i drove back to cambridge. since i had the car, i decided to take a little side trip down to concord street, to see some christmas displays.
there seemed to be an easy fix to the crashing google chrome browser issue on the teclast P89 G3, a simple matter of replacing the libMali.so file. i found the directions translated from a russian android site, and found an actual copy of the fixed libMali.so on an english site intended for a different tablet (P98). i tried it and ended up bricking the tablet. that put me in a foul mood, but during the course of my depression i learned that i can actually get into recovery mode despite not having any external volume buttons (there's a little depression i can press with a paperclip - sort of like a reset button - that will drop me into recovery). the tablet would connect with my PC but only for a few seconds, then cycle again and again. i installed an MT65xx driver, which now recognized the tablet but it still kept cycling off and on. i went ahead and tried to install the ROM with flash tool, and during an on cycle it successfully recognized the tablet and started to install the riley ROM.
i felt pretty good after that point, until i tried to open google chrome and it crashed on me. my next attempt would be to install CWM recovery and then reinstall with a libMali.so fix specifically designed for CWM. i booted into my windows 7 partition via boot camp, but there was something wrong with my system: the last time i was in windows in forced quit while it was installing a long update. apparently it didn't like that very much and i might've hosed the system in the process. i tried in vain to get it back up, and i finally had to just reinstall a new copy of windows 7.