Sunday, December 07, 2003

Using the Nokia 3650 with the Pocketop keyboard

I'm happy to say that the Nokia 3650/Pocketop keyboard combo is quite usable. I used it yesterday in the server room at work to take notes. Significantly faster than using the numeric keyboard.

Gigantic : A Tale of Two Johns

This is a new documentary just out on DVD. It is about the band "They Might Be Giants". The band is brilliant and the DVD is awesome. See more at

Monday, November 17, 2003

Keyboard drivers for Nokia 3650

Someone else has written an IR keyboard driver for the Nokia 3650. It works with both the Pocketop and Palm Wireless Keyboard. It appears to function properly with my 3650 and Pocketop (also sold as "The Wireless Link" by Micro Innovations.)

Monday, October 27, 2003

Tekno Dinkie

I have this strange little robot on my desk. It is a "Tekno Dinkie" made by Tecno. I got it at a yard sale. The woman insisted that I take it. She wanted it out of the house. It starts jabbering at random times. It will go for days without making a sound, then suddenly start up.

My Life with Bluetooth

I just ordered a new phone and service for Kerry; a Sony-Ericcson T616 with AT&T Wireless. I have had service with them since July and generally am pleased.

This phone continues my love/hate relationship with Bluetooth. I got the upgraded model so that I could use iSync to keep the address book and calendar updated in the phone. The "free" A226 is crippled, IMHO. No IR and no Bluetooth. No way to get data in or out without a $40 cable. I'd rather spend $50 and gain a camera and Bluetooth and IR.

Back to Bluetooth. When it works well, it is very nice. When it acts up, it drives me nuts.

- Every time I change from using the Mac connection to using the PC connection, I have to re-pair the phone and computer. The PC tells me that I have to pair the devices. The Mac just hangs in iSync.

- I use the Bluetooth Serial Port connection on my PC so that I can sync AvantGo on my 3650 without having to pay for data transmission. Every time I activate the port, I get an error that the Bluetooth connection has failed. But then it works anyway. So to disconnect, I have to "connect" because the PC thinks the connection has been broken already. Then it disconnects. Still with me?

- I have a borrowed Belkin Bluetooth Access point on my desk. I can't get it to work with my phones. Supposedly it works with Bluetooth equipped PDAs.

- On the good side, some stuff just works right. I can send an SMS message from my Address Book in OS X and the SMS is routed through the phone.

I have heard that the Bluetooth specification is 1500 pages long. I am not surprised.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Pocketop and Symbian

I discovered that Pocketop , maker of an IR folding keyboard, has removed the Series 60 drivers from their website and replaced them with a mysterious message that refers me to for the drivers. They were apparently removed as Symbian's request. I wonder what's up?

Thursday, October 23, 2003

More N-Gage stories

I was at my sons taekwando class this evening, and the one of the instructors noticed my N-Gage baseball cap (A friend at EB Games gave it to me). Someone at the local EB Games told her that they have only sold ONE N-Gage since the release. By the way the conversation was going, I could tell that she realized that it was doomed. This is someone who does not work in technology, but teaches taekwando for a living.

We joked that we might be able to buy one cheap soon :-)

Friday, October 17, 2003

THQ Games - Amazing customer service

I'm picking up games for my GameBoy Advance SP. I was looking for pinball games and discovered "Pinball Of The Dead" by THQ Games. Combine House of the Dead and a pinball machine, and this is what you get. I checked out the ratings at Metacritic, where they cross reference game review sites. Very useful. Ratings were good.

Unfortunately, the game is no longer in print and all the used copies have no instructions. So I send an email to THQ Customer Support asking how I could get a copy of the manual.

Within 30 minutes, they had responded by mailing me a PDF of the manual.

I was pleased and amazed. This is how you get and keep customers.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Nokia 3650 and iSync : It's alive!

I upgraded iSync to version 1.2.1 and iCal to version 1.5. After :
- cleaning up Calendar on Nokia 3650 (see last post)
- deleting the 3650 device in iSync
- adding the 3650 back to iSync
- deleting and re-pairing the Bluetooth devices from the computer side

I got my 3650, iCal and Address Book to sync!

Right after the sync, the calendar initially wouldn't allow me to add new events (said the calendar was read only). I fiddled with the Publish command and now it works (I wish I remember what I did.)

It's amazing that this stuff works for anybody. Technology manufacturers have a long way to go. These devices need to be as easy to operate as a toaster before they will gain wide acceptance.

Nokia 3650 tip : Deleting Calendar events

Deleting calendar events - To delete ALL calendar events or calendar events before a specific date, go to the Month view in the Calendar. Under "Options" select "Delete entry" then either "Before Date" or "All Entries". This was really helpful as I apparently had somehow corrupted the calendar (there were 7100 events). After deleting all entries then re-syncing with Outlook, I had 432 events.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

The Pocketop keyboard and the Nokia 3650

Pocketop, the maker of a nice little infrared folding keyboard, has just released Symbian drivers that support the Nokia 3650, 7650 and Sony-Ericsson P800. I downloaded and installed the drivers and it mostly works OK. It requires that you run an app which listens on the infrared port.

