Categories
Backdoor HTC Mango Microsoft OrangeUK PowerShell Problem Succeed Uncategorized Windows Mobile WP7

Want #Mango #WP7 now? But your network connection is not immediately adjacent to your desk, or awkward to break. #PowerShell

Mango is now available, and there is a cheat that seems to bypass the “wait until Microsoft/Your Carrier” make it available to you.  Read more here: http://www.wpcentral.com/force-mango-update-early-through-zune-software
However the trick relies on disconnecting your internet connection within a few seconds.  This is fine and dandy if the cable is right by your keyboard, mouse and monitor, but not if it isn’t.
Obviously you can enable/disable the NIC, but Windows 7 (at least here) takes a variable amount of time to perform the disconnect.  Factor in UAC asking you for permission to disconnect then you have a bigger timing problem.
So a quick jump to the internet.  The following lines of code sort it out.
Firstly, start a PowerShell session (ISE or prompt), but with Run as Administrator rights to avoid issues.
Then use the line:
Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_NetworkAdapter | Format-Table Name, NetEnabled, NetConnectionStatus, DeviceId –auto
This lists all your network connections, (extract below)
Name                                       NetEnabled NetConnectionStatus DeviceId
—-                                       ———- ——————- ——–
WAN Miniport (Network Monitor)                                            6      
Intel(R) PRO/1000 MT Server Connection     True       2                   7      
Identify the Device ID for your network connection.  In this case 7.
The following lines of code needs to run once only in your ISE session
$Nic = Get-WmiObject win32_networkadapter -computerName LocalHost -filter \”DeviceId = 7\”
Note that the number 7 at the end will need to be changed for your environment.
Then finally –
$Nic.enable()
or
$Nic.disable()
As you wish to switch your NIC on and off. 
So, having prepped all that, a quick click on linking on the Zune screen below
Followed by a click on UPDATE, and then immediately run the disable command, and Robert’s your mother’s brother.  When you click on the presented choice to download an update – don’t forget to enable your link again.
Note you may need to update teh Zune software, so you\’ll get a bit of this:
 

For a bit.

But then you should see an update offered, something like this.

7403 offered to user
7403 ready to download

Repeat until you have Mango installed

Enjoy!

Categories
3G OrangeUK Uncategorized WiFi

Unlocking a 3 E585 MiFi

Some time ago I got one of these units (http://www.three.co.uk/Devices/Huawei/E585/Black) on a locked monthly contract. Being an Orange customer I really should use my contacted SIM in it, but time and signal coverage was of the essence so…

Finally having been pointed to http://www.unlocked-dongle.co.uk by my Twitter chum @timbo_baggins I bought the software for a few quid,

Installing and running were more interesting. I run 64bit Windows 7 by default, and additionally do not give myself Admin rights on my machine. Lastly I run my network behind a Microsoft Forefront TMG firewall.

Firstly, if you run local user only you have to elevate the install. It then installs under the users profile settings – i.e. c:\\users\\administrator so was inaccessible to me (even the shortcut is on the admins desktop). There\’s no sign of the app under my user id.

So I log on as Admin and running the software works. Owner it cannot see the dongle, upon further investigation (but not in the emailed instructions) I discovered it\’d be good to remove the SIM before trying. Now the dongle could be seen, but… …it cannot contact the home server for unlocked-dongle\’s authorisation process. Mucking about with other options got me nowhere. So, given the sub-optimal setup I decided to decamp to a 32bit machine.

That (under admin login) worked fine, until I tried to contact the server again. At this point TMG came under suspicion. Investigations were inclusive, even with a full \”everything in and out for that IP\” allowed rule – no dice. At which point the help page on the web indicated that firewalls etc were not a good idea.

So finally to Mrs B\’s laptop, albeit 64bit, but I can use the WiFi to the domestic ADSL connection. That worked. Phew. But I still had to load the Orange APN details for the connection.

I now have an unlocked MiFi and (currently) a choice of 2 SIM\’s to use. However it is remarkable how 3 can deliver a 4bar 3G signal here, yet Orange can only deliver a 2bar 2G signal.

Other tips – do change the WiFi password – the default is on the inside of the case, so if you lose the unit someone could switch it on and consume your data very quickly.
You may want to change the unit to 3G preferred from 3G only. Better a 2G signal than nowt.
Lastly, the admin password default is pretty weak, change that too.

There\’s a decent set of options in the setup – worth a good look around just in case, the unit is quite capable really.

Categories
Holkham North Norfolk OrangeUK Uncategorized Winter

It was a cold cold day on the beach!

Today was the last day of our short break in North Norfolk.  After yesterday\’s miserable rainy day (although we did have some fun and shopping!) this morning was a glorious, nearly clear blue sky, day.

