Mar 11 2010

Skype 3.0 for Windows Mobile

Category: Windows MobileTeknovis @ 2:35 pm

Last week I installed the latest version of Skype on my Windows mobile PDA. The effect of this was that I upgraded from version 2.x to 3.0. My main motivation for doing this was that version 3.0 supports file transfers. I thought that this could be useful for when I am travelling and I take photos with my PDA that I want to share immediately with friends. Sending files via Skype has the advantage that everything is fully encrypted end-to-end, so it does not matter if the WiFi connection is not encrypted.

I had some difficulty obtaining the latest CAB files. Unfortunately, Skype has decided to stop supporting Windows Mobile according to Why can’t I download Skype Lite or Skype for Windows phones?. That is a real pity :(

The currently supported mobile devices are listed in Skype on your mobile. However, many of these versions are crippled so that they do not allow you to make voice calls using the telephone network. I guess that it would be too much of a loss to the network operators :o

Luckily, you can still download the CAB file directly from Skype’s website using the following URL: http://www.skype.com/go/getskype-winmobile-cab

If any readers of this blog are unable to obtain a copy of the CAB file, then let me know and I will share my copy ;)

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Jun 25 2009

OpenOffice One Month Later

Category: Reviews,Software,Windows MobileTeknovis @ 1:06 pm

It has been exactly one month since I installed OpenOffice, as described in OpenOffice First Impressions. Since then I have been using Writer for all of my word processing requirements. I had a few occasions to create new spreadsheets using Calc, but I did not need to use any of the other applications. The documents that I was working with were all relatively simple, and I was using both the Windows version and the Linux version equally.

I am very happy with using it to date. I have not had a single problem, or found any features lacking. I am also pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to transition to using it :o

I am using the OpenDocument format to save all of my files. The only downside to this is that I cannot open these files on my Windows Mobile PDA :( Furthermore, I cannot find any OpenDocument readers for Windows Mobile. I did not originally envisage this problem!

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Feb 03 2009

MP3 ID3 Cover Art on Windows Mobile

Category: Windows MobileTeknovis @ 11:10 pm

Like many people, I have a very large collection of MP3s on my computer. I diligently ripped most of them from the original CDs, and I ensured that the ID3 tags were set correctly. My ripping software automatically gets this information from a database on the Internet, and I am really only interested in the artist name, album name, song title, track number, genre, and cover art.

I share my MP3s with my family, so the MP3s get played on several different computers using different MP3 players, and they also get played on several different types of mobile devices. Everything works really sweetly because all of these MP3 players can read the ID3 tags.

When I bought my HTC P3600 PDA, which runs Windows Mobile 5.0, I also bought a large miniSD card to hold a selection of my MP3s. I was really annoyed the first time that I played an MP3 on it, because the default MP3 player does not use the cover art contained in the ID3 tags! This is another sad instance of Microsoft ignoring a well established standard!

After doing some searching on the Internet I found a simple hack that works if all of the MP3s that share a cover art are in the same directory.

  1. Extract the cover art image from the MP3. This is easy to do using the MP3 player on my computer.
  2. Save the image as Folder.jpg in the directory containing the MP3s that share this cover art. The image will usually be approximately 300px by 300px.

Unfortunately, this does require some effort every time that I want to add new MP3s to my PDA :(

I have since discovered that the MP3 player in Windows Mobile 6.0 does not use the cover art in the ID3 tags, but the same workaround described here enables it to display the cover art!

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Nov 14 2008

Notebook to HTC P3600

Category: Windows MobileTeknovis @ 11:19 am

I have always been a very organised person for most aspects of my life, regardless of whether these aspects are real-world or digital. Unfortunately, I am also quite a forgetful person :( So notebooks and diaries were always a big part of my life! These ingenious tools enabled me to know where I was supposed to be, when I was supposed to be there, and what I was supposed to be doing there!

So it made perfect sense for me to buy a PDA when they first became available. That was so long ago that I cannot even remember what make and model it was! I am probably one of the few people who had a PDA before I had a mobile phone! Since then I have had several, but I usually use each one for a few years. I normally wait until there is a significant technological advantage to me in having a new one. So the technological advantages that have caused me to upgrade to date are:

  • The introduction of a colour screen (even if it was only 256 colours!)
  • The ability to use the PDA as a mobile phone (and carry one less device)
  • The ability to use WiFi (I cannot live without it now!)

Finally, I suspect the next technological advantage that will cause me to upgrade will be a touch-screen, mainly because it will only require one of my hands. The fact that they look so slick is an added bonus :)

So what do I currently use? A black HTC P3600 (otherwise known as the Trinity) running Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0. HTC actually make a lot of the branded PDAs for other well known manufacturers. This is what it looks like:

HTC P3600

HTC P3600

I am not going to write a full review here, because there are already plenty of reviews online. Also, I do not think that it is still available to buy! Instead, what I will do is write about the features that I use most often, the useful applications that I have installed, and the bugs I have found in it that are not well documented anywhere else on the Internet!

Perhaps the single questions that I am asked most frequently about it is “Should I get one?“. My answer to this is always “Yes, if you are the sort of person that currently makes lists on paper and keeps a diary“.

In general, mobile phones and PDAs are devices that I have a strong personal interest in, and I have worked with them in the past in a professional capacity. So I expect to write about them a lot on this blog!

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