I got duped!

So, I got got. Bought a new phone, turns out, it was a dupe. Note 9, purchased online. Now, I work with tech so I was actually able to verify that the phone was a phony and get all my money back in less than an hour of receiving the phone.

Bruh. Fakies are advancing far from getting a box of rocks. (Like, people would buy things, like a VCR, and it would literally be a box of rocks fastened together) Visually at a glance, the phone looks pretty legit but when you handle it, that's when it all falls apart. The stylus wasn't correct (supposed to click out, not need a fingernail to pull out), the glass was more like a fake kind of glass that taps loudly when the stylus interacts with it. Boro-silicate kinda. The charging light is dim and there is a flashing red dot at the bottom of the screen. Oh, and the phone won't even fit in a Note 9 case, too small by millimeters. The charging port and headjack ports are off center, the speaker slits are too teeny and the metal used to house the sim and micro sd cards is cheap metal. It is visibly faded, like it went through an acid wash.

And that wasn't even how I found it was a dupe. It was the fact that when I took the phone out the box, it was already on and at 70% battery. That's odd. I looked in the settings, the "Developer Options" was also on, that's not supposed to be a thing in a brand new phone. Dev Options, to turn them on, you have to know what to tap on the screen to do exactly that and there is no way it can be done by mistake (you have to tap an innocuous part of the phone at least seven times - can't be by mistake). It was the IMEI that really cinched it, the IMEI on the phone didn't match the one on the box. The box IMEI was for Samsung, the phone's IMEI is Apple.

That's not good.

Also, when I tried to do the three button press hard reset, nothing that was supposed to happen happened. It took me to a trio of options and none of them were effective, they all just started the phone like normal, including Recovery Mode, which is not good. Oh, and the Dev Options was still on. Double not good.

Basically, this phone is hecka compromised. I mean, I already knew that when I found the Dev Options open but they are really, really compromised. Here are some articles (Note I am avoiding all the ones that use "Chinese" as a pejorative (ie "cheap Chinese knock-off") because Holy Yellow Scare, Batman! Any article that uses such terms look like yellow journalism to me) explaining the underlying security issues of duped phones. This is a glowing reason to as why I never hooked the phone up to any Wi-Fi or put my sim card in it. There are the issues of Trojans, keyloggers, etc etc.

It's a good thing I found that this phone wasn't real and got my money back in basically an hour of discovery. No fuss or fight from the other side. And now I have a phone I need to get rid of. 


Hate the new post editor, by the way. Reminds me of Wordpress' clunky version as well. Lame

I'm making a cat feeder and I'm overthinking everything because I want it to be able to read battery power (which takes up battery power), turn once a day for a few seconds a day and basically, not starve the cat while I'm away at the hospital. The problem is, is that I keep overthinking because I never made this before. For example, I just found a far simpler approach to making a gravity watering dish that basically is just take a super lean bottle (I'm just gonna get a Korean 1.5 liter bottle), cut out a hole for the water to come out, fasten the water bottle down somehow and there you go. No making things tough to understand or get overcomplicated.


Almost done with taxes, just gotta wait for two more W-2's because...frankly, I wish I had stable employment. I am unemployed far too suddenly and way too much for someone who works in libraries. Looks like I need EEOC on speed dial now.

I had a road trip to VA yesterday for a P.O.D. show, it was alright but I need to get my phone back in order because I have gotto rely on GPS, not my own intelligence.

Also, partially related, turns out I qualify to join Mensa because my IQ is in the 98th percentile. I don't really wanna, tho. It's not like joining AAA, there's no real benefit and, like AAA, costs a bunch of money. Just to show off I'm smart? Nah. Besides, they don't seem appealing.

Car stuff

Welp, told car dealer ppl I'm canceling the extended warranty that came with the car. Because I have busted my thumb yesterday, I was not very long winded about it. My hand really hurts! Basically what happened was car door + physics = ow.

The car dealer said that since I paid for it, I might as well keep the extended warranty but I learned from research that I can actually get the money back and that I still can cancel it since it is less than 30 days old. I actually want to get AAA extended warranty and I also found out that Wynn is overpriced, it's unfair. Most importantly, they won't even let me see my contract. I have asked them, I have asked the car dealership, I have asked the lien holder, no one has sent me a contract even though I have asked a number of times. That's fishy to me. Especially if I have to pay $2,000 nearly when the average auto extended warranty is $300 to $700. Doesn't give me my contract when asked (several times)? Extremely overpriced? Obviously I don't want to stay with them.

