I'm going to update my Galaxy NOTE this weekend from 2.3.6 to 4.0.4 so I'll report back after I'm done. Hopefully it all goes smoothly.
Ok, reporting back for anyone interested in rooting and upgrading your Android device.
So, I rooted my Samsung Galaxy NOTE GT-N7000
(International version) (1 - not 2) by flashing the kernel with a safe CUSTOM
kernel. I say 'safe kernel' because there is a kernel bug in all the STOCK
kernels that can brick your device if you use the wrong one to flash it.
After I got root access, I started looking around for custom ROMS of Android Ice-Cream Sandwich (4.0.4). I found a lot of them over at www.xda-developers.com
. The forums and support there seem really great and they have forum sections for nearly every kind of Android device. A very active and helpful community. I have now installed a couple of different custom versions of Android (ROMS) and have finally settled on one which has everything I could possibly need. Amazing! It even has some software taken from the new Galaxy NOTE 2 included in the ROM.
I've played around with a lot of different Open Source free software from the schmoogle play store too and have found apps for all my back-up needs without backing anything up to the scmoogle servers. (I have also switched off all capability for the phone to backup and report to schmoogle) I can backup all my contacts, emails, calendar and to-do lists to my own server via FTP as well as backing up the whole OS to the SD Card. All of this with free software provided by the open source community.
Now it's my turn to try and get involved with some app developers and help them out if I can. I'd like to give back
Please ask if you have any questions about rooting your device or installing custom ROMS. I'm not an expert but I've learned a lot already.