Netgear SC101, Round 2

Staples gladly exchanged the faulty SC101, and re-installation was a breeze.  I uninstalled the previous version of the config software, connected the hard drives to the new toaster, plugged it in, reinstalled the config software, and I was off to the races again.  There was no need to repartition the drives, and the data was all intact.  The config tool recognized the old partitions, and the new device actually seems a little faster.  A nuisance, but Netgear and Staples both made the whole process a lot easier.

Steelers Ringtones for Treo 700w

You can download many of the famous Steeler fight songs as MP3s or WMAs from  The Treo 700w can use WMA format for ringtones, so any MP3s will need to be converted first (see below).  Some the the songs are right-click-and-save-as, some you need to un-zip afrer you download. 

You can download the “Puhlahmahlu” song as an MP3 from (scroll down—link under the letter).  Since this is a full-length song, you should probably edit it down to your favorite parts before turning the whole thing into a ringtone.  You really only need 30 seconds of a ringtone, since your voicemail will pick up after that.

To convert MP3s to WMAs, and edit the songs as needed, I use the free .  This is extrememly easy to use, and I think I’ll be creating ringtone monsters by pointing this out.

To get the ringtones on your Treo, you can copy them to an SD card, or put them in your file sync folder and sync your device (advanced users can navigate directly to the Rings directory on their device).  Then, navigate to the files using the File Explorer, tap and hold on the song, and choose “set as ringtone” from the pop-up menu.  This will copy the song to the ringtones directory.

Then, go to Start >> Settings >> Phone, and click the “set ringtones” link.  On the tones screen, choose the Phone event (known caller, unknown caller, etc) and then select the ringtone.

If you want to really go crazy, you can set different ringtones for each person in your contacts.  Once you get your tones in the Rings directory, open up your contacts, and find the person you want to set the ringtone for.  Scroll down in their contact entry, and you’ll see a “Ringtone” entry partway down the contact information (just under where you enter the mobile phone number).  This is a dropdown list containing everything in your Rings directory.

Just remember to turn of those phones when you’re in a movie, restaurant or at the symphony.  Please!

For more information on creating rongtones for your Treo 700w, visit

<update 2006–02–03>

If you don’t have a Treo 700w, no big deal.  Any SmartPhone or will work like this.  If you have a normal cellphone, you can probably still make your own ringtones.  All you need is a USB data cable to connect your phone to your computer (these are often available at the store where you got your phone, and almost always available online, just Google for the model of phone you have and you’ll find one), and the freeware BitPim to transfer the song to your phone.  There is a list of phones you can use with BitPim at, and links to cables for the phones.  Make sure the data cable includes the USB drivers for your phone.  Use Audacity to cut out about a 30 second chunk of your favorite song, connect your phone to your computer using the data cable, and transfer the song chunk using BitPim.  BitPim will automatically put the ringtone into the proper folder, all you have to do is choose it.  I used to do this with my old LG-VX4500 and it worked like a charm.  Most phones can use MP3 or MID files as their ringtones, but if you’re having problems, just Google for your phone type and you should find some additional information.

On The Phone With Netgear Support

I was upgrading the firmware on my SC101 (with the caveat “Do not interrupt upgrade process”) when we had a brief brown-out (35+ MPH wind gusts all day long).  The upgrade has run for about 45 minutes by this time, a length of time that was already making me nervous.  Once everything came back on-line, I could no longer connect to the SC101.  Bad news, since I had a lot of photographs as well as my iTunes library on there.

I submitted an on-line incident to Netgear Tech Support at 5:54 PM their time (1:54 PM my time), and had a response at 11:52 PM their time.  6 hours is a great response time, but the instructions were to call Netgear Tech Support to diagnose a hardware issue, or get an RMA.

After about 10 min on the phone, I was told to take the device back to Staples (since it’s still under the 30–day warranty there).  If Staples won’t exchange it, I can send it back to Netgear for a replacement.

Not quite the outcome I was hoping for (I was hoping to fix it today), but overall not a bad experience.  While I’m at Staples, I’m going to invest in a small UPS backup.

