Tag: phone

How to Flash Back to Android from Ubuntu Phone

UPDATE:  This tutorial below will flash you back under the nasty tracking eyes of Google/Alphabet.  You will get the google play store and all the ‘fun’ but you will also get spied on and ultimately regret it.  I have since updated my tutorial/solution to this:

How to Flash Cyanogen Mod on Nexus 4 Using Ubuntu

There is no play store out of box but there are workarounds, etc, to hold you over for app-stuff.


First, I hope you never have to perform this tutorial.  I would never do this if I wasn’t in such a time and money crunch.  What I would do instead, is buy an ubuntu phone out of box.  But my situation is that I have a Nexus 4 which wasn’t designed out of box for Ubuntu so there are some bugs which I cannot find time to work around (for now).

Anyway, my hope is that the bugs will be solved in the next couple of months and I’ll flash right back to Ubuntu or have enough dough to buy a new device with it pre-installed.  It’s very important that I say this because I feel like a dirty dog for even writing this tutorial but I know that I’m not alone amongst those who may need to flash in and out while the kinks are worked out in ubuntu phone.  My goal here, to be crystal clear, is to give busy or broke ubuntu fans and believers a chance to stay on the team by allowing them to ‘temporarily flash out and in’ rather than, say, flash out and stay out, or buy some horrid apple or android phone before an out-of-box ubuntu phone is available for purchase in their neighbourhood.

Here’s the time-saving set of steps for you:

Assumptions: your phone is sitting there at the fast boot bootloader screen thing with the green robot with the usb cable plugged in in the same way that it was when you flashed Ubuntu onto your phone.

  1. download the evil compressed file of nastiness here: https://developers.google.com/android/nexus/images#instruction
  2. extract the stench in a safe file that will never defile the rest of your ubuntu machine
  3. navigate to it with the cd command (change directory command) contents should look like this:


4. type this, assuming you can see the ‘flash-all.sh’ there  –>   ./flash-all.sh

5. wait, cry, and think about the error of your ways and how you are putting yourself and others at risk.  Also, make note in calender to flash back to Ubuntu. You’ll have a lot of time to do this because the flash seems to take extra long…


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Everything You Need to Know about Ubuntu Phone

My friend sent me this link to a great page that summarizes most of the key things you need to know about the Ubuntu Phone.

As mentioned in my previous article, we are quickly moving to convergence and in order to make sure we get there safely, ubuntu is the *only* option.

The great news for all of you who were making excuses, is that now you can buy very reliable devices out of the box that are Ubuntu.

It’s not that Ubuntu is the future, it’s that everything else is the past.


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How to Flash from Cyanogen Mod to Ubuntu on Nexus 4

Normally in the past, it was very easy for me to flash from android to Ubuntu for phone.  I just used the usual ubuntu tutorial and it worked.

Then, somewhere in the middle I switched to Cyanogen mod (android) as the ‘lesser of two evils’ while I was waiting for bluetooth to improve.

I heard today that everything is working so I went back to flash and boom.  Snagged.  It woudn’t recognize adb devices when I was in fastboot mode.

I searched and tried a hundred commands but the answer turned out easy.  I just had to switch to recovery mode, not fastboot mode.

How you do that is on your green robot screen you just push the down arrow (volume) until the screen says ‘recovery mode’ at the top and then press the usual power button at the top right.

Then you go back and follow the install instructions from this command:

ubuntu-device-flash touch --channel=ubuntu-touch/stable/ubuntu

All good in the hood.


EDIT: All was NOT good in the hood.  I got stuck in a perpetual Cyanogen Mod recovery mode loop.  It turns out that nothing else worked for me.  The ubuntu flash process from the above command worked. I could see all the images going to the device. But it would continually reboot back into CM.

The solution?  Oddly, all I had to do was add back in the –bootstrap at the end of the command and everything worked instantly.  So the command looked like this:

ubuntu-device-flash touch --channel=ubuntu-touch/stable/ubuntu --bootstrap

I suspect this is not ideal because the official tutorial shows clearly you should only need the bootstrap option at first install only but mine always needs it.  If anyone knows what’s up it would be cool to know.  Please comment!  Otherwise, we’re back to Ubuntu – hopefully forever.

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Phone with Etiquette or No Phone At All?

