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[Q] Comment about terminology and process

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Ferg8080
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Default [Q] Comment about terminology and process

I am a new Xperia Ultra owner and whilst not planning to do any flashing just yet I thought tonight I'd take a quick look at threads discussing steps that would be involved in doing this.

Let me qualify what I'm about to say by stating that I appreciate people on this site who develop tools which allow us to hack our devices so we can make better use of our phones. They are incredibly skilled, gifted and generous with their time. I would love to be able to spend the time learning how to do this but I simply don't have the time. So please don't take what I am about to say as a criticism but more as an observation, considering the effort contributors put into this it would indeed be incredibly foolish of me to criticise anyone here.

I can probably safely say that none of the contributors are also trained technical writers and a fair number do not have English as their first language. Its my first and only language and I often have difficulty getting the meaning across succinctly not to mind getting the spelling right . And I know even for large software houses support documentation is not a priority.


I want to approach hacking my phone with confidence this time round. In the past I've reflashed several phones for myself and friends and simply followed steps and not really understanding completely what the hell I was doing. Lordmanhattan I know I sent you an email regarding a contradiction on your thread. And you very kindly got back to me very quickly.....amazing, thank you. And then there is the "TA partition", WTH is that? I did very briefly google this to find a quick answer but no joy....grrrr (also looked in the XDA Wiki acronyms) I'm sure if I looked hard enough I'd find it. It's mentioned everywhere but nobody seems to be offering an explanation what it is or what it does or why it's important or what it stands for !!!!


Very often I find threads on here describing how to do something hard to follow and this is often for the following reasons:
  • It could be that there is more than one way to achieve something so its a case of different people offering varied procedures, this can be confusing
  • A process may be described but then to the newbie the author seems to miss out on a step that to the experienced is obvious
  • The level of English used leads the reader to scratching their head wondering ...did he/she mean this or that
  • Threads not being updated or corrected even after feedback

Okay I won't go on.


So I have decided my time might be well spent doing some background research before delving into messing about with my Xperia Z Ultra and saving you guys from having to deal with daft questions from me.

Now does this mean I have to spend time reading through threads and trying to piece it all together to find the best way through and possibly getting the wrong end of the stick or reading superseded posts?
OR
Are there a couple of sites that will get me up to speed understanding the terminology, hardware, memory management, etc for my phone?

I have a feeling it's going to be a bit of both......your suggestions please



Oh, I stumbled across XDA University but got the impression it wasn't being maintained???

Some of the pages I visited....
A New Userís Guide to Android.......unfortunately none of the images for this page loaded
Video guides .................................had flash presentations which didn't load
Now a Sony Xperia Z Ultra owner

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blueether
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferg8080 View Post
I am a new Xperia Ultra owner...
A good and detailed post, and it's not just the dev's and support that could take note. Some of the people that ask questions really need to read your post and think about what they are trying to say, get help with -- we aren't mind readers either.

I always try and help anew user by using as few TLA as possible in a reply to them. I also try to do the steps as #'d lists with as many steps as possible.

I do think LordManhattan's guide needs a little love as a few things are a little out of date - but it is as comprehensive guide as you could get, and most vagaries are covered in the thread.

TA = trim area, where your unique DRM keys are stored, and god only knows what else.
Charles
Alcatel One Touch "easy" -> Nokia 1110i -> Alcatel ame-408 -> Motorola Razr v3 -> Huawei u8100 -> Sony Xperia Z-Ultra

ROM:- Carbon
Kernel:- Pimped Kernel

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LordManhattan
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Thanks for your well written post! First I want to say - like Blueether just did, that we are not mind readers, so we can't possible know people's skill level or what they want to do. That's why I've started to ask them straight up what they want to do and where in the process they are. That way it'll be easier for me to help the other person, and hopefully write a short but complete step by step guide. It won't happen that often, but if I got some time to spare, why not.

My guide is a little out of date now, and I have planned to update it for quite some time, but things are moving so god damn quick around here that even I will get outdated if I take a short break. I recently sent my Ultra in for repairs, and 12 days later when I got it back and ready to get back in the game, a new firmware had been released with a new rooting method. I knew everything one day, and nothing on the other. It's really hard to balance real life and being kept updated at all times. Don't forget that you must be sure about what you know and write when you make a guide, because you don't want to brick people's devices. One slipup and the consequences might be ugly.

There are (of course) one or four ways of doing things around here, and you'll probably get different ways of doing things if you ask me or blueether about rooting or flashing custom ROMs. I guess it's just the way it is. New methods also pop up once in awhile, so some people will adopt these new methods while some other people will stick with the old school method, thus making things a little more complicated for new people who are looking for reliable information.

The TA partition is, like blueether already said, your device's unique DRM keys which makes X-Reality (and other minor things, I guess) work. It's important to make a backup of this partition since you'll lose it when you unlock the bootloader. Why would you unlock the bootloader? You have to unlock it if you want to flash custom ROMs, or if you want to make rooting easier. The problem is that you need to be rooted to back it up, so you'll have to spend some time reading and researching before you start.

Just keep your Ultra stock for now, and just casually read and soak up stuff from different threads around here. Walk around like you do in a new city and check out the locals and see what they do and say. You'll pick up a few things here and there and things will start rolling from there.

Sent from my C6806_GPe using Tapatalk
 
Ferg8080
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueether View Post
A good and detailed post, and it's not just the dev's and support that could take note. Some of the people that ask questions really need to read your post and think about what they are trying to say, get help with -- we aren't mind readers either.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordManhattan View Post
a new firmware had been released with a new rooting method. I knew everything one day, and nothing on the other. It's really hard to balance real life and being kept updated at all times. Don't forget that you must be sure about what you know and write when you make a guide, because you don't want to brick people's devices. One slipup and the consequences might be ugly.

some other people will stick with the old school method, thus making things a little more complicated for new people who are looking for reliable information.

Just keep your Ultra stock for now, and just casually read and soak up stuff from different threads around here.

Yes you can see some people just rush in with questions without giving serious thought to what they want to achieve. I think its people who don't often understand the process properly, haven't thought it through and are following what seems like a straightforward step by step process. Understanding what you are doing requires patience and TIME.

XDA I think is an unrivalled repository of amazing contributions from amazing people on a technology that is constantly evolving. Its also a jungle. One doesn't go into the jungle unprepared

Thanks for the fantastic advice guys and I will heed but I can't promise I might come out with some corkers

One last thing, how on earth do you find the time to lead a normal life? You obviously love what you are doing. It might be easy to assume everyone who contributes here is in IT. I imagine there are plumbers, electricians, mechanics, office workers, retired folk.....

Now a Sony Xperia Z Ultra owner

UMI CROSS Smartphone PHABLET, MTK6589T Cortex A7 Quad Core, 2Gb Ram and 32Gb of internal memory.
Android 4.2.1

Samsung Galaxy Note (N7000) N O W B R O K E N
Slim Bean 4.2.2 Build 7.5-Weekly-612 (Best ROM to date, love it)
Android v4.2.2
Clockworkmod Recovery - Philz
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