My gear

I am currently using two laptops, one netbook and one tablet, apart from the mobile phone… let’s take them one by one:

Office laptop: HP Pavillion tx 1110us, an old but still functioning workhorse. It features an AMD Turion 64 X2 Dual Core Mobile Technology @ 1.60GHz, 2GB DDR2 SDRAM, 12.1″ WXGA High-Definition HP BrightView Widescreen Convertible Display (1280×800) (swiveling like a tablet but not touch-sensitive…), 120GB (5400 RPM) SATA Hard Drive and a Nvidia GeForce Go 6150 graphics card. With Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit installed, it works like a charm despite its age. In addition, it has been through a series of motherboard changes, as the infamous issue with the Nvidia GPU appeared and could not be serviced despite the replacement (twice!) of the motherboard. Finally, a colleague of mine decided to take the situation in his hands and managed to fix the laptop for good with only some thermal CPU paste and a 5-cent coin!

Now the laptop is stable and used daily for my office tasks (mostly emails, document processing and a lot of web browsing). Its three USB ports are always occupied by a two-button, optical HP mouse, a USB cradlewhich is used to sync my HTC Blackstone (Touch HD) and at the same time charge the 2nd battery, and finally a Western Digital My Passport Essential USB 3.0 500GB (Red), in which Portable Thunderbird and all my emails are stored. The inbox is backed up every 2nd day in my company’s data server (manually – I have to remember that!).

Next to my laptop sits the newest member of the gadget family, a pearl-white Lenovo Ideapad A1 tablet: 7-inch capacitive screen (1024X600), 1GHz CPU, 1 GB RAM and 16 GB of storage. It is my companion during my daily trips to office and back, so I keep some of its apps updated (e.g. Lifehacker, Popsci.com, mails etc.) to keep me busy during my commuting.

Home laptop: Back at home I mainly use a Lenovo G550, which is a no-thrill, basic laptop: 15.6” screen (1366×768) driven by an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD and powered by a Intel Celeron Dual-Core T3100 (1.90GHz, 1MB L2 cache, 800MHz FSB) combined with 2GB of DDR3 400MHz RAM. The OS is Windows 7 Home Premium (the favorite OS of low-end laptops), but it is ok, as this laptop sits on the arm of my couch just for web surfing/checking emails (and watching movies when nothing interesting is on the TV!).

Netbook: Another machine usually sitting in a drawer at home is an Acer Aspire One 751h netbook: It was initially purchased as a lighter alternative of my broken HP Pavillion tx-1110us, as I needed something smaller and lighter due to the fact that I kept commuting with my Dahon Boardwalk folding bike. Fortunately my laptop was fixed, as the 751h proved to be much weaker than I expected. It seems that in order to keep the battery life as high as possible, and taking into consideration the relatively large (for a netbook) 11,6” 1366×768 screen (HD resolution), they decided to combine it with a low-power Intel Atom Z520 CPU @ 1.33-GHz  and 1 GB of RAM, along with an Intel GMA500 GPU, which despite its decent specs, it always suffered from bad driver support… In most cases the 160GB HD at 5,400rpm keeps reading and reading and reading and the whole system (Windows 7 Pro) is usually so slow that I can hardly do any multitasking.  the bad thing is that due to the proprietary drivers of GMA500, it is only partially supported by a number of Linux distros, so I am stuck with Windows. Maybe a format and the use of Windows 7 Home Premium would be a solution to this issue.

This netbook is my companion in my business trips or during holidays, where only minimum usage is expected (e.g. web browsing, checking emails and storing the photos from my digital camera). The good thing is its battery life, which may be close to 5 hours of working.

During my daily commuting to office and back, I usually carry my staff in my dA PRO Digital Artist Backpack, a b-day gift from my colleagues. It is really slim and it took me quite a while to get used to it, as I used to carry much bigger backpacks with me. However, it looks really nice, it has some really nice pockets, a waterproof cover and I can stuff my tablet, calendar/notepad, a small umbrella (for the rainy days), some snack in a food container and a number of pens/markers, cables, chargers etc.

