Category Archives: Gadgets

Cool Gadgets!

Samsung Omnia i900 – i900DZIA5 ROM Upgrade

Today I just updated my Omnia from the old ROM i900DZHK3 (updated 2 Jan 2009) to i900DZIA5 (updated 28 Feb 2009). Apparantly I was told that there were some nice updates to the ROM this time round. It never ceases to amaze me that Samsung is still providing ROM updates to this phone even after its been out in the market for about 8 months now?!

Each time I do an update, its like I’m getting a new phone all together. So what’s new in the update? Well I was told it has the following goodies:

  • New settings for enhanced GPS.
  • Ability to update when omnia is connected to PC via ActiveSync
  • Phonebook listing has been improved (Alphabet listing removed… its too small anyway unless you have a stylus)
  • Volume control is now finger friendly (again without having the need for a stylus)
  • Favourite Settings, a finger friendly application that access some of the settings
  • “Share pix” program which is something like Shozu, for uploading of videos and images (Supports Facebook, Picasa, Flickr, Photobucket, Friendster, MySpace)
  • New Game – Asphalt: Elite Racing 4 Ver 1.2.0
  • Omnia Online widgets, now you can download more widgets. Old widgets are gone
  • Opera 9.5 build 15746

The ‘My Storage’ has been cleared and some stuffs are included here

  • The asphalt game is installed here (so is the cab file)
  • 2 music files, TheOMNIA and BeyongSamsung
  • Kung Fu Panda trailer
  • Transformers trailer
  • Omnia video tutorial
  • Omnia launch video (Introduction and Episodes)

NOTE: When I tried to update the rom from i900DZHK3  to i900DZIA5, the update program told me that I already had the latest ROM. If you face this problem then you should read the following post on how to rectify the problem: http://www.ourplaypen.com/2009/02/28/samsung-omnia-resetsamsung-omnia-reset/

You may download your own ROM from http://www.samsungmobile.com/promotion/omnia/index.jsp. Upgrade your phone today if you haven’t done so already. You’ll notice a marked improvement in the performance of your phone.

Samsung Omnia i900 – i900DZHK3 ROM Upgrade

I have done yet another ROM upgrade a few days ago (2 Jan 2009), since my last one in Nov 2008. I am amazed as to how often the Samsung Team releases ROM Updates for the Omnia. I’m glad they’re still fine tuning the ROM as we speak.

For this upgrade from i900DZHJ1 to i900DZHK3, I didn’t realise any marked changes in cosmetic looks on the interface nor did I experience any marked improvements it had on the backend performance. The phone feels the same as before. I will need to spend more time experiencing the new rom to tell more. From what I experience, I think the battery consumption is still low for this new rom. Could even be better than the last (untested). So far, the Internet on the Opera & GPS functions well. One change I did notice is the improved optionality of the “Enhanced GPS Settings” screen under the Settings. Look better and provides a better status notification of the XTRA downloads. GPS locks on my Omnia seems to be pretty quick… might have improved??!?! (untested).

Overall.. I would recommend this update for everyone. I’m sure it has some bug fixes and improvements else they won’t release it to the public. I have updated mine and I have no regrets so far. For this new ROM, I only installed back what I use as per what is stated at http://www.ourplaypen.com/2008/10/13/samsung-omnia-i900/

You may download your own ROM from http://www.samsungmobile.com/promotion/omnia/index.jsp. Upgrade your phone today if you haven’t done so already. You’ll notice a marked improvement in the performance of your phone.

Cool Mobile Shell Skin – Omnia

Just found this website after having surfed around quite a bit to make my Omnia look like a HTC Touch. If you have SPB Mobile Shell installed on your phone, you can make use of this collection by “Stu Nicholls” located at his site at http://www.imarche.net/omnia/ . Once you have installed the plugin, you will no longer need to overwrite files just to change the look & feel of your Mobile Shell on your phone. Not only does this program work for the Omnia, it basically works for all Windows Mobile phones (probably WM5, WM6 & above).

