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December 14, 2006

Samsung SPH-9000 foldy thingy revealed up close and personal

Remember that Samsung mobile system that looked all foldy as the keyboard and small screen unfolded and swiveled around until it assumed a little laptop configuration?  SlashGear has their hands on one and have posted a lot of sweet pictures of the little Samsung.  The SPH-9000 comes with a slim phone and a neat little port replicator that plugs onto the end of the keyboard.  They promise video soon which should be awesome.

SlashGear Samsung SPH-9000

December 14, 2006

Verizon poised for EV-DO Rev A

Sprint is not the only carrier playing in the EV-DO Rev A sandbox.  A reliable source has indicated to me that Verizon has had Rev A turned on in some major cities for a few months and they are pushing really hard to expand it into some new locations.  Expect to see a new Rev A Aircard in the next two weeks.  Fellow Houstonians should rejoice as sources indicate that Rev A coverage for Houston should be coming by early 2007.  I am so Revved up for Rev A.  :)

December 14, 2006

New York Times features Matt Miller and UMA


Podcast co-host Matthew Miller just made his New York Times pictorial debut (above pic credit: New York Times). No ladies, it's not in the "Hot Geek o' the Month" calendar and I'm also sorry to tell you that he's off the market. Aside from Matt showing the proper way to hold a cell phone to your ear, the NYT article covers some of Matt's recent experiences with a UMA service from T-Mobile. UMA is the up and coming service that seamlessly switches your phone calls back and forth between standard cellular networks and WiFi networks. I say "up and coming" because we're in the early stages of the new service. It's not perfect yet, but I give it another year to really work the kinks out. Watch for UMA to really take off in 2008, but don't wait for then: read the story in the NYT now! For the record, we were all asked to be in the picture, but since James and I have cartoon heads, the Times balked. Just kidding...great job Matt!

Gstor: hard drive with a built-in backup and more


Gstor's hard drive looks pretty innovative, even if it came out in 2005. I'd never seen it until it was pointed out today over at TRFJ, along with a review from twelve months ago. While the drive looks pretty standard from the outside, it has quite a number of great features on the inside. It's a standard 80 GB drive but includes integrated functionality to multi-boot, virus-protect, encrypt and better yet: backup and restore data in a number of modes like RAM Disk Mode and Live Disk Mode. Why bother with an external hard drive or a third party boot program?

The Gstor Plus includes all of the extra functionality on a an embedded single-chip controller made by ExcelStor. You can find out about all of the features and specs directly from Gstor.

Freeware of the moment: PocketMac for Blackberry synching

SyncmenuOn the offchance that Igor wants to synch a Blackberry with his Mac OS X Asus R2H, TUAW mentions PocketMac. Actually you don't need an Asus R2H and your name doesn't have to be Igor: if you're a Mac owner that totes a RIM Blackberry, you can download PocketMac for free, direct from RIM. Here's a listing of the data types you can synch:

  • Email
  • Entourage® Email, Contacts, Calendar, Tasks and Notes
  • Address Book Contacts
  • iCal® Calendar and Tasks
  • Now Contact®/Now Up-To-Date® Contacts, Calendars & Tasks
  • Meeting Maker Contacts, Calendar, and Tasks
  • Lotus Notes Contacts, Calendar, and Tasks
  • Safari Bookmarks (One-Way sync)
  • Apple Tablet lives! OS X on the Asus R2H UMPC


    I never realized there were guides for installing Mac OS X on an x86 system, but apparently there are. Only UMPC reports that an Asus R2H owner took advantage of the instructions and has Mac OS X version 10.4.7 installed and running on his UMPC! According to Igor, the resourceful fella that did this, "OS boot takes about 1min and 10 sec. UI is pretty slow, but it is not that annoying. This is most annoying Screen calibration is off, Most of the devices don’t work except Bluetooth and LAN."

    That's to be expected of course, I ran into similar issues when installing the Ubuntu distro of Linux on the Samsung Q1. Still, this shows promise and gives a glint of what a small touchscreen device running Mac actually looks like.

    Two hot smartphone reviews: BlackJack and HTC P4350

    P4350open_3 Samsungblackjack_1

    Two of the latest new smartphones out there right now are the Cingular BlackJack and the HTC Herald and reviews recently popped up for both.

