CM10.2 and maybe CM11, Cyanogenmod 10.1 is being closed off.    The venerable Samsung SII GT9100 is now has a Release Candidate.  This is almost unthinkable, considering the lack of graphics drivers.  Head over now to pick up RC2.  Avoid RC1 as it has a deep sleep problem.

If you are running the CM10.1 nightlies, you might want to make sure your build is not too far ahead.  RC are usually several revisions behind.  If you flash a RC over a nightly that is very much newer, strange things happen.  The best way to prevent this is to wipe the system partition or downgrade the nightly, possibly requiring a reset.

link

Microsoft buys Nokia Devices and Services

Microsoft is buying Nokia Devices and Services for EUR 3.79 billion.  Another EUR 1.65 will go to license Nokia’s patents.  All for EUR 5.44 billion in cash.

The question on everyones’ lips, what is going to happen to the low end devices.  Nokia by total mobile phone shipment is still the biggest guy on the block.

Is Microsoft trying to out Apple’s formula?  Apple with the launch of the iconic iPhone, dragged the whole company out of doldrums.  Some say bankruptcy.

MS press release More news link 

Certification in Project Management

I am thinking considering a project related certification.  There is the CITPM and the PMP.

I recently attended an intro talk by the Singapore Computer Society (SCS) on Certified IT Project Manager (CITPM).  According to their website, there are 2129 certified CITPM, which  is

  • World’s first IT Project Manager Certification
  • Managed by SCS and endorsed by IDA
  • Yardstick for employers in the recruitment of IT Project Managers and assessment of staff capabilities
  • Accredited by National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University.

To get accredited, you will need to pay $727.6 for non-members or $588.5 for members and submit one Project Experience Report (PER).  It used to be three PERs.  On the first glance, it appears there is less work for the applicant but the assessor will base your application based on that just one report.  Citrep sponsors you up to $500

For associates, you take the test.

Re-certification, is to earn 100 Continuing Professional Certification credits over a five year period.

What does the assessor assesses you on?  Well the CITPM Body of Knowledge (BOK) which is based on PMP BOK (more on this later) and some additional chapters.

The other certification is the Project Management Institute (PMI) Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.  There is a form to fill up and provide a summary of hours clocked for each phase of projects done.  They only require a supervisor, project name and hours. You may need multiple sections to hit the required hours.  Attend an instructor led class on project management.  You are now eligible for the test.

On the surface, both certifications looks very similar, CITPM uses the same BOK.  The PER for CITPM needs exhibit that you have previously practised good or bad project management principles.  You understand and embodied the concepts of the BOK.  If the projects that you completed do not meet the cut and chances they will, you will need to search for new stuff.  PMP on the other hand required no more effort than breaking down your prior projects into hours.  Even audited, you are required to get a sign off and may be a company stamp.

PMP is a certification that up lifts you to a standard eg like Microsoft System Engineer series. CITPM is closer to a professional body like Professional Engineers Board (PEB) endorsing you on your demonstrated professionalism.  No wonder there are lots more PMP than CITPM.