Android 2.2 Tablet

My first Android 2.2 Tablet PC – IMX515



Ever since the Apple iPad came out I have wanted to get my hands on a touchscreen tablet PC. The iPad just wasn’t an option, the most basic one costing £439!   I kept telling myself that I didn’t even need a tablet pc, what with already owning an iPhone and iTouch and a desktop PC but I kept looking at pictures of them and thinking well, I haven’t got a laptop.
I was keeping an eye on the budget tablets but they all seemed to have worse specs than the basic cheapo netbook so I played the waiting game.
Christmas was now upon us and I’d decided I’d really like a Tablet from Santa (my BF)  so I started looking again. I saw a few that I quite liked and a friend that was also looking suggested one or two to look at as well but as usual they were out of stock – or discontinued! it was Christmas after all.  Shops kept offering the Samsung Galaxy Tab while that would have been wonderful the price tag of around £400 wasn’t so fantastic. I just could not justify (BF) paying that price.
We decided to wait and see what the January sales produced but still there was nothing much on the market.
Until the day that my friend told me about the Sonix7 7″ Android 2.1 Tablet, that  he’d discovered which was a really good price for the specs. It sounded brilliant and cheaper than most of the budget tablets, I was tempted but I was a bit saddened that the 2.1 didn’t support java or flash. He said to wait to see how he got on with it, so I did. Which was a good thing as it turned out as he had some problems with it, as he tells us here at Wolfiesblog.
However, he informed the supplier, and amazingly they replaced it with a new version that they were just putting on the market, that was only a little bit more expensive but much better. This was an 8″ Android 2.2 Tablet !! which did support Java and flash, still for less than £200. Please note however it doesn’t have 3G only Wifi, but you can get a MIFI pay as you go to use 3G.

Sonix7 8″  Android 2.2 Tablet

Specifications.

PC Requirements
Windows XP or higher, Max OS X

Processor / Memory
Freescale A8
CPU Speed: 1GHZ
Memory: DDR 512MB
Hard drive: 4GB NAND FLASH
Micro SD card slot
Extras
WiFi
G-Sensor
Built in stereo speaker
Flash 10
Connections
Standard 30pin dock connector & USB adapters
3.5-mm stereo earphone jack
Display
8″ TFT LCD touh screen, resolution 800×600

HD Movies
Support up to 1080P
Pictures
JPG, BMP, GIF, PNG

Other
Google Android Market access, Youtube video playback

Lanuages
English, French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese
Battery
Longtime standby with low power consumtion up to 6 hours
Built-in 3900mAh lithium
Formats
Multi formats supported include: MPEG1, MPEG2, WMV9, MPEG4-SP, ASF, DIVX, H.263, H.264, RMVB, Mov, Mkv, TS, FLV, WMA, MP3, WAV, OOG, AAC, EAAC
Model
IMX 515

Weight
460g
Manual
English
I really liked the sound of this one, and feeling a little impatient now,  I didn’t wait to see what it was like this time, I just ordered it.
Delivery was very speedy.
The size is just great, the screen is big at 8″ and yet you can still easily hold it with one hand comfortably.
What first struck me was how easy it was to set up.
First thing I did was to add my WiFi simple, next it asks you to put in your Google address so that you can access the Android Market place, and you are away adding applications, there are loads of great free applications in the market place too – or you can download from the App store.
I’d never used Android before and I was astounded at its speed, the browser is enhanced using the v8 engine which enables faster loading of Javascript heavy pages. Some sites load 5 times faster than the 2.,. so I’ve read. Applications also open really quickly.  Its so much faster than my sons netbook that was over £100 more.

I had to change the keyboard as it had very strange keyboard with a Chinese or Japanese option, and to do this you have to click and hold in the browser search and you can change it to the English Android keyboard.
For me the touch screen isn’t especially responsive, (unlike my friend who says his is) now I’m not sure if that is because I am used to the iphone, and maybe I’m asking too much from a £200 tablet but it does work just fine most of the time, occasionally it takes a few taps. I cannot draw with it however this is too shaky but I can’t draw with my finger anyway as we saw here with the Nokia N900 sketch app ha!  I will see how it goes now I have reset it again and that I have now read these FAQ’s.
I have had to reset the unit twice, once when it froze and recently because an application just refused to open correctly. I believe this could be due to compatibilityproblems. The first time I couldn’t find where to reset it so I emailed the suppliers on a Sunday afternoon and they immediately emailed me back.  Very impressive service.
One of the problems I had was with Angry Birds crashing, and playing Angry Birds on this tablet is amazing, so I had to have it. Since the reset its been fine, and I am enjoying playing it again. (I’ve recently read that this could be because there were too many things running taking up the 512MB memory, I’m not sure.)