Yesterday a friend of mine sent a list of phone etiquette to make sure that we are being as respectful and professional as possible in the way we represent our company and ourselves as individuals.  I am thankful for the list and I made a mental note of all the suggestions and implemented the changes that I could.

However, before presenting the list, I thought it was interesting timing that it was sent to me on the very same day that I published this articlePerhaps, since the telephone itself seems to be a dying form of communication, more efforts should be spent on putting the last nails in its coffin rather than focusing energies on doing it better.  This was a point presented to me.

A conversation started about my article was about voice mail, for example.  Here is a copy and paste from our email dialogue:

me: There is one person who calls me all the time. I mean all the time. Then, what’s more funny is they always leave a voice mail and the message is always the same “call me back when you have some time.”

“Call me back when you have some time??” I just spent 2 minutes checking my voice mail to find that??

friend: This is exactly the use case for having someone else answer your calls. That person obviously:

  • Wants to talk to someone,
  • Does not value your time,
  • Doesn’t get the basic etiquette of leaving detailed messages,
  • Frustrates you.

While we consider whether the phone is an interruptive technology that breaks focus and sucks our productive time, or whether it’s legitimate, relevant and useful we will continue to debate.  In the meantime, here is the phone etiquette list that he sent me, with his comments [and my comments in these nice square brackets], that I think is good to adhere while we await the cultural and social shift to complete:


Phone off the table. 
It’s usually a no-no. Shows lack of respect as you’re not giving the person 100% of your attention.
Get a normal ringtone. Something professional sounding like a regular phone ringing or something not large and different. Your current ringtone is jarring when it goes off and it doesn’t sound professional.  It should not be jarring. it should not be obnoxious.  [I thought my hip-hop bass loop was dope…?]
Keep them short.
[I would add to not leave one at all if it doesn’t contain specific information that will justify the 1.5 minutes they will have to spend to retrieve said message]
Don’t answer your phone in a meeting with a client or vendor unless you absolutely have to. By keeping your phone out of sight it makes it a lot easier to keep to this rule.
[I would add that by turning it off completely would assure focus.  Perhaps if someone around you was gravely ill or giving birth you might be justified but clearly explain this to the person you are with in advance]
Announce your name / company name when answering. 
[this works well and is recommended unless you, like me, have multiple businesses running through the same phone number….  another good case for VOIP technology over the phone]
Let people know if they are on speaker phone.
[unless you are recording them for future incriminating evidence for court]
The above list is good for business, but I would say that this list should also be applied to any social gathering.  It’s quite sad to watch a couple checking their emails with wine and and candlelight in an expensive restaurant.  It speaks to our sad state of disconnectedness and we should be ashamed…


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Has the Traditional ‘Telephone Call’ Seen Its Day?

Which do you prefer? The sound of an incoming text message, or a telephone call?  Which sound makes you lose your focus more?  Which sound evokes more stress?  Which sound compels you to take action?

It seems as though the people around my age and younger would say ‘anything is better than the phone call’.   And you will notice that they don’t call people much, either.  They practice what they preach in that way.

And for people my age or slightly older (I hover around 40 now) the phone call is an ‘interruptive technology’.  You are just about to get started on that business plan., or you are right in the middle or writing that blog post, or you have just found a few quiet minutes to read your Bible and then ‘ring-a-ling-ding-my-dingy-ling-long-wang-chung-have-fun-tonight’ happens.  Or perhaps some other ringtone.  But it doesn’t stop.  Then, if you want to know what this person wanted you have to go to your voice mail, only to find out that no one leaves a voice mail any more because who the heck doesn’t have some kind of caller ID?

It would appear the traditional ‘phone call’ for social purposes is dying indeed…

Even my mom who is 76 years old said ‘text message because it doesn’t keep ringing while I’m on the toilet!”  Good point, mommers!

I believe that phone still has one place and that is for business calls during business hours, or as one friend put it “I don’t take calls that are not scheduled.”  So here is how I see phone still having a place until everyone has some form of VOIP connection:

  • a message (ie. text, Telegram, email) is sent scheduling the call.

example:  eg. “J-dog. Able to chat at 9:30 for 10 minutes?” or

Dear Mr. Robertson, do you have an hour at any point tomorrow for a phone call?

  • the call is made or rejected or rescheduled

For a business, however, it makes sense to have the phone lines open for sales and customer service.  Anyone in sales or customer service would be justified to be with phone and on call.  They are paid to be interrupted.

Did I miss anything?

Do you disagree?


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