Thursday, 21 May 2009

Palm Pre almost released in the US! But at a cost...

The long awaited Palm pre™ has almost been released in the US. "Almost?" Well, it's going to be released very soon, but details of it are already on the Best Buy website, but it's not going to be cheap...

We all know how expensive Best Buy can be. Not too long ago the Nokia N95 was $700 PAYG, as well as the Samsung Blackjack II $550 PAYG, but this is pushing it a bit too far, as Best Buy are charging $849.99 for the Palm pre on Sprint/Nextel Inc. That's right, $849.99. Eight hundred & forty nine . ninety nine US Dollars. There have been no extra details regarding the pricing from Best Buy or Sprint/Nextel Inc. , but it's been speculated that such a high price has been put up to put off people wishing to purchase the Palm pre on release due to a worry that not enough stock will be in.

Some analysts said Palm and Sprint deliberately scheduled the launch on the Saturday two days before Apple Inc.'s WorldWide Developers Conference, where more is expected to be revealed about the iPhone 3.0 software and possible iPhone hardware upgrades. Both Sprint and Palm could use a boost, even if it is only small, given their financial pictures. With the release of the iPhone 3G & BlackBerry Bold on at&t, the T-Mobile G1 on T-Mobile and the BlackBerry Storm on Verizon Wireless, all Sprint has had really is the last of the BlackBerry Curve 83xx series (the 8350), and the last device released by Palm was the Treo Pro, running Windows Mobile 6.1, and generally inferior to many other Windows Mobile devices (such as the HTC Touch Pro, HTC Touch HD & HP Data Messenger), so it's about time Sprint released a much anticipated, desired device into the market and that Palm released another groundbreaking device running Palm's own operating system. The smartphone market will also be busy this summer, with highly anticipated iPhone and Pre launches as well as further news from RIM, Nokia and several Android phone manufacturers.

Incase anyone is un-aware of the Palm pre, here is the gist of it:

In terms of software, it's running Palm's brand new "webOS™", supporting MP3, AAC, AAC+, AMR, QCELP & WAV audio formats, MPEG-4, H.263 & H.264 video formats and GIF (and Animated GIF), JPEG, PNG & BMP image formats, as well as including built-in GPS software (and hardware).

It has a beautiful 3.1-inch touch screen with 24-bit color, 320×480 resolution & a HVGA display, giving displays near to the BlackBerry Storm & iPhone displays.

It has 3G EVDO Rev A (which will be on the Sprint network) and supports Microsoft Outlook e-mail with Microsoft Direct Push Technology and POP3/IMAP (Yahoo, Gmail, AOL, etc) e-mail, putting it up there with the rest of the business phones for power users (HTC Touch Pro, BlackBerry Curve/Bold, etc). Luckily they're not pulling an iPhone on us by forgetting MMS, as it also includes integrated IM, SMS, and MMS.

In terms of hardware, it has a 3.1-inch touch-screen, a trackball (similar to that found on many newer BlackBerry devices) and slides up to reveal a physical QWERTY keyboard, keeping to the same Palm style. It also has a 3 megapixel camera with LED flash and extended depth of field. Not fantastic compared to a lot of smartphones coming out now, but enough to take great quality photos. Not only that, it also features an ambient light sensor, a proximity sensor and an accelerometer, looking to promise us some quite interactive games and other applications.
It then presents us with Wi-fi 802.11b/g with WPA, WPA2 and 801.1x authentication and Bluetooth® 2.1 + EDR with A2DP stereo bluetooth support, giving us the ability to use stereo bluetooth headsets that some other phones haven't been able to promise us (*hint* iPhone *hint*) as well as 8GB of on-board user storage memory and micro-USB connectivity. It has the usual 3.5mm stereo headphone jack, saving us from having to mess around with those annoying little convertors like we have had to on quite a few BlackBerry and HTC devices.


Width: 59.5mm (2.3 inches)
Height: 100.5mm (3.9 inches)
Thickness: 16.95mm (0.67 inches)
Weight: 135 grams (4.76 ounces)

(Palm pre specifications from
(Best Buy details from

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Mac OS X 10.5.7 Update - Now Available!

Yep, as of yesterday the OS X 10.5.7 update is now available for all you Mac users out there. It doesn't do a whole lot more, seeing as Snow Leopard (10.6.x) is going to be discussed at WWDC '09 in San Francisco is less than 3 weeks and probably released, but it does fix a lot of annoying little bugs we've had to put up with in the past. I installed it this morning, didn't notice much of a difference, but I've only used my MBP for the web a little today, so I wouldn't notice...