Tweetdeck didn’t seem to be available on the Android Market place which I found strange but I found another Twitter client to use, which I hadn’t used on mobile devices yet and that is Seesmic and I love it, no going back now.
The battery life on this tablet is good too – it keeps going for at least 3hours constant use, having many applications running. It takes about 4 hours to fully charge (less than an iPad) but normally 2hours is enough to get some good usage out of it.
So even though I may have had a few little setbacks with this tablet, I am very pleased, you really cannot complain with the price and the specs – if you want something to just check emails, Twitter, Facebook, play games and surf the web, you can’t go far wrong with this tablet. Although obviously it still does a lot more, with all of the various Apps available, I haven’t got that far yet, but I am looking forward to doing so.


Edit: I’ve had a couple of people ending up here as their flash isn’t working – download Adobe Flash player from the store and you are away.


Update:  24/2/02 Since writing this blog I have had no problems with this Tablet, haven’t had to reset it again, and everything is working lovely, would recommend.
This turned out more of a story than a review but I hope this helps you in deciding what to get if you are looking around for a budget Tablet.
Drawing by me, photo by me, yes I know its awful.

Facebook increase security after hacking?


Maybe its no coincidence that Facebook recently announced some new security just after Mark Zuckerberg’s personal fan page was evidently hacked.

However, for whatever reason, better security on Facebook is always a good thing.

Hypertext transfer protocol secure
Firstly from today they say on the Facebook blog posted on 26.1.11. you’ll be able to experience Facebook entirely over HTTPS  –  It might be a good idea to turn this on (as always we have to turn it on rather than off)  this especially if you are accessing Facebook on free WiFi – like at coffee shops, airports and other public places. 

HTTPS is used by banks or online shops – a lock shows in the address bar to show that the browser is using a secure connection, (“HTTPS”) to communicate with the website and protect your information. Pages do take longer to load, and some applications may not be supported but privacy is the key so that shouldn’t worry us. Facebook say that they will work hard to resolve these issues.

To set this up…..

Click Account – Top Right
Account Settings
Tick – Browse Facebook on a secure connections HTTPS
Click Save.

As yet I do not see this option, but seeing as it took me over 2 months to get Facebook email, we may have to wait a while.

Social Authentication
Facebook also mention in this blog that they are now going use Social Authentication, where you have to name your friends from photos to log into Facebook maybe from a different country as normal  – but this isn’t actually new as my BF had to do this when he logged in on holiday in September. So that’s strange. Also this maybe be fun for Facebook users that have 800 friends that they don’t *really* know.



Quote
At Facebook we strive to put people at the center of all of our products and to design every experience you have on the site to be social. This is obvious in products like photos, where pictures are organized around the people that appear in them. We also want to bring the benefits of social design to experiences where you wouldn’t traditionally expect them, like account security. Social authentication is our latest effort toward this goal.

The vast majority of people who have used Facebook have never experienced a security problem. However, if we detect suspicious activity on your account, like if you logged in from California in the morning and then from Australia a few hours later, we may ask you to verify your identity so we can be sure your account hasn’t been compromised.



If and when this all takes place, (if it is not already in place) we obviously welcome any new security measures to stop password thieves and hackers. Sadly though a recent press conference Facebook were reported in saying that they believe they are doing enough to stop apps spamming users.

Therefore there is still a long journey ahead to fully protect our privacy on Facebook.




Pics from Facebook blog link above and Fulcrum Strategies Group 

Nokia N8 – Can’t Connect To Gateway – My solution.

This wasn’t the first blog about the Nokia N8 that I expected to write after WomWorld/Nokia sent me a mobile phone to trial, so I can review. However even though I’m slightly embarrassed that I took a while to work this out, I thought this little post might help others. 


When I first got the Nokia N8 2 days ago I didn’t have much time to have a look at it, I did have a little look around put in my passwords and logged in to some accounts, and it all seemed fine including Twitter. 


Yesterday when I returned home from work to have another look at it, it would not connect to Twitter via Ovi’s social network. 


