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MSDN Subscription: no new content?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 5-Dec-2006 12:25

Just received this now:

Dear MSDN Subscriber,
Please note that there will be no subscription mailer for the month of December 2006 as no new major content is due to release for your subscription level or language choice.

Your next media update will be the January 2007 update which will ship to you in mid January.
New content is added to MSDN Subscriber downloads all the time as soon as it releases.

Er, what happened to Microsoft Windows Vista, and Microsoft Office 2007, already released to MSDN, and which I can see in my account? Are these "no new major content"? If not, what is then?

Palm Treo 680 in the house for review

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 4-Dec-2006 22:44

Today was a good day in town. I usually go to the CBD on Wednesdays only for my weekly coffee at Astoria, but this Monday was an exception.

I had a lunch meeting with the managing principals of a large IT organisation, then walked to Astoria for a coffee before meeting with Vodafone to check their new flagship store in Wellington (more on this with pictures later). At Astoria, by chance, I met Tim Haines and Nathan Torkington. Tim is one of the guys organising the Ruby on Rails movement here in the region, and Nathan is the force behind the New Zealand Foo Camp (which I will be attending early 2007).

Before leaving the Geekzone Manor though I bumped into this square box left at my doorstep. It contained a Palm Treo 680 for review.

It's charging now, and I will pop a SIM card in it tomorrow - it will be great to compare with the Vodafone Treo 750v for a couple of weeks.

Palm Treo 680
The Palm Treo 680 is currently the "budget" handset in Palm's lineup. Unlike the Treo 750v, the Palm Treo 680 runs Palm OS and is a GSM/GPRS/EDGE handset (the Treo 750v is 3G/HSDPA). Also, the four colours available in the U.S. are not present here, so I got the grey one on the left.

Telecom New Zealand CDMA EVDO Rev A

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 4-Dec-2006 10:48

Very short note: Telecom New Zealand is set to introduce their CDMA EVDO Rev A upgrade from the 12 December 2006...

FooBar poster and web 2.0

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 3-Dec-2006 09:01

That's very cool. These guys at eBoy develop pixel art and sell posters based on their creations. There are posters picturing cities, scenes, but this one out, called FooBar is too interesting:

Try to find all the web technology-based companies you know...

They also make other types of art, including some sexy scenes (look for the girls tag) but the pixel art stuff is really amasing...

Valued MSN Customer

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 3-Dec-2006 08:34

Last week I found a box at my doorstep and after seeing the sender was Microsoft Corp, One Microsoft Way, I thought "Cool, a Microsoft Zune for review".

Not quite, but thanks to the MSN Team! First time using this new mug:

Vodafone activities this week

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 2-Dec-2006 19:22

This coming week (4 December) is going to be interesting. I have received an invitation to attend the opening of Vodafone New Zealand's new flagship retail store, in Wellington (Lambton Quay) and will take some pictures to post in the Vodafone forum later.

I am also meeting with Dion Knill (Vodafone New Zealand) and Colin Hankins (RIM) to talk about the new BlackBerry handheld device to arrive in these islands: the BlackBerry Pearl.

RIM BlackBerry Pearl
The BlackBerry Pearl comes with digital camera, multimedia capabilities and an expandable memory slot for the first time. It measures just 4.2" x 1.97" x .57" and weighs only 3.1 ounces. The BlackBerry Pearl is a quad-band GSM/GPRS and EDGE-enabled mobile device. It comes with built-in 64MB flash memory, expandable with a MicroSD card.

With the BlackBerry Pearl users will be able to use Voice Activated Dialing (VAD) through a Speaker Independent Voice Recognition, support for polyphonic, mp3 and MIDI ring tones, and call management features such as smart dialing, conference calling, speed dialing and call forwarding. It also features a speakerphone and Bluetooth 2.0 for use with hands-free headsets, car kits and other Bluetooth peripherals such as a GPS receiver.

BlackBerry Desktop Software synchronization via Bluetooth is also supported.

The BlackBerry Pearl comes with a media player and stereo headset jack so users can enjoy their favorite music and videos on the go. Music and video clips are delivered with rich sound and vivid color. MP3 and ACC music files and MPEG4 and H.263 video files are supported.

Interesting that it's only GPRS/EDGE, not WCDMA/HSDPA, but for e-mail this can prove enough (unless you are in a touristic area with poor GPRS coverage).

I don't know yet all the availability details, but will post more information Tuesday afternoon, after the meeting. 

