Merlion Leo goes next gen

After a week of burying under work, I finally begin my long weekend by building my Leo ROM using the latest Windows Mobile 6.5 COM5 platform (build 23554)

The cooking process was smooth sailing and the result is quite satisfactory. Please head over to the XDA developer thread to follow the development progress, if you are keen to try it on your HD2.

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Cooking Windows Mobile ROM for dummies

Introduction to cooking

We are all very familiar with setting up a new operating system in our PC or notebook. Doing so on our Windows mobile device, is however, not so straight forward. The only way is to setup the operating system, along with the desired applications, into an image, which will then be flashed into the mobile device. The process of building the image, is also known as cooking.  The person who involves in cooking, is known as chef.

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Venturing into ROM cooking

And I meant ROM as Read-Only-Memory, not Registry-of-Marriage, which some fellow Singaporean bloggers would have assumed 😀

Despite holding a non-development responsibility in my IT professional job, I still have a soft spot for software programming, and therefore, I have been developing software during my free time, and some of them were showcased in my own blog


The year of 2010, is a new era for me, as I have “progressed” beyond software development, and ventured into Windows Mobile operating system image development, or better known as “ROM cooking”, and greatly helped by the availability of easy-to-use tools.

dZenkinZ © Merlion Leo is my first attempt of the ROM building venture, for HTC HD2 Leo. The primary objective of the effort is to have a customized ROM based on my personal needs, with the emphasis on striking a balance between performance and nice user interface. So you may find that some of the included/excluded features not something you would expect of a “public ROM”. Nevertheless, recognising that this is probably the first Leo ROM that’s based on WWE (WorldWide Edition, i.e. English ROM) with Simplified Chinese display & input support, I have decided to share my work with you so that this provides an alternative to rest of the ROMS out in xda-developers.

And why Merlion as the name of my ROM? Since this is possibly the first made-in-Singapore Leo ROM, and Merlion is a well recognised icon for Singapore, I thought why not? It surely beats using some other geeky or cheesy name, isn’t it?

If you like to use my ROM, you can head over to xda-developers for the download link and discussion.

ShowTraffic with Google Map Traffic

ShowTraffic SG has been updated to release 1.2. It fixes some bugs, and introduce a new feature to support Google Map Traffic, which enables one to go directly to Google Map from Show Traffic application.

You can download from here Update on 28th Jan: version 1.3 has been released to fix a bug and also added two new camera points.

Show Traffic for Singapore (v1.1) with kinetic scrolling

Kinetic scrolling is essentially a new improved way of scrolling a page, or a list, and is finger friendly and visually more pleasant. It was first found in iPhone user interface, but more and more applications in other mobile platform, such as Windows Mobile, Symbian, are following suite. In Windows Mobile, there is no SDK exists, to my knowledge, to enable developers to add this new scrolling feature to the application without substantial development work.

Last weekend, I managed to reverse engineer this feature and included it in my latest Show Traffic application. Check out the video, and you know what I’m talking about!

You can download the latest version from this link. Version 1.1 is now “skinable” (yay! my first skinable appy) and is compatible to both Q(W)VGA and (W)VGA Windows Mobile devices.

To skin the application, you have to modify the following image files

  1. BG_selector background image of the item
  2. BG_highlight background image of the selected item
  3. BG_spacer background image of the spacer between items
  4. BG_title background image of the title bar (at the top of the application)

Additionally, if your skin is a white/light-color based theme, then you need to change the foreground and background colour so that the text can be readable on your light-color based theme. This setting can be found in the registry path (HKCU\Software\Zenyee\ShowTraffic) You can download this zip file for a sample light-based skin with the appropiate registry.

Show Traffic – Another Windows Mobile quicky app

TrafficCamYou may like to call it an iPhone app clone. I got to acknowledged, that iPhone apps, less those mind-less ones, have been churned to serve a purpose in one’s daily life. Traffic CAM SG is one of them, which displays the road traffic in Singapore highways.

However, other than a more intuitive interface as a result of the iPhone UI, there isn’t really a breakthrough functionality that can’t be offered outside of iPhone. The live traffic, is afterall taken from the local authority website (OneMotoring), and I decided to bring this capability to Windows Mobile world.

That said, the Windows Mobile SDK doesn’t really offer gesture-based interface, unless you work in the native C++ environment. Since this application is meant to be a “quicky” one (as I cannot afford to burn my weekend just for this) so I have to design and build based on what compact .NET framework could allow me. This is built in less than half a day, including creating the graphics and the testing of the links, so please pardon this appy for its very basic interface.

Note:  Traffic images and contents are sourced from Intelligent Transport System Centre of LTA (Land Transport Authority). You may go to this OneMotoring link for the online version.

You can download the beta from here (only WVGA/VGA supported at the moment)