Recently in Gadgets Category
- Qwerty keyboard. Normal mobile text input methods aren't up to much when using applications like Putty. The qwerty keyboard is comfortable to use, and works out a lot faster than T9 for me.
- Wifi: Free internet access is always going to be better than paying Vodafone for 3G or GPRS.
- Active Standby: The standby screen on older Symbian S60 phones has always been sort of boring. With recent versions of Symbian S60, there are now a couple of shortcuts along with calender entries and recent text messages on the screen.
- Compatible with older car kits. One of the big problems for me is that a lot of the newer Nokia phones don't seem to have cradles compatible with the CK-7W car kit. With the MBC-13L, I can get into the car, throw the phone in the cradle and drive away safely, while having the phone charging and ready to use. If I forget to take the phone out of my pocket, it will still hook up to the car kit over bluetooth.
- Small Screen: Compared to phones like the N95, the screen is very small. This becomes a slight problem when using applications like Putty. The default font on Putty is so small, that a microscope is required. Luckily there are more friendly fonts available here.
- Active Standby Plug-ins: According to the manual, there should be an Active Standby plug-ins option
available in the phone settings, however this seems to have been disabled, presumably by Vodafone. These plug-ins should allow handy things like showing number of waiting voice mail messages and notes entries on the standby screen.
- Lack of automatic key lock. A fairly standard feature in Nokias has been the ability for the phone to automatically lock the keypad after a few minutes of inactivity. There is third party software available to do the job, namely Autolock, however it's still a strange omission.
What the Slurp actually does is connect to as many wifi networks as it can, up to a maximum of six. It then presents all the wifi networks as one super fast connection to your PC. The legality of this is probably questionable in a lot of countries, but it's still a very cool piece of kit.
I'm currently in the market for a new MP3 player. I currently have a Creative Zen Touch 20GB which, in fairness, is a great device. The main points going for it are good battery life and a decent interface. However it lacks USB Mass Storage support, and has a very very annonying "Random" button on the front which I'm too good at accidently pressing.
Standard USB Mass Storage support is the main feature that I will be looking for in the new player. I have about 10G of music on the Zen, which means 10G free. You can transfer normal files to it, however unless the computer at the other end has the correct software, it's not all that useful. If I'm using Ubuntu or Debian, it's not too big a deal as I can simply apt-get install gnomad2, but on a Windows PC the Creative software is up to usual Creative standards. In order words, not the best.
Another nice feature would be Ogg support. I'm not going to re-encode the big pile of CD's in the corner of my room, but I would have no problem encoding new CDs using Ogg. WMA support is very down on my list of priorities for some odd reason :)
From searching around the internet I've come across the following options:
- IRiver H340: Seems to do all of what I want. Doesn't explicitly say USB Mass Storage Support though.
- Vibes: Looks nice, but has only 12G of space.
- Rockbox Based Player: Getting a device and flashing it with Rockbox will mean that even an Ipod will do what I want, and will even give me Doom!!
Does anyone have any suggestions as to what to go for or any experience with Rockbox?
I think I could do with a collection of these alarm clocks :) I could see some of them getting me into serious trouble with house mates though!
UPDATE: That link seems to have died, however I found a link to my favorite one, Clocky, The Hiding Alarm clock. This has been added to my wishlist of toys to get :)
UPDATE: Changed the Clocky link to the Nanda page.