Wednesday, September 9

How to root your Sony Xperia Z1 with 14.5.A.0.270 Firmware

How to root your Sony Xperia Z1 with 14.5.A.0.270 Firmware

In the past year, getting your trusty old Sony Xperia Z1 updated with the lastest firmware and then getting root access on it was a pain in the ass. It was only made easy by unlocking the bootloader. Unfortunately, that meant losing some functionality of the phone. However, this year the appearance of a new rooting software has made it possible to root the phone in just a few simple steps.

The new Lollipop 14.5.A.0.270 firmware is also very good. The camera now actually produces nice pictures in low light setting without much of the noise of the original Kitkat firmwares. What amazes me most is that Sony still supports this model with new firmware, I had half expected them to end support with KitKat.

Musings aside, lets get on with rooting your Xperia Z1 now.

1. First make sure you are running Lollipop 5.0.2 Build 14.5.A.0.242 / 14.5.A.0.270. Go to Settings > About to verify this. The method will work on all models of Z1 running Build 14.5.A.0.270 and before.

2. Download KingRoot v4.5 and install it in your mobile. Get the APK file to install here (5MB). Transfer it to your phone via bluetooth or just email it to yourself and use the phone to download the file.

3. Open the KingRoot app from your mobile , Click on Start Root , the Rooting Process will start. ( You need to be connected to the internet) Wait for a couple minutes, usually it take less than a minute. You will be now granted root access!! :D How easy was that?

If you would like you can later replace Kingroot with SuperSU or SuperUser after getting root, but thats another tutorial I guess heh.. Have fun and enjoy the new Android Lollipop on your once again "BRAND NEW" Xperia Z1!

P.S. Looks like I will be upgrading to the new Xperia Z5 soon, looks like Sony has finally upped their game and come out with a winner.

Monday, December 8

Taiwan Trip 2011 Day 8 Green Island Zhaori Saltwater Hot Springs

[ continued from Taiwan Trip 2011 Day 7 Green Island Dinner ]

Zhaori Hot Spring (朝日溫泉)
[ The Zhaori Saltwater Hot Springs has been well known since the late 18th century for their clean, transparent water and ideal temperature, which fluctuates between 60 and 70 degrees centigrade. The springs are fed by seawater and underground water heated by the volcanic lava of Green Island. This is one of only three saltwater hot springs in the world along with the springs on Kyushu Island of Japan and Sicily in Italy. Zhaori has three open-air pools and a spa pool where visitors can listen to the sound of the surf, enjoy the sunrise, or watch the stars as they soak away the stress. ]
Source : Discover Taiwan Website

After a few hours of sleep, we awoke early and quickly made our way to the Zhaori Hot Spring so as not to miss the sunrise.

As we got there the sun began to rise. However there was a layer of clouds blocking it somewhat in the horizon.

Beside the open pools, there is a well like structure which is specially built for cooking eggs. You can purchase your eggs from the main entrance and hang them on these bamboo sticks in a cloth pouch, then lower it into the hot spring water. Sign actually says : Dangeroud High Temps, 95 degrees, careful when using.

As this was our first time here, we just found a big rock and hung our eggs over the side. This was gonna be our breakfast :D We then hurried off to the open pools to see the sunrise.

Some locals were already there, soaking up the seawater and waiting for the sunrise.

Sun finally coming up over the clouds...

Our first Taiwanese Island SUNRISE!! YAY!!

After viewing the sunrise, we decided to try out the indoor pools. The water here was at 41.2C, but felt pretty hot compared with the open pool water. The indoor pool has nice waterfall spouts that you can stand under for a direct blast of salty hot spring water.

We actually thought someone had taken our eggs from the hotspring as they were not there when we went back to get them. Luckily the guard at the entrance had our eggs! Someone had taken them from the hotspring and kindly passed them to him for safekeeping. *Whew and Yum!*

Finally it was time to go. We had to ride back to the Minsu and prepare for the morning activity of snorkeling.

Taiwan Trip 2011 Day 7 Green Island Dinner

[continued from Taiwan Trip 2011 Day 7 : Yong Ya Fang Minsu 雍雅坊民宿 ]

Scootering into town, we decided to have dinner at this restaurant which was packed full. As always our theory was "packed full must be good".

Inside it was pretty crowded but atmosphere was pretty cozy. Despite the crowd, it was not too noisy. Everyone seemed to be enjoying their food.

Lots of framed posters of different types of local fish. Owner must be a fishing fan.

Walking in, on the front desk was a HUGE PILE of fried flying fish. We were very surprised and excited as this was the first time we ever had a chance to eat this type of fish. They serve it 3 ways, sweet and sour, braised or black pepper.

For rice, we decided to get a bowl of classic taiwanese mince braised pork rice. Pretty good.

