Friday, May 29, 2009

10 Things You Didn't Know about the Palm Pre

While the BoyGenius Report has been dragging their feet on a full Palm Pre review, forum member d94 on the Precentral site has methodically deconstructed the entire device and answered dozens of user questions about the day to day use. Here are some of the highlights of his findings:

1. You cannot save internet files to the Pre. You can view or stream them only

2. There is no scientific calculator built-in

3. There is no alarm clock. (Which seems like an odd omission)

4. You cannot control what gets pulled in with Synergy. D94 found that it added every email address he had ever sent a message to on Gmail resulting in about 3000 contacts being added.

5. Data speed over 3G averaged 1391 Kb/s

6.Supports streaming internet radio via the browser. Also streams in the background.

7.Supports Chinese out of the box.

8.Does not play dvix/avi files out of the box.

9. Can download MP3s from the Amazon Music Store over 3G and Wifi.

10. Battery life looks to be amazingly good. D94 reported a battery drop to 70% after 8 hours of moderate use.

You can wade through the rest over on the PreCentral Forums to get more information, including more about the camera quality, which looks pretty good even in lowlight conditions:


Only 7 more days until you can get your hands on your very own Pre!



This is a bonus point, but I think a pretty huge one for Palm Centro owners: the battery from the Centro works in the Pre!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Legacy We Leave Behind

Wednesday was a tragic day in the Tyson household as Mike's young daughter Exodus died from her injuries. A lot of news outlets covered the story, and a number of them chose to air footage of the Mike Tyson/Evander Holyfield ear-biting incident, and on Twitter I noticed a number of people criticizing that choice. Everyone makes mistakes, its true, but now more than ever before, we have to start thinking about what we want to be remembered for. With so many teens today taking sex and exhibitionism so lightly, and people like Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton glorifying the art of the 'leaked' sextape, this generation is heading down a dangerous path. When you make mistakes in life, its your responsibility to re-invent yourself, and not become defined by those missteps. If Mike Tyson had spent the last few years as a philanthropist, trying to do good things for the community, then I doubt the sensationalism would have been so extreme. Think about it- when you hear the name Vanessa Williams, isn't the nude scandal about the very last thing you remember about her?
My hope for young(er) people is that they start thinking hard about what they want to be remembered for, and begin to live that legacy now. Take down your drunken, naked Facebook and MySpace photos. Don't use profanity as a communication tool. Pull yourself together, and realize that you can have a fantastic time while still holding yourself in high esteem. And when you do stumble, as we all do and will, pick yourself, dust yourself off, and promptly create a new and better memory. Ask yourself periodically- if I died today, would I be happy with what I'd be remembered for?


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Summer of (Gadget) Love

Last summer, in a word, sucked. I couldn't find a job, We had a tension filled vacation, and our marriage was put to the test. On the gadget front, there was nothing exciting really. There were rumblings of the new Blackberry Bold (which hadn't come stateside at the time), the HP 910 had some annoying bugs which got in the way of its performance, and the new version of the iPhone only added 3G to the specs. I was armed only with my Ubiquio 503G (lacked memory) and AsusEEE PC (fail!) But, somehow, we all made it through relatively unscathed, and this summer promises to make up for the last.
I'm working, doing what I love once again, and happy to be back in the workforce. Dean and I have found our stride as new parents, and this year we've decided to have everyone come visit us in shifts, so that we can take advantage of babysitting and have a few evenings to ourselves. And as far as technology goes- this is the year bar none. This summer will bring us the launch of the Palm Pre, a new iPhone (most likely), new Android devices. More Blackberry devices are on the horizon, as well as the new family of HTC Diamond/Touch Pro 2 devices. Its also a great time to be on the sidelines: with my Blackberry Bold, iPod Touch and HP Mini 1000 I don't have that overwhelming itch to get anything new. I'm looking forward to a lot of unboxing videos, and reading reviews. And, as of yesterday, I learned that I may even be able to get my hands on a device or two as I was accepted into the WOMWORLD review process. So, I'll be getting a Nokia device in the near future which I will get to review for 3 weeks.
This is also the first summer in a long time that I'll truly be able to enjoy myself: last summer was clouded by not working, the one before I was hugely pregnant and uncomfortable in the heat of my first Texas scorcher, and the 3 prior to that I was so busy commuting 3+ hours a day to and from work, I wasn't enjoying much of anything at all. So I declare this summer- the Summer of Lulu!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More Disrespect for IT Guys- from Sprint!

