My window to the world


Testing the Sony Ericsson M600i

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 5-Apr-2007 19:10

You might remember a few months ago I posted about the last Symbian UIQ device leaving this home (due to a fall). That Sony Ericsson P800 did a great job, but it was a bit tired, and the software obsolete.

Thanks to a Geekzone reader working at First Mobile, I managed to get in contact with Sony Ericsson New Zealand and I have just received a Sony Ericsson M600i for testing.

I plan to have it running for a month, in parallel with my usual Windows Mobile devices. So far the experience has been good. The Symbian UIQ has been updated lots, but still not that different from the old Sony Ericsson P800 so still easy to use. I do think it's a bit confusing though, but not that much.

The keypad is easy to use after a couple of hours working through it, and having a free copy of DataViz RoadSync with the handset doesn't hurt either.

With DataViz RoadSync it's possible to enable Direct Push ActiveSync on this handset, and it synchronising over the air with my Exchange mailbox (e-mail, calendar, contacts), including push e-mail.

Installing my self-signed certificate was a breeze, unlike the Windows Mobile Smartphone experience, where devices are so locked down that it's impossible to install a self-signed certificate without hacking the device or a firmware update.

The e-mail client only shows a limited set of folders though. It may not be enough for my needs (I have rules on the server moving messages automatically) but I am sure the other users here at home won't complain.








Acer support website

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 5-Apr-2007 18:42

I am looking for  an updated driver for my Acer Ferrari 5000 SD card reader. The Acer website is a mess, there's no way to contact support and one downloading is coming down at 2 kilobytes per second on my 10Mbps connection - while I can download from other sites at 1 megabyte/second.

I need to contact the Acer support to track down the Windows Vista ReadyBoost problems I've seen on this laptop. So far I tested three different SD cards, all high speed and none worked well. It comes down to the SD card reader drivers not returning from a hibernation or sleep state. This obviously requires Acer to fix the drivers for Windows Vista. But how confirm this?

The page entitled "Download Acer drivers, BIOS and applications for Windows Vista" does not have any download link. You actually need to visit a page in our country and try to find your way around. I found this page with Acer drivers for Windows Vista, but some drivers provided through Microsoft's automatic update are newer than the ones provided by Acer.

I've managed to submit a support request now. Let's see how long before getting a reply (I hope it's not like Novatel, who never replied to any of my queries about Windows Vista drivers for their HSDPA cards).


UPDATE: More than ten days and no answer from Acer. I can only say their support is non-existent, even though this is their flagship and most expensive laptop model. Shame on you, Acer.




Windows Vista customisation: desktop for Corvette enthusiasts

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 4-Apr-2007 16:00

This is really interesting. I didn't know you could replace EVERYTHING in the Windows Vista interface, including the Vista Orb. Check out the screenshot of this Corvette Theme for Windows Vista, created by Stardock for General Motors:



The theme includes:

- A complete Corvette visual style that will change the entire user interface
- Icons and buttons focused on the Corvette brand
- An animated Corvette Media Player
- Corvette weather gadget that delivers user-customized information directly to you
- Handy Corvette clock and calendar gadgets for the ultimate customization experience
- Corvette engine “rev” sound lets you know when you have email and plays at startup
- Two Corvette wallpapers to choose from at launch, with additional downloadable wallpaper content updates

This theme (and a lot more) are avaialble from Stardocks. I was just browsing their catalogue and some of those themes are really nice.




The New Zealand on-line market under the microscope II

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 3-Apr-2007 14:35

This is just a follow up in my previous post The New Zealand on-line market under the microscope. I have received an update with an interesting image showing in what segment New Zealanders spend their money on-line:

I can see auction sites such as Trademe involved in #2, #5, #7, #8, #10... But with its move into the tourism segment I bet "Airline Tickets" will just go up and up...







CafeNET in Auckland

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 3-Apr-2007 11:02

I have just received some information about a new CafeNET deployment - this time in Auckland.

If you must have wireless connectivity try the CafeNET services. They have a page listing the CafeNET locations in Auckland. The company started as an offspring of CityLink here in Wellington, and they have some good services (including some free content on-net).

They also expect to have CafeNET live at the Vector Arena in the next few weeks.

I admit I also use the Telecom New Zealand Hotspot service, since it's free until end of 2007 for users with a Mobile Broadband data plan. But sometimes you can only find one or another - sometimes none, but then you have mobile data from either Vodafone or Telecom, right?




Microsoft MVP Award Mobile Devices

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 2-Apr-2007 17:08

Just got an e-mail from Microsoft with the confirmation that my Microsoft MVP Award (Mobile Devices) was renewed for another year. If you don't know, "[The] Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award is an annual award that is given to outstanding members of Microsoft's technical communities, and that is based on contributions made during the previous year to offline and online technical communities.".

There's a good FAQ here.

This is an annual award. You can check my MVP Public Profile for some more information.









Old memories: Burroughs Corporation

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 30-Mar-2007 21:27

Some time ago I found there was an old Burroughs Corporation building in Birch StreetLower Hutt. Probably an old warehouse, or some regional offices?

Walking around Lower Hutt last week I managed to get a picture with my Pocket PC. The interesting thing is this building looks exactly like a training centre we had in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Perhaps Burroughs used a single design for all its buildings?