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My life with my brand new mobile phone – LG Optimus 7

About 4 months ago I received a call from my best friend, asking me if I wanted to buy his Windows Phone 7 (WP7) phone. I was really surprised, because a) I knew how much he loved his phone and b) I already had a fully working mobile phone that I also loved (an HTC Touch HD – Blackstone, with Windows Mobile 6.5). However, since I wanted to have at least a back up mobile phone, just in case, I decided to give it a try.

After a few days, the LG Optimus 7 was in my hands, in its original box and with all original stuff in it. In fact, my friend also gave me a long hands-on with the mobile, since I was fresh in the WP7 area and I had no experience with this OS. The interface was so easy to use that I could not believe that! Only three main screens: The home screen with the tiles/shortcuts, the app list and the settings screen. That’s all. No file browser needed for digging up the files,  no complicated menus leading you in hidden settings, nothing. Access to almost everything with a slide or with a click.

Photo taken from GSMArena.com

The phone has three hardware buttons: The left one is for back, the center one is the Home button and the right one is the Search button. They work flawlessly, no matter what you are doing. It also features a micro-usb port, a dedicated camera button (works even with the phone in hibernation), the volume buttons and of course a power button on the top. Unfortunately no micro-SD card slot… it would be really useful but it just doesn’t exist

The specs of the phone are quite interesting for its price: 3.8-inch capacitive screen (480×800), 512MB of RAM / 512MB ROM and 16GB of storage. Yeap, that’s plenty of storage of a mobile phone, trust me! The CPU is a Qualcomm QSD8650 Snapdragon @ 1GHz supported by an Adreno 200 GPU. In practice, the mobile phone works smoothly, with no lag noticed at any time, no matter what. And this is what matters.

Apart from that, it also sports a number of connectivity features, like Bluetooth, GPRS/EDGE/HSDPA, and of course Wifi. In addition, it has a 5MP camera (2592 x 1944) with autofocus, shooting video at 720p and a LED flash! Yes, it is my first mobile phone to feature a camera with a flash after more than 15 years! Amazing…

But enough with the theoretical stuff… what about how the phone behaves in every day use? Well, it is fast. Apparently Microsoft got the message from Apple, where hardware and software is seamlessly combined and the other one from Google, where software tries to make up for any hardware that can be available (not always successful, though) and the result is excellent: The phone is snappy and it never crashes! I don’t know how this happens, but I had seen no crash or app not working since I bought it (almost four months now). No need to soft reset and of course no need to hard reset. Tweaking is only for the brave at heart, since jail-braking your phone needs some work (much harder than in Android) so most of the users are happy with what they have: A fully working mobile phone!

The camera is also nice, better than the ones of my previous mobiles (sorry HTC!). Not only 5MP but also high quality, with vibrant colors and sharp details. Videos look pretty nice, too and the flash is often more than welcome (even though brighter than I would like).

The phone is also really durable: It has been through a series of drops on asphalt, cement etc and I only noticed some minor scratches on the hard plastic body. The screen does not have a single scratch yet, despite my careless usage – thanks to its Gorilla Glass coating! The battery life is also great, especially for a used phone: It will take me more than a day of use before I need to plug the charger in. During weekends, when things are more relaxed, there is no need for me to charge it.

As for the software: WP7 may be the last in line (the newest OS compared to iOS and Android) but it has a Marketplace populated with an ever-growing number of apps, most of which are free. I have found all my favorite apps there (Skype, YouTube, news reading apps, photo apps like Instacam etc.). I had no problem finding nice free apps for the recent Euro 2012 as well as for the London Olympics, navigation apps, tools, converters etc. I am currently not missing any of my Android apps.

