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Friday 27 July 2007

Utorrent Web UI goes mobile....

The good guys at www.utorrentmui.com have developed a simple web interface ..so that all the torrent junkies out there ..can remotely monitor their torrents from anywhere..via their cellphones.




To make this work you would need to have utorrent 1.6.1 or higher with web UI installed and activated(and also the port should be forwarded if you are behind a router/firewall). Then all you need to do is point your phone browser to m.utorrentmui.com and fill in the required info ..like the port number ..username/ password ..all you are all set to remotely control your torrents wherever you are.



The following functions are supported by the current version :

-Monitoring torrents running on your desktop PC from your mobile phone via WAP or GPRS
-Start, Pause and Stop all downloads in one go
-Customize the maximum upload and download speed rate in the ĀµTorrent client

Awesome.. !! I'm in love with it already !! :o)

Thursday 26 July 2007

Nokia Customer Service .... more like... No Customer Service


One thing that really gets me irritated is when people skip timelines...And this is exactly the thing the folks at the Nokia Level 2 service centre at pune are good at doing. I purchased my nokia N95 in April 2007 just a few days after the official India Launch. After fiddling about with the phone and the accessories for a few days i realised that i was one of the many unlucky ones to get a faulty AD-43 audio adapter. Thinking that it would get replaced easily , i took it to the aforementioned service centre and submitted it in for replacement. The lady at the counter assured me that i would get a replacement within two weeks time. After two weeks i called them up again to ask them about it ..and they told me that it would take another two weeks. I called them up after another two weeks and they tell me that nokia hasnt sent the spares to them ...so i'll have to wait for an indefinite amount of time ..till the spares arrive ?? WTF ??? A level 2 Nokia Service centre telling me that they dont have the replacement ..and have no idea when its going to arrive ?? This really ticked me off and i called up the Nokia India Helpline number and registered a complaint with them. The nokia customer service associate assured me that they would speak to the people at pune level 2 centre and i should get my replacement within a week. I called the level 2 centre after a week and they still tell me the same old story. I called up the nokia helpline again ..and its almost like a deja vu experience !! Today ...i decided to go personally to the level 2 centre ...and again they tell me they still dont have the replacement. This speaks volumes about the sorry state of nokia customer service in India. Its been almost 3 months now ..and they've sent me running around pillar to post to get the AD-43 audio adapter replaced..which should have worked in the first place..!!

And I don't think that this applies only to me . A visit to any of the service centers in pune and you would actually see a number of irritated people , unsatisfied customers and equally pensive attendants. I love Nokia as a company ..and all the exciting phones and technology they debut...but they really have to pull their socks up in terms of customer service ...especially in growing markets like India. We Indians generally aren't very forgiving when it comes to bad customer service ...and the same people who voted to make nokia one of the super-brands of the year could be the same ones who would lead to its downfall in the Indian Market. Nokia ..are you listening ??

Wednesday 18 July 2007

Jealous Computers ??

The latest in the Nokia N95 and Nseries Marketing campaign. I must admit ..its pretty funny and innovative. Check out the video below ..or head over to www.jealouscomputers.com to know more ...



You can also add your own Laptop/PC attack story and stand a chance to win a free T-Shirt !! So ..what are you waiting for ??

Tuesday 17 July 2007

Hands on with Shozu v3.2

Shozu was one of those apps that was plagued with a lot of problems in the previous version . It used to hog memory , cause my N95 to crash and reboot randomly and i used to get the dreaded "memory full" error quicker than you can say jack sparrow !!




But now ..The shuzu team has released Version 3.20.. And its not just their logo that has changed !! Apart from adding a lot of more zucasts ...they have even added a lot more partners.You can now post your videos and photos to Youtube , Flickr , Kodak easy share , livejournal , wordpress , blogger ...and the list goes on. For all the people who are hearing about shozu for the first time ..you can head down to www.shozu.com and grab your free copy of the app.You have to sign up...and choose your phone model..and the link will be sms'd to you..or you can even grab it online. You can even schedule your zucast download time and download limit online ...so the zucasts you have subscribed to will be downloaded only during the time you have set it to.



