[kwlug-disc] Android data backups

Chris Frey cdfrey at foursquare.net
Tue Jul 24 16:46:55 EDT 2012

The following is only my $0.02.

I used to have a college professor a long time ago that would boast about
the Unix operating system, saying that if anybody ever asked him
"Can Unix do..." he could answer "yes" before the question was finished.

This was back in the days of DOS and Windows 95, so there was some point
to his statements.

I think the same is true for smart phones that can be rooted.  Such devices
are more "mine" than restricted phones, in the sense that there are no
artificial fences to jump over between me and what I want to do.  Just like
a Linux machine is more "mine" than a Windows box.  It doesn't mean I
won't use a Windows box (or a BlackBerry), but I'm not personally invested
in Windows like I am with Linux.

I'd rather buy a device that doesn't have to be rooted at all.  I'd rather
that I get the root password for it as soon as I buy it, as a matter of
course.  Usually "rooting" is some gray market hacker/cracker activity,
which probably voids the warranty.  I'd rather not have to even make the
choice to go down that road.  Give me the whole device, by default.

I don't appreciate this locking fetish that manufacturers and providers have.
The very fact that even Android devices have to be rooted is perplexing.
It makes no sense to me, trying to claim to be open, yet locked up like a
citadel.  It's a cesspool of tar pits, treating the customer like a slave.
It is certainly no encouragement to spend money just to be treated this way.

Granted, I'm not the average customer, and I don't spend a lot of money
on tech.  But the locks and restrictions do affect my thinking.  I was once
given an iPod nano for my birthday, and I refused to take it because it was
not open, and I did not want to be burdened with such encumbered tech from a
company like Apple that has a history of tight control.  An Android that
still needs to be rooted is just an extra burden of red tape to me, and
therefore falls lower on my priority list.  If that's the case for Android,
which is open source, where do you think BlackBerry is on my spending
priority list?  And I suspect I'm not the only one who thinks this way.

And that is a shame, because I want to see BlackBerry do well.  Even closed
as it was, I found the PlayBook to be a blast to use.  I probably embarrassed
myself with my fanboyism just a few months ago on this very list. :-)

- Chris

On Tue, Jul 24, 2012 at 05:52:26PM +0000, 3lucid at gmail.com wrote:
> Makes sense. :)
> I'll rephrase: Say there are a handful of rootable phones you would consider buying. Say that each of these phones has two price points: locked for price X and unlocked for price UNLOCK_MULTIPLIER * X. (Ignore the illogic of this, assume they are bootloader locked and you expect it'll take 1 year for people to break the bootloader after release of the phone.)
> Would you HAPPILY pay the higher price? What if the multiplier was 2 or higher?
> Background: working for RIM, I'm looking for evidence to show bosses that we should sell unlocked devices.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Chris Irwin <chris at chrisirwin.ca>
> Sender: kwlug-disc-bounces at kwlug.org
> Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2012 13:25:34 
> To: KWLUG discussion<kwlug-disc at kwlug.org>
> Reply-To: KWLUG discussion <kwlug-disc at kwlug.org>
> Subject: Re: [kwlug-disc] Android data backups
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