Sunday, December 30, 2007

The lies behind the firmware update promise

They try to sell more promising firmware updates, but the fact is that they dedicate their efforts to create new products rather than improving the software in already existing devices.

I own a Kiss DP-1100. I like it because it supports a lot of codecs, subtitles and it has a lot of other interesting features. But it is buggy: with some codecs it is impossible to rewind or fast forward a video without a crash (which leads to a hard reset of the device).

Linksys, current owner of Kiss Technologies, is doing the same with their Wi-Fi Access Points. Except for the excelent WRT54GL (that I am going to get from my workpal Diego), many other APs suffer from different bugs or do not support interesting features that some other devices within the same class (from the same maker or from different ones -like MDS) do support. For example, my WRT300N. Thanks to initiatives like OpenWRT that bring freedom to the user.

Quite similar things happen to mobile phones. While some S60 3rd edition phones like N73 receive several upgrades (the most recent one incorporating support for A2DP), while some others like my N80 don't.

This does not only apply to firmware, also to external applications. Why dows Mail For Exchange work on many E-Series and N-Series and not in my N80?

This is not serious at all. Device makers suck!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Asus EEE

Asus EEE is a wonderful toy. But it lacks from some interesting features to win the choice of a Nokia N810 (touchscreen). Many people say that both of them should come with 3G connection, so you can really have an all-in-one portable device. Well, it is true that they both allow you to connect to a cellular network via Bluetooth or USB, but it is not the same.

So some people are trying to improve it by replacing its original screen with a touchscreen:

And, then, why not to add a 3G interface?

Pointui Home

Being introduced as the ultimate iPhone-like user interface for Windows Mobile, Pointui Home promises a lot. Here you have two videos:

Minus two days and counting.

Oh, and it's FREE.

Samsung does not seem to be doing it bad

Nice video showing the UI in new Samsung phones.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Nokia N810

It is pitiful when gadget makers create so much expectation about a product and there is no availability at all. This is what happens in Spain and in the majority of countries in the world with the Nokia N810.

Christmas season, a nice gadget, people wanting it so badly and no chance to get it.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Iberia and Quality of Service

I had to travel last week to Brussels and the flight from Asturias to the administrative capital of the European Union departed with a delay of one hour. Before the week ended, I received an e-mail from Iberia offering some points in my Iberia Plus card.

It would be better that flights depart at the scheduled time, but it is nice that they care about their customers somehow when that does not happen.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Opera Mini 4 is here

I was going to comment how good Opera Mini 4 is, but there is a very interesting article in Opera's developer site. Opera Mini is not only fast and offers a lot of interesting features to mobile web users, it also compresses information thanks to Opera's proxy so data traffic is much much lower than any other browser promising "desktop" web experience or adaptations to mobile of such experience (it is the only one I use when roaming).

One of the problems of "desktop" browser engines in a mobile is memory. My N80 has not enough memory for some rich desktop pages (while the same pages is perfectly viewed in a E61, as it has much more main memory installed). Opera Mini also fixes that and I find it hard to get a page that fills free memory in my device.

It is implemented in Java and it works even in many low-end Java mobile phones.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Drivers matter

I have always complained about the poor quality of the WiFi interface in ThinkPad laptops. I like the good work of IBM and Lenovo about them, but WiFi simply stinks.

I always disable their tool to manage network connections as Windows software is more basic but works much better. What I cannot change is the drivers: I get disconnected a lot with poor quality APs (Belkin, US Robotics, ...) and once in a while with better ones (Linksys, for example -special mention of the WRT45GL, which is cheap and works best-).

The problem is not only the disconnection itself. Sometimes the interface drops and I have to repair it via Windows option for network connections. Some other times I have to use the Thinkpad menu to reactivate the wireless interface. And it also happens that I have to use the physical switch for wireless interfaces (including bluetooth) and switch it off and then on to make it work. It has also happenned to me that I had to reboot the computer.

This is not acceptable at all.

And then comes Linux to fix the situation. I have recently installed Ubuntu in 4 GBs of space that were occupied by a hidden partition used for back-ups (which I do not use, because I prefer to back-up onto a different physical disk). The fact is that I get more WiFI signal in similar conditions, the driver never crashes and, at most, I only have to reconnect (and the only reason for this is that I -have to confess that I- am really far away from the AP and signal level is poor.

An important issue that Lenovo should fix soon, as new generations of Thinkpad come and they all suffer the same problem in Windows.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Another historical match

I am afraid you are all doomed to carry on with all the movies posted in with old matches played by the team, as I guess I will also post them and comment them here.

Now it is time for a Sporting-Valladolid in the 95-96 season. Pay special attention to the second goal that Sporting scored (authored by Hugo Leonardo "Perico" Pérez), as it is considered one of the best 10 goals in the recent history of the Spanish Football League. The oriented control by Eloy Olaya should also be taken into account, because it is half a goal.

As all the matches played in El Molinón (there is also an entry for it in the Spanish version of wikipedia), I was there, and TV images match with the memory in my mind for Hugo Perez's goal. By the way, the striking couple, Julio Salinas and Igor lediakhov, is one of the best ever in the history of Real Sporting.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sporting TV

It's been some months since my football team, Real Sporting, renewed its web page. I do not like the design very much, but it is nice that to be able to enjoy the TV section. It is based on a Flash video player, and they allow you to link and embed the videos.

