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Gmail IMAP Fixed For Windows Mobile

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in Mobile Devices | Posted on 30-01-2008


Several days ago I announced I had moved to Google Apps for email mainly because of IMAP support.  One of the problems I had was reading mail on my Blackjack II phone. 

The problem was wide spread because of the way Gmail handled IMAP with Windows Mobile phones.  When an email was read via IMAP on the phone, the email would be blank.  It appeared to only affect HTML formatted email which meant Gmail was doing something weird with the email instead of just leaving it alone.  When I first discovered this I thought I didn’t download the email or I configured something incorrectly.  Searching around Gmail I learned that others had the same problem so  I did the only thing I could do, I voted on the fix.  

Earlier today I noticed that I was able to read all of the emails I selected.  Curious I got confirmation when I stumbled upon this article explaining that indeed the problem had been fixed. 

Let’s see.  Google announced IMAP support back in October so that’s about 4 months of broken IMAP support on Windows Mobile phones.  Four months to fix what should be a simple, works on every other IMAP server I have ever freaking used?  I hope nothing else breaks, this doesn’t leave me warm and fuzzy Google.

Upgrading AT&T 8525 to Windows Mobile 6

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in Mobile Devices, Windows | Posted on 05-11-2007


AT&T finally released their official ROM to upgrade the 8525 to Windows Mobile 6.  Living on the cutting edge I downloaded the ROM during lunch on Friday and started the update.  The download is currently available from the HTC web site although it is stated the ROM will no longer be available after February 2008.   Why the upgrade will disappear I’m not sure I haven’t investigated it yet.  It is worthy to mention that Good Mobile Messaging users are instructed to not to upgrade to this version.  Below you will find out how the upgrade went along with what features are enabled by default by this ROM.  Although I did the update on Friday I wanted to run it phone for a few days before posting this article.  Let me say that so far it has been really stable and I haven’t found any problems as of yet.

Performing The Upgrade

Once you get the download onto your machine double click the executable.  After a long series of checking your download you will be presented with this screen.


What follows next is a series of screens that for some reason scare the crap out of you and make you press next, next, next, OK, Yes I understand, Ok, next, you get the idea.  Basically these screens are telling you to not be an idiot.  Before you start make sure your phone is charged.  Also shut down other applications on your computer and just do the ROM update.  You never know when something could blow up leaving you holding a $400 door stop.  I’m scared but I’ll press next anyway 🙂


After this step the update queries the phone for a version.


I’m not sure why it didn’t find an existing version.  I didn’t care and just said to update the software anyway. 


And once again we get another screen as seen below.  I think the programmer that wrote this program should be fired and HTC should do a better job making users feel warm and fuzzy about doing an update like this. There is no reason why we have to go through all these screens.  I will bet a $1,000,000.00 updating Apple’s iPhone will not be this ridiculous with this many steps.  Ignore stupid screen and press next (again).


Finally we are brought to a screen that tells us how long it will take.  Can we just get on with the update!?  Click next again.



Finally we start updating the phone.  From this point forward it is about a 10 minute wait until the update stops.  Be sure there are no lightening storms in your area and it is a clear sunny day.  Or, use a laptop in case the power may go out.  If this point is interrupted, you officially have a bricked phone.   


We are done. 


Now we are officially done.   


After this step finishes the phone will restart and will run the default setup just like it did when you first bought it.  It will then install the AT&T software and configure it for AT&T’s network. So how does it look?  Well, the AT&T setup is really dreary.  Not pretty at all.  The first thing I suggest it going into settings and removing the AT&T theme and applying the windows mobile 6 theme.  This them is green and looks updated.  Much nicer. 

Screen Shots

Here are some screen shots to show you what is installed and how the phone looks after setup.

This is what the Today screen looks like after the install.  Compared to what it *could* look like it is sad.


A new feature that I noticed is the airplane mode in the Comm  Manager screen.  The previous version of Mobile 6 I was running didn’t have it.  A nice touch.  It has been so long since I used Mobile 5 I can’t remember if it had this or not.  I don’t think it did but you could turn on flight mode easily in Mobile 5 without it.


 If you are curious which office applications are included you’ll find them under Office Mobile.   Having the ability to read native documents is great and we’ve had this since Mobile 5.


AT&T puts a lot of useless crap into your programs folder.  Mainly things they want you to spend money on.  I mean after all, why should they include any applications of real value.  That would just be too cool.  Personally I don’t use any of their bundled apps just the standard built-in ones. 


More programs below.  FYI RSA and Screen Capture aren’t included by default I added those.


I mentioned the default theme is pretty bland so I changed it to the Mobile 6 theme.  Here is a screen shot of how that looks.


You’ll notice that nowhere on the phone via these screens shots is there any resemblance of Live search or messenger.  Those applications are not on this ROM update at all.  What the hell AT&T?!  I use Live Search all the time to lookup things and I can’t believe they didn’t include it.   I am also shocked by this because I’ve seen Mobile 6 demo after demo and this is a standard *feature* of Mobile 6.

Things that are bad about this update are 1) the install is still overly complicated and 2) lack of bundled applications.  While we can fix the bundled application problem by installing our own but the install process is still way to complicated.  The install process should be two clicks at the most and leave users feeling warm and fuzzy not scare the hell out of them.  I seriously can’t imagine my Mom doing this update and not having to call me. 

I will say that the phone up to this point has been really stable after the upgrade.  It has gone through hundreds and hundreds of emails and text messages without a problem.  As far as speed wise it is about the same as Mobile 5 if not just a tad faster. 