.NET Powering Web 2.0 Apps

I found two new ‘moblog’ apps for my new Treo 700w, both powered by .NET: and .  Each app allows you to post photos from your cameraphone to an account on the respective app’s site.  Both apps are available for a number of devices, and each app’s site is developed in .NET.  Picoblogger looks a lot like Community Server, SplashBlog uses a different but simple interface.

SplashBlog can post to Blogger or TypePad; Picoblogger claims it can post to any blog service that uses the Blogger API (such as dasBlog), but I couldn’t find the configuration on the server, and the client app crashed when I tried to use it.

Not to get into a comparison of the two here, but I think it’s pretty cool that .NET is powering two new Web 2.0 apps.

Treo 650 vs Treo 700w Camera Resolution

One of the big ironies of the Treo 650 vs. Treo 700w decision is that the Treo 700w has a higher resolution camera (1.3 MP vs. 0.3 MP), but a lower resolution screen on which to view the captured photos.

Bob and I pulled out the gadgets again, shooting almost identical images of a classic work of art (almost identical because it’s difficult for us to pull out the gadgets without exposing ourselves to considerable harassment).  On the left is a shot with my Treo 700w; on the right with Bob’s Treo 650.  The color separation on the 650 is a little stronger than on the 700w (which looks a little washed out), but the image from the 700w is a little crisper and considerably larger.  You can almost read where the fries are from in the photo taken by my 700w.  Clicking on the thumbnails will open the unmodified original images for comparison.

This one’s a toss-up.  Color processing is better on the 650, but image resolution is better on the 700w.

Photo with Treo 700wTreo 650 Image


Now playing: The BabysBack on My Feet Again

Blogfest 5 With Robert Scoble

So I got stuck in this nasty traffic jam on my way to Blogfest 5, and I was thiking that Scoble was far more popular than I had thought.  Turns out it was traffic for a Steelers pep rally and a taping of the Jerome Bettis show.

Milke saw to every last detail–completely overcast and rainy day, just like Seattle (although the snow flurries may have been a little too much), and a cake that glowed like it was powered by Homer Simpson’s nuclear fuel rods.  True to Maryam’s word, Robert showed off his new Cingular phone (running WM 5.0) and the awesome pocket-sized OQO Tablet PC.

I posted a photo gallery with a few shots (taken with my Treo 700w) at  Unfortunately, I forgot my good camera, and had to make do in dark bar lighting.  These photos have been a little retouched out of necessity.

Blogging From Treo 700w

Off to the Scoble-fest here in Pittsburgh tonight in a few, but I’m testing Opera 8.5. Hat tip to Stefano Paschal, Opera is less CSS compliant than Pocket IE, but the dasBlog admin interface does operate using Opera (albeit a little limited).

SharePoint or DotNetNuke?

In Mindsharp’s
SharePoint Discussions group
, the following question was posted:

Does anyone have experience
with both SharePoint and DotNetNuke to the point where they could comment on
the benefits of each are compared to the other?  Is there a type of
installation where you might use one vs. the other?

Here’s the answer I posted in the group:

SP and DNN are very different beasts which offer some similar
functionalities.  I’m using SP as a generic term for either WSS or SPS,
which is a different decision.  DNN is really an easy website creation
tool, while SP was designed to be an information repository and collaboration
tool in a corporate environment.  The best way to summarize might be
“Extranet vs. Intranet”.  My thinking is Extranet=DNN, Intranet=SP. 
DNN is designed to be used and maintained by persons with little IT
experience.  SP is one of those things that will require having a decent IT
person around.

First question would be whether or not you need tight integration with
Office.  If so, then hands down your only choice is SP.  Another
feature that DNN is lacking is a document library with version control, although
one may appear down the road.  SP offers full-text indexing of the
documents you store in it, and so you can search inside the documents in its
libraries.  DNN doesn’t offer this.  SP stores its documents very
securely in the SQL database; DNN stores them as files, which means if someone
knows the right path, the site’s security could be bypassed and the documents
downloaded directly.

