Sunday, October 22, 2006

I need a firmware update

Yes, but not in my N80 or any other gadget I own.

My car (Citroen C4) stopped working last friday. No response to remote control to open door. Anti-theft system reported not to be working by the boot-up diagnose system. When trying to kickstart the engine, it wanted to but looked like no fuel was injected.

2nd key was kindly sent to me by my father and, although diagnose system stopped reporting the problem with anti-theft system, the engine could not be put to work.

Over 1 hour and a half waiting for the assistance and the guy fixed it quickly. He explained to me what he had done: remove one of the terminals of the battery and connect it again after some seconds.

Does it sound to you? When it freezes, just push reset button :-)

Any firmware upgrade fixing this bug? ;-) I was told that first Ford Focus cars managed to consume almost a 20% less by upgrading firmware.

It was all so easy when cars were just mechanic stuff. I hope that so much electronic is for good ;-)

2nd asturian F1 World Championship

Fernando Alonso did it again. Congratulations to him and to Renault Team for 2nd pilot and constructor championships in a row.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

TV in your mobile phone

Not by broadcasting (as with DVB-H), but by streaming.

Sony already has in the market LocationFree solutions: you buy a LocationFree base station and put it below your TV set, then run LocationFree player on your PC, laptop or tablet (or even on your PSP)... et voilá... you see the same TV shows as if you were at home.

The good news is that Sony Ericsson supports this technology in the P990.

And more rival technologies are coming into the market, bringing TV streaming even to your S60 gadget.

Looking forward to trying some of them.

Nokia S60 3rd edition browser 2.0

I have found today some good news about the coming of a 2nd version of the S60 3rd edition browser.

It looks like the same browser will display WAP (1.x and 2.0) and (X)HTML contents so we shall all be able to get rid of the WAP browser included in S60 3rd edition "gadgets".

I still wonder how it will be made available to the user: a SIS installer? a firmware upgrade? If people at Nokia think about the latter, please bring Spanish language back to my phone :-D

Another thing that I like a lot is the chance to rotate the browser so we can choose between landscape and portrait layout. I wish I could do that with all the applications, as many of them would be much more usable.

I also love all the other cool stuff, but it is up for you to read it in the link above.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Nokia N95

I had seen these videos about the new Nokia N95 some days ago. I was talking to my sister-of-soul, Hilweh, about how cool this phone is and I said to her that I would send her some YouTube references. I think I'll better share them with the audience (if this blog has any :-) ). So I want to change my N80 for this:

Anybody up for the deal? :-)

Another video here showing a Nokia 95 working:

Friday, October 13, 2006

Tuning your phone memory

As I said in the previous post, reinstalling software to fix some secondary effects in my N80 has led me to write about configuration of memory in mobile phones.

The N80 with its firmware v4 had a cool application called Mobile Search from Nokia. The problem is that it is installed in the memory on-board the phone. This is normal as it is a pre-installed application, although I do not like all the local plug-ins (english, french, norwegian and almost all of the languages supported by the phone - excluding spanish, as mentioned in my previous post).

Mobile search takes 1 MB of memory, plus 228 KB of global plugin and about 40 KB per local plug-in. Local plug-ins are in charge of the burden of searching in local context (looking for spanish companies, for instance).

Taking into account that the phone has 40 MBs on-board and comes with a 128 MBs miniSD card, we should have the option to move applications to our memory card. What I did is uninstall all the plug-ins and then the app itself. I installed it from the web page (directly via WiFi, thanks to the Safari-based browser) right to my memory card, including the spanish local plug-in. The 1 MB that phone memory gained lets me now open some complex web pages that made the phone display an Out-Of-Memory message.

Unluckily, this can be done with Mobile Search as it is downloadable free software. I wish I could move to my 1 GB miniSD stuff like QuickOffice (2 MBs) and Adobe Reader LE (2 more MBs). Can't uninstall and reinstall as they are not freely downloadable, AFAIK.

This should be a must for next S60 (3rd ed FP2?) or Symbian (9.4?) version.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Updating Nokia N80's firmware

Yesterday, I went to a Nokia support centre here in Gijon. I asked for a firmware upgrade. The person in charge told me that if I had noticed any important bug they would upgrade it for free. But if I was just looking for new functionalities, then I'd have to pay 18€. Nice try. It sounded annoying to me: I have not seen any firmware in any device in which the number of bug corrections is much much higher than the number of new functionalities (if there are any).

The real thing is that my N80 was behaving OK but the list of bug corrections is large and many of them happen in scenarios that I have not experienced yet (but that I will, in a near future). Besides, my v3 firmware does not support FOTA and v4 does.

I would only have to print the list of bug corrections and justify a free update. But today is holiday in Spain so I started to search for information about people talking about the 18€ thing in this country.

What I finally found was even better: a page in Nokia's UK site for the download of a tool called Nokia Software Updater. It was only available in English version, but my phone was multilingual and came with English by default (which I quickly shifted to Spanish).

I downloaded it, plugged my N80 to the laptop and upgraded the firmware. Of course, I lost PIM information but it was obvious that this would happen and it is nothing that a new synchronisation would not fix. Also, some software installed in the mempry of the phone disappeared (obvious too) and most of the software installed in the miniSD was there. In fact, all of the Symbian applications were there and working. Only Java apps stopped working: they were shown in "My Own" folder but nothing happenned by clicking their icons. Re-installation fixed it all.

The main problem is the loss of Spanish language: English, Français, Deutsch, Túrkçe, Italiano and Nederlands. Still wondering why Spanish is not in the list, but I think I will be able to deal with it :-)

Installing and re-installing applications has made me think about some decisions that phone manufacturers take on our behalf and that I would like to get changed. In my next post :-)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Mobile Web in Fundamentos Web 2006

After being the chair of a face-to-face meeting in Gijón of the Mobile Web Best Practices working group (belonging to W3C's Mobile Web Initiative), Dan Appelquist presented his ideas about the use of mobile devices to access the web in Fundamentos Web 2006.

Dan had a hard job as his presentation was just after lunch so I was wondering if he could atract audience's attention. He surely did. After a brief presentation, he asked everyone to get up. Then, people who had never used the "mobile web" were asked to sit down. It was nice to check that most of the audience stood still.

Then it was time to sit down for people having used it more than once and my first impression turned from :-D to :-) as a lot of people sat down. Anyway, many people stood still when Dan asked people to sit down if they had not used the mobile web in the last month.

Later came time for the ones using it in the last few days and , at last, in the the last few hours. Only 3 or 4 guys stood still and were asked for their use of the mobile web. I was banned by Dan for being part of the working group anyway.

Well, let's take into account that the audience were people crazy about the web, but anyway the "statistics" were not bad at all.

There is a lot to do to bring the mobile web closer to the general public (or should it be bring the general public closer to the mobile web?).

By the way, the slides of Dan's presentation is available in Fundamentos Web 2006 web site (by the way, a really mobile-friendly site). In few days, slides and videos from the interesting presentations done by all the speakers will be available soon.