Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sorry, Can't Share

"There was an error in fetching photos in an album.  Please try again."

I get these sorts of mysterious errors quite a bit from +Google+.  I'm here trying to share a photo from Instant Upload.  It can see the photo, show the photo, scan the photo for faces...  but it can't or won't or doesn't like my picture maybe and won't post it.  I can't say why.

At any rate, this is from Chrome.  I opened up Firefox and shared the photo without incident.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mounting a Samsung Galaxy SIII on Ubuntu

Ok...  So it turns out that at some point Google changed Android so that mounting a phone as USB mass storage is no longer an option!


Yep.  Really.
As in really astonishing.

The phones now only offer MTP and PTP.  MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) is the default, and, out of the box, this doesn't even work on Windows XP much less Linux.  For Windows the drivers are, get this, carrier specific (did I already say WTF?  Yes, I did?  Good, but it may be worth saying again).

So, in a nutshell, a completely bullet proof, near universal, and dead simple method of getting files on and off a device like a Samgung Galaxy, has been replaced by a propitiatory method, available only on selected operating systems, certain versions, no Linux, and only then with some extra tinkering that your Mom can't do.
Well that's just awesome!

Here's an easy work around that resolves this for later Ubuntu releases and similar, without installing anything.

With the phone plugged in, drop down the notifications, on the device, and look for the USB connection item.  Select it.  Next you get a couple of check boxes for selecting either MTP or PTP.  Change it to PTP.  Nautilus loves PTP.

You can now browse around the mounted phone and drag and drop files as it should be in any sane version of this world.  The computer thinks it's a camera.  Whatever computer...

Other good choices include various FTP servers for Android.  They work fine of course, and I also tried a program called WiFi File Explorer, or something, that is essentially an HTTP server that can manage get and put requests.  It worked fine, and has a web based browse.

Have fun.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

What's My IMEI Number?

I have have deeply engaged lately in trying to get a promised rebate out of T-Mobile.  This is a whole other story...

The point of this post is an interesting fact that I have learned along this journey; how to get your IMEI or MAC number from your phone.  The IMEI number is the International Mobile Equipment Identifier, it is a 15 digit number that uniquely identifies every phone.

So here it is:

Open the keypad on your phone, any phone, and type *#06# and the phone will display the IMEI.

The IMEI is 15 digits.  Sometimes this number will be displayed with slash something at the end.  The slash, or other character, and what follows it is not part of the IMEI, it's just the 15 number.  Later I noticed that this code appears as "device serial number" on the label on the box the phone came in.

After civilization has produced 999,999,999,999,999 mobile devices, no one can have anymore.

Good luck.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Today on a whim I hit "update" in settings on my Samsung Galaxy SIII (from T-Mobile).  To my surprise, it started downing something!  Something big!

...Another stealth, please-don't-crash-our-network-by-upgrading-all-at-once, update from T-Mobile!  What could it be?

Minutes pasted like days...  But an eternity and a couple reboots later later...

Jelly Bean!

With Butters!  And Google Cow!