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Showing posts from November, 2007

Travelling Light

This comes up time and time again. Gadget freak plans to go away and packs their kit bag with so much technology that it would have been easier, cheaper and at lot lighter to have carried the whole bundle as an analogue kit.No-one needs to take two laptops on holiday, a selection of PDAs isn't essential travelware and there's really no need to carry a PMP, games console and dedicated ebook reader as well.If you're really planning on travelling light then your gear should fit into a pocket or a couple of pockets worst case.Which devices you deem necessary really comes from the type of excursion you're planning. For example if you're planning a safari then a smartphone's camera probably isn't going to be up to the job. The smartphone is essential though, so why not pick one with a decent screen and add a large memory card, eliminating the need for a PMP, ebook reader and games console in one swoop.My current travelling light pack consists of an HTC TyTn, Noki…

On The Move

As I'm creating more and more N800 related posts I'm going to split these off into a seperate blog at http://smarterthan.wordpress.com/ Why the switch to Wordpress? The presence of the rather excellent maemo wordpy, which allows offline post creation, posting direct from the N800 and has a pretty impressive feature-set.

I'll still be covering a range of mobile topics on this blog however, so don't go be a stranger!

Kindle? Kindling More Like

Someone at Amazon either has a much better take on the potential eBook market than I have, or the company has just launched the Austin Allegro of electronic devices.

The Kindle strikes me in much the same way as the Foleo did when Palm launched it: contempt for something that misreads its market so badly. This is a £250ish device which has can't read some key formats, is neither small nor especially pleasant to look at, offers some pretty pricey services and is pretty much a one trick pony one compared to the competition.

The price may have something to do with the built-in wireless network which allows users to download books direct from Amazon. Unfortunately its on Sprint's EVDO network so of no use to anyone in Europe (and anyone outside of major cities in the US as well to be honest). You can use it for email too, however Amazon will charge you a conversion fee for Word, HTML and several graphics formats that you recieve as attachments - best hope you don't start getting…

N800 Calendar Sync With Outlook

One of the biggest downsides to the N800 as an Internet Tablet is that Nokia have sidestepped the issue of Calendars completely. However the N800 is the ideal device to carry around as a PDA replacement so why not capture some of those PDA features that make life easier to manage?

The first PDA tool that I needed on the N800 was a calendar. Searching the repositories I found GPE-Calendar, which is part of the GPE-PIM Suite. Its a tiny file so it isn't going to make a huge dent in your available storage and, although a bit basic, it does fulfill the functions that most people will require from a calendar (categories, multiple views, etc.)

And you can even publish your Outlook Calendar to it if you need to keep your work diary in sync.

Its a slightly convoluted process, so bear with me as I outline the steps:

First sign-up for a Gmail account, if you don't have one already, then go to http://www.syncmycal.com/ and download their outlook sync tool for Gmail.

Follow the instructions fo…

Garnet On The N800!!!

Here's something I never thought I'd be writing: you can now run Garnet OS (the OS formerly known as Palm) apps on a N800.

Access have released a virtual machine which runs on Maemo so that users can test the compatibility layer for the upcoming Access Linux for Palm. Its a brave move which benefits both sides: Access gets a huge test environment and the ability to confidently claim backward compatibility a N800/810 users gain a calendar application that will sync with Outlook.

Installation is a breeze and, although it doesn't run full screen (yet?) it does emulate a full hires+ Palm, up to and including a TX. You can even set different apps to start in different emulation modes to ensure that as many as possible can be run as if on Palm hardware.

You can register for the download here.

Did O2 Cash In On iPhone?

Well Apple and O2 have had a full weekend to enjoy the delights of plugging the iPhone to the British public - but did they have much success?

Its clear that the US launch went very well for Apple and US partner AT&T - but then American buying patterns have always differed from what we see in the UK... the Palm Treo is actually quite popular over there, whereas over here its a rare beast.

O2 has partnered with the Carphone Warehouse to retail the iPhone as its own retail base is comparitively small. Apple weren't going to be a lot of help here either, with only eleven UK retail outlets. First indications are that there wasn't a mad rush to either O2 or Carphone Warehouse stores at 6.02pm on Thursday. There was considerably more action at the few Apple stores in the UK, but given their rarity that isn't going to make much of a difference to the overall picture.

There are plenty of places on the web proudly showing photos of empty O2 and Carphone Warehouse stores on Thursda…

N800 Proves A Compelling Argument For Device Separation

After a few weeks as an N800 owner I have to say I'm stunned at what a good job Nokia have done, producing what feels like a properly designed and well-rounded product. Compared to the shabby job that HTC and Palm have been doing with Windows Mobile and Palm OS devices recently its a real eye-opener to find something that does exactly what it sets out to do. Of course some of that may come down to the latest release firmware which I flashed onto the N800 straight out of the box. With the availability of the new N810 imminent Nokia will also be releasing the next version of Tablet OS:2008, with a whole slew of new features.

Without too much time spent on customising the installed software I'm happy to report that this is a real joy to use. The Opera web browser is as the desktop version and renders pages beautifully - this is the crowning glory of the machine. Flash works well - its possible to view Youtube videos (although its best to allow the stream to complete its download b…

Motion Computing MC5

Now this is a very specialised piece of kit, aimed exclusively at hospitals and in particular clinical areas. First impressions are very good: everyone who sees one for the first time is more than a little stunned, in fact the general consensus has been "I want one".

The MC5 is somewhere between A4 pad and filofax sized. Its white plastic exterior is good to hold and can be cleaned to appropriate infection control standards. Its 10" screen is bright and sharp and the touchscreen is accurate without obscuring the display excessively.

Looking around the tablet we have, at the bottom, a port for the docking cradle; on the left hand side a speaker; on the right hand side a covered power socket, buttons for the camera and the security key (principally used for replacing CTRL + ALT + DEL at logon) a fingerprint scanner, power switch and barcode scanner. On the top we have a button to fire the barcode laser and to fire the RFID reader. The top fifth of the MC5 is used to provide…

N800 HSDPA Internet Via Tytn

Sporting internal Wifi means the N800 is a fantastic web tool whenever you're in range of a hotspot, but what about when you're out and about?

Well the N800 also sports bluetooth and a list of compatible phones which can be found at http://maemo.org

Problem is most of the supported phones max out at 384kbps - 3G speeds, which I'm sure would be sufficient for many - but a bit of a comedown after the 1.5Mbps  I've been enjoying on my Vario II (aka Tytn or Hermes). Well the good news is that you can use bluetooth to link to the Tytn and enjoy 3.5G speeds on the N800 when out of the range of Wifi hotspots

Its not a straightforward process - and it doesn't appear to be documented anywhere so I'll briefly outline the steps required.

Firstly you need to have a successful pairing with another phone for this to work - so beg, borrow or steal a phone to create your dummy pairing first. Follow the wizard to create your dummy pairing and then proceed as below.

Next you ne…