Tethering wireless with your Blackberry (9700) and your Mac OSX device

Before you say you can use the Blackberry Desktop software for wireless tethering that function is only for Windows. But if you want to connect to the internet and you don’t have WIFI in the neighborhood (or you just don’t want to use that) please do read further for instructions.

PS. if you have a “new” Blackberry device which is capable of running OS 7.1 you can probably use the “Hotspot” function after having the latest settings and updates from your provider.

I have tested this with my old Blackberry Bold 9700 and tested it on my Macbook Pro (mid-2009) on Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Lion.

Requirements:

  • A Blackberry device with Bluetooth (with of course internet access)
  • A Mac(book) (Pro) with Bluetooth with the “Blackberry Desktop software for Mac” installed
  • APN and login credentials from your current provider these can be found using by contacting their servicedesk or Google!

Notice!: You need “Blackberry Desktop for Mac” installed on your Mac to tether with your Blackberry device.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any fees or charges or damage whatsoever if you choose to follow these next steps!

1. Go to “System Preferences” and “Bluetooth”
2. Pair your Blackberry device with your Mac via Bluetooth and allow it to be a trusted device.
You can do this by pressing the + button on the bottom of the window and following the instructions on the screen.
3. Go Back to “System Preferences” and go to “Network”
4. Add a new network connection to your current connections as follow:
Press the + button on the bottom of the left pane with your current connections.
Choose the “Bluetooth DUN” option
Fill in the Username and the password which you have collected at your provider or Google.
Press “Advanced” in the right pane and make sure Modem is highlighted. Choose “Research In Motion” as the Manufacturer and “Blackberry IP Modem (GSM)” as the model.
Fill in the APN address which you can find at your provider or Google. Note: if needed you can fill the DNS addresses and other panes. But these settings are provider dependent.
Press “OK” to apply the new settings.
5. Make sure your “Bluetooth DUN” connection is highlighted , that the credentials are correct and press “Connect” (or “Verbind” based on the illustrations).

 

When all the settings are correct you should have a working internet connection. Have fun but do keep in mind that your provider can charge you extra for tethering with your phone.

 

 

Review: HTC 8S, after a couple weeks of use

After using the HTC for a couple of weeks I have to say that I am pretty fond of the phone and WP8. Almost all the apps, I have learn to love on the Blackberry and iOS are available for WP8. The social integration I find it can be quite a burden. Standard it will post to all your accounts in one click but if you keep that in mind you can uncheck those accounts while you are making your update. I bought this phone based on the specs and how it felt in the shop and to be honest the HTC haven’t let me down.

This phone is my current daily phone so I based my findings on my current usage.

The non-native apps which I am currently using are:

  • Whatsapp (messaging tool)
  • Skype (VOIP messaging tool)
  • Evernote (Note organising)
  • 9Gag (Just for a laugh)
  • Facebook (Social media)
  • Parkmobile (Easy parking tool to pay-as-you-stay while not going to a parking meter)
  • Purple Cherry GBC (Gameboy emulator)
  • Shazam (Look up songs that are currently playing on the radio)
  • Skydrive (Look into the data on Skydrive)
  • Trein (Public transport guide)
  • Uitzending Gemist (Watch missed episodes)
  • VCE Mobile (Exam practise tool)
  • NU (News)
  • Angry Birds (Game)
  • AE Jewels (Game)

Some of these apps are also available for Windows Phone 7.5 and 7.8.

I hope you’ll find some use in my findings 🙂

 

Calling and messaging

Call quality is fine, nothing to mention there. The only thing which I find quite troublesome is when you receive a call there is a slight delay (a couple of milliseconds) between unlocking the screen and answering the call. Also don’t answer Skype calls, it takes way too long (around 10 seconds) for them to get actually answered. To be more specific this is the time between you answer the Skype call and that Skype is started/resumed.

I love typing on this phone (it’s not the keyboard from a BB but it is till pretty nice!) as mentioned in media, because the screen is wider and larger then for example the iPhone 4, you get bigger keyboard buttons as well (in portrait mode as in landscape mode) which makes typing just a lot nicer on a touchscreen.
Battery life

I am A BIG fan of the battery of this phone. I was able to get 2 days of usage on a charge, after a train journey on which I was using the phone to connect to the internet with my trusty old iPad 1st gen. Listening to some music, updating my statusses, messaging, browsing and some old fashion phone calls, the battery died somewhere in the night of the THIRD day. The combination between WP8 and HTC is a good one. I haven’t made use of location services a lot during this period.