I already penned a business letter, just gotta print, seal, stamp and send.


I'm sloooowly getting better. Like, snail's pace.

Actually, no. Considering my pace, a snail could beat me in a race. It's just going to take time. Just too much of it.

How I changed my low batt sound from beep to saying "밥주세요" instead - I also silenced LowBatt

So, I have a Samsung smartphone. And I'm learning Korean. This means I tend to watch shows like Gag Concert and Running Man, Safety First and the Korean Home Shopping Channel (I stream Korean tv on my phone and tablet) as well as the occasional drama (I'm not that big on K-Drama but it is nice). I have seen several times that phones would, instead of make the sharp beep that Samsung phones make here in the US, say "밥주세요!!" Which basically means "Please feed me!" (I'd go into literal translations/meanings and explanations but I really don't feel like it. Korean is language #5 for me, I really don't feel like going into linguistics, I want to talk tech).

I was so stricken by its cuteness that I wanted it for my phone as well. Good thing I know a thing or two about phones. I originally tried out Android by hacking/programming my first smartphone (which was a Windows' Tilt 2) to become a double OS to run Froyo (2.1).

I figured the easy part would be the hacking of the phone but the hard part would be to find the actual sound file. I looked endlessly for it in both Korean and English until I asked one of my Korean friends about it and they directed me to a page I couldn't possibly come across on my own. Now, the file was a .wav but to work for smartphones nowadays, .ogg is what's needed. So I had it converted using this site. Alright, I got everything secured. Time to work on the phone.

First, on many sites I was told to go into the system/media/audio/ui and boom, I'd find it. However, I made the mistake and from file explorer on the phone (which is technicially "systems" but in a different way, it's more like "storage"), I went to media/audio and instead of finding "ui", I saw "notifications" instead, which just led me to my FB messenger notification pop. I knew I had to go deeper. That means time to root.

Yep, you can't change the internal system without rooting the device. Otherwise it will be hidden from you because the data is supposed to be hardcoded into the system, this is not simply changing the text message or phone ringtone, it's more than that.

Also, rooting requires some research because there is no catch-all root. You have to find a root for your phone and most specifically, your model because unless you have an unlocked phone, you need to unlock the bootloader. Think of the phone's internal system like a multiplex house and the bootloader as the door. Now, I have a Note 3 from T-Mobile (first time in a long time that I bought a phone from a provider, I tend to buy them unlocked from a seller and mess with them. This mean I could avoid the annoying bloatware I despise so much. This time, since I got the phone from a provider, there's bloatware (programs the phone came with such as Netflix, Galaxy Plus and others I don't use but can't get rid of easily.)) and that's a SM-N900T. Upon research, it appears there wasn't really much in the way of a locked bootloader for this phone (I probably would be saying something different if I got the phone through Verizon or AT&T so I can go straight for rooting it). I decided to go with Kingo Root because it had a version for my phone, also it was strongly suggested by I think Phandroid, a site I'm on a lot.

I haven't rooted before because this isn't exactly something to be so careless about. If you're not careful, you could brick your phone (turn it useless, may as well be an occasionally glowing paperweight). Rooting is tampering with the phone's internal system (and voiding the warranty so if your phone screws up, it's all on you). I really wanted this little notification so I took the chance and opportunity. Also, back up your work and files, you could lose it all. (I took out my sd card as well). Before I began, I went to Settings>General>About Device. Hit the back button 7 times (you should see a little message saying "You're [#] times from being a developer!" blipping up) and when you do, in General, between Security and About Device, should be Developer Options. Rad, right? Inside, check "USB Debugging" so there won't be any issue with rooting.

So, I went with Kingo Root and followed the directions they had exactly on their site. Thankfully, I followed everything to the letter and it all turned out well. I didn't even lose any files. Everything was perfect. Now onwards and forwards with modding the phone. (Also, as I waited, I touched up the phone case so now it has more glow-in-the-dark effect than ever before).

