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Android Beginner
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted this over at XDA, so I thought I'd share it with you guys too :)

I'm creating this A - Z dictionary because I myself struggled a lot with the Android/Thunderbolt jargon when I first entered the Root scene. I would assume that other newly rooted Thunderbolt users will struggle and are struggling with the same thing, and I think a tool like this might help them. Keep in mind that most of these terms are either Android-specific or Thunderbolt-specific (if there is enough variance between the general Android and specific Thunderbolt meaning). So, without further ado...

The Thunderbolt Root User's Dictionary v1.0.1!​


A2SD: 1. (abvr., n.) Apps 2 SD [card]. A root-only application used to move applications from your Thunderbolt's internal memory to a separate partition of your SD card. The partition uses an ext filesystem (either ext2, ext3, or ext4), which is the same filesystem that Andorid's internal memory uses. A2SD made its debut in CyanogenMod before the days of Froyo, in which Google added their own method of moving applications to the SD card without partitioning it.
1u. A2SD has a paid version and a free version, both of which are available in the Android market.

ADB: 1. (abvr., n.) Android Debug Bridge. A tool included with the Android SDK (Software Development Kit) which is located in the platform-tools folder of the un-packed ASDK. It interacts with your device by way of specific commands issued by the user from a separate device.
1u. Unless you use a one-click root method, you will have to use ADB in order to root your Thunderbolt.

AOSP: 1. (abvr., n.) The Android Open Source Project. A Google-led project whose goal is to further the development and to maintain the Open-Source Android operating system. AOSP hopes to accomplish it's goal by making the Android source code available to all interested parties, from device manufacturers to private developers.
1u. Cyanogenmod is an AOSP-based ROM.


Baseband: 1. (n.) Essentially, a driver for your Thunderbolt's radio. In theory, upgrading your baseband will give you a better radio signal, however in reality, an upgrade could potentially worsen your signal. Usually the baseband version is the same as the CDMA version for any given radio.
1u. Some basebands will only work with certain ROMs.

Bloatware: 1. (n.) Applications which are installed prior to the Thunderbolt's purchase but which serve little or no purpose, are obsolete and/or of poor quality, or are just plain dumb.
1u. Slacker radio, and application pre-loaded on the Thunderbolt, is usually regarded as bloatware.

Bootloader: 1. (n.) A set of code containing instructions for the operating system which is executed at every boot/reboot. Your bootloader has a simple user interface (hboot, see separate entry) which allows for debugging modification prior to boot. 2. (n.) [Unlocked] Bootloader: A bootloader which has been hacked to allow for limitless third party customization. With an unlocked botloader, users can load custom firmware, kernels, themes, and more. From an unlocked bootloader, you can boot normally, into recovery mode, or power down, amongst other options. Unlocking your bootloader voids your manufacturer's warranty.
1u. When you power on your device, bootloader will run before any other applications.
2u. I got my unlocked bootloader today and loaded up Cyanogenmod!

Brick: 1. (n.) A Thunderbolt which makes for a better paperweight than a mobile device; A Thunderbolt which is missing key functionality or which no longer functions and which cannot be recovered by rebooting normally, in recovery, or by means of RUU. 2. (v.) Brick[ed]: To have damaged your Thunderbolt, either physically or on a software level, so that it is beyond repair, at which point it becomes a Brick (see Brick, 1. (n.)).
1u. Adrenelyne: *Eyes closed* Is it a brick guys?
2u. Arednelyne: I BRICKED THE DAMN THING! ;)

Busybox: 1. (n.) A small software application which provides many standard UNIX tools, although these tools are not as capable as their larger GNU Core Utility counterparts. Unless you intend to develop Android, all you really need to know about Busybox is that it is needed in order to root your Thunderbolt.
1u. Just as the self-proclaimed name, the "Swiss Army Knife of Embedded Linux", implies, Busybox is a set of many UNIX tools packaged into a small file.