 

Apps

As mentioned earlier in this post. Almost all the popular apps are available. There is one minor detail though. Most of these apps are still a work in progress and do have some small problems for example making the best use of your mobile data connection (Park mobile and Facebook) or just look up a person from your contactlist ( Facebook again). I think that the most of these problems are just showing up at the moment because of the short period WP8 is available and the incompatibility with Wp 7.5 (please correct me if I am wrong on that one).
Also something I found out of the native calendar app, there is no possibility to add a timezone on to the event, for a Microsoft product I find this a big flaw…

You cannot log out of Skype and you will get notifications if you want them or not when you are having a (video)chat on your regular/other client and there is no PDF client on the phone. Because Windows 8 has the Windows Reader I assumed this would be taken through their whole product line.

I know that the apps will be updated in the future (or at least I hope) and the flaws will be taken out. But some of these are just overall annoying while you are using the phone and just adds up to the opinion you’ll create towards the phone/platform.

 

Music and media

The screen is just awesome, coming from a Blackberry Bold 9790 it is nice to have a big screen. Also have I mentioned that the screen is wider then your average other phone so the keys on the on-screen keyboard are bigger.

Back to media. I watched a couple of series on my way to Edinburgh from Amsterdam. The screen quality is bright enough for your whatever you use your phone for. I know it isn’t an IPS screen but you can still see a lot in various angles. The HTC is able to play most of my videos. The only problem I found while watching movies is that browsing through a movie is pretty difficult because the scrollbar is just too small for accurate browsing.

Listening music on the phone is quite average. I am using the phone with my beats by Dre earbuds, I am happy that I can use the same gestures to play music (click once for play/pause, twice for next song en triple for previous). too bad that the volume rocker doesn’t work though, if anyone knows a workaround I would love to know how to fix this :). The quality is good, the Beats Audio function gives it a nice overall boos for the people who still remembers the “Mega Bass” function on their old Sony walkman, it is a bit like that.

Browsing for music is a bit of a challenge on the htc 8s. The music which I have stored on my SD-Card is been picked up by the media player and it plays it fine, but when you want to make playlists on-the-fly it will copy those to the internal memory which is just asking for trouble with the 4GB internal memory.

 

Camera

Well the camera is just very nice, I find the low light photo’s not bad at all. The autofocus works like you would expect from it. The possibility to add extra lenses to the standard camera app is a nice addition. There aren’t a lot of lenses at the moment, but I think there will be more to expect in the near future.

Edinburgh Castle
Twente, Netherlands

 

Syncing

This is an interesting one, because I am using it with a Mac (Macbook Pro mid-2009, OS X Lion) I have to install the Windows Phone app. The overall look and feel of the app is just simple, it can do enough (syncing contact, Playlists from you iTunes library, browse the SD card). Anyone who has used the Blackberry Desktop tool for Mac will feel familiar with Windows Phone app. Too bad I was only able to sync some playlists and not al the playlists I wanted to be synced.

I would have liked if you could natively just browse the internal SD-Card reader when connected to the Mac. I have noticed that it is a bit easier on Windows 7, but yeah I am using a Mac at this moment.

 

Pro’s

  • Battery life
  • Pay with PayPal in the Microsoft Store
  • Nice screen size
  • Nice integration of al social media platforms and e-mail accounts
  • Fits nicely in your hand

Con’s

  • Non removable battery
  • There are a lot of “Beta” apps (Facebook, Skype, Whatsapp, etc)
  • 4GB internal memory and no possibility to move programs to your SD card.

 

My overall opinion

I love the phone, am still using it happily. I don’t resent that I have bought the HTC 8S as my primary phone. The only problem/option I really wish that would be fixed fast, is the possibility to move apps to the SD-Card. I am running on my last 100 MB….

 

How To Wipe The BlackBerry® Clean

 

To erase all the data on your BlackBerry device, complete the following steps.

  1. Go to Options.
  2. Select Security Options.
  3. Select General Settings.
  4. Click the Menu key.
  5. Select Wipe Handheld.
  6. Click Continue.
  7. Type “blackberry”. All the data on the BlackBerry device is erased.

