Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Use Windows media player to convert bitrate of music files in bulk

You need an USB pen drive for the same. I used the same. This method works with WMP 11 only. I have not checked with previous versions.

  1. Attach the USB pen drive.
  2. Go to Sync tab in WMP 11.
  3. Click on the inverted triangle shown below Sync title and it shows the name of your device in Menu.
  4. Clicking on device name shows "Advanced options" in submenu.
  5. Select "Advanced Option" and go to the Quality tab.
  6. You can now choose the quality of syncing and the required bit rate. Only trouble is that the conversion done by WMP is in WMA format. This is though supported by most of the device based players and definitely in windows mobile device.
  7. Now you can copy the converted files from the USB drive to anywhere including the storage card in MOTO Q-GSM.

This solved my another problem with MOTO Q-GSM.

How to bulk sync Music to the storage drive in MOTO Q-GSM

This is Windows Mobile 6 device with 41 MB of free main Flash memory and 1 GB of storage card. I have setup the Music library in my MOTO Q-GSM to storage card. Still when I try to sync using WMP 11, it does not try to sync to the storage card, but to the main memory. This means if I have more than 41 MB to sync, I cannot do all together. So, I synced to USB drive which WMP did very eagerly and then to the Storage card of MOTO Q-GSM.

Some quirky things

  1. Why WMP does not sync Video files to the USB pen drive?
  2. Why it cannot give the option of changing bit rate outright in the Media player. When we convert and sync to an USB drive together, it takes good amount of time.
  3. When WMP will allow sync from MP3 format to MP3 format?
  4. When will WMP start recognizing Storage card in the Windows Mobile device?

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My experience with Windows Vista X64

I had got AMD 64 Athlon box since long time, but was not able to utilize it fully as I had legal copy of Windows XP 32 bit with me only. For me XP, my system was kind of top-end, in India for average home use, with 1 GB RAM & 160 GB IDE HDD.

I got legal copy of Windows Vista X64 / X32 in April this year, but owing to following factor, I was not able to install it

  1. Laziness.
  2. Low disk space remaining on the HDD.
  3. Wary of installing Vista Ultimate edition on 1 GB RAM system.
  4. Afraid of not able to get any drivers for X64 configuration.

Ultimately, after a long dithering and with the help of yearly bonus, I decided to upgrade my system and went for a 1 GB extra RAM and another 320 GB SATA HDD. It is a separate story that I managed to burn some IC in the HDD during installation and Seagate ended up replacing the same with 750 GB HDD for no extra charge.

With this mighty system, I decided to take risk with Vista installation and freed up D drive on my machine and moved all 100 GB data to the new HDD. This allowed me to extend D drive to 90 GB after leaving around 60 GB for C drive. Remember that I am still keeping XP 32 bit as backup system, so this will be dual boot machine.

I then installed Vista X64 (instead of X86/32 bit) on D drive purely for the purpose of utilizing AMD64 architecture. Sp, I noticed following things

  1. C and D drive are now OS dependent. The drive that XP considers as C is now treated as D by Vista.
  2. Installation took around 40 minutes after many reboots.
  3. It recognized most of the devices on my system and I could connect to Internet very first day using BSNL Dataone connection.
  4. I installed my usual day to day application like Office 2007, Bitcomet, Download accelerator, GTalk, Y!Msngr, Visual Studio 2005, ETrust 7.1 etc. It showed some displeasure with Nero installation, but it is working fine as of now.
  5. It could not recognize GemPlus GEMPC430 smart card reader though.

What I liked here

  1. IE7 performs better than XP.
  2. Search bar in the Start menu which searches everything on HDD.
  3. Shutdown & restart buttons which does not show annoying popup on the screen asking for my choice.
  4. UAC handling. Although it leaves a lot to be desired now, it is still a step in correct direction.
  5. facility to increase and decrease icons on the desktop up to 128 levels.
  6. They remove My from all the places like "My computer", "My documents" etc making it easy to have small menus.

What I did not like here

  1. Even though I have installed 2 GB RAM, it won't show me Aero Experience. This is bad in my view.
  2. Windows Explorer is too cluttered.
  3. Lot of things require  more clicks only but their basic functionality is same as XP.
  4. Network connection wizard is annoying as it adds one extra screen for no reason in the beginning.
  5. Sidebar is still not very impressive.


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Monday, November 12, 2007

My new Mobile MOTO Q-GSM

Comparison of few windows mobile devices or Select yourself from here.