Not only can you make your Omnia look like a HTC phone, you can also make it look like an iPhone. That should give curious onlookers a puzzled look when they see your phone and its interface.

I like the way this program works. Basically you can change your skin, theme, buttons  & overall look of your phone just by selecting easy options without having to soft reset your phone. Great for people who gets bored of their phone’s look. You can practically change the look & feel every single day if you wanted to. Have fun with this one!

Samsung Omnia i900 – ROM Download & Upgrade

It’s almost been 4 days since I’ve installed the new ROM which I stumbled upon Samsung’s Site. The first impression I got was a smoother running interface and secondly an improved battery life! The Keyboard selector does not hang like per before. Then again, the sluggishness could have been due to the fact that I might have overloaded my Omnia previously with all sorts of program which I wanted to test out. For this new ROM, I only installed back what I use as per what is stated at http://www.ourplaypen.com/2008/10/13/samsung-omnia-i900/

The battery level improved drastically especially under normal usage levels. I use the phone to receive and make business calls so you can expect pretty “heavy” usage. The battery level you would be surprise is still remaining at 100% and it’s already 6:47pm granted that its been pretty quiet over the last hour or two 😉 Normally under the same circumstances, I would have had to re-charge the phone already. But having said that… if the phone is used for heavy GPS or GPRS usage as well as games, the battery level does come down… then again.. shouldn’t it ? Everything uses power esp transmissions. Using the Internet Sharing to surf via 3G+ shouldn’t be a concern as the USB cable will charge the phone at the same time. Using WMWiiRouter as a wireless hotspot is a different case because both the WIFI and GPRS is running concurrently. All in all, I’m happy with the battery level for this new ROM and I would recommend it to those of you who are complaining of short battery durations.

You may download your own ROM from http://www.samsungmobile.com/promotion/omnia/index.jsp. Upgrade your phone today if you haven’t done so already. You’ll notice a marked improvement in the performance of your phone.

Samsung Omnia i900

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog… but then again it has also been a while since I bought myself a new phone. Well actually, it has only been 1 year since my last phone purchase, a Nokia 6300 but what was more important in shaping my decision to get a new phone was the fact that my PDA (HP iPAX rx3715) was due for a change after having served me for many years.

After having had 3 weeks to play with my new Samsung Omnia i900, I’m glad to report back that its money worth spending even though I paid a hefty RM2800 for my unit. This does not include the new bluetooth headset I just purchased since my Ericsson one gives up on me after receiving/making 1 call after each charge. I also just purchased myself a cool car handsfree kit that helps me hold my Omnia when I’m driving and navigating with the cool GPS.

I’m sure a few of you would be wondering why I said the purchase was worth it? Well… since I consider myself as one of those “power” users instead of a “basic” user, I think the purchase was worth it. If you’re a basic user then I don’t think this phone is for you. Why? Coz apart from the Chic Factor, you’ll be under utilising a lot of the phone’s powerful features. For starters, I currently use the phone for the following tasks:

  • As a Phone (Duh)
  • As a Modem (Connected to Maxis 3G – HSDPA) for true internet mobility
  • As a PDA – Organiser (Calendar, Tasks, Notes & etc)
  • As a truly mobile platform for retrieval of Emails, SMS, & Immediate Notifications
  • As a tool to avoid boredom (yeah games & puzzles)
  • As a tool to stay connected? Oh yeah I mentioned that… to surf facebook & avantgo & various news sites
  • As a GPS Navigator to help me get to where I want to be quickly without wasting petrol
  • As a camera to take nice pictures and videos as and when needed
  • As a Pen Drive (Storage)
  • As a Media Player (Songs & PodCasts)
  • A 3G Video Calling Phone… (No I haven’t used this yet… need to try it out with someone who has a 3G capable phone)

As can be seen, I am fully utilising and enjoying this phone. Basically, for RM2800, I got myself a Phone, a PDA, a Camera and a GPS device. If you add all of them up… I’m sure the cost will be around there if not more. Plus having all these features in one cool looking devide is just the way to go.