While testing, I managed to lock myself out of the "General Settings" for the phone; I would just get an "App Closed gs" error :-(

Some folks indicate that the phone must be reinitialized (losing all phone data) to fix this. This is NOT the case. All that is necessary is to delete the "C:system.ini" from the phone. Then shut down and restart the phone.

Monday, September 29, 2003

The GameBoy Advance SP - a home run for Nintendo

I bought my flame GameBoy Advance SP this weekend.

Nintendo has fixed the biggest problem with the old GameBoy Advance, the unusable screen. The screen on my GameBoy Color is better than the old Advance.

The SP is smaller than the Advance. The folding design protects the screen, while making the device more compact.
The SP screen is a thing of beauty. The switches in the control pad feel better than the older GameBoys. They are apprently using some sort of microswitch rather than the conductive rubber buttons.

I can't believe how good it is. All my old GameBoy games look better on it.

Using headphones requires an adapter, a bit strange. That's the worst thing I can say about it.

Oh, by the way, the new Pokemon Pinball Ruby/Sapphire ROCKS!

use to always be accessable via AIM

Another really cool use for SMS...

If you have an AOL instant messenger account, got to They have a service which designates your SMS address as the the reciever of AIM messages while you are not logged into AIM. Your name appears as if you are logged in, with a little phone icon next to it. There is a simple on/off checkbox on the web page to turn it on and off.

Even can reply to these SMS messages, and the sender will get it back as if it was sent from an AIM client.

When you log back into AIM, messages are automatically routed to your AIM client. Very cool.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Photo time stamps and the Nokia 3650

I want to start renaming my Nokia 3650 photos with a date stamp; this gives me a chronology plus unique file names (down to the second).
I friend at work wrote a Perl script that grabs the modification date for the file, and uses that data to rename the file. Unfortunately, the time stamps are not consistent cross platform (happy happy joy joy.)

For example, I have a photo with a 12:08pm time stamp (in the Images app)
In Nokia PC-Suite, the mod time is 8:08am (4 hours ago)
On my PC, via a USB card reader, 4:08pm (4 hours in the future.)
On my Mac OS X G4, mod time is 12:08pm (the same time)

Looks like I'll be doing my file renaming on the Mac. Fortunately, I saved original copies of all my 3650 photos.
The right solution is to have the phone name the file as it is created. But we all know how uncommon the right solution is....

Monday, September 15, 2003

Dis N-Gage

I saw little paper brochures shaped like the Nokia N-Game gaming phone this weekend. The guy at EB even gave me a N-Gage cap. Nokia is really pushing this thing.

I don't think the future bodes well for this device. I hope I'm wrong. t apparently has one memory slot, which can contain either a game or a memory card. So it you remove the memory card to insert a game, everything that was on the memory card becomes unavailable. What were they thinking?

Even worse, the battery cover and battery must be removed to swap the card, making swapping very cumbersome. If this is the case, they should have added an additional external slot to the phone. This would allow a game card and a memory card to co-exist. And while they are at it, add an additional card storage slot.

If it is possible to transfer a game from a game card to the internal memory card, that would help.

It also costs $300. You can buy a GameBoy Advance SP for $99. I can buy a lot of games for $200.

Like the N-Gage, my Nokia 3650 only has an internal card slot, under the battery. It's not a big deal because it is relatively simple to get stuff on and off the phone by other means. I rarely remove it.

Friday, September 12, 2003

Does PhotoFusion exist?

There is apparently a 3650 photo app call FotoFusion from Scalado. It allows the stitching of multiple photos into a panorama, and some photo processing features. And it's inexpensive at $15 :

or is it PhotoFusion??? :

and which is the right page? :

This is not very helpful :

and where is the download link?

(P.S. I finally heard from the Scalado people. The reason I can't downoload it is because it has not been released yet. Wait 2 weeks)

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Oh, it makes phone calls too....

So, I've got this new Nokia 3650 phone. It has a 100mhz ARM processor. Built in Bluetooth. A really crisp 35mm x 45mm color screen. A 640x480 digital camera. Oh, it also makes phone calls. Other than the second rate calendar program, it is great. It has just about replaced my Handspring Visor. It is really lousy for taking notes. More later...

The brilliant evil that is Game Boy Advance SP

Just played a GameBoy Advance SP. Now I have to have one. Curse you. Nintendo. The new Pokemon Pinball is outstanding. Double curse you, Nintendo.
Ah, back on line again. I'm feeling wordy.

The frustrating Nokia 3650 calendar

Speaking of the Nokia 3650 does not allow the entering of repeating events based on the day of the week and week of the month rather than the date. Can you think of any events that occur on the 15th of every month? I thought so.

Strangely, if I create the datebook entry on my Visor and beam it to the phone via IR, the calendar interprets the event correctly. Inspecting the event reveals that the repeat type is now set to "other". If I change it from other to something else, "other" goes away.

I like this phone enough to complain about things that shold be fixed. If I didn't, I wouldn't bother.

More on the phone later, including my adventures with Bluetooth.