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.