If you don’t need the tight Office integration, DNN is a very valid choice
for a website.  A good use would be for a school’s website.  DNN
supports multiple child portals, just as SP does, and you can distribute
administration, just as with SP.  The school could have its main portal,
and each department or club could have its own child portal, each with their own
radically different looks.  True, you could pull off the school’s website
with SP, but it wouldn’t be so flexible, and you would put in a lot more effort
to make it work.

Another consideration is what type of authentication you need to use. 
WSS was designed to integrate with Active Directory, DNN was designed to work
with anonymous users and Forms Authentication.  There are ways to make DNN
work with AD, and WSS work with anonymous users, but anytime you make a change
as significant as authentication scheme, you introduce adminsitrative
overhead.  One point of using these tools is to simplyify your life, not
create extra work.

Cost might also be a consideration.  True, if you have Windows 2K3, then
WSS is essentially free; DNN is entirely free.  There are a lot of good web
parts available for free and cheap for WSS, but many are very expensive. 
DNN can also be extended with inexpensive or free modules, and even the ones you
have to pay for are still pretty cheap.

One main difference I see is the amount of different things you can do with
DNN.  DNN can also serve as an e-commerce platform, or host robust photo
galleries (rather than the “list of photos” in SP).  There are some nice
calendar modules for DNN that not only list events, but allow registrations and
can accept payment for them.  In this case, it might seem like SP is
lacking in some functionality, but SP was never designed to do these
things–these are functions of a website, not a collaboration tool.

Skinning is a bazillion times easier with DNN.  The DNN core team did a
great job with its skinning engine, and there are lots of skins available for
free or cheap.  Changing the look of a single page, or entire portal is
done with a simple package upload and a few mouse clicks.  With enough
work, you can do some really nice skinning on SP (both SPS and WSS), but it
takes some work.  I’ve done both, and DNN is by far easier and more
powerful (mainly due to DNN’s simplicity–features which are hidden or difficult
really aren’t features at all).

DNN runs very well in a shared hosting environment; SP, not so much. 
Although DNN only ships with SQL Server provider, if you’re handy enough, you
would write one for MySQL, or Vista, etc.  You don’t have that option with
SP–it’s SQL Server only.

<update 2006-02-01>

If you didn’t come here from there, Bil Simser has a much more detailed post
Bil also includes some of the features of SharePoint ‘v-Next’ (currently due to
be released at the end of this year), and better breakdown of the OOTB



First Treo 700w Bugs

The first “bug” I’ve found is actually on Page 2 of the manual.  If this were a coing, it would be a serious collector’s item.  Any takers on a manual?

Second bug is when using Mobile MSN Messenger.  If you type your password in wrong, the error message comes back that the server is not responding.  I’m not sure if that’s a true bug, or just a crappy error message.  The server seems to respond just fine when you enter your password correctly.

Third bug is when changing your ringtones to an audio file stored outside of the Rings folder.  The 700w can use WAV files as ringtones, and you can set the ringtone by tapping and holding on the file name in File Explorer, then choosing “Set as ringtone” from the menu.  You get a message back that the file has been copied to the Rings folder and has been set as the ringtone.  The file does get copied to the Rings folder, but isn’t set as the ringtone, despite whayt the little message says.  You need to set the ringtone manually.

Now playing: The CallLet the Day Begin

Treo 700w vs. 650 Resolution and Download Speed

My coworker Bob has a Treo 650, which has a 320 x 320 screen.  The Treo 700w has a 240 x 240 screen.  When we compared them side-by-side, images were markedly better on the 650 thanon the 700.  In some cases, the images were pretty close.  However, in images that contained wording (like on the front page of MSN), the words were crisp and readable on the 650, and unreadable blobs of white on my 700w.  Not even a comparison–his 650 won hands down.

However, the 700w supports Verizon’s EV-DO network, and the 650 doesn’t.  My 700w smoked his 650 when downloading web content.  Not even close.  My connection speed was clocked at 445 kbps in a bandwidth test.

Below is a side-by-side comparison of the Treo 700w (left) and the Treo 650 (right) viewing the same image on the MSN homepage.  You’ll see the words are clearly readable on the 650, but almost unintelligable on the 700w.  Click the image for a larger view.


Now playing: SugarlandSomething More