Thursday, July 31, 2008

What's next?

After the texting contest, surely this can't be too far behind!

A Million and one uses for Evernote

You'll remember a while ago I decided on Evernote as the perfect journal solution. Since then I scanned in all my old handwritten diaries and journals and have found a million and one ways to use Evernote that are invaluable to me:

- Scan in birthday and holiday cards

-Scan old letters and notes 

-Scan receipts to reduce paper clutter

-Keep a notebook of Seth's milestones as they happen (sometimes I take a pic with my phone, jot an email and then send them to his notebook)

-I just noticed that there is a nifty 'add to evernote' button in Outlook. I added some emails to evernote and the date automatically adjusted to the date of the email-neat!

-Take before and after picture of re-decorating and archive it by date. (Some rooms go through a few changes in my house!)

-Scan warranties and file them under the date of their renewal/expiration. Reminds me to keep track of what needs to be updated.

-Clip my Facebook wall for archiving.

-Clip my old Twitters for archiving.

For everyone who thinks Evernote looks like a great idea but can't figure out how to get started, I hope at least one of these will be a good place to start.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Giving the HP 910 another shot

I've been using a new HP 910 since yesterday and the first thing that I have to note is that the one I had prior was definitely a bad unit. Its hard to tell with a new device, but now that I am using this one, I see that there were tell-tale signs that I just missed.
On this new unit, I haven't had one issue. It charged fully and the battery has been working well even as its conditioning (and no high battery temperature warnings!). And Skype is even working like a champ here!
I'm taking it easy, but so far the device has not locked up once, even during an overnight charge. I was hesitant to turn on the screen this morning, worried that my bubble would be burst, but the HP turned right on as soon as I pressed the button!
For now, I've decided to specifically not install Tweaks2K and Memmaid on the device. I don't know how much they may have contributed to the problems before, but since they fiddle with the inner workings of the unit I'd rather err on the side of caution.
More later....

Monday, July 28, 2008

Could I Go Bold?

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After the spectacular failure of the HP 910, I've been happily using my Ubiquio 503G but have idly wondered what's next. The 2 Qwertybars that have been on my mind are the Blackberry Bold and the Nokia E71. 

The main attraction to the Bold is the screen resolution- honestly, I cannot think of one other compelling reason why I would go to Blackberry. I am not an email hound; in fact, I really don't even like the idea of every email I get pushed to my phone. I am all about text messages, and of course applications. 

What else does the Blackberry do so amazingly well that it blows Windows Mobile out of the water? What else is the Bold bringing to the table that makes it a must-have?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Lessons Learned

So last week we got back from our vacation which was a trip NYC/NJ to visit friends and family, and instead of doing a plain recap of our time there, I present to you- 

"Do's and Don'ts for a Techie New Mom staying with Mom-In-Law"

-Don't comment on the dated OS of your MIL's PC. Seriously, don't do it.

-Do put any of your 'liquids' in the diaper bag. Its suprising how lenient security is to content for the baby. I'm not saying break the law or anything, but if you're like me and the idea of not having at least a bit of water to drink freaks you out, pop a bottle in there.

-Do install Skype on your MIL's PC if you can. Its a nice way for her to be able to see the baby on demand when you get home. 

-Do plan at least one evening to stay at a friend's house. Breaking up the visit makes it easier for everyone.

-Do take the master bedroom if its offered. Especially if there's an adjoining bathroom- that makes the perfect location for a late-night secret rendez-vous with your husband. 

-Don't try to fight when mature foods are pushed onto the baby. But do strike a compromise- "we can give him some of your mashed potatoes, but lets not give him chocolate cake right now"

-Don't rely solely on your pda phone to hold all your info. Always keep a few vital numbers in your husband's phone and vice versa. 

-Do figure out where your baby will be getting bathed. Its a small detail that can be overlooked, especially if you are not a fan of bathing him in the kitchen sink.

-Do cite cultural differences as the reason why you do things differently than the MIL. "Oh, in Africa, all babies use pacifiers! What, you don't do that in America?"

-Do a load of laundry on the day before you leave. If your nerves and patience are shot, its a nice way to have some time to yourself, and its nice to get home with a suitcase full of clean clothes that just need to be put away.

-Do a load of laundry on the day you leave- wash all the towels and sheets you used to ease the cleanup on your host.

-Don't stay longer than a week. 

-Don't assume you'll be in a Wifi, 3G or even EDGE coverage area.

-Don't jump out of bed the moment the baby starts screaming. Let him get really loud, then clearly declare "Oh, that must be because of those mashed potatoes he ate"

-Do bring little baggies to dispose of diapers. Ask beforehand what the diaper disposal gameplan is. 

