Unboxing the Vulcan FlipStart

July 5, 2008

I’ve recently acquired a virtually new-in-the-box and never booted Vulcan FlipStart with Windows XP and EVDO! The only item missing appears to be the recovery disc(s), which I can live without thanks to Acronis True Image.

Take a look at all the pictures!

Yes I know, I’m about a year late to the party, and I’ve been pretty critical about the Flipstart in the past, calling it the ugly duckling and the zombie handtop. So why now?

Well a lot of things have changed in a year:
- I retired my beloved OQO Model 02 with HSDPA, selling it before it lost too much value
- Vulcan lowered the price of the FlipStart to $699, and then stopped selling it altogether

The tipping point was my Vulcan FlipStart HSDPA mod. The brave soul who volunteered his device for the hacking was experiencing some hardware problems which I was only able to resolve thanks to the outstanding assistance I received from Vulcan customer support. Being able to swap EVDO with HSDPA without reaching for my soldering iron was the icing on the cake…

So I started looking for a used FlipStart for further hacking. And for the record, I still think the FlipStart is aesthetically challenged :)


Is that a router in your pocket?

February 6, 2008

Or are you just happy to see me?

Once upon a time, in a land far away, I used an OQO Model 01+ and Motorola E815 connected via Bluetooth. I hacked the phone and tethered the computer to Verizon’s EVDO network. Every now and then, I’d share the 3G connection over WiFi, turning the computer into a router, and allowing other devices with WiFi around me to access the cloud – all this while walking down the street or driving down the freeway…

But here’s the cool part: the entire setup fit easily, without wires, in the many pockets of my trusty cutoff cargo pants!

The setup evolved over time. I replaced the phone with an LG CU500 on Cingular’s HSDPA network (now AT&T). Then I replaced the computer with an OQO Model 02, which I promptly modded for HSDPA (built-in).

And then, having narrowed things down to a single device, I was rocking a router in my pocket – I was ready for the mobile revolution :)

Eventually, I ended up with a Nokia N95-3 featuring both 3G and WiFi and I started thinking… Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a Symbian application that turned the device into a router in my pocket? Wouldn’t it be great?

Well now you can have your cake an eat it too – you too can be packing a router in your pocket! Say hello to JoikuSpot for Symbian, WMWifiRouter for Windows Mobile, and Cradlepoint for other devices.

I’ve been playing with JoikuSpot on my N95-3 and it’s working like a charm.


Tasty bits – 35 (holidays edition)

January 7, 2008

Happy new year :)

Here’s last month’s tasty bits, a little behind once again! I’ve decided to stop numbering the column hereafter…

JKK added HSDPA to the Asus 701 (Eee) – I’m working on a similar mod using a Sierra Wireless AirCard 875U HSDPA modem…

Also I’ve started using Qik to stream live video with my Nokia N95!

I’m keeping an eye on all the CES madness this week and I’ll be at Macworld next week, so stay tuned :)

Asus 701 (Eee):
- WiMax-Enabled Asus Eee PC Confirmed
- How to add internal 3G HSDPA to Asus Eee PC
- How to add touch panel to Asus Eee Pc
- It’s official: upgrading the Asus Eee PC memory keeps warranty intact
- eeeXubuntu: Ubuntu distilled for your Eee
- Ubuntu on the Asus Eee PC: Part 1 (or How to run a functional Ubuntu install off a USB drive)

Nokia N810:
- Nokia N810: unboxing and first impressions
- Canola2 Now Out!

Nokia N95:
- Nokia N95-3 Finally Gets an Update to v 11.2.009
- The N95 classic hits v20 firmware
- The N95′s camera quality? It just got better…
- Hands-on with the Nokia N95 8GB for North America!

