All Posts Filed in ‘Technology

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Nokia N-GAGE QD

So I received my Nokia N-GAGE QD from EB last night. First I pop in my Cingular SIM card and tested out the sound of the phone by calling Alison. She was sleepy so we didn’t talk much. Ha-ha, good… more time for me to geek-out with my new phone.

Since QD is an “unlocked” GSM phone, so you can use it with you existing SIM from Cingular, AT&T, or T-Mobile. BTW, the phone sounds pretty clear – better than my SE T-630.

The second thing I did was try to synch it with my Mac via Bluetooth. That also went well. The only challenge was at first, both devices were having trouble finding each other. Then I went through the process of pairing the 2 devices via Apple’s Bluetooth Setup Assistance, after that, synching was not an issue at all.

As a side note, Mac.com’s respond rate was really bad last night. I had a hard time getting my appointments and data download from Mac.com.

Some quick pros and cons of the Nokia QD:

Pros: Rather compact device with game, GSM phone, Calendar, To Do, Address Book, WAP browser, IMAP e-mail all packed into one. The retro 80s’ software UI is kinda cool.

They fixed the “Side Talk” issue so you won’t look like a dork when you are talking on the phone.

Cons: Dual band GSM only. Weird placement of the power button – on the rubber plastic rim. Non-gamer will find the user-interface “non-standard” (both the hardware/software). Should have come with a wider screen instead of vertical screen.

They fixed the “Side Talk” so you can’t look like a dork when you are talking on the phone.

With shipping and tax, this “game phone” will run you about $200 US…. “Cheap thrill” till the release of Sony PSP.

Now I need games. Suggestions?

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Apple’s new displays…

Well, all the rumors are true… They sure are sexy. To quote my friend Joe, “The cheapest display apple sells is now $1,300. I guess Apple decided to stop selling displays to normal people.” lol…

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iPod (and Saab) UI

saabOne of the coolest thing about the iPod is the twist-and-press software interface that allows you to navigate through a hierarchical menu system. What’s surprising, is that, iPod is not the first place we see this kind of interface. Saab’s automotive SID (System Information Display) had been doing that for at least 5 years to my knowledge. Take a look at the pic below. The “twist nob” you see can control the “scrolling” of the menu items. Press the “twist nob” result in a selection state. The only missing thing (in iPod’s term) is the slick “side sliding effect” you see.

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Microsoft patents computer clicks

This is actually not a joke. The patent, number 6,727,830, was granted on April 27.

I think the patent only applies to PDAs or Smart Phones since the patent mention ” limited resource computing device”. It’s actually a rather smart move, I think the “click” here also only refers to the using a stylus or a phone keypad since there’s no mention of mouse specific clicks.

On my Sony/Ericsson phone I actually observers this kind of behavior already… When you click on the keypad “4” and hold it for more than a second, it will bring up all the “G H I” names in the address book. I don’t know how legally it’s going to work, but this “new” Microsoft patent is really nothing “new”.

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Cheap Thrill – Nokia N-Gage QD

So, the Nokia N-Gage QD is no Sony PSP, but at least it will tide me over till late 2005 when we see the release of that.

Bluetooth (read Apple iSync), GPRS Data, GSM phone, and a decent handheld game console all combine into one makes Nokia N-Gage QD (the second generation) pretty interesting. Not to mention the “cheap thrill” price tag of $200.

The first gen. N-Gage is a joke to most gamers. Lack of decent game I think is still hurting the platform, but there’s some serious issue with the ergonomic industrial design front – you have to hold the “side” of the device when you are using it as a phone. Not only it “looks” wrong… well, ok, that’s the only thing “wrong” with it… but the “wrong” design that makes the user looks like an idiot is certainly a good way to kill a product. Just about the time I am getting tired of my SE T630 comes the new N-Gage… I’ll probably get my hand on it soon when it release late June… We’ll see.

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Sony Ericsson K700/S700

Just when I am comfatable with my T630, Sony Ericsson announced pretty much the replacement camera phone K700 and S700. Clearly, this phone is focus more on camera than a phone. Franky, after I have seen the 3G phones in Hong Kong, I’ll wait for 3G phone to come to the US.

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iPod Mini

Alison’s older sister’s birthday present is the green Mini iPod… since I get a 10% discount from the Apple Online Store so I ordered that for them. I’ll probably show Alison’s sis on how to use it on her PC… and I will give a give some thoughts on the device as I see it… I still haven’t been to the San Francisco Apple Store yet.

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Mobile Web Blog

Check out my mobile Photo Web Blog if you can. This is done via my Sony Ericsson T630 camera phone over the Cingular GPRS network and my Mac.com IMAP address and finally getting it to TypePad automatically. Pretty complicated, no?

I have an older solution that’s based on some PHP scripts that I found on the net, and done via FTP…
The old Moblibe Web Blog is right here.

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Trying Out TypePad

I have used iBlog on my Mac before…. a pretty slick client based blogging software… but it’s just too buggy. Chris seems to be having a lot of fun with TypePad, so I thought I should try this out. I am most interested in the mblog, mobile blogging interface. We’ll see how it goes.

Few things from the product point of view is a little weird:

When I first signed up, I can see there are 3 different kinds of packages, but it’s really hard to tell what’s in each one of them. I have to open a separate web browser just to see what the 3 packages are.

I’ve already have the domain georgechen.com I want to use it with this blog, I can’t seems to find a way to map that… Can’t find that in help. Maybe it’s due to the 30 days free trial nature?

One also has to understand how Blog really works… Even though Type is aim for consumer, there are still some weird features and functions being divided and arranged in different part of the Control Panel, and the saving grace of TypePad is the great inline help pretty much all over the various pages…

I am sure I will find out more weird things about TypePad.