Monday, May 1, 2006

Archives-May 2006

May 29

The Treo 700p

So now the Treo 700p has come out and from the specs I see it looks pretty disappointing. After the long wait the next generation is just a minor step up from the last...the biggest difference is the memory increase.
While I sometimes miss the form factor of my Treo 650, I really can't say I miss it altogether. The constant resets and the memory restrictions are not somethimg I miss. I decided that the small 320x320 screen was not a resolution I would happily go back to. The trade off of having a nice big screen is that the keyboard, if present, is not as easily accessible.
Sometimes I love the form factor of my Jasjar. Its exciting and draws attention wherever I take it. On the other hand, the times when I don't want to draw attention I can flip it into pda mode and use my stylus making it look no more conspicuous than a Palm III.
At other times I find it extremely inconvenient. There is no way to use the keyboard without a whole big production of swiveling the head. On the subway if I am unlucky enough to no get a seat I don't feel comfortable whipping out my Jasjar, especially since I don't feel I can use it in one handed mode.
May 26

JasJar vs Cingular 8125

When I decided to purchase a Jasjar I was frustrated by the limited amount of comparison shots on the web. There seem to be tons of pictures showing the Jasjar in someone's hand which, while nice and all, does not really give me something concrete to compare it to. So, for all those with a Cingular 8125 thinking of switching the the Jasjar or HTC Universal, these ones go out to you!
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May 24

Saki Customer Support Follow-up

Just when I think I have seen it all I received the following email from SakiMobile. I must admit- this is the best example of customer service I have ever witnessed:

-----Original Message-----
From: "Mike Beaty" <>
Sent: 5/23/06 5:21 PM
Subject: Saki Customer Support Follow-up

Dear Lulu,

Our support team recently discovered your blog entry regarding your unpleasant experience with Saki Mobile. I would like to personally apologize for the issue you describe and I understand your frustration. Your experience is the only reported bug of this nature, accordingly we have assigned a team of developers to investigate the issue.

If you are agreeable, I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to speak with you to see if there is something we can do to make your overall experience with Saki Mobile a pleasant one.

If you have a moment, please contact me directly at 9XX-XXX-XXXX ext XXX.

Additionally, if for some reason Cingular still charges your account for the unwanted SMS messages sent from our service, we will reimburse you for the charges.


I have spent the last day enjoying my new Jasjar. I will give you some details later on my first impressions, but for now you'll have to make do with the picture of my souped up Today screen.

May 21

JasJar Fever!

I could make all kinds of excuses about this, but I guess a major part of finding a cure is admitting you have a problem. I'm getting a JasJar. Yes. And that's all I'm going to say.
Okay maybe not ALL I'm going to say...I mean, it is a pretty exquisite device and I'm thrilled to be getting it. I ordered it last night from Mad Monkey Boy who I've heard nothing but good things about.
Here are the things I'm most looking forward to, as well as the challenges I'm prepared to work through:

This is one huge device. I mean it is definitely not a Razr replacement! However, this is where being a lady comes in handy. I don't have to worry about having to fit this into my pocket as I carry a handbag most of the time. I'm assuming the size to be pretty comparable to the Tapwave Zodiac (which I happen to be keeping since no one was interested in my contest!)
The size does allow for a nice large crisp screen which I really need. Seriously my eyes have been killing me peering at these small screens!

In the course of the day I've looked at how much time I actually spend using my data connection. I'm not a huge surfer, in fact with my collection of RSS feeds with images and full stories I rarely find a need to fire up the browser during a regular day. I usually prefer to use WiFi when I can find a hotspot if I want to do some random surfing. Email speed doesn't really other me especially as WM does background retrieval.

Since this device can twist and close into itself I think I can actually use this device without a case. Which is pretty exciting because I never found the most perfect case for any of my devices. (Always like 95% but never 100%).

