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Old 03-01-2010, 05:34 PM
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Re: Dr. Squishy reviews Energy ROM, Mighty ROM

Originally Posted by Squishy View Post
A summary of my experience with Energy ROM and Mighty ROM

by Dr. Squishy

Ok... first of all, I've been flashing ROM's for quite a while. When I received my TP2, I checked PPC geeks for the latest and greatest ROM... only to find that there wasn't an unlocker program out yet! Had the hackers found girlfriends? I was really depressed. So, I left it alone for about 6 months.

Gradually, my stock ROM started eating away at my brain. SMS message order somehow became all messed up... alarm clock worked *sometimes*... occasional lock ups, crashes, etc...

So, yesterday I decided to check into the wonderful world of ROM cooking, to see what was new and great. Lo and behold, an unlocker program existed, and what used to be "This thread reserved" was now full of lots of posts from ROM chefs. Rubbing my hands together, I started doing research to figure out what I'd install first.

Now, your experience may be completely different than mine. Here's how you'll know if this review will help you. Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Are you type A personality? Is everything in your life organized, clean, tidy, and well oiled? Or do you lay around in a pile of pizza boxes and cigarette butts?

2. Do you change your own oil in your car, simply because you enjoy fixing stuff? Or do you just "turn the key and go" without even knowing what a dipstick is?

3. Does it bother you to spend $50 to go to a movie, then be forced to watch commercials? Or do you just idly float through life without bothering with details such as who is president or where your next paycheck will come from?

If you answered yes to these questions, then you're probably technically minded like myself (I'm a PhD Engineer) and you probably have similar expectations from your phone as I have for mine. If you are the kind of person who piles garbage on their doorstep and frequently miss paying your electric bill, you probably have totally different needs from your phone, so go find a thread that focuses more on "twitter", "facebook" and whatever else the 14 year old girls on your block are obsessing about.

Unlocking the phone

Unlocking and modifying your ROM is a "gentlemen's club" of sorts. You don't get much pity from the locals if you don't know what you're doing. And, let's face it, the instructions aren't for the technically faint of heart.

I downloaded the latest HardSPL unlocker for my CDMA Sprint phone, and followed the instructions TO THE LETTER. (I'm Type A, remember?)... of course, it didn't work.

Every time I ran the executable with my phone plugged up, it would shut my phone down, and it wouldn't complete. After 3 or 4 attempts, I finally figured out that you have to start with the phone UNPLUGGED from your computer, run the unlocker, and THEN plug it in just before it starts the unlock process.

To make matters worse, I kept getting the warning that I could only do this one time, because the software "phones home" and tells big brother everything you're doing. Now, I have never been a fan of "phone home" software. If you were to look at my hosts file, you would see about 500 servers listed, most of which belong to Adobe. Having a limit to use is like saying "here you go- here's the only phone you'll need for the rest of your life". Uh... NO... I go through phones like I go through girlfriends. I don't want to have to ask a 16 year old kid permission to unlock my phone every time I get an itch for the latest piece of hardware. Remove that feature, and I'll gladly throw you $20 for your hard work. Sorry, that's the way it works in my world.

So in the time it took to write the last paragraph, my phone was unlocked and ready to go.. now the hard part: choosing a ROM

Which ROM is for me?

When I was big into trying ROMs, there were three main ones that seemed to stand out from the others in terms of stability, speed, and ease of use: Energy ROM, Mighty ROM, and Juicy ROM. These were the "Super Walmart/Target" of the ROM world, while the others seemed like "Dollar General". I can't be more specific than that- I've slept since then. But I was glad to see that these were at the top of the upgrade subforum, as usual.

So I started with Energy ROM.... and HOLY WTF what happened? Suddenly, there's

* Energy LEO 21892 Sense 2.5
* Energy LEO 23541 Sense 2.5
* Energy LEO 21892 Sense 2.5 with MaxManila
* Energy LEO 23541 Sense 2.5 with MaxManila
* Energy LEO 21892 Sense 2.5 with Cookie Hometab
* Energy LEO 23541 Sense 2.5 with Cookie Hometab
* Energy Phoenix2 21892 Sense 2.1
* Energy Phoenix2 21892 Titanium
* Energy Phoenix2 23541 Sense 2.1
* Energy Phoenix2 23541 Titanium

Are you kidding me? Used to, when I went to the store to buy chicken, there was just CHICKEN. Now there's free range chicken, antibiotic free chicken, organic chicken, refrigerated grilled chicken, and the politically correct chickens that prefer the term "yard birds". Sheesh I miss the good old days.