So, what’s the bad side of the phone? Well, it is not the phone to blame, it is the OS. First of all, I have a terrible problem with the vibration pattern: Microsoft’s view on “Vibrate & Ring” is “vibrate three times and then let the ringtone begin”! For me it is a bug; for them it is a feature… that cannot be fixed in any way. I have lost quite a few calls when I am on the road and I cannot even hear the ringtone, while the vibration stops very quickly…

In addition, there is a total lack of Greek support (unicode) when composing SMS. This will only allow Greek users to compose an SMS of 70 characters instead of 160, due to the lack of support for unicode languages. Since free solutions are not compatible with LG Optimus 7, the only solution is a commercial application, for which one has to pay. Is this also a feature Microsoft?

Last but not least: Ok, we’ve got Skype. It is a Microsoft app anyway. Can you please make it work in the background? Otherwise it is useless. Or is this also a feature?

My overall impressions from this mobile are really nice. It is very easy to use, nice to hold and sturdy. It has all the features I need, it is a real tool. Would I ever go back to my Blackstone? Well, I may miss some things but no, I wouldn’t. I understand that this would be one step backwards. Hoping that the rather annoying issues will be fixed in the next OS  update (7.8 – there will be no WP8 upgrade for the existing devices), I will stick to my Optimus 7.

::Edit::  While I was working on this post, I got a message that there is an update for my phone to v.7.10.8112.7. As soon as the update completed and the phone rebooted, I was also informed that there was another update to v.7.10.8773.98I am not sure what exactly was updated (and I cannot recall the latest version of my Optimus 7 (before the update) but updates are usually more than welcome!

(Re-) Installing Windows (and the required additional software)

I took some time during weekend to backup some things from my Acer Aspire One 751h, format the hard disk and re-install Windows, as it started being laggy and the hard disk kept reading and reading for long periods. In addition, there was a noticeable lagging in almost every function (e.g. Skype), which made the netbook almost unusuable in some cases (leading to several “Not Responding” messages. I had a dual booting system with Windows 7 Pro and Jolicloud installed, but I heard that Windows Home might be easier for my netbook to cope up with, having lower minimum requirements (even though I didn’t manage to confirm this statement from the Microsoft website). On the other hand, I rarely used Jolicloud (or Joli OS now) during the last months; despite them being advertised as an OS designed primarily for netbooks, it was too cloud-based for me and I found myself missing access to files etc. when I was working ofline. Joilicoud is one of the few Linux distributions with native support for the GMA500 of Acer 751h (which is a really problematic piece of hardware, when it comes to software support/drivers in both Windows and Linux), but I was not ready to

So, this time I went for the Windows Home Premium. Installation was pretty snappy, using a bootable USB with Windows 7 that I had created some time ago.

In the meantime, I tried to install an alternative OS, Zorin OS, which is considered as the Linux distribution closest to Windows interface, so I thought that it might be handy. I downloaded the free version, created a bootable USB stick with UNetbootin Even though the interface was really close to Windows (so familiar), there was no native support for GMA500, so I had to quit it really soon. Unofrtunately I do not have the time nor the knowledge to tweak any Linux settings on my own…

The netbook seems more responsive now, and I started installing my favourite freeware apps in order to bring it closer to my needs:

A, System addons:

  1. Java: A must for the system, as a lot of web sites are depending on Java.
  2. Flash/Shockwave player: Flash installation is not needed when using Chrome, as it is integrated in the system. On the other hand, Shockwave Player is a must, especially in some social networking sites.
  3. MS Sliverlight: Just in case it is needed for the playback of videos in some web sites. Makes video playback smooth.