No sooner had I complained about the general lack of goodwill/ strategy on the part of Sprint and Palm, than do we get another bomb dropped: Sprint does not want to sell the Pre to the "wrong" customer. And who would that be, exactly? Well, according to their internal documents as shown over on Engadget, that would be IT-Centric business users. Its not enough that IT guys already get no respect, but now Sprint has to rub salt in the wound? Look, I don't mind the guidelines, and having the salesforce for the Pre being trained on who would benefit from the device- its that last line that really bugs me. Seriously, Sprint? You can't afford to sell the Pre to the wrong customers? Because the last time I checked, you can't afford to not sell anything to anyone.

The Connected Dream; Realized

I remember when I first read about the Sony Mylo- a device which had the sole purpose of keeping you constantly connected. It was a bit of an oxy-moron since the device required a wifi connection to do that (which kind of limited just how connected you actually could be). But it did strike a cord with me. The idea of being reachable at any time- not just by email and texts, but by any of the mediums most people use daily to connect-sounded intriguing.

It remained a dream for quite a while; Palm did not support multi-tasking, and even when I moved to Windows Mobile, there weren't that many great IM clients at the time. Email was also a sketchy situation- push email would kill the battery of most WM5 devices in no time at all.

Then, when more applications started to appear that seemed capable of making this a reality (Palringo, Beejive, PockeTwit, ceTwit to name a few), there wasn't enough application memory in the devices to be able to leave them running constantly . And when I finally got a Fuze, it had enough memory to run them all, but it would constantly over-manage it by randomly shutting down background apps. The slide-out keyboard was not conducive to tapping out quick messages, and sometimes, depending on the circumstances, the app would crash during the screen-rotation or just be painfully slow.

I moved to a Bold with very few expectations. I had been attracted to the look of it and its UI since early last year. And in the summer I was swept up in the Bold-mania that had long cooled by the time it was finally released in the USA in November. I wasn't sure what I would find, but I hoped, at a minimum, to satisfy my curiosity. Well, the one thing the Blackberry does above and beyond any device I have ever seen is keep you connected. Using Beejive IM I have a persistent prescence on all my IM protocols, and on Facebook chat. With SocialScope I have Twitter running 24/7 giving me a heads up when I've been mentioned. The Facebook application sends me all my notifications without clogging up my inbox. And then there's BB Messenger, on which I've got a small network of, among other things, fellow moms with whom I can exchange photos and questions without having to have it all 'out there' like you do on Twitter.

For me, the combination of a battery with enough juice to get me through the day, a bright and vivid HVGA screen, an exposed comfortable keyboard and an OS that is stable enough to run all my background connected apps is irresistible. Its not just that I want to be constantly connected: its that now, I finally can be.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day!


Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines,

This Monday, we celebrate Memorial Day. For many of you, you may have grown up recognizing this day as the beginning of summer. For many, it is a day of picnics and parades, and fun times at the beach.

This Memorial Day, I urge you to pause and reflect on what the day is REALLY about. Memorial Day is set aside as a special day for us to remember and honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice when called upon to serve their Nation.

(Read the rest of this letter here)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Battery Watch- Bold Edition


Bold OS .266
Todays use:
At home connected to WiFi
Socialscope- auto updating
Beejive- connected all day
Moderate Use


I attached the correct 2nd screenshot for Saturday.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Viigo with Friendfeed

Friendfeed is one of those services that I signed up for but never really got into. The general rule of thumb for me is that if there isn't a way to get a rich mobile experience from a service, I'm not going to be that into it. I've visited the friendfeed website a handful of times and have always been impressed with the information people are sharing, but the mobile page wasn't compelling enough to keep me coming back.
The latest beta of Viigo has changed all of that to me. In addition to bringing other goodies like PageOnce (more on that in another post), Podcasts and Twitter, it has an excellent Friendfeed interface which makes it fun to see the content that others are sharing. You can also comment and 'like' items directly from within Viigo. I highly recommend this version- many people complain that Viigo is a memory hog, so you may as well get the biggest bang for your megabyte! If you want to give it a shot, you can download it OTA from:

Sent via BlackBerry Bold

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Happy 4th Birthday Mobigasmic!


