Saturday, April 14, 2012

Aargh...Playbase troubles

After several emails, I finally got my 8GB SD card from Karuma.  They were backordered when I ordered my unit.  The first module they sent me got lost somewhere between Singapore and Texas.  The second took so long that Karuma sent a third unit (tracking and signature required on the 3rd one).  The third one arrived about 2 days after the 2nd.  So, I got an extra!  Cool.

Anyway- I popped the unit in and it seemed to be great.  It appears that the SD card gets mounted as a folder under the internal 8GB.  It's also available directly via /mnt/sdcard.

Well, a day or 2 after installing the card, all the apps that were stored on the TF card (internal memory or the SD, I'm really not sure) all failed.  They were visible in the Manage Applications page, but the OS couldn't/wouldn't run them.

At this point, after all my playing and jacking around, the PB was freezing and FC a fair amount, so I decided to do a factory reset.  The SD card was formatted, but the music that I had copied for the kids into the internal memory remained.

Anyway- the tablet seems to be running pretty smoothly and the kids are happy, so for now, my quest has been paused. 

As for limiting the kids access to programs and settings they don't need to be on, I found a very nice app called Smart App Protector on Amazon (link) or Google Play (link).

Now- if someone could come up with a way to firewall Android without needing Superuser.apk installed on /system, I believe I would be happy.


PS- Kudos to Karuma tech support (especially Vanessa Sum)!  Fast, courteous, prompt, responsive!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Getting closer with the PlayBase

Following this post, I have been able to get into recovery mode.  Be sure to download the RockChip flashing tool at the link and unflash the zip somewhere convenient on your PC.  Plug the PB into a USB port and, using a paperclip, hold the Vol Up button and press reset (hole next to the power button) at the same time for about 10 seconds.  Release them and the PB will reboot into recovery mode.  My copy of Win7 didn't have the drivers.  After the long attempt to find the drivers, Windows will fail gracefully informing you it didn't find the drivers for the new device If you look in the RockChip folder you created earlier, there is a folder called Drivers.  Open Device Manager and find the unknown device.  Update the driver from there pointing it to the drivers folder.  Waa-la!

Important- make a backup! Store it somewhere safe! You have been warned!

Update! It has been brought to my attention that recovery mode can simply be accessed by holding the Vol+ down while plugging the USB cable in.  Wish I had known this when I was flashing mine, as my kids have (literally) worn the reset button out on the original factory firmware.