The Electric Wand

Thoughts of a technology enthusiast.

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  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #57 - Using Microsoft Tag on Windows Phone

    The “ Tag ” initiative has been around for a little while, in beta guise initially, then general release. The idea is that anyone can generate a 2D “barcode” that can could be a link to a website for more information, could be contact information, some plain text or even a “dialer”...
  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #58 - Find your meeting, or your Windows Phone

    This week, a couple of smart tips concerning Windows Phone 7. Both revolve around finding something – in one case, how to find your phone if you’re not sure where you left it, and the other, how to remind yourself where you’re going. Dude, where’s my phone...? This tip uses the location services built...
  • Blog Post: Apple put the ‘Networks’ in their place

    Having just read Andrew Orlowski’s article over on The Register , it chimes exactly with a belief I’ve had since the original iPhone came out and showed a clean pair of heels to pretty much every other single device: someone had to put the mobile operator networks in their place, and only Apple were...
  • Blog Post: Low-cost hands-free kit, anyone?

    I had to keep this post for a Friday. Was in a taxi going back to Barcelona airport after IT Forum last month, and had to laugh at the driver's low cost solution to what to do with his mobile phone... Actually, talking about mobility and Barcelona... Jason Langridge's session on how to deliver...
  • Blog Post: What next for Windows Mobile?

    I've been a big fan of Windows Mobile for years - ever since the original Orange SPV Smartphone , the ability to easily sync contacts & calendar onto the phone and the way Windows Mobile handles that data, is far more useful than email, IMHO. I even posted about a cool feature nearly 5 years ago...
  • Blog Post: iGot-over-it-already

    You have to admire the way Apple stage manages announcements and releases - despite months of rumours, there's been little of real substance about the iPhone until it was announced in San Francisco on Tuesday . The media coverage the announcement has already got is hard to believe - let alone all the...
  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #171 - eWallet on your phone

    One attribute of your phone is that it tends to be with you all the time , so it makes a great place to store information that you want to get access to when you’re out and about – the details of your car insurer, the password for your online banking site, your frequent flyer numbers etc. The long-established...
  • Blog Post: Virtual Earth Mobile - mapping on the move

    Microsoft's Virtual Earth technology continues to take strides forward - not just in the inevitable mash-ups, but in new ways of accessing the maps (as well as from http://local.live.com ... which I keep on trying to access as live.local.com... d'oh ). There are 3D maps in beta, as well as a cool add...
  • Blog Post: Orange announces SPV E650 Smartphone

    Now this looks interesting... as part of the slew of announcements surrounding Windows Mobile 6 which were made at the 3GSM conference in Barcelona, Orange have started talking about their SPV E650 Smartphone, which is based on the HTC Vox device. Details from Modaco : It isn't 3G, which is a bit of...
  • Blog Post: HTC s740 – great phone, just one thing…

    I got one of these things a couple of weeks ago… in essence, a great phone (I prefer the “smartphone” type device as opposed to the touch screen variety) – I’ve spent the last couple of years with the HTC s620 and it was time for a change. Key differences are that the s740 is a “candybar” type device...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #168 – Loving some Windows Phone 8 tips

    At a recent “Love It” internal event hosted in Microsoft UK’s Reading campus, a whole series of tips and tricks were shared amongst other Microsofties. Did you know, for example, that with an application called ZipApp ( www.zipapp.co.uk – check it out), you can build a Windows 8 app in a few minutes...
  • Blog Post: Using HTC devices as a modem over USB in Vista RTM

    One of the neat things with HTC Windows Mobile 5 devices on Windows Vista is when you activate the Wireless Modem over Bluetooth, Vista will just see the device and automatically detect it as a modem. When you plug the device in to a Vista PC using USB (having first enabled Wireless Modem over USB on...
  • Blog Post: The Campaign for Real Pedantry, erm, I mean numbers

    Hats off to James O'Neill for a display of true, world-class pedantry to which I could only aspire. It drives me nuts to get emails with badly formatted phone numbers which can't be dialled on Smartphones without first editing them, and now that I've started using Office Communications Server 2007 (more...
  • Blog Post: The Joy of Mapping

    We all tend to take maps for granted. In the 17th/18th centuries and even beyond, there were decent sized areas of the world which were just being explored and mapped for the first time. Now, the ease of access to cartographical data means we don't much give them a second thought. I bought a couple of...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #94 – Have you been Mango'd?

