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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Tuesday, 17 June 2008

More things to do with an i600...

I can cheerfully assert, without any fear of unsurity, that the Samsung i600 is my favourite mobile phone so far! OK, so it's not perfect, but I've found some really useful - and free! - tools that help me do things I really need to do, so I thought I'd list them briefly here:

  • RareEdge GMobileSync - We have recently moved over to Google Calendar for our family organiser. This brilliant bit of (beta) software enables us to carry a copy of our schedule around, and synchronize with the on-line version whenever we add changes. If there's any little foible it's that, despite every attempt to prevent it from doing so, the phone's Calendar software puts ten minute warnings in front of every entry, so at ten-to midnight (so just before an 'all day' event) we'd both get a merry tune playing. Fortunately, going to Start -> Settings -> Sounds -> Other Sounds and setting Reminder to 'none' prevents any undue interruption to sleep!

  • PocketNotepad - A 'Notepad' style text editor that Windows Mobile for Smartphone simply doesn't have! It requires an extra tGetFile dll to run properly, but it's only tiny. A simple tool, but essential - especially when the Mail software keeps refusing to send emails... speaking of which...

  • VITO CopyPaste - Windows Mobile for Smartphone has no copy and paste functionality! This is an interesting, fairly useful piece of software that sits in the background and waits for a long press on the OK button. In conjunction with PocketNotepad, it's excellent. However, I'd always recommend saving any document ro email before copying it, since I've managed to destroy a messageI spent a while writing when I selected it, held the OK button and it evaporated, never to be pasted again!

  • Ghisler Total Commander - A versatile piece of software that has a file explorer with far more (much needed!) functionality than the installed version (file extensions are just one example), registry editor and ZIP file creator/extractor.

  • SK Software SKTools Lite - A multi-purpose housekeeping tool for Windows Mobile for Smartphone. I used it, for example, to flush out the calendar before synchronizing it with Google Calendar. It can also tidy up orphaned files and do more common things like clearing out caches. With such a small amount of on-board memory, this is a very useful tool for a power user.

  • HubDog - A podcast downloader / RSS feed reader / content aggregator / community(?) for Windows Mobile. This is the best of what seems, unfortunately, to be a fairly scarce bunch of podcast programmes for Windows Mobile. I've managed to install it and set it up to find my favourite podcasts, but when it comes to playing them, I'm trying to get the hang of it. My belief (such that it is!) is that if an IT engineer like me can get it working without resorting to the instructions, it's an intuitive, usable application. I'm still not quite there - when I click Playlist -> All New Audio it loads a massively long playlist file into TCPMP, which includes some very old audio and quite a few links to files that no longer exist. At the moment, then, I'm still using Juice on the mac and downloading them to the iPAQ for my trips into and back from work (not least because I broke the cheapo headphone adaptor for the i600 already!)

The only thing I'm struggling with is getting some decent GPS software for it. I tried VITO SmartNavigator, but, when I finally got it to match with the GPS, I couldn't get any kind of grid reference off it.. CoPilot Live looks good, but it's a full SatNav (I already have one on the iPAQ) so a little more than I need. Another quick browse reveals that Efficasoft GPS Utlilities looks promising, and is a reasonably price, so I shall give that a go.

The only other software I've paid for is Opera Mobile. Pocket Internet Explorer is quite rubbish, and Minimo, though excellent on the iPAQ, doesn't work properly on the i600.

I've finally got a 3G SIM card - I hadn't realised that I needed one until I spoke to Orange on the phone; they referred me to the Orange shop, who told me to call the Customer Services line (who had sent me there in the first place); I duly did this, and was dispatched once again to the Orange shop where I was able to buy a new SIM card for £5, which was, rather happily, added to my pay-as-you-go credit.

So that's an update on my shiny, a little scratched (but rather addictive) mobile phone! Except to say that I have completely neglected to mention one of the reasons I created this blog entry in the first place.. check out Joiku's WMWiFiRouter - a way to turn a mobile phone into a WiFi Hotspot! How cool (but just a tiny bit pointless!) is that? I may just have to give it a go, though!

Posted by james at June 17, 2008 10:41 PM

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