The most recent video is a wonderful oldie, which shows and overview of FC Barcelona-Sporting in 1987-1988, with Sporting defeating Barça 0-4.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The death of a master

I went to bed really late last night. I was dealing with the update from Ubuntu 7.04 to 7.10. Supposedly, this post would talk about it. But I want to bed and turned the radio on as I love falling asleep on Saturday and Sunday nights listening in Onda Cero to La Rosa de los Vientos, a radio programme that has been talking about history, science and mystery for the last 9 years, driven by radio master Juan Antonio Cebrián.

They were only broadcasting music. This sounded really weird to me. I started to listen to other radio stations and I managed to listen the end of a section in the programme of Iker Jimenez in Cadena Ser, where they were saying farewell to Juan Antonio. I went back to Onda Cero and waited until the next hourly news report where they confirmed that he had died yesterday afternoon because of a heart attack, at the age of 41.

I started listening to him in Turno de Noche, maybe the best night radio programme I have ever listened to, in 1991 (I guess). I was studying in High School and he was a great company when studying for exams. I felt alone when sports programs ended and nothing but boring music or gossip ones were the only thing to listen to. He was not only company. He also taught me lots of stuff about Ancient Egypt, the Order of the Temple, both World Wars and many other stuff. Not to talk about paranormal experiences, parapsychobiophysics and other hidden sciences related things. And, in Turno de Noche (not in La Rosa de los Vientos), it was really great the final hour of humour so I usually fell asleep with a smile on my face.

I am not one of those fans who follow their myths looking for an autograph, that disturbs them when they walk peacefully by the streets and so on or that even would love to become a friend of their idols. But Cebrián was a different person: he sent such good feelings like quietness, proximity, ... even friendship. His legion of fans felt him like a friend. As it never happenned to me with any popular person, I would have really loved to have him as personal friend, I could have talked with him for hours.

I know I shall have the chance to fulfill that dream, because we'll meet one day in Hades. And I shall be "Encantado y feliz, como una lombriz", as he always said, when that happens and we'll have all the discussions we could not make before. Until then, you will not be missed, because I know that Bruno, Carlos and Jesus (the other Cs in the 4Cs) will carry on with the spirit of your manners of making radio. The show must go on!

As a final epitaph, I will include here this mourning video that I found in one of the dozens of sites dedicated to Juan Antonio. It made me even shed some tears. How not?

I still wonder why it is always the best ones who first leave soon. My condolences to Silvia and Alejandro.

¡Fuerza y Honor!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Tricks to stop tricksters

A phone falls into water and it stops working. That is something that people say that usually happens. And it looks like many people wait for them to dry and go to the shop and say that it mysteriously stopped working so the warranty makes them get a new phone.

I had read that some phone makers had created phones with materials that changed their colours if they get wet.

It looks like the iPhone has something like that, as said in MacBidouille. They say there is a small ball in the headphones jack that changes from white to blue when wet.

So it looks like tricksters will have to stop playing tricks like that with Apple's phone.

Moving from Windows to Linux...

... is not easy. And just because of one single reason: Microsoft Office.

Although I would love to, as hardware support for virtually any PC (desktop or laptop) is really good these days (I found out the other day that there is even support for Thinkpad's HDD shock protection), and I have free software to do almost everything I want to do.

Games were a reason in the past for me not to move, but not now. I got sick and tired of wishing a new computer every year so I could play all those cool games. After buying my Dreamcast, I stopped playing on a PC. Then came PS2, PSP and now PS3. And they confirmed my intention.

But I have to deal with complex Word and Excel documents taking all the power out of these tools. And, I am sorry, but OpenOffice is still far away from Office. Also in terms of usability and productivity (mmmmm, those cross-references should work easier, as Word does, even if it is a field in which Microsoft still has a lot to improve).

I am reading in Barrapunto, SlashDot's Spanish brother, that OpenOffice 3.0 will compete with Outlook: Thundebird+Lightning to handle mailing and event calendars in a coupled way, PDF import and export, import Microsoft Office XML, and lots of stuff. I am looking forward to it, but if it does not let me open Office documents, feel them the same way as Office, modify them and be able to send them to others having Office without them noticing that I did not use Office... then it does not work for me.

So please, may OpenOffice be fully interoperable with Office (really sorry that an open format is beaten by a "de facto" proprietary standard). Or, instead of that, every organization start using OpenOffice so I can move from Windows to Linux :-)

I'd really love to. In the meantime, I am enjoying Ubuntu a lot and using it except for documents and spreadsheets.

Well, I cannot bind my N80 to my PC in Linux with all the possibilities that Windows (via Nokia PC Suite) offers, or use SDKs like the ones from Nokia's phones, from RIM or a whole lot of phone emulators.

But that is not a problem of the OS, but of developers' closed mind... Linux has a huge community of developers behind willing to start programming in everything supported by Linux.

If Nokia or RIM made all their development tools available to the Linux community, I guess that lots and lots of more free programs for those platforms would be available. Same might be said about supporting MacOSX.

Errrr. This post has ended with an off-topic, sorry. As I said before, I want to go to Linux, but my job does not let me use it all the time.

Friday, October 19, 2007

I want this beauty

What can I say? just take a look here, please.