We breakfasted and moved out on our way home.  By dint of staying in a Holkham Estate hotel we got a free pass to the Lady Anne Drive car park opposite the Victoria Inn near Holkham Hall (although to be honest with so few people about, we probably would have got away without a ticket!).  Drive down to the parking places we looked to our left and suddenly realised that yesterday\’s 1,000 goose skein appear to have settled to feed on the field adjacent to the drive, along with a few thousand others.  Despite the cold we stopped and wound down the window and listened to the gentle honking of the geese.
Parked, we started to prepare for our near Arctic expedition. Without any apparant reason the geese all took off and moved field.  The sound and sight was simply amazing.  Sadly i had no decent camera with me, but the phone\’s camera had to do, and did a decent job.
Then, we set out across through the pines to the dunes and hit the sand.  The sands and beach were rock solid. The cold weather had completely frozen the beach – but there was a residual amount of sand whistling through the air at a few inches above ground as the cold arctic air flew in from the north.  As we looked we could see a few miniature sand dunes forming and building as per 1978 Geography O Level course notes!  In places they were perfect crescent shapes.

By now we were well out towards the sea (probably over half a mile from the trees) and wer still totally alopne on the beach.  This is a rartity to say the least.  We often come here on Boxing Day or New Year\’s Day and however cold, there is always a large turnout of kite flyers, dog walkers, hungover walkers, recalcitrant children in tow, but this time – we were really on our own.  But with a windchill that was about 15 or more degrees Centrigrade, below, I guess we were the only ones bold enough to brave the weather. 
Eventually reaching the sea I was somewhat disappointed to find there were no indication of ice in the water.  Optimism defeated
As the picture below shows, it was damn cold out there, and despite wrapping up really well, we could do nothing to keep our noses and cheeks from freezing!
Returning having dipped our toes in the water, we saw more of the shifting sands, and returned to the location of our big arrow in the main dune (done to show our way back),  Mrs B was astonished to see that the main line of the arrow (dragged out by our feet) was already filled in with the blown sand – even though we\’d only been out for 10 minutes or more.  At this point I was about to take another photo, when my phone rang.  Now, Orange, how come you can get a phone call to me at least a mile from civilisation and whilst nearly in the North Sea, but you cannot manage to deliver a signal within 1.5 miles of a mast, and in a populated area? 


Finally, returning close to the trees, we marvelled at the crystaline nature of the frozen sea water in the patches of ice in the channels through which the entire marsh area would later be flooded.
Categories
Fail HTC iPAQ OrangeUK Uncategorized Windows Mobile

Windows Mobile 6.5 upgrade #Orange #Fail

Well, what a difference a day makes. Sad to say I have reverted to Windows Mobile 6.1 on my Touch Pro2 phone. Whilst the ability to get a better signal is really good, and the new interface is more colourful there were 2 major fails in the upgrade for me. And then things got more interesting…

So what’s wrong with WinMo6.5 over 6.1

Item 1: WiFi
In 6.1 there is a useful checkbox on the WiFi setup that says “disable wifi after signal is lost”. This is designed to prevent you wasting battery life hunting for signals when you leave the house/office. However in my situation I deliberately leave this unchecked as I work from home, and the WiFi signal drops out briefly between house and the barn, and also in some areas of the house (early 19th Century brick walls attenuate WiFi quite well).


What this meant for me was that I would have to knowingly switch off WiFi on leaving the house (and back on when returning), but it protected me from the signal dropping out and then reverting my phone to GSM data and then potentially going over my data allocation and incurring costs. This could mean £££ to me.


Worse still – when 6.5 loses WiFi, it sometimes drops the icon, and sometimes doesn’t. I also found that the WiFi icon could still be on the taskbar, but in fact WiFi was off, and therefore GSM data was being consumed. This is, quite frankly, unacceptable. There is no excuse for a system that informs you that you are not spending money, when in fact you are.

Item 2: Application status.
My method of using the phone for work is not especially demanding (I think), but of pretty high importance to me.

These days I use RSS feeds and Twitter to get a shedload of data to me, and consumed (or ignored!) without spending too much time on it.


So Working Practice number 1 is to have a Twitter reader (Twikini at first, but now moTweets) open and then either a) jump to referenced URL’s or b) email the tweet to myself or others. As soon as the tweet is dealt with, move on the next and so on. It generates a bit of firehose data for my inbox, but it traps information and enables me to go back to it or search later.


Working Practice number 2 is to use Google Reader (as there is not RSS reader for WinMo that allows me to read across all feeds in date/time order) and likewise email links to me or others, or mark as favourites. Again, as soon as the email is done I like to go back to IE/opera and read the next blog entry

Well, after the upgrade to 6.5 the applications I use no longer retain context and status. In a horrible foreshadowing of Windows Phone 7 Series the applicatations (moTweets, Opera, Twikini) restart when I switch back.


So for Twitter apps – they refresh, and I lose my place
For a browser it goes back to my home page.


This utterly destroys the way I work. The phone became an expensive paperweight almost immediately.

Bear in mind that I\’ve been a adopter of Windows Mobile since the original iPAQ came out, and have stuck with it until (with 6.1 on the Touch Pro2) it acheived a capabilty that was finally good enough, and one I feel i can unabigously evangelise.  So to want to revert, or have a paperweight phone was not something i felt good about.

