My Android phone is out of warranty, so I thought I'd try rooting it. There are a few apps on it that I never use, and wanted to get rid of. SuperOneClick seems to be the easiest way to do it. It automates a process of hacking the phone that is also possible to do manually in Linux, as cYpherpunK describes. However, as I've recently installed Windows XP on VirtualBox, I decided to give SuperOneClick a go.
I couldn't get the program to work until today, when I noticed this error message at one point:
error: protocol fault (status 55 6e 61 62?!)
A post in the XDA Developers' forum gave me the answer: disabling USB 2 in VirtualBox settings allows SuperOneClick to work.
My phone (an Alcatel 990) seems to store apps in an unusual location, but I was able to remove the unwanted apps by deleting them in a root browser- I used Root Browser Lite.
I'm also trying out an ad-blocker app called AdAway which requires root. Blame the floating ads that making reading and navigating web pages so difficult, and are so difficult to avoid clicking by accident on a small screen.