After a very long wait, I was able to jump into the Droid Bandwagon. Why Droid? Because it runs on a Linux kernel. Linux is the flagship of software freedom.

So for my very first droid device, I chose HTC Wildfire. Thanks to Abe of YugaTech for doing a good review on this unit.

Wildfire is HTC’s entry level device, which means it is the most inexpensive among their android devices. Although the OMEGA of the htc droid devices, Wildfire still does a good job. Until I started to explore around.

The first thing I looked for is how can I customize this phone to my liking. I’ve been a Linux user for almost 13 years now. So I’m used to tinkering and modifying linux boxes the way I like them to be. And to my disgust surprise, the Android OS is not as free as I want it to be. I don’t have the superuser privilege that I usually have in my linux boxes. I’m just given an ordinary user’s privilege. Now, that won’t do, especially for freedom lovers.

I searched the net and there is a way to gain this super access to my device. They call it ‘rooting’ your phone. However, this is a hack based on a discovered vulnerability to the code. And doing this will void one’s warranty. How awesome is that?

I can surely perform this ‘rooting’ process. Why not? It’s still  my device and I can do whatever I like with it. But I can’t. Not right now.

So my questions are, how come the kernel on this device (and any Android device for that matter) which is supposed to be free, locked? And in order to be free, why must one resort to a hack?

This is the only gripe I have against my device. It’s mine. But not really. HTC (along with other big companies and manufacturers, yes Google, I’m looking at you), lulls us to think that we have ownership. But the reality is, we do not. They still own the devices we have (in one way or another). I have only one gripe, but it is the most fundamental one. All the others are resting on this one — freedom to use your device the way you want it.

I remember what the Lord Jesus said about freedom. He is the only source of true freedom. This world cannot offer freedom the way he can. In the book of John he said,

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8.36

So maybe I’ll just install Ubuntu on Wildfire and see what it does. 🙂