Friday, August 29, 2008

Last Workshop before Japan!


Last mobile web2 workshop for Diploma Landscape Design students before heading off on their trip to Japan on Monday! They are using Sonyericsson P1i's for moblogging their trip, and also as travel aids:

  • Media player - load your favourite audio (mp3 or aac) and video (mp4) tracks beforehand to the memory card
  • FM Radio - plug in the headset - it acts as the aerial!
  • Alarm clock
  • World Clock
  • eBook or PDF reader
  • Calendar
  • Google Mobile Maps for directions
  • Transport maps e.g. Tube2
  • Language translator

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Palringo - Instant Messaging

Palringo is an alternative to Fring, a multi-client instant messaging application


To download Palringo to your mobile, go to on your phones web browser. Palringo supports chat, voice messaging, and photo sharing. It also works on the iPhone.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New Palm Pro

Well, apparently Palm have finally caught up with the rest of the smartphone world, producing the Palm Pro! It's a shame they've 'sold-out' to Windows Mobile to do it! Still no new Palm OS in sight!!!

The Palm Pro generally matches the specs of the N95, iPhone, and Sonyericsson smartphones. At 2MP the camera is pretty lame still - although at least it supports video recording - unlike the iPhone! It's one advantage over the N95 is the full builtin qwerty keyboard, however you have to put up with the Windows Mobile OS rather than Symbian. It may be worth investigating further, but Mac support is limited to third-party solutions such as "The Missing Sync" for windows mobile etc... I don't know if I could be bothered with the hassle when there are better alternatives ;-) I have also found that students are not drawn to the Treo's or Windows Mobile platforms either - keep it for business Windows only geeks! (Way to go Palm - NOT!)




Microsoft® Windows Mobile® 6.1 Professional Edition


Qualcomm® MSM7201 400MHz


320x320 transflective color TFT flush touchscreen



Tri-band UMTS – 850MHz, 1900MHz, 2100MHz

Quad-band GSM – 850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 1900MHz


802.11b/g with WPA, WPA2, and 801.1x authentication


Built-in GPS

Wireless Technology

Version: 2.0 + Enhanced Data Rate


256MB (100MB user available), 128MB RAM


2.0 megapixels with up to 8x digital zoom and video capture


Removable, rechargeable 1500mAh lithium-ion; Up to 5.0 hours talk time and up to 250 hours standby


microSDHC cards (up to 32GB supported)1


MicroUSB™ 2.0 for synchronization and charging


3.5mm stereo headset jack


Length: 4.49",
Width: 2.36",
Depth: 0.53",
Weight: 4.69 oz



System Requirements

Windows® XP,
Windows Vista™

Software on device

ActiveSync®; Adobe Reader LE; Bluetooth®; Bubble Breaker; Calculator; Calendar; Communications Manager; Contacts; File Explorer; Get WorldMate; GoogleMaps; Internet Explorer® Mobile; Messaging; Microsoft® Office Mobile including Excel® Mobile, OneNote Mobile, PowerPoint® Mobile, and Word Mobile; My Treo; Notes; Pics & Videos; QuickGPS; Quick Tour; SIM Manager; Solitaire; Sprite Backup; Streaming Media; Tasks; Telenav; Voice Command; Windows Live™; Windows Live™ Messenger; Windows Media® Player Mobile

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Geotagging with iPhone & N95

The GPS built-in to the N95 and iPhone allows you to locate your position on Google Maps, plot directions, and geotag photos (embed longitude and latitude data into photos taken with the smartphone's camera, allowing location on Google Maps etc...). Other more creative applications are also possible - such as locating restaurants etc...

Online photo-sharing services, such as Flickr, support the use of geotagged data and provide direct links too Maps for locating the exact position where the photo was taken. This can be very useful. This data is usually embedded as EXIF data in a jpeg photo. Quote from Flickr:
What is EXIF data?
Almost all new digital cameras save JPEG
(jpg) files with EXIF (Exchangeable Image
File) data. Camera settings and scene
information are recorded by the camera into
the image file. Examples of stored
information are shutter speed, date and time,
focal length, exposure compensation,
metering pattern and if a flash was used.

When a geotagged photo is uploaded to Flickr, a 'map' link option is presented, and clicking the "more details" link for an uploaded photo will reveal the EXIF data. e.g.

Flickr EXIF data example

On the iPhone, an example GPS enabled geotagging application is "Mobile Photos" - an iPhone Flickr client that supports 'location' details for photos uploaded from the iPhone:

Mobile Photos iPhone app

Mobile Photos on iPhone Settings

iPhone GPS screenshots:

Make sure the "Location Services" option is enabled in the iPhone's settings - as this turns on the GPS!

iPhone GPS1

iPhone GPS3

iPhone GPS2

iPhone GPS4

Nokia N95 GPS Geotagging:

On the N95, use the "GPS Data" application to first get a GPS satellite lock - this can take 10-15minutes the first time - and must be done with a clear view of the sky - either outside or on a windowsill!


Start the "GPS Data" application, then select "Navigation", "options", "Show Satellite Status".

When satelite data is obtained, several dark coloured bars will be seen:


Now use either the "Location Tagger" or "Shozu" applications to add geotag info to your photos before uploading to Flickr.

Location Tagger:


Turning on Geotag option in Shozu Settings:


N95 GPS & Google Maps screenshot


N95 Geotagged Photo

N95 gps test

Monday, August 11, 2008


Evaluating the ASUS EeepC (900) for use as a cheap. lightweight WiFi laptop for students. Currently it sells for $749NZ, but the 901 is due soon (Double the processor speed and over double the battery life! - same weight & dimensions). It's Linux OS and simple use of open-source and Web2 tools make it an ideal introduction to the world of Web2 in education.

EeePC screenshot: Internet

EeePC screenshot - EeePC Internet based applications - opensource Linux.

  1. Web = Firefox2
  2. Links to Google Tools/Apps

  3. Skype

  4. Messenger = Pidgin

  5. Mail App = Thunderbird

  6. Scripts for Bluetooth (requires additional BT dongle on 900 - builtin on 901)

  7. VODEM script, etc...

Vodafone Casual Data

Here's an example of an SMS that VFNZ sends re iminent 3G data cap blowout. The new VFNZ casual data daily allowance of 10MB for $1 is certainly a huge step in the right direction - great for email, RSS, & a bit of web surfing - but avoid downloading Youtube videos - as you'll blow your daily cap in one go!

vodafone casual daily data cap notice

$1 per MB after the daily 10MB limit reached!

Vodafone NZ new daily casual data cap

Vodafone are advertising their new casual data rate as "Vodafone NOW"

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Mobile Codes in Japan

2D Mobile codes are very popular in Japan - below is a YouTube add about mobile Cods in Japan.
Mobile Codes are supported on most smartphones (cameraphones) including the iPhone

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Sunday, August 03, 2008

'Unlocking' the iPhone 3G

I've been happily using an iPhone 3g via wifi - everything works great, however when using 3g on the Vodafone NZ network I kept getting 'PDP authentication error' messages and no connection. It turns out that iTunes downloads an APN setting to the iPhone that effectively locks the 'unlocked' iPhone to an iPhone plan only APN! To set the iPhone to use any APN browse (using wifi) to and enter the prefered APN (use 'internet' for unrestricted access). Restart the iPhone and you will now find a "profile" setting in the iPhone settings with the new APN. Now you can use the iPhone with any Vodafone data plan - including the brand new casual broadband data rate that works on prepay SIMs ($¹per day for a 10MB per day data cap).

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