Today is GPRS day

I wake up quarter past 6 in the morning. Some time later went to my desktop to check does something happened during night. Usually it means IRC highlights or new emails but today it was something other: network outage.

OK, I told — there are other things to do like buying train tickets, making few calls, breakfast etc. But I returned home 2 hours later and situation did not changed. Cable modem still blinks with “DS” led… After call to isp (UPC) I got information that there are some modernization works in progress and will be ended at the end of hour. But hour later it was still “at the end of current hour”…

As I had to be at work I took my Nokia N900 from pocket and launched X-Chat to give network outage information to my coworkers. And started to think how to fix situation…

Lack of sleeping seats in train forced me to change train so I will take my laptop with me to be in contact during trip. So I had to learn how to use N900 as modem anyway.

So how to do it? Thanks to blog post by Marius Gedminas I had easy way. As I prefer to not have cables hanging and like to have more battery power I had to limit myself to BlueTooth.

Nokia N900 side: installed “bluetooth-dun” package which starts “dund” so “Dial-Up Networking” appears in list of offered services.

Desktop side: BlueDevil detected phone but handles only OBEX and Audio profile ;( Thanks to one of comments on Marius’s blog post I installed “blueman” and used it to connect to N900/DUN service. This allowed me to use NetworkManager to connect to internet.

Laptop side: Also BlueDevil and “blueman” are installed but I did not used them. Instead I altered default routing and got crazy setup: laptop -wifi-> router -ethernet-> desktop -bluetooth-> n900 -gprs-> internet.

Setup works properly. Modem still blinks with “DS” led…

Sending files over Bluetooth to S60 devices

I use Nokia E66 phone. It runs S60 3rd edition FP1 (aka Symbian 9.2). When I switched to it sending files over Bluetooth was easy: obexftp -b BD:AD:RR:EE:SS:00 -p FILE1 FILE2 and files landed as messages in phone Inbox. But for some time it is not working — all I got was “Sending FILE1…failed” like messages.

Hopefully obexftp tool has some options available so after some tests I got it working. And result is even better as files lands in file system instead of Inbox. The trick is to give path on phone to obexftp: obexftp -b BD:AD:RR:EE:SS:00 -c E:/folder/on/card -p FILE1 FILE2 and files will land there.

Simple, nice and the most important: working :D

Bluetooth + phone == remote control

During holidays I found another usage for my current phone (SonyEricsson k750i). It is Bluetooth Remote Control functionality.

Basically it turn phone into HID device but the good thing is that user can create own profile for this. There is a tool for it (Microsoft Windows executable) and also those files can be created by hand (instructions are provided by Stefan ‘tommie’ Tomanek as part of his excellent guide about using this cellphone with Linux).

I do not know does it is possible on Neo1973 (IIRC BlueZ only has HID daemon) but I will miss it if it is not…

VoIP: headset, USB phone or BT headset?

During Wednesday I will have conference call to discuss some things with few developers. Before I used cheap VoIP headphones with microphone but one of cables broke so mic works or not.

So it looks like I will have to buy something again. During OEDEM Stelios used USB phone to make calls and it looked more handy then ‘VoIP headset’. But there are many of them on market so what if I will end with something which works only under MS Windows?

Other choice is Bluetooth headset. This one will be also usefull with my cellphone or Neo1973 or even with Nokia 770. Configuring headset to work with Linux was disaster but I googled a bit and found that with bluez-utils 3.16 or newer it is no problem (or at least it looks like that).

Which one to choose… Have to sleep with this and take decision tomorrow.

Zaurus machines starts to be obsolete…

Time passed since last Zaurus (SL-C3200 ‘terrier’) was released. Many new interesting devices appeared on market: Nokia N800, FIC Neo1973 and now Nokia N810. Each of them has something extra compared to Zaurus machines — Bluetooth or Wifi or GSM. And each is supported by vendor — thing which cannot be told about Sharp.

Recently few OpenEmbedded developers (Koen, XorA, Mickeyl) wrote that they got developer discount1 for Nokia N810. What does it mean for Zaurus owners?

When developers gets new toys they usually look at pile of palmtops and decide which one go to drawer or eBay and which one will be used. For example I have 8 palmtops2 now and most of time do not use any of them. I will probably use Neo1973 as main PDA when it will reach usable state and rest of devices will be used from time to time to test something. XorA wrote that he will sell own Zaurus machines and give OE devices to someone who wants to maintain them. Koen already do not use his c700 at all, same probably with Mickeyl. As result Zaurus machines will get less and less maintained and will bitrot in next year or two :(

  1. There was developer program for Nokia 770, then for N800 and recently for N810. I tried with first one and ignored others as they support only developers from few selected countries

  2. Those 8 palmtops are: PalmPilot 5000, Palm M105, Sharp Zaurus SL-5500/c760/SL-6000L (OE project device), Nokia 770, 2 FIC Neo1973. 

Phone should have a mirror

Recently my wife decided that her next cellphone needs to have a mirror. This was after her last trip when she forgot to pack mirror into her purse…

Why such requirement? Currently Ania use SonyEricsson k510i cellphone. It has Bluetooth, Irda, camera, J2ME games/applications, possibility to use own themes and many many more functions. But to tell the truth — how many people really use such things? During phone numbers exchange they just manually create new entry in addressbook because even if they have BT or Irda they do not know how to use it or are afraid of catching viruses (really!). She sometimes play pre-installed J2ME games or use one application: public communication timetable (which I installed and take care of updates).

Will Neo1973 running OpenMoko be good for such users? I asked my wife and she told:

Yes, if I would do jogging — it fits nicely to tracksuit.

My brother-in-law is more interested, but he like technical things. Not like my wife — she just wants to call, message and use a mirror when to comes to using a cellphone. And of course it has to good look and fit her style ;)