August 2006 Archives
I came from a press launch yesterday for LaCie, the French company that specializes in storage solutions for consumers and enterprises. One of the products they launched was the LaCie USB key. The small credit card size was not as surprising as it would have been if it was introduced two years ago but it still amuses me how such a small device can carry 8GB of data. Does this mark a new trend in portable storage where we'll stop carrying 512MB flash drives and go for these high capacity keys instead? Only time will tell. LaCie is distributed by Millenium Computer Technology Corporation and their products are now available at your favorite gadget outlets.
Thanks to distributor Microwarehouse slashing prices, dealers like Mobile1 can now offer Belkin and Jabra products more cheaply. Now you can get these five items at these prices: Belkin TunebaseFM - PhP 4,650 (from 5,100) Belkin TuneFM for iPod Nano and iPod Video - 2,950 (from 3,200) Belkin TuneCast Auto - 2,950 (from 3,300) Jabra BT500 - 4,450 from (5,300) Jabra FS258 - 2,999 (3,450)
ASUS had announced the V80 late last month. Riding on the popularity of the ultra slims, we're soon going to see a menthol version one of these days.
Systems : GSM 850/900/1800/1900; GPRS Class 10 Dimensions : 101 x 44 x 16 mm Battery : 750 mAh Li-ion Talk time : 2.5 ~ 5 hours Colors available : Black , white and reddish gold Display : 2.0" , 26 0,000, TFT LCD; 176 x 220 Phone book : 1000 numbers and 9 quick dials Messages : SMS, EMS, MMS, E-mail Cameras : 2M-pixel with auto focus, flash and 10cm close-ups Multimedia : MP3 , MPEG4 video record, FM radio, speaker amplifier and song lyrics Ring tones : 64-chord polyphonic and MP3 Voice record : Call records Memory : 55MB built-in memory and miniSD support JAVA: J2ME(CLDC+MIDP2.0), 2 built-in JAVA games Connections : Bluetooth 1.2 (OPP, BPP, A2DP, AVRCP…..profile) / USB 1.2/ Bluetooth stereo headphone, data transfers and printing WAP : WAP 1.2.1 AND WAP 2.0On a highly related note, it seems that the local ASUS phone users group have made their home in this blog for several months now. We've been watching the comments board since June of 2005. Thank you for this! We've created a discussion forum here for you guys because we realized the thread has grown into a life of its own.
To continue what Jayvee has begun: My name is Rico Mossesgeld. Right now I'm a freelance writer, graphic designer, and computer modeler. I've written reviews for the magazine, and made the recent batch of wallpapers. Hope you like them! Like Jayvee, I'm also a member of MaPaLad, even though I don't own a Palm handheld (that will soon change ;-)). Feel free to check out my professional blog on Smartphones and PDAs, The Smart PDA.
MyLo (My Life Online) is making the rounds of tech blogs worldwide. This nifty little gadget is a joint undertaking of Sony and Skype and is dubbed as a "personal communicator" with sporting a 2.4 inch screen, a sliding keyboard and Wi-Fi enabled. The idea behind MyLo is to be able to place and receive Skype calls anywhere there's a Wi-Fi hotspot. Through SkypeOut, MyLo can call cellphones and landline phones and through SkypeIn, incoming calls from cellphones and landline phones can be received. Apart from doing Skype calls, Mylo is also capable of Instant Messaging (IM) using Skype, GoogleTalk, and Yahoo! Messenger plus it can also surf the 'net using a built-in browser. It also has an Ad Hoc mode that lets it exchange music, videos and pictures with other nearby MyLo users. As a music player, MyLo supports MP3, ATRAC3 (a given since this is a Sony product) and WMA (both secure and unsecure). Transferring music can be done three ways: dragging files into it through Windows Explorer, through Sonic Stage or through Windows Media Player 10. Pictures and videos can be uploaded to Mylo through the USB and through a Memory Stick Duo slot. With its sliding keyboard, text can be composed and saved using the MyLo. The format of those texts will be in standard .txt format. I sure hope Sony doesn't botch this one up since so far, MyLo is a very promising device. With its communication and multi-media capabilities, this may become the "next iPod" (note that I'm not using the term "iPod Killer" here) if priced right for their target market. More information from MyLo site (warning: their site is heavy on Flash animation)
The Philippine Palm Users Group aka MaPalad is organizing their August 2006 Learning Sessions for Palm OS devices and applications. Some of the topics will include:
Handmaps and DAs Video conversion for Macs and PC's Internal Memory Management Cellphone and Bluetooth Pairing TipsWhen: August 26, Saturday, 3:00pm-6:00pm Where: World Topps, Greenbelt Mansion, Perea St., Legaspi Village, Makati City CLICK HERE to sign up.