[EDITED on 2007-10-24 to add this video]

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The worst thing is to create expectations and... not work at all

This is what is happenning to me with Truphone, VoIP software with a recent version for Nokia N80. It has a wizard for configuration that works by sending an SMS to Truphone and waits for a response one... that never comes.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Google Maps on S60 3rd Edition

Yes. S60 3rd Edition users will no longer have to use a Java client for Google Maps. A native Symbian client is available (go for it by pointing your Webkit or WAP mobile browser at and you'll be able to experience Google Maps thanks to a faster and less memory consuming software.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Yoigo should worry about support for certain applications and services

You already know that I am very happy with my mobile phone service provider, Yoigo. But as one starts trying to use his phone for more and more things, you realize that they still have a lot of work yet to do about the "small things". Sometimes, small things make the difference.

For example, Nokia PC Suite does not support Yoigo configuration to use your phone as a 3G modem when you need connection and no Ethernet or Wifi connectivity is available. You have to guess the configuration and set it yourself until you make it work. I think that the friends at Yoigo, knowing that Movistar, Orange and Vodafone are supported, should call Nokia quickly and ask them to support them (giving them the proper configuration settings).

It is not only a matter of better support to their clients, it is also a matter of good image for the company.

Another example: SMS messages relative to a Google Calendar event. Yoigo is not listed among supported companies. Yoigo should talk to Google and kindly ask them to be included (and prepare everything to support this service).

I could go on with the list, but it would take long to write. These two examples should clarify how Yoigo should make it to increase its commitment to allow their clients to access advanced data services at a low cost. Paying little is good, but being able to use these great services thanks to the agreement between your service provider and your web service/application provider is much much better.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Trutap (II)

OK. It works :-)

I read about trutap over a week ago. Some days ago, when I found the time to try it, I registered and tried to instal it. It seemed to be easy: right after receiving your download code (it takes some days), just access via N80's Service (WAP 2.0) browser -not the S60 (HTML/XHTML) Safari based browser- and enter the code; their web detects your phone and serves the right JAD file for your phone (yeah, it is JavaME, so it might work in a wide range of devices and if yours is not supported now, I am sure it will soon be).

I had a problem because the JAR file seemed to be corrupted, but a quick interaction with the support team via email was enough for them to fix the problem and for me to be enjoying it right now.

I have set my ICQ, MSN and Yahoo accounts (AIM is available too), and I can blog here. Unluckily, the text field is pretty limited (I tried to write this text but I quitted trying as I lost it because I forgot to add to my login username in the settings).

You can set your trutap profile too (besides mentioned IM networks, trutap includes its own, as some other clients like Trillian Astra do) and some preferences about alerts, privacy, data usage (interesting if you do not have a flat rate connection like Yoigo's).

It is very promising that the "stuff" tab in "My contacts" button in "Home" screen says that it will soon support MySpace, Facebook and some more social network accounts.

Give it a try because, although it is their first beta, it has already become the best communication tool in a mobile platform for me and it has replaced Yahoo Go among the 5 icons in my N80's idle screen.


First attempt to blog here via trutap.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

New version for Fring

Fring has a new version available. I have already talked about it, so I will only mention the new features included in this version. I am really happy that ICQ is included, but the coolest thing I found is support for network roaming so it can commute between WiFi Access Points or even jump to GPRS/3G when no WiFi is available (see the screenshot below).

You can manage several other aspects of network connection as you can see below.

Symbian users have the new version available and Windows Mobile fans will be able to enjoy it soon. I really recommend this application (more if you have a WiFi-enabled phone and/or a flat-rate data service).


I have finally found the time to write a little bit about TeaShark. It is a web browser for mobile phones implemented in JavaME. It tries to allow the user to enjoy desktop webs in your mobile phone and it seems to do it by transcoding. Doesn't it sound familiar? Yes, it looks like Opera Mini has a new competitor.

Its makers say it is based on WebKit "as the back-end HTML transcoding engine".

I have tried it and it is working pretty well to be an alpha. It offers options and preferences similar to Opera Mini beta 4 (landscape mode, fit to screen vs minimap browsing, high/low quality when displaying images). Give it a try, as current (alpha) version is free.

Oh, by the way, I could not find any information about the company or people developing TeaShark, which seems to be pretty weird.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

What a weekend!

After a week at MWeb'07, and a Friday afternoon and Saturday morning correcting exams at the University of Oviedo, one expects to have a one-day-and-a-half peaceful weekend.

But no. I had to watch Xerez-Sporting (0-2... hourrah!), the Grand Prix of Belgium at Spa Francorchamps (where F. Alonso stole another point of difference to Lewis Hamilton and is only 2 points behind) and the final of the EuroBasket (Spain lost the match against Russia in the last seconds).

I hope I can sleep properly, as tomorrow I have to head for a MyMobileWeb meeting in Boecillo (Valladolid). Too much adrenaline for a proper sleep :-)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

1st Spanish Mobile Web Congress

This Wednesday and Thursday, 12th and 13th of September, I am attending MWeb'07. As part of the organization commitee, I hope it helps to increase the momentum of the mobile web (ubiquitous web, in general) in Spain. You can see the program here.

