Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rooting the South Korea Motorola Atrix

Gaining root (administrative) access to Android phones abroad can be difficult. Often a crack or break made for a device in one country is incompatible with the same model in others due to differences in firmware. For this reason, I have been apprehensive about rooting my South Korean Motorola Atrix. Today, I finally found a method which does not brick the phone and works splendidly on the South Korea model of Moto Atrix.

I have compiled all of the prerequisite software into one downloadable bundle here, tools for the job.

The following instructions worked wonders for me. The following instructions are taken from

How To: Motorola Atrix 4G Root

Root method found and executed by Brandon15811, the2dcour, and of course eval-! Make sure to thank them over at the forums.

Prerequisites [see above link, tools for the job"]


  1. Extract the ADB-Fastboot package and root image to your C: Drive under a new folder titled “root”
  2. Put your device into Fastboot mode: – Turn off your device. – Hold down the power button and downward volume button until you see “Fastboot” on your screen – Push the upward volume button
  3. Open your command prompt (Start >> run “cmd” >> enter)
  4. Type the following commands
    • cd C:/root
    • fastboot flash preinstall root.img
    • fastboot reboot
  5. Enable USB debugging (Settings >> Applications >> Debugging)
  6. Type the following commands
    • adb shell
    • /preinstall/dosu [dosu is actually not correct. instead, use "/preinstall/su" but without the quotes]
  7. Type the following commands
    • /bin/mount /system -o remount,rw
    • cp /preinstall/su /system/bin/su
    • chmod 6755 /system/bin/su
    • PATH=/system/bin:$PATH pm install /preinstall/Superuser.apk
  8. Congratulations! You are rooted!

So why would I risk bricking my phone in order to root it? First of all, Motorola pre-installed Swype and I wanted the newest beta version, a huge improvement. Secondly, I wanted to install Market Enabler in order to shop the U.S. Android Market with access to apps such as Google Music beta, Wells Fargo, Google+, Netflix and other U.S.-only content. Here are instructions to uninstall the pre-installed Skype from a Motorola Atrix in order to install the latest beta version.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Getting the Band Back Together

Link to Songs

As some of you may know, I have joined a band here, consisting of two other foreigners and two rotating members who play with us when they are able. The core of the group revolves around three guitarists, my friends Ryan, Jonno and myself. We have been playing about once a week and have come up with a solid set list of about 10 songs. We had rehearsal last night with Alex, a pro-grade sax player who was a pleasure to play with for the first time. We recorded a few tracks together. Please excuse the quality as we were recording three guitars and a sax on the tiny built-in mic of a MacBook.

Baby Please Don't Go - Ban Ki Moon and The United Nations by sstanhill

We have played two gigs together, both fundraisers for local orphanages in Andong and Jeomchon, respectively. Last Saturday night, after the fundraiser, we went to our favorite local watering hole in Jeomchon called Advice Bar. We played there for friends and customers for a good hour to an hour and a half and we scored a free pitcher of beer out of it. We have another open mic at which we will play this coming Friday and hopefully a gig will come out of a meeting I'm having with a local coffee shop owner later this week here in Yecheon.

Please visit my music page to listen to some of the songs we recorded last night. We are tentatively calling ourselves Ban Ki Moon and The United Nations (as our members consist of musicians from the US, Canada and the UK).

Friday, October 14, 2011

Monday, October 3, 2011

Installing NH Smart Banking Android App

  1. Download the NH Smart Banking App from the Android App Market. Search for "NH" and download the app labeled "NH 스마트뱅킹".

  2. Using Windows and Internet Explorer, visit

  3. On the Nonghyup webpage open in Internet explorer. Be sure to have your USB key inserted as if you were checking your account online. If you do not have a USB key, you must go to a branch and set up internet banking. Be sure to bring a USB key to the branch.

  4. On the bottom of the Nonghyup site, look to the bottom right for a small phone icon which says 스마트뱅킹 next to it and click it.

  5. Next, after a few moments of processing and a couple automated page loads, find the OS list of options on the right hand side of the page. Click the little Android dude.

