Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ginipic kind of rules. (image searching)

I heard about Ginipic the other day from Lifehacker. After reading some of the reader comments, I decided to try the Firefox CoolIris add-on first (rather than install a dedicated program on my machine, just for searching pictures).

It's OK, I suppose. The interface is fun (tilt and scroll), but not very useful... in fact, it just got annoying after a while. It's not very intuitive. I'm still not sure how to effectively interact with the interface. Clicking on an image enlarges it. Or maybe it takes you to the image location? Or maybe it doesn't. And how do you get back to your original search? Yada, yada, yada. Needless to say, I got fed up with it very quickly.

So I decided to try Ginipic. It was a super quick and easy install and then... can you say "awesome" boys and girls?

If you spend any time at all searching Flickr, Google, etc... for images, I highly recommend trying this program out. I am definitely a fan.


My Favorite Comment Regarding Louisiana Gov.'s Response...

...following Obama's address was from the reporter on MSNBC who stated:

"This was like following Led Zepplin with nothing but a harmonica."


Monday, February 23, 2009

Wolverine Declares: THE MUSICAL IS BACK

Before I get to the Oscars, I want to point out how primed the world is for MUSICALS. And hey, if it's an indie film to boot... well all the better! That's awesome news for somebody who just happens to be in pre-production on what stands to be the coolest indie-dance-musical of 2010. If you're not sure what I'm talking about, check out: I am currently producing (I'll also be editing and scoring) a film co-written by my main squeeze, Erika Randall Beahm. She'll also be co-choreographing with So You Think You Dance's Melanie LaPatin (also starring in the film's Sheri role) and co-directing with the film's co-writer, Jen Bechtel.

So the ball keeps rolling faster and faster like a beautiful, 1930's, deco, streamlined, steam-train, picking up more and more momentum to make Leading Ladies poised to be the best thing to hit the silver screen since Flying Down to Rio, Dirty Dancing and My Big Fat Greek Wedding all rolled into one!

Keep an eye out for developments on the film. The buzz is growing!

So, onto last night's festivities...

I feel like it's safe to say, last night was probably the best Oscar Ceremony of my lifetime. It wasn't the craziest, it didn't have the best speeches, it didn't have a super-whacky, expensive opening... it was just the overall best I've seen. It was a return to the "Grand Hollywood" of yesteryear. Performers were actual performers and producers and set designers actually went for it. It was classy.

First of all, Hugh Jackman is a bad ass. When the guy who plays the most ferocious of all the X-men can perform song and dance after song and dance and nail it... that's just awesome.

And can I take a moment to appreciate graciousness? First of all, Hugh Jackman thanked everybody, all the time. From the people who played bit parts in his skits and songs, to the [gasp] show's producer and designers! That's a true performer: somebody who knows who makes the magic happen... and is APPRECIATIVE of those "semi-invisible" roles.

Then, on top of Hugh Jackman's graciousness, there was the presentation method for the main acting awards. Fantastic actors appreciating the craft and being gracious to all the nominees. Awesome. Really nice.

And the set... the set was just beautiful. And they put the band ON STAGE! Not only that, but they were playing what I consider to be real Hollywood music. Stuff that makes you think of Duke Ellington, Les Baxter and Dizzy Gillespie. Fantastic.

As an aside, I was sooooo happy to see Sean Penn win best actor. Yeah, it would have been cool for Mickey Rourke to make that kind of a come back, but just the fact that he was there was saying something (and I think enough). There's no denying Penn's performance as Harvey Milk. He was unbelievable... and then his speech. Speaking out in a poignant, articulate way (which is great, considering Penn's penchant for going overboard at times) to say (in regard to Prop. 8), " is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren's eyes... we've got to have equal rights for everyone."

What's up, bigots? Mr. Penn is calling you out. You're embarrassing your grandchildren. What a great way to put it. It's time for equality; how can you deny it?

And last but not least... Slumdog Millionaire. Bollywood finally breaks down the doors of Hollywood like gangbusters! The movie was fantastic, and it was rewarded appropriately. And the energy and love among the cast, the feelings that kind of swept over the whole audience and made everybody smile, nay, beam... just glorious. And props to A. R. Rahman. Not one but TWO Oscars for music. That dude is a bad-ass.

So last night was just a truly enjoyable Oscar ceremony.

And don't forget, the indie dance musical is poised to take over Hollywood. Tell your rich uncle to invest in our movie!!!!


