Republic Wireless Defy XT finally usable again

OK so I *finally* figured out how to make my phone workable again. It had been complaining about ‘low memory’ for months and I didn’t know what to do about it short of rooting. I had moved everything possible to flash, even using AquaMail for my gmail because, well, gmail can’t be moved to flash and it’s a hog. I think the only app I voluntarily had on phone memory was DropBox. All the other ones are mandatory Google crud, most of which I don’t use. Bad.

I’m an Android noob (this Defy is my first Android) so I did not realize that updating built-in apps consumes built in memory. Insanity! Like a good consumer I kept all my software up to date only to have it consume so much memory that my phone became unusable. So I uninstalled all the updates I didn’t care for. GP Books, Gmail (can’t use it because of the low memory so why update it?) and a few others. Now I have 50+ MB available and little things like FB updates work again.

How I wish I had figured that out a long time ago. It’s probably in a post on the support site somewhere but it probably didn’t ‘click’ when I read it.

Anyway I like my phone again but to me this really shows what a stupid phone the XT really is (well, the people who agreed to this combination anemic hardware and bulky software) when *mandatory* software and recommended updates to it cripple a phone. That really should never happen. Either the phone needed more built in memory or updates should not consume built in memory or the mandatory built in set should be smaller or that same software should allow itself to be migrated to flash.

Will google’s balloon wireless internet be deflated?

The problem with wireless data is that everyone in range shares the same bandwidth that’s available in the radio channel. Just like a wifi node and a 3G or 4G cell has a maximum aggregate throughput for all devices. This is contrast with wired and switched networks where (if the switch is fast enough) every node gets wire speed to another node at the same time.

In amateur radio we know this problem very well. I can use High Frequency radio, say in the 40m band to send email through servers hundreds or even thousands of miles away. The bandwidth is very limited, measured in hundreds of maybe a thousand bits per second. Sending even short text emails takes quite a while. Sending pictures is almost out of the question. While I am sending or receiving email no one else can use that frequency for hundreds or thousands of miles around. I am the exclusive user. Works fine when there are only a few people using that channel. Not so much when you have thousands trying to use it.

That is why it makes no sense to put 3G and 4G wireless cells very high. Too many people would share the same cell, rendering it almost useless. You want lots of small cells so you all get a bigger slice of the pie.

If google requires special base stations to talk to the balloons they can limit the number of nodes connecting at any one time. But the higher the balloons the fewer people can make use of the service. Lower is better in this case.

Well, we’ll see if we ever get to read some technical details about this project beyond a superficial journalistic article. The goals are lofty (pun intended) but physics has a nasty habit of not being impressed with good intentions and press releases.

The original article:

Apologies for the poor puns.

Finally then, a new blog

I used to have a blog. Some posts were heavily visited. Unfortunately the software ‘broke’ and did not like being moved to a different provider. I hope that this WordPress based blog will have a longer life.

I plan to post little self important nuggets about technical problems I encounter and solve, either by myself or through a web search. In some cases it’s worth re-wording a problem and its solution if it was hard to find the information in one place before.