Archive for August, 2006

By August 22, 2006 Read More →

MicroSD Card Shortage?

Ever since I got my Orange SPV M3100 I have been trying to buy a MicroSD (Transflash) memory card for it.

I would ideally like a 1 or 2gb MicroSD card but everywhere I have tried has been out of stock. A few other people have contacted me to ask me if I know where they can get one from. There are several sellers on eBay offering MicroSD cards but these are all overseas sellers that puts a lot of people off.

I have spoken with a number of resellers about the lack of MicroSD cards and I have been told there are a shortage of MicroSD cards in the whole of Europe.

512mb MicroSD Memory Card

I finally found a supplier that has some 512mb MicroSD cards in stock so I decided to purchase one of those to keep me going until I can get something larger.

The card is a Kingston Technology 512mb MicroSD Memory Card and comes with a standard SD Card adapter.

If anyone is interested in purchasing one of these please let me know. If I can generate enough interest I will offer these for sale through the blog. The Price for the 512mb will be £15 plus £1 p&p. Please email or comment below if you are interested. It will be a Pay Pal only sale.

I hope to be able to offer 1gb and 2gb MicroSD Memory Cards for sale shortly. Watch this space!

Transflash Memory Card

Matt

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Posted in: Phones
By August 21, 2006 Read More →

New Hermes Models?

I got a couple of emails from people that have noticed references to HERM160 and HERM161 in the manual for the Orange SPV M3100 and on the web. These people pose the question: Do these refer to other HTC Hermes variants?

The simple answer is NO. HERM160 and HERM161 refer to the battery packs found in the Hermes devices.

Hermes Battery Pack

The HERM160 battery pack is 1300mAh and ships with the HERM100 handsets while the HERM161 battery pack is 1350mAh and ships with the HERM200 handsets.

Matt

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Posted in: Phones
By August 20, 2006 Read More →

Atlantis ready for STS-115

[color=#6200aa]At a press conference late Wednesday, following the two-day flight readiness review at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA’s senior managers announced an Aug. 27 launch date for mission STS-115, resuming construction of the International Space Station. Launch is slated for 4:30 p.m. EDT.[/color]

Atlantis STS-115 Crew Photo

[color=#6200aa]NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said, “This was another great review and I’m looking forward to a great launch.” [/color]

[color=#6200aa]The Shuttle Mission Management Team conducts the review two weeks prior to the opening of the launch window for each space shuttle mission. The group conducts a comprehensive evaluation of all activities and elements necessary for the safe and successful performance of shuttle mission operations — from the prelaunch phase through post-landing — including the readiness of the vehicle, flight crew and payloads.[/color]

[color=#6200aa]Tracy[/color]

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By August 19, 2006 Read More →

Tracy reviews the Orange SPV M3100

[color=#6200aa]Matt has given you a run down of the technical stuff in his review so this is going to be my view of using and living with the Orange SPV M3100![/color]

[color=#6200aa]My previous phone was a T-mobile MDA (Jam) which is pink – very girly! [/color]

Hermes vs MDA

M3100 vs MDA

[color=#6200aa]The main things I use my phone for, apart from making calls, are text messages, email, calendar and the task list. I also browse the web and play games while out at shows with our dog Bailey. I therefore made these top of list when testing the device 😛 [/color]

[color=#6200aa]Obviously the biggest differences are that the SPV M3100 is slightly larger than my MDA mainly because of the slide out keyboard. I decided that the size issue was not too much of a problem as it still fits in the phone pockets in both my handbag and briefcase. [/color]

[color=#6200aa]The keyboard takes a bit of getting used to, while it is much easier than having to type using the stylus on the screen I found that the ‘Backspace’ key is in the wrong place! I keep typing ‘P’ instead but I am sure with time and practice I will get over this small problem. I’ve also noticed that two of the keys (the ‘T’ and the ‘S’) are a bit lazy and require a bit more pressure to make them work. When typing this is a real pain.[/color]

[color=#6200aa]Having the keyboard has made using the email and text messaging easier and quicker. I really miss pocket MSN though, as I like using MSN messenger but I don’t like Agile Messenger much. Bearing in mind that the M3100 uses a Microsoft OS I can’t see why they have removed MSN. Very strange! So now I can type nice and fast but have no MSN to chat on! :([/color]

[color=#6200aa]Being an Orange phone the SPV M3100 comes with an Orange toolbar on the today screen which is enabled by default. Initailly I did find this useful but then I tried to customise the today screen as I wanted to be able to see my upcoming appointments and if I have any unread messages or active tasks. Using the Orange today screen plugin means that you can have one or the other but not both so I ended up with the screen looking exactly like my old phone! So someone somewhere has really wasted their time with that, surely it could and should have been able to do both![/color]

