Cool gadgets, we must all buy one…

iPhone4 – god damn

So my manager at work was in a generous mood lately, and had gotten all of us IT-geeks iPhone4’s, well I was kind of happy with my HTC Wildfire android 2.2 phone but not impervious to a new fancy device so I wanted to give this iPhone thing a spin just for the fun of it..

First thing was of cause to jailbreak the damn thing, why should Apple decide what I put on my phone!?  iOS 4.2.1 was a bit of a challenge if you did not have an Apple computer to jailbreak it from, however Greensn0w Greenp0ison (thanks Jared) just recently released a working jailbreak so I finally got around to jailbreaking the thing (my manager had also commented on my not yet using the new phone, so timing was excellent).. Jailbreaking went fairly easy, Greensn0w is quite simple and easy to use (an on-screen guide actually tell you what to do when and how, it’s to do with timing)..

My nephew Nick Dalmose pointed out that I should install a “source” into cydia called Hackulo.us which would bring additional installation options to Cydia, however this seem a bit dodgy 🙂  but if you are the adventurous type then you may want to take a look..  Once you install the “Hackulo.us” source you should then install “Installous 4” which will expand your installations options many times. Guide; Cydia -> Manage -> Sources -> Edit -> Add -> “Hackulo.us” -> “Hackulo.us” -> “Installous 4” and you are up and running. Now I do not endorse piracy, so use at your own discression – obviously you should abide by your country’s legislation.

Other than that there are a bunch of cool apps available via Cydia that are not in the Apple App-Store, these may not be super useful to “Joe the plumber” but if you are just a tad geeky then it’s not without it’s charm.

A few examples;
SBSettings
LockCalender
Winterboard
 (hide the clock)
LockMS

Anyhow, have fun with your jailbroken device (but for god’s sake DON’T allow it to update when iTunes tell you there are new updates… that is SO NOT compatible with a jailbroken device)..

A co-worker (Tnx Mr. Grøn) was kind enough to share this link to a place that can assist you with finding the right jailbreak for your device;
http://iphoneblogr.com/jailbreak-wizard

Jared from http://iphoneblogr.com/ was kind enough to correct me on a few points, so be sure to read the comments and also drop by http://iphoneblogr.com/ which seem to harbour a few tips’n tricks also..

Update/addition;
My Co-worker Mr. Grøn again came up with something quite cool, a totally neat cover for your iPhone4 (sadly the headphone adapter then become incompatible with my headset, it is clearly designed for the standard iPhone headset).  It is the coolest phone cover I have seen so far (slightly expensive at us$ 80 though):
http://www.elementcase.com/iphone4.html

ps; the headset compatibility issue could be solved by buying an adapter like this on ebay;

NoteSlate – a different kind of e-device

We all know of iPads, iPhones, Galaxy Tabs and what not – some have even experimented with Amazon’s Kindle, however this is new – or rather an oldie in new clothing, it’s the good old notepad now in an electronic form…  sure it does not have internet browsing and you will have to look long for Angry Birds, but if you need to take notes (and keep em) this “tablet” limited to one color is cool (3 color version coming later) – Pricing will be US$ 99,- (could do with a little lower price, but it is not outrageous) and a battery time of 180 hours battery life (almost 3 weeks of daily work !)..  This could be interesting…

http://noteslate.com/

Hybrid Drive – Seagate Momentus XT

An interesting video comparing SSD, Hybrid, 10.000 rpm and 7.200 rmp harddisks.

I recently bought one of these Seagate Momentus XT drives and I’m looking forward to installing it, it looks like good value for money compared to SSD.
for more check here; http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/products/laptops/laptop-hdd/

The wonders of international standards – power cords

Twice within just a few months I have been traveling abroad just to realize that my AC power cord from my laptop would not fit the national wall sockets.

Sadly this is especially a problem for Danes as our national standard for IT AC power plugs are slightly incompatible with many of our Europan neighbours, we apparently in Denmark use something called a “Type K” power plug – this is similar to a Type F/G but not quite.

(The Danish Type K – AC power cord).

Some may see the difference between the Type K and the Type E / F hybrid (used in many other EU countries).

as you can see the Type E/F hybrid will fit a Danish wall plug, but a Danish Type K cable will not be able to fit a Type E/F wall plug due to the round sides.

Anyhow, you can imagine me getting tired of this and trying to figure out a solution.  I came up with three or four, so here we go;

How to build an international AC Power cord for your pc.

one that will work in most European countries (I strongly suggest option three).

