December 20, 2004

AVG anti virus new free version AVG 7 is utter crap!

AVG have recently released a new version of their free antivirus software AVG FREE v7, i downloaded it and have been trying it out, and have to say its the biggest heap of crap ive ever seen, the previous version was 100% better IMHO, but then i guess that their plan is to show people how crap their free version is and then try and persuade them to pay for their non free version, well good luck to them i say, as most people will just find another anti virus program that is still free. The reason i say this new version is crap is that it finds the viruses but it doesnt actually remove them, how useless is that???

UPDATE I started having another problem with AVG, it stopped my email client checking for new mail, so i completely uninstalled it. And installed EZ-Armor. Anyone wanting to install a free AntiVirus program that actually works, might like to try out EZ-Armor by Computer Associates, who are offering a free 1 year trial of the program here: http://www.my-etrust.com/microsoft

FURTHER UPDATE 19th March 2005 My copy of ez-armor expired, and it kept opening a nagging page telling me to register it, so I've uninstalled it now, and installed Avast AntiVirus, as Ive heard good reports about that, and they offer a 14 month trial :)

Yet another update Avast Antivirus seems to be running fine, though i did notice one major thing missing, scheduled scans, which apparently isnt available with the free version, though there is a workaround available, more info here

Posted by steeev to Trouble and Strife at 02:53 AM | Permanent Link | | Comments (35)

December 17, 2004

GenieTexter now supports sending Ringtones and Logos!

I just made a cool discovery, while experimenting with trying to get GT to send VCards, i discovered that I could actually send Ringtones and Logos.

The secret is sending the right SCKL code, which is documented at: http://www.csoft.co.uk/sckl/

Basically the SCKL code tells the receiving phone that though the message is text, it should be treated as a binary file.

An example you can try is to send the following message

//SCKL1581<space>024A3A650995D1D195C93D999804144288F511610611624D3083
14458418458418938C20C30C5186108186108156

(you need to replace the <space> with an actual space and you need to remove any new lines as well, as the message should just be on one single line) If you send that as a message to a compatible phone (practically all nokias and a few others, see the page at csoft.co.uk mentioned earlier for a compatibility chart) then the phone will recognise it as a ringtone :) Try it out and see if you can recognise the song! :D

Another example is how to send a logo (this info is quoted from the above website btw so all credit to those cool dudes at csoft :)

the image we want to send is a picture of the number 777
in order to send this we need to send 2 separate SMS, the receiving phone will automatically join them together and decode the image. The messages must each be on a single line (they are on both on 2 separate lines here to try and fit them on the page better), and you need to replace <space> with an actual space.

MSG1:

//SCKL15831583660201<space>3000480E01FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF800001800003000
00183FFC183FF8307FF8183FFC183FF8307FF8183FFC183FF8307FF818387C1838783070
F81800F81800F8300

MSG2:

//SCKL15831583660202<space>1F01801F01801F03003E01803E01803E03007C01807C0
1807C0300F80180F80180F80301F00181F00181F00303E001800001800003000001FFF
FFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

If you do it right the recipient will receive an operator logo with a picture of the number 777. Pretty cool huh? Important things to note, you need to choose your genietexter script carefully when sending these types of messages, as most free sms sites add an advert to the end of your message, or some extra text at the beginning of the message, so this method wont work with those type of sites, the only sites i think that offer you the max 160 characters per sms that genietexter has scripts for are orange_pay, tmobileUK and 1rstwap.

I think this method should work for VCards and VCals too, the only problem is actually converting your data into the binary/digital format. Though i expect theres probably a program out there that will do it for you, it would certainly be a really cool set of functions to add to GenieTexter i think you would agree! :D

UPDATE If you are wondering how to convert files into the SCKL format, you could try using a program called "Ringtone Tools" Which despite its name can convert music and graphics files to SCKL format.