CDMA: 1. (abvr., n.) Actually lengthened to CDMA2000, but often shortened simply to CDMA. CDMA, in terms of the Thunderbolt, is a wireless air interface used to transmit voice, data, and signaling data between the Thunderbolt and Verizon cell sites. It is responsible for your 1X/3G data connection as well as for your voice call connection. Your call connection signal strength is represented by the signal bars in the notification bar at the top of your screen, while your 1X/3G connection is represented by their corresponding icons located to the left of the signal bars (no 1X/3G/4G icon means you have no data connection).
1u. CDMA technology was first used in cordless home telephones.

ClockworkMod: 1. (n.) A popular custom replacement for the stock Android recovery console. With ClockworkMod, users can access advanced commands that stock recovery does not offer. Otherwise inaccessible commands can be executed, such as storage mounting options, .zip flashing, and nandroid backup restoration. ClockworkMod is a tool used often by developers and is something that you will see a lot of as a rooted Thunderbolt user.
1u. I booted into ClockworkMod mode so that I could flash Imoseyon's newest kernel, v15.4926.0010010.666test47

CyanogenMod: 1. (n.) Custom firmware based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). CyanogenMod (often shortened to CM, or CM7 for version 7.x) offers features not found in the stock Thunderbolt firmware, and it runs Gingerbread, not Froyo. CM7 is currently in the Alpha stage of development for Thunderbolt users.
1u. Users who use CyanogenMod are able to browse the web in incognito mode.


Dalvik: 1. (n.) A virtual machine designed by Google for use in the Android operating system. Sometimes shortened to DVM or DalvikVM. 2. (n.) Dalvik [Cache]: A cache of small .dex files which are used to quickly and efficiently load applications. Basically, when Android starts up, the DalvikVM scans through all of your applications (files with .apk extensions) and application framework. It then optimizes the bytecode (tiny code commonly used for efficient software execution) for each application into a .dex file and stores that file in the Dalvik Cache. The applications are then run using the .dex file (optimized bytecode). By doing this, Android is able to speed up to execution of applications by loading them from smaller .dex files instead of larger .apk files. This is why when you install a new ROM, it takes longer to boot for the first time (because the DalvikVM is scanning and optimizing each application/framework). Every time an application (or framework library) changes or is installed, it's re-optimized into a .dex file and the cache is updated.
1u. Dalvik is named after a fishing village in Iceland.
2u. Many custom ROMs give you the ability to clear your Dalvik cache at any time.

Debloat: 1. (v.) To remove the bloatware from your Thunderbolt. 2. (adj.) Debloat[ed]: A ROM which comes with some or all bloatware removed.
1u. If you want to debloat your ROM, just flash the debloat patch!
2u. Many ROMs come debloated and deodxed.

Deodex: 1. (n.) A patch of sorts that involved the un-odexing of a ROM. An odex, simply put, is a collection of bits of different applications that have been pulled from their original sources prior to boot with the intent to speed up the boot process. Therefore, a deodex is the patch applied to a ROM which all the bits from all the different applications have been returned to their respective sources. *Note: Most ROMs come either odexed or deodexed.
1u. BAMF ROMs are all deodexed prior to their release (plus they're awesome ;))


eMMC: 1. (abvr., n.) Embedded MultiMediaCard. eMMC is simply a storage solution with MMC interface, flash memory, and controller. The average Thunderbolt user only needs to know that the Thunderbolt uses 4GB of eMMC as it's internal storage, although Android and other system partitions (one for hboot/bootloader, one for recovery, and one for Android itself) take up roughly 1.4GB of that, leaving only 2.6GB that can be used for application and data storage. So in terms of the Thunderbolt, eMMC is just a technical term for internal storage.
1u. eMMC has a high capacity, reliable write, boot, and sleep modes, a dual data date, support for multiple partitions, and security enhancements over MMC.

