• Gadgets,  Microsoft

    HTC Mozart 7–Windows Phone

    I have been an early user of Windows Mobile (as it was called earlier) with BenQ P50 (disaster when it came to Battery life), HTC S710 (a versatile phone I liked and used for a long time), but over the years I have moved to Nokia 9300 and finally settling with iPhone for last few years. Though Windows Mobile had a lot of technical capabilities, they lacked on user experience and ease of use – it had a lot of Desktop Windows legacy carried forward unnecessarily. From the time of early previews of Windows Phone, I was impressed with the new User Interface of Tiles and Microsoft focus on standardizing…

  • Home Networking
    Gadgets,  Technology

    Daisy chain Wireless access points in your home

    We all like to have good wireless signal throughout our house so that we can freely roam between the rooms and use our iPhones or Laptops. But if you live in multi-storied concrete houses (like the ones we have in India) then getting good signal strength with one Wireless Access Point will be a challenge. In my case, I have Broadband connections (one from Airtel and a manual failover from BSNL) terminating in my study room in the first floor. A NETGEAR Wireless Router connects to Airtel Modem and acts as the firewall. An 8 port Ethernet Switch connected to the NETGEAR Router and makes more LAN ports available. Two…

  • (Windows Mobile running Skyfire displaying fine Unicode Tamil web pages)
    Apps,  தமிழ்

    Tamil in Windows Mobile with SkyFire

    I have written in the past about lack of Tamil Unicode rendering support in all popular smartphones (iPhone, Windows Mobile, Nokia). This week one of my colleague who uses a Windows Mobile 6.0 (HTC branded) phone showed me SkyFire browser.  SkyFire is a free mobile browser that uses a proprietary proxy server technology to encode all Web contents (Text, Images, Videos, Flash, Silverlight) at their server that gets rendered in the Mobile client. Because of this technology the individual device limitations don’t affect their ability to render any language. SkyFire is a great technology and seeing Tamil being rendering seamlessly makes me happy. But I am sceptical on the success…

  • Gadgets

    Apple iPhone 3G – I love it!

    For little more than a year, I was using HTC S710, as my usage of emails grew after my company moved to Exchange Server the phone was felt to be too small & slow – it was time for a new phone for me. After waiting for a few months (iPhone got released in India around August 08) and deciding between Sony Ericsson X1, Samsung Omnia & HTC Touch Pro, I went with the original and the popular Apple iPhone 3G. After the purchase of the iPhone in Dec ’08, playing around with the phone for a few minutes wipe away all my doubts about iPhone. It is the best…

  • Economy

    National Do Not Call Registry

    Like everyone else I get unsolicited unsolicited calls on my mobile phone. What is more irritating is when you are already a customer with the bank that is calling – they don’t even check whether someone is their customer or not, instead they randomly call numbers. To communicate our displeasure with this, if we decide to switch banks, it is not so easy to do. And almost all private banks and insurance companies in India seems to be doing this, so you will not be able to find a company that doesn’t. I bank mostly with Public Sector banks but for some convenience like Web Banking, Credit Cards and ATM…

  • Gadgets

    Charge your mobile on your bicycle

    I came across an advertisement about a product that can charge your mobile on your bicycle during a 15 minutes travel. I thought it was a cool innovative idea that will serve well the millions of rural people in India and China. I was disappointed when I visited the company’s website as it carried no information about the product. Doing a web search revealed this was a concept showcased by Motorola in January 2007 itself. Anyways this is definitely an useful innovation for millions. And if you are DIY type, doing this should not be very difficult or expensive. It can be done with an ordinary cycle-light dynamo and some…

  • Events,  Microsoft

    Notes on PDC2008 Day 2 – Silverlight 2 for Mobile

    After showing preview of Silverlight for Mobile two years back, Microsoft has been absolutely silent. Since there was no news for a long time I presumed they have killed this project. After seeing this session today I am glad the project is alive and getting closer to release. In this session by Amit Chopra and Giorgio Sardo, they talked more about this – both the speakers did a fabulous job of entertaining the audience and making the session fun. Notes on the session: The Mobile version of Silverlight will be Silverlight 2.0 with .NET Managed code support and not the SL v1 with JavaScript (Thank god) Public CTP will be…

  • Gadgets

    Bad User Interface

    My corporate IT (Exchange Server) enforces security policy on all mobile devices that connect to it. So my phone is locked by a PIN. When I connect the Windows Mobile Phone (HTC S710) to PC, Vista displays a dialog box (like the one below). This dialog box certainly has useful information that needs my attention, but I am irritated by the fact it doesn’t have a minimize/close button. Absolutely no way to get rid of the window other than keying the PIN in the device or disconnecting the device. I feel this to be a classic case of bad user interface design.