Removing Craplets from the ATT Tilt phone

I can be a loyal mobile phone user, but I’m a realist as well. Shortly after my lament about the Nokia E71x‘s lack of screen real estate, I scoured Craigslist and purchased a used ATT Tilt phone for an absolute steal. Since Friday, I’ve been playing with this baby and while I’m getting reacquainted with using a stylus again, it’s very refreshing to be able to touch my screen to get around to stuff.

The awful part about dealing with ATT’s phone is the huge amount of uninstallable demo applications that are put on this phone. Twice, I performed a hard reset on this phone and I couldn’t figure out a way to remove the applications. Then, I turned to my good friend, Google, and Google did NOT disappoint me. It turns out that after a hard reset, the stock version of Windows Mobile 6.1 is installed on the phone. Then, shortly afterwards, a customization tool from ATT is run which then installs the abominations that are called demos from ATT’s partners. Thanks to the internet, I now have a craplet free phone and this post is my way of condensing the material I found online about removing the bloatware or demo applications (like Xpressmail, Blackberry connect, the silly games, ATT navigator, etc).

1) Grab 2 styluses. You’ll find out later, trust me. Now is not the time to argue with me. 🙂
2) Perform a hard reset of your HTC phone. First, make sure you’ve performed a backup of your phone’s contents. If you don’t have a microSD card, you can save the backup file to your phone and then, copy that file to your computer for safe keeping.
3) Access the hard reset option by touching the Windows key and going to “Settings”. Then, touch the “System” tab and tap “Clear Storage”. You will be asked to enter a series of numbers printed onscreen and to answer “YES” or “NO” if you want to go through with the reset.
4) Your device will go through the hard reset and you will told to ‘tap the screen’ once the device has gone through the hard reset.
5) This part is VERY important if you don’t want ATT’s crapware installed on the phone. Once you start calibrating the device, grab that second stylus or tip and place it into the ‘soft reset’ receptacle. Do not push the ‘soft reset’ button yet.
6) Once you are done calibrating the screen, the phone will load into the green Windows Mobile 6 default screen. The instant you see the green bar atop the phone, push the soft reset key. The time between finishing the screen calibration and seeing the first glimpse of the default green Today screen is less than 2 seconds.
7) When your phone restarts, you should not have any demo games installed. You should not have the OZ communication, Blackberry Connect software, Xpress mail or any Java midlets installed. If you do, you waited too late. Don’t believe me? Check my picture gallery below. 🙂
ATT Tilt Games
ATT Tilt Java midlets
ATT Tilt Installed Programs
ATT Tilt Installed Programs
ATT Tilt Installed Programs

Rocking my Wacom bamboo tablet :)

So, my tablet finally arrived. I was severely excited to be in possession of my toy. It didn’t break the bank but if has altered the way I use my computer. My main complaint has to be the fact that Firefox does not seem to be tablet-aware. Also, it has made me aware of how much my handwriting sucks! Unreal. It definitely has had an impact on the speed of my operations. For instance, I am composing this post entirely by hand. In any case, I have developed a greater appreciation for the fine art of writing legibly. Ha! Cheers to painfully relearning how to write beautifully. Oh, any typos are not my fault, I swear! 🙂

An update on my Seagate FreeAgent GO drive

So, it’s been over a week since I had the Seagate FreeAgent GO drive in my possession and I have to say that the form factor has actually resulted in me using this drive to backup files more. It’s a little surreal for me because normally, I’m afraid to handle electronics, but the design of this GO drive makes it feel like it can handle the wear and tear of being in my backpack. With my Iomega eGo drive, I felt as if I could feel all the moving parts and I was exceedingly careful whenever I brought it out. Of course, I’m going to handle my gift (Thanks, Siobhan! 🙂 ) with care, but all I’m saying is I feel like I don’t have to handle the Seagate GO drive with kid gloves.

The Seagate Manager comes with its backup program and an encryption utility as well. It’s a pretty straightforward backup program that allows you to pick and choose what folders you want to back up. A huge plus to Seagate for that. Second, the backed up files are not encoded in some proprietary format. If you backup a music or video file, you can browse the Seagate folder and see that your files are still the same. Not knocking Acronis True Image 2009 which stores backups in a .tib format, but sometimes, I just want the folder copied as-is without compression. So, in that respect, Seagate scored points with me. Obviously, a drawback of not compressing files is that you get a larger file size. However, with 500GBs to play with, I’m confident that I’ll have space for awhile. In any case, here is my backup strategy now:

  1. Make whole disc images of my computer monthly using Acronis True Image 2009 (which stores the image as a .tib file) and store this file on my Seagate FreeAgent Pro 500GB hard drive. I will keep at least 3 backups on hand, in case of the unexpected corrupt file.
  2. Using Seagate Manager, make backups of my Documents folder and other files. This can be done even daily if I choose, but I’ve set  a alarm in Microsoft Outlook to remind me. 😀
  3. Using Acronis True Image 2009, I’ll have, at least, 2 recent whole disk images of my laptop on my Seagate FreeAgent GO 500GB drive just in case I’m away from home (where the Seagate desktop drive lies) and I need to restore my computer (and this has happened quite a bit!).

That’s it for my ‘strategy’, barring any unforeseen circumstances like me being lazy and forgetting to do it. 🙂 Thankfully, speed is not an issue with this Seagate FreeAgent GO Drive because I was able to backup my Documents folder within 45minutes (it was just shy of 5Gbs in size). I’m on the go a lot and this drive suits my needs.

In a nutshell, I would pay for this drive, given what I know now about it.

Disclosure: The Seagate FreeAgent GO 500GB drive (~ $147) was received as a thank-you for participating in a case study. The links to this product have my Amazon affiliate id in them as well i.e. I get a little something if you use my link to purchase this product. 🙂