ETA: 1. (abvr., n.) Estimated Time of Arrival. In the world of Android development, ROMs, kernels, RILs, etc. are created at whatever pace their developers decide to create them at. It is considered disrespectful to demand an ETA for any custom software or code because, quite frankly, we're lucky to have dedicated developers who are kind and talented enough to produce such things at no cost. One should not, under any circumstance, ask for ETAs. Period. /Thread.
1u. Sooooooo.... whats the ETA on that CM7 RIL? ;)


Firmware: 1. (n.) In its most basic form, software that has been written onto read-only memory (ROM). However, firmware in the context of Android and Thunderbolt could be defined as the software that drives the device. It is both programs and code whose purpose is to control the hardware of the Thunderbolt, and is therefore essential to your Thunderbolt's operation.
1u. Verizon is pushing out a firmware update on the 30th... NOT!

Flash: 1. (v.) To install custom software, which is packaged into a .zip, onto your Thunderbolt through recovery mode. When you flash a custom ROM, or when someone refers to flashing a patch, the thing being flashed is the thing being installed. Therefore, if the term flash throws you off, just pretend it says "install" instead.
1u(a). I am going to flash the latest version of BAMF later today.
1u(b). Once the patch has been flashed, your data connection should be restored.

Froyo: 1. (n.) Version 2.2 of the Android operating system. Thunderbolts currently come with this version of Android.
1u. My Thunderbolt is running Android version 2.2.1, which is categorized as Froyo.


Gingerbread: 1. (n.) Version 2.3 of the Android operating system. Often abbreviated to GB.
1u. I wish my Thunderbolt could have some yummy Gingrebread...

GPU: 1. (abvr., n.) Graphics Processing Unit. Your Thunderbolt's GPU is akin to your computer's video card. It is a chip, much like a CPU, which is responsible for manipulating and altering memory/data related to graphical output. A GPU does this more efficiently than a CPU because of the way that such memory/data is arranged (in parallel as opposed to in series).
1u. Imoseyon's kernels offer several GPU enhancements that are baked straight into his kernel code.


HBoot: 1. (abvr., n.) HotBoot. Located on a partition of your Thunderbolt's eMMC, HBoot allows you to boot into other eMMC partitions such as bootloader, recovery, and your regular ROM. HBoot is the first thing that runs when you power on your Thunderbolt. By default, HBoot simply loads bootloader when your device is powered on. However, you can boot into HBoot in order to access its various features by using ADB or by holding your volume down and power buttons simultaneously.
1u. Hboot is easily the hardest term to research :p

HDPI: 1> (abvr., n.) High Dots Per Inch (DPI). DPI is a measure of screen pixel density, so a higher DPI always means a higher resolution screen, meaning a higher definition image. The Thunderbolt, being an HDPI device, has a better screen than the Eris, which is an MDPI device, or Medium DPI.
1u. Some Google App (GAPPS) packages are made for HDPI devices and others for MDPI/LDPI devices.


I/O Scheduler: 1. (abvr., n.) Input/Output Scheduler. The I/O scheduler is code that is tasked with deciding the order in which I/O operations are submitted to the eMMC and SD card. Common goals of many I/O scheduler are to minimize time wasted by hard disk seeks, to prioritize a certain processes' I/O requests, to give a share of the disk bandwidth to each running process, and to guarantee that certain requests will be issued in a particular time frame. Everyone has their own opinion about which I/O scheduler is the best for Thunderbolt, and each kernel varies with which I/O schedulers it supports.
1u. The default I/O scheduler for CyanogenMod is BFQ.




Kernel: 1. (n.) The bridge between applications and the actual data processing done on the hardware level. Basically, the kernel talks to hardware components like the RAM and CPU inside the Thunderbolt and assigns the proper amount of each of the component's resources to be used for an application's tasks. In Android, the kernel is also used to control the CPU clock speed and voltage, as well as other hardware-related functions.
1u. You can upgrade your kernel just like you can upgrade your ROM, but only if you're rooted!


LTE: 1. (abvr., n.) Actually lengthened to 3GPP Long Term Evolution, but often shortened to just LTE. In your Thunderbolt, LTE is responsible for your 4G wireless data transfer. Although LTE does not officially qualify as a 4G network, it is often marketed as such.
1u. The Thunderbolt runs on Verizon's 4GLTE network, although LTE coverage is currently only in large cities.


