If you are looking for a 3G phone running Android on AT&T, the pickings are slim. (Mostly because AT&T’s 3G bands are not compatible with many other carriers, and most Android GSM phones work with T-Mobile’s 3G bands. If you are willing to drop down to quad-band EDGE data most GSM Android phones will “work” with AT&T, they just suffer from slow networking.) Continue reading
I refilled the Li-ion cells in my laptop battery about 18 months ago.The battery has worked as expected since then. The only "special" treatment this battery gets is that it travels in my laptop (as opposed to being the extra battery in my backpack) when traveling through TSA security checkpoints. (I figure it's better the have the battery with the fully applied IBM label sticker visible in the backpack, and the battery where I pulled off the label sticker to dissasemble it safely integrated with the laptop.)
Over the last 18 months, the battery capacity has reduced itself to 44% of the original value (This happens with LiIon cells as they age). My last full capacity ACPI reading is now 21060 mWh, and provides 1-2 hours of working time on my IBM X31 Thinkpad. In a few more months it will be time to replace the Li-Ion cells again. Luckly, a friend gave me an IBM T60 extended battery (containing 8 cells) that had failed. When I took it appart, it appeared that 6 of the cells worked fine, and two of the cells were dead (killing the entire battery). TaDa! 6 free replacement cells!
To get a Motorola Bluetooth wireless PC card (PCMCIA) (version 2) working with Ubuntu linux, all I had to do was download the windows driver from Motorola and extract (using unzip) the Drivers.W2k/BT3CPCC.bin file to /lib/firmware/BT3CPCC.bin.
This card works correctly, but I am able to get faster transfer times using a USB bluetooth adapter (from ellink). For example, transfering a 1.1MB file from my phone via the USB Ellink adaptor takes 27 seconds, while the same transfer takes 47 seconds using the 3com PCMCIA adapter. It is possible that this adapter is a Bluetooth 1.0 or 1.1 device as opposed to a 2.0 device.
This Bluetooth wireless mouse/keyboard (HID device) includes a laser pointer, five way joystick style mouse, and two option buttons. The mouse portion works basically out of the box with my linux laptop.
I recently had trouble using the standard kbluetoothd and KDE OBEX file push client to send a movie to my Motorola V3xx cell phone over bluetooth. The transfers would be denied with no explanation. I decided to try the command line tool obexpush (written my Marcel Holtmann of the BlueZ project) to see if I could get a better error message. Continue reading
The Motorola RAZR V3xx is one of Cingular's new non-smart 3G phones, and can be purchased relatively inexpensively with a contract. (Amazon sells them for 0.01 with a 2 year contract, cingular charged $79 the last time I checked.) Although it doesn't have a mini-qwerty keyboard and good email support like the Blackjack, 8525, or Treo 750, it also costs $200-400 less. The Motorola RAZR V3xx is in the same class as the Samsung A707 SYNC and the LG CU500 Phone in that it supports 3G, playing music, and Cingular videos, but it's 3G chipset is twice as fast (3.6 vs 1.8). Continue reading
The LG CU500 Phone is one of Cingular's new non-smart 3G phones, and can be purchased relatively inexpensively with a contract. (Amazon sells them for 0.01 with a 2 year contract, cingular charged $50 the last time I checked.) Although it doesn't have a mini-qwerty keyboard and good email support like the Blackjack, 8525, or Treo 750, it also costs $200-400 less. The LG CU500 is in the same class as the Samsung A707 SYNC and the Motorola RAZR V3xx in that it supports 3G, playing music, and Cingular videos.
How to place a Motorola HS 850 bluetooth headset into paring mode:
- Close the boom to turn the unit off.
- Hold down the call button until the blue light comes on.
- While holding down the call button, swing the boom open.
- (Now you can let go of the call button.)
The headset is now in pairing mode, and you can search for it using your phone. When it asks for a PIN, use 0000.
The Samsung Blackjack is a nice piece of hardware. The screen is beautiful, it is well proportioned and fits well in my hand, the scroll-wheel makes it easy to select from menus, and it's thin enough to be carried in a hip pocket despite the factthat it's wider than most phones. The camera is adequate for a cell phone, and the speaker is plenty loud. The phone actually has two speakers,one in the ear-piece, and one on the back that is used to play audio from everything that isn't a phone call (movies, mp3, speaker-phone). The only downside to this is that people behind your phone get better (and louder) sounds than you do, which may be good for sharing music, but isn't as appreciated when you're watching a movie in public. As with every other 3G device I've played with (namely the LG CU500) a standard Bluetooth headset works for call audio only, and will NOT play mono-only sound from the movie/mp3 player. See my rant on 3G phones and why I hate this.
I have tried out two 3G phones that work on the Cingular Network, the LG CU500 (a flip phone) and the Samsung SGH-i607 (a.k.a. Blackjack) Windows Mobile smart-phone. Both devices support the A2DP Bluetooth profile, for connecting stereo Bluetooth headphones to listen to stereo audio in movies and music, but… Continue reading