  6. After clicking the Android link, a new page will load. It will have a super annoying pop-up which looks like this. Close it by clicking the close link on the bottom right of the pop-up.

  7. Click on the purple USB key looking link. It will open a new page/tab. When asked about the security warning, click "yes".

  8. A new window will pop up over Internet Explorer. Click on the dropdown next to the floppy A: button and select your USB key from the dropdown.

  9. Log in as you would to check online banking.

  10. On the Android Device, open up the installed app. It will self install V3 security software. Next, on the bottom of the screen is a picture of a padlock. Hit that shit up. Choose the first of two options under the new screen.

  11. This window will pop up. In the top series of boxes, enter in the code displayed on the android device. In the second series, enter in your bank account ID number. Usually it starts with the first set of numbers found on your ARC card. Click the "next" button on the bottom, the one on the left.

  12. Next, make up a unique password. Enter it in twice and continue. 

  13. Back on the android device, hit the green button under the serial you already eneterd in. You will be asked for that same password on the android device. Enter it in and hit the button on the left. Hit OK. Next hit the Home button on the android device on the bottom left of the screen. Next hit the magnifying glass button on the top left. Choose the first option. It will ask if you want to enable push notifications. Left button means yes, right button means no. You should no be looking at your account balance!

Sobaek San

Beyond the mountains are more mountains.

-Korean Proverb

Sobaek Photo Gallery

Monday the 3rd was a public holiday in Korea. Zach, Mr. Do and I took the opportunity to climb Sobaek San (mountain), the 3rd tallest mountain in South Korea, the 4th tallest in the peninsula. This last weekend, I picked up a new telephoto zoom lens, 55-250mm and I was quite anxious to use it. 

Mr. Do picked Zach and I up at 8:30 in the am and we drove 40 minutes to the base of Sobaek mountain. We parked near a pagoda and began our two and one half hours hike up what mostly seemed like a 20-25% incline. Mr. Do packed snacks and lunch for us. We ate oranges to stay hydrated as we progressed up the mountain. 

Before a hike, I anticipate the endeavor to provide ample opportunity for conversation only to discover I spend more time winded, unable to talk and breathe simultaneously and this hike proved no different. The three of us (mostly me) spent the hike up huffing, puffing and cursing the gods, the rocks and the roots. Without conversation, I spent a lot of time in my own head, wondering why I ever even bother to climb mountains. "I'm a Midwestern boy," I thought, "I have no business on these mountains. This isn't hiking, this is mountain climbing. Give me a good trail with hints of inclines and declines, a river and some woods, that's a hike!" But no matter how I tried to nominally justify my exhaustion and effort I was still on the side of mountain with no end in sight. The hike itself wasn't as scenically rewarding  as would help motivate me as most of the mountainside was covered in a a tall, thick canopy of broad leaves. But once we reached the summit, I was whistling (or wheezing?) a different tune.

We stood roughly 1439 meters (4721 feet) above sea level, above everything on Earth in every conceivable direction. "Beyond the mountains are more mountains" indeed. The ridges of the mountains beyond, the the backbone of Korea, the dirt, time and tectonic fury which chiseled out this beautiful country, lie before us like a ruffled blanket, stretching beyond infinity and ever deeper into our imaginations. 

We saddled up to a rock outcropping where we partook in the packed lunch Mr. Do brought. Traditionally, Koreans eat kimbap while hiking and on picnics. We ate with gusto and washed down lunch with some warm plum tea Mr. Do prepared in a Thermos. We spent a good 30 minutes at the summit, Zach and I contemplating our surroundings. 

After lunch, we began our decent, which lasted a mere 60 minutes or so. Driving back toward Yecheon, we stopped at a jimjilbang or traditional Korean style steam room. These steam rooms are essentially public baths which offer warm, hot (I mean hot) and cold bath pools as well as a sauna. We soaked our sore muscles and brutalized feat, rotated through the different pools twice through, dried off, dressed and called it a day.

My camera as inspired me to spend a lot more time outdoors and I am quite happy that I bought the telephoto lens just two days before this hike. It certainly came in handy.