May 262008

I know there are hundreds, if not thousands of list of Windows “free software” on the web. But every time I read one of those lists, I usually find one or two applications which I wasn’t aware of previously. So I figured that one more list couldn’t hurt. People like lists. There will obviously be a lot of things that you have seen before, but I’m sure some of you will find some new gems to try. This is by no means a complete list of Freeware. I am only adding software to this list that I’ve used and determined to be worthwhile. Many of these applications may fall on the “geeky” side, as I mainly do IT consulting.

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Motorola: Now That Is Great Customer Service

 Posted by on 2008-05-10 at 21:01  Editorial, Mobile, Technology  Comments Off on Motorola: Now That Is Great Customer Service
May 102008

Motorola just won a customer for life for outstanding customer service.  I know their products are sometimes over priced and sometimes have their issues, but this time around they did a great job.

I recently purchased a set of Motorola Bluetooth™ Active Headphones S9 and on the very first day of using them, the larger sized ear-buds fell off when they were around my neck.  This was probably more my fault than a design flaw.  Well, I wrote to Motorola customer support and explained the situation.  I was fully willing to pay for new ear-buds (maybe up to $5), but Motorola was kind enough to send me a free set of ear-buds.  I received them in the mail a couple days later.  That is impressive.  I’ve written to many companies for various issues with products or service, and this is one of the few times that I’ve gotten a satisfactory resolution with little pain on my part.  Many companies don’t even bother responding (Looks in TGIF’s direction).

I know it’s bad that I am so impressed, but I am.  So I figured the least I could do for such good customer service was to write favorably about it and hope that other companies start to follow suit.  Kudos to Motorola for handing the situation as well as they did.

Review: Skyfire Browser for Windows Mobile

 Posted by on 2008-05-10 at 19:53  Internet, Mobile, Technology  Comments Off on Review: Skyfire Browser for Windows Mobile
May 102008

I finally got my invite to the Skyfire Beta after a long wait for an invite. It was well worth the wait. Skyfire is a new web browser for the Windows Mobile platform that allows you to view “full” web pages. This includes the ability to watch streaming video, flash based content, and full Javascript support. All of the “Web 2.0” style sites that I’ve tested Skyfire on have worked for the most part. This includes personal favorites such as Netvibes and Hulu. I was really surprised that Hulu works. A major feature of the browser is that you can watch Youtube videos, which is cool and all, but I’ve been able to do that for quite some time with the FlashVideoBundle “hack” for Windows Mobile. I was very surprised that Hulu works.

The streaming video portion of the browser is cool. Its a tad choppy on my Verizon EVDO setup, but the audio is clear. I hear it works better on a WIFI connection, but I don’t have WIFI to test it on at the moment. The current version of Skyfire is 0.6 Beta. I am treating this version as more “proof of concept” versus what the final product will look/function like. That may be wishful thinking, but I can’t pass final judgment yet.

UPDATE: I am testing video streaming via WIFI at the moment, and it is indeed much smoother over the WIFI versus EVDO.

Some of the navigation/zooming features are cool on Skyfire, some are not so cool. I believe they will work out some of the bugs in future releases. I think some of the limitations may just be due to the small screens on Windows Mobile based phones. Any of the performance related issues I’ve experienced with Skyfire are probably because of the limited processing power and memory available on Windows Mobile handsets.

Overall, Skyfire looks very promising and is worth signing up for the beta. It will not replace PocketIE for text browsing just yet, but has a lot of potential, especially on future mobile devices.