MD5: 1. (n.) A 128-bit hash that functions as a compact digital fingerprint for a file. Since almost every MD5 hash is unique (although mathematically its not impossible for multiple files to have the same MD5 hash), they are often used to verify the validity of downloads for your Thunderbolt, such as ROMs and kernels. 2. (n.) MD5Sum: [AKA checksum] A program used to calculate the MD5 hash of a given file. You'll use an MD5Summer in order to make sure your downloaded ROM/kernel/mod is 100% good.
1u. Always check the MD5 hash before you flash a ROM or kernel!
2u. An MD5Summer can be found here.


Nandroid: 1. (n.) A complete backup image of your Thunderbolt which can be restored in the event of phone problems or failure. A nandroid can be created in a number of ways, the most popular of which is through the application ROM Manager by selecting the option "Backup current ROM". Nandroids are saved onto your SD card, so wiping your data in order to flash new ROMs won't affect them! A nandroid is the best safety net for users experimenting with unstable ROMs or kernels.
1u. I flashed a ROM for a different device by mistake, so I booted into recovery and restored my BAMF nandroid backup!

Nightlies: 1. (n.) Nightly releases of a ROM, usually one which is AOSP-based. These releases are often less stable than official versions of the ROM because nightlies are changed on a nightly basis, meaning that some small bugs are inevitably overlooked. The CyanogenMod team coined the term and currently hosts nightlies for download on their servers, but only for devices which already have stable CM releases.
1u. Since CM is still working out the kinks in its RIL, OMFGB, another AOSP-based ROM with a working RIL, has begun releasing nightlies.


OTA: 1. (abvr., n.) Over The Air. Usually used in the context of an OTA update. 2. (n.) OTA [Update]: An update which is pushed, or sent out over the air, by Verizon. OTA updates are sent to all wireless customers. There are rumors that Verizon will soon send out an OTA update which will take the Thunderbolt from Froyo to Gingerbread.
1u. Verizon patched Android OTA.
2u. Hopefully, Verizon will give us Gingerbreads with an OTA update soon :(

Overclock: 1. (v.) To increase the CPU clock speed (which is measured in GHZ, or gigahertz) from its stock settings in order to increase the Thunderbolt's processing speed. The long-term results of overclocking on a mobile scale have yet to be determined because the ability to overclock and retain stability has only recently been achieved.
1u. I have my Thunderbolt overclocked to 1.41GHZ


Port: 1. (v.) To take a custom ROM/mod/kernel/theme/etc made for one device and adapt its code and architecture to run stably on the Thunderbolt. 2. (n.) A custom ROM/mod/kernel/theme/etc for a device other than the Thunderbolt which has been adapted to run stably on the Thunderbolt.
1u. Many people coming from different devices want their favorite ROMs ported over to the Thunderbolt.
2u. Kingdom is a port that many Thunderbolt users run.




Radio: 1. (n.) Software which controls all of the Thunderbolt's wireless communication, from CMDA to LTE. Without a radio installed, you won't have a data signal or a network signal. 2. (n.) The radio on the hardware level is what sends and receives wireless signals via the Thunderbolt's internal antenna.
1u. I want to upgrade my radio to MR2 when Gingerbread becomes more stable.
2u. The Thunderbolt's radio can receive data at 4G speeds.
*For general knowledge* >>> Head over to the Obligatory Thunderbolt Radio Thread to get your hands on basic Froyo radios. The first 4 radios on that page are for Froyo ROMs, but the last one is for Gingerbread only! For instructions on how to flash a radio, check out my FAQ Thread (coming soon...)

Recovery: 1. (n.) A mode which exists on a partition of your Thunderbolt's eMMC that can be accessed either through the use of ADB or through bootloader. In recovery mode (stock), you can factory reset your device and recover your operating system by flashing a signed ROM. There are few other options accessible in stock recovery mode. *Note: Not to be confused with Clockworkmod (see seperate entry).
1u. I really want to get rid off all this junk I've installed, so I booted into recovery and did a full factory reset.