    Mobility Site has a thorough look-see of the BlackJack, a very capable and thin competitor to the Motorola Q. Chris makes the switch from a Pocket PC Phone Edition device to BlackJack with this statement: "Not only did I accept the Smartphone as a suitable replacement, I purchased the Blackjack to keep." Find out why in his detailed review with pics and video. The included software was a big plus in my book.

    MoDaCo has the HTC Herald, which is dubbed the P4350 in consumer circles. Paul put the P4350 through the daily paces for a few weeks and came away with an overall positive impression. The Herald is slightly smaller than previous HTC models, which is good, but lack of a 3G radio might be a turnoff for some.

    Nutrition and exercise logging on the go


    I have a problem and when I have a problem, I often look to mobile technology to help with it. To be fair, I have several "problems", but I want to focus on one specific one to try and help as many folks as possible. My problem is: if I don't eat 2,500 calories a day, I actually lose weight. After years of competitive running, my metabolism just won't slow down, even though I have. I find that hours of feed reading and blogging pass by before I notice and I end up eating just one or two good meals a day; after weeks and weeks of that routine, the scale suddenly shows me 10 pounds lighter and my slight frame can't afford that. Stick with me if you have the opposite problem, meaning: you don't each much but you just can't shed those pounds or if just looking at food adds another pound on the scale. We're essentially trying to solve the same problem, just from opposite ends of the spectrum.

    In the past, I've relied on various Pocket PC applications to help me log food and exercise. All of them were great, but I find myself using my Windows Mobile device less and less for specific applications. Simply put, having a UMPC or other small form-factor notebook is more effective for me due to a stronger feature set in apps, equal portability and faster text entry. So, earlier this week, I went searching for an app that would help me with my problem. Web-based was a plus so that I could use it anywhere, simplicity was a must, and it needed to provide me with options to log every detail; no matter how small. That's exactly what I found over at Beginner Triathlete.

    Continue reading "Nutrition and exercise logging on the go" »

    December 13, 2006

    CNET review: Fujitsu T4215 Tablet PC

    Fujitsu_t4215CNET usually provides the point ratings in their reviews, but I can't seem to find out why the Fujitsu T4215 Tablet PC garnered a 7.3 out of 10. That could be the "correct" rating based on their system, but it's difficult to see the specifics.

    Overall, the review is generally positive and points out features like the dual-swivel screen, usage of the 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, indoor/outdoor display, nearly four hours of battery life, and solid benchmark specs. On the downside are factors such as the cost (nearly $2,500), the keyboard felt flimsy, stylus placement on the front didn't look nice and the fact that you have to calibrate the screen in both portrait and landscape. While that calibration "issue" sounds like a negative in the review, that's pretty typical fare for Tablet PCs; if they took points off for that, it would be a shame.

    HP opens Vista upgrade site

    Vista_logo_4Yesterday we mentioned a Vista upgrade redemption site for some computer brands; we also indicated that some OEMs will likely handle their own Vista upgrade logistics and sure enough, HP did just that today. Here's the official HP word on the upgrade site:

    "If you purchase an HP or Compaq Windows Vista Capable * Notebook PC, Desktop PC, or HP Digital Entertainment Center between October 26, 2006 and March 15, 2007 you may be eligible for a free upgrade kit from your existing Windows XP® operating system to the new Windows Vista operating system. This upgrade kit will be available after Microsoft launches Windows Vista, currently scheduled for early 2007."

    There are plenty more details on the upgrade paths and eligibility, so if your recent or upcoming HP Compaq purchase is eligible, here's where you want to go.

    Early Vista Tip #5: forget about boot.ini


    I think we're very slowly trending towards multi-boot computing: one computer for multiple operating systems. Up to now, that's been a relatively easy process in Windows XP with (or without) third party software. It gets a little trickier in Windows Vista however, as the boot process is radically different. In XP, we had an easy to modify text file called boot.ini if we needed to change the boot menu. Here's an example of what might be found in the boot.ini file which tells the computer exactly where on the disk the OS is:

    [boot loader]
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect

    I found out the hard way through several Vista installs that the old ways don't work; Vista uses BCD, or Boot Configuration Data to manage the boot process for one, or several operating systems. If you plan to add operating systems, say Linux or another Vista instance, to other partitions on your Vista machine you'll want an easy way to mod the BCD. Microsoft offers guidance on BCD modification, but I figured there had to be another way; I didn't say "better", I said "another". ;)

    I found a free app to mod the BCD, but apparently it was a "lift" of another app, so here's a link to the original: EasyBCD from NeoSmart. This free app will let you manage multiple OS boot options with ease and given the advantages of having different operating systems on a single machine, you might want to check this out. Don't worry, you've got time before the Vista release.....47 days, 14 hours, 31 minutes and 23 seconds.....22.....21.....20......   

