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Archive for the ‘PDA’ Category

My Palm – a PalmOne Tungsten E2, to be exact – still can be used for more than waking me up in the morning (or later ;-). Just to prove it still works, even on battery, here’s a picture of my latest Sudoku.

Dated 2017-04-11

The Tungsten E2 was introduced into the market in 2005. The funny part is, you can still buy them on Amazon. Since they can sync their data with a PC over a Bluetooth connection, they’re even compatible with the latest versions of Windows – how cool is that?

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IDG Connect pointed me to the website of Planet Computers Ltd. Planet Computers uses the Indiegogo platform to fund the development of the Gemini PDA. Basically, the Gemini PDA is a Psion Series 3/5 lookalike – but with modern hardware and running Android and a GNU Linux variant.

Could be a Psion Series 5, indeed!

I must admit that I lusted after a Psion “personal digital assistant” in the late 1990’ies. But the Psion devices were quite expensive, especially when compared to some of the quite capable devices that Palm Computing managed to build. I still have three Palm devices in the house, although these days their functionality is limited to being alarm clocks ;-)

Much as I would like to see Planet Computers succeed in making the Gemini a success, I tend to agree with the IDG expert, Francisco Jeronimo, IDC Research Director for Mobile Devices in EMEA, who..

… is sceptical of the extent to which the Gemini will appeal to buyers, citing the relatively limited uptake of the recent BlackBerry smartphones that also combined the Android OS with a QWERTY keypad.

“There’s a very small market for this kind of device. Everyone has got used to typing on a touch screen, and most users that really need a physical keyboard or a larger screen have a mini tablet plus an external keyboard,” he adds.

On the other hand, the Indiegogo campaign seems to work well, and perhaps many of the millions of Psion buyers are prepared to spend quite a bit less money on a possibly very functional device, even if it’s just out of nostalgia. We’ll see what the pundits say about the Gemini, if and when Planet manages to build (and sell) them!

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Android 4 Is Coming

Google and Samsung have announced the new hard- and software that will set the standard (in the Android universe) for the coming months: the Galaxy Nexus (the Google Phone) and Android 4.0 (the Ice Cream Sandwich). Time to start lusting for better and/or more – it cannot be denied that there is a lot to be liked in what has been announced. I had to laugh, though, when Google mentioned the revolutionary Beam facility, that allows you to “beam” apps and data from one phone to another, as long as they’re equipped with an NFC chip: my Palm could “beam” stuff over Bluetooth or infrared 10 years ago!

Anyway, just don’t drop your smartphone, especially if it’s an iPhone! Or get insurance ;-)

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The last two months, I have been using the CyanogenMod 7 ROM on my San Francisco smartphone – because that seemed the best way to get Android 2.3 on the machine. Functionally, CyanogenMod is an excellent product: lots of tweaks and bells and whistles – just what a geek likes. But I am not too happy with the frequent crashes and reboots, especially when connecting and disconnecting the phone to the charger or to a USB port. I never lost any data, though, just lots of time.

A few days ago I found out that there is an alternative: Ginger Stir Fry (what a name!), supposedly based on an unreleased ZTE version of Android 2.3.4 . So I decided to take a deep breath and see what happens when switching ROMs… I’m happy to announce that I’m running the beta 19 of Ginger Stir Fry now, and I haven’t seen any problems until now. Apart from the standard launcher (which I have never used before, since CyanogenMod brings its own variant), the most remarkable feature of Ginger Stir Fry is the speed of the user interface: every click and swipe is immediately converted into action, maps are drawn and redrawn at lightning speed, and all applications (or at least the ones I have tried) feel snappy – just what you want in a smartphone. All in all, I’m a happy user – but we’ll see if that feeling remains after a longer period of using the phone.

What I do need to learn for the next time, is how to avoid having to reinstall all the Market apps I had downloaded manually… On the other hand: now I have only reinstalled those that I really use ;-)

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Wiki Anywhere, Even On My Phone

I was just whiling away the time, browsing a few smartphone-related websites. And there it was: Wiki software that runs on my Nokia E63! It’s called Fubuki, and although the version number 0.2 hasn’t changed since 2007 it does work without errors. Let’s call that a tribute to the Symbian platform as well as to Python.

There are more (Python) applications mentioned on the opensource.nokia.com wiki, so I’ll have to pay them another visit soon!

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Quick Report On Mobile Internet

I attended the KVIV / TI  evening on Mobile Internet tonight. Interesting evening, even though the speakers had to admit that Belgium isn’t exactly top of the bill, thanks to generally high prices for mobile Internet access.

KVIV Speaker on Mobile Internet - Tijs Vrolix

KVIV Speaker on Mobile Internet - Tijs Vrolix

KVIV Speaker on Mobile Internet - Michaël Uyttersprot

KVIV Speaker on Mobile Internet - Michaël Uyttersprot

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“Do Not Use Faylmene”

Machine translation can be fun! I tried it at work a couple of months ago, just to mock the author of the document – and yes, I know that was not a very nice thing to do. Today however, it was an absolute must: although I can understand a few Russian words I am incapable of reading a (technical) text in Russian. So off I went, to ask Google Translate for an english translation of the manual for DEdit, a text editor for Symbian S60. I’m guessing “faylmene” means “File Menu”, and I’m pretty sure I can use a “keypada” in “kverti” mode. I’m still working on this phrase, however: “Vindovozny notebook into the furnace.” (that’s a complete sentence, to be sure)… Seriously now: when I try to install DEdit on my Nokia E63, the installer complains about invalid certificates, and when I try to sign the application through the SymbianSigned website, the site tells me it can’t go on because “FAILURE: Submitted .sis file uses a UID that is not allocated to the account holder matching this email address“… Sorry, Juriy, but that’s as far as I want to go to try out a piece of software; I’m not going to try and rebuild the application with my own signature (if such a thing is at all possible).

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