If you own a Windows Mobile device and are ... a Pinoy, well you can find safe haven with other local Windows Mobile users in the new PinoyWindowsMobile web portal. The site also has a mobile version which you can read about here:
The mobile friendly version of the PinoyWindowsMobile forum is now accessible. So far, it is still in its most basic form but it allows you to post new messages as well as reply to them with a simplified interface. This is a 'lite' version that strips the forum of all fancy graphics and extra functions leaving simply the essentials needed. There will still be some improvements with the mobile version maybe extending it to a more colorful site instead of a plain blank white forum. I will try to implement the same changes for the portal as well.
Yes, you can finally buy one. It has a suggested retail price above P120,000 which was the original price of the Ferrari laptop by Acer. Of course, the Lamborghini limited edition laptop is much faster with a dual core processor slapped into its shell. The special edition VX1 comes in a black or yellow racing paint finish and a special Lamborghini bag.
This is a little weird that we're doing this after two and a half years into the blog. We'd like to take the opportunity to introduce the regulars who've been writing for the magazine as well as in this blog. Let me start is off. You probably know me from the magazine as one of the managing editors. My name is Jayvee Fernandez and I'm involved in various online publishing projects and an active member of several local tech communities like PhilMUG, PodCentral and Mapalad.
Motorola has recently launched their "pang-masa" mobile phone campaign with the MotoJeep fleet being deployed around Metro Manila. The Motorola brand name has been associated with expensive phones such as the RAZR and the Ming. With the launch of the new entry level phones, and we do mean entry level folks, Motorola aims to grab a chunk of the mass market with cheap phones such as the Motorola C168, which retails for about P1,600.00 only! Here's how it works - every Monday, Motorola phone owners can flag down the MotoJeep and ride all you want free of charge. Of course, you could stay inside the ornate yellow jeep the whole day listening to the Hello Moto! theme song by the Itchyworms. (It's catchy!)
We're currently testing a beta layout of the site. Things to note are the following:
The top image placeholders are still to be fixed. The paragraph spaces in the text formatting are still to be fixed. The front page is okay but you may encounter some CSS errors in the internal pages. Top links are still not 100% working. Author profiles being updated Comments should be working now.We expect the new layout to be 100% functional by this coming week. In the meantime, do grab a copy of our latest issue of Mobile Philippines featuring Bubbles Paraiso on the cover. As an added announcement, please update your bookmarks - our old address, which was blog.m-ph.com is no longer working. We are sticking to www.m-ph.com. Thank you!
Gracing the cover of Mobile Philippines is fast rising show host and model Bubbles Paraiso. We take a look inside her not-so-hidden geek tendencies and what its like to be the only girl among the male hosts of It's a Guy Thing. On the gadget end, the editors and writers have hands on reviews of the Nokia N91 and Sony Ericsson W900i phones. Other hot devices reviewed are the Creative Zen Vision:M, iRiver U10, the Apple MacBook, Nintendo DS Lite, Jabra BT 330 headset, the Olympus mju 720 digital camera and many more! For this issue, Mobile Philippines also has a feature on Mobile Security, wireless presentation techniques and a look into the gadget bag of INQ7.net's editor in Chief, JV Rufino. Mobile Philippines is the country's authority on portable technology. it is available for only P80.00 in your nearest newsstand.