B. Apps

  1. Google Chrome: I went for the Chrome when I realized how sluggish was Firefox a couple of years ago. Through the years I appreciated the speed and simplicity of Chrome and I have become a fan since then!
  2. 7zip: A must for handling compressed files. It is free, with friendly user interface and minimum user intervention.
  3. GOM Media Player: A great video player, especially for low-end machines like my netbook. Customizable, supporting a wide variety of formats through internal codecs, while additional codecs can be downloaded for free, if needed.
  4. Filehippo: Helps me keep my apps updated. The utility is small and quick.
  5. DriverMax: Helps me keep my drivers updates. I am not sure about how it works, but I get some updated versions of drivers every now and then.
  6. Windows Mobile Device Center: For syncing my Windows Mobile phone (an HTC Touch HD featuring a kwbr WM6.5 ROM)
  7. Dropbox:  For keeping my precious working documents synced between my various computers. I currently managed to have 3GB of space there.
  8. Sugarsync: For keeping my precious working documents, as the 3GB of Dropbox are not enough. I think I currently have 5GB of space in Sugarsync.
  9. Irfanview: A great image viewing and editing app. It is small, light and has a comprehensive package of plugins.
  10. Foxit Reader: A lightweight PDF reader with a lot of useful options (e.g. commenting, post-it notes etc.). I prefer it over the official Adobe Reader app (which is really chunky) but it seems to have issues when it comes to online forms and submitted forms.
  11. Bullzip PDF printer: A great app that allows the conversion of almost all file types to PDF through the Print option.
  12. CCleaner: Helps me keep my hard disk clean and free of temp files. You would be surprised by the amount of space allocated to temp files in your computer. It also clean the registry, by removing useless entries.
  13. Skype: A must for communicating with colleagues and family. Even though I was an old and loyal MS Messenger user, it seems that almost everyone has migrated to Skype (Messenger has even dropped the option for video calls). Using Skype for internal office communication and online meetings with colleagues is really often.

Current gadgets/daily companions [13/08/2011]

15-16" Notebook Backpack BG-4500p (600B-15 Notebook Backpack Urban)

Trust backpackEverything fits in this backpack from Trust: My netbook/laptop + power cable, notepad, A4 pages with info, food container (taken daily to office) & snacks, mp3 player, cables &  chargers, mobile phone, pens/markers/keys/business cards, everything well-organized in the inner slots/pockets etc. It even fits my small bag which contains my wallet, ID/Driving license etc, ready to be used individually when the whole backpack is not needed. It’s really comfortable even when cycling!

It has been widely used for my daily trips to office, in business meetings (well, it’s not really formal but it’s really convenient!), even during my summer holidays for carrying beach towels, shorts etc. One of my best buys!

Sweex MP3 player – MP303 Gold 2GB

It’s not anything fancy but it’s durable, with good sound quality and really Sweex mp3-303cheap. I went out to buy a pair of headphones and I ended up with this mp3 player at the same price (including a great set of white headphones, long lost now…). Ok, it misses some features (e.g. no shuffle mode!) and has some bugs (e.g. starting the playlist from the beginning after each charging…) but I have learned to live with those. The battery life is pretty cool, considering its minimal size and it is really portable. As for the capacity, I have never managed to put more that 1GB of mp3s in there!

It has been used intensively during trips and summer vacations and it is still going!

Specs:

Sweex mp3-303-specs

HTC Touch HD (Blackstone)

HTC_Touch_HDBought second hand (well, third hand to be more precise) last August, after my HTC Touch Cruise was stolen. I have wanted this mobile since I first saw it and I managed to get my hands on it. Great, large screen, sturdy construction, now powered by a custom WM6.5.3 ROM (kwbr 5.7), it has proven to me much more than a phone: Used many times for GPS navigation, watching movies with subtitles, taking photos and videos, reading ebooks, working on excel lists (ok, basic stuff), taking notes and mostly web surfing (we are talking about whole weeks of internet browsing!). I consider it to be a small netbook. A problem with the touch screen appeared out of nowhere last year but it was serviced by Ace Hellas (the official HTC distributor in Greece) as it was still under warranty. Now it doesn’t even have a scratch and looks brand-new.