-Do try and have the most fun you can. And take loads of pictures.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Reasons I Won't be getting another HP 910

My Hp 910 went back and I have to be honest...I'm not getting another one. Even though I loved many things about it, a number of them soured me on the device and I don't think I can get over them. 

-I don't like the perpetually flashing LED.

-Screen cannot be rotated. This is a nuisance for things like SlingPlayer, etc.

-Telescopic stylus. Even for the few days that the HP did work, the stylus was a pain. The grip loosened and the stylus would no longer come out already extended.

-Quirk where the device would not turn on after being charged, or going to sleep.

-Fingerprints galore on the shiny surface.

-Missed my front facing camera- I use it a lot for taking shots of my son and I.

-Skype not working on it. Very annoying.

-WM5 New Menu doesn't work right on SMS- it opens the entire account list because it can't distinguish between MMS and SMS.

-Signal was not great. It dipped to EDGE a number of times where my Ubiquio would stay firmly in 3G.

-USB Headset. Just a nuisance.

The things I will be missing as I return to my Ubiquio:

-Much more memory

-Excellent camera. 

-The GPS I could take or leave. I was really looking forward to using it while on vacation for geotagging photos, etc.

So, I'm back to my UBiQUiO for now. I'm on the fence about the Blackberry Bold- I don't know if I'm  up to abandoning WM, but I'd love to finally see a VGA QWERTY-bar device! Arggh!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Partying Like its my Birthday....cos It Is!

Well, its my big day today, and I consider the best gift to be that I had a refreshing night's sleep in my own bed and am spending the day in my own home. Not to mention that I finally have a working pda phone in hand (my Ubiquio).

The trip was fun, but entirely too long. It appears I didn't get the job (i.e. I haven't heard anything back). Seth screamed the entire flight back. He also didn't sleep through the night for the entire week we were away. Its been a rough week.

So, my goal is to make the most of the day, and then head back to the job listings and get cracking on finding a job I can love. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sadly, I announce the death(?) of my HP 910

So, here I am in New York, miles away from home and my HP has kicked the bucket. I have no idea what happened. I (thought I) had solved the problem by removing what I imagined to be a corrupt or incorrectly formatted SD card, and was perfectly content to use my device with no memory card over the holiday.
We picked up the rental car and I went to turn on Google Maps and it suddenly said "shortcut not found". Odd. So I did a soft reset. It reset up to the HP screen and hung. And that's all it keeps doing. Tried a hard reset and it still hangs at the 'clean boot' screen. I know something good is happening deep down because I see the LED go on when I plug it into the charger, but thats about it.
So, to recap, I am on holiday waiting to hear if I got the job I've been dying for, and no working phone. Thanks HP. Great work.

Solved (I think) HP 910 issue

I may have narrowed down my issue to the sd card. Took it out just before we left and have had no issues so far. On the plane about to head to New York now. Ciao!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Still an Issue- HP 910 Not waking up!

Ok, I'm officially frustrated. I'm not even sure I should take the HP with me on this trip! Its still falling into this deep sleep and I've tried everything, even the old Activesync fake server trick. And more annoying is that I am missing text messages and who knows what else while it is in this deep sleep.

(UPDATE) HP 910- Problematic Issue Update

A very odd thing happened to me a few hours ago- I attempted to turn on my HP and it wouldn't turn on, so I did a reset. When the device reset, it went to the screen calibration screen as it a hard reset had been done! It took me through the initialization screen, then on the device, my apps were all on but the settings (and registration codes, etc) were all missing. 

This convinced me to do a hard reset, and then load ONLY Mobipocket on it. I've got to have something to read on the plane. For now, it appears to be working properly, and very responsive, so it is definitely the fault of one of the applications I had loaded.

The problem is that the difference between WM6 and WM6.1 is so much behind the scenes that apps that would appear to work properly may in fact not be. 

HP 910- Problematic Issue

It turns out there's a reason why HP opted to place the reset button on the top of the device- the same reason why your nose is on your face; you're going to be using it quite a bit. My HP cannot seem to wake up from a sleeping state without being soft reset. It doesn't seem to matter whether its plugged in or not...I'll have to wait till I get back from vacation to see if it still has this problem in its factory state, but for now thats where I'm at with it. 

Ask Lulu- Screen Orientation Preference

Its been a while since I've followed up on 'Ask Lulu', where I answer questions I get asked. Today's question is from Ryan, and he asks:

I've been using Windows Mobile devices almost since their incarnation way back in 1999 or so, and always used them in portrait mode, even though I currently use an HTC Kaiser and sometimes use it in landscape mode but mostly use it in portrait orientation, however I'm not really sure how useful the screen is when used in landscape mode all the time.