I put in my name and password, and it would seem to try to connect, then I would get the message Cannot Connect to Gateway.  It seemed really odd as I could use the web browser and download apps from the Ovi Store, (but not social networking apps). So this suggested that the Wifi (WLAN) was set up ok but there was problem somewhere. 

I had a look on the web and found so many forum entries reporting the same thing, some were very recent. 


Just a few of them here. 
Nokia.com europe
Nokiausers
Nokia N8 Forum


I tried every fix suggested on these forums that I hadn’t done already but to no avail.  


Then today when I got home, I suddenly remembered about a friend of mine who had a similar problem, which I found out was purely because he had changed time zones, and when he changed the time back to his local time it all worked. 


So…….. I corrected the date and time, as I had not bothered to do that yet. 


And it worked. Fixed. Connected. Tweet. 


(I’m not sure however, why Twitter connected the first time it was used. This confused me TBH.) 


There seems to be various ways that people are saying fix this error but this one worked for me, I hope it helps you. 

Helping kids learn about Virtual Lives – Gaming and Networking.



Tuesday the 8th of February 2011 is Safer Internet Day. 

Safer Internet Day is organised by Insafe to promote safer and more responsible use of mobile and online technology for children and young people around the world.

Insafe are Co-funded by The European Union.

This is the 8th year that Safer Internet Day will be celebrated, last year saw 500 events in 65 countries worldwide.

Each year Insafe chooses a different theme for people to base the activities on.
This year is its Virtual lives, and the slogan is – Its more than a game, its your life

Virtual lives: Online gaming and social networking, the two most popular online activities for our youth. 


The aim is to get the message across to children and young people that although they are hidden behind an avatar or a gamertag, actions in virtual lives can and will affect real lives.  

We all need to be aware of the consequences of our online actions, whether good or bad.

Children especially need to know how to be safe and responsible online and they can learn this the same way they learn everything else, with our support and encouragement

A few easy ways you can help

·                 Inform your school and find out if they are taking part.  
·                 Become a fan of the Insafe Facebook page – Insafe
·                 Become a fan of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre Facebook page – CEOP
·                 Put the banner above on your website.
·                 Host an event in your community.
·                 Repost this blog.



You will find lots of information and free resources from these links

Insafe – www.saferinternet.org. 
Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre – http://www.ceop.police.uk/
I hope you can join in helping our children have the best virtual and real lives possible and also assist in raising awareness of this excellent event with me, thanks.

Problems with Google Chrome?

You are surfing away, googling some interesting sites when all of a sudden, Chrome starts to say This web page not available and you check the error message and it says………

Error 10 (net::ERR_ACCESS_DENIED): Unknown error.


HUH! 

Well …

…this doesn’t appear to be a problem with Chrome but it seems as if it is either a firewall or anti virus blocking access,  lots of people with Mcafee have this problem. So make sure its approved or allowed in the settings. Or like me – I’d left Peer Guardian running and it really hates that and blocks Chrome opening some pages randomly. So close Peer Guardian and viola Chrome opens the page.

This might happen in other browsers as well like Internet explorer, Firefox, Mozilla but I’ve only noticed it in Chrome.

Chrome by the way is a brilliant browser its quick and simple and I love it. Why use Google Chrome.

I just wanted to share that little bit of a fix with you, as there is nothing worse than having an annoying little problem and not knowing what it is.

Hope this helps.

Facebook Allowing Apps To Access Users Phone Numbers and Addresses (update – not cancelled)

When you are going to allow a Facebook application now you might see this …


… as Facebook has now allowed developers access to your private information. As announced on the developers blog page on Saturday here.   See updated information at the end. 

As you see can see its not only allowing the application access to your basic information but also your current address and mobile phone number.

Of course you can just click don’t allow on the permissions page (if you notice it)  or you can make sure that this personal information isn’t on Facebook in first place, which would be my advice. 

To make sure you have not got this information to share with third party applications.

Go to 
  • Profile (Top Right) 
  • Edit Profile (Top Right) 
  • Contact Information (Left menu) 


If you have your private information here then, delete it and click save changes at the bottom. 

Facebook obviously isn’t interested in our privacy, we know that by now, so its up to us to be vigilant and keep an eye out for these things. 


