And I came in for another LeapFrog Epic post.

Alright, I'm sure some of you may remember the now-infamous guide on how to turn that LeapFrog Epic demo unit you bought off eBay into a fully-functional device last year. It did work well by all intents and purposes, even going so far as being able to connect to LeapFrog services and download apps off their store, but the problem here is it relied on a method involving a workaround using a modified demo ROM, and the hidden Write Memory feature in SP Flash Tool (The secure boot feature in some MediaTek devices actually has this loophole where most critical system images e.g. boot and recovery are checked if they're properly signed on bootup, but system isn't for whatever reason, likely due to FOTA updates or something). Not to mention that the modified ROM is based on an earlier codebase with the Stagefright exploit amongst other vulnerabilities. I know Kitkat's already antiquated enough as it is, but eh...

This method is based on the fact that LeapFrog, through their…

Has Nintendo heard of the term "Streisand effect"?

So, you’ve heard that right: Emuparadise is gone, or at least shuttered its ROM operations. And so are the likes of LoveROMs whom the Big N slapped a hefty fine on. Is it a good thing? Yes if you really are strict about copyright, but what if you put things like preservation, cultural heritage, accessibility and fan or customer relations to account?

As a bit of a background, Nintendo has gained quite a notoriety for being the litigious firm that is known and scorned for. It won a case against Universal Studios over whether Donkey Kong was a parody of King Kong, sued Galoob for the Game Genie, which turned to be in vain as the courts decided that no derivative works were made from games being hacked by the cheat device, banned Japanese stores from offering video games for rent (because they need to PRINT MONEY!!!1!), and sued a Taiwanese bootlegging operation named NTDEC to certain death, not to mention that the bootlegging outfit’s name stood for NinTenDo Electronic Co.

Piracy is, by a…

Rant: DiSA pain in the arse.

Pun intended, that is. Lately I've noticed that tablets from certain vendors such as RCA, Nextbook and LeapFrog have implemented a security feature by Singapore-based Digital Safety, also known as DiSA. According to the Digital Safety website, it "is designed to offer complete supply chain and in-store protection against shrink."
Fig. 1: A DiSA-protected device being activated
That is, it does away with physical anti-theft locks wrapped on the device's box prior to being sold to the end-user, and replaces it with an activation system that prompts for a code to be given by the sales person by way of a receipt. As mentioned earlier, this has been implemented by a number of manufacturers, though I don't think they've done so with Apple considering they already have a system that's already effective enough as it is. And I don't think that it has rolled out on all retail outlets either, especially with e-commerce and online stores displacing physical retai…

Would anyone mind a donation or two?

Right now I am currently looking for the following devices to aid in servicing LeapFrog Epics:

I honestly don't know if this would actually help with the locked bootloader situation we're having with LeapFrog, but I do have at least some hope on circumventing the restriction they somehow implemented. I understand if they did lock down the device somewhat for security's sake, but this basically left hobbyists, especially those who have been working with LeapFrog devices, in the dark, just as when kernel sources are available upon request.
I know this sounds a bit embarrasing for me to ask for something from you guys, but if anyone is willing to spare a dime or two, please let me know so I can continue on helping parents like you and fellow hackers alike.

Something I'd like to say about Android modding.

This will be a rather brief post, but let me just explain and ask you guys something. I do this stuff for free, and will be doing so for as much as I can, but if you really do like what I did, would you guys mind if I ask for a voluntary donation to defray costs (e.g. electricity, hosting bills, etc.) and for me to purchase devices, e.g. if someone has let's say a Nokia smartphone and as such I need a similar unit to test things on?
I think some compensation would be nice so I can continue on this hobby, but after seeing countless "GSM" blogs by folks in developing countries asking $$$ for every single firmware they bragged about dumping off various devices, I felt a more voluntary and open revenue system would be better than be greedy and earn the ire of those asking for a quick fix like the parents whom I talked to earlier.

Modded demo ROM for LeapFrog Epic (MT8127)

EDIT: If you have any inquiries or are getting stuck with updating the ROM, kindly let me know either on the LeapFrog Epic Guy page on Facebook, or on my personal Facebook account.

 ...or as what I call it, KermitMod. :P

My previous post about the Epic was quite a mouthful, but here's a link to the edited ROM for ex-demo units to be converted to retail. I basically had to edit the demo firmware to work around the issue of the bootloader being locked, preventing ROM backups from other Epics to be flashed through normal means.!cuhHFYTC!GC6wU1MxDybNX_tU50aMpHbFnb3TjAh5dVaWn_cNj8Y

As what I wrote earlier, this ROM has to be flashed using a feature tucked away in SP Flash Tool, i.e. Write Memory. You can't flash this as you would with any MediaTek device, as it would give out an authentication error. A bonus feature I added for this is support for Google Play services, allowing owners of ex-demo units to download content off Google Play Store like YouTube Kids and w…

May I interest you in yet another LeapFrog Epic post? :P

EDIT 2: This tutorial is now outdated and will not work on Epic Academy Edition demo units. See this post for an updated method.

EDIT: If you have any inquiries or are getting stuck with updating the ROM, kindly let me know either on the LeapFrog Epic Guy page on Facebook, or on my personal Facebook account.

I've been getting a lot of inquiries lately from parents asking how does one convert a store demo unit to a retail one. Apparently a number of Epics, mine included, were sold on eBay, Craigslist and other classifieds, are programmed with a demo ROM meant for displays on Toys R Us, Best Buy, Fry's or whatever outlet these things are sold.
The real caveat here is this: the boot loader is locked, making straightforward ROM flashing mostly impossible (hence why I wrote an open letter to LF asking if they can provide an unlocked bootloader). Now before you lose hope and say "Oh this is a waste of $50! Why did I even buy this crappy toy?", there is actually a way around…