  • The first and simplest solution is to buy a Type F/G hybrid C5 cable.  This will work in most European countries without problems (it will sadly not work in some IT versions of the Type K wall socket in Denmark as these IT sockets again are slightly different – but this is a minor problem as Danish offices often have both IT and regular wall sockets).
  • The next solution is one many of my co-workers turned to, taking a Type K plug and filing it down (or using a knife) so it will fit international power sockets.  Well this is an OK solution but filing/cutting down a power plug can be dangerous to your fingers and to your general security – trust me 🙂  So if you have no better use of your time, and  don’t mind bloody fingers – go for it..
  • Third solution actually came to me while rummaging through old cables, I stumbled across an old C7 cable and came to compare it to a C5 cable – and came to wonder – hey these two look somewhat similar (if you exclude the ground connector) – I wonder if a C7 cable will fit a C5 socket..  Sadly it would not 🙁  but then it came to me, what if I take a plier and cut down the middle of the C7 plug, well imagine what it was an instant success..  a C7 plug cut down the middle with a plier will fit a C5 socket (and still work in a C7 socket).  So what you do is buy a C7 cable, these are used for all sorts of equipment (radios, charges, shavers etc. etc.), cut it down the middle and insert it into your power supply for your laptop – and the really clever part is that C7 cables often come with a Type C plug which makes it even more compatible (it will fit virtually anywhere).
  • Fourth solution is to take your C5 cable, cut it up and then buy and mount a Type C connector.  This will work, however it requires the most work.

This will of cause not help you with UK, US and the Asian wall sockets (although I was able to fit my Type C cable in some Chinese wall sockets).

Anyhow problem minimized.

Read all about the different plugs and wall sockets here;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_power_plugs_and_sockets
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEC_connector

Droidwall – firewall for Android

As you may have read I jumped on the Android wagon earlier, it’s a cool phone not quite as stylish as the iPhone but a LOT cheaper and more open.

One annoying thing however is, that applications ALL seem to require obscure access to run – access to geolocation, access to sim card, access to contacts, access to sd card, access to make phonecalls and full access to internet… and it’s not as on the iPhone where you are asked if this is ok, no once you install the software you are informed about the rights the software wants and you then have two options install or not..  strange and annoying, why can’t I select what I want to give access to?

Anyhow, what we need is a firewall for the device, and someone has been kind enough to make one Droidwall 😀  sadly it requires root access 🙁
http://www.appbrain.com/app/droidwall-%28root-required%29/com.googlecode.droidwall

Pimp your car back to the future…

Looking for the perfect gift for that friend that just have everything?  Look no further, this site has just what you need;
http://www.bttfhardware.com/index.html

Imagine pimping your car (or as mentioned giving it as a gift) so it looks like the famous Delorean from “Back to the future”, it would be utterly cool (and perhaps a bit geeky) 🙂

Car mount for your phone

So I ended up buying the HTC Wildfire phone and am very happy with the buy.  Rather quickly I installed CoPilot a GPS navigation software which is fairly cool, however it was annoying that I had nowhere to put the phone in the car, if I tried to leave it on the dashboard it would fall over or whatnot.

Anyway a bit of googling ended up with something called a “Dash Genie”, a universal phone mount for your car.  It works quite simply by having a VERY sticky red dot on the holder that will “glue” your phone so it won’t rummit around (see the video clip) and a suction cup for your dashboard or window.  It works perfectly, there ishowever however a minor annoyance – for some reason the mount interfere somehow with the touch screen of my phone (yeah I know it sounds strange, but true never the less) – I think it is because the elastic capacity of the mount, anyway you may need to hold the phone steady with one hand when operating the phone – but hey minor annoyance.

From what I can tell it will work with almost any phone smartphone or regular alike.

I got mine here;
http://www.mobilefun.co.uk/dash-genie-in-car-holder-p23796.htm

Jawbone Bluetooth

By coincidence I stumbled across an interesting gadget, it’s something called JawBone.

Initially it seem like an ordinary blue-tooth headset, well it is but with a twist – it uses an elaborate background noise cancellation technology and it seem to do so very well indeed (watch video below). So if you use your blue-tooth headset in noisy environments then this may be something for you.

For more details refer to WIKI or their web-site;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jawbone_%28headset%29
http://www.jawbone.com/

iPhone ‘End Call’ sticker – a hilarious solution to the antenna problem

We all heard of the iPhone4’s antenna problem, the problem is a fairly simple one – if you happen to ‘short’ the two antennas (wifi/3g) which are divided by a thin line on the outer casing then reception may drop.  The Apple way to solve this is to ask users not to hold the phone is such a way that they ‘short’ the two antennas (not place a finger on the thin black line on the casing while using the phone), others have come up with ‘simpler’ solutions – eg. place a piece of tape over the thin black line…

But the BEST solution is this, a small sticker to place in the affected area (Hilarious!!!!);

Buy it here; http://www.etsy.com/listing/52058857/iphon-end-call-now-sticker-stops-signal

A not so funny solution is this;
http://www.engadget.com/2010/07/20/antenna-aid-bandages-your-iphone-4-reception-issue-hopes-for-ro/