Mobile friendly web sites

Mobile version of news.com.au screenshotThis collection of (mainly Australian) mobile phone friendly links was something I put together (almost) four years ago.

All the links still work from a mobile phone, which was a surprise to me.

News
ABC Mobile
Google News
News Limited
The Age
Fox Sports

Email
Microsoft Mobile Live
Yahoo mail

Search engines etc.
Google Mobile
Wikipedia – Mobile Edition Yellow Pages / Whereis Map / Trading Post

Other
eBay
Telstra collection of mobile friendly links
m.weatherzone.com.au

The HTC HD2 – yes, I would.

The HTC HD2 Smartphone is a beautiful device, with two failings.

  1. It’s not an iPhone.
  2. And it’s covered in ads for the phone carrier (Telstra in this case).

HTC_HD2 Oh, it tries to be an iPhone with multi-touch, and automatic screen rotation, but it’s not.  It’s too slow.  You can fix that, the team over at XDA Developers have a number of bespoke firmware updates to help you out there.  But it would still be putting lipstick on a pig.  The lipstick covered piggy being Windows Mobile 6.5.

Advertisements placed on the phone by the carrier (Telstra).  Let’s count them, the ones circled in RED are carrier added programs.  The ones in GREEN are ones I’ve installed.
HTC HD2 Ad covered screen 1 HTC HD2 Ad covered screen 2 HTC HD2 Ad covered screen 3 HTC HD2 Ad covered screen 4

  • 30 HTC/Microsoft added programs
  • 12 carrier added programs
  • 3 Wisefaq added programs.

I hate this sort of thing, because carriers are giving the Noddy User the impression that these programs are part of the phone.  In reality, they are web links, which cause you to consume bandwidth.  And provide more profits to the phone carriers.

I’ve never seen a phone with so much carrier-added crud before.  Makes me want to visit those XDA guys straight away.

Aside from those gripes, the screen is absolutely beautiful, with a size of 480×800.  Battery life seems reasonable at over 2 days, of email and web surfing.

I don’t know how “droppable” the phone would be.  My gut feeling is all you would need to happen is for the HD2 to bounce on the floor, and the glass screen would crack.  If I had a “budget for expensive smartphone drop testing”, I’d try and see.  But I have not.  So you only have my gut feelings, and my vast experience at breaking phones.

Would I be buying one? You know, yes I would.  But not from Telstra.  They put far too much rubbish on the phone.

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Some Windows Phone 7 links

windows_phone_logo-300x300 I’m looking forward to sinking my teeth into Windows Phone 7 programming.  Especially since Microsoft has said the developer tools will be free.  These are the Microsoft links I’ve collected so far:

Oh yeah, it’s on: welcome to the party, Windows Phone 7 Series.

Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone CTP

Free ebook: Programming Windows Phone 7 Series (DRAFT Preview)

Windows Phone 7 Series Developer Training Kit

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Windows Mobile backup program – Sprite Backup

Sprite Backup - what it backs upThere are “free” backup programs, if you have a search around XDA Developers.  Sometimes “free” is a code word for pirated.  I much prefer to purchase my software.  So I  purchased Sprite Backup.  Which is want I’ve done.  Sprite Backup is one of the few programs I’ve found which  backs up phone call and SMS logs.

Sprite Backup - warning If you select an item which is being sync’d to another device, such as a PC with Outlook, Sprite Backup will warn you.

After you’ve selected the backup location, Sprite Backup will ask you to restart your Windows PDA.  This is so Sprite Backup can backup files in use by the operating system.

Sprite Backup - Backup progressOn the loan iMate 9502 I had, it backed up 30.51MB.

Now I handed over $29.95 for this program, so I am happy with it.  I like that fact that it creates self-extracting backups.  Handy for when you are moving to a new device.

What I didn’t like, was that I wasn’t able to take a Windows Mobile 6.5 backup, and restore it to a Windows Mobile 6.1 device.

I should have known better of course.

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The HTC Snap is a great little phone.

htc-snap I carried the HTC Snap for a week, and was surprised how much I actually liked it.  It has the same Windows Phone operating system as the Samsung Blackjack II I loathed in my The Good, the Bad, and the “Git Off My Lawn, Boy” post.

HTC_SNAP_S523

The difference I think, is the processor speed.  The HTC Snap has a 528Mhz processor, compared to the 260Mhz processor in the BlackJack II.

