Categories
reviews

Long term review: Sony Ericsson W810i phone

Sony Ericsson W810i

A year ago I pondered buying a Sony Ericsson K750i but eventually bought it’s big brother, the Sony Ericsson W810i instead. At the time I was impressed, especially with the panorama function of the camera, but I’ve grown to loath this piece of technology in the year since I bought it. Here’s why.

  • “Message waiting, Too many messages. Delete some from any folder. Delete now? Despite the fact there’s a 512MB memory stick plugged into the side, the phone can only store about 130 text messages. My old Nokia 7650 spoiled me. I rarely deleted any text messages but this phone is always on the brink of being full. That’s a problem I can accept, except it’s buggy. For some reason the phone checks the sim card memory and asks me to delete messages from there too, even though messages are delivered to phone memory. That is very annoying.
  • Keyboard Lock – during a call the Menu button becomes the End Call button. After finishing a call, if the other party hangs up first and I don’t hit “End Call” fast enough it reverts back to the Menu function. Hitting that brings up the main menu of course. On a Sony Ericsson, the keyboard lock sequence is “*” “Menu”. See where I’m going? To lock the phone I need to exit the menu and then hit that sequence of keys. Why couldn’t you just copy what Nokia do with their “Menu” “*” sequence? It just works better.
  • Walkman – I have no use for the Walkman function. That’s my own fault for picking the wrong phone, but it had a good camera, integrated radio and the price was right. What I can complain about is the too-prominent position of the Walkman button. It’s way too easy to click.
  • Durability – the phone seems to be quite delicate. For the most part it sits on my desk, but about a month ago while out, it slipped from my hand. Since then the phone hasn’t been itself. At random, it will reset and a message appears on screen about an inactive sim card. I need to remove the battery to restore it.
  • Meteor, my phone company, decided in their wisdom that the first two items on the phone menu would cause the phone to go online. The first link went to their homepage before I changed it to my own blog and the second is a generic “Meteor WAP” icon. To prevent the phone accidentally going online I dug through the preferences and now clicking those icons brings up a username/password form. Much better than potentially expensive GPRS bills.

On the plus side, sound quality is good, battery life is ok. Camera is excellent for what it is. Images are noisy, but it’s packed full of features. I love the panorama function. The included memory stick makes it easy to copy files to and from my PC or Mac.

Would I buy a Sony Ericsson phone again? If they had a sensible keyboard locking sequence, then maybe. As it is, I’m going back to Nokia. For my next phone I would like a bog-standard device that makes calls, can store hundreds of texts, has at least a 2MP camera and a memory card.
Any suggestions?

Categories
Donncha

Roaming in America

One of the problems with traveling is the cost of calling home. I enabled roaming on Meteor, but it’s a bit pricey at €1.39/minute or €0.32/sms. I checked roam4free as well but that appears to be more expensive yet at €2.50/min.

Enter Skype where I can buy credits and call an Irish landline for €0.02/min or Irish mobile phone for €0.184. It’s great as everywhere in San Francisco I’ve traveled to has WiFi access. This morning I roamed about the house with my laptop in hand, headset on and spoke to my wife Jacinta for over 18 minutes and it cost me less than €4. That’s pretty cool and it was great to hear her and baby Adam.

It’s not quite the same sort of roaming but WiFi is fairly ubiquitous in the United States, so Skype on my laptop is painless, and very cheap.

Later … Out of curiosity I checked how much it costs to ring a mobile phone from an Irish landline. I use UTV’s service and Skype is cheaper at all times except for the weekend. Crazy stuff!

Categories
Web

My Meteor – why don't you work in Firefox?

There’s only 3 mobile phone companies in Ireland, Vodafone, O2 and Meteor. I’ve been a customer of each and am currently with Meteor. That might change however as their newly redesigned meteor.ie website doesn’t work properly in Firefox. They offer 300 free texts from their site but when one hits the “SEND” button nothing happens.
If you’re a Meteor user mail info@meteor.ie with your phone number and your PIN, or 3 phone numbers you’ve rung in the past month (for verification).
Ask them politely to fix their website so it works in Mozilla Firefox! The Javascript error I get is,

Error: window.smsForm has no properties
Source File: https://www.mymeteor.ie/mymeteor/phone_book/send_sms.cfm
Line: 295

Oh, and last time I checked, Vodafone’s website offers 300 texts a month and it did work in Firefox.
Later – Niall suggested entering your text message, phone number, and instead of hitting “SEND” copy and paste the following code into the URL address bar and press return: javascript:window.document.smsForm.submit();
Now how hard is that for Meteor to fix?

Categories
Linux

Linux to Symbian File Transfer – HOWTO

I finally got to see my phone’s filesystem from Linux this morning! I used p3nfs to connect my Nokia 7650 and Red Hat 9 Linux box. Here’s how.

  • Login to your Linux box as root.
  • Make sure you have the following rpms installed: bluez-libs-devel, bluez-libs, bluez-utils. They’re available from your local apt-rpm repository (just apt-get install them!) or from http://bluez.sf.net
  • Copy the following lines to your /etc/modules.conf

    # bluetooth stuff
    alias net-pf-31 bluez
    alias bt-proto-0 l2cap
    alias bt-proto-2 sco
    alias bt-proto-3 rfcomm

  • Start Bluetooth services: /etc/init.d/bluetooth start
  • Create the bluetooth device if it doesn’t exist: mknod /dev/rfcomm0 c 216 0
  • Create a directory for the mobile to be mounted on: mkdir /mnt/psion
  • Download p3nfs from the site above. Copy the nfsapp for your phone to your phone (you’ll have to mail it to your phone, wap, or bluetooth in Windows.)
  • p3nfsd doesn’t compile on Red Hat 9, but it’s simple to fix that. cd into the nfsd directory, edit “mp_mount.c” and remove any mention of extern int errno from it and add #include <errno.h> at the top of the file. Do the same in “mp_xmit.c” and compile using make clean;make
  • Follow the instructions in README.bluetooth.linux (find the BDADDR, bind to the device, and start the nfs app and servers.
  • cd into /mnt/psion and look around your phone!

This is in fact more useful than the Windows tools I have. I couldn’t send images from my phone to my desktop software, and there’s quite a few of them. Using this, I simply went into /mnt/psion/C:/Nokia/Images/ and “mv”ed the files onto my PC!
There’s an “Installs” directory there too so I presume that’s where the .sis and .jar files go to install applications. Will test later. /me’s happy!
This howto wouldn’t have been possible without the invaluable page Tom wrote about his own experiences. Thanks! And of course Google helped me compile p3nfsd!

Categories
General

I solved the problem with rece …

I solved the problem with receiving email on my 7650. Mail me if you want the address, note that a procmail script limiting the size of emails will be put in place!