Friday, August 31, 2007

S60 3rd Edition and Bluetooth

Recently, Nokia has released firmware updates for N73 and N76 including support for new Bluetooth profiles, including AVRCP and A2DP. Any plans for this on all S60 3rd edition phones? (especially on N80 :-) )

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Real Sporting and Major League Soccer... and mourning for Antonio Puerta

My football team, Real Sporting de Gijón, seems to have just been selected by the Major League Soccer in the USA as one of the teams they want to study in order to improve the way in which they breed new young players. More to be read here (I just hope you can read Spanish).

By the way, Sporting is right now the leader of the BBVA League (Second Division) after a victory over Poli Ejido (4-0). OK, only one match has been played by now, but just let me enjoy the moment. I do not want to see them leaders again... until the end of the last match this season.

Taling about football nowadays in Spain, it is impossible not to express my condolences to Real Sevilla for the death of his player Antonio Puerta (22 years old) as he was playing their match against Getafe because of a heart attack.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I am crazy

I have just bought a PS3 O:-)

By now, all I made was plug it to the power plug, to my 5.1 sound system and to my TV, then update the firmware and drive a little in Motor Storm.

So expect that I shall post a lot in the near future about this wonderful machine. I am not only interested in it as a gaming platform, but as a multimedia center.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Firmware updates and software versions hell

It looks like the (more powerful) second version of the Webkit browser will be only included in new products based on S60 3rd Edition FP1. It is incredible to me that devices like N80 won't be updated to FP1 and that we shall have to miss that version of such an innovative web browser.

You can see in all the differences among both versions and you can see here how S60 developers refuse to include the new version in any S60 3rd Edition (non FP1) devices.

It is a pity how upgradable products are limited by the laziness of the companies. Nothing new under the sun, as we have been experiencing all this hell in DivX players and many other devices, with hardware powerful enough to carry on with new functionalities or improvements of existing ones, but with no new updates coming from the support team.

Updating Nokia N80 firmware and S60 3rd edition memory handling

I have just updated the firmware version of my N80 from 4.0632.0.38 to 5.0719.0.2. It is the biggest version number change I have seen since I own this gadget, and it is the one in which less changes I have experienced (by now).

The only thing I have noticed is some more free megabytes of main memory (3 additional megabytes if I am not wrong), critical for applications like the Nokia S60 Webkit browser in order to avoid its often "Memory Full" error. It is great to have versions of desktop browsers in the mobile so we can try to experience the web as much desktop as possible, but it is true that many pages rich in multimedia (rich in images is enough) cannot be experienced in mobile phones because of their limited memory. This is why I bought Opera Mobile 8.60 and why I also install Opera Mini 3 and Opera Mini 4 beta. The WebKit browser developers should learn from Opera Mobile in what regards to image handling. I am not only talking about rescaling images so they take less memory, but about loading them in memory as I scroll through a web page. Even Opera Mobile might be improved: if there is a page filled with images and I scroll trying to see them all, a mobile phone can run out of memory... why not to keep loaded in memory only images being shown totally or partially in the display? Images previously displayed but not currently being shown might be available in a cache (if the device has additional flash memory available). Different memory handling strategies should be applied to different phone models, of course.

An additional problem comes when we want to have several applications running at the same time (music player , web browser and IM software, for example). If you launch an application starving for memory not available at that very moment, S60 3rd edition will close -with no warning at all- some older apps running (if not all). It is a matter of user experience to know when you can and when you cannot launch an applications, and which combination of apps can coexist without any of them dying.

I do not like this behaviour and would love to let users have more chances to choose what they want. Maybe a default behaviour of not letting a new app to be launched if there is not enough memory available and show a warning would be better. This way it would be me who might close some running applications and then relaunch the one I wanted.

First invoice from yoigo

I received last week the first invoice from Yoigo (the Spanish mobile operator i have changed to). I have been using my phone all these vacations through as my only connection to the internet: browsing the web with Nokia WebKit browser, Opera Mobile, Opera Mini and even the old S60 WAP browser, uploading pics to flickr as I shot them in order for the family to follow our steps in Fuerteventura (and especially, my one-year-old daughter's), downloading/installing/using applications like Yahoo Go! (I really loved it, being based in widgets, ... but I felt a bit uncomfortable as I could not believe I could do it for only 1.2 euros per day.

Now I do (seeing is believing, yes) and I am even happier than before.

There are some things that I expect from them so they become the almost perfect mobile operator:

  • Video-calls (I do not like them saying there is no real demand for that service).

  • Service of SMS notification for calls missed when the phone is off or disconnected from the GSM network SEPARATED FROM the voice mailbox service (they're tied together and you can only switch both of them on and off at the same time... this sounds unbelievable to me as it sounds like no technical problem but a way to charge more money to the users )

  • My Yoigo working

  • Keep their promise of not charging more for their services (and even lowering the rates if more and more users come to them)

  • Increase the number of countries for voice and data roaming

They have recently announced their rates for roaming inside the Europen Union and they are the cheapest ones in Spain, so they seem to keep walking the good path.

One day I'll try to compare the cost of use of a mobile phone with other operators and yoigo and post the results.