May 19

My Theory on Brit's Maternal Instinct

In the few months Britney Spears has had Sean Preston there have been many a mis-hap with this poor child including (but not limited to):
-Driving with him unrestrained in her lap
-His falling out of his high chair and injuring his head.
-Driving him in a convertible, top down, with a forward facing child seat.
-And most recently, nearly being dropped by his mother.
Seriously, how can all this happen to one baby within a few weeks?
I have a sneaking suspicion that Britney is treating him the way she would really like to treat his father!

Actually, here is the biggest problem with all this; if Sean grows up appearing a bit like a dunce we will have a hard time figuring out if its due to all these incidents or if its just due to hs father's wonderful genes!

One Hand Nav

Although I acknowledge that it is not always necessary to use only one hand when using my Wizard, it is nice to have option to do so completely when needed. I previously discussed liking the ability to read a book or my Rss feeds on the train with just one hand (usually holding the rail with my other!). What annoyed me was the difficulty I had in switching applications or changing applications altogether. I have used Wisbar Lite since I first had my Wizard (I was an avid Wisbar Advance user when I had my Dell Axim) but 2 things really bothered me:
1. There was no option (that I could find) to add a 'return to today screen' to the cascading menu.
2. Other than mapping to a hardware button, there was no handsfree way to launch and navigate the task menu.

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I absolutely love the cascading menu that Wisbar gives you and cannot even imagine using a pocketpc without it. I also like the battery bar at the top of the screen. But those 2 limitations made me look for an alternative.
What I found was an unobtrusive, relatively hidden application called SmallMenuPlus. Basically, this application offers the same menu features as Wisbar but without the close app function and the battery bar line that I really like. However, it does give an excellent task manager that you can navigate by hard button only and an additional menu that lists your internet favorites.

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I added SmallMenuPlus as the first item on my Wisbar cascading menu and now I can easily enjoy the best of both worlds.
As an added bonus, here is a neat trick for those who use Opera browser. The favorites in Opera, unlike Internet Explorer Mobile, are static and do not really sync with the desktop. Use Resco explorer to navigate to your internet favorites folder and use 'open with' to associate the favorites with Opera. Now you can keep you can open those bookmarks using Opera and, if needed, add them as bookmarks within Opera. Pretty cool!
May 17

Tonight on 'Lost'

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Well I can't seem to get access to any of my favorite forums to chat about tonight's episode of Lost. Usually for the hour before and after most forums are jam packed to bandwidth capacity.
Anyway, this was a good episode where we really got a chance to see some interaction with the 'Others'. In a nutshell...
-Charlie is just stupid for injecting himself with an unknown vaccine. And Claire is dumber for being flattered that he thought to bring some to her and the baby.
-Michael is not my most favorite character-especially with his recent actions.
-Walt has been kidnapped...doesn't it seem odd that he suddenly has access to IM? I mean what's next- an ipod?
-Will we ever get more info on Libby being a mental patient and not a psychiatrist? They showed it one of the closing scenes for a previous episode but they never elaborated further.

May 14

My Saki Mobile Nightmare

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If you recall, a few entries ago I mentioned how I had found out about Saki Mobile. Well on Friday evening I decided to take a look at it. It described itself as a nice networking application that had built in RSS, stocks and movie showtimes. On discovering it was now free I happily downloaded it along with its desktop companion. I configured an account and then set up my profile.
Saki also gives you an email account (although you can only send to and receive from other Saki members). So I configured the email account and set it to notify me via text message when I got a new email. After a while of browsing other people's profiles and setting up the keywords I wanted, I soon received my first email...and here is where everything went terribly wrong.