Why Samsung Onmia ? Well, first of all I didn’t hessitate to try out Samsung although I’ve never tried Samsungs before. But since I did have my HP PDA which utilises Windows Mobile, I was more or less already comfortable with the operating system. Learning how to use the unit took only a fraction of the time. What took the most time was the configuration and messing around with the system. yeah 3 weeks in total… and still messing…

Here’s a list of programs which I have installed onto my device which I strongly recommend to owners of the Omnia (listed not in any particular order of preference) :

  1. S2U2 (Slide2Unlock2) – http://slide-2-unlock.en.softonic.com/pocketpc
  2. Microsoft Voice Command – http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/en-us/downloads/microsoft/about-voice-command.mspx
  3. SPB Mobile Shell – http://www.spbsoftwarehouse.com/products/mobileshell/?en
  4. SPB Time – http://www.spbsoftwarehouse.com/products/time/?en
  5. fring – http://www.fring.com/
  6. Garmin Mobile TX (GPS Software) with Malsingmaps – http://www.garmin.com & http://www.malsingmaps.com / http://www.malfreemaps.com
  7. Resco Keyboard PRO v5.11  – http://resco.net/pocketpc/keyboard/default.asp (Helps speed up data entry… making it easier to type in stuff without using the stylus)
  8. WMWifiRouter – http://www.wmwifirouter.com

Other Programs which I have installed onto my unit:

  1. SPB Pocket Plus – http://www.spbsoftwarehouse.com/products/pocketplus/?en
  2. SPB Traveler – http://www.spbsoftwarehouse.com/products/traveler/?en
  3. SPB Pocket PC Tips & Tricks – http://www.spbsoftwarehouse.com/products/tipsandtricks/?en
  4. Games – SPB Games – Air Islands, Arkaball, Balltracker, Brain Evolution, Bubbles, Matches, Sudoku, Xonix & etc

I’m not writing a review on the unit here but basically just skimming on the surface as to what the Omnia can do. Do you think this phone suites you? For an indepth review on the Omnia, check it out at http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_i900_omnia-review-267.php

 

 

Omnia connected via USB Notebook Online via Omnia Internet Sharing

Keeping Fit with Wii Fit

Wii Fit BoxAdded to my Nintendo Wii collection is my latest Wii Fit. I must say that although the board costs a whopping RM500+ for the US version and RM300+ for the Japanese version (it ain’t cheap!), I did have quite a lot of fun with it so far. If you actually calculate the costs of paying for the Wii Fit and paying for GYM fees, I’d say this is a lot more worth it. Of course for those of you who are serious in your workouts, nothing beats a proper gym setup.

Anyway, having said that, the Wii Fit has been keeping me, my parents as well as my nephews busy “working” out. My favourite part of the program must be the YOGA exercises. It does help with your posture and if you’re serious about the exercise routines, I’m sure this is a good health product to own. It’s fun too!

Basically this Wii Fit is a board that hooks up wirelessly to your Nintendo Wii. It will detect your balance points (I believe there are 4 zones/quadrants) and it also tells you your weight. Take it as a high tech weighing scale. It can calculate your BMI and center of balance and with that it allows you the ability to basically control movements by leaning side to side and front to back like a human joystick and the “character” on screen will do the same. So with that, you can play balance games (heading soccer balls, skiing down slopes, snowboarding, moving balls into holes, & etc) as well as do exercises like Balance (Yoga), Strength (Pushups), Hoola hooping, Boxing, Step Aerobics & etc.

Wii Fit

 If you own a Wii and you haven’t tried it out yet, I highly recommend it to you! Go for a demo somewhere and I’m sure you’ll be hooked. It definitely brings interaction to the next level. The only problem with the board is that… like all games… it tends to collect dust after a while. Then again, if you’re motivated enough and keep a strict routine, I’m sure it’ll help you keep fit and have better posture in the long run. It definitely gets you off your A** for sure! Overall a very good product and idea from the inventors.