With a desktop battery charger and a second battery (both holding charge for about a day of working), it is always docked on my office ready to be synced (emails, weather forecast, tweets, photos etc.). Even though I have bought a ZTE Blade in the meantime as a back-up phone, I cannot take the decision to sell one of these two… especially the Blackstone!

Acer Aspire One 751h

AAO751hMy previous laptop (HP Pavillion tx-1110us) was rather heavy to carry around daily, despite its small dimensions (been proven really sturdy though!). I had to go for a lighter computer and I went for a netbook with the largest screen available back then (11,6 inches). It came with Windows XP home and a version of Ubuntu Linux, both of them replaced by Windows 7 Pro and Jolicloud after the first weeks. I have to admit that sometimes it is so laggy that brings me a headache; however I shouldn’t expect much from a weak machine with an Atom 1,3GHz CPU and 1GB RAM (in addition I suspect that the hard disk is also a source of lag). Most of the times it is working fine for light tasks (web browsing, emails, word processing, watching small clips – not HD, listening to music etc.). When a number of applications are open, or when working with large Word and PDF files, the netbook starts slowing down and warning you…

I had some issues with freezing the machine in random cases, but it seems that it is now solved after some updates. This little machine has travelled all over Europe and has been used during many project meetings, summer vacations even as a replacement for the office laptop. It is a great tool, as long as you know what to expect from it…

Dahon Boardwalk D7

Dahon_boardwalkd7I decided to start cycling after 15 years and I went for a folding bike, which I could also transfer in the Metro, for my daily commuting to office. Boardwalk was not the cheapest model around, but I think it had the best value for money when it was purchased. Initially used for commuting to the office, it was soon used for even longer rides (Freeday, Halbike etc.) around Attica. I have made hundreds of kilometers with this bike, and I didn’t have any problems with that, apart from some minor ones (e.g. replacing some spikes and a crank arm). I found the folding style to be convenient when going for shopping (as I usually fold it and take it with me inside the stores) and for office (as it can fit next to my desk). Minimum, cheap service, really fun to ride in the country (just outside the town I live in).

Some of the additional stuff I bought for my Dahon is the Arclite Rack, front/back lights (a number of them, mostly from eBay), a Bell City helmet and service sprays and stuff.

Sanyo Xacti VPC-CG20

I bought this camcorder after a survey I made on similar products. I think I SANYO_CG20_black_back_Mood_LRhave made the best choice: compact & lightweight (really portable), high quality of image and video and recording in HD. It has already been used for shooting hours of video (especially during the CerOrganic training school in Chania this May) with really good performance. The battery lasts for about 45 minutes, so I had to buy an additional one from Batteries.gr, which lasts at least as much as the original one. The 4GB SDHC card I use lasts for more or less the same time, so it is a nice combination! The image of photos (10MP) is not great, but when we are talking about video, I am really pleased. It also features a lot of settings which I have never used.

Gadgets of the past

During the last years I have bought a number of gadgets, not all of them successful cases, for various reasons. Here are a few words about each one of them:

1. Digital Cameras

Agfa CL-18: This was my first digital camera. I was really anxious to get it in my hands and I was willing to pay the 40,000 Greek drachmas (about 135 euros) back in 2000 (if I can recall correctly) to buy it second hand. Its specs look really poor today (0.3 MP = 640×480, 2MB internal memory/no expansion slot for memory cards, no LCD display, fixed lens=no zoom). It could be used as a webcam with a workaround and it had a USB cable included. The photos were pretty awful, no matter if they were taken indoors or outdoors, and they looked more like pastel paintings! I managed to get rid of it at a lower price after some months, packing it with a charger and a set of AA rechargeable batteries.