    Fujitsu P1610 desktop

    I haven’t posted a screenshot of my desktop in a while and since I have switched full-time to Miyagi (Fujitsu P1610) it’s time to post it again.  Here it is in all its blackness (click to enlarge):

    JK Fuji desktop

    The high resolution of the Fuji (1280 x 768) makes it possible for me to put the Quick Launch toolbar on the taskbar using large icons which are easy to tap with my finger.  I then put the running programs portion of the taskbar underneath the Quick Launch so I have easy fingertip access to everything.  It even works well in portrait orientation.  Before you ask, the battery icon on the taskbar to the right of the TIP icon is from Notebook Hardware Control.

    A-Data 12 GB Mini Cube- perfect for backups and media

    We’re all about very mobile gear here on jkOnTheRun and the A-Data 12 GB Mini Cube delivers and then some.  It’s a micro-drive with a unique swiveling USB plug that makes it simple to use with just about any mobile PC.  The huge 12 GB storage capacity makes it ideal for making backups on the road and especially for carrying big media libraries with you. The Mini Cube comes preinstalled with one-touch backup software which can also be scheduled to make sure your precious data is always protected.  The good price of $125 is a winner, too.  I just might have to pick up one of these for myself.

    A-data mini cube

    (UberGizmo via Gizmodo

    Chris and Ponzi- A UMPC wedding story

    A Pirillo UMPC weddingYou have probably heard about the biggest geek wedding to come off in a long time as Head Lockergnomie Chris Pirillo and Ponzi tied the knot recently on the West Coast.  It was a big affair and Chris has released a lot of photos and promises to post video soon.  The plugged in couple couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bring mobile technology into the ceremony as you can see in Chris’ post about using UMPCs to read the wedding vows from.  In typical Chris and Ponzi fashion it didn’t come off without a hitch so give his account a read to get the full story.  I was happy to play a small role in this geek wedding as Chris contacted me a few weeks ago and laid out his idea to read the vows from two UMPCs.  I spoke with the good folks at TabletKiosk who rose to the occasion and furnished two TabletKiosk eo v7110 UMPCs for the soon to be Pirillos to use in the ceremony.  Actually, Chris admits this was Ponzi’s idea so we can see from the get-go who wears the brains in that family.    On a sad note, one of the UMPCs was apparently lifted during the wedding, an act that may have been caught on a hotel security camera.  Who would do such a thing at someone’s wedding?  Congratulations Chris and Ponzi!  Life is just beginning for you two, savor every moment and cherish every touch.

    December 12, 2006

    Sprint's EV-DO "Rev-A-lution" continues

    Novatelu720If you've been waiting for the faster mobile upload speeds promised by EV-DO Rev. A, Sprint has you covered starting today in 10 new markets. Well, that's provided you're in one of the 10 coverage areas, but why nit-pick? The following metropolitan areas are now supporting the newest CDMA mobile broadband network (with full details following after the jump):

    • Baltimore
    • Denver
    • Detroit
    • Los Angeles
    • New Jersey (hey, that's a state!)
    • New York
    • Philadelphia
    • Providence
    • San Francisco Bay Area
    • Washington, D.C

    Of course, you'll need a device with an EV-DO Rev. A capable modem and Sprint is happy to offer the Novatel Wireless Ovation U720 USB modem for around $50 with a two-year contract; perfect for a UMPC. If a PC Card is more your style and you've got the slot for it, you can also purchase a Novatel S720, Sierra AC595 or Pantech PX-500.

    Most of the benefit is in the upload speed; instead of 50-70 kbps EV-DO Rev. 0 speeds, you'll be filling up the Inter-tubes at an average of 300-400 kbps. Download speeds on the newer network also increase but only around 10% to 15%. If you stray from one of the current coverage areas, Sprint has your back with EV-DO Rev. 0 or 1xRTT in a worst case situation.

    Continue reading "Sprint's EV-DO "Rev-A-lution" continues" »

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