Friday, February 20, 2009

Syncing Vista Windows Contacts with Windows Mobile without Outlook

Yes this is it, the answer you've all been looking for. I will save my rants for the second half of this post. First, I'm just going to tell you how you can sync your Windows Contacts with your Windows Mobile device without using Microsoft Outlook. This is the (absolutely free) way to sync your contacts.

Yes, Vista comes with Windows Mail, which it clearly states is the updated version of Outlook. Well, even though that is so, *surprise!* it is now completely obsolete, as Microsoft has decided to create something new called Windows Live Mail (I love how they create new programs named almost exactly the same thing). At least it's free.

So here it goes:
  1. Export your Windows Contacts as a .CSV file (yes, get ready to not use your Windows Contacts anymore... evidently Microsoft really wants you to use the cloud).
  2. If you don't have a Windows Live account (Microsoft's version of what Google's been doing for a long time), then create one (it's free).
  3. Import your Windows Contacts .CSV file into your Windows Live account. Don't be confused when they call your Windows Live mail account Hotmail (yes, I thought Hotmail was dead too). Or maybe they won't call it Hotmail. It depends what page you're on. Microsoft seems to be even more confused than we are about this whole mess.
  4. Download Windows Live Mail (yes, it's actually a program you have to download onto your computer; this replaces Windows Mail... don't ask). As a side note: as soon as the install asked me if I wanted to make Windows Live Mail my default e-mail program I screamed "HELL NO" and made the appropriate selections. However, this is now where I maintain my contact information.
  5. If it's not already on your Windows Mobile device, install Windows Live on there (it's basically a proprietary Exchange Server that works only with Windows Live).
  6. Open Windows Live on your mobile device and click "sync."
  7. Cross your fingers, pray, do whatever it is you do to make the universe treat you right. Your Windows Contacts should now be synced with your mobile device.
  8. Make sure you use Windows Live Mail to maintain your contact information on your computer from now on.
NOTE: if you don't need your contacts on your computer, you don't really need to download Windows Live Mail. You can just maintain all your contacts online via your account. Then, sync your online contacts to your phone with Windows Live as above.

Now for the rant...

First of all, I want to express my extreme frustration and anger with Microsoft for making it so incredibly difficult to simply sync your Vista contacts with your mobile device. They made Vista right? They made WinMo right? WTF?! I spent nearly a week trying to figure this thing out, coming across countless posts, threads, etc... with people clamoring for a solution to this problem.

Why in the world would Microsoft make this so hard?! Do they not realize how much they are pissing off their client base? It's enough to make somebody switch to Mac.

Other questions that came up while searching for the answers... How many times will Microsoft change the name of a program/system? Outlook Express? Windows Mail? Windows Live Mail? Hotmail? Windows Live? What does it all mean?! Next time, try and make it a little more confusing.

I could go on and on and on, ranting about how I want to gouge out the eyes of whomever is in charge of this new Windows Live mess, but I'm tired, and I'm sick of anything and everything involved with this topic.

Hopefully this workaround helps out anyone looking for a non-Outlook sync solution until Microsoft gets their shit together and actually integrates a simple and easy way to sync your computer contacts and mobile device contacts (is that too much too ask?).


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Zumobi REI Snow Report app expects WinMo to conform to their standards

A while back I installed Zumobi's joint venture with REI, a WinMo Snow Report app. It seemed like it would be great, but unfortunately it didn't support the Omnia's resolution, and was thus completely useless. I wrote a letter to Zumobi to see when they'd be releasing a patch for the higher Omnia resolution (a simple piece of code), and here is their response:
Hi there,

Here is the answer to your question (from a Zumobi engineer):

Unfortunately, Zumobi will not be compatible with the Omnia i910. The Ombia i910 runs a resolution that is different from the native QVGA resolution, making it incompatible with Windows Mobile.

Zumobi's current Windows Mobile product was developed when most cell phone hardware used a standard QVGA resolution. Now that many smartphones, such as the iPhone, are the center of the mobile world, the Windows Mobile team is working quickly to develop a program that supports larger resolutions. Hopefully Windows Mobile team will soon develop devices that will allow compatibility with future Zumobi platforms. Until then, Zumobi is meeting the demand that the iPhone has created - the amount of app downloaders that are iPhone users is so large that the majority of focus goes there.

First, hilarious that this person thinks the Omnia is incompatible with Windows Mobile.

Second, evidently Zumobi expects Microsoft Windows Mobile team to change their software to "allow compatibility with future Zumobi platforms." While I'm sure Zumobi is an industry giant, I don't see this happening, Zumobi.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Again: Why Microsoft Sucks (trying to sync contacts with Vista and WinMobile)

[see updates after the original post]

Somebody please explain to me why Microsoft has to make it so incredibly fucking difficult to sync my computer contacts and my mobile contacts.

