Another Phone ?

I’m seriously thinking about buying another phone, perhaps a Nokia this time. Lately I’ve been using my Windows Mobile 5 phone more and more, and one of the problems that I have with my Qtek 9100 (HTC Wizard) is that I can easely miss calls. When the phone rings and I press the Accept button, it takes between 2 and 5 seconds before it stops ringing and connects to the caller.

On a side note : if you are looking for WM5 tips, please see my Q-Tips page for some info and links.

This sometimes leaves me walking around shouting “Hello ? Hello ? Can you hear me ? Hello ?” in the phone, and one out of two times the caller has been switched over to voicemail. When I do get them on line, they seem to hear me but I don’t, which means they can hear me shouting “Hello ?” all the time.

Not a very good way to get a conversation started, sounding like a dork shouting in his phone…

So I’m looking at buying a Nokia now. Either a Nokia N76 or a E90 Communicator. From what I’ve read on some forums, these are good phones with a proven OS (Symbian Series 60 revision 3) but slightly less capable application bundles. The N76 really seems to have a good form factor for me (eg like the Razr) but the E90 attracts me cos I want to go full out and carry my mail and internet access with me all the time. Plus it has an integrated gps, making it a full package.

A downside to switching to non-Windows Mobile phones is that I can no longer use all the windows mobile software I’ve bought.

Decisions, decisions… I’ll wait a bit longer, save up some more.

Parallels USB support in beta 3106

I just booted into Parallels XP bootcamp partition and installed MS Active Sync 4.2. I had a beast of time finding it, with Windows Vista arriving they are phasing out that version and they are rearranging all their links.

Then I plugged my QTek 9100 in, and nothing happened. Hmmm. Oooh… click usb icon in Parallels bottom bar, select USB serial for Wizard, and woopdiedoo, I got a connection.

Now synchronising… It’s nice when technology just works !

How Windows Mobile 5 gets developed

The Windows Mobile Team Blog is a great resource, I’ve found it very useful on occasion to get a glimpse into the developers mind.
In his “I’m just a feature” article, Mike Calligero explains what it takes for a feature request to get into a new Windows Mobile 5 build.

[If you are interested in knowing more about software development, head over to Joels site for lots of great, well-written articles on what a programmer needs to do to get a program released and get it stable]
It’s an eye-opener for those users who have never known or realised what it takes for an improvement or feature request to get through the build proces of a major application that is released in 25 languages and to millions of users.

Qtips update : TodayTime & Eten Dialer

Updated my Qtips page with some new links to the TodayTime plugin, which reduces the time and date to one line instead of two lines.

I’ve also just installed the Eten Dialer (using the O2 skin which has both portrait and landscape mode and works wirth SmartDial), which features bigger buttons, this is a nice improvement. I must have big hands, cause I find even these buttons a wee bit small.

Nice improvement, now let’s see if they are stable…

Wheeee ! PDAMobiz.com

Funny thing, that. You have a blog that you’re absolutely, positively certain you’re only writing for yourself and your own progeny (even if it is doubtfull my children – once they can read – are interested in what their dad did and wrote all those long years ago) and suddenly while looking through those stats, you find people referring to your blog.

It’s a weird feeling, I’ll tell you. It’s supposed to work this way, except I never quite expected it.

But it seems my Windows Mobile 5 tips and tricks post is getting a lot of referrals. Even made it to the frontpage of PDAMobiz.com, which is a thai (?) site about PDAs.
Time to start setting up Adsense ? I doubt it, the number of visits are still small, but who knows, who knows indeed ?

For posterity, and in case this only happened by a fluke, I’ve made a screenshot of their homepage and cropped it a bit to show the relevant link.

Screenshot PDAMobiz

Basking in glory, that’s how I feel. 🙂

Qtek tips : Qtips!

I’ve just created a separate page to hold and collect all the tips and tweaks for my Qtek 9100 (aka HTC Wizard) running Windows Mobile 5 AKU 2.0.
You can find it in the right hand panel, it’s named Qtips.

This will be easier to manage than my hodge-podge WM5 and hx2410 related entries.

Qtek 9100

Qtek 9100
I am the proud owner of a Qtek 9100 pda-phone now !

It’s a pda with phone capabilities that has Windows Mobile 5 phone edition, AKU2, so the latest version and is a quad-band phone that can do GSM, GPRS and EDGE.