Anyway, here is a list of things the update brings us that Apple released along with the update:

"What's included?


  • Includes latest security fixes.
  • Includes additional RAW image support for several third-party cameras.
  • Improves performance of video playback and cursor movements for recent Macs with NVIDIA graphics.
  • Resolves an issue with Dvorak keyboard layout in Mac OS X 10.5.6.
  • Improves the reliability and accuracy of Unit Converter, Stocks, Weather and Movies Dashboard widgets.
  • Addresses a situation that may cause issues when logging into Gmail.
  • Improves reliability when syncing contacts with Yahoo!.
  • Expansion Slot Utility for Mac Pro now reports the correct PCIe slot configuration.
  • Improves network performance when connected to certain Ethernet switches that have Flow Control enabled.
  • Improves stability for network home directories hosted by Mac OS X Server v10.4.
  • Improves Finder search results for network volumes that may not support Spotlight searching, such as Mac OS X Server v10.4, Time Capsule, and third-party AFP servers.
  • Includes several improvements to Directory Service and Client Management.


  • Improves overall reliability with CalDav.
  • Improves reliability when automatically syncing with MobileMe.


  • Addresses reliability and sync issues with Notes.
  • Addresses an issue that may cause the BCC field to populate incorrectly when redirecting a message from the Sent mailbox.

Parental Controls

  • Improves consistency with Parental Controls and application restrictions.
  • Addresses an issue in which time limits may not work properly with full-screen games and Fast User Switching.


  • Resolves an issue that may cause certain third-party printers to print to the incorrect paper tray.
  • Non-admin user accounts can now be allowed to add and remove printers by enabling Parental Controls and selecting "Can administer printers".
  • Includes other printing reliability and stability improvements."

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Windows 7 Build 7077

Well, it's been quite a while since Build 7000 was leaked in December, 2008 and we've all been wondering when the Release Candidate will become available to the general public. Microsoft have said it may be Q2 2010 now, but there have been some rumours floating around of a May 2009 release. I myself have been wondering if there would be any more Beta builds before the RC is released, because being one of the people who have had Build 7000 installed since it was first leaked, it seemed pretty damn stable to me.

It looks better than Vista, it's a lot faster than Vista and it has a lot of cool perks here and there to make the general browsing experience just that extra bit special. However, it looks like they still wanted to make a few more adjustments to the OS because on the 4th April, 2009 Windows 7 Build 7077/7105 was released. However, it's been hard to find a link to this build through all the other fake torrents that have been surfacing, and the legitimate (as far as go xD) upload of Build 7077 was reported at stopping at 87.9% for everyone.

This is because the German female who uploaded it to requested for it to be uploaded ONLY on there, and on no other websites. Obviously, everyone ignored this request and decided to upload it onto ThePirateBay among other torrent sites. So upon this happening, the seeder decided to stop seeding it, so it would only seed to 87.9% for everyone before stopping, but it is available now for everyone to download.

The thing that intrigues me though is that a screenshot from Build 7077 x64 shows it expiring on the 2nd March, 2010.

A lot of people predicted a Release Candidate to be available to the general public in Q2/Q3 due to Build 7000 reportedly expiring in May 2009 (Why keep a beta running when the Release Candidate is out, right?), but maybe Microsoft is telling the truth this time, because this expiration date looks towards an RC release of at least Q1/Q2 2010 :(.
The problem with this is that there was apparently an expiration date of Build 7000 in August 2009 when the RC doesn't appear to be being released until sometime next year, so who knows how late the RC will be released?

To be completely honest, I'm not too bothered about Win 7 being delayed, I myself am happy with my x64 Vista Ultimate and OS X 10.5.6 (Leopard), I'm more looking forward to the release of Mac OS X 10.6 (SnowLeopard). We were all hoping for it at Macworld this year, but Apple's last appearance at the legendary week was a disappointing one, previewing only iLife/iWork '09, DRM-free iTunes, 3G iTunes and the new 17" MacBook Pro. I'm hoping for SnowLeopard to pop up during the Apple keynote at the WWDC '09 during June 8th-12th (when some guys at at&t say a new iPhone will be announced), but hey, who knows how things are going to go? All I know is, if they are both announced, that will be an expensive month for me xD.

Well, feel free to drop us a comment on your views on Windows 7, the new OS X, the new iPhone or anything you like! Have a good week ;).

