Category: Gear

Get A Firm Grip of Your Finances Using Your Phone

As a follow-up to the article “Are you making use of that Smartphone? “, this is a post on how to further save money by making better use of your smartphone. We all know that feeling, you have just loaded “credit” on your phone, accessible and available for ‘burning’, inexorably leading you into temptation! Never Read More

Expensive Junk

Going through my gadget junk yard over the weekend, it is amazing how much junk i have acquired over the years. The oldest is probably the Philips TurnTable and a pile of records i got from my Pop (Never been able to bring myself to encode the records to Mp3). I still have my hifi Read More

Are you making use of that Smartphone?

Many people these days crave the newest, shinniest and sleekiest model of just about ANYTHING. I call it TECHOMANIA. I doubt if it is cure-able! There is a marketing line from a company that says “you can separate the MEN from the BOYS from the prices of their toys”. Bang & Olufsen, I think. Show Read More

The TiTan

While we wait for the launch of the first set of Meego devices come 2011, i will be taking a cursory look at a couple of what is on offer at the moment. One OS that has piqued my curiosity is the Windows Phone 7 (WP7). The only thing the new smartphone OS has in Read More

GSM in Nigeria – The journey so far

Nine years after the launch of GSM technology in Nigeria, I feel so disillusioned about expectations not met. Sure, its pluses has been pointed out to me countless times, that apart from it been the major (somebody said only) achievement of the Olusegun Obasanjo 8 year administration, it is also said that the boost it has given to the socio-economic growth can not be quantified. Well, true, but you and I also know that we have, as individuals, paid a hefty price for this.

I have refused to try to compute what may have ended up in South Africa via MTN from my little pockets. I’ve come to realise that maybe I may have paid more for all the ratzmatazz, the glitz and the childish “i was the first to bring 3G” adverts than for any good service. What 3G are you guys talking about?! Dont even get me started! But thinking of it deeper, I thought, yeah maybe they do have these equipment they claim they do, so why are the services not at par with GSM networks from some countries i’ve been priviledged to experience? Or is it a case of “Overselling”, when the number of subscribers to a particular facility far exceeds the installed capacity of the equipment to handle it?

Oh Nigeria, why do we condone mediocrity? Why is mediocrity so much prevalent in every facet of our society? And to think that we are paying so much for it! Sad.

I apologise if I have sounded so cynical, please forgive me, but it helps to get all these off my chest.

I don’t know what it is about Econet/Vodacom (?)/Vmobile/Celtel/Zain (Did I leave anything out?), we may excuse them that their seeming lack of innovative ideas may be due to their unending management changes. But MTN?! Read More

Nokia Quietly Retires Symbian from N-Series Smartphones

Nokia announced it will retire Symbian for the popular N-series smartphones in favour of MeeGo. MeeGo is a Linux-based open source mobile operating system that merged Intel’s Moblin OS and Nokia’s Maemo OS. Refer to the write-up published a few weeks ago on this site about Nokia’s intention to introduce the MeeGo OS to it’s Read More

Is Symbian truly Dead?

There’s been so much talk about the impending demise of Nokia’s Symbian platform, the operating system powering almost all the phones in the Nokia range.

The Symbian operating has come in a lot of iterations over the years but the relevant ones today are;

SYMBIAN S40 – Introduced in 2002. It is regarded as the world’s most widely used mobile phone platform and is found in hundreds of millions of devices, mostly in low tier phones and a few mid-tier phones like the Nokia X3.

SYMBIAN S60v3 – Introduced in 2005. It is found in mid to top tier phones like the Nokia E series, N Series and C5.

SYMBIAN S60v5 – Introduced in 2008.Also found in mid to top tier phones like the Nokia N97, 5230, X6, C6 and 5800

SYMBIAN ^3 – To be debuted in Q3 2010 with the Nokia N8 smartphone. The OS is expected to feature better graphics, support multiple touch, better multimedia and multi tasking.

Read More

Blackberry Faces Ban

There are indications that there is going to be a ban on some blackberry services in the UAE effective October 11, 2010 because of the inability of authorities there to monitor blackberry’s encrypted services. Services affected include blackBerry email, messaging and web services . The UAE ban will also cover foreign travellers passing through Emirate Read More

Ebook Readers

Ebooks and ebook readers are becoming increasingly popular these days, so much that only very few books or magazines are published without consideration for an ebook format version.

Ebook readers come on different software platforms and devices. Many come in form of  dedicated devices like Amazon’s KINDLE and Barnes & Nobles (B&N)’s NOOK. These happen to be the major players. Many also come in form of softwares ported for PCs and devices like smartphones, ipad, iphones,etc.

Ebooks files come in a lot of formats. Many of us are familiar with Adobe’s PDF, Microsoft’s DOC and maybe RTF formats.  There are an awful lot more than these with some of them being proprietary like the AZW format for the kindle and Zinio’s ZNO. For a better understanding of this, check out this write-up on Wikipaedia.

A number of companies offer top rate magazines and books for download on PCs. I can not say for sure how Zinio compares to its peers but I’ve actively subscribed to their services for about 3 yrs and it has been a satisfactory experience. However, companies like Amazon and B&N offer similar services and probably have a larger array of  books to offer.

For a number of reasons, i have not really been a strong fan of PC based ereaders;

– Reading from a PC for prolonged period causes eye strain mainly due to its backlight (applies to smartphones too).
– Your PC is not exactly very mobile.

Recently, i went shopping for an ebook reader for myself but like with a lot of people, making a choice could be a little confusing and difficult. I finally settled for ECTACO’s JETBOOK LITE based on the following considerations;

– It was about the cheapest when i got it for about $129.99.The darn thing fell to $99.99 about 3 months later!
– It supports the widest file formats, about twelve.
– It does not have any proprietary restrictions. I could even install some other 3rd party firmwares. Dare you to try that with a Kindle!
– Easy access to ebooks. Read More

Push Email

With the landmark judgement against Research in Motion (RIM), a Canadian Company and the providers of the Blackberry PDA, for patent infringement in 2006 and an award of US$612.5 Million in favour of NTP Inc, a Virginia based company, it seems safe to say that the technology of push email was pioneered by NTP and not RIM as widely believed. Even as at the time of filing in this report, there is an existing suit filed against Apple, Google, HTC, LG, Microsoft and Motorola for infringement of wireless email patents.

Not withstanding, the initial setback, it is a fact that RIM has been able to create a niche for itself in the wireless email sector, so much that its Blackberry product has become synonymous with Push email. They hold the ace and all other push email providers we will discuss in this write-up only try to attain the standards set by this company.

There are many solutions available and each uses a slightly different approach. However, most mobile solutions do not use a true push-model but employ a pull-model whereby the clients pull emails from the server at set intervals instead of having the mails pushed to the device from the server. Read More

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