Nokia N82:
- Nokia N82: impressions after a week…
- Nokia N82 hands-on
- Nokia N82 preview: First look
- Nokia N95, N95 8 GB and N82: The evolution of the multimedia computer

More Nokia:
- Cellphones: Alleged Nokia N96 Spy Shots Look Yummypianoblacklicious
- New Slider: Nokia’s Patent Reveals Innovative Six- or Eight- Megapixel Slider Phone
- Video streaming from your phone QIK-ly, as in: instantly
- All About N-Gage – Totally CONFIRMED Star Wars N-Gage Video
- emTube – YouTube client for S60 phones
- Nokia Internet Radio
- Clarification: Upcoming Nokia IS a QWERTY Nseries

Apple iPhone:
- Breaking: iPhone Firmware 1.1.3 Video and Evidence Confirms Update Is Real, Breaks Unlock, Third-Party Apps
- How to Install Applications on iPhone 1.1.2 (Video Tutorial)
- Syphon lets you save iPhone text messages
- Control Pro Tools with your iPhone
- Apple doesn’t give us MMS on the iPhone, so the community does
- iPhone gets video recording capabilities
- Not all is lost: partfoundry developing GPS module for iPhone
- Fixing YouTube on your Jailbroken iPhone
- Mobile Safari plug-in downloads files to your iPhone/iPod touch
- Apple relents, sanctions custom ringtones!

OQO Model 02:
- OQO Announces model e2 with Built-In HSDPA Mobile Broadband Capability
- OQO does WiMax and 64GB SSDs

Neonode N2:
- Neonode N2 officially coming to the US
- Review of the unique Neonode N2 multimedia phone

BlackBerry 9000 (aka. BlackBerry 8xxx):
- BlackBerry 9000 specs revealed, our early Christmas present to you
- BlackBerry 8xxx hails from Rogers!
- BlackBerry 9000 series spy shot revealed?

Samsung:
- Hands-on with the Samsung G800
- Hands-on with the Samsung P520 Armani
- Samsung’s P720, F490 make their video debut

Other:
- Google Maps for Mobiles shows your location, even without GPS
- Verizon Wireless will open network for non-Verizon devices, services
- Photo of the Sony Ericsson P5i Leaked
- Wibrain’s B1 UMPC gets showcased on video – Engadget
- Hands-on with the LG KU990 Viewty
- A teaser shot of Motorola’s 5 megapixel multimedia maven?


1 year

November 21, 2007

1 year.

That’s how long I’ve been posting on tnkgrl Mobile!

Looking back at my first post a year ago today (November 21, 2006), I still think Apple should have sold the iPhone unlocked – oh well…

Since then I’ve tested a dozen devices, reviewing some, hacking others. Highlights of the year include the Nokia N95, the OQO Model 02, and the Apple iPhone.

It’s been fun, but there’s a lot more to come – so stay tuned :)


Unboxing the Asus 701 (Eee)

November 3, 2007

W-Eee :) I’m now officially one of the coolest kids on the block! I’m typing this post on my Asus 701 (Eee)

I’ve quietly been keeping an eye on the Eee since it was announced a few months ago. After all, who’s not interested in a $399 ultra-portable sub-notebook?

Not to mention, it’s a particularly interesting device if, like me, you’re a blogger on-the-go, especially with the built-in webcam.

After using it for less than 24 hours I’m pretty impressed, and so are others, apparently. The keyboard is surprisingly good. The screen is nice (albeit a bit small).

The trackpad is not that great – perhaps it’s just my Eee but it’s behaving erratically at the lowest and highest settings. I’m not too concerned, since I’m planning to mod my Eee extensively in the coming weeks/months – I’ll take a look at the trackpad then.

First on the agenda is to remove the warranty seal and upgrade the memory from 512 MB to 1GB! Then, I’m planning to add internal USB Bluetooth & HSDPA, and look at increasing built-in storage…

There’s an unused mini PCIe slot intended for an SSD that’s just begging to be used :)

So keep coming back, and enjoy my unboxing pictures for now, including a size comparison with the Apple iPhone and the OQO Model 02.


Tasty bits – 27 28 29 (yummy chunks)

September 22, 2007

It’s been a month since my last tasty bits and a lot has been happening in the world of mobile technology!