My phone is WinMobile 6.1. My laptop is Vista. Both programs are Microsoft, and Microsoft continuously brags about how awesome both programs are (unlike WinXP64, which they pretend doesn't even exist). If you plug the goddam phone into the goddam computer, you should be able to sync the contacts from one to the other.

NOT SO! Evidently Microsoft feels you should have to go through an online Exchange Server in order to sync contacts (and e-mail, and calendar, etc...) Why in the world would you have to sync "out there?!" Why can't you just sync from device to device?!

The only thing you can sync between Vista and your mobile device are individual files (not your contact folder) and media. WTfuckingF?!

I am so sick of blowing countless hours on trying to make Microsoft software work like it should in the first place.

All the "how to's" and pages devoted to syncing your contacts state: "Simple! Use Outlook!" Well here's a problem, assholes: Vista doesn't have Outlook. It has "Windows Mail," which is, as Microsoft states in their Vista literature and help, "the successor to Outlook." If it's the successor, why in the HELL doesn't it work to sync your WINDOWS MOBILE contacts?

If somebody knows a good way to sync your Windows Contacts with your mobile device NOT USING OUTLOOK, please post it in the comments for this thread.

Also, if somebody knows how to set up multiple Exchange Server relationships, please let me know. I want to sync my phone calendar with Google Calendars using NuevaSync, but I need to be able to sync my contacts (evidently ONLY by an Exchange Server, since that's all WinMobile allows) to something other than Google's contacts. [because]>>> Why won't Google add more than the measly few contact fields it supports? Only one name field (no first and last)?! Are you freaking kidding me?!

[/grumpy old man rant]

[UPDATE, Feb. 18, 2009 (three more days of searching for solutions): To reiterate, it's INSANE that Microsoft is replacing Outlook with Windows Mail in Vista (their words, not mine) yet ActiveSync WILL NOT sync contacts to your mobile device unless you have Outlook. INCREDBILY INFURIATING.]

[UPDATE, Feb. 20, 2009: Guess what? Windows Mail (Vista's default mail program) is already obsolete! Wheee!! Evidently Windows Live Mail is now what you're supposed to use. I love how Microsoft changes entire lines of programs willy-nilly.

p.s. The crap workaround to the original problem is exporting your Vista Contacts as a .csv and importing them into your Windows Live (Hotmail -awesome how MS has thirty names for everything, and they change them every day, no?) account. You can then use Windows Live for your mobile device to sync contacts with your device (like an exchange server). I just wish they would make it more complicated. ]


Friday, February 13, 2009

PocketCM Contact Manager (free) WinMobile App

Yesterday I stumbled across, downloaded and installed a contact manager from PocketCM. I can honestly say I'm impressed. I didn't have high expectations, especially after what I've seen of other contact management apps (like iContacts), but this thing is really great.

I'm a designer, so the first thing that really grabbed my attention was the animation transition between screens. The transitions are thoughtful, and not so gimmicky that I feel their power consumed to functionality ratio is off balance. The current version as of this post is 0.29. From what I see comparing it to previous versions, I'm not a fan of the new default skin (text-only buttons instead of more finger friendly graphics, the dial pad is too small, etc...), so I immediately updated to a user created skin called Dark Diamond II v_0.3 (make sure to get the Omnia appropriate size). The combo is infinitely superior to Samsung's phone program and contact manager.

The PocketCM contact manager provides you with finger-friendly iPhone-style up and down scrolling, but you also get an alphabetized content bar (instead of a hard-to-use scroll bar) on the left and right (visibile as an alphabet along the edge in the default theme, invisible in some other themes... but still completely functional). Slide your finger along the left or right edge of your screen and you quickly scroll through the letters of the alphabet; just stop on the letter of the name you're looking for. This system is fantastic for finding a contact quickly and easily even if you have hundreds of contacts. Not only that, but the dial pad that shows on the page features opacity, so you can see the full screen of contacts even when you have your dial pad open.

I love that this contact manager incorporates a dial pad. I'm not going to completely ditch iDial just yet (sometimes I like having a huge dial pad that takes up the whole screen... big giant buttons are so much easier to use), but I'll definitely never use the phone's old dial pad (or contact manager) again. Maybe I'll even work up a theme that features a full screen dial pad... or maybe somebody else will, so I don't have to.

I've already used Green Button to map my phone's "call" button (the button you use to send a call) directly to PocketCM. I've also ticked the "set as default" box within the PocketCM settings, so PocketCM is my default contact program.