Yesterday marked the end of the fourth year of Mobigasmic! What a journey it has been! I started this blog on May 20, 2005 to have a place on the web to share my thoughts, ideas, and geeky musings. My very first posts came right around the time I was getting prepared for our wedding. Here's the pic of me trying on my first gown which ended up being *the* dress:


Seems like another lifetime ago! But seriously, its been a fantastic ride, and I love what this space has come to mean to me and you. Thanks for coming back over and over again, for your fantastic comments and chats, and for always showing your support. Here's to the next four years!

Palm, Sprint- Goodwill, Badwill

No, this isn't yet another speculation post on whether the Pre can save Palm; that's been debated on to death. This is about creating goodwill among your core audience, and I have to say that between Palm and Sprint, they are not doing a great job at that.
I was as excited as the next person when Palm announced the Pre- not just at the possibility of a company really innovating and creating something new in these jaded times, but because I remember when the Treo 180 launched, and how it totally changed the game at the time. Just about everyone was really rooting for the Pre to be a runaway success...

But a few signs came early on that it wouldn't just be a smooth sail to the finish line. First of all, after announcing the Pre, Palm remained extremely close-fisted about giving vital information about when it could be expected and the pricing model. The fact that several different dates were given to reputable news sources under NDA means that they either purposely wanted to create a flurry of chaos, or that the device did not launch when it was originally meant to. On a recent episode of CNET's BuzzOutLoud, Natali Delconte revealed that the date she had been given was May 11th which was over a month off the date we've now been officially given.

calendar Pictures, Images and Photos

Another pertinent fact is how Palm picked who would get to handle the device. During many demonstrations of the Pre, it was noted that people weren't even allowed to handle the device with a Palm rep maintaining a grip on it. Yet, somehow we've seen some celebrities in the wild with a Pre (Eliza Dushku, et al), as well as seemingly random people just having a day in the park with it. Its not a good idea to create an elitist environment like that, and alienate the very people you hope to get good press from shortly.

Next was the unceremonious firing of some Sprint employees for talking about the Palm Pre. I know they signed an NDA and all, but seriously? In these hard economic times, I can't imagine that I won't be thinking about the families of those fired employees every time I see the Pre. And I know some might argue that they brought it upon themselves, but considering that in spite of whatever the employees may have said we are just as clueless about the Pre- its way harsh.

fired Pictures, Images and Photos

So now the Pre has finally been announced with a release date of June 6th at a price of $199- but that price is only if you mail in your Sprint rebate and wait 6-8 weeks for your $100 check, or go to Best Buy to make your purchase. And you can't even bank on taht, because Dan Hesse has now been quoted as saying that he anticipates there will be unit shortages. Really? Because last I checked, neither Palm nor Sprint are in the position to play cute games like this. If I'm the target audience for the Pre and know all the things that we now know (see points earlier), then the last thing I want to hear is that I might not be able to get a unit after going to the store.

With no comment on the actual unit, I will say that Palm and Sprint have made some less than savvy decisions with the launch of the Pre. Lets hope the worst is behind us.

Getting Things Done

Do you have one of those lists of things that you'd like to get done at some point in time if you ever have the time to just bang them out? Well, I've got such a list- some items more important than others, but I just could never find the time to really get them done.
Last weekend I decided it was time to really get some items of that list. I finally worked with Dean to get hanging hooks put up in our laundry room so that I can hang clothes up right from the dryer, rather than trying to get them upstairs in a basket without getting all wrinkled. I finally got a neat case for my HP Mini. I finally worked up the courage to remove the film in my Mini's webcam. I finally pried the silver backing off the camera on my Bold so it sits flush on a surface, and has a nice all-black look. I finally got remote viewing working on my Slingbox. I've been feeling extremely productive and accomplished the more I get done. My next goal is to get the same kind of groove going at work and tackle some of the minor projects that I've procrastinated on. So, what are some of the projects on your time-inessential list that you really hope to get around to 'one of these days'?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

