July 28, 2009

Recycling your mobile for profit

Filed under: How I Use...,iPhone,Windows Mobile — Simon May @ 9:04 am

I’ve just moved over to iPhone, as you’ll see if you browse about abit, but obviously I had a great phone before that, a Samsung i780 and before that a t-mobile touch plus (aka HTC Touch Dual) and before that an m3100 from orange (HTC Hermes) and before that an Orange c550 and before that … you get the drift.

And I still have all those phones, or at least I did until we decided we needed to declutter, we’ve been selling stuff for months on eBay! Checking out the prices for all those mobiles on eBay and it seemed a bit hit or miss so I decided to look at the mobile recycling companies. Just as an aside here worth noting it’s taken me a while to come to terms with actually getting rid of gadgets (I kept the i780), I say this only in case some thinks I’ve lost the plot, or a portion of my mind a least. The final decider, apart from the clutter was the cash.

I opted to use Mazuma mobile. The reasons behind this choice were many but mainly based on a first hand endorsment from a colleague and my being overly inflenced by the TV! So how was it?

On their website you fill details in about the phone and you don’t really even need to know much about it since they have a huge catalogue to choose from. Next you enter the IMEI number of the phone and they go off and check that the phones not been stolen (or at least not stolen and put on the register). Finally they give you a valuation. The touch dual and Hermes fetched £45 a piece and the older phones abou £15 each. The price is based on the condition of the phone; either working or not working. The definition is happily very loose too. “Working” basically means it turns on and you can, therefore, guess what the “not working” deffinition is too. The m3100 I sent had a button missing, but I still got full price and none of the Windows Mobile devices had propper firmware on, but that was no problem either. Anyway back to the process because I didn’t have money in my pocket at this point.

Having submitted the “order” through the web site I got a little pack in the post a couple of days later that contained instructions, a plastic ( and unpadded) postage paid returns bag and a certificate of postage for the post office clerk to sign. All I had to do was pop the phones in the bag and put it in the post box at the post office. A day or two later I recieved an email to tell me the phones had been recieved, then hours later I was told that a check was in the post. Full price for each!

And so a day or two later I have a cheque waiting for me to make it to the bank and I’m writing a review of a company that is actually more based on low tech postage methods than a digital lifestyle. It’s a superb service though, worthy of recommendation and in my oppinion it could be improved only by allowing an option like me getting my cash though paypal. If you don’t fancy using Mazuma then there are some alternatives listed below.


October 14, 2008

The snag list

Filed under: Geek cool,Home automation,Home Server,Media Center,Windows Mobile — Simon May @ 7:34 pm

Ok, it is time to admit it.  All is not well in the geeky home.  There are little niggles, everythings working but it’s not slick and it’s not well integrated enough.  It’s time to start finding some solutions.  Here are the snags, if you know a way I can overcome any of them, then let me know in a comment on this post, email me, or twitter me.

  • There’s an annoying .net framework error popping up on the Media Center every so often.
  • My Harmony remote isn’t quite set up well enough.  It doesn’t work well when the Media Center is already on.  The problem is that I’ve installed a standby saving power bar, which I want to keep, but it doesn’t play nice with the remote.
  • I need to find a way to ARM the Y-CAM when we leave the house and disarm it when we return.  Or I need to move it to an area with slightly less traffic, i.e. where we don’t walk all the time so that my mailbox doesn’t fillup!
  • I need to be able to view the Y-CAM stream on my Windows Mobile device, or at least be able to see the latest image.  That might mean configuring FTP, which means finding a secure FTP server on the net.
  • I want to workout the overall power consumption of the kit in the house.  I might be scared.
  • The TV Arial just doesn’t seem to be quite right, it’s a few degrees off!  Time for cable?
  • My Windows Home Server is using a bit too much power, 40kwh in standby – that needs to come down.

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October 13, 2008


Filed under: Geek cool,Home automation,Media Center,Mobile,Windows Mobile — Simon May @ 8:35 pm

For a while now I’ve been looking at some home monitoring systems and how I can best integrate them into my digital experience.  Previously I’ve used Yawcam with some pretty great results but currently I’m trying to reduce my carbon foot print and I want to make everything that has to run as low power consumption a possible.  For that reason I really wanted an IP Webcam that didn’t need a PC powered on all the time.image

Having done loads of looking about the only really good thing I could find was from Y-CAM.  It’s now been delivered and it’s installed.  I picked the Y-CAM Black and bought from ebuyer, since it was about £30 cheaper than everywhere else.

Having installed it, at first it really wasn’t a great experience, it didn’t like my router and it brought down the whole network…I’ve done a firmware update now and all seems to work well.  Very well.

This camera sees really well in the dark with its knight vision, and the management software is pretty good.  Actually it’s a breeze to setup.  It can do motion alerts to email, which again was simple to setup and allows me to select 4 regions of the picture to watch for motion.

Two I need to work through at the moment:

  • I need to setup FTP publishing to somewhere so that I can view the camera at work since I can’t see the active X control
  • I need to get an app for my WinMo phone that allows me to view mp4 encoded RTSP…unfortunately HTC Streaming media won’t cut it.