December 09, 2004

How to browse the web via email on your 3 UK phone with my new phone application, www3mail

Ive written a web page application that you can use on your 3 phone, it will let you grab web pages and files from the internet, thus getting around 3's "walled garden". I have so far only tested this application out on an NEC e616v, so dont know if it will work on other 3 handsets, I dont see any reason why it shouldnt also work on other 3 handsets, please let me know your experiences, cheers.

The way it basically works is it lets you enter a URL, and you send that URL by email to a web service that grabs the Web page or file that you have requested from the web and emails it straight back to you.

Installation of my www3mail application is easy, just save the www3mail web page to your computer then send it as an attachment via email to your 3 phone's 3mail account.

Now you need to open your phones email client and open the email attachment. The problem is the phones built in email client, which is accessible by clicking the Msg softkey and then clicking on 3mail, doesnt let you view html attachments, so the solution is to open the phones "web browser" and go to the services page where you can check your 3mail via a webmail type interface. To do this you need to click the triangle button on your 3 phone which opens the phones browser, now go to the services page, then select Mail. To make this process of opening the webmail client quicker in future its a good idea to bookmark this page, then in future you can just open the browser, select bookmarks then select Mail. Anyway you should by now have a new mail in your Inbox. Open it then drill down to the attachment and click on the attachment and it should open the attached www3mail web application in your phones browser. You should also bookmark this page, as the process of opening the mail and then drilling down to the attachment is a bit long winded, so if you bookmark the attachment, you will be able to return to it much quicker in future :)

Once the www3mail application page has loaded, you are presented with a number of options.

First you need to select the retrieval service, next you need to select what type of web query you want to make. The default selection is "grab this url", which lets you enter a full URL into the text box below, and when you submit the page to the webgrabber service, it will grab that page and email it back to you.

The other options basically let you enter search terms for various search engines, thus saving you having to type in extra long URLs. The search options available at present are: Search Google, Search Google (alt), Search Google News, Search Google Groups and Search IMDB.com

After entering your query and pressing submit, you will be presented with a choice of either sending the message as an SMS, an MMS or an email, you need to select email. After you do that, you will be in the email sending window, with the email you are about to send ready assembled. All you need to do now is click the send button then wait for the service to send back your requested page or file.

Though this system works, theres a number of flies in the ointment:

1) 3 started charging to send emails on 1st December, I think it now costs 25p to send an email, even if its just 1 or 2 lines long! Imagine trying to surf the web at 25p per page! it would soon work out rather expensive, though i guess it might be useful in emergencies. But if it was an emergency, the second fly in the ointment wouldnt help much.

2) The amount of delay between sending out your request and the reply coming back can sometimes be quite long, you would need to find a faster grabbing service, as the current one is quite slow to respond. Anyone fancy offering such a service to 3 UK users? :)

3) There is no instant notification of emails arriving in your inbox, well there doesnt appear to be any on my NEC e616v handset, perhaps other handsets do have this feature. So you wont know if your request has been answered or not.

I will leave you with this extra tip. Go into the phones settings and make the font smaller, this will mean you can fit much more text on the screen. Quite handy for reading long emails or web pages.

Another tip is I suggest you try out the www3mail application in your web browser on your pc before installing it on your phone. Just to familiarise yourself with how it actually works.

Anyway I hope someone finds this article helpful, perhaps if you are still getting free email on your three UK phone, it could be of some use.

Oh BTW i should point out the agora webpage grabbing service is only meant for research purposes, so bear that in mind. Someone should set up a similar service just for 3 UK users, would be cool! :)

UPDATE

Just had some more ideas, another thing to be aware of is that you could use this application to retrieve other types of files eg multimedia content, so it could actually work out cheaper, than downloading 3's own content. For example say someone encoded a video and put it on the web somewhere, you could download it via this process for 25p whereas 3 would charge you 1.50 or whatever the rate is for video downloads.