Burroughs is a good old memory. My first job, back in 1984 was in development on a couple of B6900 mainframes (6 MB RAM each), and my first LINC training was on a B1714 (64 KB RAM, dual CPU). The B6900, follow up to the B6500 series was ahead of its time...

I kid you not the two B6900 had about 120 terminals (Poll Select) connected, some via satellite at 1200 bps.

In 1986 Burroughs bought Sperry Corporation and created Unisys. Incredible, a company with more than 120,000 employees, the number two in the computer industry, and today it's unusual to meet someone that knows about Unisys. The company has since reduced in size a lot. I joined Unisys in 1989 (Unisys Brasil, Unisys New Zealand), and left in 2005, to run Geekzone full time.

Of course, by the time I left Unisys we talked about mainframes running multiple OSes, including Windows Server and Linux in the same hardware, and more. But this is another story.

If you know about this building, of have some memories from Burroughs, Sperry, Unisys (good or bad), post a comment here.

UPDATE: I have posted some Burroughs and Unisys videos in a new blog post.



Age of Empires III, gaming

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 30-Mar-2007 20:22

After moving from using a desktop to using the laptop full time I might need some relaxation - in the form of some games... I have been using this laptop for almost four months, and only now I am installing some games.

I have installed Day of Defeat, Counter-Strike, and I am now installing Age of Empiress III, plus the WarChiefs expansion pack (pictured). Next will be Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. I wonder if it runs ok on Windows Vista.

But Hadley tells me I have to invest on Supreme Commander.


Time for some fun and games...



Video: Microsoft Deepfish for Windows Mobile

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 30-Mar-2007 08:48

The Microsoft Live Labs are at it again... They have just announced a new paradigm for mobile browsing called Microsoft Deepfish. Is seems it works in a similar fashion as not much different from some other solutions, in which a server-side engine fetches and render pages, transferring an image of this page...

The following short movie shows how a page is rendered first in a completely zoomed out state. When you press the Action button the grey area will help you focus what area to zoom in and clicking the Action button again will enlarge that area.

Notice how the content is blurry after zooming in. Like some mapping technologies only the content needed to fill the screen is downloaded and cached, so the blur will go after a couple of seconds after you move to a new area in the page, giving way for a much better picture.

The product is currently on a semi-open beta. IT appears all the allocated slots for beta testers are taken, but you can register your interest on the research site.


Video: Microsoft Deepfish on Palm Treo 750v



The New Zealand on-line market under the microscope

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 29-Mar-2007 13:56

Even with all complaints about the current state of affairs when it comes to New Zealand broadband services and infrastructure, it seems the kiwis love to buy on-line.

Reaserch firm Nielsen//NetRatings has just released the results of a its new "Online Retail Monitor", a continuous study of New Zealand's on-line market. The results show just strong the New Zealand market is for online shopping.

According to the press release sent out today, in a month-long period over December 2006 to January 2007, 66% of adult New Zealand internet users made a purchase online and 95% researched goods or services via the internet.

These are very high numbers when taken in comparison with a similar study conducted in Australia where 54% made a purchase online in the lead up to Christmas, and 87% researched goods or services online,.

It seems New Zealanders are also spending on-line a lot more than . The average amount spent online was NZ$774 for the measured period, whilst in Australia the December figure was NZ$649.

When asked if these dollars figures included on-line auction transactions, Tony Boyte, Senior Analyst for Nielsen//NetRatings, confirmed that yes, this activity is included.

What would be interest to see is how much of this dollar figure is generated from Trademe alone. In January 2007 the auction web site alone was responsible for attracting 26% of unique users browsing the Internet in New Zealand, while generating 62% of the number of page impressions for all sites monitored by Nielsen//NetRatings.

The study tells us the most popular single item of purchase was tickets for flights. Mr Boyte explained: “Purchasing online is being more and more encouraged by airlines and booking agencies, and the results are very evident. The popularity of online flight bookings at this time may also be a result of people starting to plan their year ahead, including of course their holidays”.

It would be interesting to see if you have numbers for comparison with other countries, not only Australia.





freitasm's profile

Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
New Zealand


I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

I work for Intergen and I'm also the Geekzone admin. On Geekzone we publish news, reviews and articles on technology topics. The site also has some busy forums.

Subscribe now to my blog RSS feed or the Geekzone RSS feed.

If you want to contact me, please use this page or email me freitasm@geekzone.co.nz. Note this email is not for technical support. I don't give technical support. You can use our Geekzone Forums for community discussions on technical issues.

Here's is my full disclosure post.

A couple of blog posts you should read:

Social networks presence

View Mauricio Freitas's profile on LinkedIn


My Blog by tags...

Blog...
Entrepreneurship...
Media...
Personal...
Technology...
Viral Marketing...
Web Performance Optimization...
Windows...
Windows Phone...

Other recent posts in my blog

2015 New Zealand Hi-Tech Award...
Trackers - How technology is h...
Geekzone is a ESET NetGuide We...
Windows Phone and Android apps...
Minister for Economic Developm...
Your NAS and the Bash vulnerab...
Going to Microsoft TechEd New ...
State of Browsers Geekzone Mar...
Free speech...
Testing the Kingston DataTrave...

New posts on Geekzone