In addition to a great look and feel, PocketCM incorporates your SMS conversations (threaded) and all call history. You can open a contact and with a click you can quickly see all SMS history and/or call history with that person. Fantastic.

There are also features like "favorites" and "filtering." You can compile a list of favorite contacts for quick dialing, or you can filter your contacts by Company, City, Category, etc... Again: fantastic.

I highly recommend you check this application out. PocketCM touts itself as a "more finger friendly" app, and I couldn't agree more... and that's just the tip of the iceberg as to why this application is a superior contact manager and dialer.


The developer has a couple of other apps like a calendar and a photo viewer that utilizes an interface like the iPhone's cover flow music browser. I'm not sure I'm ready to give those a shot yet, but something that I will definitely be trying out in the very near future is the keyboard app.

PocketCM Keyboard features a customizable keyboard (yes, you can change what letters, symbols, etc... are available on each screen), but more importantly it features the iPhone-like "letter magnification" that I so love. You can also skin the keyboard and set it as the default keyboard for your phone.

So more on PocketCM Keyboard soon!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Skiing at Beaver Creek

Hit the slopes again with my friend George yesterday. My first time at Beaver Creek. It's a beautiful ski resort!

It was a tad on the chilly side, but still a great day.

I was using my neighbor's 200cm stainless steel (super cool looking) Volant skis. Good god skis that long are a lot of work!

My quads are burning today.

Here's a panorama of George at the top of the mountain.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Google Sync goes live... and doesn't work at all!

Well, Google went live today with their Google Sync to sync contacts and calendars via Exchange Server. So I deleted my connection and gave it a shot.

I set everything up via the server and... nothing! For the life of me I could not get my calendars to show up on my mobile device, so I removed the server and went back to

Maybe it will work in the future, but for now, I see no reason to leave (which actually works).

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sync your Google Calendars with iPhone or Win Mobile device using (free)

This information is of course in my Omnia i910 "how to" post.

Our family uses Google Calendars. It seems to be the simplest way for us to keep our lives known and available to each other. It works from any computer and across all platforms. It's simple and robust and it works for us.

Now that I have a new WinMobile device, the problem for me was finding a FREE way to keep my Omnia synced with Google Calendars. OggSync will let you sync with one calendar for free. To sync with multiple calendars, you have to pay $30 a year.

It seems odd that Google's only mobile solution is viewing a scaled down version of Google Calendars via your mobile browser. What kind of crap is that? That's not syncing... it's just a whole lot of work to see and add calendar entries (open your mobile browser, browse to, log in to your account, try and maneuver the clumsy interface from your phone's tiny browser... ugh!).

So I searched the web for a while, and finally stumbled upon You don't have to install any software on your phone, because it works with software already on your phone (iPhone via whatever dark arts it uses, or Win Mobile via ActiveSync). You can sync Mail, Contacts, Calendar and/or Tasks... and all over SSL. You simply set up a NuevaSync account, "allow" the partnership via an automatic link presented to you by Google, and you're good to go.

It took me about 5 minutes to set things up and start syncing my calendars. Changes I made online were visible on my phone, and changes I made on my phone were visible online. Perfect.

One caveat is that if you use the service, when you start using it it will erase any information (for the service you're syncing) already on your phone. So back up any calendar information that exists only on your phone. Luckily, I hadn't started creating events on my phone yet.

Also, I suppose there is some risk entering your Google log-in information into NuevaSync's online database. I don't really care if someone sees my calendar entries, but e-mail is another story. I do like that the sync connection is SSL though (if you tick the box during your setup).

I'm not a fan of Google's contact structure (no first and last, just "name," not enough "other" fields for multiple mobiles, home phones, etc...), so I'm not using NuevaSync for contacts (though I'm sure quite a few people will be excited about this feature). I'm already using Google's stellar IMAP set-up to push e-mail to my WinMo device, so I don't need to sync mail. I have no idea what "tasks" are yet, so obviously I'm not using that.

Thus I'm only using NeuvaSync to sync my Google Calendars with my Omnia, but so far, it's fantastic. And it's free!


[update: I am experiencing difficulties with repeating events like birthdays and anniversaries; if you use this service and are able to sync repeating events, please post in the comments and let me know. Thanks!]

Thursday, February 5, 2009

All in all, it was a very good day.

My lovely wife convinced me to take advantage of the 60+ degree weather we've been having all week, so I went skiing today. Following are some pics (taken with my phone) of a glorious, wonderful, awesome day.