HP Mini 1000- My MVP

Last November I bought myself an HP Mini 1000 to replace my Asus EEE PC and I have not regretted the decision for a moment. It has a spot on my bedside tech rack (more on that another time) and its perfect to grab and go for trips. I've always been someone who uses laptops attached to a power source, but because of the small size of my Mini, I find that I am more prone to carry it around with me without the power cord.
The battery life is not too bad- where our HP DV6000 gets about an hour and a half, the mini can get about three hours which usually means it can last all evening after work if I bring it downstairs to use while Dean uses the DV6000. Recently, though, I've started paying a lot more attention to my Mini- Its convenient for so many things and with the summer coming, we've even been thinking about using it in the evenings to watch movies while enjoying the backyard. That definitely calls for a higher capacity battery, so on Sunday I ordered a 6-cell battery from HP. I also bit the bullet and pried open the screen to fix the webcam which I was too afraid to do before. The difference is incredible, and I can't believe HP let it ship like that. Last Saturday at BestBuy I stumbled upon this case which ended up being a perfect fit for my Mini even though its actually made for a portable DVD player. An added bonus is that the case will also fit once I have the 6-cell battery attached.
What I've learnt from my time with my HP Mini 1000 is that I don't enjoy Linux at all, I like a really sleek and slim netbook, and that if I like a device, I'll inevitably look for more ways to get more use out of it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Space Tweet

@Astro_Mike: From orbit: Listening to Sting on my ipod watching the world go by – literally

Twitter Link:
Sent via BlackBerry Bold

Slingplayer finally on my Blackberry!

In the two years since we moved to Texas I have been frustratingly unable to get the remote viewing working on my Slingplayer. I got my Slingplayer in 2006 and was extremely happy with having the option to watch my tv via my phone or mobile device. However, something in our setup with using a Siemens modem from AT&T connected to a Netgear router for wireless was causing the remote feature to fail. I attempted many times to fix this, bringing down our entire network and finally resigned myself to the fact that I would only be able to use my Slingplayer within the confines of our wireless network at home.
This worked fine while I had Windows Mobile devices, however there is something in the setup for Blackberry that requires the remote viewing feature to work even if you are connected via WiFi. And last week the Slingplayer for iPhone was released and even though its only accessible over a WiFi connection, several sources verified that the remote viewing feature had to be working before it could be used. I was stumped- how could it be so difficult to get this feature working? I once again scoured the internet for answers. There were all kinds of terms that I wasn't very familiar with: uPnP, port forwarding, static IPs....and then I stumbled on the one term that ended up being the missing piece for me: bridge mode.
To explain it in simple (if slightly inaccurate) terms, the setup using a modem and a router invited them each to place their own protocols on my wireless signal. So, when I would try the port forwarding trick on my router, my modem would not follow suit, and vice versa. Putting my modem in bridge mode meant that it would become just a dummy unit, allowing the wireless to stream through, and leaving all the configuration to the router. The router will in turn need to be programmed with the username and password from your ISP to be able to take over these duties. For me, that ended up being the tricky part because I had long since forgotten what it was, and used a combination which I thought it was and ended up being re-directed to the AT&T password change tool page that kept freezing. A call to an agent got my password reset and I was good to go.


Words cannot express the overwhelming geeky joy I felt at finally seeing the Slingplayer client finally connect on my Blackberry! Its been 2 long years without the feature that actually prompted me to get a Slingbox in the first place and I was so thrilled to have gotten it back-and with a nice hi-res screen to boot! The icing on the cake was realizing that my registration key that I had purchased for my Windows Mobile phone back in 2006 worked perfectly on my Blackberry! I don't think I will be purchasing the iPhone app since I would be using my HP Mini to watch over wifi while at home, but its great to be able to use this on my Blackberry when I'm out and about.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Secret of the Blackberry Memory Bloat

For a few weeks my memory had been steadily disappearing, and no amount of battery pulls and program un-installing would recover the lost sectors. The answer came when I attempted to do a backup; it kept getting stuck at 'RMS Database' and I had to do a battery pull each time to get it to function. I scoured a number of forums to see what the cause could be and finally was led to one which described how to locate the size of your RMS Database (options-status-bbmenu-database sizes). I was shocked when I found mine had ballooned to about 15MB- ideally it shouldn't be more than 200KB or so!