Kodak DC-3200: My second digital camera. It was priced 82,000 Greek drachmas (about 240 euros) and it seemed to worth it back then. 1 MP resolution (1152×864), 1.6’’ color LCD screen, 2MB internal storage, CompactFlash expansion slot, 4x digital zoom (pretty useless), serial (!!) connection with PC and a number of image settings. I used it for quite a while and it was a nice update of its ancestor (Agfa CL-18). The photos were a little bit grainy but they could surely be considered as photos. Its main drawback was its power consumption (it used 4 AA batteries which they didn’t last long…).

Olympus Camedia C-720UZ: A really impressive camera, successor to the Kodak DC-3200 in my series of cameras. Boasting a 8x optical zoom (even though without a stabilizer of any kind (really useful for that big zoom!), 3MP CCD sensor and all-manual functions, it still produces excellent photos. I never decided to sell it, as I wanted it for a back-up camera. However, it seems that my sister was really excited to use it, so it was a nice present for her. I am really glad to know that this camera is still useful and functioning!

 

2. MP3 players

aiptek310

Aiptek MP3 –310: My first MP3 player, purchased in 2002 for 110,000 Greek drachmas (more than 330 euros) to keep me company during my army service. It had 128MB internal storage, LCD backlit display, some basic settings and voice recording. It used an AAA battery which lasted for some hours. Due to its memory limit, I had to re-encode my mp3 files to a lower bitrate. Radio was only available using the earphones included in the package. It is still functional after ten years in rain, dust and many falls!

3. Mobile phones

Ericsson GF-768: My first mobile phone. Small, elegant and really tough. Once it fell into a pool of rain water for 20 minutes and it survived! I t was really easy to use, having only the basic features as well as a screen of one line! It never stopped working but I sold it as soon as the battery started dying. Apart from that, I was really pleased with that phone!

 

4. PDAs

Palm IIIxe: My first attempt to buy a PDA. I cannot recall the exact cost or the date of the purchase (second hand) but I was never satisfied with it. It was really portable, I had downloaded a wealth of free programs (most of which I never even installed) and I kept it with me as a calculator, dictionary, expense diary, downloaded news to read on the road, car fuel consumption tracking etc. Its major drawback was its lack of flash memory, which I learned the hard way: After using it as a diary/expense tracking log during my summer holidays, it ran out of batteries and I lost everything (!!) on my way back home… I was so disappointed after that, that I never used it again.

Psion 5mx: Much better than my Palm in terms of usability and appearance, featured a nice sliding keyboard, CompactFlash expansion slot, 8MB RAM (more than enough for its applications. It was fully-featured, including an office suite and a wide variety of free programs. Bought second hand as well, it served me for some months before I decided to sell it because I was afraid that the ribbon connecting the screen with the rest of the unit would wear off and warranty/service/spare parts were not easy to do/find at that time… Despite that fact, it was really fun to use it and it was the first device (apart from a desktop) that I used to write my homework (it was really useful during some blackouts).

Mio P350: I wanted to buy a GPS device for along time before I decided to go for the Mio P350, suggested by by friend Nikant. It was rather cheap for its features (also bought second-hand), including one of the best and nicely fine-tuned GPS receivers, a very good screen, SD-card expansion slot and enough free space to install WM5 (and later WM6) applications. It lacked the really useful for me WiFi card but I purchased one SD-WiFi card so it worked miracles. For several months it was used intensively for internet purposes (e-mail, surfing, chatting), while it was also used for keeping track of expenses, watching videos and various other applications, apart from the GPS function. I always carried it with me, until my car was robbed and P350 was in it… even though my bag and other stuff were found by the police, the GPS was gone. I was really sad to lose this partner.

