Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Where's my Torx driver?

I love to take things apart, so since my old Blackberry brick doesn't make that great a paperweight and I don't need a door stop, I going to disassemble it. I'm sure it is way cool looking inside.

I'll post pictures of the guts as I work my way in.

More to come...

Edit: 11/3/2007

Sorry, no pictures yet. I loaned the cube that I shoot small objects in to an associate who hasn't returned it. ;>( It's not terribly interesting inside, although now I understand why it is so rugged. Built like a tank!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Blackberry Curve + GPS!

Now I'm really happy. My new Bluetooth GPS puck just arrived via friendly UPS.

The i.Trek M5+ is a cute little GPS receiver with built in Bluetooth. It's about one third the size of my Curve and weighs practically nothing. It comes with the common NP-60 style rechargeable/replaceable Li-ion battery, an ac charger and a handy dc travel charger. Like many new portable devices, it charges through the ubiquitous mini-B USB port.

First off, I purposely buy cell phones that don't have GPS built in. You know, black helicopters and all. On the other hand, I really like the idea of using GPS enabled Google Maps on my cellphone. I did that with my clunky old Blackberry 7200 series, but the GPS brick was, well, exactly that, a brick. Sort of like the 7200.

Now, as tiny and light as the M5+ is, there are other devices out there that are smaller. The Holux GPSlim 240 is an excellent example, but none of the units are as small and have ~27 hours battery life and have a commonly available, replaceable battery like the M5+.

So, I rip open the UPS package. No surprises except it's not in one of those guaranteed to slice your finger off "theft proof" thingys. There is enough juice in the battery to power the unit up but I plugged it into my Blackberry charger, which has the same type of connector, because I hate it when the battery runs down right in the middle of playtime, if you know what I mean.

Then, I put the unit down on the window sill and turned it on. The orange LED that indicates it is searching for satellites came on steady and the blue LED came on steady as well, indicating no Bluetooth connection as yet. No surprises. Now to the Curve. As I use a Bluetooth earbud, Bluetooth was already turned on on the Curve. I went to the connections manager and Bluetooth Setup and selected to find the device. Pairing was fast and flawless. When the receiver has a fix, the orange LED flashes and a Bluetooth connection is indicated by a rapidly flashing blue LED. On to Google Maps.

The new Blackberries come with a map application but I'm not really impressed with it so I'll check it out later. However, I've used Google Maps since it was available on mobile devices and I'm comfortable with it. I went into its menu and selected Bluetooth GPS. In its sub-menu I selected SPP slave, which is what the M5+ is. Boom, seconds later the map zooms to my location, and since the last time I used it, I was in satellite view, I'm looking at the top of my building. Sweet!

No muss, no fuss. Reminds one of using a Macintosh, which, by the way , the M5+ paired with flawlessly as well. My PC didn't have any trouble with it either, but managing Bluetooth devices in Windows is not as intuitive as with my other toys.

I'll have to run my own test on the battery life, although all the reviews I read agreed that the manufacturer's specs were not an exaggeration. The MTK chipset is a very sensitive 32 channel unit, designed for low power consumption. The M5+ also goes into sleep mode when Bluetooth activity ceases for a while. A trip to the mall with turn by turn directions ought to be fun. The M5+ even comes with a cute little pad to keep it from sliding around on your dash.

All in all, I'm psyched!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Well, hell, you just bumped up against the wrong girl is all.

The way your head works is God's private mystery.

I love David Lynch

Monday, October 22, 2007

Curve Update

I've had a while to really form an opinion about the Blackberry Curve and I must say, I love it. It solves most of the problems I had with the earlier models.

I've had both the 7200 series and the 8800 series in the past. By modern standards, the 7200s are just too clunky. Today there is no excuse for a handset that big. Unless, of course, that's all you can afford. Mine had all the right stuff, but just wasn't that easy to carry around.

The 8800 was ok, but really didn't "feel" that much more compact than the 7200 although it was certainly designed to seem so.

The Curve is pretty much perfect in my mind. The case feels about the same as the iPhone but has a real, usable keyboard. It has real ringtones, wifi, bluetooth, music, video, and a camera. It retains the browser (better), push email, and IM from the other models. Not that the various models don't have some of those features, it's just, to me, the Curve seems to integrate them all so much better.

If my opinion changes, never fear, I'll say so.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Great Live Music

One of the things I love about downtown is access to good live music. Last night we were treated to a, I hope, not too rare phenomenon. San Antonio Texas-blues guitarist, Ruben V, was at the T.

It's been a couple of years since he's played Dallas, and I think he's really grown in that time. Ruben is one of those rare talents who sounds even better live than from a recording.

Kind of a cross between SRV and ZZ Top.

Check him out!

Friday, October 19, 2007

TGIF, y'all!

I love Fridays. Everyone is so happy.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Speaking of trans-sisters...

Trans-Sister Radio is a wonderful book. If you haven't read it I recommend you do. The ending is quite a surprise, although maybe not for the guys. If I put on my cynic's hat, maybe even a little hypocritical.

Holiday Joy

The X-Files episode most likely to bring a smile to my face? "Post-Modern Prometheus"

I have pre-ordered the full set from Amazon. 61 discs. Woohoo!!!

Southern Blackberry Cobbler

Not the best new Bluebell flavor but definitely a cool new phone. I just upgraded my clunky 8800 series to a Curve. Sweet!!