iPAQ 210 finally ships and gets reviewed by Brighthand

First review of iPAQ 210 review by Brighthand

While this review answers general look and feel questions about this device, it, unfortunately, misses to answer some important questions that any user of hx4700 would find obvious.

- How filesys behaves? Is it noticeable at all? How often it kicks in? What is an effect of having a full internal flash?

- How responsive is GUI?  Due to slow flash in hx4700 it was too slow for most users' tastes.

- How fast in fact are the SDHC and CF slots? They have been PAINFULLY slow in hx4700. Would be interesting to see speed of copying a 1.4GB movie over WiFi to SD and to CF cards.

- How Opera Mobile, the best WM browser to date, runs?

- How fast is WiFi connection?  In previous model, it never reached even theoretical half of theoretical 11 Mbps. So, how well the new G connection works?

- So it has no plastic screen protector? I guess so, since it never appeared on photos.

Big yawn. The device that would have been revolutionary 2 years ago, or would still be pretty good a year ago. Something that I would contemplate buying just 6 months ago. Everything changed since I got Raon Everun. Now I do not need to waste my time looking for WinMo applications that would suit my needs best, since I already have a full blown Windows XP in a my pocket.  And this thing has a got a shiny, plasticy body instead of bomb proof magnesium alloy of the previous model...

Does it mean that this device is worthless to me? Not at all, I still think that it could act as a good MID, a device you can throw around a house, use for occasional surfing, chatting , voip, casual gaming, give to kids to watch cartoons from server over WLAN. I would not use it as a PIM or Office on the go kind of device anymore, since that is better left to the combo of UMPC and a smartphone.

p.s. HP, for god's sake, ship a sample to Werner.


Samsung P9 UMPC - Wow!

Via CTitanic. Well, not to be outdone by HP, Samsung leaks a teaser of their own. This looks waaay more interesting than HP device. As a matter of fact, I would second CTitanic' s opinion that this is the most amazing concept I have seen in two years. Bingo. Have a look at this video. A double slider umpc/gaming pad with detachable screen (if I see that correctly). Yummy.

HP UMPC 2133


via Engadget. Looks interesting, but too early to cast votes for this one yet, without data on its stamina and endurance. Form factor is good. Weight is Ok at around 1 kg. Lack of rotating touch screen is BAD. Why the hell they call it UMPC then?


So what version of WM will SE Xperia run?

Recently, screenshots of Xperia running WM6.1 surfaced on major sites, however, the original source of WM6.5 rumours, Eldar Murtazin, insists that  while WM6.1 might be installed on some  devices, it still will go into trade with WM6.5. Million dollar quote here here (in russian).


I tend to trust Eldar, because he never lied to us before, and it is a well known fact that he has access to SE and Nokia upcoming models well in advance of their market launch.


Fake PSP Phone


Too bad if it is fake, it looks like a PSP phone should. Nice try. I would love to see it become a product.


Friday fun: How NOT to increase your WiFi range

by InfiniteSolutions via WLANbook

The all-in-one PDA will never happen

Just as I as I wrote some time ago here UMPC cannot replace my laptop yet, Shaun from Palm247 echoes my concern about viability of all-in-one device in his article The all-in-one PDA will never happen

an excerpt:

"... In reality, the physical restraints of a phone make long periods of office work almost impossible because the keyboard is too small or the screen is unable to display enough information at any one time. Many of us look at new devices and probably think “This is the one!” This could be the device that will enable me to actually work away from the office, but it never is. There are always new smartphones hitting the market that claim to let you “take your office with you” and they are not exactly lying. It is true that you can edit documents on a smartphone and that you can send and receive email, but just as I would not want to play snooker on a 2 foot x 1 foot table, I do not really want to do lots of work on my phone..."

Mobile browser wars in 2008 - Opera Mobile 9.65, Iris, Skyfire and Netfront 3.5

The PC Magazine takes a look on the latest squad of mobile browsers - Iris, Skyfire, NetFront 3.5 and Opera Mobile 9.5. Some quotes from review:

Iris - We installed a copy of Iris on a Sprint MOTO Q9c (which runs Windows Mobile 6 Standard) and were treated to a bare bones, flaky browsing experience. We doubled the zoom and entered full screen mode, only to find no way out; dropping to the home screen and re-entering the browser caused it to crash. Interestingly, while it handed full-blown desktop sites just fine, it stumbled on WAP sites.