Strategies like Yoigo's are the ones to impulse the use of data-based services in mobile devices.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Safari for Windows

I have been trying the latest version of Safari for Windows (3.0.3) and it looks like Apple have fixed a big amount of bugs. I hope that you can read an 'n with tilde' --HERE-->ñ<--HERE. That would mean that one of the bugs I mentioned in the past has been corrected. Although they have promised to work on localised versions of the browser, it is not serious that I cannot post using Spanish characters.

NOTE ADDED ON 2007/08/07 0:44: In the following post about my experience with Yoigo, i had to change the Euro symbol by the word euros, as it broke my post as it used to do so... I guess I have to swallow my words. Oh, and some sites like Mighty Robert's, flooded with YouTube and other video players based on Flash, make it crash or freeze. It is still MUCH better than the previous release but there's stuff to do. Localised versions NOW, please!

1st contact with web client for Trillian Astra

After a long wait, the web client for Trillian Astra is available for us Trillian Astra alpha testers. I feel a bit disappointed: although it looks great, it imported my Yahoo accounts, my ICQ and my AIM, but neither Google Talk nor MSN.

It is still an alpha and we'll have to wait. It will be great to have the same functionalities via web as in the native client, but the developers at Cerulean Studios seem to have a long road yet to walk.

Friday, August 03, 2007

How to recover your mobile phone when lost

Last Wednesday, 25th of July, I lost my mobile phone. My wife, daughter and I were on our way to the Canary Islands. The heavy luggage I was carrying from the parking to the airport terminal probably hit the phone (being -poorly- attached to my belt) and it fell on the floor. I realized about 30 minutes later from the supposed moment of the loss. I started calling my number from my wife's cellular. No one answering on the other side. I walked back the path from the car to the terminal several times. I could not hear the tune that I have assigned to incoming calls (Liam, by In Extremo). It is a powerful song, so it was clear to me that someone had found it and was not answering. I kept trying on and on. Two hours later, someone answered: the person in charge of the parrking cabin told me that someone had just sent it to him. He said that he usually does not answer calls from a lost mobile phone and sends it to the Lost&Found office, but I insisted a lot :-)

I guess that I managed to scare the guy who initially found it and bored the (kind) guy in the parking cabin.

So if you want to make sure that your chances are high to recover your mobile phone if you lose it by chance, do not forget to select a song that clearly identifies your phone. A hard rock or metal tune is welcome, so the one who finds it guesses that you are true heavy metal warrior and thinks twice before "stealing" your gadget.

Thanks, In Extremo! I owe you one.

Monday, July 30, 2007

1st mobile post

At least! I made it. This text has been posted via email to It has been quite an adventure as the n80 is all I've had in the last (holi)days.

Monday, July 23, 2007


I will be back on the 8th of August :-)

The magic is back!

Today, we could see Fernando Alonso driving as only an angel or a demon can do in the middle of the rain. Incredible how he managed to beat Massa and incredible how he got mad at Fernando because the latter told the former about his dangerous manoeuvres. Filipe deeply scratched Fernando's car while being overtaken, and he almost did the same a couple of laps before.

For the non-believers, are you sure Fernando was starting to get nervous or are the rest of the pilots already nervous?

Thanks for such a wonderful race, Fernando... and thanks to Thor for bringing the storm in time :-)

Monday, July 16, 2007


First experience with an iPhone. It looks great, it is usable, it is light. It is cool. Anyway, Matt owns a Blackberry for BT connectivity and the rest of the stuff that iPhone does not support :-)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Google Analytics support

I love it. It is just great. Fast (and apologizing if it takes some days for them to answer) and accurate.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Trillian Astra and the mobile web

I am enjoying current Trillian Astra windows client a lot. There is some stuff yet for the developers to do and the web client is frozen until they make it work with the latest version of Trillian servers. I could not try the web client yet, because of that, but I expect a lot from it. I hope I can link all my RSS feeds there so this way, the "My Web" part of the Windows client gets activated and I can check them all. This way I'd remove some RSS Yahoo widgets from my desktop (I am using two of them in order to be notified of changes and then read the full version: Informer and Yahoo! My Headlines).

Of course, thinking of a web client made me wonder if I could ever enjoy Trillan Astra web client on a mobile phone. Well, they have quickly made my wishes come true (or, at least, they will). See this post in Cerulean Studios blog and check how wonderful it will look on the iPhone.

It might work in S60 browser too, as people are enjoying iPhone web apps in Nokia browser (although some refinements should be done to use all the screen of some S60 3rd edition, like N80).

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Support for newer versions of formats

While trying to play a Powerpoint presentation by Microsoft about Ajax support in Pocket Internet Explorer, Powerpoint (2003) detected that the file was created in a more recent version of Office so it encourages me to download a file format converter so I can enjoy it. Great usability feature!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Trillian Astra

After long time being a Trillian Pro user, and having asked for their new Trillian Astra product as an alpha user (well, no matter how you want to call it, releasing something to the user means beta as alpha is lab testing... or this is what I was taught in Software Engineering), I finally received the email with my user and password and link to download the installer.

I have tried it a little before going to bed. By now, it looks faster and more stable than version 3.x. It has included Google Talk as a new IM protocol (in Trillian Pro 3.x you have to do it via Jabber and you lose some of the features from Google Talk) but no one is online right now. Well, it is Saturday night and only geeks and family men are online at this moment ;-)

The only thing that I am asking to Trillian Astra is to improve support for Jabber. I cannot add a contact in CTIC's internal Jabber server without the whole Trillian crashing, so every single Jabber user in the server means Trillian restart. Besides, if I send a link in a message, the message can only include the link... No other single character or it will crash. I hate this as I have to be very careful and chat with people but send URLs separately.

