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Samsung SCH-i760 Windows Mobile Phone Now On Verizon Wireless Web Site

The i760 is now available for order through Verizon Wireless web site. The retail price is $519 but if you can take advantage of various discounts (New Every 2, 2-year contract, data plan), the price will go down to $99.

Samsung Windows Mobile 6 Phone SCH-i760 on Verizon Wireless

The SCH-i760 is a Windows Mobile Pro (Pocket PC) 6 phone, featuring a backlit QWERTY keyboard, 1.3 Megapixel camera/camcorder, microSD, WIFI, and bluetooth.

I still have a few more months to go before my New Every 2 discount will kick in :-(.

Samsung SCH-i760

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Finds of the Week – 10/17/2007

As an attempt to make this blog appears more busy:-), I will begin my "Finds of the Week" series. Each week, I will share miscellaneous finds and thoughts I ran into that are related to mostly .NET development.

Here are the finds for this week:

.NET

  • Parallel Performance: Optimize Managed Code For Multi-Core Machines; by Daan Leijen and Judd Hall; via MSDN Magazine. In a few years' time, I predict that most new PCs will be multi-core. This article talks about the new Task Parallel Library (TPL) and provides code samples.
  • document.f.q.focus(); The Billion Dollar Line of JavaScript (by gst, via blogstorm.co.ok) talks about how many people use the Search Box on their browser to navigate to various web sites, instead of typing in a URL, and how this practice translates into revenue for Google. Interesting read.
  • alessandro pointed out that and IMG element with an empty src attribute will call the browser to make a request to the default document (usually default.aspx).
  • Understanding Windows Workflow Foundation (by razi bin rais, via Codeproject.com) is a nice overview of Windows Workflow Foundation.
  • Where are the basic controls in Silverlight 1.1? When I started experimenting with Silverlight recently (see my Silverlight Hello World application), the first question that came to my mind was: where are all the basic controls such as button, checkbox, textbox, etc?

    XAML Intellisense drop-down

    Don't worry! Apparently, they are not there because it's still an Alpha release. According to this post from Tim Sneath, the following controls are planned to be included in the released version of 1.1: Button, TextBox, Scrollbar, Slider, ListBox, CheckBox, RadioButton, ComboBox, and UserControl (no TreeView, RichTextBox, or DataGrid).

 

Tools

  • Probably old news to most CSS pros, but just in case you have not heard, FireBug is a very useful extension for FireFox/CSS development. Highly recommended if you ever work with CSS. I could have saved countless hours debugging HTML/CSS issues with this tool.
  • Notepad++ is a new addition to my toolset. Supports syntax highlighting, regular expression search/replace, Unicode, Macros, and is light-weight.

Windows Mobile / Pocket PC

Blogs

Miscellaneous

  • I am pretty bad with keeping in touch with people, and I have found that LinkedIn makes it fairly easy to keep in touch with past colleages. Last week I had some free time so I decided to look up old colleagues on LinkedIn. It was great to hear from many people I worked with years ago. I found many people by simply searching on the name of the company we worked for.

And Now, Something Different

Check out the Windows Live Maps Bird's Eye view below. See the black car entering the cul-de-sac? That's me and my car.

Microsoft Windows Live Maps - Chinh's Car

How do I know that’s my car? Well, for one thing, my car is black. But the real reason I know it’s me is that a moment later, my garage door opened half-way… as I was about to drive into the garage:

Microsoft Windows Live Maps - Chinh's Car

At first glance, it seems to be an amazing coincidence (like one-in-a-million amazing). What is the chance that Microsoft’s Bird’s Eye low flying plane would fly across my house and snap pictures just as I am about drive into my garage? However, after further calculations, it turns out that the real probability is around 1/8640 (5-second window over 43200 average seconds of day-light). Still a very small chance, but certainly not lottery-winning “amazing”.

My New & Improved Samsung i730 Windows Mobile Phone

A few days ago, my old and trusty Samsung SCH-i730 Windows Mobile phone decided to bite the dust. One moment, I pulled it out of my pocket to look at the time and it was dead… just like that. No sound. No display. It was an eerie sight. I tried a soft reset, changed battery, hard reset, nothing.

Luckily, since I had purchased insurance for the phone (the only time I purchased insurance for an electronic gadget), I called Verizon. Two days later, I now have a brand new i730.

Samsung SCH-i730 box

Normally, this would be a none-event. However, something interesting happened: the replacement phone works much better than the one I used to have. Read about the problems I had with the old phone here. On the new phone, everything runs noticeably faster. There is no more unexplained slowness. Audio during phone calls now works as expected with no cut outs.

New Samsung SCH-i730 Windows Mobile Phone

I have two theories on why:

  • I had upgraded my old phone to Windows Mobile 2005 and that version of the Windows Mobile OS was causing problems on the phone
  • I had a defective phone

I will never know for sure the real cause, since the old phone is no more.

Samsung i730 owners out there, if your phone doesn’t seem to work quite right and have the problems described here, either try to downgrade to Windows Mobilde 2003, or if you have not upgraded to WM2005, you just may have a defective device.

Windows Mobile Device Center

In Windows Vista, Windows Mobile Device Center replaces ActiveSync. I just found out today when I tried to set up a bluetooth link between my home PC and Samsung i730. The process to set up is easy enough. Just download the installer from Microsoft, run it, and follow on-screen instructions.

My initial impression is that WMDC looks a lot sleaker than ActiveSync:

Windows Mobile Device Center - Welcome Screen

WMDC’s beauty is only skin deep however. There appears to be no new major features. I was hoping that synchronization would work with Vista’s built-in Calendar and Contacts but no… that would make too much sense, would it? I hate to have to install Microsoft Office just to be able to look at a Calendar and a Contact list. I now only have Office at home on a Virtual PC that I fires up once in a long while when I do need Word or Excel.