Netfront - a high-resolution browser for, strangely, older Windows Mobile 5.0 for Pocket PC devices like the Dell Axim x51v. The new version includes vague usability improvements such as improved stylus accuracy, "first-draw time" and zooming speed, but it's hard to get excited over something that doesn't run on current smartphones. (The company suspended general Windows Mobile development back with version 3.3.)

Skyfire - appears to live up to its billing as the most PC Web-like mobile browser. It supports a wide range of rich media content including dynamic Flash 9, AJAX, Java, audio, and streaming video including QuickTime – much of this one-ups even Safari on the iPhone. The browser also supports zooming, full-screen view, and multiple page thumbnails.

Opera - significantly pumps up the existing Opera Mobile 8.6 browser. You can now zoom in and out of Web pages, looking at a zoomed-out overview to decide what part of the page you want to focus on. UI is sleeker,with attractive, gray menus and a full-screen mode where the menus disappear completely. Most powerfully, though, Opera Mobile 9.5 supports Web widgets, which are little applications developed in AJAX and HTML. Opera Mobile is still missing one major Web standard - Adobe Flash, which Skyfire supports.  Opera is exploring licensing Flash themselves to include it directly in the browser.

Iris Browser review on Treo 750

There is a first video review of Iris Browser courtesy of PalmAddict.


This device has got small screen and it is just slow by itself, so may be it is not a best platform for Iris Browser to shine on, but my first impression is that it will take some optimisation before  becoming usable. That huge download progress bar that eats 10% of Treo's screen is a plain No-No on a mobile browser.


Too many hard drives in my PC

Originally, I wanted to call this post "too many hard drives in my desktop", but I cannot call it a desktop, as it sits in the drawer. Shall I call it an underdeskPC?


My PC contains 130GB and 320GB PATA, 4*37GB SCSI in virtual raid 0, and today I added 1TB SATA Seagate. Photos taken yesterday, during addition of 1TB SATA drive. In the usual life my PC looks a bit more civilized though.

DSC01161 image

Addition of extra drive is a necessity and preparation for an upgrade that I plan very soon. Current PC is pretty old rig - Pentium4 with 2GB RAM and ATI Radeon X1950 sitting on an AGP bus. I have already decided to go with Q9400 and correspondingly fast motherboard based on X38 or X48 chipset with 8GB of DDR2. I am only waiting for Nvidia 9800x2 announcement and card availability to press that UPGRADE button.


Breaking news! Xperia is based on Windows Mobile 6.5


In the original article in russian (Xperia review) Mobile-Review explains that SE is not allowed to show anything more than their touch task manager at the Barcelona demo stand, because Xperia is built on the new version of Windows Mobile 6.5 (or some other name) that will precede arrival of WM7 in 2009. It will debut in Sep/Oct and will be the most important overhaul of OS interface in its history, will contain improvements to touch navigation, feature fully reworked media/video player, will support 3D-accelerators on OS-level (whatever that means) to combat iPhone & Symbian Co.

" ...Она будет публично анонсирована летом этого года или чуть позже, а первые устройства появятся в конце сентября, начале октября. Сроки готовности ОС тонкая материя и с уверенностью утверждать, что называемые сегодня сроки останутся таковыми и через месяц нельзя, они ориентировочны. Важно отметить, что WM 6.5 (название придуманное и просто вводится мной для удобства, кодовое имя ОС другое, как и номер) это крупнейшее обновление интерфейса WM за все прошедшие годы, ориентация ОС на управление с помощью пальцев, переработка музыкального плеера, видео плеера, поддержка аппаратных 3D ускорителей на уровне ОС, ряд других улучшений... "

Iris mobile browser based on WebKit


Announced today in Barcelona. (via msmobiles.com)

Developer http://torchmobile.com

As of today, beta for Windows Mobile devices is available for download here http://torchmobile.com/download/



I am installing this one NOW, hope to get my hands on Opera Mobile 9.65 soon to compare both.


