July 2008


Phone Battery & WiFi Myths Exposed

Interesting exposition in Dan’s Data blog about why…

Your laptop is lying to you

Dan starts with a signal detection theory type discussion of mobile phone signal bar strength indicators. He then goes on to discuss the “why” batteries meters are wrong from both a technical and people-industry decision making point of view. What he says makes a lot of sense to me.

Mobile Devices

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MSN Direct Send to GPS

This won’t help my old Suunto Spot watch. But, if you have a Garmin nuvi GPS (780, 880, 5000, 750, 760, or 2×5 series) that supports it, MSN Direct Send to GPS…

MSN Direct Enables Web Sites to Deliver Location Information to GPS Navigation Devices

allows any Web site to offer visitors the ability to send addresses, business listings, or other locations directly from the site to their GPS unit, eliminating the cumbersome step of re-entering or searching for the same information on their navigation device. Nice…

Microsoft
Mobile Devices

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ars technica Shows How To Install Ubuntu on an Eee PC

If you have an Eee PC (I’ve got it in my wish list), ars technica has a how-to article you might be interested in reading…

How to: Installing and running Ubuntu on the Eee PC

Netbook

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Windows Mobile Gets No Respect: iPhone Gets Credit for Touchscreen Revolution

Information Week trumpets…

iPhone: Catalyst For Touchscreen Revolution

Never mind that Windows CE/Windows Mobile devices have been continuously providing touch screen devices since 1996. And, of course, the Apple Newton essentially defined the concept of PDA in 1993.

But, hey, I’ll give credit where credit is due. Apple did the touch screen right. I know that I much prefer to use my iPod touch for a variety of information retrieval tasks (web browsing, reading email, etc.). But, I still prefer to use my Dash smartphone for writing email, creating a calendar event, or entering contact information.

Apple
iPod
Mobile Devices
PDA
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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iPod touch Froze: Forced a Reboot

Although I was one of the people critical of Apple’s decision not to allow 3rd party apps at the launch of the iPhone last year, I understand and appreciate their decision now. My iPod touch has been much more unstable after the 2.0 upgrade (and presumably adding a bunch of 3rd party apps) that it was prior to the upgrade. It seems to spontaneously reboot at least once a day. And, today, it completely froze while browsing a web page. Pressing the power button didn’t do anything. And, the touch just stay on fully lit. So, I decided to force a reboot by pressing the selection button and the power button together for about 10 seconds. The screen blanked out and after about 30 seconds, it started to reboot.

Normally, this would be a cause to moan and groan and grumble about how bad Apple’s touch software is. However, because it was so stable prior to the 2.0 upgrade, I am willing to put up with it until Apple can issue a firmware upgrade. So, yep, it was smart of Apple to release a stable product with no 3rd party apps to create an initial happy user base and then let the instabilities start later with the iPhone 3G/iPod touch 2.0 releases.

Apple
iPod

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ActiveSync Error Code 1: Oh That is Sooooo Helpful


Using ActiveSync is such an unpleasant experience that I’ve found myself syncing less and less frequently over the past year. The fact that my iPod touch can now handle much of what I used to do on a Pocket PC or WiMo Smartphone and do it much better and sync without pain to iTunes on my Mac doesn’t help ActiveSync’s poor image.

Recently, I had to uninstall and reinstall ActiveSync to get it working again on my PC. I deleted all the partnerships during this process to make sure I had a clean slate. I finally got around to syncing my old (but reliable!) K-Jam. The screenshot above is the error message ActiveSync provided me (“Code 1” is such a helpful message). It basically told me that it could not sync every single calendar event from Outlook. Huh? I tried a couple of things but finally resorted to rebooting. This fixed (I used the word loosely) the problem and K-Jam seemed to sync ok. I’m still looking through my data to make sure I don’t have dozens of duplicate calendar events or contacts. I’m sure the dreaded multiple birthday problem will be caused by this latest ActiveSync weirdness.

Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Windows Mobile

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