But has the application really improved in performance and stability ?? I'd say yes !! With the previous version of shozu i had this problem where the gprs connection never terminated ,and i had to manually disconnect it from the connection manager. This issue seems to have been fixed with the new version.




Also ...There will always be a shozu process running in the background . I couldnt get the low down on how much memory this uses ...but judging from the fact that i dont get those memory full errors anymore...seems like the shozu team has done a pretty good job in keeping the memory usage low. EDIT : just found out that since i've installed shozu on my mem card ..and the process runs continously in the background ..I cannot connect my N95 in the mass storage device mode until and unless I kill the shozu app using some task manager app like swissknife utilities or ytasks :(




The standard features like Geo-tagging seem to be the same . The fact to be noted about the geo-tagging feature ..is that you should be locked on to the gps satellites for the geo tagging feature to work.So what i do is ..open the GPS data app in the background...let it lock on to the GPS satellites ..and then proceed to click photos.




There are a lot more zucasts too.Now you can subscribe to casts from buzznet , rocketboom and a lot more media providers.



The contact backup feature works as well as it did in the previous versions.Nothing new to report here....but its really good to have such a feature.Something that nokia has not been able to conjure up yet. I know we can backup our contacts to pc suite or lifeblog ..or even the memory card...but why cant nokia have a common online service for all its customers where they can safely store their contacts , pictures and videos ..upto a certain limit ??I'd rather wirelessly sync my contacts to an online service other than backing them up to my pc. I think this is one of the features that nokia should really look into before its too late and someone else steals the show.





In all I'd say the new shozu v3.2 app is a huge improvement over its previous version.Not only have the number of media channels increased ...but the interface is much quicker and memory issues have reduced considerably. It might not be the perfect app... but it looks like its heading in the right direction . This app has a lot of scope to be the next big thing in terms of media integration and push button publishing ..so i'm looking forward to a lot more improvements and features to be added to shozu over the next few months. As usual...Let me know what are your views on this app.It's always nice to have a good discussion going on . :o)

Friday 13 July 2007

For All The Uber-Dorks Out There... !!

Just stumbled across this 6x optical extension for the nokia N95 over at the Nokia N95 Blog.









Okay...so now we have a quad band phone ...a large 2.6 inch screen..with AGPS...and a 5 mpx camera with 6x optical zoom. Hmmmm....Now if only I had some luck with the "bond girls"...all my spy fantasies would be fulfilled !! Any women interested ... ??

Thursday 12 July 2007

Real Streaming Music , Videos Using ORB

One of the best services I've been using on my N95 is ORB. In fact ..this software service works on any phone that has the ability to play streaming media ... Be it real media streams (usually supported by symbian handsets) or wmv streams (usually supported by the windows mobile range).And best of all....Its Frigging FREE !!
Although you will need a broadband connection on your pc (or media server)and an unlimited (and fast enough) GPRS connection on your handset to make this work.

To use this awesome app ..you first have to download the orb installer from the website www.orb.com
Once you are through with the installation you can configure it as per your preferences. You can set the directories you have stored your respective media you want to stream or share.



If you have a router or are behind a firewall , do remember to unblock or port-forward the ports you are using for streaming real , 3gp or wmv streams.

After you have done this , you can head over to http://mycast.orb.com
This page will be your media interface to the web. All your shared media will be displayed here and you can decide if you want make your movies , mp3's public ..or just leave them as private so only you can access them. You can also add feeds from other sites such as youtube and dailymotion etc.

To access your media from your smartphone you have to key in the same url http://mycast.orb.com from your phone's browser. Once you log in...a much simplified and neater version of the mycast webpage will be displayed which is optimized for your device.



There are 8 menu tabs ... TV, AUDIO , VIDEO , PHOTO , DOCS , FILE , BROWSER ,and FEEDS.

Each one of them have their respective submenus and even the option to watch internet videos and listen to internet radio.