 

5. Smartphones

Eten Glofiish X600: After my P350 was stolen, I decided to carry only one device with me, so I had to find a cheap smartphone with GPS receiver. I couldn’t find a cheap one in the Greek market and the used ones were also either “crummy” or expensive… I was lucky enough to find Eten X600 on sale in Expansys. A true all-in-one device, with nice phone reception, good GPS and a WiFi adapter, nice 2,8-inch screen, SD card expansion slot, nice grip but with limited RAM (64MB). I decided to sell it almost brand-new, a couple of months later as in the meantime I read about problems with the speaker among others, and there was no Greek service support for Eten. In addition, Eten was acquired by Asus back then so its future and support for its devices would be problematic…

HTC Touch Cruise: The second-hand replacement of Eten and one of my favourite gadgets. A tough device, with a lovely 2,8-inch screen, GPS receiver and WiFi adapter, WM6.1 and a lot of software. I loved its looks and grip and it almost replaced my laptop in a number of cases. Email, calendar, expenses, browsing, watching episodes of my favorite series, anything I could imagine. I thought it was going to die in my hands due to excessive usage; however, it was stolen one morning from inside my backpack while commuting by bus to work… not much more to say, but I still miss it sometimes, a great tool!

HTC Touch HD: Εντυπώσεις

Έχουν περάσει σχεδόν 2,5 μήνες από τότε που αγόρασα μεταχειρισμένο το HTC Touch HD. Μετά από τόσες ημέρες καθημερινής χρήσης μπορώ να πω ότι είμαι πολύ ευχαριστημένος από την επιλογή μου.

  • Έχω συνηθίσει την οθόνη του σε σημείο που φοβάμαι ότι δεν θα μπορέσω να γυρίσω σε κινητό με μικρότερη οθόνη!
  • Έχω μιλήσει αρκετές ώρες, χωρίς να έχω πρόβλημα με την ποιότητα του ήχου, εγώ ή οι συνομιλητές μου.
  • Οι φωτογραφίες και τα βίντεο που έχω τραβήξει είναι καθαρά και με ζωντανά χρώματα. Τα ράσα (βλέπε megapixel!) δεν κάνουν τον παπά πάντοτε… ακόμα και τα (ταπεινά πλέον) 5MP της κάμερας δεν την περιορίζουν στην ποιότητα της εικόνας.
  • Η πλοήγηση στο ίντερνετ είναι σημαντικά ευκολότερη με τόσο μεγάλη οθόνη.
  • Το κινητό έχει πέσει 2-3 φορές κάτω, από ύψος περίπου 1 μέτρο και δεν έχει πάθει απολύτως τίποτα! Σκυλιά τα HTC όσον αφορά στην ποιότητα κατασκευής!

 

Το μόνο που με προβληματίζει πλέον είναι η διάρκεια της μπαταρίας, καθώς με δυσκολία βγάζω μία μέρα με κλήσεις και πλοήγηση στο internet. Λογικό να έχει μειωθεί η αυτονομία της μετά από τόσες φορτίσεις, οπότε προσανατολίζομαι σε κάποια λύση: Είτε 2η μπαταρία είτε κάποιο σύστημα φόρτισης στο δρόμο (όπως αυτό ή αυτό), που θα είναι πιο εύκολο να χρησιμοποιηθεί στο μέλλον και σε άλλη συσκευή λόγω USB θύρας.

Στο μεταξύ έχω φλασάρει τη συσκευή με 3-4 διαφορετικές ROM (μεταξύ των οποίων κάποιες εκδόσεις των Energy, BlackStoneHenge) αλλά έχω καταλήξει στην kwbr 4.5 Rhodium Sense 2.5. Μπορεί να μην είναι η πιο γρήγορη που κυκλοφορεί, αλλά σίγουρα είναι η πιο βολική και finger-friendly που έχω δοκιμάσει. Έχει αρκετά προεγκατεστημένα προγράμματα, πολλές ρυθμίσεις και είναι πολύ βολική για τα γούστα μου. Στις υπόλοιπες όλο και κάποιο μειονέκτημα έβρισκα, με αποτέλεσμα να μην κρατήσουν περισσότερο από 2 ημέρες!

