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4 September 2010

HTC Touch Diamond, ROM upgrade and Windows 7

HTC Touch Diamond

Thanks to a friend (Céline, you are amazing), I have now a Windows Mobile 6.1 phone: the HTC Touch Diamond.

I know it is a bit old-fashioned with WM7 getting out soon, but I am not a .Net/Silverlight guy...

Hands on the device

The HTC device is quite classy on the outside as you can see. HTC Touch Diamond

Reset and Start-up wizard

First things first, I had reset all the data and reformat the drive, which was simple to find.

Then, the wizard for new installation pops-up, it is quite OK to use, and straight-forward. My memories tells me it was much worse at the time of WM5.

The first start is quite long, but not impossible to bear.

TouchFlo 3D

But at the second start, there is a horrible TouchFLO 3D SFR/Vodafone screens that opens. It is slow, badly designed, and doesn't even remove the start button...

Oh poor me... After finally removing this mess (Settings->Today screen, then go under the items tab and uncheck the TouchFLO 3D box), all is back to normal.

Update ROM

The ROM on the machine was quite old, early 2008, I believe, so, I thought it would be a good idea to update it.

Going to the HTC support website was a great experience. I found the new ROM in a minute or two (1.97.163.4 instead of 1.37.xxx).

Downloading the ROM

Downloading the ROM was a bit more difficult, because it required my phone S/N to allow me to take only the "Vodafone FR" version. Which I don't want...

It proved impossible to download the normal version, without the Vodafone crap on it.

The download took 102MB. I believe this is a big too much for just a ROM, but not that much either, compared to the iPhones updates.

And, of course, the update didn't want to run, because it couldn't find my phone. The connection was not OK.

Connection to PC

I need to correctly link my phone to my computer, running Windows 7. Some red cross tells me it couldn't install the driver...

Downloading WMDC is a mess

My phone tells me to use ActiveSync, but it doesn't exist for Windows 7. After a bit of searching, I find that this has been renamed to Windows Mobile Device Center. And of course, the MicroSoft ActiveSync website doesn't link correctly to this new WMDC... How are normal people suppose to find that out?

Searching a bit more gave me the download link to WMDC for Vista, no mention of 7. Ok, let's try anyway...

And this requires the WGA Validation tool. WTF!! Not in 2010, please... Come on, people just want to install their phones, not install a new cool feature or program.

I had to try 3 browsers to finally be able to get it, and only in French, not in English... And while the download started, it redirected to an error page...

Microsoft download website is probably the worse experience I have seen, with some AOL websites in 1995...

Installing WMDC

Installing WMDC is as simple as downloading it was difficult. Except the name (drvupdate-am64.exe, WTF?), everything was very straight-forward and the interface is actually simple, beautiful and nice!

Is it really Microsoft? </joke>

Updating the ROM

Synchronizing, updating the ROM and re-enabling the device was then uneventful, working and great. It took me a bit over 15minutes including the reboots and the removal of TouchFlo 3D.

Conclusion

I give HTC a B+ (I want the normal ROM) I give Microsoft a C (for the downloading experience, you deserved an E, but WMDC is nice...)

1 November 2009

VLC 1.0.3 is out!

Again? A release? Why ?

Instead of enumerating the features that VLC 1.0.3 brings you, let’s talk about why we had to do yet another release.

Speeding the development

With the 1.0.x branch, we decided that we would speed up the release cycle for minor versions, for a few reasons:

  • we didn’t want major bugs to stay around for too long,
  • we find it easier to track regressions,
  • we can fix crashes and potential security issues in a better timely fashion.

That doesn’t mean we were careless about the quality of older releases, it means that now we care MORE about user feedback and quality. This is unlikely to change…

Therefore, since 1.0.0 has been out, we have had:

  • 1.0.1, 3 weeks after 1.0.0.
  • 1.0.2, 8 weeks after 1.0.1.
  • 1.0.3, 1 month after 1.0.2.

1.0.3 is important for Windows users

On Windows, VLC up to 1.0.2 used a way to scale the video that seems to be unsupported by the lastest drivers for Windows 7 (and now affects some Vista drivers too, because they backported the improvements…) and therefore the quality of the video was very bad and pixelated. VLC 1.0.3 fixes that.

Moreover, since VLC has now earned the logo for Windows 7 compatibility, we had to fix this huge bug. :D

I hope you understand our point and have fun with it.

10 October 2009

VLC and Windows 7 Logo

Compatible with Windows 7

The new operating system from Microsoft Windows 7 will be out this month.

As every time with Windows, there is a new Logo program for certification. As opposed to Vista, where they were 5 or 6 different logos, there is just one logo for everyone.

VLC 1.0.2 has been tested against the testing suite and was considered as "Compatible with Windows 7". This just mean that VLC conforms to the specifications and tests from Microsoft. It is supposed to check for common issues to minimize the number of crashes, hangs, and reboots and is  compliant with Windows 7 64-bit.
VLC also install and uninstall in the correct way on Windows 7.

Of course, this should be transparent for all users, but it will matter for people upgrading older install of Windows to Windows 7. This also shows the quality that can be managed in open source community.

Works with Windows Vista

At the same time, VLC also got the "Works with Windows VIsta" Logo. I am not sure it is really of any interest now. :D
 


VLC issues on Windows 7

However, be careful, VLC still has issues on Windows 7, because of many broken drivers, made by major hardware makers. It can show pixelized outputs when rescaling. Please change the video output to OpenGL and restart VLC as a work-around.