All the geeky stuff that gets me hot.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Cingular 8125 Initial Review

I couldn't stand to wait and bought a 8125 on the 24th of Feburary. I've had the device for a couple days and it's very impressive. It's in a completely different class than my Audiovox 5600 Smartphone. According to benchmarks it's a pretty slow pocketPC but it's a lot snappier than the 5600 so I don't notice at all. I have yet to play a xvid movie on it encoded in its native resolution but the screen is phenomenal, very clear and much much bigger.

Edge data speed is great, much faster than regular GPRS. Using a stylus is taking some getting used to but you can do most things with the keyboard if you want. The speakers are louder and sound a lot better. The camera is pretty much standard though I love how it gives you a full screen viewfinder making it feel like a real camera. The keyboard is easy to type on and I love the backlighting.

I like how the miniSD slot is on the top but I'n not actually sure it matters, I install all my programs to the card so I can't really remove it unless I copy everything over to the other cards. Quite possible really but I havn't gotten around to it yet.

Because it's a pocketPC device it has opened up a new world of applications. A lot of the cool programs I couldn't run on my smartphone will work with the 8125. Battery life has been good so far, we'll see how that goes.

My biggest dissapointment so far has been that it's not a regular audio jack on the bottom, it's a regular headset jack so I can't plug headphones directly into it. They really should ditch the headset jack, if you have this phone you should be using a bluetooth headset anyways.

In all it's a much more capable device but because it has the keyboard people are actually less impressed by it than my phone. When I would tell people all the stuff I could do with my tiny phone they would be floored, now they pretty much expect it because it looks like a tiny laptop to them which it pretty much is.

Update March 14

I've had the device for a couple of weeks now and I am still very impressed with the 8125. I used the Cingular ROM and while it worked okay it doesn't have A2DP capabilities. Since I installed a Scosche A2DP adapter in my car, I was jonesing for a little A2DP action in my 8125. There is a Qtek test ROM over at the FTP site that has push email and the A2DP bluetooth stack so I flashed that ROM to it and it's been working really slick. I no longer have to bother with a cable to listen to MP3's from my phone through my car stereo. Try doing that with an iPod! (iTrips don't count, they are an extra dongle and only get FM quality, A2DP is near CD quality) I haven't had a chance to try the push email yet but they are switching to exchange where I work so I should be able to use it eventually.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Tablet PCs are more popular than I thought

I attended a conference this last week where everyone was required to bring their own laptop and I was sort of suprised by the resulting assortment of laptops that showed up. There were quite a few Dells, one PowerBook and 5-6 tablet laptops. This is out of around 25 laptops. No widescreen laptops that I saw, one micro portable laptop and one HUGE desktop replacement laptop.

There were a few of the slate computers like the one pictured that had no keyboard attached at all, this was the first time I have seen that form factor. They came with matching USB keyboards or I'm sure you could hook up any USB keyboard and mouse you had laying around.

During the conference we stopped at the local coffe shop where virtually every seat was filled by a student doing homework on their laptop. A lot more powerbooks and probably more widescreen notebooks than what the conference members had.

I personally don't like the widescreen laptops, the format just doesn't make any sense to me on a laptop. Sure you get more horizontal space but at the expense of the vertical space. Unless you are watching movies 90% of the time I would rather just have a normal 4:3 screen. If you need more space, get a bigger screen, don't mess with the ratio. I think the manufacturers like them becuase they look bigger but cost the same and they can claim it as an added feature. I think there are few applicatons that you do on a laptop that really benifit from the wider but shorter screen, other than movies.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Shozu for easier Flickr Access

I finally got Shozu working on my Audiovox 5600, I tried setting it up before but it would never activate. Seems like they have a new version of their software that is a little less buggy.

Shozu lets you easily transfer cameraphone pictures to Flickr and other photo sharing sites. I have been posting pictures from my phone for a while now but I was unable to edit tags that go with each picture. This lets me do that as well as lets me read comments people have posted. Very Nice. Still in Beta of course so your mileage may vary.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Camera Phone are better than Voice Memos

I've started using my camera phone for taking quick notes of things I need to remember and it's a lot faster than dealing with voice memo's or typing it out in a to-do item. A great use for this is whenever I'm at Blockbuster renting a movie I take pics of all the movies I thought looked interesting but didn't rent, then I download them when I get home. Really that's what camara phones are best at, they take pretty horrible pictures that won't win any awards but are perfect for remembering the name of a DVD. I've never thought taking voice memo's was very useful, I'd feel like a dork talking into my phone saying "need to pick up creme for that rash", now I can just take a picture.

I'm going to have to get me a Nintendo DS

Funky playing 1
Originally uploaded by altermativ.
Those nifty Nintendo DSs are getting more and more useful. There is already a war driving app written for them and now Opera is working on making a version of it's browser available for the DS. Basically it would be a poor man's version of Nokia's Internet Tablet that could play games as well. It will be interesting to see how Opera uses the second screen, my guess is there will be a touch sensitive keyboard around there somewhere. These are going for around $100 on eBay which is pretty affordable.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Cingular 8125 is shipping for B2B

8125 & 8100
Originally uploaded by tmcpheeters.

Today Cingular started shipping the 8125 to it's B2B customers. This hopefully means that a public release will be coming pretty soon. Now I just need to get a B2B account.

I have been waiting for this phone for such a long time I'm bound to be dissapointed by it somehow, but I think the only problem would be it's size. I know it's going to be a lot bigger than my current phone but I had a brick phone before so I think I'll be able to live with it. Not that this phone is huge, it's just not terribly thin because of the sliding keyboard design.

Update: The 8125 is now available from Cingular for general consumers. Woot! Now I have to decide to wait until I can upgrade (middle of next month) or just buy it now.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Gadget Porn

Nokia N90
Originally uploaded by MobileBurn.
MobileBurn has some great shots of various phone keypads up close and personal. I think these really show the quality and detail (or not) that's put into phone design.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

AGP rises from the grave

A while ago I talked about the 6800 Ultra which at the time looked like it would be the fastest AGP card ever made since everything else was going to be PCI-e based. Luckily for those of us with older systems I was wrong. NVIDIA is releasing the GeForce 7800GS this weekend which is the 7800 GPU with an AGP bridge. So now we've come full circle, first we had AGP->PCI-e bridges to make AGP cards work with PCI-e, now it's just the opposite.

Either way this is good news. Mostly because it will drive the prices down on the 6800 series cards which I still need to pick up.