nullstream weblog - Mobile Tech

Pre - First Thoughts

Mobile Tech

January 8, 2009 06:36 PM PST

The tech world is all a buzz on Palm's new phone the Pre. It is impossible to predict whether this will be successful in the market or not. From the first reviews coming in however it is starting to look like this might be the most impressive iPhone competitor to hit the street yet.

The Pre goes directly for the iPhone's throat by hitting all its weak spots:

The new OS is rumored to be powered by Linux (what else?) People are very impressed with the UI. It appears to be the coolest of all the iPhone competitors. It looks and flows nicer than Android and is being received much better than the Blackberry UI. And of course it completely out classes TouchFlo running on Window Mobile. Some are even saying it is slicker than the iPhone itself, with more animations and other eye candy. The device itself looks very nice, certainly much better than the fugly Android G1. On the multi-tasking front Palm is aiming to prove that not only can it be done smoothly without compromising calls, or crashing apps, but that it 'should' be done. To prove this point the UI is designed specifically around this. The running apps reduce to active previews called 'cards' that provide live update and let you swipe between them smoothly. The browser is Webkit based and apparently is very good. By now it is pretty obvious that WebKit will win the mobile browser war. They are talking about an app store of course, and building apps using web technologies like html, css and Javascript. I'll reserve opinion on that strategy until more details emerge.

I won't link to the flood of information hitting the tubes on this, it won't be hard to find on your own.
One things for sure, the smart phone war is getting pretty interesting, and Microsoft is falling further and further behind.

Comments (4)

Iphone Tethering

Mobile Tech

November 6, 2008 10:59 AM PST

Is iPhone tethering coming for real? That would be cool provided they don't charge an arm and a leg for it. Now if someone would just tell Steve about this 'bluetooth' thingy that is already in his precious phone.

Comments (1)

What are we expecting from Android?

Mobile Tech

September 21, 2008 07:39 PM PST

Well this week the first Android based phone will be announced by T-Mobile. But what are we expecting here? Something as cool as the iPhone? Probably not. Will this be a game changing platform, or just another me too phone? Chime in with your thoughts.

Comments (8)

A new category of UMPC

Mobile Tech

July 11, 2008 08:51 AM PST


Kohjinsha SC3
Wow the atom processor is enabling a whole new class of UMPC. This is another one that won't reach the US, like the Gigabyte M912, but of course you can import it. Maybe it will show up on Ebay buy now so you can leverage MS's live search 25% discount. It is supposed to be available starting today. I've seen two un-boxing videos so far. (I hate un-boxing videos).

I am much more interested in a device like this over the eepc - even though they are not in the same cost category. This is mostly due to the touch screen which allows you to take handwritten notes in meetings. Some really cool features:
1. 1.3 Atom CPU
2. Up to 2G ram
3. 60G HD
4. GPS in high end model
5. Express card slot!
6. 7" convertable, daylight viewable, touch screen.
7. 1.8 lbs.
8. 1 - 1.3" thick.

I still doubt I could type on a device like that, but I'd certainly go for the keyboard if I could for a Samsung Q1 sized device.

Comments (0)

Nullstream Rule #22

Mobile Tech

February 13, 2008 05:24 PM PST

"All laptops will evolve to fit into a manila envelope."

Comments (3)

Windows Immobile

Mobile Tech

November 5, 2007 11:11 PM PST


Comments (1)

John buys another bluetooth device

Mobile Tech

September 7, 2007 02:05 AM PST

Seems I can't get enough bluetooth these days. So I set out to find a suitable replacement for those Logitech bluetooth headphones I picked up on Woot awhile back. I still like and use them mind you, but I wanted a solution that was more portable so I could use it when hotspot hopping. I was looking for something that would fold up so I could carry it in my nerd bag with all my other mobile gear. It also wouldn't hurt to find something a bit more comfortable and that wouldn't make me look like a Lowtard. Also while I was at it, I decided that I also needed my new headphones to function as a headset (with Mic) so that I could easily switch from listening to music to answering the phone, or making a skype call.

Continue reading "John buys another bluetooth device"...

Comments (3)

HP fails to bring it

Mobile Tech

September 7, 2007 12:28 AM PST

Introducing the HP Ipaq 200 Enterprise Handheld. From the specs this is nothing more than the 3 year old Ipaq 4700 in a new case. Same processor speed, same screen, same RAM, same expansion cards and wireless features. All it seems to bring is more ROM (as required by WM6), a standard USB connector, and more battery capacity. The device is actually a bit thicker and heavier than the 4700, and seems to lack the ATI Imageon graphics chip.