How comfortable are you with using the screen in that orientation all the time with your current device?

Would you go back to portrait mode ever again?

I'm asking you this because I'm in the process of getting a qwerty bar phone (imate 8502, V111 or HP 910C), but not sure which screen orientation works best in actual use since these kind of devices are not very comfortable to hold in another orientation.

Thanks!

I don't think I would go back to portrait for 2 main reasons-
1. I prefer the look of the landscape screen. I've found that somehow the text, etc, seems crisper.
2. A landscape device provides a more spacious keyboard layout. The balance is also better because the device is less top-heavy as you hold it to type.

And with a landscape device, you won't ever have to switch it to portrait. Watching videos, etc, all happen in the native layout.


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Sunday, July 13, 2008

iPhone 3G Commercial

Hil.ar.ious. Enjoy!

Touchscreen or Not- How to Spot the Difference

One of the things that I get asked about a lot is how to determine if a device is Windows Mobile Professional or Standard through a photo. These days, WM devices come in all flavors and you can get a QWERTY pad on a WM Standard device, or a numeric pad on a WM Professional device.

Look at this photo and figure out which one is which:

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Here are two ways to tell:

1. The screen. Look for the position of the word 'Start'- if its on the top, as it is on the first device, its a touchscreen device. If its on the bottom, then its a non-touchscreen device.

Now using method one to determine is all well and good except that sometimes companies will digitally 'enhance' the photo and may make a mistake in pasting a touchscreen image on a non-touchscreen device (Expansys, for example, even sends out printed material with this kind of mistake). Or you could be looking at a photo of a device thats not powered on. in that case-

2. The hard buttons. Touchscreen devices always have the 'Windows' logo on one of the hard buttons on the right hand side. On the other hand, non-touchscreen devices will have a 'home' icon on one of the buttons.

So, there you have it. You can shop smarter online for your next device, and know right away which flavor it is!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Video Recording on the HP 910

Here is a sample video I took of Junior Mint crawling around in his room. It was in the evening, lights off in the room, LED on the HP switched on:

Friday, July 11, 2008

Hot Battery Indicator on the HP 914


Screen004, originally uploaded by lulugirl896.

I think the moral of the story is that you probably should only use the standard HP charger. I've never seen a message like this before on a pda- this one came after using the HP while it was connected to the generic charger I have with a pin connector attached.

No Skype for HP 910

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I don't know why, but Skype will not run on the Hp 910. Tried all varieties with no luck.

iPhone 3G Mania


Fifth Avenue iPhone line 1185, originally uploaded by jasonsmith.

Well, I was going to ignore it, but I guess it would be unfair to the Apple fanboys to do so. The iPhone 3G is out in full effect and people are flocking to pick them up. Wayne Sutton has a few great Qik videos of some lines, and door openings.

Let me know if you picked one up and how you're liking it so far. And I really hope that before people went to line up, they actually checked that they *are* in a 3G area. Because, frankly, that would suck if they didn't.

HP 910- MMS and Text Messaging

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We all knew that Windows Mobile 6.1 includes SMS threading, but did you know it also includes MMS threading? The texts and MMS are all in the same folder (thank goodness!) and the MMS messages get threaded like my photo above. Nice touch!

Overnight Impressions of the HP 910

So, a few more things I noticed since my last post:

-It may be the screenprotector I installed but there is a barely perceptible delay in the time I tap the screen and when it responds with the action. I'm going to try re-calibrating, then removing the screen protector to see if that helps.

-Charging. A weird thing happened last night- I connected the 910 to my standard USB charger (non-HP) before I went to bed at 47%. I woke up this morning and found it had only charged to 67%. Then I installed the 5- 10 pin adaptor that I got for my Ubiquio 503G and noticed that within a few moments it went from 67% to 71%. So, standard  USB chargers may not work.

-Beejive JiveTalk has an annoying quirk. While its running, it causes a delay in the screen turning on. In fact I need to press the call end button for the screen to turn on.  

-The Home page of PIE is pretty- except for the fact that it directs to the full version of the HP corresponding pages:

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-There's also a very useful feature called the HP DataConnect- you select your carrier and it automatically installs the correct data and MMS settings. I've got AT&T and it set everything up perfectly in about 2 seconds.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

HP 910- Review after a few hours...