[color=#6200aa]My second disappointment came when I discovered that they still haven’t bothered to change the standard games – I am completely bored and fed up with the existing Solitaire and Jaw Breaker (cunnigly renamed Bubble Breaker!) and had really expected something new by now but apparently I am going to have keep paying for games to play![/color]

[color=#6200aa]I can’t comment on video calling as other than Matt, none of my friends have 3G phones 🙂 and we don’t have 3G coverage at home (we barely have any coverage so 3G would really be an upgrade!!) but then I can’t say that it is anything that I would ever really use but might be fun to play with. [/color]

[color=#6200aa]The 2.0 mega pixel camera on the phone is excellent and much better than any phone camera on the previous phones I have owned. The ‘flash’, however, is a complete waste of time.[/color]

[color=#6200aa]I also found the little scroll wheel on the phone very useful when browsing the web and email. It is very neat, and reminded me of the wheel on the Blackberry! On the other hand the stylus is quite frankly a pain in the bum – it is just too small and fiddly and, on the device I have, is actually very difficult to get out as it always feels like it’s stuck!![/color]

[color=#6200aa]As for the case that comes with the SPV M3100, while there was a temporary enjoyment factor, flipping it open to see how strong the magnet is for closing it, I feel that the case is actually worse than the case that came with my MDA and I still won’t be using it day to day. The only time I can imagine using is when I want to clip it on to my belt when I am working outside or out with Bailey, the rest of time I will do as I do now and just put the M3100 straight into my bag! I find all of the cases for these phones too fiddly and when its ringing you just can’t get to it quick enough to answer the damn thing![/color]

[color=#6200aa]In conclusion, the only thing that would sway me in to swapping to the Orange SPV M3100 over keeping my nice pink MDA is the slide out keyboard. When I consider the things I use a phone for there’s just not enough improvement over my existing phone and I certainly would not pay £150 for the M3100![/color]

[color=#6200aa]Tracy[/color]

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Posted in: Reviews
By August 18, 2006 Read More →

Orange SPV M3100 Headphone adapter hack

If you are looking for the Orange SPV M3100 review it’s HERE

A couple of days ago I told you that I’d started to look at hacking together a headphone adapter for the SPV M3100. I have just finished my headphones adapter hack and thought I would share the procedure with you.

M3100 Headphone Socket Hack

Important: If you follow my procedure I accept no responsibility for any damage you do to yourself, your phone or your headphones. I have carried out this hack and can confirm that it works perfectly with the Orange SPV M3100. It should work equally well with the HTC TyTN (and other HTC Hermes variants), Orange SPV C100 (HTC Oxygen), and the Orange SPV C700 (HTC Breeze).

You will need a 3.5mm Stereo Jack Socket and a Soldering Iron to carry out this hack.

First thing I did was cut the USB connector off the standard Orange headphones about 75mm from the USB plug itself. I decided that I wanted a short headphone adapter as my headphones have a long cable of their own.

Next strip back about 15mm of the cable sheath. Do this carefully so that you don’t damage any of the wires inside, the wires inside are very thin and only insulated with coloured varnish.

HTC Hermes Headphone Adpater

Now we need to carefully separate the wires. We need the following colours:

  • Red – Right +ve
  • Red & Copper Stripe – Right Gnd
  • Green – Left +ve
  • Blue & Copper Stripe – Left Gnd
  • Twist the Left and Right Ground wires together and tin the ends of the 3 cables that we are going to use. You can cut the other wires short – we don’t need them as they are used for USB data

    What needs to be done now is to solder the wires to the 3.5mm Jack Socket that we have. Don’t forget that the socket cover goes over the cable before you solder the wires on! The connectors that your socket has may differ from mine. However, as a rule of thumb, jack sockets (and plugs for that matter) tend to have a silver and a copper solder tag for the positive left and right connectors. The right side is almost always the copper one. Solder the red wire to the right side, the green to the left side and the two striped cables that we twisted together to the outer ground of the socket.

    HTC TyTN Headphone Adapter

    Most jack sockets have a method of securing the cable in place. Mine had two metal clips that you bend down and use the clamp the cable

    Now screw on the socket cover (you did put this on the cable before you soldered the connectors didn’t you!?) and then lets check the headphone adapter to make sure it’s working. If you have any problems then review your soldering and try again. All done!

    M3100 USB Headphone Hack Cable

    I was surprised how loud the sound from the SPV M3100 was with my decent headphones!

    Once again anyone carrying out this headphone adapter hack does so at their own risk but I’m happy to answer questions!

    NEW Headset modding service

    Matt

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    Posted in: Phones
    By August 17, 2006 Read More →

    HTC TyTN deal from Clove

    One of the most popular reviews on Toppocket.net is the HTC TyTN Pocket PC review by Chris Oldroyd. Well Clove.co.uk have just offered our readers a great special offer. For the next fourteen days anyone who buys an HTC TyTN from Clove will benefit from a futher £10 discount. Clove already offers one of the cheapest prices in the UK and this additional discount is a real bonus.

