A Day of Pimpin’ my Mobile

It was not my intention, but you know how these things go. I’m considering switching my mobile provider and have been doing some research. Not only did I spend hours and hours comparing plans — today I also looked into flashing my phone. Those who know me a bit know I’m not the hacker type. I’m not somebody who spends days and weeks getting some exotic computer set-up to work. For me things just have to work and keep working. The same goes for my mobile phone.

However, my phone — a Motorola PEBL U6 — has been branded by T-Mobile, my current mobile provider. That means the logo is everywhere, including a nice “T-Zones” option in the middle of my main menu. That’s kinda annoying, especially if, for example, I would switch to Vodafone or some other company. So this morning I decided to look into flashing my phone. I heard the term before, I roughly had an idea what it was, but had never done it.

Now flashing (or reflashing), it turns out, is like reformatting your harddrive and reinstalling your OS. Except it’s faster, it only takes a few minutes. I’m on a Mac so all the Windows flashing software does not really work. But I found out there’s a nice Motorola on Mac flashing tutorial available. I found a recent flash file for my phone and flashed it, except nothing appeared to have happened when it was done. All the logos were still there. It turned I had just updated the software. If I wanted to replace the rest too (menus, sounds and all that stuff) I had to use something called an MP — a Monster Pack. I downloaded one and installed it and every looked, well, let’s say different. The background was moving like some kind of 3D shooter. The fonts looked crazy, the menu was completely different and I had a different set of applications available now. Not what I wanted, but we were getting somewhere.

What I feared might happen, happened trying the next MP: the phone did no longer boot. The screen just remained black. Luckily I was able to get back to the booter by holding * and # simultaneously while starting the phone and I could install another MP. After a few tries I found the default unbranded Motorola PEBL flash file, which is now running on my phone. Everything seems to work fine, I have no T-Mobile stuff in there anymore.

All this did take me the whole morning and a bit of my afternoon however, but the result is that I have now pimped my phone. I’m a regular sir pimpalot.