Monday, February 26, 2007

Cingular 8125 firmware upgrade

I purchased a Cingular 8125 back a while ago, months and months ago.  This is a phone running Windows Mobile 5 which along with other things is supposed to receive email from an Exchange Server.  Basically you can view your Exchange Server info from your phone.  This includes your Calendar and Contacts as well.  So even though I don't yet have an Exchange Server for my email I thought I would give it a try because I have customers with it so I can test on my account at their server.  I configured the whole thing on the phone and when I tried to Sync (using ActiveSync on the phone) I got error messages about certificates and other such things.  I tried every configuration change possible and never did get connected.  I gave up and figured I would revisit at some point.  I thought eventually somebody will write the correct tech note about the issue and I will find out what I need. 

So just recently I had a customer purchase the 8525 the latest and greatest phone from Cingular.  They want to be able to do this and they looked it up on Cingular's website and forwarded me a website with information.  Unfortunately the website didn't have anything to do with the 8525 but it did say something about my 8125.  It appears that there was a new Firmware Upgrade that fixes the problem.

On Saturday I downloaded the new Firmware and installed it on my phone.  It changed a few things and I also had a temporary problem with my SIM Card.  It would say it wasn't working.  I reboot and tried a few things but it still had the same problem.  So I removed the SIM Card and put it back in and I haven't had any more problem.  The best part is I was also able to connect to an Exchange Server.  Very cool.  This phone also has WiFi capability but I was never able to connect to my WiFi at home.  Actually that's not completely true it would appear to connect but I couldn't browse with the connection.  I could however connect at Panera Bread Company (they have free WiFi).  So I always figured it was something I had to change on my system.  Well now the WiFi works perfectly as well as the Exchange Server. 

Another thing that happened to the good was that Messenger would work before but would disconnect after a while.  With the new firmware upgrade I stayed connected for over 24 hours.

So there you go my phone now works as I always hoped it would and all I needed was an upgrade.  I don't know if I'm just imagining things but it also seems like my Internet connection is running faster on the phone than it did before.  An upgrade and I'm off and running.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Sell Your Ideas with PowerPoint Presentations

I just read this blog about Powerpoint presentations.  I have tried to use them before but have to admit I probably didn't capture anybody's attention with them.  I am going to put in a little more effort next time and apply some of what is said in this link.  I enjoyed it and I know I'm just passing on somebody else's words but I hope you enjoy them. 

Link to Seth's Blog: Really Bad Powerpoint

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Just the Fax

The office is changing even still.  I remember when pretty much all the typewriters in offices went away.  I don't know where they went but they were just gone.  Usually however you would still find one typewriter in the closet or on a desk where nobody sits.  The justification was that you sometimes needed to fill out a form or address an envelope and that was the easiest way to do it.  I have to admit I don't sit in peoples offices that much any more but I don't remember when was the last time I noticed a typewriter.  Maybe they are still there but I just don't notice.  But this post is about Fax...or the title wouldn't make much sense.

I have been doing some research for a customer on a fax solution for their company.  Fax is to me a lot like the typewriter I mention above.  It is a technology for which there is limited use any more.  That said there are still a couple of things for which fax works well.  My customer is one of those who still needs the capability of fax to do a little more than just send a fax every other week or so.  They regularly receive faxes from customers that request information.  This customer currently uses a computer with WinFax installed on it.  In my research I couldn't even find if WinFax was still being produced.  Doing a search on the Symantec website came up only with information about 4 years old (not a good sign).

I have for quite a while now used an eFax number for my own company needs.  Basically in case somebody needs to send me a fax they can send it to the number I have on my website and the fax will come into my Outlook Inbox.  I don't pay for the service so I can't send a Fax using this service.  My customer however needs a lot more capability.  They need to send and receive.  They also wish for a log of all faxes.  Well there are personal eFax solutions which are great and could possibly work however there is a eFax Corporate solution which I think will do much better.  You don't have to install any hardware and you don't even have to install any software.  I like that because that means nothing to create incompatibility with the workstations.  It's all web based.  The Fax can come into your email and you can set up more than one person apparently.  It only costs a little each month but remember you don't even have to have a phone line installed which for a business line can add up.  The only downside I have found so far is that apparently they won't be able to use the Fax Number they currently have.  It will require a new number, I'm not sure if that will cause a problem.  This solution would keep the data of all their faxes for 2 years online and the other nice thing is eFax has been around for years.  I've probably had my number for at least 5 years and maybe more, I don't remember. 

Here is a link to the eFax Corporate website.

Link to eFax Corporate - Secure Fax Solutions, Business Fax Numbers

eFax has other alternatives as well and actually for this customer I believe I would suggest eFax Pro (Link to eFax Pro) it will give all the capability they need.  We will have to install some software to use it well but that is probably a small price to pay to get away from the solution they currently have which is becoming ancient and maybe going the way of the typewriter.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Windows XP Registry Failure during load of mup.sys

So a few days ago I had a problem with my own personal laptop.  This laptop is only a couple of months old.  I had an email with a large attachment (3Mb) that would not go out.  I tried a few things an figured I probably should reboot.  I did my reboot and as Windows XP (Service Pack 2) began to come up I noticed it seemed to take a long time then all the sudden I got the "blue screen of death".  It was terrible.  So I tried a few things, such as restore last known good configuration.  I tried to boot in safe mode which is where I noticed that the last file showing was mup.sys.  I read a number of tech docs that said mup.sys probably has nothing to do with it, if you disabled it then the next file would lock.  GREAT.  So I booted up the CMOS which is the basic configuration telling your computer what features it has and they had a hard drive scan available.  I ran the scan and it failed.  I said, "oh boy that can't be good".  The blue screen message kept going buy pretty quickly and I couldn't seem to pause on the screen so I could read it in detail but basically it told me I had a registry failure it couldn't load the HIVE and something about the System root/system32/config/software being the problem.  So I thought well maybe the drive had a failure on the sector that this file of the registry was in.  BIG BUMMER!  But I stayed patient and kept looking for tech notes.  I found an article on Microsoft's site Article ID: 307545 (formerly Q307545).  I read it and it sounded like it was definitely worth trying.  I'll spare you the details because if you really want to read it you can go find it on their site.  You use the repair capability copy new registry files and copy some more and then again...and the good news is it FIXED the problem.  I followed all the instructions except that of course the SOFTWARE file of the registry was damaged so I couldn't rename it to a .bak file as they suggested.  I skipped that one file but luckily it would delete and I was able to follow all the other instructions just fine.  It is so cool to have my computer back and not have to rebuild the whole thing.  Sometimes if you can afford it, it pays to be patient.