PDA Essentials new edition

I had a double bonus on my return from holidays last week as waiting for me was the new edition of PDA Essentials and the long awaited reurn of PalmTop User, the latter is available for subscription overseas too. There’s not exactly a huge choice of handheld mags available in the UK so anything that is available is warmly welcomed.

This month’s PDAE is especially good with lots of reviews of new devices and an interesting group test of "email" devices which includes the 750v and the lardy boy of mobile computing, the Nokia E61. It may be slim but check out the girth of that guy.. I was disappointed to see that they reckon the 750v trailed in last and is starting to look "dated"….how can they say that? It’s always been dated…They do say it has the best keyboard, which in an email test, I would have thought counted for more.

They also review the HTC Touch and the new Motorola Q9. There is also an interesting article on the future of touchscreen devices and the usual selection of informative tutorials which I certainly learn quite a bit from.

And of course there is the new Palmtop User which comes out rather infrequently but is always worth the wait. You can subscribe here...This latest edition has some very good stuff in it with 8 full new devices reviews, how to make the most of desktop syncing and a look at the return of keyboarded devices of late.



In preparation for my severing of the ties with .mac, yes I’m finally doing something about it, I have been getting in touch with those people whom I need to alert about the change to the gmail account…I’m talking here software providers initially.

I’ll be losing the "free" mac backup utility but that is not a concern as I didn’t rate it much anyway. As a result I’ve been looking elsewhere to get a mac backup utility and one of the sites I visit had done a review of several well established mac utilities and recommended "Super Duper" so I have downloaded it and am trying it out. There is a free version which seems adequate enough for my needs although the paid for version adds scheduling & SmartUpdate amongst other things and I may go for this later on, maybe not.

Frankly, the first time I used this I didn’t know what I was doing and it ended up causing me some trouble. I copied the whole of my Hard Drive to an external source, ran out of space and had to abandon it near the end…after 2 hours of copying. I then had to delete the stuff on the external HD but couldn’t delete a huge amount of stuff from the trash as huge amounts were locked. Luckily I found a mac tip to delete them all at once otherwise doing it manually would have taken hours or required a visit to ‘terminal"….

Deleting locked files
Locked files can easily be deleted if you press Shift-Option or Option
key combination while emptying the Trash (in Mac OS X 10.1 and later).

Those of you wise enough to read the manual will probably find it to be a very good app!!

Toshiba Portege models

Seems like Expansys can’t give the G500 away at the moment. From it’s initial £349 launch price the cost has continued to fall and is now sitting at £199 plus a free 512mb card. They must be sitting on excess stock and can’t shift it, no doubt due to some pretty iffy reports and reviews. In addition, the G900 model has had to have a pretty quick official patch to sort out a freezing issue. It’s hard to understand how they manufacturers can launch models with faults like this and it brings to mind the Treo 680 camera battery draining issue.
Surely, such faults would be picked up when testing the products prior to launch? It smacks of them just trying to meet deadlines and getting the product out and at the same time adopting a "we know there’s a fault but will fix it pretty soon" attitude which to me, is a pretty poor way to treat customers and will have longer lasting negative consequences. If and when the next Toshiba model is launched people are going to be more wary are they not?

Making the switch from .mac

Mac_mail Over the weekend I finally started to do something about this, further bolstered  by a fresh inwave of junk email into my .mac account which I estimate now accounts for about 50% of that useage…it’s now at the point where I can hardly bear to download email from it. Changing email provider is one of those things that you think is going to be a nightmare and will take ages to do but after just a couple of days I’m pretty sure I’ve got most of my important stuff switched over to gmail. So far, it has been relatively simple.

An advantage of doing it early, my .mac account actually isn’t due until October, is that this gives me time to monitor the email coming through .mac in the next 3 months to check that I haven’t missed anything important that needs to be switched.

It’s amazing the amount of websites and newsletters I have subscribed to over the years, most of which I never even bother reading and certainly won’t miss. I have about 5 weekly newletters from ebook sites coming in depsite the fact I have only ever bought about 3 ebooks in the past 5 years. I’ll also be far more wary of signing up and handing out my gmail address in the future willy nilly to any Tom Dick or Harry.

I’ll miss the IMAP support but by regular desktop client, Powermail, will allow me to transfer important emails into existing folders for safe storage of important stuff so that will just have to do for now and is not a terrible hardship anyway.

My Mobiler – free windows mobile app

I saw this mentioned over at one of the windows mobile (coolsmartphone.com) sites last week and it sounds interesting….

I’ve neglected to mention a brilliant application called My Mobiler. It’s a little bit like the old ActiveSync Remote Display
from years back although this is easier to install and comes with more
functionality. Not only will it let you view your mobile screen on your
PC but you can also control it too – making sending text messages a
breeze. Plus there’s absolutely nothing to stop you – the software is
completely free!

Download to your PC from this page
and then run the EXE. It’ll install the program and, provided you’ve
ActiveSync’d your device, let you see the screen straight away. You can
also copy and paste text between the mobile and your computer, capture
the mobile screen as a BMP or JPG and even "drag and drop" files to
your mobile (now that’s cool) !

This is absolutely excellent software – even though it’s free there’s still a fantastic support site
too. It works on every version of Windows Mobile and definitely goes
onto our list of "essential software". Indeed, this screenshot was
snapped using the software just a few minutes ago. We’re impressed.
Download this, download this right now.

CW have the iphone?

Whilst away last week I received an email from Computer Warehouse, who are a big mac online reseller, saying that they have their hands on the iphone in the UK and have one "of the few" available for demonstration in the UK. You just have to pop into their Brentford showroom to have a peek. It was quite interesting over the past 2 weeks or so to see the continuing flurry of posts about this device on various sites and it seems to be continuing to maintain its’ hype.

Sony W960

This is slated to be released later this year and it looks interesting. They have dispensed with the previous version’s keyboard and gone back to a normal phone keypad but it will have a touchscreen. It sounds like it is really aiming more at the music market and it will have a very healthy 8gb built in which should prove ample for most people for storing music. It will also be 3g and wifi equipped making for good connectivity on paper. The screen is quite big at 2.6 inches and the camera a healthy 3.2 megapixel.

I’ve gone off Sony’s stuff of late as my phone experience with them via the Cybershot K800i and the previous W850 were less than wonderful, good little phones but their smartphone capabilities were limited compared to what I was used to. In addition, I found using the small keypad difficult and frustrating and was always pressing the wrong button. Just not for me basically although there is no denying that Sony make what look like desirable devices.