Battery life? Well I got 2 days out of the Snap before I had to charge it.  Sure, it’s not great, but it’s a compromise given the small width of the Snap (12mm).

The web browser isn’t that good.  My usual replacement choice is Opera Mini, but Windows based PDAs don’t have Java by default, so that ruled Opera out.  And normally, Pocket Internet Explorer is ok to use, but the version which ships with Windows Phone 6.1 is pitiful.  Slow to load and difficult to navigate.

The biggest surprise in using the browser, is that the HTC FAQ site for the HTC Snap isn’t mobile friendly:
HTC Snap - FAQ site

Why would I buy this phone? Well the slim width of it at 12mm.  And the price.  Shopbot has retailers selling the phone from $300.  A good little cheap Windows Smartphone.

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The iMate Ultimate 9502 PDA

Ultimate 9502 There is a lot I like about this PDA.  It’s got a 640×480 screen resolution for starters.  It has video output to TV.  It’s got your GPS built-in and a physical keyboard.  I even like how the MiniSD card is stored under the battery cover.

The 2.5mm audio jack I’m not excited about, but I could live with it.

But I still would not buy one, because iMate have made a fundamental design flaw:

iMate9502 iMate9502 - cannot close holster

Yep, you can’t close the holster when you have the supplied hands-free earpiece plugged in.

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Windows Mobile screen capturing

I raved on about Pocket Controller Pro as being a superb screen capture/remote control tool for Windows Mobile PDAs.

But it is not free.  It is licensed to an individual PC and PDA.

That licensing model REALLY annoys me.  It’s like they’re saying,

“Oi!  You’re a thief if you’re trying to use it on more than one PC”

MyMobilerIt’s REALLY annoying when you’ve paid for the product.

SO I went looking for an acceptable alternative.  MyMobiler is it.
On the GOOD-FAST-CHEAP review scale, it gets a
Fast? No 

GOOD – Stable product.  Runs on Windows Mobile 6.1, and Windows 7 64-bit.  Which is outside the specifications for the program.  That tells me that it’s been well programmed.

FAST – No, there is a lag between what’s displayed on the PDA and what shows on the desktop PC.  I would guessimate that the delay is a 1/4 second.  It’s liveable.

CHEAP – undoubtedly, it’s free!

I’m very happy with MyMobiler, and heartily recommend it.

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Semi-regular web-link clearance – November 2009

Desi Dhaba Desi Dhaba
Authentic Indian restaurant.  One of the blokes at work recommends it.  Will have to give it a try. 134 Flinders Street, Melbourne.
I’ve tried it, curry was good, but I’ve had hotter.  Next time I’ll ask for “Indian Hot”.

Disk2vhd

Disk2vhd is a utility that creates VHD (Virtual Hard Disk – Microsoft’s Virtual Machine disk format) versions of physical disks for use in Microsoft Virtual PC or Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs). The difference between Disk2vhd and other physical-to-virtual tools is that you can run Disk2vhd on a system that’s online.

Free e-books: Windows 7 troubleshooting tips
Mitch Tulloch, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional and lead author of the just-published Windows 7 Resource Kit has created two free books worth grabbing copies of “What You Can Do Before You Call Tech Support.” & Deploying Windows 7His website is here.

Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool

The Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool allows you to create a copy of your Windows 7 ISO file on a USB flash drive or a DVD. To create a bootable DVD or USB flash drive, download the ISO file and then run the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool. Once this is done, you can install Windows 7 directly from the USB flash drive or DVD.

Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool Released Under GPLv2
Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool

 

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One way to wipe a BlackBerry

I needed to wipe the firmware off a BlackBerry.  Looking around, I found a useful little utility, JL_Cmder.
Now JL_Cmder is a frontend to the JavaLoader.exe, so you could use JavaLoader, but JL_Cmder makes it easier.

jl_cmder

The JL_Cmder options do the following:

  1. deviceinfo – displays some info about the attached BlackBerry.
  2. eventlog – grabs and displays the BlackBerry event log.
  3. screenshot – takes a screenshot of the BlackBerry screen, in .BMP format.  I prefer BBscreenshooter.
  4. wipe – wipes the firmware from the device.
  5. resettofactory – resets the device to how it was “out of the box”.
  6. Command-Line Usage – lists the JavaLoader.exe command line switches.

You can download JL_Cmder here.

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