My window to the world


Sorry i-mate, but looks are important

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 7-Dec-2006 14:58

London-born designer Jonathan Ive is responsible (with his team at Apple) for such things as iMac, G4 Cube, iSub, Cinema Display, iMac LCD and the wildly popular culture icon, the iPod. Check all these products on-line at the Design Museum (British Council).

Enters Windows Mobile... One of the most popular brands around is i-mate. They used to have a partnership with OEM HTC, until the manufacturer decided to launch devices under its own HTC consumer brand.

We can't say those devices sold by i-mate in partnership with HTC were the most beautiful ones, but I wouldn't be ashamed of having one on me. But the last crop of devices coming out after the break up (some already introduced, some still to come) are ugly things.

Take for example the i-mate JAQ, which was manufactured by a company other than HTC, and is "ugly by design" according to i-mate:

i-mate JAQ

Ok, not convinced? Try these new ones, the i-mate JAQ4 and i-mate SP JAM rumoured to be coming soon:


Yep. They aren't no iPod, no Motorola Q, no Palm Treo and certainly not the BlackBerry Pearl... I know of a lot of people who wouldn't want to be caught with one of these devices in their pockets. I know for sure my wife is very resistant to having a Windows Mobile (be it Smartphone of Pocket PC) on her bag, after the Sony Ericsson P800 hit the floor. I am sure she's thinking of the BlackBerry Pearl as an alternative...

Can't we have great functionality and good looks in a single device? Or is it something like "Nice design, great functionality, memory and CPU power... You can choose only one of those per device".










Magnetic yellow cards for cyclists

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 7-Dec-2006 08:39

What a great idea: magnetic yellow cards for cyclists... A unique way to convey a message. Visit the site and download the pdf to print your own magnetic cards.

Magnetic yellow cards for cyclist

I wonder though if the police won't be confused when checking the information about a blue car registration and actually find it's completely yellow.



BlackBerry Pearl on Vodafone New Zealand

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 5-Dec-2006 12:56

I am just back from the Vodafone offices where I was formally introduced to the BlackBerry Pearl. I will be getting one of these devices to test, but this time (unlike the time I had the BlackBerry 7230 around), I will use the Enterprise Server, instead of the Internet service option.

This is how it works: for a single licence you no longer have to buy the server software. Just download from the RIM site, install on your server and configure it to work with your Microsoft Exchange Server. If you have more than one user then you can purchase additional licences, with an one time fee for a block (something about $699 for 5 users I am told).

The Vodafone fees are $49 for 3MB, which should be ok for e-mail only. Also this is not a 3G device, so that should discourage anyone to browse web sites on it.

The unit seemed responsive, and with good nice screen. Let's see how it behaves with my Exchange Server for this test.




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.








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.

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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.

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