Then it got interesting.


Orange Fail
En route to my parents for the Rugby matches yesterday I rang orange business support and after some umming and erring, and a discussion with senior tech support I was called back within the hour (good!), to say – yes this was by design.

So I asked to revert to 6.1, could they send me the URL to the correct ROM and therefore I’d put the time in.

At this point Orange said that they could not do this – because of licencing with Microsoft, HTC and Orange were “not allowed” to provide the means to go back in operating system levels. Indeed Orange say that if you send in a 6.1 phone to them, they will upgrade it to 6.5 for you before shipping back – appaling news to hear. They also said that there were no legitimate means to do this, and although I could use XDA developers or similar, I would lose support.


I fumed.


Then I got to my parents and got on the net. Looking here I found that what might be Touch Pro2 Orange Windows Mobile 6.1 ROM (it’s the Orange_UK file dated 2009-09-28). I downloaded it before it could be removed (!) and applied it to the phone. To my delight no warning about downgrading the phone was shown, and after a couple of reboots my 6.1 phone was back.
The extra bonus for me is that I have a fairly recent email from Orange Support that says for the Touch Pro2, any file from HTC is supported – so if I have a problem I can qute that and have Orange continue to support my phone


Albeit after that I needed to connect to Exchange and My Phone to get most of my data back, and then re-install applications.

But – I can work as before; and I have acheived something Orange said could not be done. 

My thanks to HTC for keeping the ROM builds up there


Categories
HTC OrangeUK Uncategorized Windows Mobile

First thoughts on Windows Mobile 6.5 upgrade (HTC Touch Pro2 – OrangeUK)

Well, I bit the bullet yesterday.  For some time I\’ve been hovering over the decision to upgrade the Touch Pro 2 to 6.5, and as it was now clearly on Orange\’s website I decided (given I was not OOF for a bit) to have a go.

Firstly – backups.

  • I have a fully encrypted phone, so I connected in high speed disk mode and copied off the 8GB SD card
  • then the contents of My Documents
  • all photos and videos that I\’d not already moved
  • Synced the phone so that calendar, email, contacts, and most importantly OneNote Mobile documents are safe
  • Finally a quick sync to Microsoft\’s MyPhone service to protect texts, IE Favourites, any remaining photos/videos and so on

The download is 166MB and the link Orange give you takes you directly to the HTC site, so that is cause for comfort. Once downloaded, my 64bit Windows 7 machine decided that it could not properly see the phone during the upgrade process and barfed.
[Updated: Actually a link to the Orange page might be useful here 🙂 Orange HTC Page]

So moving over to the trusty 2004 vintage XP laptop, I re-ran the setup.  It was quick and easy – about the promised 10 minutes or so.  And then the reboot.

All came up well, and first impressions:

  • well the extra colour is nice, but doesn\’t really do anything for me
  • The program and settings list are more fat finger friendly
  • initial sync to the Exchange Server seemed to take an absolute age and was disappointingly slow.  I left it overnight in the end.
  • restore from MyPhone was great!
  • the lock function, takes more actinos, but looks better locked, and unlocks are more fat-finger friendly.
  • my encrypted SD card just worked – I guess the encryption is handset specific and not OS specific.  That\’s good
  • Re-installing apps is a bit of a bind, but it\’s a good exercise to make sure you have all source available to you

The most amazing thing though – i get 1 or 2 more bars of signal strength.  Where I live and work the Orange signal fades out, just as it gets to the building walls.  This time, at home in the evening, i was seeing 3 or even 4 bars of signal strength.  Today, in the office, I see 3 instead of 1.  That alone makes it worth it.

The downside – finding things.  I suppose I\’ll get used to the interface, but changing WiFi network seems to be many more clicks than before.

Categories
OrangeUK Uncategorized

Why I think I\’ll be leaving Orange UK as soon as I can

A few years ago Orange signal strength in the house and office was 4 bars or more. Over the years as they \”upgrade\” the network this has degraded. Now most of the time I have no signal or 1 bar and the phone becomes useless indoors.

We\’ve been through all the technical testing, forcing it to particular signal types, and attempting forcing onto a different radio mast but to no avail.

Orange\’s conclusion was that the aerials might have been \”nudged\” during engineering work, but as I live in a relatively sparsely populated rural area and there were no other customers with issues they would do nothing.

Now today I\’ve had a surprise – despite promising me Windows Mobile 6.5 for my phone (the excellent HTC Touch Pro2) in November/December, and then delaying it to this month, I\’ve had an email from them stating that the upgrade will no longer be made available to customers. Even though HTC have an upgrade on their site for Orange that is being used by Orange elsewhere in the EU. If I use it and brick my phone, then I will have no technical support and have to pay to replace it.

This is NOT good customer service.  Interestingly, in their emails to business customers the state their ambition is \”provide you with a brilliant service\”.

We\’ll, I\’m not seeing it; so as soon as my contract expires, I\’m off.