Panoramic shot taken with hp 910

Well, there's no easy way to say this- I'm in love. At first I thought the keyboard was uncomfortable to type on but I realized that was because I was using my fingernail tips to type- the keys are sufficiently 'squishy' that I can use the pad of my fingertips to type pretty quickly.

A really nice touch is that, from the home screen you can begin dialing a number and it will match the letters as well as numbers (a la Treo) which is nice. My Ubiquio would only search for names- to enter a number you'd have to initiate dialing from the dial screen.

Another thing is the buttons on the side. They are slightly recessed so they don't get accidentally pressed.

I've given the camera a couple of tries and find it to be better than I've had on a pda. Its got a nice panoramic setting that 'stitches' the images together as you take them and then makes one long view. I'm still trying to get the hang of it. Here's a regular shot taken in full light:

Photo Taken with Hp 910

And here is one I took in my laundry room, pitch black with only the device's LED for lighting:

taken in pitch black with led only

Not too shabby! More later...

Update-Installing Applications on the HP 910

For some reason, Skype will not run. Trying various flavors to see if it makes a difference.

Installing Applications on the HP 910

I've tried installing a few files, and the so-called iPaq-FileStore is an area that will be 'unaffected' during a hard reset. Seems pretty pointless with a memory card available- its about 25MB of separated memory. The good news is that you can select it as a destination to store apps.

1st Connection to PC

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Nice icon for the HP once connected to the desktop. Not a big deal, but I like it. 

iPaq 910 GPS First Impressions

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Although I have a Magellan GPS device in my car, this is my first time using one on a mobile device. It wouldn't work until I inserted the SIM card into the HP 910, but once I did, oh boy! Its so precise that it seems to even know where in my house I am! As I moved about upstairs, the little blue dot moved as well, indicating where I was- very impressive!

First Few Moments with my HP iPaq 910

I've been playing with my iPaq while I let it charge and a few things are really quite cool. First of all, here's the memory:

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And here are some other cool things I've found in no particular order. Remember that I haven't popped a sim or SD card in it yet.

-There is an optional keyguard function which you can select. If you check the option, then you'll have to press the left, then right softkey once you turn it on. Nice that its optional

-The camera is miles faster at capturing than the Ubiquio. Just about on par with the Treo 750 if I remember well.

-The panoramic capture on the camera is brilliant. As you take each shot, it shows you a faded edge of the photo you took prior to help you line it up. 

-You can program all the keys. 

-It is in fact a d-pad, and not a joystick/nub as I had thought. the d-pad is nice and comfortable thanks to the rounded edges.

-It seems very fast and snappy. Even changing themes is just about instantaneous. 

More to follow...

Got My HP 910!

What a saga! I'll tell you all about it in a bit...for now, here's some eyecandy to tide you over. First impressions- very attractive. I can see why they changed the design from the older gray version. It makes my Ubi look very drab indeed!

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HP iPAQ 914c unboxing

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A quick look at the HP iPAQ 910 Business Messenger

Another video of the HP 910 surfaces

Found the Perfect Journal- Thanks Frank!

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A few days ago I mentioned how I was in search of a perfect journal app, and boy did I ever get one! Frank Mcpherson reminded me of Evernote- a note taking/clipper application that I've never quite gotten into the groove of. I installed it, but couldn't find a way to incorporate it into my daily web usage. 

I decided to give it a try, and wow, it is perfect. I copied over all my entries from Daynotez,  and was thrilled with how accessible all the information was across all my devices. Then, inspired by the results, I started scanning some of my old handwritten journals into the program and marking the date to match the entry. 

Since I've always been looking for a way to back up my blog as well, I created another 'notebook' and used the clipper function to keep a copy of it in Evernote. That also gives me a nice easy way to search through and find specific text whether I wrote it in my journal or on my blog! 

So, as usual, asking is the best way to get an answer! Thank you for a fantastic suggestion, Frank!

Monday, July 7, 2008

HP- Those Lazy Liars!

Pinocchio

Here it is a full week after the supposed release date of the HP 910 and not only is it not even available yet on their HP Home site, but even those who purchased it from the Small Business site have yet to even receive a date when it may be shipped. 

Its the principle of the thing that's really ticking me off here- HP has had since September to get their act together and to pull shenanigans like this is shameful. I mean, you'd expect this from UBiQUiO but not from HP! And they haven't bothered to put out anything by way of explanation or apology- at least Ubiquio even had the decency to respond in their forums.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

In Search of the Perfect Journal

Journal

I have kept a journal/diary for as long as I can remember. When I came to live in the US I brought along a few of my old diaries and have enjoyed reading old entries from my youth...I even remember most of the codes I used to use in the event that my mother would find and read them! In 2004, when I got a Treo 600 I started using Daynotez for all my journaling needs, and syncing to the desktop. When I moved to Windows Mobile, I was able to keep the same application and just continued adding entries. 

