Archive for October, 2009

To: Palm, Inc.

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Some underclocking, undervolting, and putting less pressure on the CPU by actually making use of the PowerVR graphic hardware acceleration would certainly help the battery life, … overall user experience.

To: Palm, Inc.: you can certainly contact us if you need a hand with the open and future tasks!

Another day with the Pre

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Audio quality good, battery life not stellar.

As hobby musician  and having produced some Indie CDs once at a time I’m particularly picky about audio quality. some 3-5 years ago the Sony cellphones were particularly bad examples, such as the K750 or M600i with light noise and particularly annoying clicks between the files (re-initializing some hardware mp3 decoder?). Not so the Pre: with some regular earbuts I can not complain, low noise and no clicks :-) Just the volume level could be adjustable finer steps, … I should probably double check with a Sony studio reference headphone at home (or a scope :-).

However, the battery life is not as stellar: Full charge and no use gives 90% at the end of the day. Some light browsing at night down below 80%. Airplane mode over the night some 73%. A call and some MP3s at work later it’s at 34% right now.

Update: Apparently the built-in Pre music player lacks in-track fast-forward, rewind–read: a play position control :-(!

Windows 7 still Windows Vista

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Phil Schiller on Windows 7:

No matter how you look at it, it’s still Windows

I’d like to add:

It’s still Windows Vista

The most annoying “ding dong, do you wanna continue with xyz” dialogs removed revisited, the worst performance bottlenecks slightly tuned, and a little “s/Vista/7/g” and there we are.

Others Apple might say: Finely tuned.

OpenMoko WikiReader

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

And they really think this will sell? Oh my.

Palm Pre surprisingly good

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

The first 24h on the Pre (it just started to sell here in Europe/Germany beginning of this week) where surprisingly good (the email smtp authentication issue aside). Pretty snappy, even compared to the first iPhone and iPhone 3G I used before (ok, it’s basically the same WebKit on OpenGL|ES anyway, …).

The biggest pro for the Pre -compare to Apple’s iPhoneOS- are the over-the-air updates. The 1h update process (backup, flash, restore) always annoyed me to no avail). On the Pre it’s 10m over the air, reboot and you’re up-to-date (as I implemented this in my own Linux solutions for years). I only wish they would include the “changes” in the “an update is available” message. At least they have an online article. Though now I wonder why I’m up-to-date with 1.1.3 in Europe (O2), while the US customers run on 1.2.1 :-(

Maybe I find the time for a full review in the upcoming days.

Palm Pre no PLAIN SMTP authentication, only doing LOGIN?

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

First impression with the Palm Pre: Did not want to send email. After some excessive SMTP server debugging and logging (not that strait forward if the connection is SSL encrypted, so no easy packet sniffing to see what’s going on) it turned out the Pre did not honor the available, offered authentications. Defaulted (hard-coded?) to old-school’ish LOGIN.

Getting the SSL root certificate onto the Pre was also a little Google exercise. There is a “Certificate Manager” hiding in the Application List (in the top-left context (Preference) menu). But as the Pre did not download the file (displayed it in-line in the browser) I had to copy it form a real computer via the USB storage mode. Import it thereafter, … A “do you want to trust the cert: yes/no” dialog (like on any desktop e-mail app or the iPhone) would certainly be enough, and way easier.

German Telekom and the last mile, a joy

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

‘waiting most of the day for some German Telekom technician to show up, wire up the landline of our new flat. Of course they did not come–got an automated SMS in the afternoon informing about the fact. Listed reason: “unknown”.

The joy of the last mile all in one companies hand. At least O2 3G allowed me to continue with work over the air™.

Bets taken, will they come next Monday (the supposedly next possible target date)?

Update: The story get’s more “funny”. As the 19th is the my father birthday -and while my parents are visiting us for some days here in Berlin- we cancelled their proposed day. Just some days ago we finally go a confirm that it’s cancelled and they would give us another date. Now guess who was standing at our door, ringing, this morning 7:30 AM? Yeah, right–a Telekom technician. At least we now have the signal on the landline, …

Meta UI verses in your operating system

Friday, October 9th, 2009

So all of this major operating systems, such as Mac OS X and Windows now got some kind of little apps between the real apps universes. Like the OS X “Dashboard”, or this Windows Vista and up “Sidebar”. Too bad they’re just lower quality sandboxes with nothing really useful in it, just wasting your CPU cycles, memory and storage.

How’s that? I tried to use the most useful OS X Dashboard widget: the Stickies “mini app”. Not only are they not resize-able, so the content you can fill in there is limited. Today had to find out that it does not even support undo! Accidentally typed with some line selected, and whoops, off your note went. So with no undo (manager) in place, into the data nirvana your supposedly precious note went. Steve: You did notice it’s 2009? It’s even your latest, greatest Snow Leopard I’m talking about–ant the most useful app shipped by default.

Well, what do I complain. At least it supports cut’n paste. There where (phone) OSs that had to live without the later for some two major incarnations.

First De-Mail sent–A Sack of Rice fell over in China

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

So, “finally”. The first De-Mail was sent. A Sack of Rice fell over in China.*)

So who exactly should care? I mean, we now have e-mail for over 20 years. Can sign them with PGP (GPG), X.509, whatever.

What the heck should we need some German specific crippled crap e-mail for? Who would want to use some arbitrary, half Governmental -whatever- e-mail service? Probably including some design glitches and/or security flaws at best? Ok. If you’re the company getting the multi million service contract (T-Systems, right?) and are some involved politician now probably driving some shiny new Volkswagen Mercedes you probably care.

But aside from that: No thank you. I’ll continue to use my own, e-mail server and IMAP storage. Or use something like Google Mail otherwise. Hopefully we’re not forced to sent emails to the Government with this crap mail, can still walk there, show up in person.

Though if you’re someone with some other millions to waste spare, I got some more useful ideas, feel free to contact me.

*) German (, or maybe somewhat international) slang expressing nothing too important happened, …

Update: Chaos Computer Club

Sony Vaio (VGN-)X heading for Windows 7 lunch, too

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

But without a digital video out (mini DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, etc.) and an estimated target price twice as high as the Nokia Booklet 3G, I guess I’ll opt for the Nokia. Especially given it’s 10h+ battery life (Update: 9h with “normal” settings, 12h when performance tuned), 3G, and HDMI. GPS is nice, too. Not that I would need that, though. Too bad it’s glossy, and not 64bit, at least to hope Nokia did not disable the VT of the Z-series Atom (might be possible to locate that bit in the BIOS, NVRAM, otherwise, and flip back on).

Heared the Sony Vaio VGN-X will be Z-series Atom powered, likewise.

Update: So the Nokia Booklet will be O2 Germany exclusive, in the beginning at least, …

Update 2: Sony VGN-X announced, too.