For more official information, please proceed to http://www.nintendo.com/wiifit/

Zack & Wiki (Quest for Barbaro’s Treasure)

Zack & WikiIt’s after Christmas and I finally got hold of this latest game from Capcom. It was recommended by In-Tech to be one of the year’s best games for the Wii, so I went out to buy this game to try it out myself…. and I’m glad I got it. Its by far the most interesting game I’ve played to-date. The graphics are interestingly bright and simple. Animations are cute and it’s a puzzle solving game which tests your wits without having to bust it. Though I’m only on the 3rd quest, and I’m sure it gets harder as I go along, it moves at a pace that does not intimidate the most brainless player. You don’t have to use must brain power to get through the stage but guess what? though the stages are “simple”, I did die once each time before I got through the stage… so as you can see… it’s not that simple as well. I think it’s just hard enough to test your senses and wits.

There is approx. 30 hours worth of game play to be enjoyed and you can play with them slowly as and when time permits. Just perfect for the busy individual in this modern world. The Wii controls enable  you to manipulate objects in the game to solve the puzzles. That actually makes you feel very immersed into the game and very into the character of Zack. Of course you have guides along the way which teaches you what to do with these object and ways of controlling them.

This game can be play either as an individual or as a group effort. Solve puzzles together.. that’s what the wii is good for…. getting people to interact together to enjoy a game. That’s what I love about the Wii… GET THIS GAME!


Zack treasure

Transformers – Wii Game

Transformers WiiAre you a Transformer fan? I’m sure if you are then you would have caught the latest movie on the big screen and I’m sure you would have loved every bit of it. Many of my friends have watched the show at least a couple of times. For me, I’ve only watched it once but have spent many hours on the Wii playing the Transformers Game.

The game closely follows the story line from the movie but you can either play the good Autobots or the bad Decepticons. For me, I have yet to try the Decepticons but I heard its almost a direct opposite than if you were to play the Autobots. The actions are pretty good and the scenes are always time based so you’ve got to be pretty good at aiming at things, bashing things, throwing things like lamp posts at your opponents as well as transforming from a robot to a car to speed away to somewhere & vice-versa.

Needless to say the overall game play is wonderful and immersive. The perfect combination of speeding to a location, then transforming and bashing up your enemies and transforming back again to rush elsewhere just makes you feel as though you are really into the character. You will really need to experience it for yourself to understand what I mean. The graphics are pretty good for the Wii and I would recommend this game to anyone out there who is a Transformer fan. If you’re not a fan then this game could feel repetitive as most of it, albeit the different locations and scenarios, entails you bashing or defending something (in this case… ultimately the ALL SPARK)

Party Pool for the Wii

Party Pool for the Nintento Wii Are you a pool or snooker buff? If so then this game would keep you occupied for a good number of hours. Unless you are one of those rich boy or girl who has a private table at home, this is the next best thing to having your own table. Besides, it’s been saving us lots of money playing pool at home rather than at the Pool Parlor which is at least a whooping RM18.00 (approx USD5.30) per hr! Now that’s a rip off!

Back to the game, as with any pool game, you are able to play against a second player or a computer with two Wii Controllers possible without having to pass the controller back and forth. You can either play the game with either the Wii Controller alone or together with the nunchuck. With the nunchuck you have slightly better control of the views and angles (though not mandatory). The action of hitting the ball with the pool stick can simply be achieved with a simple wave of the wii remote. You don’t even need to do a pool action push towards the screen. Overall the controls could be refined for a better playing experience. A few other problems with the game would be the lack of camera angles, sometimes making it hard to anticipate the correct angle to hit the ball. The music sucks but it can be switched off and you could replace it with your own background music through your own CD player if you wish. There are various environments, tables, opponents, ball sets, cue stick, music tracks as well as game modes ranging from 8,9,15, etc balls to play.

Overall a good game for those who wish to play pool at home but could be improved somewhat.