This is an attempt to explain different terms used by the community. I’m going to keep the explanations short and I hope I’m right. If I’m wrong, please tell me so I can correct it. Am I missing something? Tell me and I’ll try to add it to the list.
The bootloader is what tells your phone what to do when you power it on. If you would like to install to different ROMS on you phone, you would have to tell the bootloader which one to start. If you’ve played with multiple OS’es on you computer you might be familiar with Grub, or Refit?
Country Specific Code – This is just what it sounds like, it’s the location settings of your phone. Let’s say you buy a phone in Sweden with the CSC specific code “NEE” (Nordic countries) and later flash a custom rom with the CSC specifics of Russia “RUS”, you will have some explaining to do if you turn you phone in for service..
The firmware is the program/code that provides the phone with the control to run all it’s functions. Without the firmware your phone will not run.
The kernel is the core of the firmware that makes your phone run. Using different kernels can make your phone behave very differently. You may have a kernel that makes your phone fly but instead drains the battery or maybe a kernel that makes the battery life very long but the phone slow. If your lucky the phone will be both fasst and have good battery life. If you phone freezes a lot it might be a faulty kernel.
There are many high tech explanations of this but I’ll keep it simple, please correct me if i make a fool of myself.
DeOdexed – slower
Slower loading times the first time you start the apps after changes are made on your phone. It will fill the Dalvik Cache with Dalvik Executable (.dex) files. So every time you clear Dalvik cache, the loading time of each app will be slower. But the apps will be more more customizable for theming and such.
Odexed – faster
The phone will slightly faster, won’t fill Dalvik cache but it will be less customizable. A normal user will probably not notice the “customizable” difference but maybe the speed.
Is an application developed by Samsung to control, flash, install stuff on Samsung phones. It only works in Windows but there are other alternatives for Linux, Mac and even for your phone like Heimdahl and Mobile Odin.
If you flash the PDA in Odin, it will at the least include the kernel but often it can include the entire ROM. Make sure you know what you downloaded..
You might run across a file with the file ending .pit. Be careful it includes the Partition Information Table and will repartition your phones internal storage and format the phone. You will loose anything you have not saved.
Different names used for the same thing. Its what makes you able to use the cellular and other networks. If you have bad reception you can try another Radio and it might get better.
A rom is usually just like above although it doesn’t necessarily have to include the kernel or the modem. Usually the ROM is what makes your phone look and feel the way it does, including themes, ringtones, settings and standard apps.
Is the firmware that came with your phone or at least a firmware signed by the manufactorer of your phone. The stock ROM will include everything needed to use your phone.
Zipaligned applications (apk:s) are optimized with an alignement tool to be less memory consuming (and faster).