I'll know how much I love it or hate it next Monday, as I connect to xana.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Yahoo Widgets

I have become more and more fan of widgets lately, thanks to Nokia's Widsets.

After trying some widgets platforms for Windows, this is the Yahoo Widgets is the one that I have chosen. It lets me read my email accounts and RSS feeds on the fly, show meeting and tasks to do in Outlook, see slideshows of pics in my computer or in Flickr, enjoy weather forecasts and lots of other things. The look-and-feel is one of the best I've ever seen in any widget platform and same applies to usability.

Anyway, I wish that some of the widgets were a bit more customizable. The technology, in general, is still in beta but is very useful for forgetting people like me who wants to sneak a peek on lots of interesting things at the same time while you are working without having to push for the information.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Red and white pride

I did not have time to post about this when I read about it some days ago. The Centre for Sociological Research (Centro de Investigaciones Sociologicas -CIS-) revealed the preferences for us Spaniards in what regards to football teams. The news are not that 33.7% prefers Real Madrid or that 25.7% loves FC Barcelona. The fact is that my beloved Real Sporting de Gijón is the 15th in the list. The Spanish League (1st Division) is played by 20 teams and although we have been in 2nd division for almost 10 years, we are still in the heart of people. It seems that we are more loved and/or respected than 5 teams in 1st Division and more than any other team in Second Division.

Well, although the CIS is one of the most respected organizations in Spain in statistical studies, I do not believe very much in this kind of works anyway. And less if I do not know the procedure followed in the study. Statistics is a dangerous friend open to different interpretations and all the details of a statistical work must be known before you state something about it.

Anyway, I loved reading this. Oh, and by the way, I think that the real winner was Racing de Santander. This team was the 3rd one in the rank right after Madrid and Barcelona, with an 8%.

Finally, as I previously said, these works are easily open to different interpretations. I included Celta de Vigo and Real Sociedad, being above Sporting in the rank, among 1st Division teams. They both will play in 2nd Div. next season. On the other hand, Real Valladolid, Almería and Real Murcia (the three best teams in 2nd Div, playing next season in 1st Div) are in worse positions than Sporting.

I hope someday soon I'll be able to stop resigning myself with subjective opinions like these (no matter if the CIS claims this is science) and find my team in the "Liga de las Estrellas" at last.

Safari on Windows!

I have just installed Safari Beta 3 for Windows and the first thing I did was to post it in the blog. It looks great and seems to work really smooth (the charts in Apple's web page seem to be true). It is really fast displaying HTML pages but I did not have time to check its speed running JavaScript.

The worst thing that I found by now is the amount of memory it takes (95 MBs only while writing this and no other tab open; I must say that Opera takes only 50 MBs if I have one single tab open in which I am writing a post in blogger). But hey, who reports the weakness of their own software? :-)

Saturday, June 02, 2007


I have signed a contract with Yoigo, the 4th mobile operator in Spain (after Movistar from Telefónica, Vodafone and Orange). They try to do things easily: connection charge, 12 cents + VAT; national call, 12 cents + VAT per minute; text message, 10 cents + VAT; minimum monthly fee, 6 € + VAT. Call fees apply to any mobile or any landline in Spain.

The other operators have great offers in certain conditions but they suck your money when you call out of these conditions. So you have to be using a calculator and read the small print of your contract to be sure of what you'll pay.

Yoigo will still have to improve stuff like roaming (there are countries like USA where do not have any agreement yet), but on the other side they have agreements to call people in the (foreign) country where you are with the same fees as Yoigo national calls. Few countries support this, but I bet they are going to be more and more as time goes by.

Yoigo also promises not to raise fees in the next years (they talk about decreasing them if the amount of customers is bigger and bigger).

I must say that the thing that really made me want to sign with them is that I can connect to the internet with a daily flat rate of 1.2 €.

Yoigo is ruled by Telia Sonera and, in my opinion, this is a guarantee. My workmate Diego Berrueta is happy with them. We'll see.

By the way, I signed the contract with them just by using their web. And the pen I used in order to write it was S60 Web Browser :-)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Still far from mobile web nirvana

I love Opera Mobile on my S60. Its content adaptation and page re-flowing at client side is very good where some other mobile browsers fail. It is even better than marvelous S60 Webkit browser, as it is a great memory consumer and crashes sometimes with certain pages containing lots of JavaScript.

About memory consume by Webkit browser, it is one of the main reasons for me to want Nokia N95 (160 MBs of internal memory vs N80's 40 MBs).

Well, the fact is that the trial period of Opera Mobile expired and I decided to buy it (I think it is worth 19 €). And I decided to do it from my N80. I went to via S60 browser and problems started when I had to input data into a paginated form. No problem in 1st page, as I entered my personal details. But as I had to enter the EMEI of my phone (in the 2nd page of that form), I went into troubles. My phone tells me the EMEI, Opera Mobile tells me the EMEI but... no option to copy it. It is shown on the screen but I have to remember it or write it anywhere else.