I bought this in Hyderabad, India for Rs. 16700. If I had paid cash, the amount would have been Rs. 16500. For this amount, I got following things

  1. Windows Mobile 6 Standard powered Smartphone. Standard is different than Professional available in HTC touch which supports Office Mobile & Outlook Mobile. It is black coloured as compared to Silver one shown on web site. I would have gone for that if available in the shop.
  2. Reasonably sized screen with good width.
  3. An extra fat battery with a cover that will fit in this battery. This can be used when out for longer hours.
  4. A portable charger which allows charging of phone up to 10 times. So you charge this portable charger and take it with you wherever you go.
  5. Good music player with 2 speakers in the backside so that whole drawing room can listen the song when on full volume.
  6. QWERTY keyboard which allows good typing. It takes a while to get used to this after the normal cell phone, but it is worth it. Auto-completion is also good, but I had difficulty figuring out how to insert special characters and uppercase.
  7. Unlocked phone. Although I heard from people that unlocking the competing HTC Touch is not a big deal.
  8. Camera: 1.3 MP 6.0x digital zoom.
  9. Miscellaneous:
    • 1 GB MiniSD card. It can support up to 2 GB only.
    • 64 MB internal memory where 23 Mb is used by OEM software and 41 MB is available for use.
    • A pouch for holding phone in belt.
    • An USB charger cum data cable.
    • Support for ActiveSync 4.5.

What I did not get is

  1. Touch screen which is available in HTC touch, Rs. 17000 to 19500 and Palm Treo, Airtel price Rs. 26990 but street price may differ. Both these phones are locked with Airtel network. Legally you can get these unlocked by paying Rs. 2500 to Airtel, but in the gray market, it can be done in Rs. 250 to 500.
  2. SIM manger utility available with HTC Touch which allows the bulk transfer of data from SIM to Phone and back in simple steps. Motorola wants to make more money, so they removed this, so that people will buy their $38 "MOTO phone tools" to do these operations.
  3. A 2 MP camera which is available with HTC Touch.
  4. Wi-Fi: It is not having 802 network connectivity option, neither Infrared.
  5. MS office Mobile. Motorola has replaced MS office with Some application named as "Document To Go". I have not yet used it to see how much it can replace Office Mobile.

Basically, when buying the phone, I did not realise that 4 & 5 should be considered, but you can never be smarter than sales professionals. They always manages to fool you in this or that aspect.

I have chosen this after comparing with following

  • Sony Ericsoon P1i @ Rs. 20400. I did not go for this as this does not have WM. And camera at 3.2 MP is just luxury. Touch screen is not necessity with me.
  • Sony Ericsson W580i @ Rs. 11800. Looks odd, isn't it? But Music was one of my option and that's why I rejected HTC Touch.
  • Nokia N95 and similar choices. Did not check much for this as Nokia is not so great in Smartphone market.

How I fixed my first problem with this device

Problem statement:

I wanted to transfer all my SIM contacts (around 170) at once from SIM to MOTO Q phone main memory. Unfortunately, SIM manager tool is not available which is available in windows mobile professional in touch. I found few on net, but am wary of downloading them. Why I needed to do this is to transfer rest of my 70 contacts saved in my old Sony Ericsson T105 phone which does not support any new age communication options like Bluetooth etc. But, it allows you to transfer all contacts from Phone main memory to SIM. The catch is that in that case, it will overwrite all 70 entries from the beginning Nth position in SIM list. So I needed to first transfer all my contacts from SIM to MOTO Q and then get the T105 contacts on SIM for re-transfer to MOTO Q. Since MOTO Q does not have bulk transfer app from SIM, copying all one by one was tedious choice.


I figured out a good way despite Motorola's best attempts to make me buy their "MOTO Phone Tools" in $38 :-) I found a friend who had a mobile with Bluetooth and an unused SIM card.

  1. Insert that unused SIM into my old T105. Use the "Copy all to SIM" option which erases all SIM contact when transferring bulk data from phone to SIM.
  2. Transfer all 70 contacts to SIM.
  3. Insert unused SIM back in Bluetooth enabled phone.
  4. Use Bluetooth PIM synchronization with MOTO Q which then transfers all contacts from SIM to Phone.

Contact me if you face any problem here.

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How MNC's operate in different countries

To see an example, open the MOTOROLA web site and check the country from the top box. Choose India, Bhutan, Eritrea and USA and see the different type of web pages. Basically you should notice the orientation of sales team in these countries from these separate interfaces. If you have difficulty figuring out the same, drop a comment here.

As a hint, India would have got the same page as Bhutan and Eritrea some 15 years back :-)

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