Saving Data to the SD Card on Droid RAZR M

I recently became annoyed with my phone when I tried to shift some music onto it. It downloaded a few songs and then it stalled. “Out of space” or somesuch. I knew I had a 32gb card in there and not nearly that much music, so I was a little surprised. Anyways after a little investigation I found that the phone had two mount points named sdcardX, namely:
/storage/sdcard0 and
/storage/sdcard1
which is not ideal, especially since /storage/sdcard0 is not actually an sdcard, or at least it’s not replaceable. I’m sure this made sense to someone at some point thinking, “oh, well internal memory is faster so we’ll just emulate an sdcard and that’ll be swell”. And it is, until someone (me) decides to save a bunch of data that doesn’t require fast access to the sdcard. Because the internal 4.5 gb, which already has some photos and dropbox & app backups & …, quickly runs out of room when you try to put a music library that easily fits onto a 32 gb card in the remaining space. So I spent a little bit of time trying to figure out how to mount the external card in a way so that amazon music or google music would save music there. I got some leads, which suggested modifying the fstab (file which tells where to mount which things), but my fstab didn’t look at all like the ones that they were describing, so I was left in the void.

Eventually, after much futzing around, I discovered a solution. Not an ideal solution, but a passable one. Namely after the system boots use tasker to run a shell command which mount/bind’s the external sd card to the mountpoint of the internal one. On the downside you do lose the 4.5gb internal space, or at least it becomes much less accessible. On the upside this phone comes with a 32gb card I believe, and according to reports despite it being not officially supported it should work with up to a 64gb card (128gb micro cards aren’t available at the moment, so no news there). So you’re trading
4.5gb + 16/32/64 gb half working storage for
4.5gb less than half working storage + 16/32/64gb
which seemed fair to me.

How it’s done.
1) your phone must be rooted
2) get tasker. It’s a paid app, only a few bucks and totally worth it. I have it toggle my wifi off when I’m somewhere I can’t connect so it’s not futilely scanning for a signal nonstop. I also have it go into airplane mode overnight, saves a bunch of battery, and prevents the phone from waking me up (I don’t plug my phone in every day).
3) make a new task and make it run a shell command using root permissions, and the command is “mount -o bind /mnt/external1 /storage/sdcard0” then make a new task & add the context at boot (new task -> event -> system -> device boot) & add the task you just created.
done.

The next time you boot your phone if you go to applications/storage you’ll see that where it says internal storage you have 16/32/64gb available. Though you’ll also see the exact same amount reflected in the sdcard storage. A decent trade in my opinion.

Before doing all this you might want to copy the data from your internal partition onto the sdcard (which I did for all my data, photos and so on), but for apps I found it worked a little better to just uninstall/reinstall. And on reinstall everything will be written to the sdcard properly.

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Photography Without Wires

The iPhone is actually the most popular “camera” on flickr.  And by a wide margin too.  That said it takes awful photos.  Like unbelievably, ridiculously awful.  And it’s actually among the very best camera-phones.  Camera phones have much worse actual resolution, especially in less than ideal lighting conditions, worse color depth, dynamic range, noise artifacts… The only thing they have going for them is portability and connectedness.  And I would claim that the latter is about the determining factor in getting photos from on a device to out into the world where everyone can see them.

The question is then what are my options for easily getting photos off a real camera.  And I have the feeling that this will be of temporary use given the number of cameras which are starting to incorporate connected features.  But anyways, for the moment:

At the moment there are three ways of getting photos off your camera without resorting to taking out the storage or using wires.  The best is wifi/cell data inside the camera, but this is still limited as of the moment.  Next we have the dongles, these plug into one port or another on the camera and can then connect to some wireless network.  I am avoiding these at the moment because I don’t want a dongle hanging off of or sticking out of my camera.  These also tend to be specific to a camera manufacturer or even a specific camera model.  Finally we have the networked flash storage.  These are memory cards which connect to wireless networks.  This was started by Eye-Fi, but by now numerous other manufacturers are joining in.  For me the real appeal is automation, reducing the number of steps between pressing the shutter button and having a photo online.  And as far as automation is concerned eye-fi seems to still be leading the crowd, since one can set it up to transfer files automatically.

These methods of getting photos off the camera are slightly flexible in terms of where the images end up, but it’s still not great.  Eye-Fi will automatically push photos onto my android phone (I imagine one can do the same with an iphone).  And from there I actually have a number of options of moving the photo further along.  First eye-fi offers an application, but the interface is kind of a pain to use, and requires windows (possible also osx, but in either case, no linux).