Besides, S60 deletes partially filled inputs (at least in Opera Buy page) if I change the focus to another application (to see the damn number). And in one of my attempts, S60 Browser crashed. Luckily, Opera had already sent me an email confirming that they have all my personal info (as entered in the 1st page of the purchase form) and gave me an email and password.

Once again, email and password, when read through the mail client integrated in S60 3rd edition phones, cannot be copied and pasted (so we are again with the same problem).

At last, I will finish the purchase in a desktop browser. We are still far far away from mobile web nirvana.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Label clouds

I am adding a new page element called label clouds, where you will be able to see two pictures of the labels in use in my and in this blog.

The first one is something I found out thanks to my workmate Wikier's blog. It is called extispicious and it lets you get a text cloud showing all the labels/tags used in the bookmarks of a user.

The next picture shows how it looks like. The real service returns an HTML page (not a picture in fact) where each piece of text composing a tag is an hyperlink to the folder in my delicious with all the bookmarks tagged with such text.

The service can also return a collage made with pics taken from Yahoo Images which are tagged with the same tags found in my

The second one, I got to it thanks to Andrea, as I saw it in his blog. It does the same but with the labels applied to the posts in a given blog (in

Let's try Technorati

OK, let's see whether this affects ALBOEV somehow O:-)

Technorati Profile

Online status

I have just added some scripts in a new page element named "Online status". It is meant to show my presence and status in Twitter, Jaiku, Skype and other VoIP and IM services. I have been using some of them for weeks, some others for years (ICQ for over a decade, wow!).

Active users in Gizmo project

The answer to the question I made in my last post: What makes a Gizmo Project account Active?.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

More on VoIP in Nokia N80

Some months ago I talked about VoIP in Nokia N80, the mobile pet with me for the last eight months.

Yesterday, I read in the RSS feed of Nokia Beta Labs the announcement of a new beta tool: Gizmo for S60.

I was a little bit surprised, because it seemed to be the release 1.21 of that tool, and I remember I had tried a version 3.xx. Some other stuff that confused me in Beta Labs announcement of this tool was the requirement to install Nokia Internet Services Support Package before Gizmo rel. 1.21 (it wasn't needed when using the .sis file downloadable in Gizmo Project official web page).

But they talked about IM messaging and online presence detection and it itched my curiosity. So I had to scratch it :-)

Besides, I had read somewhere that (the SIP-based VoIP that won my personal contest) needs 80 Kbps while Gizmo (the other contestant) only needs 20 Kbps.

After installing both .sis files, Gizmo integrated itself with the Contacts tool of S60 3rd Edition. A new tab is displayed between Contacts and Groups called... Gizmo :-) There you can go online and all your Gizmo contacts will be displayed, showing their status. You can phone them to mobile phone, to landline phone or to SIP phone, and even chat with them. Great!

The decision I took in the past in favour of was based on two features: firstly, the chance to call for free to landlines of several countries worldwide, and transparent integration with S60 3rd Edition VoIP/SIP engine.

Being online in Gizmo and accessing the Internet Phone dialog in S60 3rd Edition OS kept on telling me that I was already connected to Gizmo and then the dialog closed. I do not know if I had tried this when I chose voipcheap (I could swear I did and it did not work but my lack of memory is legendary), but this time I tried to connect using Internet Phone dialog before using the Gizmo interface in contacts and it asked me to go online in Nice, this time Gizmo did not overwrite my preference of having the other VoIP service as default.

But the big surprise, after a successful connection to was Internet Phone asking me to connect to Gizmo too. This is the best configuration, so you can be connected to as many SIP-based VoIP services as you want at the same time using the same OS-integrated interface.

Then I went to Gizmo tab in Contacts and I was online and seing my Gizmo contacts' state.

It was all OK except for:

- I tried to call my wife from my N80 via WiFi to our PC and sound quality was poor. She said she could hear me perfectly but I heard a lot of noise (and we repeted the experience three times). So I still have to check that great performance of Gizmo with such a few bandwidth.

- I tried to call my landline phone and a nice voice told me that I had no call-out credits. Gizmo web site says that you can call other contacts' phones for free (see instructions in their web page). My wife is a contact and our phone is shown in her profile so... I do not understand what happens. is greater about this. You have a list of countries with free calls (and some of them include mobile phones, not only landlines). I guess it has to see somehow with the fact that I am not an "active user". I will have to check what that is (I thought it was achieved by following the 3 steps in Gizmo web page, but it seems to be bot enough). I will take a deep look on this.

Real Sporting made it...

We won 2-0 against Salamanca. A decade ago 1st division match taking place in 2nd division. The danger of going down to 2nd B Division is gone. It is a pity that we were among the three chosen teams to go up to 1st Division in the middle of the season and then finish it saving our butts 4 weeks before the end of season. If we manage to keep the same team, we'll have a lot to tell next year. This is the problem of having the 2nd youngest team (after Real Madrid Castilla).

I mean... keep the same young boys and super veteran Edwin Congo. What a great striker!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

It could have been worse...

Real Sporting won 1-0 although the referee did his best to make it as hard as possible for us. Two defenders went to have his refreshing shower before the final whistle, Edwin Congo fell in the rival area but the only one who did not see it should have been punished with a penalty shot was the referee... but in the minute 85, Edwin scored the goal that brings our aim of staying in 2nd Division a little bit closer.