For some reason and somewhere between the Saki service and Cingular there was a disconnect or jam in the system. Although I only received one email, I got an unending stream of SMS notifications for that single message that lasted the better part of 4 hours. Once it hit 500 I was beside myself- apart from slowing down my Cingular 8125 I also do not have unlimited text messaging!
On the Cingular forum I was able to find out how to block all incoming SMS messages from being delivered to my phone. It involves signing up on the Cingular website for a text account online where you can set up preferences.
Yesterday morning I was able to speak to a Cingular rep where they essentially agreed to not charge for this clear error. They couldn't tell me what had caused it and I still am not sure what happened. However I deactivated my Saki account and deleted it from my Wizard.
May 12

Professional Crossroads

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The last few days have been spent dealing with a rather serious issue going on right now- my job. I'm one of those people who actually love what I do, except for the surrounding garbage that I sometimes have to deal with. I had to really take a moment and evaluate if this situation was entirely healthy for me and unfortunately the answer was predominately 'No'.
After extensive talks with my husband, I decided yesterday to resign from my position and gave my months' notice. My expectation was that after an initial surprise period, my department heads would make arrangements to have me replaced. Instead they promptly called me in for a meeting and invited me to share all the aspects of my job that I don't like and offered to raise my salary by 11% (norm is 2-5%), include a full time dedicated assistant and regroup in 6 months to see if the changes have positively impacted me.
I spent most of last night tossing and turning and today have firmly decided to reply to their offer with a request for 19% instead of 12%, the transcript of our discussion signed by all present.
What would you do in my shoes?

May 02

Second Installation of the Zodiac GiveAway

Here's question 2 for the giveaway... Name 3 GTD applications for Palm OS and Pocket PC.

Today I've been thinking a lot about applications that let you reach out. I've found myself connecting more since I moved to my Cingular 8125 than I ever did with my Treo. I sign into Agile Messenger during the day and keep a persistent connection. I mark messages that I need to reply to as unread so the count shows up in SpbDiary on my Today screen. I was temporarily interested in something like SakiMobile to network with likeminded techies but unfortunately its a thin line between a network and a meat market on such scales.

I've also taken steps to become more organized on my Wizard. The first truth I have had to come to grips with is that I do not like the 'Tasks' in outlook. Over the years I have dressed it up in Agendus, tried a PocketInformant camoflage but in the end I never end up using Tasks the way I want to. I also don't like to integrate my tasks with any of my list applications. Unfortunately I have a short attention span and am easily distracted. Instead of focusing on my tasks I tend to end up checking out a list instead ("Wow, I forgot I own a copy of XMen!") Today I'm taking a look at TreNotes, which seems to be just what I need, and has some nice features (branches, graphics, etc).

May 01

First Installment of the Zodiac GiveAway Treasure Hunt

Here's how I am kicking off my treasurehunt in commeration of my 1 year anniversary:
Where on 34th Street can the words `I have seen many suns...'? Post your replies in the comments section of this entry. It doesn't count if you write the word somewhere!

So, in other news my Wizard has been making wonderful strides lately. First of all, do not underestimate the value of a good backup application. I use SpbBackup and I find it to be excellent.
I have 2 applications cause me some severe distress and unfortunately for the developers I am going to name names...The first is PocketZenPhone. This program did not freeze my phone like number 2, but it did continue to cause lingering problems even after I uninstalled it. It left ongoing screen dimming issues as well as sporadic sounds (activesync begin and end, etc)
The second which, as I mentioned before, forced me to do a hard reset to even be able to turn my phone on is AE Button Plus. I installed this program and about halfway through my phone gave a message that the application could not be installed then froze. After a half hour of no progress I did a soft reset and found that my phone would not boot past the Blue WM sreen. I tried everything I could think of and finally did a hard reset after which the phone came on.
Basically it seems like anything designed to control profiles on my phone does not work well.
Another minor irritation I cannot seem to resolve is the Activesync passthrough. It works in general, but if for some reason my Cingular 8125 is connected to my GPRS connection when I plug in for a sync the internet pass through connection no longer works for about a day. This is a minor irritation because I lke to use the fast passthrough connection at work to update my image-laden rss feeds for my ride home.
Today I think I found a remedy though. First of all, it has nothing to do with the firewall settings which everyone is always so quick to bring up. It isn't a firewall issue if it has already been working in the past!
On my desktop I navigated to Activesync - >Connection settings then changed the passthough connection from 'Automatic' to 'Work Network'.
On my Wizard I navigated to Settings-> Connections-> Connections->Advanced ->Select Network and switched everything to Work network. Voila!