Since I started using Plaxo, I can access my calendar and contacts from any Internet connected PC or mobile device so I don’t really need to have my calendar and contacts sync’ed to my home PC.

Oh, and guess what, it’s not possible to sync your music library from Windows Media Player 11 to your mobile device over bluetooth. Argg!

Samsung SCH-i760

It looks like Samsung is finally coming out with an upgrade for the SCH-i730 Windows Mobile Phone, in the form of the SCH-i760. Major new features include Windows Mobile 6, side-sliding keyboard and a built-in camera. Currently the i760 is not officially on Verizon Wireless’ web site yet.

Don’t know about you but I think this one looks a bit on the ugly side. Still, I really like my i730 and when I will certainly consider upgrading to the i760 when the time comes.

Samsung SCH-i760

More info:

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Watch Live TV on Your Windows Mobile Phone/Pocket PC

Being a news junky that I am, I love being able to listen to the news while driving around, or even while at the beach. I have found that my Samsung i730 Windows Mobile phone, in conjunction with the unlimited EDVO data plan from Verizon Wireless, let me watch the news in glorious color, virtually anywhere. Yes, there is just something neat about being able to watch BBC World News while sitting alone on a empty beach at night. Perhaps it’s the combination of being far away from civilization, yet at the same time connected to the world.

BBC News

iPhone owners, sorry… no streaming videos for you. But you’re probably too busy looking at the phone itself, admiring its beauty, to have time for anything else anyway.

(Oops, my iPhone envy is showing.)

Below are my favorite video streams for your enjoyment (updated Jan 18, 2008).

News

Weather

  • Weather+ – US and Canada weather forecasts).

For more channels, go to:

I only tested the above links on my i730, they should work for other Windows Mobile devices such as Verizon XV6700, or the new MOTO Q 9m.

WARNING – After further research, I found that Verizon’s EVDO policy officially prohibits video streaming, so there is a chance that if you use too much bandwidth, they may decide to terminate your account. So, use video streaming at your own risk! The limit seems to be about 10GB. You can monitor your data usage by logging into the Verizon Wireless’ My Account service. There is apparently also a way to monitor your data usage with a Verizon software application called VZAccess Manager.

Update 10/25/2007

Verizon has just settled with New York regard its practice of terminating users who exceeds “unlimited” bandwidth.

Update 1/7/2009

Refreshed links. Fixed link to Streaming PDA.

Best Quad Core CPU for the Money (Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600)

I just can’t have enough cores! My current main PC is an AMD X2 3800+ due core and while it’s still working great…. I suddenly have developed the urge to build a new PC with a quad core CPU! Do you have that feeling sometimes?

Ok, the real story is that I’ve turned the current PC into a home theater PC and now it’s sitting in the bedroom alongside a shiny new 1080p Philips 42″ LCD that I bought for the wife as her birthday present (evil smile :-)). While it’s a great setup, sometimes I just need to work at a desk and not on the bed… therefore the need for the replacement PC.

It looks like currently the best value quad core CPU is the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600, priced at a relatively affordable $289 from Newegg.

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600

Google Maps on Your Windows Mobile Phone

Google has just made available Google Maps for Windows Mobile. Here’s the blurb on Google Maps Mobile Page:

Take the power of Google Maps with you on your mobile phone.

Real-time traffic — See where the congestion is, and estimate delays in over 30 major US metropolitan areas.

Detailed directions — Whether you plan to walk or drive, your route is displayed on the map itself, together with step-by-step directions.

Integrated search results — Local business locations and contact information appear all in one place, integrated on your map.

Easily movable maps — Interactive maps let you zoom in or out, and move in all directions so you can orient yourself visually.

Satellite imagery — Get a bird’s eye view of your desired location. (It’s like you’re there, we swear.

I tried the app on my Samsung i730 Windows Mobile phone and it worked great. Map data is retrieved from Google’s servers as needed just like regular Google Maps. Response time is slower than on a desktop but still very usable on my Verizon EDVO connection.

If you are a user of Google Maps then the screen below will look familiar to you:

Google Maps

Note the transparent buttons. Great idea.

Searching for local businesses is a snap. Click Search . Type in the name of the busines. Hit OK. Search matches are displayed on the map as pushpins:

Google Maps

There is also the Satellite View, but missing is the Hybrid View.

Google Maps

More info here.

Portable Photo Storage – Experience with the Wolverine ESP 100GB

Wolverine ESP 100GBWho doesn’t have a digicam these days? I love all of my gadgets, especially my digital cameras. Lately I have been using the video features on them more and more. One problem with the taking videos with my digital camera has been storage space. With a 2 GB Secure Digital card, I can take about 30 minutes of video. That’s not a lot.

One solution that I have found to work for me is to use a portable photo storage device. These devices are basically portable hard drives. The fancier ones have built-in displays and flash card readers. After extensive research, I finally got a Wolverine ESP 100GB Multi Storage Device from Costco.com. I used it on my 3-week trip to Vietnam last December it and worked out very well. I was able to transfer all of my photos and videos from both of my cameras to the Wolverine with no problems. The Wolverine also works very well as a USB2 hard drive.

While the Wolverine ESP can also play video and music files, it is absolutely no good as a personal music player. The only way to play something is to use the built-in file explorer. And you can only play at a maximum a folder at a time. There is no way to play all items, all songs by a certain performer, play songs in random order, etc. Basicaly it sucks big time as a music player. I don’t know what Wolverine was thinking. If you want a real music player, get yourself an iPod (or the current iPod killer).

Update (8/28/2007) – There is actually a way to create playlists on the Wolverine ESP. It’s certainly better than nothing. Be sure to download the latest firmware (V 1.28) as well.

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