Faulbaer's Schlafmulde :: english :: technology
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palm pre app store - don't pay for nothing?!

received a mail from palm today inviting me to download some electronic arts titles for free. after palm had removed all the us titles from the german store, I hadn't spent much time in their 'app catalog'. it's full of apps again and some of them seem to be worth a look.

what strikes me as odd idea is that still everything there is for free. either palm doesn't yet have a payment-model for their platform or it's just not yet switched on. I don't get that. from my point of view this is going to annoy customers in the long run because as soon as they switch on payment, the old customers won't buy apps because they already have what they need or just don't see a point in paying for things they used to get for free. the new customers won't pay either because why should they pay for apps other got for free? when we look back into the history of radio and tv, that's what happened there - and that's what made it so very complicated for pay-tv to get their business going - at least where I live.

anyway - I'm downloading tons of apps right now, so the 'freebie' newsletter worked to get me into the app catalog again. we will see if this is going to be enough.

while I'm at it, I must admit that web os has gotten better with the latest update (1.4.0). also some of the shipped apps have improved a bit so the palm still is a valid alternative to the iphone as well as android phones. I like the new camcorder option in the camera app and all those little tweaks, fixes and features palm added to the phones's current software.

syncing over the air is still missing - I don't understand why that is. it would be easy to add some rsync-based service via samba or sftp - why doesn't palm add such a feature? it's nice to charge the palm wirelessly so there should be an option to sync it the same way, too.

the only thing I don't expect them to fix via software upgrade is the messy touch display. it just cannot compete against apple's device. but from what I know - nobody else offers a display coming even close to what apple sells.

what still doesn't seem to work is the task synchronisation between zimbra and the pre. tasks I add on the pre find their way to the zimbra desktop but what I add to the zimbra desktop sadly doesn't show up on the pre - interestingly apple's mail.app won't show zimbra's task but the one of the pre. but tasks I add in mail.app won't show up in either the pre or the zimbra desktop. besides that it's taking ages for all the tasks to sync - this is just not ready for prime-time.

what really anoys me most on the pre is that it's localization is all wrong. when I set my pre to 'english' I expect it to speak english and get all the apps in english language - but it doesn't. at least the electronic arts apps are partly in german, partly in english - this is really poor performance. oh - a propos performance - it doesn't quite make a good impression if your game stops playing music or doesn't continue loading the menues after a game of need for speed - since I dind't have to pay for the app I don't mind too much but as a paying customer I'd expect flawless game-design customized to the very abilities of the palm pre - at least my pre isn't strong enough for need for speed - not even in single-tasking mode.

I'm still considering to sell the pre but since it sells for only €250 used I guess I can just keep it and watch it to further develop into the iphone killer it set out to become ;)

Faulbaer (not really.)

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[ 2010.03.09, 10:23 :: thema: /english/technology :: link zum artikel :: 0 Comments ]

iphone on a journey

every once in a while I seem to get lucky - a week ago I sent my iphone to the london based o2 store where I bought it early this year for repairs. almost everything important was broken - the battery, the wifi, gps as well as basic telephony services.

I just called them via sipgate, an account I had set up back then when I was in london and they just told me they had sent it on to apple for repairs. I'll give them about a week and then check back to decide how to pick it up - but I guess dan might be helping me on that - yay!

Faulbaer (happy as can be!)

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[ 2009.11.20, 16:44 :: thema: /english/technology :: link zum artikel :: 0 Comments ]

more about the pre

it's time for an update on the palm pre. I bought the pre on it's launch date and I got a bad sample - that happens and I wasn't too pissed about it. as a business customer o2 offers a forty-eight hours replacement service which is actually quite comfortable. you call their technicians and talk you through the steps of determining if a replacement is due - then the send GLS to switch the main device. battery, SIM and backlid stay with you, the main unit gets replaced - ten minutes later you're ready to take and make calls again. everything is great and everybody is happy, no?

yeah no. but that is just another example for complicated people messing up well organized service infrastructures ...

because I didn't want to lose any data I called the german palm support service in advance. first I wanted to determine if the devices malfuncions would qualify for a replacement and second I really needed a working backup solution. first fail comining up - they told me everything had been taken care of, a full backup of the device was in my palm profile on their servers. address, appointment and all the other data that came synced with services providers like facebook, google as well as my mail-server stayed on the machines of the service providers. everything else was being synced back to palm.

