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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.

Search Your Google Reader RSS Feeds

I have been using Google Reader since the 9/2006 release. It’s one of my favorite apps. One of the feature that was missing from Reader that I wished it had was Search. Well, Reader is now complete with a Search feature!

My initial testing indicates that it works well. I could not locate any help page that describes the complete search syntax, but most basic Google search syntax seem to work fine. Below are some observations.

Common words such as “where”, “how” are not excluded like regular Google Search:

Google Reader Search - common words

Phrase searches are supported:

Google Reader Search - phrases

Negative terms are supported. Example: bass -music.

The OR operator doesn’t work. Example: i730 OR i830.

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:

Related Posts

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

Optimizing/Building Your Baseline Win XP Virtual PC Image

I am getting ready to check out all the neat tools in Scott Hanselman’s 2007 Ultimate Developer and Power Users Tool List for Windows. It’s a nice and comprehensive list of tools that covers just about all the tools a developer or power user may ever need. There are quite a few tools I have not used before.

Since I don’t necessarily want to install all of these tools to my everyday Windows installation, I am preparing a baseline Virtual PC image to install these tools into. My experience with Windows has taught me to try to keep it as clean as possible.

I found a great guide to optimize your baseline Windows XP virtual image from Dan’s Archive. It took about 30 minutes for me to go through the guide to build my optimized XP image (that’s not counting the time needed to install Windows XP Pro). If anyone is listening out there, I think this would be a good candidate for another “tool”.

With by baseline image ready, now I can make a backup copy of it and install away!! I feel like a kid at Christmas. Notepad2, Notepad++, Lutz Reflector, SlickRun, FireBug, ZoomIt, WinSnap, CodeRush, Refactor, FolderShare… so many new toys to play with, so little time.

Virtual PC

I found a bug in IE7

Looks like I found a bug in IE7. Sometimes the tab title “sticks” and stays the same regardless of which page/site you navigate to.

I was reviewing a blog post I had just made, so the tab title correctly said “Chinh Do”:

IE Bug 1

I then clicked on a link to navigate to Technorati, which normally has a title of “Technorati: Home”, but here the tab title still said “Chinh Do”.

IE Bug

I tried clicking on various links to navigate to different web sites, the title remained “Chinh Do”.

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.

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