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 :)


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