Nothing to see here, move along.

Comments (2)

Bluethooth denial

Mobile Tech

June 30, 2007 11:42 PM PST


At what point do you realize that despite years of criticizing bluetooth technology you might actually be a closet fanboy? I guess right about the time you sit down and think about how many Bluetooth accessories you actually own, and how often you actually use them. Pretty much all the computers and mobile devices I use these days are Bluetooth enabled in some fashion. Oh, and that photo is not entirely accurate since I actually own 3 pairs of those Logitech made headphones (don't ask) and a couple of Bluetooth dongles.

Comments (2)

Re-examining the Foleo

Mobile Tech

June 1, 2007 12:13 PM PST


I'm sure by now you have heard of Palm's 'revolutionary' new product the Foleo. It is supposed to be a 'smartphone companion'. The Web universally trashed it literally in real time as it was being announced. I also had a 'WTF?' moment and figured it wasn't even blog worthy. I admit it was a bit of let down since Jeff Hawkins said, "Foleo is the most exciting product I have ever worked on." I have a lot of respect for Hawkins, he is a really smart guy. Of course I have never had respect for Palm, and after this announcement that has not changed.

But now that I've had some time to mull the concept over, I admit I think the idea has merit - not the way it exists today, and certainly not the way they are positioning it. But someday in the not to distant future, I think this concept will take off. Heck I'd probably even buy one - someday. I'll explain my thoughts, but first, lets examine what we know.

Continue reading "Re-examining the Foleo"...

Comments (7)

UMPC Vista Battery Life Comparison Summary

Mobile Tech

May 9, 2007 03:55 AM PST

My device: Original Samsung Q1, 1G Ram, XP Tablet and Vista Ultimate dual bootable. I am currently experiencing a large difference in battery life between the two for the same use case.

Ok here is what I know...

I gave up on running full battery life discharge tests and I installed NHC (notebook hardware control) so I could watch the power being consumed as measured by the battery itself. This was very enlightening. Note: I'm only using NHC for monitoring. The CPU dynamic switching and voltage adjustment features are useless with the Celeron M. I found that nothing you do with the min / max processor % have any impact on power use. Setting max to 50% screws up the scale in task manager however and doubles you reported proc usage. Also with some tools (NHC included) leaving set like that makes it assume your proc frequency is moving around when it isn't. My recommendation is to just set min and max to 100% to disable all the monkey business. That's what I did for these tests.

For starters, yes it turns out my standard 3 cell battery is seriously messed up. Nasty wear factor, voltage that sags as the battery drains causing the power used to gradually increase. (Due to efficiencies dropping as the voltage falls below norms). It has a pretty non-linear discharge. Bottom line here, the 3 cell battery is a gonner, time to switch to my shiny new 6 cell that recently arrived. Its too bad because I like the form factor and weight with the 3 cell. Anyway this explains why my total run times don't align with the results others have had, but it still can't explain the repeatable battery life delta between XP and Vista on the same hardware, same battery with the same test cases. So time to just pay attention to power draw and do some direct comparisons.

I took lots of data with each battery, at different points with different settings etc. But rather than bore you with that, I'll attempt summarize in my usual rambling, long winded fashion.

Continue reading "UMPC Vista Battery Life Comparison Summary"...

Comments (5)

Heads up (UMPC)

Mobile Tech

May 9, 2007 03:25 AM PST

My apologies. I dropped off the grid for a bit. I've been busy with work and also lurking / commenting in other forums on the topic of Vista battery life. I'll catch you up quickly here so that my subsequent post(s) on the topic make sense.

A little over 1 month back I purchased a refurb UMPC to play around with. It is an original first generation Samsung Q1. My goal was to put Vista on it so I could play with the handwriting recognition, do some touch screen dev etc. (BTW Vista's handwriting is scores better than XP's so I have another cool vista feature to add to the list, but I digress). The bottom line is that it took awhile and lots of work by other folks to track down the correct Vista drivers to make all of this work. But I managed to get it installed in a separate partition so I could dual boot vista / xp and compare them before I commit.

Vista runs nice on it - and I'll probably discuss that further when I get time. My current preoccupation is Vista battery life, or the lack there of. This topic is all the rage in the blogsphere right now. I'm only participating in it from the UMPC side. At first hint of such a problem I put off my decision to install it on my laptop until it gets sorted out. For my Q1 there is a significant difference in battery life under the same use case between XP and Vista, and it's been driving me crazy trying to figure out why. Not everyone is experiencing the same thing so there is some debate. Most of it currently revolves around the use of Aero which doesn't even apply to my UMPC.

