slight site re-jig

Yesterday I finally got round to making a start on re jigging the site. Over the course of the coming days (and knowing how these things tend to go probably months) you may see strange things happening with the layout of the site as I switch backwards & forwards between the current theme and the new one.

My new theme is based on the basic word press theme by Ron Adams which has given me a nice blank canvas to build up from.

If you’re not sure which theme you’re looking at – look up the top of the page, if you see a big orange block with diagonal stripes it’s the old theme (based onfluidity3c).

The new theme has a similar colour scheme, as I decided I needed some continuity. I’ll post again when it’s finally unleashed.

living with the Vodafone v1605

In a recent post I talked about how I got my hands on a Vodafone V1605 for free; having had the phone for a month now I thought it made sense to talk about it in a bit more depth.

v1605

Overview:

The Vodafone V1605 is the Vodafone branded version of the HTC hermes; it’s a Windows Mobile 5 device. Here are the full technical specifications for anyone that’s interested.

It’s quite a large device to carry around, although not that much larger than my old Nokia N70, it feels really solid and well put together. On the whole it’s really nice to use however – this being a windows device it does lock up from time to time forcing you to carry out a soft reset. Most of the time you just roll your eye’s and reboot, but it’s infuriating when it locks up when you’re trying to answer a call.

Set up:

Things didn’t get off to a great start when the phone crashed the first time I switched it on: while running “SetHSDPA.exe/Disable, a reboot sorted that one out.

The first thing I did once I’d gone through the set up process was upgrade the ROM so I’m now running the latest version of the firmware.

Getting GPS to work on the vodafone V1605:

Next I decided to try and get Google maps for mobile installed. Getting the application installed was a doddle, getting it to talk to my GPS reciever wasn’t. After hours of frustration I found this article which explains how to activate GPS on the V1605. It turns out that by default Vodafone hide the GPS settings in the control panel and you need a registry hack to reveal them. Once I got passed the initial issue of getting the handset to talk to the GPS receiver Google maps worked a treat.

Accessories & Software:

At the same time as ordering the phone I got myself a 2GB memory card to install applications & save files on – so far I’ve only used about 10% of it! I also bought a cradle so my phone can sit on my desk in the office & stay synced with my PC. This got me thinking, if the phone is always connected to the PC wouldn’t it be nice to be able to send text messages directly from the PC rather than have to pick the phone up? After a bit of searching I found my moblier a great little piece of freeware that talks to your phone over activesync and displays the phone’s screen on your PC’s monitor allowing you to navigate around the phone’s functions with the PC’s mouse & keyboard! Then I discovered by accident that if I move my mouse pointer of the left hand side of my monitor, it appears on the phones screen! This is brilliant, it means that my phone becomes effectively a third monitor on my desk albeit a tiny one.

I’ve tried a handful of other third party applications out too, including:

  • SPB mobile shell. This is “shell” that sits on top of the windows mobile operating and ads things like a fancy clock and weather forecasts to a “now screen” (today screen replacement). It is very pretty, but since uninstalling the trial I’m surprised to say I haven’t missed it
  • HTC Custom, a tool for your HTC Windows Mobile 5 or 6 device’s settings. Pretty useful tool and free too
  • Opera mini, So far this is the best web browser I’ve found for Windows mobile
  • Minimo, Mozilla’s mobile browser. I really wanted to like this little app, but frankly it’s just boring to look at and doesn’t feel as slick as opera.

All in all I’m pleased with my V1605, we didn’t get off to the best of starts – but I think we’ll be happy together for the next 17 months.