RIL: 1. (n.) Radio Interface Layer. Its a large amount of pretty basic code that essentially helps software in need of network access communicate with the radio hardware itself. I'm paraphrasing here, but the process is something along the lines of: An application needs some kind of network usage --> the main phone application --> RIL --> two different RILs, the latter of which sends the signal out to the tower. Its sort of like the kernel of the radio.
1u. CM7's RIL is currently being worked on; when it's complete, CM7 should be headed towards its first official Thunderbolt release!

ROM: 1. (n.) Read-only memory. A ROM, in Android and Thunderbolt, is custom firmware designed either by the device manufacturer (signed firmware, where the word signed indicates its authenticity as manufacturer firmware) or by a third party (custom firmware). Installing a ROM involved flashing the .zip that it is compressed within through Recovery mode.
1u. Flashing custom ROMs is a great way to gain more control over your device!

ROM Manager: 1. (n.) An application used to perform a variety of root-only tasks such as creating a nandroid, downloading a ROM straight to your Thunderbolt, partitioning your SD card in preparation for A2SD, etc.. ROM Manager is included in many ROMs, but it can be downloaded for free from the Android market.
1u. You can use ROM Manager to run a fix permissions script, which is a tool that can sometimes fix force close problems.

Rosie: 1. (n.) HTC's Sense-based dock and launcher application. Rosie is the in charge of your homescreens, dock, app drawer, etc.. It can be replaced by other launchers, such as LauncherPro, ADW Launcher, or GO Launcher.
1u. Most of the things you can do on your homescreens are done within Rosie.

RUU: 1. (n.) ROM Upgrade Utility. A file which allows the rooted user to revert recovery from ClockworkMod to stock, return to an un-rooted state, and turn S-OFF to S-ON. An RUU should be used when all things fail, when root access is no longer desired (ie if you need to bring your phone into Verizon to have it replaced), etc.. The average user will probably never have to use an RUU.
1u. My Thunderbolt's USB port stopped working, so I used an RUU to make my phone look normal and brought it to Verizon to have it replaced :D


S-OFF: 1. (n.) Security-OFF. In order to successfully root a Thunderbolt, flash custom ROMs, and access most /system/ files, you must first obtain S-OFF (the Thunderbolt ships with S-ON, or Security-ON). When S-OFF is obtained, the Thunderbolt no longer scans flashed firmware, boot animations, splash boot pages, or kernels for official signatures, meaning the user is grated full control over his/her phone. You can check your S status by booting into hboot (bootloader).
1u. I gained S-OFF so that I could flash GINGERTH3ORY and bake cookies on my battery :)

Sense: 1. (n.) HTC's default user interface for most of their Android-based mobile devices. Basically, Sense controls the Thunderbolt's lockscreen, launcher, and theme/skin by default, unless a desensed ROM is used or a 3rd party application bypasses Sense's control. 2. (v.) [De]sense: The process of removing HTC's Sense from your Thunderbolt, allowing for even more customization and no stock feel whatsoever. Desensing is usually done at the ROM level, and most ROMs will note whether or not they are desensed or not.
1u. I personally dislike the default Sense lockscreen, so I installed WidgetLocker and got rid of it!
2u. BAMF Stripped is the perfect example of a desensed ROM.

Stock: 1. (n.) Simply put, the default settings for a the Thunderbolt. A stock Thunderbolt would be one that is un-rooted, unmodified, and otherwise untouched on a software level. Restoring to stock refers to revoking root access and turning S-OFF to S-ON.
1u. You might want to return your Thunderbolt to its stock settings before you bring it in to Verizon and claim you don't know why it caught fire that one time ;)

Superuser: 1. (n.) An application used by root users to grant applications root access. Superuser allows users to select from a variety of different options, including remembering a specific application's root access, meaning it only needs to be cleared for root access once. Superuser is currently the easiest method for granting root access to applications.
1u. Superuser displays toast notifications whenever an application is granted root access.