But a lot has also been happening with me, like starting my new job, going to Burning Man, seeing my loved one through surgery, and moving to Seattle…

As a result, I’m a little behind and this is a triple edition. Below are the links I’ve gathered over the past month, organized by topic, thanks to some clever grep-ing of my Firefox bookmarks file :)

iPhone general:
- iPhone GPS Hack Works!
- iPhone Adding IM and Picture Messaging?
- Want push email on your iPhone? No problem
- Apple cuts 8GB iPhone price to $399
- Steve Jobs gives all iPhone owners $100 back
- The definitive iPhone native application list
- Apple iPhone hits the one million mark
- iPhone’s $100 Apple Store Credit program goes live
- Apple iPhone hits O2 in the UK on November 9th
- IPhone confirmed for T-Mobile Germany
- Orange nonchalantly confirms iPhone deal in France
- iPhone double header: First native IM client AND first native IRC released
- Install applications on your iPhone without hacking
- iPhone Coding: URL Launcher
- Playing with the iPhone’s accelerometer
- iFuntastic goes v3, adds PPC support
- Dock gets a spiffy new update
- Hackapalooza: making the iPhone main screen scroll!
- Beta Beat: MobileChat iPhone AIM Client debuts
- iPhone Coding: Using the Slider
- Push-to-Talk developer pack
- Installer.app locks out PXL package
- Colloquy for iPhone Debuts
- iPhone Coding: Using the Accelerometer
- Installing the iPhone Developer Toolchain: A simple How-To
- Run Widgets (kinda) on your iPhone
- iPhone: How many Hackers?
- Apple looks out for my best interests
- Shipley confronts Apple on “contain and engage”

iPhone unlocking:
- iPhone freedom
- How To: Activate the Voicemail Button in Non-AT&T Unlocked iPhones
- iUnlock Reloaded: free iPhone unlocking for dummies now available
- iPhone Dev Team announces free GUI iPhone Unlock Tool

iPhone ringtones:
- Daring Fireball: The Ringtones Racket
- iToner makes adding iPhone ringtones ridiculously easy
- Song Sender sends iPhone tunes to email and ringtones
- Apple intros ringtones for iPhones
- iPhone Ringtones On The Cheap
- Cleverboy discovers ultimate ringtone hack
- Ringtonator, a GUI for the ringtone hack
- MakeiPhoneRingtone hits 1.1, further obsoletes the ringtones racket
- iToner 1.0.2 is available
- Ringtonator Studio makes ringtones from any QT format

Nokia N95:
- Nokia N95 – One Name, 3 Devices?
- AAS Feature: The Black Beauties Christmas Showdown – Nokia N95 8GB versus the Apple iPhone
- Hands-on with the US Nokia N95
- Nokia N95 for North America: get it September for $699
- Hands On the Nokia N95i (The Black One) and the N95 US-Band Cellphone

OQO Model 02:
- OQO Model 02 lowers price, bumps specs, adds SSD and new CEO
- OQO brings the OQO Model e2 to Europe

Google phone:
- HTC insider confirms Google Phone?
- Google’s mobile OS well on its way to production
- New Google Phone rumors get real specific
- DigiTimes: Google will definitely launch its own branded handset

Motorola’s secret device:
- One of Motorola’s most secret projects…
- Motorola secrets? ELBA, E8, E7? That’s why we are here!
- Is this the Motorola MOTOROKR E7?

Samsung F700 (Croix):
- Samsung Ultra F700 Smartphone Rechristened “Croix”
- Samsung’s F700 Ready for Business in November with Vodafone
- Samsung’s Croix: yet another ‘iPhone rival’
- Samsung F700, others to sport “Croix” interface concept

Samsung G800 (5 megapixel camera phone with 3x optical zoom and xenon flash):
- Stolen Snaps of Samsung G800 Reveal 5 Megapixel camera with 3x Zoom
- Samsung G800 gets previewed

Samsung P520 (Armani):
- Armani and Samsung Team Up to Create a New Touchscreen Fashion Phone

