HTC Desire arrives in June 18

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According to Yuga, my “current” dream Android phone will start arriving on June 18 but it is expected to fetch a price from Php35-40K.

Ouch. Yuga historically guesses the price pretty accurately or at least off by 1-2K. This one seems like the impossible dream at the moment but between this and the iPad I will opt for an Android phone.

Here is to hoping that Yuga’s guess is over by a big margin, or the Samsung Galaxy S is going to be cheaper….


Here comes the Google N1 err HTC Desire


The Google Nexus One (N1) is currently my “it” phone fantasy as the sub-30K price is pretty reasonable considering the features. However the Philippines is not included in the list of supported countries, it would require a bit of work-around to get it delivered here in the philippines. Yuga has the instructions here if you are interested. He also gave it a pretty decent review rating of a “steal”.

The only problem with the above method is that if the unit breaks then you have to RMA it to the the USA as the local HTC service centers will not accept it for repairs. It is a bit of risk taking that I don’t have the luxury at the moment (let’s assume that I have the money to buy it in the first place 🙂 ). This problem maybe no more as the HTC Desire (formerly codenamed as HTC Bravo) has just been announced and there is a strong possibility to come to Asia.

The HTC Desire (pictured above) has the same specifications as the Google N1 except that it has replaced the trackball with a trackpad. It also comes with HTC’s Sense UI which some N1 users are missing.

Time to save for the “unfortunate” case that I need to replace my phone. Hopefully the Desire will also be in the 30K or less range when it gets offered here commercially. 🙂

More details and pictures here:


MSI Wind connectivity of a different sort

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When I bought my Sony-Ericsson(SE) K618i a couple of years ago it was because I want to be able to jump into the 3G bandwagon and have information in demand. While I was able to setup a SMART 3G account, browsing was limited to using the built-in browser which is pretty limiting (pun intended).

My attempts to tether my old Fujitsu-Siemens laptop using bluetooth and cable was not successful. Another factor might be because the laptop is too heavy to lug everyday to work and our home in Binangonan has non-existent 3G signal since we are in a mountainous region. The MSI Wind changed all that as portability is not much of an issue right now.

Being able to use my 3G phone via bluetooth is still a frustrating exercise and my iniitial attempts to use the SE phone suite is not much better. Everything changed when I explored the phone’s connectivity menu that I almost slapped myself for being stupid. For those that have SE phones, the following instructions may be useful for you:

Initial Requirements:
– A SE K618i phone with a configured 3G account. Refer to your telco provider for the setup instructions.
– A corresponding data cable for the phone.
– A laptop or desktop with enabled USB ports.

– In the phone menu, go to the Settings Menu.
– Navigate to the Connectivity->USB menu
– Configure the USB Data Accounts to your telco. Mine uses the “Smart Internet” configuration.
– Select the USB Internet item and set it to “On”
– Plug-in the cable to the port and the USB jack into your desktop.

That’s it. the USB Internet item actually makes your phone be detected as an ordinary USB Ethernet device which means your operating system will begin querying for an IP address when it detects it. Of course this assumes that your system is configured this way but most come this was as a standard. I use this setup for both Windows and Linux with no problem. I get varying result depending on location but this is handy when I need an internet connection in a jiffy. This also means I can put off buying a USB plug-it device until the price gets more wallet-friendly.

I am guessing the USB Ethernet option is also available in other Sony-Ericsson phones but I have not seen a similar feature on my wife’s Nokia E51. I haven’t looked thoroughly but will post an update if I do find one.


Intel Dual-core Atom processors are out

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ExtremeTech has published an article announcing that the dual-core Atom processors (330) are now out. These processors are also designed for netbooks and UMPC but there is nothing that can stop anybody from putting this in small form-factor PCs to have a low-power, small, and inexpensive servers.

This would be another tease for those who are procrastinating about getting a UMPC since the current slew of models are only sporting the single-core chip (230). The A230 are already great for the need of the regular netbook user but having more cores would be better if you are doing more intensive processing. I hear that Photoshop on the current netbooks are bearable but having a dual-core unit would make it more tolerable. Code compilations and other number-crunching processes will also benefit from having an additional core. I wonder though how much would be the hit of the additional core on the battery life since if I am not mistaken the power draw has also doubled since the TDP of the 230 ranges between 2.5 to 4 watts. The increase might be tiny enough if viewed on the perspective of the benefits but the processor is part of the triumvirate of the power guzzlers for computers (hard disk and monitors complete the set).

For me, I will procrastinate again on getting my low-power download/storage server until the 330 becomes available locally. Hopefully there is a new chipset that will complement the low power draw as well since the current chipset for the 230 is not known for power efficiency.

And yes, there are reports that when it comes to performance per watt, the AMD Turion Mobile processor still beats the Atom processors. That is a testament to how efficient the AMD designs have been from the start. Too bad that there are no netbooks and UMPC model that sports these processors. 🙁


Semi-hosed Wind UMPC (Fixed)

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Fixed by overriding the GRUB lines, editing the GRUB menu, and correcting the entries in the /etc/fstab.

Here is the original line that causes the bootup to panice:

kernel (hd1,0)/boot/vmlinuz BOOT_IMAGE=linux root=/dev/sdc10 vga=788
initrd (hd1,0)/boot/initrd.img

PCLinuxOS is configured to use the graphical GRUB menu so pressing the ESC key will allow the users to go into text mode that allows the editing of the line command. Pressing ‘e’ on the selected entry enabled to correct the order of hard drive being searched [ (hd0,0)/boot] as well as the correct root [root=dev/sda10]. After both the kernel and initrd lines have been updated, pressing ‘b’ will continue the boot process.

The GRUB entry is only half of the problem since the boot operationg still panics and dumps me in a command line. The culprit is that the fstab file still contains incorrect entries since all of the partitions are being searched at /dev/sdc. The USB flashdrive I used for the installation has 3 partitions so there are also 3 incorrect entries for it in /etc/fstab.

As I said, the boot process dumps me into a command line. This is where knowledge of vi comes very handy. It is small enough and ubiquitous enough to be in most *nix system. A quick ‘vi /etc/fstab’ to correct all linux partitions (and temporarily disable mounting of windows partitions) and I am now good to go. Invoking ‘mount -a’ confirms that I am able to successfully mount all partitions.

This problem is solved but unfortunately the PCLinuxOS Minime distribution is not the answer to my wireless in the Wind woes. 🙁


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