The Personal Disquiet of

Mark Boulton

OS X theme for a Sony Ericsson k800i

– August 10th, 2006 –

{title}Yesterday I finally received my new mobile phone, a Sony Ericsson k800i, and it’s a little beauty. There were a few problems though.

Firstly, it’s a little larger than I expected. Not in physical size though - it’s a bit of an illusion. Because the sides don’t taper, like my Nokia 6230, the k800 just seems larger. The fact is, it’s only a couple of mm taller and about 3mm either side wider. I can live with it. Secondly, Vodafone ships the phone with it’s own ‘branded’ os and by God has it been beaten with an ugly stick. So, I took it upon myself to reflash the OS and install my own OSX theme.

Flashing the OS

The prospect of this scared me to death. It was a risk. As I was reading on a few forums the phone could just stop working and I’d need to return it to Vodofone claiming it was dead on arrival. Part of me really couldn’t be bothered with the potential agro. The other part of me however, the part that would open a door it shouldn’t and the part that really couldn’t live with the Vodfone icons, just had to do it.

I paid a few Euros for a reflashing account on Wotanserver, and made sure I followed the instructions to the letter. In fact, following a bit of research and cobbling together their own instructions, I got together my own list.

  1. Turn phone off and do proper charge and not optimised charge until it says fully charged.
  2. Turn on phone, clear out all data from your memory and contacts etc.. back them up to wherever, like Outlook
  3. Remove all non-standard themes - leave only the ones that came with the phone and activate the default.
  4. Do a master reset, ie. leave the phone as you first got it from your network provider, this can sometimes activate the earlier point of removing themes and therefore point 3 may not be nexcessary.
  5. TAKE OUT YOUR BATTERY FOR 30 SECONDS AND REMOVE YOUR SIM!
  6. Do a final charge check before hooking up to your PC.

Then connect to your PC. I used XP running under Bootcamp on an Intel iMac and everything worked out fine. So, onto the reflashing. These are the instructions from the Wotanserver site:

  1. Please first be sure, that you have DCU-60 USB Flash Driver installed and your phone battery is charged 100%!
  2. Download & run WotanClient and wait few seconds until data are updated from server.
  3. Have DCU-60 Cable connected to computer, push “Start” and and connect off phone while have C keep pressed
  4. Now check if phone model detected correctly, choose desired firmware (latest one is selected automaticaly), choose desired CDA and check “Finalize” option (this is required to have working phone after flashing - if you not check then you get “Configuration error!” message after flash). Push “Continue” button.
  5. Wait until all required files are downloaded. Your phone flashing will start automaticaly. When finished you will see “==FINISHED OK==” message.

It took about 8 minutes to complete the reflash, then to be super-cautious, is what I did:

  1. Took out battery for 30 seconds
  2. Put in battery, but before booting the phone I checked the charge and all was well.
  3. DO NOT PUT IN SIM!
  4. Start phone and fingers corssed your phone will go through the PLease Wait loader
  5. It will then present you with the normal phone or flight mode
  6. Work through the steps making sure everything is in order then turn off yor phone.
  7. Insert sim and reboot phone and go through instructions.
  8. Load your contacts
  9. Job done

After all I that, I ended up with a debranded phone with the newest OS on there, which is great. The Sony Ericsson icons are just soooo much nicer than the horrible isometric yellow and red icons from Vodafone. The next thing to do was to install my new OS X theme.

Tiger theme for k800i

I used the fantastic Sony Ericsson theme builder to cobble together an acceptable Tiger theme for this phone. It’s a ‘blue’ theme at the moment, but i’m tempted to do a grey one soon as I think it will suit the phone a bit better. You can download the theme here (149kb), along with Apple spinny screen saver I knocked up. Here’s a picture of it in the wild:

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Syncing

The k800i currently isn’t supported by iSync, but for a couple of quid, you can get the iSync 2.3 plugin from here. Works like a charm.

What about the camera?

Well, it’s good. Really good for a phone. I’ve actually not taken that many pics I’ve saved yet, but I imagine this will be my digital camera’s downfall. The quality of this camera phone is just excellent. I’ll post some shots up when I get some good ones.

Filed in: design, personal.

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