Nokia phones - built for combat

I was in exploration mode today, and went through several Nokia related blogs. I subscribed to

The Nokia Guide

The N82 Blog

Symbian in Motion (Symbian in Motion)

Nokia Creative

There was a lot of useful posts over last half a year on all of this blogs, but the one that I wanted to share was on IntoMobile

While it begins with overview of Handy Task manager, it ends with an offer of several free licenses for creative commenters who would come up with the best suggestion for a usability improvement on the S60 phones. I do not know who won, since I fell under table screaming and laughing after reading this post by anonimous Andrew.


+1, Andrew. That's what I want as a function too.

Google street is watching you!


No comment. I am silent after watching this. My god. What if my employer will use their services?


Ramdisk 2 for Windows Mobile 5 and 6 (WinCE5.x)

This is a continuation of Ramdisk for Windows Mobile story, that started here (first version of Ramdisk in 2006).

Russian programmer that goes by nick AMV007 on 4pda.ru forums, has created 2nd version of Ramdisk. Now it is signed, there is option to set it to load with drivers (i.e. before any app) and it has improved memory management. It uses VirtualAlloc memory function to avoid using scarce driver/kernel memory. Now ramdisk can be more than 32MB and there is also an option to save it periodically to flash or card, with automatic restoration of ramdisk from there, after soft-reset. There is some problem with restore function, as AMV puts it, restore from internal flash works fine, but restore from card worls 9 times out of 10 and he was not able to solve it yet.

I cannot test it, since my ipaq has gone to the electronic heavens :( but you can download app here.

Installation instructions inside. Source available upon request. All credit to AMV007, I am only publishing this for English speaking readers.



Easter egg from Eldar Murtazin, N95 touch


In the review of Sony-Ericsson G700 that appeared today on the main page of mobile-review (russian version), among the shots made by its camera is one that eerily resemble current flagman N95 with new Symbian Touch interface. 


Full hires photo here

UPDATE: Fake. Mobile-Review took this picture from the laptop screen, when watching pilot series of Knightriders. Product placement by Nokia. Interface picture is also different from the demo of Symbian Touch given on MWC 2008.


Bad dudes vs Dragonninja



Occasionally stumbled upon this youtube video. I must confess that this was one of my favourites some 20 years ago. Now I need to figure out how to get it to play under Vista in full HD.

Update: Here are links to Bad Dudes ROM, NeoGeo BIOS, latest MAME commandline emulator, Extramame GUI for MAME (Vista compatible). Installation is well explained under last link (ExtraMame). I couldn't get the games running in full screen, with strange error "failure to create direct3d device", but it runs well in windowed mode. 

image  image

There is a movie based on this game (or vice-versa) and I am going to download it if I find it. So far, quick search over piratebay did not return any results.


Do You still want MacBook Air?



Once you buy one, you might need to invest in cables and hubs to keep it useful. via Guy Kawasaki blog

Friday fun: Guy Kawasaki tortures Steve Ballmer on stage


This week's "geek fun" crown definitely goes to the Guy vs. Steveb@microsoft.com (or stevenb@microsoft.com , was it?)

The video is long. In fact is, it is one hour long, but I found it worth every minute of it. They touch on Bill's departure, Yahoo bid, Xbox, Facebook, Vista failure in the marketplace, Macbook Air, Silverlight2, Firefox vs IE8, etc.

via  Guys' blog How to Change the World

UPDATE: would you believe, Guy himself visited a trackback link to this blog, and pointed out a spelling mistake. Fixed now. Danke, Guy.


Simplest and free navigation in Moscow



The easiest and totally free way to navigate in Moscow is using Yandex Maps. Application is available for WM, Symbian, UIQ and java phones. It is similar to Nokia Maps, you can download map fragments on the go, via GPRS. I used it during my last visit to Moscow and found that it has the best detalization compared to Nokia or TomTom maps. And if you choose to connect via GPRS and update your location data, you will get access to traffic situation too. However, until now there was a catch22 - the people who needs such navigation most, would be ones not willing to use it due to sky-high prices of data roaming. I personally, used Russian SIM for that trip, but it is not something easy to do for a foreigner, or anybody on a short visit. Now, this problem is solved for smartphones (read not for Java phones), because now you can download full Moscow map (60MB streets or 183MB steets+satellite) availablefrom Yandex Mobile Maps website


and put it into predefined directory on your phone. Disclaimer! I have not done it yet, but will try soon.

P.S. While at it, provided you get a local SIM, it is also the easiest way to navigate most other largest Russian/Ukrainian cities, currently, 15 cities available: Москвa, Санкт-Петербург, Киев, Екатеринбург, Краснодар, Нижний Новгород, Новосибирск, Одесса, Орел, Ростов, Рязань, Самара, Тула, Уфа, Челябинск, Татарстан, Крым.


My silent PC solution

My PC have never been silent enough,  but since installing 4 SCSI disks it became too loud. Luckily, there was storage room behind my hometheater screen, so, after some thinking and studying prices of SSD drives (the best one at the moment are from Mtron, 800 EUR gives you 16GB of lightning fast (120 Read, 100 Write MB/s)), I decided that it is cheaper and easier to go the low tech way, i.e. drill a hole in a wall for power, HDMI and some USB cables and move PC to a room where it will not be heard, no matter how loud it is.

First, power cable went through the wall.

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Then, all the rest -video connection, ethernet, printer and 2 USB extenders for wireless Logitech mouse and keyboard.

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After connecting all cables, turning PC on, booting Vista and testing that everything works, it is time to put my bike where it used to be in the storage room.


Now, back to enjoying a totally silent and wireless setup of my home-theater / gaming rig.

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And last thing, now I do not use "shut down" option when I want to switch off my computer. I use "sleep" only. To Microsoft's credit, there is an option, to wake up the system with USB mouse or keyboard. And it works flawlessly even with wireless keyboard. Voila! No need to go to the server room to push that button.

Weekend fun: Smart home appliances




UMPC, Scotch, Habanos


Saturday night. It is time to put gadgets aside and turn to other pleasures. Habanos, the best cigars out there. Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No.2 and Cohiba Siglo VI. Macallan single malt scotch whisky. 10 years old. Cask strength (58.4%Vol). Last comparative shot before uncorking and lighting up. Bye.

Foxmarks for Firefox3

Firefox 3 is coming. I keep testing its builds about once a month since at least December. And the recent beta is really a mature and fast product. (Being FAST really counts when you run it on 600MHz AMD Geode UMPC as I do). The only reason keeping me from fully switching to it, was absence Foxmarks plugin compatibility with it. Not anymore. Foxmarks blog announced limited beta enrollment yesterday. I signed up. Countdown to jump over to new Firefox begins...


Google Maps enables MyLocation in Latvia


Do not know when this happened, the MyLocation feature of Google Maps, that guesstimates approximate location of the user without use of GPS, but rather, relying on cellular tower location database, is active now. I think I tried it couple of months ago, and it was not active at that time. Now, it still is pretty rough. But it is good for learning locations of nearest cell towers of your operator. After checking my location 3 times, within different rooms of my flat, I learned that I am located between 3 cells and my location indicator will show different points on the map for each room. Nice. Certainly not good for a phone battery life when handset is forced to switch between different cells, trying to find one, which is not as bad as the current one.