I got Root Browser, granted it root access and from there I found two System folders. The one I really wanted was the one with the computer monitor in front of the folder. That was the internal system, the other is to the Storage (which is where I first started and found the FB pop sound instead). So I followed the System/media/audio/ui and bang, found the LowBattery.ogg sound I was ready to get rid of. I already prepped the other soundfile, the one I wanted to use, in the notification file, next to the FB pop, so I could find and copy it easily. I'm selecting Copy because I learned that Move doesn't work, it only produces an error and fails, which isn't good. So I copy the file and plink it down in the UI folder but before I do anything else, I snap a picture of the original file name so the phone know what to look for and in case something happened with the phone, I had a snapshot taken from an outside source as my guide

Without it, I could make a mistake as simple as naming it LowBatt.ogg and the phone won't be able to find it because it was instructed/programmed to look for a "LowBattery.ogg", no exceptions. So I deleted the old file (which you see above, judging from the date) and replaced it with the new, cuter file. It replaced effortlessly...or so I thought.

When I ran down the battery (which was a harder task than I thought, took hours) and finally got to the point where it should say the low battery warning. I heard silence. Nothing but silence. The phone glowed, showed the "low battery/please connect charger" message and did everything else it does normal but no beeping noise, no cute noise, nothing but silence. So I got by accident the thing a lot of people want XD I got rid of the annoying, infernal beep.

However, this isn't what I wanted, I wanted something adorable, not silence. Sometimes, by yelling at me, it's all I have to know that I need to get to a charger, stat. At least it's cuter and doesn't make me want to throw it when the charger doesn't successfully connect the first time around and thus makes the noise again.

What happened was the permissions were vastly different from everyone else. My file said it was "rwxrwx---" when everything else said "rw-r--r--". Upon searching, I found on XDA Developers, that I needed to mess with the file permissions to convert it. So I did.

I didn't mess with the special permissions because they didn't need to be bothered. However, I did correctly select the proper properties and fixed it all. (Remember: R (Read), W (Write), X (Execute)) and it's read across like a straight line from Owner to Group to Others. So I guess if someone wanted to make the LowBatt beep stop, just fiddle with the permissions to what I had above?

So after doing this and testing the battery by plugging in and taking out the charger, it was a success! Now my phone tells me that it's hungry instead of beeping harshly at me. I'm so happy.


- Found the soundfile I wanted, converted it from a .wav to .ogg
- Put soundfile somewhere easy to find on phone to ready transfer
- Opened the Developer's Option by pressing the back button 7 times in About Device, in Developer's Option, select "USB Debugging"
- Rooted phone
- Found correct file path (System/Media/Audio/UI)
- Located low battery sound file, noted spelling and capitalization
- Copied (not moved) desired file to UI location, changed name to correct file name
- Deleted old file
- Changed permissions to rw-r--r--
- Restarted phone to make sure everything worked well
- Put finishing touches on personal custom phone case XD

And now my phone low batt audio warning is offically cute :3

Went to the National Book Festival for the first time

Doood, I went to the National Book Festival yesterday. I was frustrated the first part of the day of me being there because turns out, Bodyline Rocking Horse Shoes suck immensely because the sole is much too smaller than the actual foot, which means I'm prone to falls (I've never fallen in platforms before and been wearing platforms since I was 14/15). That and I may need my Angelic Pretty dress tailored because the top part is concerningly tight. That and I was trying to find my co-worker and I was trying to find where Gene Luen Yang was going to be doing his presentation, especially since I missed his signing. He was pretty much the main reason I wanted to go because I really like his writing. I've never gone to the National Book Festival before (I would sniff at it derisively since I went to the Baltimore Book Festival always.)


I got a chance to meet Yang, and act stupidly derpy all the while. Sooooo yeah. At a point in life where I know people with grammies and still wound up doing a mental blue screen at a writer. Never cool.


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Nooooooes, ma parasooooool

My poor parasol :<


It finally broke. My meta parasol of 4 years finally went to the great closet in the sky. A rib broke. It was a wonderful parasol. It's sunbleached and have teeny holes in the fabric but brah, you don't know the life it had. It was a good life. It traveled so many states, it was at concerts, marveled and held by the famous and noteworthy, durable in even hurricanes and Maryland drop-down cloud bursts. It was pretty but also really pretty practical. It kept my head dry, it kept me from feeling like a fried egg on the hottest of days, the best parasol a lolita could ask for. Even when I wore normal ppl clothes, it didn't look out of place.


Welp, time for a new one. I wonder if parasols are sold at Otakon. Brand ones, that is. Why it have to break on the first day?