So, I did like most people do I'd imagine... I searched for a thread called "which fukin ROM do I use", and of course, I didn't find one. Then, I did what most people do, and selected the one with the biggest numbers, since big numbers usually mean "more bugs fixed, faster, etc". In this case, it's just a newer core OS release the ROM is based on, and it may or may not be better than the last... you just have to try it and see.

So I selected "Energy LEO 23541 Sense 2.5" (not knowing what MaxManila or Cookie Hometab were yet). Oh joy. They're on hotfile. Can I tell you how much hotfile sucks? Imagine you're in the worst part of town, and there's pawn shops on both sides of the street. There's two nice, brightly lit ones called "Megaupload" and "Rapidshare", then there's this one dingy, dilapidated one called "Hotfile". It's slower than AOL dialup and makes me cringe.

Anyway, using my 25Mbps super download speed, Hotfile was glad to give me 1% of my file in about 10 minutes (averaging around 0.9 bps I think). I poked around the internet and finally found a mirror (thank GOD) that gave it to me quicker. Otherwise I would have chewed all of my fingernails off.

Next, I unzipped the files and again, attempted to follow the instructions TO THE LETTER. (Type A, remember?). Step 1: run "CustomRUU.exe". Ok what's the joke here? Am I on candid camera? Why do the instructions say to run a file, and it's NOT EVEN INCLUDED IN THE DAMN ZIP FILE?!? At this point I was about ready to skip Energy all together and try the next ROM. But, I'm a trooper, so I read... and read... and read... I found post after post after post that looked like this:

"Where is the CustomRUU.exe file? I don't understand! Help please!"

followed by:

"OMG U R SUCH A N00B! We should have a contest to hit the n00bs with rocks every time they ask that question!"


"Why do the instructions say to run the CustomRUU.exe file, but it isn't there?"

followed by:

"This question gets asked at least ONCE A DAY!! STUPID N00BS!!"

I was really getting frustrated at this point. Let's get a clue, here people. If it's asked EVERY DAY, there's a FUKING REASON it's asked. The damn thing doesn't work without it (unless you want to go through the trouble to copy the nbh file, rename it, figure out how to hard reset, etc etc etc... fuk that it should work as a single program, from within windows, and it should be user friendly. It's NOT THAT HARD to include the CustomRUU.exe file in the zip, is it?!? I mean REALLY?!?) It's gotten to where the locals are using the old "punch bug" game to make fun of people that don't understand why it doesn't work. (If you see "Punch ROM" then you know you're being made fun of... the school bullies are about to take your lunch money and stuff you in a locker. This is what happens when geeks try to subdue their ingrained inferiority complexes.

Here's how they probably treat their mothers:

"Eugene, could you come over and help me program my VCR? I'm getting to old to figure this stuff out."

"Punch VCR!"

"uh.. what?"

"OMG mom you're such a noob"

(sobbing) "what happened to my sweet boy who used to care for his mom?"

"OMG GO READ!! You are so STUPID!!"

(crying and hangs up)


So, I did some breathing exercises, and searched for the file I needed, finally locating one, and copied it to the Energy folder. Then I kept getting an error: "File Not Found" when I ran CustomRUU.exe. Then that program proceeded to delete everything in my Energy folder. WTF!!!!! If I had a heavy object in my hand, it would have sailed through my LCD monitor at this point.

Finally, after rebooting my computer, the CustomRUU.exe program decided it would run for me, and it installed Energy ROM on my device. THANK M-F'n GOD. Is it this hard for everyone? WHy am I the only one who makes posts like this?!? sheesh.