(click to enlarge)

Skiing Keystone:

Driving up to the Continental Divide:

I didn't take a pic, 'cause I didn't want to be perceived as "that creepy guy," but it was so nice on the slopes that there were chicks skiing in bikini tops.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Omnia i910 :: HOW TO

If you just want a simple list of links to apps, tips and tricks with minimal comments, scroll to the bottom of this post for "THE LIST."

Tired of trying to cull through thousands of pages of thread posts to figure out how to simply do stuff with your Omnia (or perhaps another Windows Mobile based device)? Well look no farther. I will be posting any information I can glean about my Omnia i910 here.

This won't necessarily be an Omnia (SCH-i910) for Dummies (though it starts out that way), but I will try to include material ranging from primer level to stuff that will be more interesting to those who want to delve deeper. And if you're a noob (like I was) there's plenty of easy info. here.

My frustration started last week when I opened my new Omnia ordered from Verizon (shiny!) and tried to load my contacts from my old EnV VX9900 onto it. I spent three days trying to figure things out. Very frustrating.

So here is "how to" number one:
Swallow your geek pride, and take your old phone to the Verizon store to have them transfer your numbers for free. Like I said, I spent three days trying to do this on my own. When I finally just went into the Verizon store, it took them about 8 minutes and it cost me nothing.
Over the next couple of weeks, I'll post the rest of my findings and thoughts here. There is a simple list of tools, tricks and links at the end of this post, so go there for the quick fix.

***If you just want a simple list of links with minimal comments, scroll to the bottom of this post for "THE LIST."

Use the Start menu! I didn't realize until a day or so in that you can click on the "Start" just like in WinXP or Vista (and I felt really stupid when finally I realized). When you click on Start, there is a drop down with many options (that you can customize).

Installing apps involves placing .cab files on your phone. Don't fret. This is very easy. Simply place the .cab file on your phone, either by downloading it directly with your phone from the app's website, or by downloading it to your computer and then moving the file to your phone via Windows Explorer and ActiveSync. I've been placing all my .cab files in the My Storage root folder (just inside "My Storage" without any extra folder).

Now just use the Omnia's "File Explorer" (or other file program like Total Commander) to find the "My Storage" folder, open it, and click on the .cab file. The phone knows what to do from there. It will ask you where you want the program installed (device or My Storage). I suggest installing your apps on the device so they run faster, but if you start installing a LOT of apps, you'll need to use the extra space on your "My Storage."

If you decide you don't like a program/app, uninstalling is very easy. Go to Start > Settings > System (it's a TAB at the bottom of that page)> Remove Programs. Select the program you no longer want and remove it!

You may want to do this immediately:
I quickly became frustrated trying to do lots of things via my Omnia's tiny touch screen interface. Why, oh why don't they have a program to control my phone via my PC?! Well "they" do! MyMobiler rules! It is a simple program that connects your PC to your phone via WiFi or USB and then opens a window on your PC that allows you to control your phone in real time (there is a tiny lag). Finally I can edit my contacts on my phone with my PC keyboard! This is also a great way to learn the ins and outs of your phone via a more friendly input device (your real keyboard and mouse).

Actually, you may want to do this first: get rid of the Samsung Widget.
Click "Start." Click "settings." Click "Today." At the bottom click "Items." Uncheck "Samsung Widget" and get rid of that godawful sidebar for your opening screen. Woo-hoo! Freedom! (Sorry, I've just become completely annoyed by the Samsung Widget sidebar; it's pretty damn useless, as you can't customize what's available, and a lot of what is there you won't use... ever --who cares if you can move the icons around the screen if they're useless?!).

You can now select "Today Screen" as your opening screen. If I don't switch to another shell (like SPB) or a screen/icon program like iFonz (see link below), I will be using "Today 2" for my home screen. More on that later (see the "how to" in the registry editing section of this post).

Microsoft's Active Sync will only sync your contacts utilizing Outlook. Since that's bulls**t, here are a couple of other options:
  • Sync to Thunderbird via Birdie Sync or FinchSync (WinXP only for now)
  • (Not so much a sync, but at least a back up) Back up contacts with PIM Back up application
  • iContacts (I haven't tried this yet, but people seem to like it as an alternative to Windows Contacts --apparently it works well with iDialer and thumbCal, but I haven't tried these yet) [update... I wouldn't really consider this a syncing option... it's just a different contact manager for your phone]
  • To sync your Windows Contacts with your Mobile Device WITHOUT using Outlook (apparently the only way Microsoft wants you to sync contacts), I've created a How To post here.