Continue reading "Heads up (UMPC)"...

Comments (2)

Literal Origami

Mobile Tech

April 24, 2007 10:17 AM PST

Admittedly I'm a bit of a gadget geek. Ok maybe more of a gadget freak ([desperate cry for help]). Whether you like gadgets or not, however, you have to be impressed by this mobile wonder that Samsung is working on. They have really taken this origami concept to heart. The P9000 is a bit old news but some videos of it in action are starting to crop up and are pretty cool to check out.

Comments (0)

T-Mobile Dash

Mobile Tech

March 17, 2007 11:33 PM PST

IMG_7987.jpg After terrible customer service from Verizon after years of patronage, I decided to look for a new cell phone provider. I couldn't resist this deal on the T-Mobile Dash. One year contract, highly rated smart phone with Wi-Fi and Keyboard, cheap family voice plan and a free 512M memory card.

There are plenty of reviews on the Dash online, so I'll just focus on a few of the questions I still had and the Microsoft smartphone platform.

Continue reading "T-Mobile Dash"...

Comments (7)

Origami 2007

Mobile Tech

January 31, 2007 10:25 PM PST

Ultra Mobile PC, with Vista-ization of the user interface:


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Comments (5)

New Pocket Player

Mobile Tech

May 21, 2006 12:16 PM PST

ppc_normal.pngOne side effect of completly draining your Pocket PC's battery is that you 'get' to re-install all of your 3d-party software. I have spent most of the last week building a list of what I lost, digging around for registration codes and downloading updated copies of all my favorite mobile apps. When I went looking for the latest version of Pocket Player I was surprised by by the new look.

Continue reading "New Pocket Player"...

Comments (2)


Mobile Tech

March 6, 2006 04:36 PM PST

Since it seems to be the buzz around the nets lately I'll jump on the bandwagon as well. Ok I don't have any insider information here. In fact I won't even try to summarize the current rumors. We'll find out what it is eventually anyway. Instead I'll just engage in thought exercise on what kind of device I might want and be willing to buy.

Continue reading "Origami"...

Comments (11)

New PocketPlayer

Mobile Tech

August 12, 2005 10:28 AM PST

New PocketPlayer
Conduits has released a new version of my favorite PPC MP3 player, PocketPlayer. You need a 3rd party app like this if you use a microdrive since the MS media player won't buffer complete songs. Version 2.6 adds a bunch of features including DRM'd WMP10 support. Also by adding a a plug-in my HP bluetooth headphone controls will work properly - Yeah!

Comments (2)

A Mobile Phone Even Paul Could Love

Mobile Tech

July 26, 2005 11:19 PM PST

I'm not a huge fan of cell phones. Their displays are pitifully small, their input mechanisms make my ancient Timex-Sinclair 2000 look like a model of ergonomic excellence, and they don't seem to be great for anything, even voice. I'd like to carry around only one device, not an iPod, camera, phone, PDA, etc.

Well, this phone is pretty close. It still has a small screen and low resolution camera, but the qwerty keyboard is a step in the right direction. You actually have a hope of writing an email or SMS message with it without accidentally dialling 911.

Add some 802.11 goodness and CF/SD expansion, and it might be able to replace some of the gear I'm packing.

The above photo is from Phone Scoop, and further coverage from Engadget is here and here.

Comments (6)

Wind River's Move to Linux

Mobile Tech

April 6, 2005 10:27 PM PST has an article on Wind River's moves to adopt Linux. We have been watching Linux's effects on the embedded OS makers for years now. It seems like VxWorks is coming to this game a bit late, but actually having the #1 embedded OS vendor (er I mean Device Software Vendor) start thowing it's weight behind it really makes a statement. I guess they have to do something after AE.

Comments (8)

Macintosh portables we're not likely to see

Mobile Tech

February 5, 2005 12:10 AM PST

The Powerbook 50"

Powerbook 50 inch

The Powerbook G5

Powerbook G5.jpg
Comments (6)

PocketIE Saved Passwords

Mobile Tech

December 31, 2004 05:01 PM PST

I was accessing my companies mobile email site from my pocket PC like I've been doing for weeks now, and I finally got tired of re-entering my user name and password on the network login screen. So I thought I'd be clever and click the little check box that says 'save password'. As I sometimes do, I made a typo in my password and got an error message about invalide username / password etc. Oh well, no problem right, just refresh the page and enter it again... Doh! Same message.

Continue reading "PocketIE Saved Passwords"...

Comments (2)