Windows Mobile Weekly Roundup

by Todd Ogasawara

Here's the weekly summary of a mix of Windows Mobile and general mobile tech related items from my personal blog.

Creating Panoramic Photos with a Cameraphone
So, you just got a new shiny cameraphone to replace the, uh, old shiny cameraphone. Don't take the same old 1 or 2 megapixel photos with it. Try stitching a couple of photos together on your desktop or notebook and create a panoramic photo. I wrote a litte hack for Derrick Story's...

Digital Photography Hacks in the popular O'Reilly Hacks series back in 2004 that tells you how to create panoramic photos using a cameraphone. And, they have provided it as a free hack available on the web. You can find the full hack linked at...

Get the Big Picture with a Little Camera Phone

Mozilla Minimo Browser Project Looks Dormant
It looks like the Mozilla Minimo browser project for mobile devices has gone dormant. Its last release, 0.016, was made on June 16 (more than 6 months ago). Doug Turner himself notes in his blog that he has not been doing much development on Minimo and invites interested developers to step up to contribute to the project.

Minimo has a long way to go (as its release number indicates) before it is a useful tool for end-users. And, I hope interested talented developers join in the development effort to deliver a good Open Source browser for mobile devices.

Windows Mobile Network Analyzer PowerToy

Microsoft sometimes releases stable but unsupported utilities for Microsoft Windows on your desktop or notebook. They sometimes do the same thing for Windows Mobile devices. One Windows Mobile PowerToy that was released just last month is...

Windows Mobile Network Analyzer PowerToy
Microsoft describes it as: Network Analyzer for Windows Mobile runs network utilities, for example ping and ipconfig, on a Windows Mobile powered device. Network Analyzer for Windows Mobile facilitates the troubleshooting of network connectivity issues. You can extend the harness. You can add user-defined tests (DLLs) to the list of tests to be executed. An xml input file defines the list of tests to execute. You can use Network Analyzer to send information about network traffic to a .cap file. You can then view the .cap file with the Network Monitor tool or the Ethereal tool.

As a supporter of the Open Source paradigm, I was pleasantly amused to note that the output is intended for use with the Open Source Ethereal network protocol analyzer.

Stitch Cameraphone Photos Vertically for a Change

Vertical Photo Stitch ExampleMost people seem to pan across a landscape and stitch photos horizontally (as shown in my O'Reilly example a few blogs ago). However, you can create some satisfying stitched photos by taking a series of photos down-to-up (which I find easier than up-to-down) with a cameraphone. I took three photos with a Nokia 3650 cameraphone a couple of years ago. The vertically stitched result can be seen to the left. It didn't make the cut for the Digital Photography Hacks book. But, you can see the result here. Cameraphone Photo/Video Social Networking
I'm pretty satisfied sending photos and videos from my phone to Flickr, Microsoft Live Spaces, and Nakama sounded interesting so I signed up for this free web service.

But, I never felt the urge to use it. The site describes itself like this: Set your phone free! Take pictures or videos from your phone and publish them straight to your blog, Flickr gallery, even your MySpace or MSN Spaces page. You can also look at your friends' stuff on your phone... so you don't have to wait to get home to check out what everyone's up to... their pics and videos are always there waiting for you.

I obviously don't get it yet. But, if you do, please clue me in.

Belkin iPod TuneBase FM

Belkin iPod TuneBase FMThe Belkin iPod TuneBase FM has been out for more than a year. But, I just picked one up today. It has a lot of advantages over the Belkin TuneCast that I used a couple of years ago.

The TuneBase (pictured to the left) plugs into a car power adapter (AKA cigarette lighter) while the TuneCast used an AAA battery. One of the problems I had with the TuneCast is that the battery would rapidly die while driving. The TuneBase also charges a connected iPod which means that both the iPod and the TuneBase are powered and ready to go all the time.

The TuneBase can tune into arbitary frequencies while the TuneCast is limited to four fixed frequencies. This can be a problem if none of those four stations provide a clear signal to the car radio. The FM radio frequency is displayed on the iPod's screen when configuring the unit. This makes it pretty easy to quickly configure the system with your car radio.

The sturdy looking flexible arm can be adjusted to get it out of the way of other dashboard controls. I am kind of concerned about how much pressure it puts on the cigarette lighter though. I think the best thing to do is to use two hands to insert and remove an iPod from the TuneBase.