Tag Archives: Gadgets

Updated to Leopard

Yesterday I picked up Apple’s latest OS, Leopard OS X 10.5. What is really cool is the boot camp feature. I am now dual booting Windows Vista and OSX on my little 13 inch MacBook. If I had the cash I would have gotten a MacBook pro, but it is just so expensive. I have 37 GB partitions for each OS, so not huge, but it works.

I do have a USB hard drive (250) that I use for OSX, and then I have one for Windows, so it is all good. Installing OSX was easy, few clicks, done. Did the updates, etc. Then ran Boot Camp assistant, rebooted, installed Vista, put in OSX DVD, installed the rest of the drivers needed, and then did the Windows updates.

Pretty slick setup. I might get some more RAM for this laptop, since it only has 1 GB, but it is performing OK.

I don’t think I will ever buy any new laptop that isn’t a MacBook (preferably a MacBook Pro). There just isn’t any other way to go IMHO.



HTC Shift – I Want/Need One

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Another mobile related post. Has anyone taken a look at the HTC Shift? Wow. This thing looks awesome. It is a UMPC, but can boot up Vista Business OR Windows Mobile 6. So you can use it as a cell phone, or a laptop. This thing looks like it would be .. better than the iPhone? One downside is it is a tad big to fit into your pocket. But this could replace your phone/laptop. Looks pretty much money to me.

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Homebrew Mobile Phone?

I have been doing some thinking lately, and more about a "Homebrew Mobile Phone". I look at the iPhone and Windows Mobile Devices, and I wonder how much it would take to get all the parts needed to make a mobile phone and load some software on it. Basically I think the hardest part is getting the Wireless Antenna to work with the Carrier Towers. It would be nice to have a SIM card reader or something for a laptop, or a small USB device that you could plug into your laptop (with SIM card in the USB) and turn your laptop into a cell phone. Or even just build your own cell phone like you can build your own computer right now, load whatever software you want, and have it work with the carriers you choose.

I know Google has Android that they are working on, open source OS for mobiles, but what about hardware. Some quick Google searches brings up a few results, but after digging into it some, it doesn’t look like the projects are actively getting worked on. The one problem is, when you try to get some open homebrew mobile, all the hardcores just want to use Linux. Well, I want to put whatever I want on it, not just Linux.

A cell phone is just hardware, software, and some extra stuff to get it to communicate with the towers, I wonder why it isn’t more widespread that there are homebrew projects going on. If you listen to Walt Mossbergs video on how we should have a more open phone hardware to carrier relationship, it is spot on. I do wish I had more hardware experience, beyond basic soldering, maybe I would go ahead and start this project.



Redo: New Gadget: Verizon EV-DO v740 Express Card

Well, after I posted yesterday, I got a comment from EVDOInfo.com about how the v640 wasn’t Rev-A, doh!

So today I walked down to the Verizon store and exchanged it. Yea the v740 cost a little more, but worth it. Yesterday I was getting between 300-700k (700 at most!). Here are the speeds on the v740:

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Pretty sweet, thank you evdoinfo for the tip!



New Gadget: Verizon EV-DO v640 Express Card

This weekend I decided to check out EV-DO card options. I found a card from Verizon for 9.99 online at their site, so I couldn’t go wrong. I am using it right now, which is pretty sweet. The whole city of Portland is covered by their Broadband Access, so that is good.

Now I don’t have to worry about shotty wifi! :)

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T-Mobile Dash – Tethering

Last week, I wrote about how much of a debacle it was to tether a blackberry. Well, I decided to see how hard or easy it would be to tether my new T-Mobile Dash.

I read this post, which just seemed to come at the right time. My wi-fi keeps dropping, so I figured next time it dropped, I would test tethering. It just dropped about 20 minutes ago. I took a USB cable, connected to my phone, Activesync fired up on the computer, said I was connected to sync. On the phone, got to the Internet Sharing app, hit connect. 10 seconds later, the computer was on the net. No real extra setup for tethering. They are making it way to easy :)



T-Mobile Dash Smartphone Mini-Review

I have been using my new T-Mobile Dash Smartphone this week instead of my Sprint Pocket PC 6700. First off, the biggest difference is the size of the phones. The Dash is small, lightweight, thin, and fits in your pocket (weird, you would think “pocket pc” would fit in your pocket). The Dash is running Windows Mobile 5.0 with the messaging updates, so that is cool. It also is expected to get the upgrade to Windows Mobile 6.0.

The Dash has built in wi-fi, Bluetooth, just like the PPC. Mobile IE, and applications to open up word docs and other office docs. There is a built in IM application that I just can’t seem to get working. The IM app has ICQ, Yahoo, and AIM.

One of the best parts of the Dash is the camera. The resolution is very good, and the pictures are the best I have seen from a cell phone. I haven’t tried video yet, but will soon.

With T-Mobile, there is an obvious difference, and its the myFaves feature. You can add up to 5 people from any carrier, and you get unlimited calls to them. This is a pretty sweet feature.

As well as all the previous features, there is Activesync with Exchange, the normal Windows Mobile stuff. The keyboard is a QWERTY keyboard, the keys are a little small, but I have bigger hands so maybe that’s why. With my T-Mobile plan I have tethering, but I haven’t tried it out yet. I have tried it on my Pocket PC in the past, and it worked, but was kind of a pain to get set up, Once I get going on the T-Mobile I will probably blog about that

All in all the T-Mobile wins out in my opinion. I like the Pocket PC but it is just too bulky. It seems that the Sprint device also is chatty on the network, where the T-Mobile device only connects when it needs to. The battery life seems better on the T-Mobile.

This post is kind of all over the place, I’m not a professional reviewer, but I guess you get the picture :)



Blackberry Tethering: Error 718

Tonight I was helping out a friend with her T-Mobile Blackberry, trying to get it to tether to her laptop so she could use it for Internet.

Weird thing is, it worked 2 days ago. All of a sudden, stopped working. I tried everything, followed the forums and advice, turned off settings, removed all software, re-added modem, etc etc. Still got Error 718 (it’s a dial up networking error, and since I haven’t been on a modem in like, 10 years, I was cringing). The one thing that most places say is to add DNS entries instead of having DHCP set up for the dial up networking TCP/IP

Anyways, here is the stupid fix.

REBOOT THE PHONE!

Argh! What a waste of like 2 hours “F’n the D” with settings.

Or, on the other hand, just don’t get a Blackberry to begin with :)



Bluetooth on Lenovo/IBM T60

If you reload your laptop, and you can’t figure out how to get your Bluetooth working. You need to hit fn+f5 (function key and f5) and the wireless manager comes up. You need to turn on the Bluetooth radio. Kind of hidden if you ask me :)