Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How To Hard Reboot / Factory Reset Your Verizon Droid Incredible 2

I have a Droid Incredible 2 from Verizon.  Had it coming up on 2 years.  This past Father's Day it stopped powering on.  Very weird circumstance, it rebooted itself while in camera, then acted flaky, then when I put it on the charger....nothing.  Stopped responding in any way to any sort of stimulus.  No lights, no nothing.  When I'd first plug it in there'd be a little red charging light, but that would go off in 5 seconds.  Left it on over night, nothing.  Popped the battery, still nothing.

Having tried everything and now bracing myself for the worst (a dead phone), I call Verizon tech support, who quickly moves me along past all the above steps to "Ok let's do a factory reset on the phone."

  1. Hold down the Volume Down key.
  2. Press and hold the Power key for 3-5 seconds.
  3. You should now get a boot screen.  (The hacker/geek in me squealed with glee when I saw this come up).
  4. One option is Factory Reset, which if you've never done one I'll warn you wipes your entire phone as if it's brand new, and you'll be tasked with setting up your Google accounts and such al over again, not to mention the havoc it will wreak on your various installed apps.
  5. Another option, however, is Fast Boot.
I asked the tech person, "Since I know what a factory reset will do, can I try Fast Boot?  Worst case it does nothing, and I repeat this process and select the reset."

"Sure, sounds good," she tells me.  "All we really have is directions for how to reset it."

Wonderful.  I hit the Reboot and thank her for her time.

A few minutes later (the I2 has a very long boot time, you ever notice that?)  I have my phone back!  Yay.

Documenting here because I did go googling for how to hard reboot my phone, and could not find easy instructions to do so.  Maybe the next guy to come along looking for it will land here.  Hold down Volume Down + Power, get boot screen, pick Fast Reboot.

Zazzle on Rails

I have merchandise on the Zazzle store.  I also have sites that I manage, and I would like to advertise my merchandise on my sites under my own control.  Zazzle offers a handful of banner options, but I wasn't really finding the level of control that I wanted.  So I've set about writing my own.

Zazzle does offer a PHP front end if you want to host your own store.  However I'm a Rails guy and would much prefer to work in that language.  From what I can tell, there is no Zazzle gem.  Yet.

What they do offer is a simple enough RSS feed that will allow you to easily pull the relevant info on your products, in a variety of ways.  You can customize the call to grab newest items, or most popular, via search terms or by searching for specific product types only.  In my case, and since I have less than 100 items in the store,  I can just go ahead and grab all of them:

@feed = Feedzirra::Feed.fetch_and_parse("http://feed.zazzle.com/ShakespeareGeek/feed?st=date_created&pg=1&ps=100")

You'll get back the item URL, description, and even a pre-made

complete with image that you can just go ahead and drop right on your page, if you like.

Now it's really up to you what you do next.  I actually use this call to go ahead and seed a local database of Product objects, which I'm then tagging and categorizing as I see fit.  Since I know when I create new products, I can manually go in and update my database to stay in sync.

I wrote up a simple banner script for now that just goes in and says "Get me 3 random products," and then I display the supplied HTML that came with the RSS feed.  Later, depending on the context of the page, I'll be able to say "Get me 3 random Hamlet products" or "Get me 3 t-shirts" or possibly even change what and how I'm displaying the items.

Note that the URL takes you back to the product page on Zazzle, where your customer would then still have to hit a Buy button.  Not the greatest user experience, but I'm not trying to rebuild the store from scratch, either.  I just wanted a way to display advertisements for my merchandise in my own way.  Your mileage may vary.

When I have time I hope to expand this with more source code and examples about exactly what I'm doing.  At the moment, though, I have no idea if Google will pick up this post and if anybody will ever see it.  So if you did land here because you do want to connect Zazzle and Rails, leave a comment so I'll know whether to keep posting on the subject.