However, as time has gone on, I've found that Daynotez is simply not robust enough for me anymore. I want to be able to add voice and photos to some of my entries. And recently, inspired by Trent, I want to be able to video journal every now and again. And now that I am spread across my Asus EEE (which is Linux, and therefore cannot run or sync with my PDA), my HP Notebook (which I have not added Activesync to) and my Archos 605, I would like the ability to journal from wherever I am into a single place. 

The logical solution would be to use a web-based service to do this. But which one? Open a separate blogger account and keep a private blog? Livejournal? I'm confused. But if I get this right, and pick one that actually works, I may be inspired to scan all my old diaries in and make one comprehensive journal of my life...and I may warm up a bit more to the idea of the Blackberry Bold!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Vtap Mobile Player- Much more than just YouTube

Lately I've become almost obsessed with finding ways to watch online videos on my PDA. The latest version of Coreplayer has added YouTube capabilities, but its still not the easiest and quickest to navigate to (Coreplayer opens on the player screen and you must navigate to the Youtube screen). 

I've heard about vTap before, and to be honest I tried it once or twice but it never really 'stuck' with me for some reason. Well, that all changed a few days ago when I gave it a proper twirl and dug into the settings screen to optimize some features. The end result- I'm blown away, and haven't even finished exploring all its features.

Screen032  Screen033

vTap isn't just scrubbing YouTube for content; its doing a search for almost all online sources. So, you'll see videos from news sources (like CNBC), other video sites (like DailyMotion) as well as YouTube. I'm still exploring it, but for now as a freeware option, it certainly fits the bill perfectly!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Enjoy!

Fourth of July

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Size Comparison of the Asus EEE

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Here's the Asus EEE atop my HP dv6000. As you can see, its about 50% the surface area of the notebook.

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You can see it dwarfed by my 22-inch monitor. 

Asus EEE PC First Impressions

asus eee black

I went ahead and picked up an Asus EEE PC which arrived yesterday. The first thing I noticed was how very small it is- I mean, you see pictures and videos but it doen't strike you until you get it in your hands. It reminded me a lot of the HTC Universal (Jasjar). 

The keyboard layout takes some getting used to- I have two modes of typing; full typing with both hands on my PC and HP Laptop and then thumb typing on my smartphone. I've realized I need to develop a third typing mode to accomodate the Asus- I'm working on it. 

The only adjustment I made was to install Opera on it. I'm working to make Opera 9.5 my default browser on my Ubiquio, Laptop, Asus, and eventually my Desktop. I love the synchronization of bookmarks feature across all the platforms. 

My Asus has taken its place on my bedside table, and is a nice option to be able to surf the web without having to lug my laptop upstairs, or go into the study to use my desktop. Its also the perfect size to be able to carry easily while carrying Seth. I'm looking forward to being able to grab my Asus, and the baby and hang out in the backyard over the weekends! 

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

HP 910 Review Round-Up

No HP for me yet, but that hasn't stopped everyone from buzzing away about it! Here are the latest reviews:


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The HP 910 next to the Blackjack II

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The HTC Touch Diamond, HP 910, and iPhone

Junior Mint doesn't Like Lasagna

Last night we decided to try giving Seth a meat-meal (lasagna) from Gerbers, and apparently he wasn't a fan. His expressions are pretty hilarious:

How to do EVERYTHING with your Phone

Thought you were doing everything you could with your phone? Watch this guy take it to the next level!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Joystick on HP 910

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I didn't realize it until I took a closer look at the manual for the iPaq 910, but apparently the device has a joystick in place of the conventional d-pad found on most Windows Mobile devices. That could be interesting, on par with the Imate 8502.

Funny that none of the reviews popping up on the web have mentioned that!

HP Update

I just called the HP Home and Home Office store and they said they get their shipments on Wednesdays and the site would probably be updated tomorrow once they have actual stock in-house. Well, at least I can stop refreshing the page every 2 seconds and actually get something done!

Still No Sign of the HP 910....Sorta

Well, HP pulled a very ninja move yesterday and released the HP 910 only on their Small business website, and only with a ship date of 7/5/08. Sooooo....technically it was 'out' on the 30th, but not really. I planning on using my HP Credit Card to purchase the 910, and its not possible to use it anywhere except the Home and Home office website.

Today we will see what happens, but I am not impressed so far. Not impressed at all.