Finally I’ve also emailed the manufacturer to find out if they have an API, so that I can develop something to easily arm the motion detection.

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September 14, 2008

Manilla 2D and SideShow for Media Center

Filed under: Media Center,Windows Mobile — Simon May @ 9:41 pm

attachTonight I’ve had a bit of a geekout and got two really cool things done.  Both are on my Windows Mobile.  Firstly I’ve just installed Manilla 2D from XDA_Team over at XDA Developers.  Its superb, it’s an amazingly good home screen for Windows mobile,

just like you get on the new Diamond devices, it look amazing, everything scrolls beautifully.  The weather is a big improvement, the browser integration with Opera is great and the settings screen is good too.  The best thing is the cool blue colour though.

The other thing I did was to setup the RC of the Media Center SideShow gadget.  That involved putting some sideshow software onto my Windows Mobile phone too.  The install was simple enough, but a gotcha was doing it using RDP, it threw a dialogue up on my sesson 0 (yes I know that Vista doesn’t really have one but its a nice way to describe it) which was on my TV.  The RC is available on Connect, but I’ve not read the agreement enough to know what can be talked about at the moment…..A good night of Geeking!

September 1, 2008

TwitterMyFlickr – Now available

Filed under: Blogging,Windows Mobile — Simon May @ 8:51 pm

Finally I’m launching TwitterMyFlickr, it’s a neat little app that posts a picture to Flickr and Links to it on Twitter.  Give it a go!TwitterMyFlickrScreen


I wrote this app because I like to share on Flickr and on Twitter and it was fun.  The really tricky stuff is done using the FlickrNet API. 

Obviously there is AppToDate Support.

Let me know what you think, comment on the TwitterMyFlickr page.

July 1, 2008


Filed under: HelloTwitFace,Mobile,Windows Mobile — Simon May @ 7:00 am

I’ve been re-writing HelloTwitFace for some time, to include some cool new features and to redesign the interface and make it less messy.  One of the things I’ve been really keen to introduce, because I want to use it (that’s why I develop this app by the way) is the ability to post pictures. 

To test the functionality I will soon be releasing the fist of these applications as a preview of what will become integrated into HelloTwitFace.  If you want to be notified of the release as soon as it’s available simply subscribe to the RSS feed or follow me on twitter.

June 30, 2008

Long term test – the new Jawbone

Filed under: Geek cool,iPhone,Mobile,Technology,Windows Mobile — Simon May @ 5:00 pm
Tags: ,

jawbone-earwearWhen I was in the states a few weeks ago I picked up the new Jawbone from an At&T store.  A small sleek black unit, with hidden buttons, leather bound ear loop and the killer feature “Noise Assassin” technology.  Well I’ve been using this device for lots of phone calls, from both my BlackBerry pearl and my T-Mobile Touch Plus (HTC Touch Dual) and I’m now ready to talk about using the device on a day to day basis.

You can read the full review at Mobile Tech Addicts

June 13, 2008

Review: SMS-Chat and Fun Contact from Vito for WinMo

Filed under: Blogging,Windows Mobile — Simon May @ 6:38 pm
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I’ve just posted the following article on MobileTechAddicts 

Vito software, a Russian mobile software development house has recently updated to of their applications SMS-Chat and Fun Contact.  Both applications make SMS and Contacts on your Windows Mobile device far more finger friendly.  I’ve been using them every day for a while and after the jump you’ll find some more details on these excellent applications, available for sub £10 each.

Click here to go to the full post

May 20, 2008

HelloTwitFace – now with Summize search!

For the past week I’ve been toiling away on integrating Summize into HelloTwitFace.  Screen06 Summize replaces TweetScan as HelloTwitFace’s replies and search tabs.  This was a challenge as I’d already built in RSS reading capabilities to read the TweetScan results, but Summize works with ATOM.  I did some diggining and finally got it working…and I have the start of a Summize .NET API.

I think this is the first Windows Mobile app out there to include Summize capabilities.  Summize rocks by the way, it is SUPER FAST!

Deets on how to use what’s new after the jump.


May 14, 2008

Facebook chat is coming to a jabber client near you soon

Filed under: Geek cool,Mobile,Social Networking,web,Windows Mobile — Simon May @ 5:53 pm

[EDIT: Linked it up


A few sources are today talking about facebook opening up their chat application to jabber capable clients. I’ve talked about this before and I can see this being the killer thing for the fb chat platform, which to be fair has been lack luster in its growth.

I see this as being a kin to to twitter opening their api, just like most tweets come from other app’s that’s what will happen to the fb chat platform.

Notice that I’m calling it a chat platform.

Opening it up in this way is going to encourage some really cool app developers to come out with cool things! On the mobile front apps like palringo are gonna sky rocket in their use, any kind me identity aggregation will take off with high use of the elements the combine. The very widespread and diverse user case of fb will lead up to more people chatting. I think we will also see some asynchronous methods me using fb chat popping up, like sms to chat services.

This space is gonna get very cool, very quick, mark my words!

Posted from moBlog – mobile blogging tool for Windows Mobile

Via: Paul’s blog, techcrunch

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