Περισσότερες εντυπώσεις σε μερικούς ακόμα μήνες… Nerd smile

Eten X600

Πρόσφατα αναζήτησα τον αντικαταστάτη του GPS-PDA Mio P350 που χρησιμοποιούσα τους τελευταίους μήνες και κλάπηκε πρόσφατα (μαζί με άλλα πράγματα – θα αναφερθώ άλλη φορά σε αυτό το συμβάν…). Σκέφτηκα αυτή τη φοράα η συσκευή εκτός από PDA & GPS να είναι και κινητό τηλέφωνο, έτσι ώστε να μειώσω τον αριθμό των συσκευών που μεταφέρω καθημερινά μαζί μου. Δεν ήθελα κάτι φοβερό, μόνο τα βασικά: GSM, PDA, GPS, WiFi κλπ.

Αρχικά στράφηκα στην αγορά μεταχειρισμένης συσκευής, για λόγους κόστους: Με δυσκολία βρήκα μερικά ETEN X600 και Μ700, HTC 3600 καθώς και μερικά στρουμπουλά Mio (A501 κλπ) στα €200 που είχα διαθέσιμα. Τα περισσότερα βέβαια ήταν του κουτιού αλλά για διάφορους λόγους δεν προχώρησα στην αγορά (ο πωλητής ήταν εκτός Αθηνών, αδυναμία συνάντησης με τον πωλητή, έλειπαν συσκευασίες και παρελκόμενα κλπ). Το στοκ του Πλαισίου ήταν άλλη πονεμένη ιστορία: Οι περισσότερες συσκευασίες ήταν ελλειπείς (έλειπε ακόμα και η μπαταρία σε ορισμένες περιπτώσεις!) και οι τιμές όχι ιδιαίτερα χαμηλές για επισκευασμένες συσκευές.

Πάνω που είχα απελπιστεί βρήκα στο Expansys το Glofiish Χ600 της Eten με €193 μαζί με τα μεταφορικά! Απίστευτη προσφορά, δεδομένου ότι η τιμή του πέρισυ ήταν σχεδόν η διπλάσια! Όπως αποδείχθηκε ήταν τα τελευταία κομμάτια που είχαν μείνει (δεν υπάρχει πλέον στο Expansys) και μάλλον προσπαθούσαν να τα ¨σπρώξουν”. Όντως όλα πήγαν καλά και έφτασε στα χέρια μου σε σφραγισμένη συσκευασία, με όλα τα αξεσουάρ. Τα βασικά του χαρακτηριστικά? 128ΜΒ ROM, 64MB RAM (αρκετή για τη χρήση που του κάνω), CPU Samsung S3C2442 400MHz, οθόνη 2,8 ιντσών, WiFi adapter, GPS SiRF Star III (το καλύτερο της αγοράς!), ραδιόφωνο, μεγάλη μπαταρία, μικρό σε μέγεθος κλπ. Ήρθε με WM6 αλλά σχεδόν αμέσως του φλάσαρα μια ROM με τα 6.1 και το Manilla 2D, οπότε άλλαξε αρκετά! Μέχρι σήμερα είμαι απόλυτα ευχαριστημένος: το μηχανάκι πάει γρήγορα, είναι πολύ βολικό στη χρήση (ειδικά με το Manilla 2D), η μπαταρία κρατάει 2 ημέρες (ανάλογα με τη χρήση) και γενικά με βολεύει πολύ σαν συσκευή.

 Έχω διαβάσει για διάφορες ευαισθησίες όσον αφορά το ηχείο του (καίγεται εύκολα) και το σύστημα φόρτισης (οδηγεί σε βλάβες της συσκευής λόγω υπερφόρτισης-κάποιο σφάλμα στο κύκλωμα φόρτισης) αλλά ακόμη δεν έχει εμφανίσει κάτι. Πάλι καλά, γιατί η εγγύηση είναι μέσω expansys και αυτό σημαίνει ότι θα μείνω χωρίς κινητό για 15-20 ημέρες τουλάχιστον σε περίπτωση βλάβης!