Then came out main dish, the flying fish sweet and sour style! :D The fish has been battered and deep fried to crispy perfection so much so you could munch and crunch most of it. Flavour wise, the flying fish was a mild tasting fish. The sweet and sour sauce which was pretty good. But the novelty of eating this rare dish in a remote taiwanese island location is what makes it so special.

Our second main dish was some stir fried local DEER meat with ginger and shallots. Went very well with the rice. Green Island has a lot of resident deer population. I guess the locals just go hunt a couple everynight.

After dinner we went back to the minsu. As part of the package, we met up with a local guide who brought a group of us on scooters up a hill, nearby to the local deer sanctuary/park. The main attractions are the local buffalo and deer, which we managed to see but didn't manage to get any pictures. Also this green stick like insect which is indigenous to this island and not found anywhere else on earth!! Lucky us, there were plenty of them out and about for us to take pictures. They are pretty harmless but they are huge insects, many around the size of your elbow to hand!!

After our fun night outing, we passed by this very cutely decorated shop and went in for some ice dessert as the signboard read : "seaweed ice products"

And I am very glad we did. Another local specialty. It's basically a typical shaved ice with taro and sweet potato balls kind of dessert, except this one was topped off with some green seaweed harvested right from the shoreline of this Island. Served on a custom made clam-shell, this was a really nice way to end our first day on this island.

Well back to the Minsu for an early night, we would have to wake up pretty early for some sunrise viewing at the hot springs!!!

Join me next on Taiwan Trip 2011 Day 7 Green Island Zhaori Saltwater Hot Springs

Monday, August 4

How to root your Sony Xperia Z1 with 14.4.A.0.108 Firmware

Wow in just a short month Sony has brought us another update for the Z1.

Once again, Sony has been very quick in releasing the latest but hopefully not the last update to the Sony Xperia Z1. This post will show you how to root you Sony Xperia Z1 with the new C6903 14.4.A.0.108 Android 4.4.4 KitKat Firmware in 2 Easy Steps.

(No phones were abused in the flashing and rooting of this firmware)

Step 1: Upgrading to the new firmware version
Download the firmware FTF from your region here , courtesy of the cool guys at XDA Developers. I downloaded the C6903_14.4.A.0.108_Generic_SG_1276-7937_R3C firmware for Singapore, though I am using the phone in Australia as this version has chinese and japanese input support. If you already have this latest version on your phone you can skip this entire Step 1. However you will still need the Flashtool downloaded as that is also used for step 2.

Using FLASHTOOL (download here), make sure you have the latest version( and flash the  C6903_14.4.A.0.108_Generic_SG_1276-7937_R3C FTF into your phone. To flash, turn off your phone then put into "Flashmode mode" by connecting usb cable with down volume button depressed to pc. Then click the lightning icon in flashtool and select flashmode. You will get option to select the firmware FTF you want to flash (make sure the firmware file is in the firmware folder of flashtool). Once finished you can reboot the phone or just disconnect from PC and continue with step 2.

Android KitKat 4.4.4 Build 14.4.A.0.108

Step 2: Flashing a Stock Kernel with CWM Recovery to get root.
You will need Doomlord’s Advanced Stock Kernel with CWM Recovery . This is a modified stock kernel which has a special touch recovery added as well as root permissions.

Once again launch FLASHTOOL, turn off phone and put into fastboot mode by connecting usb cable with up volume button depressed. Click the lightning icon and select fastboot mode then click on the right side select kernel to flash, select the unzipped boot.img file which you had just downloaded from above. Reboot and install SuperSU on your phone from the google play store for free, this will allow you to manage root for your apps easily.

Alternatively you can download SuperSU zip file from this link and copy it into your phone/sdcard. Then install it with the CWM Recovery. To use CWM Recovery just press up volume when you see the purple light after rebooting (purple light will come on every time you reboot phone if you done Step 2 correctly). Navigate the options in recovery to locate the SuperSU file and install.

I use Root Explorer to test my root status. It allows me to mount the phone in R/W mode then by editing build.prop I can add in a host name for my WiFi so my phone does not appear connected as some random android-12u9d32lifd32 numbers.

NOTE :: This process requires an unlocked Bootloader. If you have a locked bootloader check out my other post here for info on how to unlock it. or you use the BLU icon in flashtool to unlock your bootloader. Either way you will need the code from Sony.

In total it took me less than 10 minutes to flash and root. So good luck with the flashing and feel free to comment as below.

Wednesday, May 28

How to install the latest Skype full version offline.

Skype keeps updating its software every few weeks and if like me, you have a few laptops in your home and don't want to download each upgrade multiple times, or if you would like a copy of the full Skype installer so you can install it when you are offline, then this is for you.

Just click here to download the latest Windows PC / Laptop version of the full Skype installer which is about 34MB at the moment. You can then install Skype on your Windows PC or Laptop even if you are not online. Have fun!

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