Update, Facebook has now posted a blog 

Improvements to Permissions for Address and Mobile Number

They say here not that they are cancelling this (as some reports have said) but just postponing it while they make some changes to make sure it is more clear for users to see more clearly when they are sharing their phone numbers and addresses. 
Quote “We look forward to re-enabling this improved feature in the next few weeks.”


Microsoft Arc Mouse Review




I must admit  this mouse was a total impulse buy – its curves, angles and smooth design caught my eye and I had to have one.
I am a bit fussy when it comes to using a mouse – its something I use a lot as I’m not really a keyboard shortcut person, I’m a scroller and a clicker. I also draw and design with my mouse so its really important that a mouse has a good feel, is comfortable and responsive. I usually take a while to choose a new mouse but this impulse buy seems to have been a good one.
The arc feels luxurious in my hand , its so silky and comfortable I forget its there. I’ve read articles where people thought it was too small, I’m not sure what bucket sized hands they have, mine aren’t exactly small and it is absolutely ideal for me.
Even though essentially the Arc was designed for the purpose of being portable and wireless this wasn’t even a factor for me, I didn’t need it to be either of these, but I am enjoying the wirelessness and I may well  use it with a notebook in the future. It folds down really small and the USB receiver fits inside perfectly.
The Arc laser senor was so responsive and fast at first, it did feel a bit out of control.  However after adjusting the settings to slow it down slightly it was precision perfect everytime.


It isn’t a cheap mouse but not as high-priced as the Logitech gaming mouse that I had which although very good, was enormous and so uncomfortable I often got cramp in my little finger?
The only downfall with the Arc is the thumb button. It is positioned so far forward I never remember to use it, and it would actually be uncomfortable to do so without totally moving your hand.
Being an ambidextrous mouse I thought I might try using my left hand to see how I got on, as I am actually a lefty but have never used a mouse in my left hand. Sadly it felt truly unnatural, I think its too late for me now to get used to using the left hand, the upside of using the Arc this way is that is that the thumb button is then in a better position for your finger.
The Arc’s buttons and scroll has a nice firm click and bounce to it which I like too.
All in all a very pleasurable mouse in style, design and comfort.

Photo’s – Me and my iPhone.

Facebook Closing?! How to back up Facebook.

Due to a now viral message, everyone now believes that Facebook is closing down on 15th March? LOL Oh really?

They’ve just got $500 million investment from Goldman Sachs and Digital Sky Technologies but that’s not important right now,  apparently its all too much for Mark Zuckerberg and he’s closing down.

Its not a funfair at Hastings that hasn’t been running well for 3 years… its not a Chip~Shop that started selling soggy chips… its not something that Yahoo got bored with… its FACEBOOK!

Its all over the internet now, and of course its just…..
a horrible hoax,
a joke,
a set of Chinese whispers,
a ridiculous rumour.

This “joke” was apparently started at Weekly world News, who evidently are about as regarded for their news worthiness as the Daily Star.

another headline today on the same page ……..
HEADLINES

ALIEN SPACESHIPS TO ATTACK EARTH IN 2011

Posted on 09 January 2011
By Frank Lake
Three giant alien spaceships are heading for Earth! Scientists predict they will arrive in early 2011.
Facebook users have been panicking about what happens to all of their details and their photographs on Facebook, they are worried they are going to lose them.
I gathered from this fear that there is a need, a need Facebook users have, that they want to download and save the information easily that they accumulate from Facebook.

Rest assured you can do this!

Go to account settings – in the list that has name, user name etc. it says Download your information – click on learn more and there it says that this tool lets you downloads and save a copy of all of your information, including photo’s and wall posts everything. Just like a backup apparently!
(thanks to @lstacey for this information)

In the meanwhile, don’t panic – Facebook are not going to slam a door in your face with a big closed sticker on it.


My Blog 2010 – including Top 5 Posts.






I’d been looking through some stats from last year and I have been very pleased with how my blog has evolved and how interest has grown.  After, at first not really knowing how it was going to turn out or what I would blog about, its turned itself around and ended up being more of help or information page, with reviews and my views on various applications, programs, and subjects. Which I’ve enjoyed very much, I look forward to being offered more trials or beta testing in the future, so that I can let you know my findings. 


Don’t forget you can contact me via email on Techieminx@gmail.com if you have anything that would you like me to test or find out about. 

It was interesting to see which posts had received the most views, so in celebration of that, I thought I’d just post them again.