    HTC TyTN Special Offer

    All you have to do is type TPTYTN0806F10 into the voucher box on the order form once you have selected to buy the TyTN and £10 will be deducted at the checkout stage. To visit the TyTN on the Clove site click here.

    Matt

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    Posted in: Phones
    By August 16, 2006 Read More →

    Orange SPV M3100 Headphone adapter

    I’ve borrowed another Orange SPV M3100 from a friend. I wanted to have more of a play with it and try some software on it and maybe finish what I started in the first Orange SPV M3100 Review.

    It’s been mentioned here and elsewhere a number of times already but one of the most annoying things about the M3100, HTC TyTN and HTC Hermes variants is that the headphone socket has been incorporated within the USB socket. This means that you can’t use your own headphones with this device – very irritating especially as the included headphones are so poor.

    I’ve been looking around the web and speaking to a number of people but it would appear that nobody yet makes Hermes headphone adapter that will allow you to use your own headphones.

    I decided that the best way forward would be to hack the headphones that are included with the SPV M3100, so I decided to have a look at that this evening!

    M3100 Headphone Hack

    As you can see from the picture above, the bit on the cable that contains the mic and the volume control is rather more complex than I thought. I’m going to spend a little time taking it apart to see what’s what. I hope to have a ‘how-to’ guide online soon!

    EDIT: See the SPV M3100 Headphones adapter hack HERE.

    Matt

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    Posted in: Phones
    By August 15, 2006 Read More →

    Orange SPV M3100 out of stock?

    We are hearing reports from a variety of sources that the Orange SPV M3100 is out of stock already.

    SPV M3100 Mini Picture

    I decided to place a call to Orange customer services this morning (at 5am!) to clarify the position and was told that the devices are still in stock but stock levels are running low. According to the operator I spoke to, all of the CS staff have been told to advise customers of the potentially low stock levels and that if the M3100 goes out of stock it will take about 10 days before re-supply.

    I certainly hope that this doesn’t delay my SPV M3100!!

    See the full SPV M3100 review HERE.

    Matt

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    Posted in: Phones
    By August 14, 2006 Read More →

    Spyware on Pocket PC?

    Think your Pocket PC or Smartphone is safe from Spyware? Apparantly it’s time to think again!

    Spybot have just released Search and Destroy for Windows Mobile and Smartphone platforms.

    Smartphone Screenshot

    Spybot-S+D for Windows Mobile uses a lightweight version of the detection engine of Spybot-S+D for Windows to detect threats for Windows Mobile and Symbian both, the later because Bluetooth worms could spread over OS borders, and while they would not perform on an incompatible OS, they would still waste precious space on the device.

    Spybot S+D for Windows Mobile is a free download from Spybot, but a donation is encouraged. Its available in both a PocketPC and Smartphone version., and can be installed directly to your device from their mobile download page.

    While viruses for Symbian and Windows Mobile currently seem more like proof-of-concept studies, the Windows Mobile platform offers malware writers who already know Windows a very similar environment. Some may call it a hype, but that’s what people said about spyware 5 years ago as well, and our opinion is that it’s better to protect yourself before something happens than to do it afterwards.

    Personally I think it’s a waste of time, but maybe it’s better to be prepared!

    Matt

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    Posted in: Phones
    By August 13, 2006 Read More →

    Orange SPV M3100 post review questions answered

    Since posting my M3100 REVIEW a few days ago a number of people have contacted me with questions about the device. Many of the questions were about specific aspects of the device that I didn’t cover in the review. I thought it best to follow up with a post where I can attempt to answer your questions!

    The first thing I missed out was to include some photos taken with the built-in camera. Below are some quick shots taken both indoors and outside as well as a shot taken of a wineglass using the macro facility. Click the small images for larger view.

    M3100 Indoor Shot

    M3100 Outdoor Shot

    M3100 Macro Shot

    The next question was: Now that the main speaker is on the back of the device, is there any issue with the ringtone volume? The simple answer to this one is NO. The ringtone volume can be set really high, whether it’s in your pocket of face up on a desk you should have no problem hearing it ring.

    Someone else asked about call quality and call handling. In the past the call quality on some PDA phones has been somewhat poor. Other devices have had issues with general call handling, displaying the message ‘Unable to answer call’ being displayed far too often. In the short time I had the M3100 I didn’t have any such problems and the call quality was about as good as it gets.

    Is pocket MSN included with the M3100? Sadly not. Orange have chosen to remove MSN from their ROM as they are planning to release their own isntant messagin solution. Until Pocket MSN Live is released you’ll have to use a third party app like Agile Messenger.

    Matt

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    Posted in: Phones