LG KU990 (Viewty):
- Hands-on with the LG KU990 Smart Phone (Verdict: Definitely Not an iPhone Killer)
- Up Close and Personal Video of LG KU990 “Viewty”
- Hands-on with the LG KU990
- LG’s KU990 “Viewty” reviewed, loved

Meizu M8 (miniOne):
- Meizu’s M8 MiniOne shipping January 17th?
- Meizu’s MiniOne M8 GUI exposed: shame on you J. Wong

Other:
- i450, i550 and i570 – rumoured Samsung S60 devices
- Coming soon: Samsung i560 – S60 with GPS
- Opera launches second beta for Mini 4
- The Nokia iPhone-like Slip?
- Intel demos iPhone-like MID of the future


Unboxing the Apple iPhone

June 30, 2007

Wow! The iPhone, the most anticipated device ever, is here… And I have one :) Take a look at the pictures.

As planned, I tried both my existing AT&T SIM (450 Rollover + Media Max 200) and T-Mobile SIM (600 minutes + unlimted t-zones) with the iPhone.

I activated my iPhone with the supplied AT&T SIM, and created a completely new account (basic iPhone plan).

Before activation:
- The supplied AT&T SIM was accepted
- My existing AT&T SIM was accepted
- My T-Mobile SIM was rejected

After activation:
- The supplied AT&T SIM was accepted
- My existing AT&T SIM was rejected
- My T-Mobile SIM was rejected

So it appears that the iPhone only accepts the SIM used during activation! Madness…

But the supplied SIM is working fine (using the “wap.cingular” access point) with all my unlocked devices, including the HSDPA module in my OQO Model 02 :)


Tasty bits – 22

June 21, 2007

The iPhone launch (now with YouTube support) is one week away. Are you ready for total chaos? I have a plan :)

In the meantime, here’s a nice article comparing the iPhone with other devices, including two from my current stable (the Nokia N95 and the Sony Ericsson M600i).

Speaking of my favorite phone, the Nokia N95 just got better! And if you’re still not convinced, here’s yet another review. Alternatively, the Nokia E90 is also a good choice

I’m also pretty excited about Nokia’s Mobile Web Server – it’s a very interesting idea. BTW, here’s a look into the Nokia Media Transfer application I mentioned last week.

The Sony Ericsson K850i is official, complete with a 5 megapixel camera (with auto-focus, macro, xenon flash, and powered lens cover), and supposedly tri-band HSDPA (as well as quad-band EDGE). Yummy :)

Opera announced a flash replacement for phones, and released a beta version of Opera Mini 4. After playing with it, I have to admit that it’s a pretty good web browser, especially for a Java application – in fact, it’s quite similar to Nokia’s very nice web browser.

The Meizu M8 (miniOne) is still evolving and is supposed to be available in late 2007.

Finally, here’s another installment in the multi-part review of the OQO Model 02.


OQO Model 02 accessories: Part 2

June 15, 2007

Yesterday I received my final batch of OQO Model 02 accessories, including:
- The standard stronghold case
- The airplane/car adapter

Here are some additional pictures… Enjoy!


Tasty bits – 21

June 9, 2007

One interesting bit of news this past week was the release of the HTC Touch… This touch-based device improves upon the standard Windows Mobile interface with gesture recognition and a more attractive layout – it’s no iPhone, but it reminds me of the Neonode N1m, and that’s a good thing!

Robert Scoble is now a Nokia N95 convert – then again, who can resist such a converged and convenient device? Welcome to the club :)

Here is a review of the sexy Nokia N76, soon to be available from Nokia USA, along with the N75.

The Sony Ericsson P1i was approved by the FCC, and reviewed not once but twice, in addition to this video preview

Say that like me, you are both a Nokia Symbian smartphone user and a Mac user. Are you looking for more than iSync integration? How about iTunes and iPhoto integration? Well, say ‘hello” to the Nokia Media Transfer!

Finally, here is a detailed multi-part review of the OQO Model 02 – and speaking of handtops, the Raon Digital Everun looks very promising.


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