We’re lucky to be living in a time where we get to watch how a phone hardware company remakes itself. From the old Startac models, Motorola has made leaps in coming up well made phones with a strong brand recall, thanks to their “zero syllable minus the A
With so many phones in the market, let us take a step back to see the ancestry of the Nokia N71. It is obviously a follow up to the N70 candybar phone (err because after 70 is 71) that traces its roots from the late Nokia 6680. You might remember the 6680 as the first candybar phone to have 3G dual cameras. When it was upgraded to the N70, the engineers made the phone much sleeker, gave the main camera a higher 2MP count and gave it an upgraded S60 operating system. A big leap in design for the N71 then: with a new clamshell form factor breaking from the traditional brick layout. The N71 positions itself as the mainstream (read: affordable) 3G phone priced worldwide below USD $400.00. Form factor deconstruction You will recognize eight buttons apart from the 5-way joypad and the numerical keypad when opening the phone for the first time. Familiar buttons are the two menu buttons, the call and end call buttons, the S60 menu button, as well as the delete key and the standard pen key for copying text, which is present in all S60 phones. The new addition to the interface is the multimedia key that rests above the two menu buttons. Often mistaken as the power button, the multimedia key serves as a shortcut to the FM radio, camera, and other multimedia functions. Media mileage Because of this new button, the N71 is being positioned as a multimedia phone (just like almost all phones today) updated with 3G calling capabilities. . It comes with a multiple audio format player for MP3, WMA and AAC plus a stereo FM tuner. Though the Mobile Philippines staff wished the device came with In-ear earphones, it is suffice to say that a Nokia audio headset and adapter comes with the package, something which you would normally have to buy separately in the ancient days of 2004. The phone also comes with dual cameras, with the main one being placed at 2MP (nope, not a Carl Zeiss lens here) and the secondary 3G camera at 0.3MP. Underneath the front camera is a sensor that lights up when taking photos of your face in the dark. It is odd for a multimedia phone to come with only 10MB of internal memory Nokia remedies this with an expansion card slot and a bundled 128MB miniSD card. The lack of internal memory may be a small inconvenience for most, but by upping the memory, Nokia might have to increase the price point. Speaking of things Nokia held back, the N71’s QVGA screen isn’t as bright as you would hope for it to be. It is still functional, and heck, you might not even notice it. Bottomline If you're looking for an affordable and brand-familiar phone with 3G capabilities, then the N71 is highly recommended purchase. It is cheap, functional and the big form factor (think SE W900i proportions) will give your fingers a lot of space to move around in. Image courtesy of Astel.
I've been using the 1GB iPod shuffle for about a year. I figured that if I spent a little extra for the 1GB model, I'd be king of my own little hill. I went into a small fit of despair when the iPod nano hit the shuffle's price point a few months ago. But then I realized that about a year ago, an Apple branded music player for less than P10,000.00 was a steal. I've been asked several times if I'm happy with the "no screen feature" (note I say feature, not liability) the shuffle has to offer. A lot of people may have been duped into this "life is random campaign" but I knew what I was getting into. Besides, I was the only editor that didn't have a flashy drive or a card reader at that time so the shuffle helped me blend in. Honestly, I've never really felt the need for the screen. I only upload my favorites and listen to them while commuting to and from the office and while walking to media events in the vicinity. When driving, I attach the shuffle to my FM tuner. Since I don't have a screen, I can concentrate on driving with one thumb pressing the forward button. Speaking of the forward or "next song" button, that is probably the first piece of hardware that will give way. Not that it has. But frequent pressing to search through songs has made the button less sturdy than the others after a year. By practice, I carry around forty to fifty songs in my iPod, all favorites and I can keep that playlist for several days - weeks even without having to update anything. In terms of allocation of data, I average about 300MB of flash data for important work files and about 400MB for songs, leaving me with 300MB of free space. Come to think of it, I've never maxed out the shuffle's 1GB worth. Accessorized investment The past year made me accumulate five accessories to enjoy my music - the Xtrememac FM Tuner for iPod shuffle, the Capdase silicon protective case, the Griffin In-ear iPod earphone attachments, the shuffle armband and just recently the Limited Edition Bloody Shuffleart which serves a decorative as well as functional purpose for the shuffle. The XtremeMac FM tuner I bought lasted almost six months. The reason why it broke? Well, the cable snapped as I was pulling it from the glove compartment. Tsk tsk Jayvee. I'm going to try to manually fix it though so let us see what happens. While it lasted though, it was one of the better FM tuners in the market because there was not a lot of static in my car. I use a Pioneer head unit with Keff speakers. Because the shuffle has no screen, I didn't need to look at songs while driving: the iPod shuffle promotes responsible driving. I stopped using the silicon case because it got lost (huwhatt!?). Yup, since the shuffle charges directly into the computer via USB, it tends to heat up, expanding the case (note to buyers: remove the case when charging). So one day, it departed from my personhood without my knowledge. How sad! If you are looking for a protective case for the iPod shuffle, I might suggest getting Skinart because it doesn't warp (well, at least it hasn't in the few weeks that I've been charging with it). If you're up for something more classic, a small metal case or the replacement pocket clip available in most Apple stores will suffice. To shuffle or not to shuffle I would rather memorize the playlist from continuous listening than be caught off guard with songs I liked, but didn't want to hear, just yet. So 90% of the time, I turn off shuffle mode. You see with shuffle mode on, I spend more time clicking through tracks to find that song I *really* wanted to listen to, even if the playlist were all my favorites. Stay tuned for the full road test in the upcoming issue of Mobile Philippines!