Round 5, P90X-2: Recovery & Root


Well as it turns out, taking a recovery week was a good idea. With the 4th of July holiday falling in the middle of the week, it was a leisurely period and off of the normal day to day routine.

So what did I do to facilitate recovery and prepare for Phase 2–Strength? A jambalaya of activities, really.

Sure, I did all the Recovery & Mobility and Yoga stuff. But I also hiked up and around Blood Mountain (yet again), watched Wimbledon, played tennis and wallowed in tepid pool water, trying to stay cool.

At one point, I became frustrated in my attempt to finish up a book on my kindle. All devices had a dead battery, the Kindle, the Kindle Fire and my Smartphone. This is the downside of electronic books. You have to have a coal or nuclear powered electricity source in the the area to keep your books accessible.  So I read a newspaper while the devices charged.  Anyway, It had been a while since I had used the Kindle Fire. I hated how Amazon skinned over the Android OS, crippling its capabilities, in favor of it’s own limited, locked-down overlay. And for just reading, I actually prefer the first generation Kindle with its monochome screen. The battery lasts a month with wireless off, and the screen is easier on my eyes that the glaring, backlit screen of the Kindle Fire. Plus the user experience of the Fire just annoyed me. All that processing power and functionality held captive by Amazon.

So I fired up my laptop and googled “Kindle Fire Ice Cream Sandwich.”

Now, just the fact that I googled that phrase betrays my geekiness, I admit. What was the object of my quest? Well I knew the Kindle Fire used the Android Operating System as its base, the same as my smartphone. And I also knew that there is a robust community of Android developers out there who come up with ways to jailbreak (root) devices and develop custom Operating Systems (ROMs) to enhance the user experience and unleash the potential of the hardware. For several years now, I’ve enjoyed the geeky exploits of installing custom windows mobile and now Android based ROMs on my smartphones. So I’m familiar with the concepts and terminology.

The Google search resulted in this helpful link:

http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/how-to/mobile-phone/3367391/how-install-ice-cream-sandwich-on-your-kindle-fire/

The article was clearly written and referenced the XDA site where I have been going for years to download ROMs and learn about rooting phones. I read the article and the more detailed linked articles on the XDA site to get a sense of what was involved.  Since I wasn’t really using the Kindle Fire anyway, I proceeded to root and & install an AOKP ROM.

This turned out to be a great decision, because I now have a powerful tablet, running Android 4.0.4 (aka Ice Cream Sandwich). And because it’s now freely running Android, unshackled from Amazon, I have full Exchange email, calendar & contacts, facebook, web browsing, youtube and whatever other apps I choose to install. Oh, and it also has the Kindle App which syncs to all my purchased Amazon e-books. But I could also use the B&N e-book app if I wanted to.

Freedom. And what better week to achieve this geeky, lofty pinnacle than the anniversary of our Nation’s birth.

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