Should You Upgrade?

Really it is up to you.  I feel that AT&T has stripped this ROM of all of its joy and pleasure by not keeping in the Live stuff.  It just feels very lacking to me and I may seriously consider going back to the XDA ROM release.  If you read Jason Landgridge’s blog post about what’s new in Mobile 6 he outlines a lot of great features but the one missing is live search.  There are some nice features like Internet Sharing and although I get email in HTML format I have yet to have mine look like Jason’s example.  The features in Mobile 6 are good but it isn’t an earth shattering upgrade but it is an improvement.  If you are a geek like myself you would not be caught dead not having the latest ROM, keep your geek points intact and upgrade.  For the rest of the population it is potato potata.  Let me know how your mileage varies.


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Vista Drivers Released for Cingular 8525 Wireless Modem

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in Mobile Devices | Posted on 13-05-2007


 Ever since I got my Cingular 8525 phone I haven’t been able to get on the Internet with my laptop while traveling.   My previous phone worked but the 8525 didn’t work.  Luckily new drivers were released for Vista here.

You should be able to follow setting up the drivers.  The directions are pretty straight forward.  The only thing you’ll be missing then are the settings you need to put in to get online.  Here is a quick walk through of the settings you need.

Setting Up Cingular 8525 with WModem

First go into the control panel an select Network and Internet and then Network Sharing Center.  In the left pane select “Setup a new connection or network”.

Next select the “Set up a dial-up connection” at the bottom.

Next select your HTC USB Modem.  If this doesn’t show up then the driver isn’t loaded properly.

In the next screen, enter these settings:

Then press connect and you should be online.  As a matter of fact I’m posting this blog entry using my phone.   As a quick download test I decided to download Firefox 2.0 to see what type of download speed I would get.  After letting it run for awhile here is where things settled in at:

Not bad for a cell phone in Mississippi!

WPF/E, SilverLight and Windows Mobile, Yes I Was Right!

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in .Net, Mobile Devices | Posted on 09-05-2007


Don’t you love it when you predict or speculate on something in technology and it comes true?

Before Mix 07 Scott Hanselman and Carl Franklin on Hanselminutes did a show about Silverlight.  During the podcast they mention my blog post whereby I speculated how Microsoft could get WPF/E running on a Windows Mobile device.  Turns out, I was right!.  Here is a little back story for those coming into the game a little late.

Early in January ScottGu and Rory did I a Channel9 video about different things.  After watching it I started putting two and two together and predicted that Microsoft had already solved how they were going to compete with the Apple iPhone and what they were planning.   A few weeks later I was at Codemash and was in an invitation only lunch with ScottGu, other MVPs as well as several Microsoft Developer Evangelist.  Off the record one of the DE’s said my blog post was spreading throughout Microsoft and even ScottGu read the article.  All they could say was it was a “great” idea.  Obviously I was onto something. 

Fast forward a day or so later I got word that I was officially on the right path. 

At Mix 07 Silverlight was officially announced / released and the very early prototype of Compact Silverlight was shown at Mix 07.   Yep, there you go, I was right!  If you want to see it in action download this video  and fast forward to around the 14 minute mark for the Windows Mobile version.  Also check out Rob’s blog post about the Compact Silverlight Framework

Obviously this opens up a whole new realm of possibilities on the mobile platform.  Just think what Windows Mobile 7 will bring to the table.  It could be earth shattering UI on a mobile device that will finally bring a true user experience to the mobile platform.  I’m in! 

Thank you for those who believed in my previous speculation, I’ll be here all week.  Tips your waitresses.


My Favorite Alarm Clock

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in Mobile Devices | Posted on 21-01-2007


I travel a lot and have to make sure I get up on time or otherwise I miss flights, speaking engagements and more, work.  Josh posted he was looking for a new travel alarm clock so I thought I would throw my $.02 in the ring. 

All of us have different likes and dislikes.  Our sleeping habits are as varied as the number of alarm clocks out there.  Some of us can get up with a simple beep beep beep and others need a little more jarring.  Others need a nuclear weapon to go off to get up. 

I grew up on what I like to call a small farm house.  I say small farm house because we didn’t have 2000 acres but we did have large gardens, plant corn for animals, raise chickens, pigs, cows and other critters.  How I managed to get involved with technology is a mystery to this day.  Most people have no idea what it is like to wake up to a rooster crowing on your window seal.  This is probably the best alarm clock of them all!  The only problem with the rooster is you can’t set him to a certain time 🙂  The rooster is going to crow before the crack of dawn no matter what, and then continue to crow during the day at random intervals. 

 So what do I use to make sure I don’t miss anything and get up?  I happen to carry my alarm clock with me wherever I go.  I use my Windows Mobile 5 Pocket PC phone.  Here is a screen shot of the built-in alarm screen in the pocket PC.  You have three separate times you can set and label.  One for morning, one for the afternoon nap and another for something else.  The days you want it to go off can be customized as well.  So for example you can set it to wake up on Thursday / Friday at this time, and then turn off the alarm for Saturday or Sunday.

I have my phone set to vibrate and also play one of the most annoying built-in sounds on the device, the dog bark.   I always place the phone on a hard wood surface to take advantage of the vibrating to increase the annoyance.  These two combinations of vibration on the hard wood surface and the loud dog bark does the trick every time. 

If I have something to do, like a plane flight where I have to get up at 4:00 AM, I will set all three alarms at 5 minutes apart.  It is easy to do and the phone essentially never stops vibrating and or barking.  For me, 99.9% of the time I am awaken by the vibrating on the table.