The second miracle of the weekend was not possible. After Sporting-Numancia, Gijon Baloncesto played the match of its history. I entered the arena late, waiting for a pal who gets always late to his appointment. 2nd quarter has started and... 9-34 in the scoreboard!!!! Our guys got 6 points close to Gandía and shot a 3-point bomb which did not enter the rim in the 3rd quarter. Gandía increased its advantage but Gijón Baloncesto managed to launch another 3-pointer in order to be 3 points below. And no luck again. In the end they lost by 15 and will have to play in LEB-2 with big chances for them to disappear. I hope they will be born again from the ashes and that we all shiver and shake with good basketball in our Palacio de los Deportes.

Ah, and Fernando Alonso risked a lot in the first curve of the race, Massa touched him (wasn't it a bit illegal as Fernando's car was some inches ahead?) and he got out of the asphalt. He got back into the path in 4th place and only an electric problem in Raikkonen's car let him finish 3rd. A lot yet to say in this F1 Championship as the season has just begun. By the way, these seemed to be the big names in this season, and Hamilton is already the leader making no noise.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Dramatic weekend for Asturian sports fans

Tomorrow is an important day for Asturian  sports fanatics. Besides the F1 race in which Fernando Alonso will take part (happenning in the catalonian circuit of Montmeló), two teams will have to fight for their future.

Real Sporting is my football team. We were 18 years in a row in Spanish 1st Division, fought for a championship against Real Madrid and lost two Cups in a row against Real Madrid and Barça. Now we have been in 2nd Division for 9 years :-( and, although this season seemed very promising in its first half, the fact is that we are only 1 point above the positions leading to 2nd Division B (the weird name for our 3rd division, making Third Division be really the 4th one... nice, isn't it?). Tomorrow we are playing against Numancia and we really need the victory.

Half an hour after Sporting-Numancia, Gijón Baloncesto (my basketball team) play the last game of the play-out leading to LEB-2. In Spain, we have the ACB, then the LEB and right below there is the LEB-2. We were in the ACB in the 90s and have historically been one of the teams to beat in LEB, but the fact is that history is history and tomorrow we are playing the game of our lifes.

I will attend both games and report... If I live to tell.

I hope Fernando won't finish me next Sunday :-) Win easy, please!

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Another nice application I am using in my N80 Internet Edition is Fring.

Fring is an applications that lets you use VoIP to call other people (normally, free if you call another VoIP client, and with some money cost if you call a fixed or mobile phone line -see my previous post about, lets you detect online presence of your pals and works on either cellular and wireless networks (I do not like Jaiku because of its lack of WiFi support, although it seems to be a great software after the few things I tried before I decided to stop paying for traffic).

It is great to be connected to google talk and be able to either chat or call your gtalk contacts.

They are improving their tool little by little, and next step should be (IMHO) more support of Skype network. It is good to have SkypeOut support (although, having VoIP support and having so many VoIP operators cheaper than skype... what do we need it for?). That better support would be the capability to call or chat with Skype contacts as we can do with google talk contacts.

Another nice improvement would be to import contacts from the agenda in the same way they are in the agenda and not generating a new entry for each different phone number or internet phone identifier of each contact. It is ugly and it is disabled in my phone.

I rather have VoIP activated via S60 3rd edition integrated client, which lets me treat VoIP just like regular calls, and then be online using Fring in google talk, MSN and Skype(SkypeOut only, what a pity)... when I have a free WiFi network close to me.

Btw, and talking about Jaiku, they say it is a clone for Twitter (which I have used as a reader in a Widset widget). I am giving it a try to see it it supports WiFi).

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Google Adsense

By the way, I am trying Google Adsense. I obviously will not get rich, I just want to see how it works.

Anyway, if the number of people reading my blog remains the same, I will hardly get to know :-)


One of the things that I like the most in N80 Internet Edition is its VoIP capabilities. I first started using the Gizmo client available in Nokia catalogs for free, but it does not make friend with the configuration of additional VoIP services. So I uninstalled it and manually configured It is really great to call Spanish landlines (and a lot of fixed phone lines in the world) for free or send SMS for 0.05 € to any place in the world.

It is much much cheaper than Skype (and it is based on SIP) so... I do love it! For some mobile phones in Spain, it is even cheaper than regular SMS calling.

Next step: I downloaded FON Wi-Fi client and... :-)

We'll keep reporting.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


Well, after long without any post being published... here I am on the road again! This has been a quite problematic Easter because of my health so it has not been quite the holidays which were meant to be.

Staying in bed for that long made me remember that I had completely abandoned this blog, so it is due time for me to publish stuff again.

January, February and March have got me busy preparing new projects at work and working on the existing ones. In the meantime, I have gotten involved more and more in W3C MWI's Mobile Web Best Practices and Device Description working groups.

I shall speak about all those things in more depth in the future.

Ah, I finally turned my N80 -that the warehouse where I bought it had imported illegally (as I noticed when I upgraded the firmware and lost Spanish language support)- into an N80 Internet Edition. I have tried VoIP and talked to some Spanish fixed lines thanks to, and also Nokia Maps (the rocking maps and navigation tool that Nokia has given to us all their users for free!).

Enough for today, because my family deserves all the time after having me in bed for the last two days. BRB!