Some Useful Links

Last Minute Addition - Explanation of Build 7077/7105
There’s been a lot of confusion with the build numbers, so to clarify, Windows 7 Build 7077 is the same as Build 7105 and you will see that both these builds were compiled on the same day. Build 7077 comes from the RC escrow branch and will be renamed Build 7100 if no showstopper bugs are found. Windows 7 Build 7105 is the first build of the RTM branch. In other words, Build 7105 is branched off from Build 7077. Here’s a quote from ArsTechnica for further information about the build numbers:

The build string for the latest build we know about is “7077.0.090404-1255,” which indicates that it was compiled less than a week ago: April 4, 2009, at 12:55pm. Some of you will realize that this is 20 minutes after the supposed build 7105 was compiled, which is widely rumored to be a milestone build. Microsoft only increments the second digit of the build number if an important point in development has been reached

With thanks to for the Build 7077/7105 info

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Google Android

The Google Android operating system was announced on the 5th November 2007 with quite a strong introduction:

"A broad alliance of leading technology and wireless companies today joined forces to announce the development of Android, the first truly open and comprehensive platform for mobile devices. Google Inc., T-Mobile, HTC, Qualcomm, Motorola and others have collaborated on the development of Android through the Open Handset Alliance, a multinational alliance of technology and mobile industry leaders."

Any sentence with "open platform", "HTC" and "Qualcomm" in it is sure to excite smartphone fans, but this was something special. A Google phone had been speculated for quite some time in 2007, but this was a better announcement than just a phone, it was the announcement of an open source operating system for a phone. Let's see, what other famous open source range of operating systems are there... Oh yes, LINUX.

In 2008 the first phone to carry the revolutionary Google Android platform (dubbed the HTC "Dream") had all sorts of rumours thrown around about it, and was eventually officially unveiled during a T-Mobile press conference on September 23rd 2008 in New York City. The "Dream" started shipping on October 13th 2008 and was in stores for October 17th 2008 under the name "T-Mobile G1". The G1 hosted so much speculation you would think another iPhone was being released, and with it being released at a price of $199 with T-Mobile (the same price as the iPhone 3G on AT&T) it was a very good competitor to the iPhone...

The revolutionary device featured Google's Android platform,
3G/HSDPA/Wi-fi connectivity, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, a fantastic
3.2-inch TFT-LCD HVGA 320x480 touch-screen display, a 3.2MP camera with auto-focus, a micro-SDHC card slot giving it up to 16GB of expandable memory, a Qualcomm MSM7201A processor clocked at 528MHz, 192MB of RAM and 256MB ROM, at the very affordable price of $199 with a contract (not sure on the price) with T-Mobile USA, or a price of £99 with a £20 contract with T-Mobile UK.

And it gets even better... On the 17th of February 2009 at the Mobile W
orld Congress 2009 trade show in Barcelona, Spain, the second mobile device to use the Google Android platform was announced... The HTC "Magic". It sports the same Qualcomm MSM7201A 528MHz processor as the G1, it still has 192MB of RAM, it still has the same 3.2-inch HVGA 320x480 touch-screen display, the same 3.2MP camera w/ auto-focus and still supports up to 16GB expandable memory in the form of a micro-SDHC card and still features 3G/HSDPA connectivity, but now comes with 528MB ROM and is completely touch-screen dependant. Think of the G1 as the HTC Touch Pro, and the Magic is the Touch Diamond. There will be an on-screen keyboard (hopefully with big enough letters to type on without the need of a stylus) similar to the downloadable one on the G1. But will the phone still be offered on T-Mobile?

No, this time it is only available on contract with Vodafone. No prices have been officially announced yet, but it's rumoured it will cost around $149 on a contract with Vodafone US, with no Vodafone UK prices yet. This switch of carrier brings to mind the question: Will HTC/Google make a new phone for each different carrier? Will we see different Android-powered phones available every 6 months on Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Rogers, Sprint, O2 UK and Orange? Or will the Android-family of phones be released sim-free eventually? Who knows...

Although, if you are part of the Android-developer team, you are able to buy the "An
droid Dev Phone 1" for a price of $399. It is essentially a black G1, already unlocked and available straight from Google/HTC but with certain restrictions taken off it and Developer tools installed on it. It is meant for developers to test there applications on actual Android-phones before sending them to the Android app store, but it can be bought and used with any sim card, and still has all the normal features (such as GPRS/EDGE/3G connectivity and all the normal applications).

The future for this amazing open-source platform known as "Android" looks bright, and I'm certainly excited about it, let's see what other phones it brings in the future ;).