GPS for the i910 is currently only available via VZNavigator. There are many rumors that it will be unlocked for 3rd party apps during the first half of 2009.

Google Maps... just plug in your number and Google sends you a link that you click. A .cab file downloads to your phone and Google Maps is installed automatically. Currently, Verizon has GPS locked up so you can only use it with VZNavigator. Supposedly that will be changing in the first half of this year.

However, after doing some more searching, I found that Windows Live Search Mobile is pretty much the same thing as Mobile Google Maps... except Gizmodo says that it's much better. You be the judge.

[update] After using it, Windows Live Search is clearly superior for the Omnia (and I assume all other Windows Mobile based phones). It makes sense that an app created by the maker of the entire OS would work better... and it does. For the Omnia, I highly recommend Windows Live Search over Google Maps. It spawns faster, and the tools are more useful. You can even speak locations and Live Search will find them for you. I really look forward to the day that Verizon unlocks the GPS and you can use the "find me" link.
[another update] After a month of actually using Live Search, I'm not so sold. The "traffic" option is often waaaaaay off (it will tell you that your road is free and clear, when in fact things are at a dead stop). The restaurant search doesn't have a LOT of restaurants listed. And the "search for specific locations" function is often extremely frustrating in that you have to manually update what you are searching "near" every time. Very bothersome. I think this would be much better if you could utilize GPS for the "find me" feature (still disabled by Verizon on the i910). So I reinstalled Google Maps and I use that for traffic and maps. I still use Live Search to find movie showtimes and theaters.


  1. Press the soft reset hole beside your power button (it's very tiny)
  2. Press the CALL and CANCEL buttons at the same time when you see the Samsung Omnia on the screen
  3. The reset screen will appear (yes will hard reset, no will soft reset)
Supposedly, this method does not format your 8GB/16GB hard drive memory (only the system memory). To wipe everything, use the hard reset from the SETTINGS menu as follows (from the Omnia manual):
  1. From the Today screen, tap the right soft key function: Main Menu > Settings > System tab > Hard Reset
  2. The Hard Reset screen displays with the Memory tab open. To reset your phone, tap the Clear all data button.
  3. At the Clear all data prompt, tap Yes.
  4. Tap the QWERTY keyboard icon at the bottom bar on the main LCD screen to open the virtual QWERTY keyboard and enter the Device Lock Code (last 4-digits of your phone number) and tap “yes” in the box.

Creating New Notification Tones for SMS Messaging

Copy and paste your SMS tones or music to the main WINDOWS folder. The music or tones must be stored in the WINDOWS folder and not any sub folder within it. Go to your sound settings and the new tones should appear in the drop-down for easy selection.

For the following changes, make sure you have enabled viewing of hidden files on your phone.

It seems odd, but WinMo doesn't seem to have an interface to change specific notifications, so you have to actually change the file that is used for the tone you want changed. In other words, to change the sound for when you turn the phone on, simply change the file called "pwr_on.wav". Create or find a sound you like, remove the original "pwr_on.wav" from the Windows directory. (I like to just rename the file as "pwr_on_old.wav" so I can go back to it if need be), and then add the sound you like... but rename the file "pwr_on.wav". I'm also not sure why the phone uses .wav files (larger) instead of .mp3 files (smaller).

EXAMPLE (change Ringer Off sound) : For some reason, the sound the phone makes when you turn off the ringer is INCREDIBLY loud. When you're turning off your ringer, isn't it because you don't want to make a lot of noise? WTF? This problem is easily remedied by changing the "PhoneOff.wav" file in your main Windows directory. You can replace the tone with a sound of your choice or replace it with a silent .wav file for no sound at all.

IMPORTANT NOTE (how to move sounds): When you drag and drop a .wav file to your phone, it will most likely be placed in the My Documents folder. You will then need to find the file in My Documents, click and hold on the file and then choose "copy/move." Select "tree" to see the folder view and then select "Windows." If you named the file correctly, your file should overwrite whatever sound you are replacing (you may need to uncheck "read only" and/or "archive" in the properties of the file you are replacing).

This all seems like a major pain in the butt to just change a sound, but I think this is how you have to do it until Microsoft implements a real sound panel.

ANOTHER IMPORTANT NOTE (where to put your ringtones): If you don't want your ringtones gobbling up your system memory, create a file in "My Storage" named "My Ringtones". You can place mp3's and wav's in this folder and they will show up in the Sounds and Notification settings. They will also show up in your Windows Contact editor (but they didn't seem to show up in the PocketCM contact editor --I assume this could be fixed with a reg. hack).

