Geek hardware and software tips from J, our Geek Blogger!

Hi! J here, poly geek blogger. From the feedback that was given on the PW site, our first entry is on mobile technology and how to use it to communicate with your sweeties.

iPhone
With all the continuing coverage of the iPhone I think I will talk about that briefly. I’m going to start by saying something that you’ll rarely hear me say, wait. It’s painful for a neophile to say, that dreaded “w” word. I think that folks should hold off on the iPhone. Unless you simply must have one, give it another generation before getting. I personally use a Windows Mobile based device, but I get to play with the iPhone at work. What I can say is the display is pretty slick and the multi-touch technology is pretty great, Google Maps rock, but overall the device is a little rough around the edges. Also with as tightly locked down as Apple has the device, it makes it challenging to get third party applications for it. Sure you can get the apps through Safari, but you’re working with the AT&T EDGE network (more on that below), so it’s not a fast experience. Give it another generation of iPhone and I think we’re going to see a pretty solid performer here.

So that mini-rant out of the way here comes a bit of boring explanation of the different mobile technologies out there. This is mainly useful for folks that are getting ready to upgrade their devices or plans or even switch carriers.

GSM: Global standard for mobile phones
CDMA: Predominantly used in North America, however there are some other countries that use it as well as EVDO for connectivity. Most carriers though are starting to migrate to the high speed versions of GSM.

BlackBerry
I’m sure everyone has heard of “Crackberries” before. These devices are based on the JAVA operating system and feature great email capabilities and boast very high security. Until recently these devices weren’t the preferred devices for multimedia, music/photos/video.

Palm
User friendly. That is the best way to describe the Palm OS devices. These guys have been around for forever. Palm OS devices are pretty intuitive and great for people who are looking to do it all, email/photos/music/video.

Windows Mobile
These devices take a similar user experience to Windows PCs and put it in the palm of your hand. There are many 3rd party applications to add on these to be able to take your favorite movies and music on the go. You’re able to get the web almost like when you’re at home with different browsers for the devices.

Symbian OS
When you’re playing with a Nokia phone, you’re using one version of the Symbian OS. This is hugely popular and there are many options for getting new uses out of the phone. They tend to be more phone like and less PDA like than the devices listed above.

Types of Messages

SMS: Short Message Service. These are the text messages that are just text, no pictures or video. Pretty inexpensive per message as usually a carrier will offer unlimited domestic messages

MMS/Picture Messages:
Multimedia Messaging Service. These messages can contain picture, video, audio, and text. They typically cost slightly more than sending a SMS.

How do we use them to be naughty and/or romantic?
OK, enough of the dry technical stuff. What kind of fun can people have with these? Well, there are the obvious uses, sending text messages while you’re at work to your loved ones. Maybe you’re in the mood to do something that might make a SO blush, take a picture of something pretty naughty and send it to them. A friend told me a story of when she was sent a special picture of a very special “package” and a co-worker happened to see, who promptly commented on her being very lucky. Plus the randomness typically is appreciated–I mean who doesn’t love it when they know they’re being thought of? I hear that these mobiles even can be used to talk to someone! Who knew? The lucky folks across the pond in Europe get to do video conferencing, which could lead to some fun.

Search Google via your mobile device, even if you don’t have the ability to surf the web! Send a SMS to GOOGL (466453) with the message being your query and you’ll get back the same as if you had searched via the website. Visit http://sms.google.com/ for more info and examples on the different services.

Another great service from Google is GrandCentral. This service gives you a single phone number to give out to people. When they call the number it will track you down via your mobile, your work number, or your home number. The great thing about this service is you get to setup special rules for particular times or callers. This means your SO is able to get in touch easily. Here’s a nifty trick. For T-Mobile (MyFave) or AllTel (my circle) customers, if you’re wanting to get incoming calls for free, set your GrandCentral number to be the one that displays as the calls are routed to your mobile, set your GrandCentral number as one of your free ones. Then all the calls from GrandCentral are free! In another article I’ll explain how to setup your own VOIP system for your home phone, as part of it you’ll have a dial in number that will allow you to call out for free as well.

Have a Windows Mobile device? Use Firefox on your PC? Visit http://www.mozilla.org/projects/minimo/ to download the PDA Phone version of the browser. Folks that are using the Smartphone version of the OS, T-Mobile Dash/Motorola Q/Samsung BlackJack, it’s a bit rough of an experience.

Speaking of alternate browsers on the devices, Opera makes a pretty slick mobile browser. The downside to it is that this is a paid piece of software. I played with the beta version and I was pretty happy with it.

I see many people using the Windows Mobile devices and Macs. One product that will sync the two is The Missing Sync. I have not personally used this, however it supports up to the latest handhelds via support for Windows Mobile 6.

Linux support for syncing to Windows Mobile devices is fairly slim. One that is compatible with Windows Mobile 2003 as well as Windows Mobile 5, is SynCE. Be sure to check the compatibility lists to see if your device is supported.

Ok folks, I know this was a bit sporadic but I wasn’t sure exactly what people were looking for. Time for some more feedback. What I’d like you guys to do is tell me what you liked about this and what you didn’t like. I’ll see if Minx can get a poll going and we’ll go from there. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Make a Donation

Poly Weekly Playmates!

Wanna play?

Poly Weekly on Facebook

Poly Weekly on Twitter