Sony Ericsson Xperia

Xperia from Sony Ericsson (xperia home page)

image image

Running Windows Mobile on a 3 inch 800x480 touchscreen in a side-slider form factor. At the moment, I miss info about RAM and processor running the show, battery capacity is unknown. My first uninformed take on this phone will be somewhat similar to iPhone - eyecandy is good, but I have doubts that SE will be able to put together a solid phone on WM platform from the very beginning. I also think that they did not change WM interface that much. Looks that they just added a nicely animated task manager, imitating HTC TouchFlo. In my experience, this is not enough to make phone useful for one handed navigation.


According to specsheet it has optical joystick. Hmmm?  And 4-way button. I kind of do not get how this central area combines both, but hopefully it will be revealed tomorrow. Finally, those side buttons, (Call, Windows key, OK, Disconnect) look strangely like touch sensitive kind. In my opinion, this is also a potential weak spot. Let's wait for reviews though, from people on the show floor. Lucky ones!



Friday Night Quiz: What's wrong in this picture? :)


Who is the real winner in HD wars?

Below is the cut out from a respected online hardware guide.


I believe that they miss the point here. The guys that will grow their business on the HD wave, will be likes of Nvidia and Seagate, rather than any physical disc player company.

See realtime slideshow of pictures that people upload to Blogger at play.blogger.com

image  image

The experience is tantalizing... Even though it is recommended to use it as screen-saver, a single geek can enjoy it with a cigar and whisky on a Friday night... Plus, you may click on any interesting picture and it will open the related blog. You may find some new interesting blogs this way. Enjoy.


Get a mac?

Some friends of mine like to bitch about Windows and say that if not due to (company policy, historical reasons, lack of time, etc) they would definitely switch to mac. Right...

Get a mac... is a very broad advise. Like "get a Nokia". Which one? Desktop? UMPC? :)) Laptop? Well, taking into account that apple is still not in the ultra portable and ultra mobile league, I assume that people meant a desktop. Mmkay... Below is my desktop.


To make it clear - it is not a working tool for me anyway. It is an enterainment and gaming center for my 40" LCD. It is a place to watch HD torrents and play DX10 games. And it plays nicely with my other Windows XP and WinMobile and Symbian computers. I remotely access it from laptop and UMPC, I sync my work files among those 3 devices, I access my movie/mp3 library, etc. Yes, yes, it all can be done on Apple. Maybe. With some dual booting tricks to run Vista to play games.

I just somehow do not have incentive to learn another OS. Why should I?

My Worst Mobile Experience :(

Surprisingly enough, I can easily identify my worst mobile experience and unfortunately, it is same for all mobile devices that I ever worked with.


On all devices from Sony Ericsson, Nokia, HP and Raon (and actually all other laptops I used, mostly Lenovo Thinkpads) Bluetooth stack just crashes after some period of use. It takes longer on some devices, or considerably less on others, but anyway, Bluetooth inevitably crashes leading to the need to restart, reboot, sometimes even take out a battery from a frozen device.

Pocket PCs before WM5 were notorios for lack of system drivers memory, and after half a dozen of BT On/Off cycles, BT drivers would fail to load to memory.

Sony Ericsson phones would hang if phone call came during BT connection (file transmission, dialup, syncing)

Nokia handles well under load, but after several cycles of using it with Everun as dialup modem, there comes a moment when it stops connecting to UMPC, until rebooted.

Raon, just as any other XP or Vista computer, doesn't handle well going through several cycles of sleep or hibernation and guess what, at some moment when you need to get online, BT either doesn't start, or connects but doesn't load anything from the phone.

It is my biggest disappointment, that despite being a very old technology, BT stack implementation still remains buggy across various manufacturers. One day I will switch to built in HSDPA or WiMax just because of this.

My best mobile experiences :)

To begin with, there are many good experiences, that I would not rate one above other


On Nokia 6120 smartphone

- Unlimited data plan. A musthave for all the goodies that follow below.

- Fring keeps me signed into skype, gtalk, msn and icq.

- Opera Mobile keeps me connected to my multiple gmail accounts, google reader mobile and internet bank

- Updating my life blog with pictures and video by simply sending email to my blogger account with a picture or video attached

- TomTom navigation for driving and hiking while abroad

- Throwing it to my kids for a quick cartoon session (I always keep couple of hours of cartoons re-encoded for QVGA). Playing it with the best player for Windows Mobile and Symbian, the CorePlayer.


