My window to the world

Small "geographic" giveaway to our kiwi readers

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 28-Dec-2006 20:03

If you live in New Zealand and want to be in to win a "navigation kit" with a HP iPaq h3970 Pocket PC, Bluetooth GPS and NAVMAN software, all with original boxes, manuals, and cables then check this thread on Geekzone.

I want to learn of interesting places in New Zealand, so make sure to post your entry there... We will close the thread 4th January 2007. Be quick, and good luck!





Direct Push seems to be working on Telecom New Zealand again

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 27-Dec-2006 13:30

A few days ago I posted an item about Direct Push not working on Telecom New Zealand, causing push e-mail to Windows Mobile devices to fail, requiring a user to manually initiate ActiveSync on the device to have the e-mails, contacts, calendar synchronised to an Exchange Server.

At that time I decided not to post how this was broken, but it seems Telecom New Zealand has moved quickly to fix the fault, and push e-mail seems to be working again.

Quick recap, I've noticed push e-mail not working while testing my Palm Treo 700wx, and double-checked with my Apache - which used to work flawlessly. I got the same results - or lack of, while the Windows Mobile devices connected to Vodafone's network had no problems, receiving e-mails instantly.


After a couple of messages with Telecom, it appears that connections through the CDMA network use some of the Xtra's routers, and those were configured to close long http and https connections. Now, everyone who knows how Direct Push works will see that closing a http connection without letting the device know is going to cause problems.

Why Xtra was doing this? Who knows... It could be they were trying to reduce SYN flood attacks, or something else.

This issues was escalated, and it's been fixed over the holiday period. It's all working again.

Corporate customers synchronising to their Exchange Servers via the Private Office service (a VPN offering) weren't affected by this, probably because the service uses other routing? I am not sure.

So, all is good again in the land of push e-mail.






Using Vodafone live! on your Pocket PC

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 22-Dec-2006 08:33

Why someone would like to do it from a Pocket PC is each one's personal preference, but there's a way to access Vodafone live! pages on your Windows Mobile device... And the recipe is here.

Note that this trick requires registry changes and you would be more than likely need to revert changes if you want to access standard websites.


My guess is that this allows access to the content pages only, not including any DRM-material or the video clips, since those use special clients and DRM licensing software and keys.

I haven't tested this on Vodafone New Zealand yet, but if you try and it works, let us know, in the comments.








When Direct Push does not push

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 21-Dec-2006 08:32

Interesting... Telecom New Zealand must have turned something off or changed some parameter on their network (perhaps because of the CDMA EV-DO Rev A release)?

Anyway, I run a Microsoft Exchange Server and have Direct Push enabled for a series of devices here (my own Pocket PC Phone Edition, plus a few test ones). And it's not working on CDMA devices connected to Telecom New Zealand anymore!

Until recently all devices I have connected to a cellular network would get my e-mails even before Microsoft Outlook on my desktop notified me of a new message.

This was consistently working with devices connected to Vodafone New Zealand (i-mate Jasjar, Palm Treo 750v, and another test device) or Telecom New Zealand (Apache).

But this has now changed and I noticed this when testing the Palm Treo 700wx Telecom New Zealand sent: for some reason the devices connected to their CDMA EVDO network are not getting the push e-mails.

To test it I put a series of devices side-by-side and sent a few e-mails from gmail and other on-line services to my own account on the Exchange Server. And guess what? All UMTS devices received the e-mail almost instantly, while the CDMA devices sat there, doing nothing and eventually receiving the e-mails - up to 15 minutes later.

This feature used to work for sure, and I think something has changed on the Telecom network. 

What I've noticed is that those arrows indicating a data connection go grey on the CDMA devices and while in that state they won't receive e-mails - perhaps because in this state their connection to the Exchange Server cannot be used to transfer information?

Another piece of information, it appears that it works fine if using the Telecom private office offering (I can't remember the service name),

Anyway, I contacted someone at Telecom but I was told "nothing has changed" and he would look into this in 2007.

I will keep asking about it...







Telecom New Zealand Palm Treo 700wx

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 21-Dec-2006 08:30

A couple of weeks ago I posted a single line in a blog entry about not having any information about the Palm Treo 700wx on Telecom New Zealand, but to their credit this has been "fixed".

For the last two weeks I have been using a Treo 700wx their PR team sent me, and I have now received a device to use for testing and other stuff.

So, this is a public post to recognise the fact...



How Microsoft manages 40,000 users with Exchange 2003 and Windows Mobile

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 14-Dec-2006 10:47

This is a video many CIO and IT managers on companies planning to deploy mobility services should watch.

The presentation "How Can you Deliver Mobile E-mail to over 40,000 Users with Exchange 2003 and Windows Mobile Devices?" was delivered by Jason Langridge during the IT Forum in Barcelona in November 2006. 

The recorded session is now available on-line here, and according to Jason's own words:

The session focusses on both the technical, operational and commercial challenges you may face in deploying large volumes of Windows Mobile devices.


It also covers some of Microsoft's own experiences as the #1 Mobile Messaging user worldwide with around 46,000 users now connecting a Windows Mobile device!










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".










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 mobile.live.com/search, 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
Wellington
New Zealand


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

I'm the Geekzone admin. On Geekzone we publish news, reviews and articles on technology topics. The site also has some busy forums. Also worth visiting is TravelTalk NZ, a community for travelers!

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:

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