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Bitsdujour is coming!

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 27-Mar-2006 09:14

There is a new website coming soon (I am told it should be up and running at full force this 29 March): will offer a "one deal a day" software title, offering one product a day, in a limited quantity, at a big discount - and available for download only.

Ellen, one of the persons involved in this new site, tells me it will have Windows software, with the PDA software throw in now and then (she is one of the marketing people at

I am curious to find out the software titles available - I got a hint for the first one, but not the exact title. The only problem is that to get some of the bargains we based in New Zealand will have to be up at night because of the timezone. If it's like some other "one deal a day" sites the stock generally goes very fast early in the day!


By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 26-Mar-2006 23:14

Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet):

"To hold a pen is to be at war."

"Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers."

"Common sense is not so common."

"A witty saying proves nothing."

"It is hard to free fools from the chains they revere."

"Prejudices are what fools use for reason."

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

Updating the i-mate JAMin with Windows Mobile 5.0 AKU2

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 26-Mar-2006 18:14

The fine folks at Vodafone New Zealand have sent me an i-mate JAMin for testing, and as soon as it arrived here I read that i-mate has released the Windows Mobile 5.0 AKU2 update for this device.

I've downloaded and installed the update, and I am now configuring my Microsoft Exchange Server connection with this device.

The update was really quick, and in less than 10 minutes the device was ready to use again.

We will have a review on-line later this week.

The first Geekzone Windows Live Gadget (Beta)

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 26-Mar-2006 12:59

Darryl Burling, Microsoft Developer Evangelist/Developer Advisor here in Wellington (read his Geekzone Blog, Darryl Burling MSDN Blog) and ex-Microsoft MVP Mobile Devices, has written the first Geekzone Microsoft Gadget.

Microsoft Gadgets are a feature being introduced with Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows Live.

This Microsoft Gadget shows the last users (with link and post count) who created new posts in our Geekzone Blog:

This is just an example Darryl has created to show me (and a couple of Microsoft NZ clients) how this thing works. This is using the website as the host, but it could also be used directly on the Microsoft Windows Vista sidebar, like these examples below:

All very nice, but:

1. I want Microsoft Gadgets to live freely in my desktop, like Yahoo! Widgets (which is just a rebranded Konfabulator) and not require a website;
2. When Microsoft Gadgets are living freely in my desktop, I want them to work on Windows XP, not only Windows Vista.

An idea of Microsoft Gadget I'd like to see implemented is one that would retrieve the list of Geekzone Forums (we already have this in XML), and show a drop down list to the user to select a forum, and then retrieving the latest posts for this select forum (we already have the RSS feed for all Geekzone Forums). Does anyone want to write it?

This would be so cool if the Microsoft Gadgets could live in the desktop...

I know of a couple of other things that are nice, but can't say much because of my NDA with Microsoft. But those two changes would make me happy.

BostonPocketPC: UMPC Questions Answered

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 25-Mar-2006 11:05

The guys at Boston Pocket PC have just published an interview with Otto Berkes, general manager of the Mobile Platforms Division at Microsoft Corp.

 Otto Berkes, general manager of the Mobile Platforms Division at Microsoft Corp

Steven Hughes (whom I'e met a few times before, including the Microsoft MVP Summit and the Las Vegas CES), have taken some time to write "uPC: UMPC Questions Answered". Some of the questions include gems like this:

"Who is the target user? Many people are confused at what the market target is. Will the UMPC be replacing the Portable Media Center, Tablet PC, Windows Media Center, Windows Mobile device, etc or will it be a compliment to those devices?

While we feel that UMPCs will eventually be of great use to a number of different audiences, we anticipate the strongest interest off the bat from media and technology enthusiasts and early technology adopters. UMPCs do not compete with either Tablet PCs or Windows Mobile devices. The UMPC is part of Microsoft’s vision of expanding its mobile Windows PC offerings while incorporating mature features from Tablet PCs in a broader range of PCs.  In addition, the UMPC is a great complement to Windows Mobile phones, which can be used as Bluetooth modems to enable a wireless wide area network (WWAN) scenario for constant Internet connectivity. The UMPC is also a great complement to other Windows PCs, such as Tablet PCs or Media Center PCs. Files can be easily synchronized using USB drives or products such as Microsoft FolderShare."

Placing free local calls from Telecom New Zealand mobile phones

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 24-Mar-2006 13:00

This is a smart move... Telecom New Zealand has announced a new plan called Telecom Freedom, in which calls between a Telecom Mobile and a nominated Telecom landline are free. This is appealing to families: parents will feel safe their kids can call home at any time, even without credit on a prepaid number, and other nice features.

It didn't take long for some people to discover how to hack the system: by installing a VoIP gateway at home (Asterisk PBX nonetheless) and two landlines (with the VoIP system bridging them) it will be possible to call local numbers (from your home base of course) for free from a mobile phone: simply call your home number with the Telecom Freedom option, get a dial tone offered by the VoIP system and dial the number you want to reach.

For the price of some hardware, two landlines and a mobile phone you get this feature. If you are on the streets most of the time and call local numbers a lot, this is an interesting money saving strategy - not that we endorse it.

How long before Telecom New Zealand finds out how to block it?

T-Mobile Web n Walk - flat rate mobile data

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 24-Mar-2006 12:32

This is great news, for British users: "open mobile Internet service option for £7.50 a month and now with unlimited browsing and e-mail".

That's right. T-Mobile UK is now providing unlimited browsing and e-mail for just £7.50 a month, on a contract. 

The web ‘n’ walk service offers access to the Internet instead of “walled garden” WAP services (such as Vodafone live!).

I doubt we will see this kind of plan in New Zealand or Australia any time soon...

Ubuntu Linux is pushed back too

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 23-Mar-2006 09:51

It is not only Microsoft that delays their latest OS. It looks like Ubuntu Linux is having to delay its latest release:

"The next version of Ubuntu Linux, "Dapper Drake" has been pushed back six weeks to June 1 to permit better quality, Linux Standard Base certification and improved international language support."

It looks like it's not ready for prime time, that's what it looks like... Even hardcore Linux users like Taniwha have problems installing this beta.

Get your i-mate SP5 and SP5m AKU2 updates now

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 23-Mar-2006 09:42

If you have an i-mate SP5 or an i-mate SP5m Windows Mobile Smartphone (and a lot of folks here in New Zealand do), then you can head to the Club i-mate website and download your copy of the ROM update for these models.

This ROM update includes the (now famous) AKU2 which we explained in this article, and add some other features and bug fixes.

Included in this new ROM is the direct push e-mail solution offered by Microsoft, working with Microsoft Exchange accounts.

Speaking at Code Camp NZ 2006

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 22-Mar-2006 09:33

I have just received an invitation to speak at the Code Camp NZ 2006 about our experience in bringing Geekzone up and running and other tech related stuff.

The event is happening 22 - 23 april 2006, 9am to 5pm in the Whitireia Community Polytechnic, Porirua.

I don't have all the details yet, but the whole thing seems to be a cool gathering for .Net developers in New Zealand.

According to their page: "Code Camp is all about the code.  You will see demonstrations of new and future technology as well as lots of coding.  You will not die from PowerPoint poisoning! Code Camp is aimed at all levels of .Net developers.  Sessions are 1 hour long and will be presented consecutively in a single room. Panel discussions will be run during the lunch breaks.  These will be short presentations by experts, followed by discussions with the audience."

I guess I will have time during the lunch break discussions...

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'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 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.

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