Since the 1.54 final firmware is out, I have been flashing and reflashing every couple of days (first to move to the RC from 1.53 and then from the RC to the final release). Reflashing is pretty easy and fast enough, but you lose most of your settings when you do so. So I came up with this short list of 10 things I usually do after I reflash. Whether you are new to reflashing or not, you may want to check it out to see if you did not forget to do anything !
There are a couple of annoying defaults when the Pandora is reset after reflashing. The Pandora sleep mode is off when you close the lid, you get all the ugly wallpaper (sorry Pandora team, but I’m not a fan of that selection), you get big fat icons of the PNDs on the desktop, and a few things do not work anymore. Alright, let’s fix that! It takes less than 10 minutes.
1. Lid close settings OR let the Pandora get some sleep
Easy ! Go in Settings > Lid-Close Settings and select “Go Into Low Power Mode”. Now the Pandora will go to sleep every time you close the lid, and save a lot of energy that way. That is how you can keep it running for several days without recharging it.
2. Font size OR Come on, you don’t need glasses
I find the font way too big at size 11. I guess it depends on your eyesight, but I prefer my text a little smaller, therefore I put the default size at 9 (go in Settings > Desktop > Appearance). You can also enable hinting to your liking to make the fonts look better on your system (try out the different settings to see the difference between None and Full).
Then… take that opportunity to shrink the fat bottom panel a little. It won’t hurt and will make you gain some healthy screen space. 28 pixels is not a bad place to be, I have seen worse.
3. Remove icons on Desktop OR Live Icon Free or Die Hard
After years of Win XP and messy desktops cluttered with icons I have become convinced that icons do not belong there. Especially if you have a keyboard or a menu with categories, the advantage of desktop icons is pretty thin, and makes your whole desktop ugly to look at. That is very much a matter of taste, I know people who prefer to have icons all over the place (and their pants on the floor at home). If you like it clean like me, go in Settings > Desktop > Desktop and then select the Icon tab. Choose “None”.
4. Change Wallpaper OR What’s wrong with pretty girls?
Time to remove the wallpaper and put something a little bit personal. No, not a photo of my dog or lolcats. Here’s a wallpaper from the Japan celebrity Nozomi Sasaki (note: don’t click this link if you do not like women – you are warned). Go in Settings > Desktop > Desktop and stay in the Background tab. Click the little + sign on the left in the middle, to look for the wallpaper to insert. Select it, then click on Close and you are done.
5. Change Theme OR When it sucks, you got to do something
The default theme is, once again, not really to my liking. There are many xfce themes to choose from, personally I like the simplicity of “xfce-smooth”. Go in Settings > Desktop > Appearance, then in Style tab to enter your choice.
6. Install Java Support OR When installing more is not always too much
You may know me from my numerous Java-related PNDs on the repo. There are lots of good apps in Java filling some gaps so I usually recommend installing OpenJDK to run those. I usually keep it on my SD card (but you can get the installer on the repo) and you simply need to run the installer. Simple.
7. Install Timidity Midi OR get the fricking music working in Duke Nukem and Doom
Many ported games like Duke Nukem use Midi instruments to play music, therefore it is fairly important to install Timidity support (get the PND first and put in your SD Card Pandora/menu folder). I recommend installing the mid size set (33Megs) and using your SD-card as a medium, as long as you keep that SD card in your Pandora most of the time.
8. Install Community Codecs OR when laziness brings good things to your life
Always nice to be able to launch videos directly from the file explorer. First you need to get the pack PND from the wiki page, then put in your SD Card pandora/menu folder. The installation takes a while but it is well worth it. Go in System > Community Codec Pack Installer and run it.
9. Fix your Model Frequency at Start OR Full Throttle, baby !
The profile for my Rebirth at boot is set to accept only frequencies up to a maximum of 700 Mhz. That is allright for everyday use, but I usually need to overclock for certain applications. I go in Settings > CPU settings and set a new allowed maximum at 900 Mhz. If you have a 1Ghz unit settings may be different.
10. Get the Time Right OR Don’t use that lame Pandora time excuse to be late at work
For some reason even when I indicate my timezone when reflashing, it never comes up right when I reboot. Is that a bug? Who knows. A quick fix is to go to Settings > Date and Time, and then selecting your timezone. After that, I usually do a synchronization with the Internet time and this gives me the correct, precise time.
That’s it! I hope this proved useful to some of you. This is obviously MY top 10 and there’s nothing universal to it. If you are familiar with reflashing and take extra steps on top of those I described, feel free to share them in the comments !