well - it's not. not the music, not the videos - actually not even the photos I took were anywhere else but on the device. by hard resetting the device I lost all that data and boy have I been angry about that. their next technician told me how sorry they were about the misunderstanding and yeah well - the data was gone - sorry but we can't do nothing.

because of a bug in my pre all the mentioned data was gone but ... and here the fun really begins ... all the important business contacts, my login-information and everything els was still there. I deleted everything again and everything was still there. I called palm and they actually told me that this was a special service of the pre - you couldn't remove the data. I couldn't believe that and tried again - this time I removed the SIM as well as my wifi network access and still it came up unchanged. this couldn't be - there was no complete reset going on at all - the device was fucking me big time - the button was worthless.

now I called the o2 data team and they were a little annoying at first but proofed to be much more competent than the palm pre expert team and they suggested the web os doctor to kill the device as in really kill it. we figured out that it's behaviour was due to some bug nobody had ever heard of - but in the end it was cleaned out. I had to figure out that this was only really possible by entering the developer mode by typing "upupdowndownleftrightleftrightbastart" - but then it worked.

the new palm pre is faster and doesn't get hot. the battery seems to be lasting longer and the touch screen malfunction appears to be gone, too. with any luck the GPS will also be more reliable.

when I first loggen into the new device by registering it with my palm profile I found out what had really been backed up to palm. next to nothing and much of it even wrong. I had to remove all saved accounts because they weren't backed up with their corresponding password - not only that but they wouldn't work when I typed in the right passwords. with my aim account I saw they had backed up my aim address as a mail-address - that wouldn't work. so the backup made me work more, not less. my notes were gone, too which actually annoys me pretty much. this could all be due to the broken device but still - I don't trust that backup the slightest bit.

after all I'm happy I have the new palm and I'm still impressed how nice web os ccame out. I find the addressbook, the IM client as well as the twitter client far superior to what I had on the iphone. the browser is about the same and the backlit keyboard dos have some advantages to the iphone, too. it's nice to be able to use the pre with one hand - I always struggled with the iphone, always had to use two hands for certain tasks.

copy & paste need to be improved - also the precision of the touch screen in the border- und corner-areas. I hope they will offer real jabber support instead of just google talk - but having an IM client running in the background is far better than SMS pushing on the iphone I think.

also palm embraces developers and I hope I will be able to get at least some small hacked app into the pre. I'd like to see tethering as a standard feature but I guess this is going to be part of one of the upcoming web os updates. I don't understand why palm has different operating systems for the US and the european market but there has to be a good reason for that ... NOT.

Faulbaer (I'm still a palm pre fan - I love the device!)

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[ 2009.11.14, 13:03 :: thema: /english/technology :: link zum artikel :: 0 Comments ]

upgrading zimbra open source to network edition

I just upgraded from zimbra's open source edition to the zimbra network zcs starter edition with fifteen professional network licensed mailboxes but no support. if the server had been just for me I hadn't bothered getting the upgrade but since I'm hosting some minor clients as well as my family the backup and restore features of the pro version appeared to be a must have.

there is no official debian install package of the network edition and I went with the ubuntu server install package instead. I needed to run the installation with an override switch at the command line but besides that it's running perfectly smooth. since I won't be getting support anyway that's a working option for my setup.

I had some problems getting the logger process to work but after all I found out that just cron wasn't running and that daemon is needed for a properly running logger service.

now I have backups running and most of zimbra works beautifully. I'm already rsyncing my backups to a secondary server and as soon as that job is done I'm going to setup a secondary failover zimbra at home.

there is much to like about zimbra as a groupware as well as just a webmail service with special features. I've been working with zimbra for quite a while now and besides the following shortcomings I've been very happy with the product: I'm not too happy about the 'wiki@' users for the document spaces which are taking up accounts from the license like the spam*@ and ham*@ accounts do. currently I'm paying for four administrative maintainance accounts with my license fees. I'm going to run that issue over customer care because I can't see how that can be ok.

I'm very excited about my future with zimbra - if people ask me about something to get around or even rid of exchange, today I usually answer with google or zimbra, depending on their setup and paranoia level.

Faulbaer (rsync still running - it's gonna take a while)

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[ 2009.04.15, 07:28 :: thema: /english/technology :: link zum artikel :: 0 Comments ]
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12 articles