The File browser tab acts just like windows explorer and you can actually explore the entire contents of your hard disk.



Another great ability is to add feeds via the mycast webpage on your pc. You can then access those feeds via your phones browser. You can add feeds on the weather , your flickr photo stream ..or any other rss or atom feed you like.



One of the best things about the orb page is the ability to set your streaming bandwidth ..or there even is the option to let the app detect it for you. You can even remotely restart the orb application which is running on your pc.



Another cool feature is that it even gets the album art embedded in mp3 files and generates thumbnails for video files too. This is truly a couch potato's dream ...and i'm really enjoying the experience of listening to streaming music ..and watching my movie collection on my huge nokia N95 screen from the comfort of my bed.



This app is the closest you can get to real streaming on your N95 using your local router ..or through your GPRS connection.Do try it out and let me know what you think of it .

Aaaaaaaah....The good life !! :)

Tuesday 10 July 2007

Nokia N95 v12 Firmware Rants...

Whoooooooo Hooooooo !!

V12 firmware for the nokia N95 is finally here. I just upgraded my phone last night.Went through the usual half an hour of "waiting" for the 113 MB rom to download ..and the five minutes of "heart attacks" when the actual flashing takes place.But in the end...its really worth it !! And the new firmware is swwwwwwweeeeeeet !!



Okay...One thing that nokia has to figure out is the re-installation mechanism. After you reset your phone or flash it to a new firmware ..all the registry entries in the c: drive of your phone get erased. so when you put in your memory card ..the applications try to re register themselves on the phone boot up ..and the "installer" starts running. Somehow ..this installer has never really worked its magic for me . It either hangs ..or i have to terminate it using swiss knife utilities...but the next time i reboot the phone ...it starts running all over again. I even tried going to the app manager and manually installing the apps (which appear as some combination of hex numbers..and you really don't know what is what until you install them)...but considering my phone is always full with about 50-60 apps/games at any give time...this is gonna be quite a task. So the only quick solution i see would be to backup my contacts , images and videos ..and format the memory card . :( Sad ..i know...but at least it gives me a clean slate ..and i can start anew all over again.




Regarding the new firmware ....I was disappointed NOT to see the latest version of Nokia Maps bundled with this firmware upgrade. The AGPS really doesn't work out well for me . I have a gprs plan and all the settings are right ...data is getting transferred when i use the maps application ...but I didn't notice any improvement in the lock time.(its still a pathetic 2-5 minutes for me ) ..and i wonder if this AGPS support is only country specific. Anyone knows anything more about this ?? Another thing that pisses me off is the lack of Maps for India in the Nokia map loader ?? What gives ?? They were there in the older version ..so why aren't they there in the new one ? Hello Nokia...are you listening ??


Some improvements I've noticed are ..
1.The interface feels zipper on the whole.
2.Slightly more ram on boot up.
3.Gallery is much quicker ..and now pictures zoom in till 800%
4.The camera is much more responsive...Better focusing.


About the battery life...I'll have to wait and see if that has improved. Another thing I've noticed..is when the screen light times out ..the photo preview button momentarily comes on for a bit ..as if to signal that the screen is switching off.Don't know if this is a bug or they've just kept it that way.

Feel free to add any more bugs / improvements you've noticed . I'll be posting more of my findings here.

Saturday 7 July 2007

Nokia N95 v12.0 firmware coming soon....

Symbian Guru Rcadden has got his hands on the latest version (v12) firmware for the N95.
Key features in this upgrade are not clear yet ...but one major upgrade is in the form of a new nokia maps application and a much faster GPS lock on (due to Nokia using A-GPS technology by storing your nearest cell-id's in their centralized servers for a faster lock ).




I also hope nokia has optimized the ram and improved the response time of the camera. Also a bit of optimization on battery life wouldnt hurt either.. :)

To read more about the new firmware head on to..

http://symbianguru.typepad.com

UPDATE : V12 IS OFFICIALLY OUT. CHECK YOUR NOKIA SOFTWARE UPDATER !!