    This is another out-of-sequence-because-it’s-topical Tip… normal service will resume soon… I’m glad so many people enjoyed last week’s tip on getting Windows Phone “Mango” and making your own ringtones for it. Yes, ringtone creation is something of a palaver, but brings a sense of satisfaction that refreshes...
  • Blog Post: iPhone over-the-air experience

    Just read Jason O'Grady's blog over on ZDNet and it's quite eye-opening... one thing leapt out: "Wireless syncing . iPhone can only be synced with a cable and can't be synced via WiFi or Bluetooth. This is unacceptable. iPhone has three radios and should be able to be synced with all three. WiFi and...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #95 – the new Windows Phone lock screen

    One of the most immediately user-friendly aspects of Windows Phone 7.5, aka Mango , is also one that is not automatically enabled… Try this out, and I bet you’ll love it. Show to your friends who’ve upgraded: they’ll love it too. Windows Phone supports having a PIN lock policy so that if you haven’t...
  • Blog Post: Windows Mobile Device Center in Vista

    I've been a user of Windows CE/Windows Mobile devices ever since the early days of "Windows CE Services", which later morphed into ActiveSync (currently at version 4.2, but v4.5 should be with us soon). The software has certainly evolved over the years and now provides a fairly decent user experience...
  • Blog Post: Windows Mobile 6 - aka Crossbow

    I've been in Seattle all week at a technical conference and have been largely living on Windows Mobile devices ... I have a QTek 8500 Smartphone (which is really nice and small Smartphone), a Palm Treo 750 (a Pocket PC with a smaller screen and built in thumboard) and an Orange SPV M3100 (larger PPC...
  • Blog Post: Remote control of Windows Mobile

    The other day when I posted about VIrtual Earth Mobile, I was using some really great software to do remote control of my device and screen capture from the PC... SOTI Pocket Controller Professional . It's perfect for demoing Windows Mobile devices... even comes with a huge library of skins (which are...
  • Blog Post: Keeping my SPV M3100 from getting scratched

    I said yesterday that I had a mixed experience from moving to the Orange SPV M3100 (aka HTC "Hermes"/TyTn design), particularly concerning the size of the device (compared to a regular phone) and the belt clip thing that it comes with. Jason , however, kindly gave me a present to keep my phone from getting...
  • Blog Post: Tip o’ the Week #81 – I’m Late!

    We’ve all had that feeling when you just know you aren’t going to make it in time for your next meeting… You know, you’re in Building 1 and the meeting’s at the top of Building 5, or you’re stuck in traffic, or in another meeting that’s already running over and isn’t going to end any time soon..? Obviously...
  • Blog Post: Tip o' the Week #109 - SkyDrive on the move

    Everyone should know about SkyDrive - the free Microsoft service that gives users with a Live ID (including MSN, Hotmail etc) a 25Gb storage space online, accessible ostensibly from anywhere? Well, it's just been made more convenient to access SkyDrive files from mobile devices, thanks to SkyDrive Mobile...
  • Blog Post: My Pocket PC kept waking me up with middle-of-the-night reminders... :(

    I switched fairly recently from using a Qtek 8500 Smartphone (which I still use occasionally and love for its form factor) to an Orange SPV M3100 Pocket PC Phone, and have had a somewhat mixed experience as a result. Pros: The M3100 has a nice screen, a slide-out keyboard (making on-the-hoof email...
  • Blog Post: iPhone gets a date

    Well I'm sure it'll have plenty of people courting it when it comes out, but Apple have announced that the iPhone will be available in the US at the end of June . At least when the phone actually ships, everyone will know what it's really like rather than the seemingly endless speculation (of which this...