Modding the MOTOACTV – pt 1

Some Background

I am not a phone modder. In fact in the past I have tried to keep my telephones as dumb as possible, OK, actually as cheap as possible. I can be rough on phones. However I recently switched providers to T-Mobile and picked up what looked to be the hardiest handset that they had available, the W450 ACTV. It was also quite cheap at $20 with subsidy. So I really didn’t expect much, except to replace it as soon as I bricked it with my experiments.

I was completely unfamiliar with the apparently large and established community of mobile phone modders, people who alter the software on their mobile phones. Motorola phones have long been a favorite, so when I found that my phone came clogged with the most tasteless backgrounds and awful mp3 ring tones as well as utterly asinine java “games” and that I was not given a choice in the menus to delete these objects, I had hope.

My hope quickly dwindled as I found that all of the open source linux phone applications would not interface with the phone. I turned to the Windows applications and none of them where able to either. Finaly I downloaded Motorola Phone Tools and updated it about Five times, and it did no good until I also installed the new driver pack from Motorola, and updated it several times as well (it comes with a handy driver update program).

MPT is an awful program. However it does actually connect to the phone, allow backing up and restoring of your phone book as well as uploading images, videos and ring tones to the phone. It has many shortcomings, primarily that it will not show you any of the files on your phone, and so you can not download or delete them. This made it completely useless for my purpose, cleaning off the crap it came with.

Most of the software designed for modding Motorola phones is made for p2k phones, the standard for quite some time. The problem with this phone as well as many of the new w series phones is that they are using the new TI LOCOSTO system on a chip design. This new device does not conform to the technical modem standards of previous phone models. This is why the standard windows drivers and software are all useless, and why there is not a Linux driver that does anything with it.

Some success! in pt. 2

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