Month: August 2012

First Install on a New Dell Inspiron 17R

Ok, I have finally retired my old laptop to light duty in my wife’s service, and I have a nice brand new Dell Inspiron 17R.  (Inspiron 7720)  This post was originally intended to document how I initially set it up.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t as straightforward as I wanted.  It took me a bit of experimenting to figure it out, and this post might be a little crazy.

Read More

Android: I have Jelly Bean!

Thanks to ThdDude and his Unofficial CM10 HD2 ROM, I now have Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) on my phone.  I thought I would show off a few pictures and at least capture the link to his XDA Thread so that I can remember where to go back for updates.

Jelly Bean ROMS for HD2

Right now, using the HD2 ROMs page, I see three different ROMs out there.  I have only tried the one at this point, but here is the list of ROMs I know of:

My Home Screen

For starters, here is the way I have my home screen customized.  I removed the stock clock, and I added the Fancy Widgets clock.  I also removed the messaging and Email to replace them with Gesture Search and GMail.


One of the new features in Jelly Bean is the notifications.  I like how they are dynamic and adjust to the situation.  For example, the following screenshots show a bunch of notifications all together.  Notice how they are packed in together and take up the minimal amount of space.

When, I clear out some of the notifications, notice how the email notification expands to show more information now that it has room.

Application Switcher

I don’t think this is new to Jelly Bean, but it has the ICS Application Switcher.  When you hold the Home key down, you get this:

Google Now

I just stumbled on the Google Now interface.  I had read a little about, but I just now accidentally pulled it up.  To open it, you click on the search bar on the home screen:

It brings up an interface that looks like this.  The various cards give you information:

When you talk, it has updated the interface.  I have read that now this voice recognition happens on your phone and we don’t have to go to the web to get it to recognize.

Version Information

Here is the basic information from the Settings > About screen.

Here are the build details:

If you tap on the Android Version, you’ll see this easter egg:

The Lock Screen

The lock screen has a slightly different feel to it.  Just a different look…


One disappointment I had was that Chrome would not install.  It said that it was not compatible with this version!

I wonder if this is because hardware acceleration is not included yet?

HD2 Toolkit

After getting a new laptop, I was looking for the HD2 Toolkit.  I use it to flash my HD2 phone.  The new Jelly Bean ROM that I am trying out needed a bigger partition.

Apparently, it was just updated in July.  Here’s the new link:

XDA: Updated with new Recovery!

I still can’t use it on Linux though, which is kind of frustrating.  It installs fine under Wine or a on a VirtualBox virtual machine, but it can’t see the phone through the USB cable.  I wish I could fix that, but it works great through my Windows partition.

Background Slideshow for Unity — Need Help

I wanted to create a special changing wallpaper for my old laptop now that I am passing it on to my wife.  I found some instructions, but I couldn’t make it work.  If you have any ideas, please comment below.  I can create the XML and the wallpaper, but I can’t get it to display where I can select it.

First, I found instructions on installing a program called crebs (Create Background Slideshow).  It creates the XML file that tells which images to include in the wallpaper.

I tried installing with:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:crebs/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install crebs

Unfortunately, the repository isn’t up to date.  I had to change the version in software sources back to “natty” to get it to install:

Once installed, it didn’t show up in the menu.  I had to launch it from the command line.  To make it easier, I added a launcher with the Main Menu application.

I was able to create the slideshow with no problem.  I added my 3 images.  It doesn’t package them at all, so put them in the place where you want them to live before you place them into the slideshow.  You may want to put them into the /usr/share/backgrounds.

When I hit save, it generated the slideshow xml file in the $HOME/.crebs/<name>.xml directory.  I moved that file to the /usr/share/backgrounds/sunflower directory.

My big problem is that I don’t see the slideshow in the Appearances App to select as my background.  That’s where I get stuck.