Here's a quick run on the BlackBerry Pearl. I haven't seen one yet, so I can't confirm any of these comments.


Do you want to sponsor us to CES 2007?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 2-Dec-2006 11:54

I have the confirmation of my trip to attend the Windows Vista RTM Lab and CES 2007, both events happening early January 2007 in Las Vegas.

This will be my second trip to attend the CES (Consumer Electronics Show), and my fourth (or fifth?) trip attending a Microsoft Featured Community site event.

From past experience I know that it's almost impossible for a single person to attend the events and cover the whole show, find new stuff, take pictures and write about this.

I am thinking of having a second Geekzone person with me during the event, and I am currently looking for a sponsor for his trip. What kind of sponsorship? Tickets for the second Geekzone person, accomodation, cellular data for our on-line real-time postings, anything on these lines are welcome...

Full disclosure: Microsoft Corp is currently sponsoring my own trip, but if you want to be added to the list and have your company acknowledged in our posts, please contact me for this opportunity.

Ilium Software eWallet 5.0 for Windows Mobile and Desktop

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 2-Dec-2006 07:00

It looks like the folks at Ilium Software are working hard. I have been testing the new eWallet 5.0 Beta, which should be public now, and it is really a great improvement on an already great product.

I have been using eWallet since my days of Palm. Since then I moved from the Palm to Windows Mobile and from desktop to desktop without having to change anything or re-enter any data. I now have more than 500 passwords, document numbers, credit cards, bank accounts, server configuration stored in this electronic wallet.

The new eWallet 5.0 Beta brings a couple of features I have really enjoyed testing. The visual, with all new icons is really stunning, but being abe to synchronise the electronic wallet between multiple PCs and Pocket PCs is great.

Here is what I do: I have a copy of my .wlt file on my desktop, a second version on my tablet PC and a copy on my server. Both my desktop and tablet PC are using the new feature that allows this file to be synchronised between a PC and a network server address.

In my case I use Hamachi to create my virtual network, so wherever I am with my tablet PC I am connected to my LAN. When I open this file on the tablet PC it will attempt to synchronise with my server, and it will do it again when I close the file. Back at my desktop the program is configured to synchronise to the same server, again on open and close.

There's no more copying the file between PCs now, everything goes through my server. And this is automatically synchronised to my Pocket PC.

Great software, even better.

Now I really have to go and finish writing some Pocket PC software reviews I have queued here.

Last Sony Ericsson Symbian smartphone leaves the house

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 1-Dec-2006 19:07

For months I have been trying to convince my wife to switch from the old Sony Ericsson P800 (Symbian UIQ-based) to a new Windows Mobile device.

I suggested the Windows Mobile device mainly because she is now keen on checking her e-mails while on the go, and the good old Sony Ericsson P800 wouldn't work with any push e-mail solution, only pop3 and imap. Since we have a Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 here, Microsoft Direct Push is an ideal solution, with no need of third-party software.

But she liked (note the past tense) her P800 because it is quite a compact  smartphone, with touch screen.

Today the P800 met the floor. Hard. And she asked if I had any phone she could borrow. The only ones I have around here are Windows Mobile Pocket PC, so she's now using an old i-mate Pocket PC Phone Edition. We might have to look for a newer more up-to-date model for her soon.

The bad side for me? Just last month I bought a brand new battery for this phone... Well, as posted in the post title, this is probably the last Symbian device in this house.

Windows Live Search for mobile beta

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 1-Dec-2006 18:25

Do you have a web connected phone or smartphone? Or are you using a Windows Mobile Pocket PC, Windows Mobile Smartphone, or even a Java-based phone? Microsoft is beta testing a mobile application based on Windows Live Search that will allow you to search for directions, get traffic information, directory data, all from your device.


You can access the new Windows Live Search for Mobile beta from your phone's web browser by visiting, or from a small client application downloadable from this page. The client is available for Windows Mobile or Java phones. Users can also get this information via SMS.

If you don’t have a data plan or a web enabled device, you can simply send a text message to 95483 (WLIVE in the U.S.) with a query like “Toys Chicago, IL” or “Coffee 90210” and you’ll immediately receive a text message reply with the nearest business listings with address and phone numbers.



With the client you are able to search for a business or other information from your mobile device, check addresses and even get directions how to get there.

You also have access to traffic information, including some detailed maps with green/amber/red routes pointing out bottlenecks in the transit system.

The service is currently available for the U.S. only.

freitasm's profile

Mauricio Freitas
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 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.

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