You knew this was coming, but admit it: it’s nice to see anyway. The broohaha around the upcoming CyanogenMod 9, built from Ice Cream Sandwich’s source code and then tweaked like a five-year-old with an unlimited supply of Legos and no instructions, is reaching a fever pitch. Dozens of supported devices are getting early alpha and beta ports, but perhaps none are so welcome as HTC’s Nexus One, the original Google Phone.

There’s still a lot of folks who’re rocking the old N1 happy as you please – after all, those who bought it in January of 2010 aren’t even done with their two-year contracts, if they signed up for one. And of course the first Nexus One Ice Cream Sandwich ROM can be found on the XDA Developers forum. But sending ICS that far back into the past (Almost 23 months! An eternity in phone years!) isn’t without its problems: so far, the trackball, camera, USB mass storage and a few other small parts aren’t working.

Naturally this won’t deter Nexus owners, at least not for long. You can see a video demonstration of the new software below:

Note that this is a different beast than the rather flaky SDK port – it’s a full, native version of Android running on the hardware. I’m fully confident that most if not all of the issues in place currently will be ironed out before CyanogenMod 9’s final release early next year. And while the media may be smitten with the Galaxy Nexus and whatever shows up at CES and Mobile World Congress, there’s still room in the Android world for the humble Nexus One. Remember, alpha testers: always keep a Nandroid backup handy.

For a look at another high-profile CM9 alpha, check out our own hands-on of the Nexus S version.

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