At first I wanted to buy the new Tytn from HTC (also the makers of the Qtek, they’ve just rebranded them), but since that phone is about 200 € more expensive, I’ve decided to take last years model, which just had taken a serious price cut (589 € for the UK version instead of 699 € at the local Fnac). As I am on a dual subscription (work/home) I only use my phone for talking and texting via GSM and wireless with my PDA for everything else, so this makes sense for me.

The advantages of the new Tytn are a more powerfull cpu, video conferencing if you have the right dataphone connection, ready-made for the HSDPA protocol via firmware update, and the addition of a jog wheel to let the user more easely operate the phone one-handed.
I think the only thing I’ll be missing will be the jog-dial, and depending on the number of applications installed or used, the enhanced cpu.

The whole setup came in a nice box which included a remote headset (cable) and a belt-clipped case to put the phone in.

So far, my impressions are favourable – the phone seems stable (my biggest fear is that WM5 will crash when I desperately need to phone) and I’ve installed my normal applications (ListPro, pRSSReader, a password list) and they work just fine.

The screen is QVGA and smaller than my iPaq hx2410, but it seems the pixels are more tightly packed together, resulting in a very fine screen. Already I find the screen of my iPaq to be ‘flat’ and pixelated, while before I didn’t see this.

The slide-out keyboard takes some getting used to, but it seems to work fine if you use your thumbs, and responding to an sms is easier that way.

One thing that is hard to find is where you can download updates for your Qtek from : this is from the local Belgium importer, which I found out is Smart-Phones. You’ll need your IMEI number from your Qtek phone to login and be able to download the latest updates. I checked and it was already at the latest version (which I suspected as it had the WM5 AKU2 update).

As for Qtek forums : the one in NL (forum.qtek.nl) is at the top of the google list, but ofcourse you need to register to even see it, and since I have a Belgian IMEI, I can’t.

I will try to re-sell my iPaq on Ebay to recoup some of the investment.

How to reset a WM5 HP iPaq device.

You hope you never have to use it, but it’s damn convenient to have noted the html page when you do need it.

That secondary problem of the empty programs list is a real hard one. There are several people who have had similar problems, but there doesn’t appear to be a solution for it.

Hard Reset, then try to restore all… pffrt.

To perform a clean reset and return your HP iPAQ to factory settings:
1. Press and hold the Calendar, Power, and Messaging buttons.
2. While holding down these buttons, use the stylus to lightly press the Reset button on the bottom of the HP iPAQ until the device restarts.
3. When the HP iPAQ restarts, release all of the buttons, and then remove the stylus from the Reset button.
The HP iPAQ restarts and powers on.

Crrrrrrash zzzt! SD Card loses Program Files directory

Miljaar de miljaar !

I just lost all the programs that I installed under /SD Card/Program Files, just like that. Although I regularly back up my built-in flash, I only back up my SD Card every 2 or 3 months or so. It takes too long using Active Sync, so I back up whenever I use my Card Reader, which is infrequently.
On top of that I managed to crash the ‘installed programs’ list while trying to reinstall my stuff. I was first removing it from the ppc and then reinstalling them via Active Sync. When I was cancelling an install I apparently cancelled more than just the program.
I’m going to use a two-pronged approach to solve my problems:

  • those applications I have backed up from the SD Card I’ll be copying over again to my SD Card
  • I’ll do a restore of my system memory from a backup I created two weeks ago. That should leave me with only one or two applications that I’ve lost, hopefully, but with the ability to again install programs on my SD Card.

That’ll teach me to backup my SD Card a bit more frequently…

Windows Mobile 5 File Cleanup or Move to SD Card

While most or almost all the files in the Windows directory on your PDA are in ROM, and thus not deletable, lots of applications *do* put stuff in there, going from .dll files to .log files. I found this out while looking through the files on my PDA that are stored in Windows directory.

Some of those you can even delete or move to another location without any problems :

For example :
– For those of you with iPaqs, Credant technologies (the people behind the HP ProtectTools) generates a logfile called HPProtectTools.0.txt that rolls over (creates a new one) every 100K. When I was going through my Windows folder, there were 3 of them, taking up 272K. You can delete them all. Remember to revisit it from time to time…
– Pocket Informant installs a whopping 1027K dll in your Windows directory. YMMV, but I copied it to my SD Card and then used a registry editor to look for the registry entry.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/WebIS/PocketInformant/PIToolsLoc < - change this to the new dll location

Sure enough, it works. No major crashes.

Apparently Tweaks2K will move dll's for you to another place. To be investigated...