As I understand it, you can also change where your Omnia looks for the ringtones by editing the Registury thus:

1) Navigate to HKey_Current_User > ControlPanel > Sounds > RingTone0
2) Change "SavedSound" value to your desired directory.
3) Exit registry editor and soft-reset. You are done

(It's often a good idea to soft reset your phone after making registry changes; just use a paper clip to press the teenie-tiny button next to the power button.)
First, BE CAREFUL. You can really screw things up in here. I take no responsibility for you hosing your phone, and I WILL NOT help you get things back to where they belong. That said, you'll need a program to edit your registry. I'm using Total Commander. Open Total Commander. At the root, click on "plug-ins." This takes you to three backslashes in the address bar ("\\\"). You should see three directories: ftp, LAN, and registry. Click on "registry," and you'll see HKCR, HKCU and HKLM. These are what you'll be editing.

To unleash the "Samsung Today 2" option, use your registry editor to drill down to the path shown below; once you get to "Items," you'll need to create the "Samsung Today 2" directory by clicking on the icon at the bottom of your screen with the folder and plus sign. Now double click the "+Add value+" icon (not the text), and then start creating what you see in the list of registry values below. Type in the name first. Then select the "type." Notice most of the entries are "DWORDS" (only "DLL" is a "String"), and the DWORD values are "decimal."

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Today\Items\Samsung Today 2]

After you enter these values, go to "settings" and click the "today" screen. On the "items" tab, deselect everything and check the "Samsung Today 2" box. You're there! Here's a simple list of the Today 2 screen features and how to use them.

Change Scrollbar Thickness (wider is more finger friendly):

Horizontal (bottom) scrollbar:
HKLM\System\GWE\cyHScr = 9 (DWORD decimal)
Vertical (right) scrollbar:
HKLM\System\GWE\cxVScr = 9 (DWORD decimal)

Change Dialer Screen to original default (this hack will save you around 6-10MB of system memory and I think the interface is better)

Enabled: 1 : change 1 to 0

After a soft reset, your screen should look like this.

Disable Auto Keyboard Pop-up in E-mail or SMS/MMS (man, that gets annoying):

Change TurnOffAutoDeploy from a 0 to a 1.

Delete Shozu (free up 400k of running RAM plus extra space for program files)

Look for Launcher140, containing the string "\Windows\shozurcp.exe"
Delete Launch140.
Delete additional space by removing files:
Delete the ShoZu shortcut file from "\windows\start menu\programs\"
Delete the entire ShoZu folder and everything in it from "\program files\cognima\Shozu"

Record Video in 400x240

Change VideoSize to 1653
Available settings: 1652=640x480 1653=400x240 1654=320x240 1655=176x144
Note: you cannot achieve this size setting from within the camera; you can only set the video to this size by editing the registry (until I find a way to add a link) I'm not sure why they didn't include a 400x240 icon on the video size screen, if it's obviously available on the phone.

Change Directory Path for Ringtones
(I actually haven't tried this, so lemme know if it works.)

Navigate to HKey_Current_User > ControlPanel > Sounds > RingTone0
Change "SavedSound" value to your desired directory.

Move Opera cache to "My Storage"
Here's a great little trick to free up some device storage from xsrx over on the Modaco forums.

Something not mentioned, but that I assume is a good idea: clear your old cache first. Open Opera, click the little arrow in the bottom right, go to History, click the trash can and affirm that you want to delete all. If you don't do this first, you'll need to delete stuff from your old cache folder at Application Data\Opera9\cache. Now...
  • Close Opera.
  • Create a folder on your storage card where the cache files will go. I chose \Storage Card\Program Files\Opera\cache4, but I don't think the folder structure or folder name matter.
  • Open \Application Data\Opera\opera.ini in a text editor. [note: this directory was "opera9" not "opera" on my phone; "opera" is just help and skins]
  • In the [User Prefs] section, add the following line: Cache Directory4=[full path to folder on storage card].
  • Save and close opera.ini.
  • Restart Opera. Your cache is now being written to your storage card.
Change your download directory:
  1. Edit the Opera.ini file
  2. Under [User Prefs] change "Download Directory=\My Documents\" to another directory on your device or storage card

More useful space saving techniques (move your default download directory, move your help files, etc...) for Opera Mobile can be found at this post from Download Squad.

