Saturday, 29 December 2007

'Custom Firmware' on S60 V3?

I'm not sure how many of you heard from symbian freak a while back in october '07 that S60 3rd edition had been "hacked" to allow for self-signed applications and full access to the phone, of course this is no longer possible as Nokia have updated their own update methods. Well, I was greatly intrigued by this at the time and searched for hours for more information. My search ended when I found Debanjan Basu, who claims to have known about these possibilities since April '07.

Anyways... I got into contact with him and asked him to answer a few questions, which he kindly did:

Hi there Debanjan

Q)Could you tell us a little more about yourself? (age, interests and anything you see fit)

A)I am Debanjan Basu...from India. I am 19 years old (still a teenager at heart)...tall 5ft 10 inch...like doing karate playing football etc.I am a high school student in kolkata.got my first symbian device in 2006 it was my dad's gift for me...a nokia 6630...well the world changed the moment after i got it...always been a computer addict but this made me fall for mobiles...

Q)What was your first symbian device and how old were you when you got it?

A)I got my first symbian device @18 i.e. just last year...and yes i opened it within 3 months...i mean entirely disassembled it...IT WAS A PEARL SILVER NOKIA 6630...within the next month i modded it to custom firmware music edition...(NSS was a rage then)...

Q)How did you discover how to modify and install ‘custom firmware’?

A)I was going to port quake 2 using open c for my n93 and after going through the code soon i realized that the model data had to be generated on the fly and certain files needed to be updated on the fly too...since the ram on symbian devices is small,i had to find an alternative...tried to create swap drives...then i realised that i need direct permission to read and write on the sys folder...on going through the s60 3rd edition documentation...i was shocked to the contents of swpolicy.in...immediately i contacted my insiders at nokia(april...2007)...and started working on my grand project...

Q)What are the benefits of your 'custom firmware' and are there any big downsides apart from voiding the warranty of course?

A)There are only a few downsides of the custom firmware but the goodies just overthrow them...yes the warranty is void...many minor optimization had been done...i mean lots...for example the startup screen when you see the nokia handshake has been re-sampled for faster boot keeping in mind the crc...try running any midlet you will instantly see the difference in load time...more memory allocation for j2me apps has been specified...and lots and lots of more benefits...inneumerable...

Q)How did you feel knowing that after posting the method on the internet, Nokia updated PC suite within 6 hours to deal with the threat of a teenager giving Symbian enthusiasts true freedom?

A)I do feel great that my firmware created such a storm at the nokia headquarters in finland...they have outsmarted me just for the time being...but still you can install my custom firmwares using phoenix 2007...but it is too dangerous...

Q)Do you plan on developing more solutions in the Symbian world, if so, what are they?

A)Yes of course I will develop more for the symbian world but right now I am busy with my studies...I have to get entrance into the best engineering college in india i.e. IIT...

Q)You said that the N95 uses ‘cheap’ hardware compared to the N93, why is this?

A)Yes this is a common trend I am seeing in the newer nokia phones...they are separating the asian builds from the euro ones and then again from the us ones...probably to cut the cost...the slight performance differences get through unnoticed...but under stressful conditions the hardwares fail...otherwise you don't have people lining up in front of nokia service centres in india from 8am to 8pm in the evening and this has a become a common phenomenon...

Thanks for your time Debanjan, Just one more quick question:

What would the specs on your dream/perfect S60 device be?

Well my dream symbian platform will be...667 Mhz arm at least...
2 GB ram...(it's possible arm is 32 bit)...inclusion of fpu and alu unit on board...
Symbian os 9.5(symbian releases a newer version almost after every 3 months...thats not good)...
And all the usual features you find in a high tech device of today...


I must recognise Norman John for his convenient set of questions!

1 comments:

  1. Anonymous

    wow, its the first i see from the inernet, please contact me, i custom my firmware a lot from symbian phones, my mobile n0 is +639077703334

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