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New Hardware & Finding Solutions

My free time this week has been sadly, offline. The place I am now living has no broadband…at least not yet. The laptop I am borrowing, has to go back, and my computer won’t be in for another week. What is a techno-junkie to do?

Interestingly, the new job has given me a Cingular 8125. Which as I have found is an HTC Pocket PC Phone, running (unfortunately) Windows Mobile 5.0.

When will those Asian Linux based phones make their way over here?

I must admit this “phone” is more a pda with phone capabilities…though it is neat. It syncs up with Exchange server, can connect over available Wifi connections, or the Edge/GPRS phone networks, or bluetooth. This is handy to get and send emails on the fly. It has a slide out keyboard which one might think is neat, but it’s no where near as fast as one might think. Actually, the handwriting recognition is pretty good, and now that I found that input method I use it more and more, and actually see it as a reason to improve my cursive skills.

The one thing I don’t like is that your Contact list in Outlook (on the Exchange server) is you phonebook. Which means many people you would have as email contacts, that you would never call are there to sort through when you want to find someone. The other thing I really don’t like, is this is very much a 2 handed phone. Meaning, if you want to make calls, unless you go with the voice dial, you need to carefully dial buttons on the screen…and make sure you don’t press the phone to your face otherwise you could do any number of things.

That being said, it is a learning curve to use this as a phone successfully, and whether I will really be happy with not having that tactile feel of real buttons to dial with or not, remains to be seen.

One neat thing I have read about and has taken me a couple days to get working, is infact using this phone as a modem. At the moment I am connected to the phone via usb cable, and have dialed onto the GPRS network to access the internet. It works, and although the signal isn’t the best here, it claims I am getting 230kbs (at least on modem connection speed).

One major fault I have with this phone, in that I am not surprised with it being Windows, is that the first day I had it….It CRASHED! Not only that, it crashed once a day for the first 3 days. I think its just a matter of learning how to use Windows. In Linux, one becomes used to running tons of programs at once….and wuth this just clicking on all the applications to see what they do, leaves them running on the phone.

Now I recall from when I used Windows, that applications would often tell you to close other applications while running…I assume they have carried this trait over to the phones and more than 3-4 apps running bogs down the phone and it crashes. WTF? I have a phone that sometimes can’t be used as a phone? When this crashes, you have to pull the battery to restart it. And apparently I haven’t found the setting to save settings, because I notice a lot of things go back to their defaults after “rebooting”…Its nice to know that the reboot feature, Windows users are so familiar with, has made it way to other hardware.

I hope Windows never makes its way into my car.

Update: Transfer speeds are actually modem speeds. I am getting a max of 5KB/s