Trying Energy ROM

I like the look and feel of Energy ROM, but there were a few "fixes" that had to be done first. "Here's your new car, sir! Oh but before you drive it, you'll need to fix the steering linkage assembly, calibrate the transmission, inflate the tires, activate the fuel pump, blah blah blah blah..." .

w h a t. So... it doesn't work right out of the box. ohhh... kaaay.... things sure have changed. But, I don't mind installing a few cabs, so let's get to it.

First, I had to repair the MMS. I tried 4 cabs before I found the right one (MMS Fix M2.1 Sprint) which seemed to work. Then I had to put in another cab to increase the send size to 5MB.
Next, the keyboard maps were wrong, so I had to install a cab to fix that.
The ROM didn't seem to come with a tether hack, so I had to find a cab for that... there were about 3 I found. I installed them all and I hope that one will work.

Everything seems ok, except that my indicator light blinks nonstop, and the menus are large enough to read across the room. You have to scroll 5 or 6 times to find the "Mark All As Read" to get the damn light to stop blinking. Used to, there was a tweak installed called "Finger Menus Off" that gave you nice, single spaced menus so you didn't have to do all that scrolling. Alas, that luxury is a thing of the past, and we're all stuck with big blimpy menus. yay.

Then, NinjaDuck posted a possible fix I hadn't found in my exhaustive search (you are ridiculed so bad for asking simple questions, that the forum conditions you to search for 5 days before asking politely. Then amongst the banter you eventually find your solution). There are not one... not two.. but SEVEN cabs to try and fix the menu problem. Wow. So I grabbed five of them in hopes one would work. Turns out the one that works the best is " by Cookie Monster. I owe somebody a beer.

The light issue isn't going away any time soon- despite installing a few cabs that claim to fix it. I noticed it wasn't an issue with other ROM's, so after using Energy for a day or so, I decided to try another ROM to compare. Boy was that a mistake.

Mighty ROM

Next, I tried the latest MightyROM. And when I say latest, I got to choose from:
* War Sense 2.5
* Impact Sense 2.5
* Love Sense 2.5
* Windows Phone Sense 2.1

Well. I like the fact there's less to choose from. From what I can figure, War is unstable, love is a little more stable, and Impact is in between (read: unstable). ok... so I just picked the one with the prettiest wallpaper (impact). Hey, I like planets and stars and stuff... I'm a nerd.

So, I downloaded Impact (THANK GOD it wasn't on Hotfile) and installed it. First thing I noticed: no planet wallpaper. Hmm. Did I download the right one? Seems like it. SO where's the pretty planet wallpaper? I searched all through the wallpaper folder, no planet. I searched online in the forums. Apparently, I'm the only schmuck that wanted the ROM to look like the picture. It's like going to a restaurant and ordering the succulent filet mignon on the menu, then they bring you a dry piece of rump roast on a paper plate.

But, oh well, with all these people downloading it, it can't be that bad, can it?

It's that bad... and then some.

First of all, it is a stripped down ROM. This time, your new car doesn't come with tires... or a transmission... or an engine, doors, seats, or sheet metal. It's a frame, and you get to build it yourself. yay. If I wanted to do that, I'd cook my own ROM.

So, I installed the tether fix... then the MMS fix... then I had to update Opera because it was the old version. Then I had to try and figure out where the pretty notification icons were (still can't find them). Tried to disable that god-forsaken T9 word completion thing.. but when you click the keyboard button, there's no small "up arrow" that allows you to set the text input options! JC on a popsicle stick! Next, the task manager is gone, I can't soft reset the phone, and there's no regedit or total commander installed. This damn thing is going to take all day!

So, before I give up, I see that there's this "MaxManila" thingy that is supposed to improve the UI. That's it. No other description. Just install it and pray I guess. So I install it, and now there's a grey rectangle over part of my clock, and the menu button doesn't work anymore.

Sadly, I never even bothered transferring my contacts into Mighty ROM, because it seemed that it was going to take a "Mighty" long time to get it the way I wanted.

Time to move on

Stay tuned... my search for a good ROM isn't over yet. Still more to come.

LOLZ! I bet you change your mind about cooking roms! Check out Calk's kitchen, its incredible and you will learn fast. I would throw away my TP2 if i had to settle for Mike's or NRGZ's rom.
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