Thursday, October 2, 2008

I got the Shift

I just got myself an HTC Shift a month ago. I bought it during a trip to Taipei, around 250€ cheaper than in Spain. But there were 4 inconveniences:
  • Windows Vista Business in traditional Chinese language.
  • SnapVUE (limited Windows Mobile) in traditional Chinese language.
  • Regional warranty.
  • No 'ñ' character nor accent marks.
Nevertheless, i succeeded in changing the language in both OS as well as installing Ubuntu Linux, so now i have an UMPC with the following features:
  • Windows Vista Business in Spanish.
  • Ubuntu Linux 8.04 in Spanish.
  • Windows Mobile 6 custom ROM in English.
Not bad. Here is how i did it...

1. Switching Windows Vista language

Although i first thought it was impossible to install a language pack in Windows Vista Business Edition (only in Ultimate Edition) i followed this workaround and was able to install Windows Vista MUI Spanish language pack and switched from traditional Chinese language successfully.

Once i could use Windows Vista properly (i'm not good at traditional Chinese) i created a partition for Ubuntu Linux with the Disk Management tool.

2. Installing Ubuntu Linux

It wasn't hard to install Ubuntu Linux 8.04 in the HTC Shift using a portable USB CD reader, although it could also have been done from an image stored in an USB Pendrive. Most of the hardware worked out of the box:
  • Audio
  • Ethernet
  • Bluetooth
  • SD Card
  • Webcam
And thanks to pof, a simple script automatically configured the remaining stuff:
  • Touchscreen
  • WiFi
  • 3G
Easy as pie.

3. Switching Windows Mobile language

SnapVUE (limited Windows Mobile) also displayed traditional Chinese language, completely unintelligible (for me).

Switching the language in Windows Mobile can't be done, unlike Windows Vista, so i was forced to install a new ROM. Unfortunately, HTC hasn't published the official SnapVUE ROM yet (though other HTC Phones official ROMs are available at HTC's website) so i had to:
  1. Unlock Windows Mobile File Explorer
  2. HardSPL the HTC Shift
  3. Install a custom ROM
Surprisingly, this ROM i installed activated GPS function in SnapVUE side too. From now on, i can install other custom ROMs that may activate SD card, phone, Bluetooth and WiFi on SnapVUE. That'd be great.

Finally i got the perfect system for Mobile Security pentest, all in less than 1 Kg! Now let's see what it's capable of... :)

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