(non-free programs are marked with an asterisk)
(things that I use are bold and red)

Back Up and Sync

  • Birdie Sync (for Thunderbird - WinXP only)
  • Finch Sync (for Thunderbird - Windows, Mac, Linux --it's Java!)
  • Gsync (sync your Google Calendar with your phone)
  • Sprite Backup *
  • (sync your Google Calendars with your phone calendar -no software to install, works with ActiveSync and your online account)
  • OutSync (sync your Facebook friends' profile pics with your contacts)
  • Windows Live (like a second Exchange Server that only works with Windows Live, should be included with WinMo, but can be downloaded to phone if not)
  • Windows Live Mail (Microsoft mail program that installs on your computer to syncs with Hotmail, Windows Live (on your phone), etc...)

Control Your Phone With Your PC

Maps and GeoSearch

Other Utilities

Shell Replacement, Skins and Interfaces (get a whole new look, feel and functionality)

Media Players
  • S2p

Misc. Fun Stuff


Download Sites (apps)

Other Links

Thing That Don't Work for Omnia Yet
  • Dashwire (back up to the cloud --doesn't support Omnia i900 or i910)
  • Skyfire (mobile browser --doesn't support Omnia's 240x400 resolution) [03-02-09 update: now reported working --thanks, Greg]

*denotes pay (not free) app/service

(what I've installed, removed, and how I'm currently set up)
  1. Set phone to "wake" only with power button (not face buttons or screen) settings> buttons> wake up tab> "power button only" > uncheck lock device. This prevents pocket dialing. Also, the power button is a great "soft" off. This means I don't need to use any "lock/unlock" apps. After 30 seconds of non-use the screen goes black and I "wake" it with the power button. When I'm done using the phone I turn off the screen with the power button.
  2. Installed Total Commander (file explorer/registry editor)
  3. Installed MyMobiler (control phone with PC)
  4. Altered registry to use Today Screen 2
  5. Resized vertical scroll bar width to 18
  6. Altered "Start Menu" drop down choices (settings>menus) to include most often used programs (easiest immediate access)
  7. Used Theme Changer to choose grey as background color
  8. Altered registry to use older default dialer (saves space, better interface)
  9. Altered registry to prevent keyboard pop-up for Email and Messaging
  10. Installed iDialer (much bigger dial pad, easier to dial with)
  11. Installed Windows Live Search (maps and geo search)
  12. Installed Audio Notes Touch (mp3 recorder)
  13. Installed Windows Daylight Savings 2008 update
  14. Turned off auto-rotate (rotate with camera button now)
  15. Added and changed ringtones and notification sounds
  16. Installed .NET manager (
  17. Installed 3.5 version of .NET (
  18. Installed HTC emulation for accelerometer functionality ( > 2 DLL's installed in the Windows directory)
  19. Installed Lightsaber 1.0 (sue me; I'm a geek)
  20. Installed iFonz (don't know if I'll use it, but it's nice having another "look" available) [removed - Today Screen 2 is good for me]
  21. Removed Shozu from registry (frees up 400k)
  22. Installed Softkey Control Panel applet (v1.4) to remap softkeys [02/18/09 changed "contacts" to "my peeps" and mapped it to PocketCM]
  23. Installed mobile Flash 7 player
  24. Reassigned "menu" key (upper right) to Task Manager
  25. Set up phone calendar to sync with my Google Calendars using
  26. [2-12-09] Installed Zumobi/REI snow report app (made for 240x360, so has major problems on Omnia's 240x400) [removed - didn't work]
  27. [2-12-09] Installed PocketMax Spacer cab for Today screen [removed - doesn't work with Samsung Today, can't configure for Today Screen 2 (greyed out)]
  28. Installed PocketCM (contact manager) and Dark Diamond II theme (I like this MUCH more than the iContacts app, it's much more robust --can't wait to try out this guy's keyboard replacement app) See my PocketCM review post here.
  29. Installed Green Button to remap "call" hardware key to PocketCM
  30. [2-27-09] Installed PocketCM Keyboard and wm7 inspired qvga (0.3) skin
  31. [2-28-09] Changed Green Button to link to iDialer (since my soft key already goes to PocketCM)
  32. [2-28-09] Moved ringtones to My Storage. Changed Ringer On, Ringer Off, Phone On, and Phone Off notification sounds.
  33. [3-9-09] Installed SIPchange to set PocketCM Keyboard as default (not totally convinced about PocketCM Keyboard --pretty buggy-- but I'm giving this a shot anyway).
  34. [3-12-09] Moved Opera Mobile cache to My Storage.
  35. [3-12-09] Moved default download directory to My Storage.
  36. [3-13-09] Added SP2 media player... so far I don't like it.
  37. [3-31-09] Phone is hosed. Verizon replaced it.
  38. [3-31-09] Installed CeRegEditor.