PowerBook update

Well, I have done what I was aiming to do and it has been successful, I think anyway. Leopard was installed the other night and using the tips in the Missing Sync for Leopard manual I managed to save around 6gb of space by not installing stuff like printer drivers and other languages although I did, for some reason of which I am not quite sure, install Spanish and French.

Although there is only a 867mhz processor, which puts this PowerBook well down the pecking order in G4 PowerBook bragging stakes, it is running surprisingly well. Those with 1.5ghz G4 PowerBooks must be able to enjoy a nice user experience. I also installed the new battery which arrived a few days or so alongside the Airport Extreme card and I have enjoyed a) the much improved battery life and b) being able to connect seamlessly and with the minimum of fuss to the home wifi network?

I have noticed one or two slightly odd behaviours though and I wonder if anyone can help me out by offering advice. Firstly, the cursor seems at times to have a mind of its own as it jumps around, not a huge distance but it does move. What could be causing that? Next, I am able to control click on the MacBook by placing two fingers on the trackpad and then clicking the bar below it…this has no effect on the PowerBook yet it works when hovering over an app in the dock? Odd. Lastly, when mousing over items in the dock often one of the apps will open seemingly of its own accord and I don’t think I have pressed the trackpad bar to trigger this action.

My initial thoughts when comparing it to the MacBook are that the PowerBook has a far better keyboard. The MacBook, by virtue of its 2.2ghz intel processor is obviously much quicker and the user enhancements made to the hardware make it nicer though to use…I’m thinking here about trackpad scrolling scrolling. I do however, oddly, prefer the PowerBook’s smaller form factor as it is quite a bit smaller being a non-widescreen device, unlike the MacBook. It gives the impression of being much more portable. I really need though to start learning all those time saving laptop keyboard shortcuts.

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More on the Samsung i780

It is turning into a veritable love-in at pda247 with regard to their review of the Samsung i780, particularly since Shaun has discovered how well StyleTap, the palm emulator style app, runs well on the 320×320 screen. From the looks of the pictures of the device with StyleTap in action the application really benefits visually from the enhanced resolution. When I used it on a previous win mob device, possibly the treo 750, the lower resolution resulted in blocky low res looking palm apps.

Sadly, what does this say about Windows Mobile, that plenty of folk want the benefits of the hardware specs that palm have cingularly failed to provide, such as wifi and 3g, but want as little as possible to do with the operating system and applications as they think that a 5 year old o/s provides a better and easier user experience.

Back to the iPhone again

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For the last week now I have been using the iPhone again, virtually exclusively. I’m going through one of those "can’t be arsed with the windows mobile tinkering" phases again and thus the HTC Cavalier and treo 750v have been relegated, I feel deservedly, to the unused gadget drawer for ongoing misdemeanours and all round (at times) irritating-ness. As such, their places in the first team squad have been taken by the Centro and then next in line, the 680.

The Centro lacks some of the stuff I would really like such as wifi but it is super fast, stable and very very pocketable. Those that decry it for missing this or that are being harsh on a sub £200 sim free touchscreened device that is easily and readily customisable via a superb range of 3rd party apps, some of which are free and very much up to the job.

Without wishing to bore you all, I am sooooo looking forward to the big 3rd party apps flood for the iPhone in June sometime. That will unquestionably transform it for me and should fill many of the shortcomings in terms of my useage needs. I will also probably go for the 3g version too as non wifi browsing is painfully slow and without a decent connection speed much of the benefit of a superior browsing experience is somewhat negated.

Batter and better the Battery

They always say that you need to calibrate your laptop battery and that it only needs doing once. This just seems to involve running it right down and then charging it up again. Those in the know about these things say it helps prolong the battery life so by jingo, if it’s good enough for them then it’s certainly good enough for me.

Even as I type this, I am running it down to less than 15%.

You have to fully charge and then discharge your battery only once to
calibrate it. After that, you can connect and disconnect the power
adapter when the battery is at any charge level.

Nokia have nailed it….

Apple get a bit of jip for putting form over function, as if they are the only company trying to inject a bit of style into the mundane world of consumer computing. Nokia try too, with mixed results, as these three show. Putting the "designer" on the advert is a bit naff although I can’t think why, it just is., it’s like when you see a hairpsray advert and it has a picture of some bouffant-ed mid 40’s guy trying to look 15 years younger…"Sebastien La Ponce created Whiff for ladies like you"

Nokia What about this piece of insightful corporate speak  though from Nokia as they launch another 3 phones (as if we need another 3 Nokia phones in the first place) that basically look rather similar to the last 25 phones they have launched:

"there is a strong consumer demand for mobile handsets that blend elegant looks with modern features"

You don’t say!! I was under the impression that people preferred bricks with 1997 specs…..link from Morning Paper

PowerBook failings…and solutions

Iscroll2_2 Yikes, there are a few things not as good on the PowerBook G4 in comparison to the MacBook. It is funny how you take certain things, often very small things/features, for granted on newer machines yet miss them hugely when they are not available on older ones. For example, the MacBook has track pad scrolling and the PowerBook does not, I assumed that "technology" would have been around for ages….yikes, I really miss it.

Luckily, although I haven’t tried it yet, there is a 3rd party application called iScroll2 available for older PowerBooks. Hopefully this will do the job. (UPDATED – boo hoo, it doesn’t want to install on the PowerBook so it is back to square one on that front)

Possibly even more alarming is that there was no Safari installed, instead it came with Internet Explorer…yuk. What an absolute pile of poo that is/was for the mac platform and a horrible throwback to the days when Microsoft ruled not  only their land but everyone else’s computing land too. Of course this is also easily solved by downloading Safari and/or Firefox but I won’t need to do that as Leopard is going on very shortly. Hopefully, this will also restore the strangely missing Bluetooth features previously mentioned??

By Wednesday, I should have the PowerBook set up the way I need it

  • maximum amount of RAM allowed 1.25gb
  • Leopard up and running and updated to the lastest version, without the 6gb of gunk that I will never need
  • the Airport Extreme card installed and subsequently being able to connect to the home wifi network (downloading the Leopard updaters is dependant on this working!)
  • the new Apple battery fully charged and working
  • have Bluetooth working properly, not so much working in fact, just actually being there would be nice.

Centro review…Tracy and Matt

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Interesting Centro review over at Tracy and Matt’s site. They are undeniably the masters of the dull unboxing video and have done an odd review of the Centro which is pretty much very fair although it makes some strange claims.

Palm are keen to offer this as a smart phone, with there own Palm OS
installed. But in testing I found that it lacked features that are
commonly available on competing Windows Mobile, BlackBerry and the
Nokia N series devices – as it does not offer WiFi or GPS.

Yeah, how many touchscreened win mob, RIM or Nokia devices are out there for £179?…or how many of the same have wifi or built in GPS for £179?

But if all you need is to send text messages, emails edit a word
document and browse the internet on the go, then this is the perfect
device for you.

What a strange thing to say, because of course the Centro can do so much more out of the box and with such a huge 3rd party range of apps the world can be very much your oyster with a Centro.