Swap: 1. (n.) AKA Paging. A memory-management tool that creates a user-defined amount of virtual memory on the eMMC for Android to use in addition to the Thunderbolt's RAM. Using swap, Android can move larger amounts of data from RAM to the eMMC, allowing for more RAM to be free at any given time. Data is exchanged between the RAM and the swap partition based on size and priority. In theory, using swap will increase your Thunderbolt's performance because the RAM is free more often and in larger quantities.
1u. There are rumors that using swap will eventually kill your eMMC due to the fact that eMMC can only be written to a certain amount of times, however no one really knows the long term affects of many eMMC writes, so any claims should be viewed as speculation.


Titanium Backup: 1. (n.) A popular root-only application that contains many tools that a root user may want/need to use. Titanium Backup's main function is to create a backup of a user's applications, application data, and system data on the SD card so that a user can clear their data, flash a new ROM, and then restore their backed-up applications and data to the new ROM. However, Titanium Backup can also be used to uninstall system applications, move applications to the SD card, and freeze/defrost applications. Titanium Backup can be downloaded for free from the Android market.
1u. Das BAMF ROMs include the free version of Titanium Backup.

Toast Notifications: 1. (n.) A notification which pops up (much like toast ;)) to display itself at the bottom of the screen. Many background applications will use toast notifications in order to alert the user to its activity.
1u. Superuser uses toast notifications to notify the user of applications which are being granted root access.


UI: 1. (abvr., n.) User Interface. On a stock Thunderbolt, Sense would be considered by most to be the UI, although HTC sometimes agrees and sometimes disagrees. Either way, the UI is usually a graphical, physical way for the user to manipulate the intangible software and hardware contained within a device. A UIs goal is to be simple, visually appealing, and user-friendly, while still maintaining functionality and advanced capability.
1u. Sense, the Thunderbolt's UI, can be almost entirely removed by flashing a version of BAMF Stripped.


Voltage: Used only in reference to Overclocking, see O. 1. (n.) Controls how many volts go to the CPU at different clock speeds. A lower voltage means longer battery life, but a voltage too low on a clock speed too high can lead to instability and system crashes. ; under- and over- are relative to stock CPU clocks.
1u. The stock CPU voltages consume battery life very quickly.








Zipalign: 1. (n.) A tool used by ROM developers that optimizes Android application files (.apk's). Essentially, zipaligning a ROM ensures that all applications are compressed relative to the start of the file. All the average user needs to know is that a zipaligned ROM means less RAM consumption, and that's always a good thing!
1u. Most of the popular Thunderbolt ROMs are zipaligned prior to their release.


Well that's it for now! I'll be updating this daily for a while (until I run out of stuff to update it with). I'll keep it constantly maintained, and look out for a Frequently Asked Questions thread coming soon!

And just as a footnote guys, I really don't know that much about Android. I created this for myself just as much as I created it for the good of the community, and throughout writing it I learned a lot (you really think I knew what the hell deodex meant? dalvik cache? chyeah, okay). So if you learn something from this, pay it forward, help someone else with the new knowledge you've acquired! I'm totally open to corrections to current entries or even to entirely new entries, just post your thoughts below :)

ENJOY!!! :D :D :D

Android Beginner
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here is a running list of the entries which I'm not sure are totally accurate (I'm actually not sure if any of the entries are totally accurate, but these are the ones I'm sure aren't). If you think something should be changed with one of these, well, you're probably right, so let me know :)

- Bootloader
- Kernel
- Deodex
- Busybox
- Radio
- Firmware
- Zipalign
- Dalvik
- Rosie
- I/O Scheduker
- Swap
- eMMC
- Baseband
- HBoot
The Coming-Soon List

- Launcher Application
- Fix Permissions
- Background Application
- Foreground Application
- SIM card
- Root Explorer
- Terminal Emulator

- Linked tutorials for many of these terms are coming just as soon as I figure out how I would like to format them... Stay tuned :)

If you see a term that you don't understand while navigating the Thunderbolt forums, post a request in this thread and it will be added! :)

Android Beginner
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·

6/27/2011 @ 2:30AM - v1.0 released after a full day of typing, 28 entries!
6/28/2011 @ 3:45AM - v1.0.1 released with 20 entries added.

*** Please let me know if you see any typos, grammar errors, or any other errors that are unrelated to the meaning of the definitions! ***
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