*Just had another Brainwave!*

Another idea that would make it even cheaper (free even), if you could get the application to work via SMS it would work out even cheaper, as the requests that are sent by email are quite short, the info that is sent could fit in an SMS, if someone were to setup a service where you could SMS your request for a webpage or file, and the service would then email the webpage or file back to you, (you would need to register your number with the service first so they know what email address to send the files to) then it would work out at 10p a page, or if you had inclusive text messages on your contract completely free!!

If you liked this article you might also be interested in an earlier article i wrote which was about connecting your PC to your NEC e616v mobile phone so that you can send and receive 3mail directly on your PC. You can read that here: http://tinyurl.com/5yue4

YET ANOTHER UPDATE Ive heard rumours that sending mail via the phones built in email client is still free, people in various forums have noticed that they can still send emails via the built in email client when they have run out of credit on their pre-pay phones. If you try to send email via 3's webmail client, you will still be charged. And the good news is that my www3mail web browser uses the phones built in email client to send webpage requests, so in theory you shouldnt get charged for using it :) !!!!!

Further Update
I have done some research into what browser the nec e616v phone is using, it appears to be NetFront3 by a Japanese company called Access. A list of phones with the NetFront browser in it is available here: http://www.access-us-inc.com/Prod_Deploy_Mobile.html in theory my application should work with most of those phones...

My first Firefox Extension - Ebay Negs! - Lets you check the negative feedback an eBay user has received.

I just read the brilliant tutorial at Roachfiend.com on how to write extensions for Firefox and I decided it would be fun to write one myself, So I decided to convert my eBay negative feedback checker bookmarklet into a Firefox Extension, and the roachfiend tutorial helped out a great deal :) It was pretty straightforward to convert, and you can try it out here: Ebay Negative Feedback Firefox Extension

Any feedback gratefully received :)

UPDATE 19/1/2005 A new updated version (0.6) of this extension has been released, thanks to a cool dude called Guido who supplied some brilliant code to extend Ebay Negs' functionality. If you have got the old version (0.5) installed you can use Firefox's update feature to update it to the new version. To do this go to the "Tools/Extensions" menu, then click the "Updates" button. This version allows you to right click on Ebay username links without having to highlight them first, it also alllows you to rightclick anywhere on an ebay auction page and it will try to automatically work out the username.

December 08, 2004

Sending VCard and VCal files to the NEC e616v via Email

I was wondering if I could email VCal (Calendar Event Files) or VCard (Contact Details) files to my NEC e616v phone. So i tried it out. And the verdict is yes you can do this.

I emailed the files to my 3mail account as attachments, and though i couldnt actually open the attachments directly from the mail client, i could save the attachments to my phone, and then go to the file manager and open them from there, result! :D

The weird thing is that you *cant* do this in the "webmail" client, you can only do it through the "built in" email reader (accessible by going MSG -> 3Mail)

Posted by steeev to NEC e616v Mobile Phone at 07:45 AM | Permanent Link | | Comments (0)

December 03, 2004

Interesting Features of the NEC e616v mobile phone

I just found out some cool features of the NEC e616v

1) its got a multitasking operating system: which means you can switch between different tasks easily. So say you are on the phone to somone and they ask you for a phone number of a friend, you have it in your phones address book, if you click the menu button, you can switch to the address book and look up the number while you are still on the call :)

2) if someone asks you for your mobile number but you cant remember it, theres a hidden option on the menu, to access it, press the menu button, then press 0 on the keypad. And the phone will display your mobile number :)

3) if you receive a txt message while the phone is closed, if you press one of the volume buttons, the small lcd display shows the number the message came from and also the date + time it arrived. It would be cool if it would display the message as well, but unfortunately it doesnt.

4) you can record phone conversations using the voice memo option.

5) according to the phones manual, its possible to make video calls from this phone to someone on a pc with a webcam! :) Im not sure if this capability is possible in the UK due to the network restrictions that 3 UK impose. But somone on the Aussie3G forum has posted details on how to set this up. It seems the person on the PC needs to be running NetMeeting. Click here for more info

Posted by steeev to NEC e616v Mobile Phone at 08:52 AM | Permanent Link | | Comments (4)