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26 July 2010

How to get prepaid internet for your mobile phone in Thailand

I am posting this (and the previous post) on the road around 100km from Bangkok. Its been an eight hour drive and through some crazy wet season weather and interesting scenery (we overtook a candle float for a parade earlier). We are in Thailand for a few days and after some help from relatives I signed up to AIS edge / GPRS prepaid internet sim which cost 100 baht for 30 hours of internet over gprs. This gives me access to the net on my mobile without too much concern about roaming expenses as we need to watch out for in Australia.

There does not seem to be any limit on download not that you would be downloading a windows service pack with your mobile. You can get so much done such as checking up on the news, weather, email, banking, look up candle parades, see how many hours till your final destination, or just update your facebook with photos as you experience them. And with a phone that has a versatile qwerty keyboard such as the e72, why not make the most of what you have and take notes while listening to an audio book or go through some local phrases using xs2theworld or babelphone. ( I did manage to find a workaround for the facebook problem alluded to in the earlier post but will post about that another time.) Anyway if you know good sim plans in Singapore with a good internet allowance and coverage leave a comment.

I should mention since some of you do rely on advice from here, AIS was not necessarily the best value plan but as you can see the reception and price was good enough for me. Feel free to make some other suggestions if you knew of any.

Facebook doesn't like new firmware?

I have been trying to work this out for a while - why my options and exit buttons don't work in the facebook application. I was going to use the take photo option but couldn't manage to get the app working.

I tried reinstalling the app from ovi but it was greyed out. I thought it was because the app was already installed so i uninstalled it. Didnt't make a difference except now I dont't have the imperfect facebook app either. Then I found a discussion group that seemed to conclude that the problem we shared was due to the new firmware. As of today no solution had been found.. So if you know anything do leave a comment. Maybe your e72 is working fine with facebook and the new firmware.

21 July 2010

12 things to remember before travelling with your mobile smartphone

I'll be heading for Bangkok and Singapore in the coming days so updates will be particularly interesting about travelling with the Nokia E72 but updates will not be as often. Before we leave, here are some tips to remember before you travel to make the most out of your mobile phone whilst overseas 

1 Check you have international roaming activated. Even if you do not intend to make or receive calls, many do not realise that you can receive SMS usually for free when you are using your phone overseas. This may be a good way to keep in touch in case of emergencies. 

2 Unlock your phone Some phones such as those provided by THREE will be locked to the network. This will render your mobile useless if you intend to use a SIM card overseas. Learn how to unlock your phone from here.

3 Travel Guides and Translators It may be worth downloading a travel guide or even a translator program for your phone before you leave. One such program is called BabelPhone which you can download for free at the Ovi Store. This program translates common phrases and says them out loud to the person you are trying to communicate with. The free software is available for English to Chinese. XS2theWorld provide some excellent travel guides. 

4 Notes Store your essential information on your phone. If you are storing sensitive information like passport numbers, maybe its a good idea to store it in a note without specifying that it is your passport number. Call it your mother's number or something. Things you might store could be:
- Hotel address and contact numbers and booking reference numbers 
- Good places to get free wifi, cheap food 

5 Calendar Store your flight times, booking details and key appointments. Backup to gmail or google calendar.

6 Charger / Spare Battery This is one of those things that most commonly gets left behind when you go on holidays. It is worth carrying a spare battery or two with you because with such good phones as  the E72, it becomes your PDA, computer, notepad, map, tour guide, calculator and even voice navigator for driving and walking. Don't forget to save yourself some hassles and fully charge your phone before leaving!

7 Download relevant Nokia Maps Remember the free service that you have for your mobile? Yeah the difference between your Nokia and other phones is that you can pre-load maps of countries that you visit! That way you do not need an internet connection to connect to Google Maps. 
8 Backup your mobile numbers, sms, calendars etc using your PC suite so that if anything happens to your mobile phone on holidays, you are not completely devastated.

9 Save your IMEI number in case your phone is lost or stolen. The IMEI number can be found by *#06# on your mobile. This is the unique serial number for your phone. 

10 Remote Locking Figure out how this works before you leave... because you can SMS your stolen phone and have it automatically lock  up! Read the article here for more about this security feature that you probably didn't even know existed.

11 Check Incompatibility There are also some places in the world where you cannot even use SIM cards so bear that in mind. These countries it would be best to just use your phone on roaming.

12 Load up on mp3s etc For those budget flights where you can't even watch a movie for free, don't forget to download some audiobooks and music to amuse yourself with during the flight. Most phones like the E72 come with plenty of gigs to store more than enough entertainment options for your flight and train rides.

Have you got any more tips we missed? 

18 July 2010

If you can't hear anything

Have you got an application such as XS2TheWorld's Babelphone or City Guide that does not seem to play the sounds that you are expecting to hear? Maybe you have GPS app which is supposed to speak to you but is not saying anything.

The solution is pretty easy. If there is no sound coming from your E72, it could be that you have turned off Warning Sounds in your profiles. The low battery sound may have bothered you enough to disconnect the warning tones but the effect is that some applications will not be able to "speak" to you. I had an XS2TheWorld application which I could not get the sound working but once I switched the warning tones back on, everything worked again.

To do this, just go to CONTROL PANEL -> PROFILES -> GENERAL (or whatever you are using) -> PERSONALISE -> WARNING TONES -> ON.

15 July 2010

E72 back from Nokia Care Centre

It's been a little over one week since we reported the death of my Nokia E72 and the subsequent visit to the Nokia Care Centre in Perth, Australia. I have just picked up the E72 mark 2. The staff were very courteous and the cost was nothing because the phone is still under warranty with THREE. They suggested that I do not restore my backup because of possible problems with the inconsistent software versions but I don't think that is something to really worry too much about.

I can say that if you do have a problem with your Nokia phone, it is worth going down to your nearest Nokia care centre and see what they can do. Their SMS alerts made it easy for me to keep track of the phone's progress and as mentioned in the earlier post, I managed to get a new handset after the old one died after a failed firmware update. So what are the first steps of configuring your E72.

Update firmware
After leaving the store, I typed in *#0000# then went to OPTIONS to update the firmware on the phone. The 12mb file was found by the phone from the net and asked if I wanted to download and install it. After a few minutes and the phone restarting a couple of times, the phone's firmware was successfully updated to without a hitch.

Sync Messages, Contacts, Bookmarks, Landmarks, Notes and Calendar Entries
The next thing is to run the "SWITCH" application to transfer all of your data from your old phone or RESTORE a backup using PC suite.

So with that, on with the blog.