Once it is wiped, hard-reset the handheld you can perform BlackBerry Wireless Activation again or restore your Blackberry from a previous backup which you have made with the Blackberry Desktop software. If you are using your phone with an BES(X) server you will still need todo a new activation after restoring your Blackberry with the Blackberry Desktop tool

 

 

 

BlackBerry is a registered trademark of Research In Motion Limited.

A quick look at the HTC 8S

After having a lot of trouble with my Blackberry 9790 due to technical (read: Apparently I bought a grey market phone, which imei number was blacklisted) problems I switched to the HTC S8.

At the local Starbucks I had some room to setup this little companion and to be honest it went quite smooth:
-Insert microSIM
-Turn the phone on
-Wait for a while (Microsoft!, why no statusbar 🙁 please read your design 101s for Appdesign)
-Type in your Live/Microsoft account
-Wait again (Again no statusbar, please do note that I can be very impatient on some moments)
-Done!

E-mail, contacts, LinkedIn and Twitter were all on my phone, and it scared me SH*TLESS. I totally forgot that I connected my social accounts when I was using a trial version of Windows 8. To be honest the 1 account-to-rule-them-all is pretty easy to have, but for all the security- and privacy-minded type of people be aware of ANY account (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc) you are going to ADD on your phone and if you want them to be automaticaly connected to your Live/Microsoft account)

After a half day of use the following things caught my eye:
+ My “Tour” Beats by Dre earbuds work! at least the play/pause button, have seen a lot of phones which doesn’t accept the input of the remote at all.
+ There is nothing easier then the live tile setup, I just love the overal view
+ You can connect multiple Microsoft accounts (I have set it up with a Hotmail and Office 365 account)

– 1.4 GB of FREE space left on a brand new phone! (to be honest it is a budget phone, but 1.4 GB free out of 4 GB seems a little bit out of order)
– No week scope/view in the calendar!
– The colorschemes at which the phones are available are provider specific (was looking for the Grey-Yellow, couldn’t find it anywhere 🙁 )

I am using this phone as my main phone at the moment, and will give you my thoughts about this phone in about a week.

Photo: My HTC 8S next to my “old” Blackberry Bold 9790

Meerdere RSS feeds weergeven met WordPress

RSS feeds zijn, ondanks al het social media geweld, nog steeds niet weg te denken. Wie RSS feeds volgt gebruikt waarschijnlijk een apart programma of plugin voor een browser om de feeds bij te houden. Maar wat als je deze feeds op een WordPress site wilt tonen? Hoe dat moet, leg ik in dit artikel uit.

Wat wil je doen met RSS?

Voordat je aan de slag gaat, is het belangrijk eerste te weten wat je precies wil. Wil je maar één RSS feed op je WordPress website weergeven, gebruik dan de standaad RSS widget. Hierin kan je een RSS feed opgeven welke weergegeven zal worden in een zijbalk of widgetruimte op je website.

Wil je meerdere RSS feeds weergeven als één stroom berichten of combinaties hiervan, dan is de plugin Syndicate Press aan te raden. Deze plugin geeft je de mogelijkheid meerdere RSS feeds op te geven en deze in de content of als widget weer te geven door middel van shortcodes.

Syndicate Press

Na installatie en activatie van Syndicate Press, gaan we naar de instellingen van deze plugin. Die zijn te vinden onder Instellingen → Syndicate Press. Je ziet nu de laatste nieuwsberichten van de maker van de plugin. We gaan nu een paar feeds toevoegen. Open het tabblad “RSS Feeds”. Hier vul je de RSS feeds in die je wil samenvoegen. Je kan de feeds op twee manieren toevoegen:

  1. Zonder naam, bijvoorbeeld www.example.com/feed: www.example.com/feed
  2. Met naam, bijvoorbeeld www.example.com/feed2: naam|www.example.com/feed2

Nadat je de feeds hebt ingevoerd, kan je deze feeds gaan gebruiken in je content of in een widget. Dit kan door middel van shortcodes, waarvan je een lijstje vindt onder het tabje “Help”.  De naam die je in de tweede optie hebt gebruikt kan je in een shortcode gebruiken om bijvoorbeeld niet alle, maar een paar van de RSS feeds te laten zien. Als je de RSS feeds in een widget wilt tonen, gebruik dan de Tekst widget in combinatie met een shortcode.

Er zijn nog een aantal opties die je kunt instellen om de uitvoer te veranderen, de cache in te stellen (aanrader!) en HTML aan te passen. Speel er even mee totdat je het gewenste resultaat hebt.