Haven’t been well over the last week, so Blogging hasn’t been on my mind as I fight off a head cold with sinus infection thrown in. This may have contributed to a very Human Error condition a few days ago.
I was getting frustrated at my new mobile phone’s battery life. I’d charge it up and it would be nearly flat 8 hours later. And I’d hardly used it at all!!
What gives? Was the battery-eating GPS or Bluetooth activating? Was there a virus or bot on it that was starting up and using heaps of power? Was it the option to Check Email every 10 minutes doing it?
Finally it just hit me. I’d turned off the power saving feature. The default is for the phone to go into (soft) power-off mode after 2 minutes of inactivity. As part of the attempt to copy a big file over to the phone, I’d turned this off. I’d even said so in the Blog post: It even has a resume function, which was needed when the phone went into sleep mode after 2 minutes. Oops. Fixed that by temporarily telling it to not sleep.
Oh dear. Temporarily became permanently. Back to the sleep-after-2-minutes now and seems to be fine again.
Well, despite my original optimism, yesterdays FTP over Wireless failed. I went out and when I returned the transfer rate had slowed down to a crawl; literally the 4 k/sec of dial up. No idea why.
Tried a few other things, including breaking up the 192 MB file into chunks, via RAR. I moved the 10 chunks over with standard Windows Explorer, via the ActiveSynch, but then RAR on the phone got internal errors.
In the end the following worked:
- Installed an FTP server on the phone
- Ensured “TCP/IP over USB” was enabled on the phone (via selecting Enable Advanced Network Functionality in the USB to PC section of Settings
- Connected the phone to the PC via USB
- On the PC used RAR to break up the file into about 90 MB chunks with no compression (Store option). See notes below as to why.
- Started my standard FTP client on the PC
- FTP’d the 3 RAR files over to the Phone, specifically it’s memory card
- Used RAR on the Phone to re-assemble the file
Pocket Wikipedia now works on the mobile phone!
- Tried to FTP the whole 192 MB file over at once. FTP got most of way then got an error. Hard to work out what error was actually saying. After trying a few things, found one solution was to break file up into 3 files (RAR) , transfer one of these file, restart both FTP client and server, then do final two files.
- Had to configure RAR on the Phone to use the storage card for it’s temporary working area. Otherwise not enough ‘RAM’ memory free to unpack a 192 MB file.
Bit frustrating to find that Windows seems to have a limit on how big a file can be, if you are transferring it to your phone the official way (by ActiveSynch). But a step back first.
Pocket Wikipedia is now available for Windows Mobile phones, like my HTC p3600i. It’s a subset of the main Wikipedia that as they say only (ha ha) is “about the size of a fifteen volume encyclopaedia (24,000 images and 14 million words)”
But the problem is that the Wikipedia content itself is in one big file. Now large is a relative term. But 192 MB is large for mobile phone transfers.
And Microsoft’s ActiveSynch kept apparently re-starting after a few minutes. I tried some other file manager software but it wouldn’t work. Then I had a brain wave: FTP (File Transfer Protocol). An ‘old’ but reliable way to move files about networks.
Within a few minutes I had:
- Installed an FTP server on the PC with the big file on it
- Installed an FTP client on the mobile phone
- Configured the phone to use my home wireless network
- Connected away
Right now, as I type, it’s transferring happily. It even has a resume function, which was needed when the phone went into sleep mode after 2 minutes. Oops. Fixed that by temporarily telling it to not sleep.
It’s nice to discover things you didn’t know about. Even better when they have a practical benefit.
My new HTC phone is 3G and can access the Internet at quite good speeds. I initially thought that I’d have little or no use for this function as the included web site content was pretty basic ; a handful of news summaries, movie times, even horoscopes (!) Yes it can access other sites, but the small screen makes it a bit difficult.
But but but. An icon called Internet Sharing changed all that.
Basically it goes like this:
- Laptop has no Internet connection. You can be sitting in your car or visiting someone etc.
- Connect Mobile Phone to Laptop (USB cable or even Bluetooth)
- Start Internet Sharing on Phone
- Laptop says “okay connecting to Internet via Phone”
- On the Laptop, browse and email away to any site
I can see a use for this straight away. A few places I visit – including running training at my local library – have limited Internet access. So I may not be able to ‘see’ the very site I’m trying to teach about ; like Gmail, Google Reader or Flickr. Their firewall or proxy server is doing this.
So I just use the phone as modem.
Another benefit, particularly when visiting a customer, is that I’m not on their network either. So good for security reasons too.
Someone once said that “Wiki’s were the way the web was meant to be.” Well…okay, it was me who said it. And it was published in The Age newspaper as well.
But anyway, the Wiki concept is web pages that are easy to edit and link up. Wikipedia is a great example.
So rather than use a database on my new HTC smart phone, a techno-buddy suggested I use a mini Wiki. And sure enough I discovered bLADE Wiki.
I use it for Lists (Books to Read or Buy, Movies to …, CDs to…, Good Wines)
It’s very easy to create/edit/link pages. It is supplied with versions for the Phone and Windows Desktop PC. So you can create etc on either environment, then set up syncing, so as to ensure both devices have the same Wiki pages.
Said Tech Buddy also pointed out that another of our Tech Buddies talked about a Wiki on his mobile. And sure enough, yep…it’s the same one. How do I know? Well he’s thanked in the notes that come with the Wiki !