It has been a while

It has been a while since I posted on the blog. Blogging took a backseat, but hopefully I am back here now.

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Nexus One 6 Month Review

I ordered a Nexus One the day it was available. It has now been about 6 months since I first got the phone. Since then, I upgraded to Froyo (Android 2.2) when it was available. (Update: I now run Cyanogenmod RC3)

Here is a review of how things are progressing with my phone, with the Froyo update.

First and foremost:

Call quality

It is pretty good, except when I am trying to hold my phone in a shoulder hold.

Nexus One Shoulder Hold

I do have issues with some phone calls dropping, but I think it that is T-Mobile’s fault :)

Battery Life

I have to charge it everyday. I doubt there are other smart phones that can sustain being under heavy use and last for more than a day.

Under excessive use, like using the phone browser for 4-5 hours, while listening to music (you get the idea), the battery life is even shorter. For this reason, I now have a USB cable on my desk at work, and a car dock that charges it in the car (See more below).

Cyanogenmod Update: Battery life is so much better with this update.

Browser

Being able to look up information at a quick glance is one of the reasons I got this phone. The stock browser just absolutely kicks ass. Given the fact I have the Adobe Flash plugin (works ok, not for extensive use!) on this phone, I can pretty much access more information available on the internet.

I would like to see the stock browser supporting tabs (or switching windows using some kind of gesture). I know dolphin and xscope browsers support this, but I would like the stock app to get this feature someday.

Cyanogenmod Update: Has incognito mode. Yay!

Navigation

Google maps with turn by turn navigation is pretty sweet. I have now taken it on two trips (i did carry my gps in my bag incase my phone failed me), and it was pretty easy to use.

Email

I did not like the default mail client that came with android. I replaced it with k-9 mail for my work email. I use the gmail client for my gmail.

Calendar

I do not like the default calendar. The blackberry calendar is much more solid. I do like the sync between google calendar and it showing up on my phone automatically. I have tried Gemini calendar for a while, and have now settled on Jorte. Jorte provides what I need to know at a glance, with the weekly view.

Contact Management

Edit contacts within Gmail, and it gets added to your phone. Or the other way around. Two way sync is very nice :)

Market

Market works like google search with suggestions. Very easy to find what you need. Get appbrain if you find this inadequate.

Music

The stock music player is pretty basic. Sorted by Album/Artist/Song/Playlist.

I like folders, and use mortplayer.

Cyanogenmod Update: Musicmod is very nice, but I still prefer mortplayer :)

Podcasts

Listen is ok with the google reader implementation. Searching for podcasts in listen is confusing. I prefer to search and add subscriptions within Google Reader. Also, if your podcast is not downloaded completely, it has issues playing the podcast. I always finish download of the entire podcast before I start playing.

Camera

The camera is pretty good. The flash works well (and doubles as a flash light!).

The pictures are good enough, and at night – even better than my Canon S3IS!

Cyanogenmod: Adds 720p video shooting.

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Sennheiser HD202 Repair

I have a Sennheiser HD 202, which has served me well for the last 3 years.

Recently, I tripped on the cable and broke the left ear wire (or made it loose at any rate). This led to intermittent song playing in the left ear, which is extremely irritating!

Here is what you need to know to fix this.

3.5 mm plug

Then see this link on instructables on how to solder wires.

Only catch being that the HD202 wires have lacquer on them. You will need to burn off the lacquer with a lighter or a match. To double check, after burning the lacquer check continuity with an ohm meter!

Also, since these wires are exposed, it is a good idea to heat shrink them.

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Amazon: Windows XP Refund

I’ve been a linux user for quite a while now. I looked to buy a netbook without Windows on it, but due to market conditions, that did not seem possible.

Based on this slashdot article, I went ahead and ordered the same item. (see my report on it here)

The first conversation was over the phone, which did not get me anywhere.

I had better luck over email. They offered me a refund of 10% on the price of the netbook, along with keeping Windows on it.

I however, asked again pointing to the slashdot article and after that they refunded me the price of Windows XP according to the article: $65.45

Thank you amazon for being so awesome!

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ASUS Eee PC 1005HA : Installation Report

I just bought a netbook. It finally boiled down to this: ASUS Eee PC 1005HA. I bought it for the extra battery life, the improved processor power and loads of space.

I promptly downloaded Ubuntu Netbook Remix edition to put on it. Installation was straight forward from the USB stick image. Almost all of the hardware worked except the wireless card and the wired ethernet. However, workarounds for this are documented at the Ubuntu Netbook Hardware Support page. However, all keys did not work as expected.

So, I went with eeebuntu which offers customized installation for the eeepc netbooks. Most of the function keys except the “toggle touchpad” work. I had the same issue with this distribution with regards to the wired and wireless internet. Installing a kernel that is backported from karmic fixed the issue with the wireless.

The wireless does not resume if the netbook is suspended with the wireless turned on. However, if the wireless radio is turned off before suspend, the wireless radio can be turned on when the netbook recovers out of suspend.

Update (08/10/2009): The toggle touchpad button now works
I am using the statux.org testing repository.
I also enabled shmconfig using hal in ‘/etc/hal/fdi/policy/synaptics.fdi

Posted in Linux | 7 Comments