Getting rid of the RMS database is easy but there are a few things you should do first:

1. Make sure you have the registration code for all your third party apps. Some of them will lose that data.

2. Write down all your bbm contacts' pins

3. You'll need your computer to do this.

Hook your Blackberry up to your PC and open the Desktop Software. Click on Backups, then advanced. The look for RMS database- highlight it and click 'clear'. Done!

Now you'll have to open each app to see if it has de-registered itself (BerryWeather, BeejiveIM, and Viigo did on mine) and rekey your reg codes. In my case, I couldn't bbm anyone so I ended up unistalling bbm and reinstalling it from the desktop. However, you might try just uninstalling a contact and then re-adding them to see if that fixes it first.

In mobile devices, they're all kinds of hidden nooks and crannies that can bloat your memory. You just have to know where to look.

UPDATE 8/25/09:

I've been getting a lot of messages about this article, so let me clarify a few things:

1. The photo shows the RMS database after I cleared it out. I didn't take a screenshot of it when it was 15MB (unfortunately).

2. The other databases can also get bloated, so be sure to check them too.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Life Imitating Pranks: Email'n'Walk

On April Fool's Day PocketLint posted this story about a new app called TXT'N'WALK to allow Blackberry users to see where they were going as they used their phones:


It was a joke, of course, although it was generally accepted to be a pretty good idea. In fact, a number of people over at Crackberry were even prepared to fork over funds to get it before they realized it was a prank.

So you can imagine my surprise when I saw over on Engadget today that this very app has been developed for the iPhone! Email'n'Walk is available in the AppStore and iTunes for free. But seriously, if you need this app you probably should take a break.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Introducing the New Amazon Kindling

Being Sold on eBay now, the all new Amazon Kindling features:

Kindling: The 6" Wireless Reading Device (Latest Generation)
Say Hello to the Kindling, the incredible palm-sized wireless reading device.
Slim: Just 1/4th of an inch, thinner than most quesadillas.
Lightweight: At 4 ounces, lighter than a typical Zippo.
Wireless: Start reading anytime, anywhere; no monthly fees,service plans, or hunting for Wi-Fi hotspots
Incredible Display: Reads like real paper; now boasts 2 shades of gray for clear text
Uses no batteries or electricity; observe it for days without recharging.
No need to shut it off during air travel
Storage: Holds 900 bytes of information
(about 120 words)
Made of plywood, a material often featured in Extreme Makeover Home Edition
Complete lack of functional buttons.
Also makes a handy cutting board.

Sometimes you never know when you'll find a gem like this on eBay. With 14 bidders currently, I hope people at least have a sense of humor!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Evernote for Blackberry now Available!

Yep, its finally here! The Evernote client for Blackberry that we've all been waiting for is now available in AppWorld! I've just downloaded it, and was promptly taken to download an updated version, but I will have more details once I've had a chance to give it a twirl.

Ok, well, I guess its a start. Like the original Windows Mobile version, it gives a number of upload options, but search is little more than a gateway to the mobile website. I'm a little bummed, but at least its a sign that a more fleshed out version may be on its way soon.

Update 2:
For some reason, the 'snapshot' mode does not work. I am getting a weird exclamation mark but no explanation why.

QuickLaunch- An Invaluable Tool

I've had QWERTY-bar phones dating back to the Treo 180 (which may have been one of the first non-Blackberry devices in that style!) but it wasn't until I started using the Bold that I learned the convenience of having one-key shortcuts. I've only been on the OS for three months but I already have most of them commited to memory (A for addresses, B browser, C compose email, D notepad,etc).
QuickLaunch is a great utility which is similar to QuickMenu on Windows Mobile. You map it to a convenience key on the side of your Blackberry and it allows you to add a list of application shortcuts that will be accessible just about anywhere on the device.
Here's the other thing that QuickLaunch gives you: it shows the time in any screen of your device which is invaluable since this feature is vexingly missing in the titlebar of Blackberrys. This is one tool I wonder how I could ever have used my Blackberry without:

Sent via BlackBerry Bold

Monday, May 11, 2009

Flush vs Recessed Screens

For years, when pdas and pda phones were first released, they had a slighly recessed screen. The logic was that the 'lip' would be able to protect the screen by taking most of the impact if it was ever laid directly on a surface. Most interactions were done with a stylus, allowing you to peck at the corners without difficulty.
Then, in 2007, the first iPhone was introduced, and the trend became flush screen as it was perceived as easier to use in conjuction with a finger rather than a stylus. A lot of reviewers criticized the Sony Xperia X1 for having a recessed screen rather than following the build style of the HTC Touch Pro.
Today I'm noticing that a number of skin cases for the iPhone offer a lip around the screen, to provide the very protection that pda users have known they've needed for over 10 years. Its interesting to watch these, like fashion, come full circle.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

To all the moms, pseudo moms, and nurturing caretakers of the world- have a wonderful Mother's Day!

Sent via BlackBerry Bold

Friday, May 8, 2009

Reality Check....

I usually hate to post just to apologize for the lack of posts, but I think I can make an exception today. It has been a crazy, crazy week. On the homefront, we have learnt that Seth needs to have surgery to get tubes put into his ears to help them drain properly. We knew his ear infections were starting to become a bit excessive, but I hadn't properly prepared myself for that piece of news. They say they will need to use gas to make him unconcious for the surgery and just the thought of that makes me nauseaus with fear. The surgery is scheduled for next Friday, and I am counting the minutes until its done and over.
Things have also been hectic at work lately. We've had 3 resignations, and so the process of hiring replacement staff and orienting them is draining. On a side note- how the heck are people resigning in this economic climate?? Even if I had a tempting offer, I'd hate to be the last in (and therefore, subject to first out) in this economy!
My tech life has been relatively uneventful. I received my new iPod Touch 2G on Tuesday and have found the external speaker to be exactly what I had hoped it would be. My 1G iPod is on eBay and hopefully will be sold by the end of the weekend. I fell in love with the Speck Fitted case and ordered one for the new iPod.


It seems the hunt for the perfect case is the national iPod-lover pastime so I guess I am fitting right in there!
I'll get back to posting regularly very shortly and you can look forward to hearing my impressions on the new Kindle DX, the latest Pre rumors, and my reaction to the iPod Touch as a gateway drug to the iPhone. In the meantime, you can catch my snippets on Twitter or in the right sidebar. Toodles!

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Whole Lot of Berryin' Going On


When I say I use my phone a lot, I mean I use my phone...A LOT. Yesterday I flashed my Bold to version and by the end of the day I found I had spent a whopping 5 hours on my Bold! Granted, a lot of this time was restoring my information (re-keying passwords, etc) but still; I am amazed at the sheer amount of hours. And to add to this equation, I did not spend a single moment on the actual phone talking to anyone! What's your record? How much time do you spend in front of your small screen on a typical/atypical day?

Friday, May 1, 2009

My iRevelation


Its been about 3 weeks with my iPod Touch and so far its been a great experience. I've used it for watching videos and podcasts, for organizing my wardrobe, and as my mobile TV Guide. But on one front it has failed me- sharing multimedia. Let me explain: a few weeks ago the whole world was agog at Susan Boyle and her amazing talent. As we lounged on our patio, I pulled up the YouTube video on my iPod Touch to show Dean, only to be reminded that without a speaker I'd need to hunt around for a headset. Its happened several times since- and each time I become increasingly frustrated at not having the ability to hear sound through the device. 2 days ago I finally decided it was time to do something about it: I could buy a ton of mini-speakers and stash them throughout the house, car and yard, or I could ante up and upgrade to a 2G iPod Touch. I decided to go for the latter. Its not the first time I've switched to an upgraded device in such a short amount of time- my Nokia N770 lasted all of 11 days before I caved in to the N800. So, I went ahead and purchased a second generation iPod Touch which will have an external speaker. One of the things that we love to do on summer evenings after putting Seth to bed is to sit out on the patio and listen to streaming radio through Slacker or Pandora. In the past I had used my iPaq 910 and even my Bold, but now I won't need to worry about having enough battery life at the the end of a long day to do that, because my iPod Touch will be doing the heavy lifting!