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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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Monday, 13 October 2008

Qik! Get the cameraphone! (techie)

Looking through old entries in this blog, it's fairly obvious that I like to make good use of my technical toys! Windows Mobile ('PocketPC' or 'Windows CE' as it was) has been the mainstay of my mobile gadgets, from my first iPAQ 3760 to my i600, which can do nearly everything I need when I'm out and about, including email, Twitter, playing MP3s with Coreplayer Mobile for Smartphone,

The only thing I'm really after is some terminal software (much like PocketPuTTY, athough it doesn't format properly on the landscape screen). There are a few web-based alternatives out there (such as AnySSH) but I'm struggling to get them working, and even then the Javascript capabilities of Pocket Internet Explorer and Pocket Opera are fairly woeful, so I'm not holding my breath!

I've also spent a lot of time researching SatNav software for it. Even older versions of TomTom refuse to work, and it looks like Copilot Live is the only option. Whether I'm content to spend £63 on something that will be a lot smaller than what I've already got is another matter...

So what can I do with my i600 that actually works?

Well, it's possible to run Java applications (including games!), although Java is not installed naturally on the phone, so something called a 'MIDlet' is needed. There's a guide to getting this working here:

This expands the capabilities of the smartphone a little, releasing it from the bounds of Windows Mobile only software. I've not been overwhelmed by the quality of the software available (perhaps something to do with the fonts.. sometimes they come up looking a bit - well - odd!)

The main thing I've been playing with this weekend has been Qik, though. This is part of a new generation of video streaming websites (like Ustream and Stickam) with the added selling point of being mobile phone-based, so live videos can be 'transmitted' to the internet without any fuss. Cool, eh?

What's quite clever is that, outside wi-fi provided areas (and if cellular data communication is turned off) videos are recorded offline and then sent to the server afterwards. Perfect, then, for catching and automatically uploading those off-the-cuff moments.

Here's an example of the capabilities of Qik - when Lenni and I went to the bridge over the main road near our house, and dropped spinning sycamore seeds to the grassy area below. More - and I'm sure there will be a few! - videos that I've recorded are at qik.com/syzygy.

Posted by james at October 13, 2008 10:29 PM

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