On Raon Everun UMPC

- This is my mobile office that mirrors my data and programs from a desktop (well, everything except torrent library :). This means 100% compatibe browser and office applications. On the go. Weighing a massive 500g. 8-10 hour battery life.

- And yes, I keep there yet more cartoons for the kids.


On iPAQ hx4700

- TomTom navigation

- Skype over WiFi, now replaced by Fring over WiFi and Fring over 3g on my handset

- Gaming - Solitaire, Bejeweled2, Skyforce 1/2, K-Rally, etc.

- Cartoons as in all categories above, watching movies over WiFi from my home torrent storage

- It can do PIM and email, as well as open all office documents, but I do not use it anymore...

Sheldon Brown, R.I.P.

Oh, my ways are strange ways and new ways and old ways,
And deep ways and steep ways and high ways and low,
I'm at home and at ease on a track that I know not,
And restless and lost on a road that I know.


Apart from being a great bicycling guru who's educating articles strongly influenced my bicycling habits, he was a great advocate of mobile lifestyle, doing many thousand miles on the road with nothing else than biped power and HP Jornada. What a man. Rest in peace, Sheldon 

Sheldon's website seems to intermittently go down under heavy traffic, but I hope that it outlives its creator. Here are some cool links to his wisdom:

Bicycle humor

Bicycling and pain

Planning Your Own European Bicycle Tour


Black Nokia N82.

I was waiting for this one to come out. Looks like it will ship after 3GSM.




HTC Magnum, WTF?

via Gottabemobile.com

A mindblowing PocketPC experience for any PocketPC fan. Is it real?

Opera Mobile 9.5

Whoa! Opera Mobile 9.5, the successor to the 8.65 which was my browser of choice on both Nokia and Windows Mobile devices. Much more useful than any other mobile browser out there. It promises improved Ajax support and faster rendering (two features that it's got better than others already it its previous incarnation). If it delivers, then it will finally bring ability to view 99% of internet content on a smartphone screen. Yes, it will play Youtube (if you have Flash Lite 3 installed on your handset).

I will loose sleep waiting for its release (I never got so excited even when iPhone came out :) Can't wait to test it on ajax heavy gMail and gReader.


Official info ->

Oslo, Norway and Barcelona, Spain - 5 February 2008 - Opera Software, the only company that puts the Web on any device, today announced the commercial release of Opera Mobile 9.5 - the latest version of its award-winning Web browser for sophisticated feature phones and smartphones. Participants at the Mobile World Congress 2008 will be the first to experience the improved functionality of Opera Mobile 9.5.

- Intuitive user interface
- Tabbed browsing
- Improved text wrap
- Page overview, zooming and panning
- Landscape mode
- Save Web page for future offline access
- Call phone number from Web page
- Send link as SMS/MMS

- Send image as SMS/MMS
- Small Screen Rendering
- Password manager
- Web-address input auto-completion
- History and bookmarks
- Copy text
- Opera Widgets



METAPLACE the future of online RPG ?


... every Metaplace world process is also a web server.  It can issue both outgoing web requests of arbitrary type, and handle incoming web requests as well.
This means that any Metaplace world is capable of creating a web request from script, and then issuing that request to an arbitrary outside web service.  The game server provides useful API methods to easily parse the responses from these web service, including REST-like XML parsing and RSS.  You can also pull entire web pages and regex parse (string match) the response manually for more granular control if you wish.  Examples of this include issuing queries to outside SQL databases from an object in-game, pulling external real-time stock quotes into your world, getting the latest RSS news from CNN and feeding it to a town crier NPC chat bot, slurping real-time sports scores into your in-game sports bar, pulling YouTube videos into a wall in your apartment, etc.  This also means that objects and scripts in your world can transmit outgoing data such as badges, in-game events, or game scores to an external database or web service.  This allows for a nearly limitless extension of game functionality out across the internet.
Additionally, because every Metaplace world is also an embedded web server, external services can make requests of the game process through a simple CGI-like interface.  This means that an external webpage could call into the server process and access real-time data on individual objects currently in the world.  It is also possible to issue events through the game simulation using this interface, meaning that you could spawn a monster in-game when someone clicks on a webpage link, for example...