PermaLink I am that much closer to being ASSimilated02/27/2006 02:17 AM

OK, I gave in.  I have settled on a smartphone through T-Mobile which might finally supplant my hallowed Sony Clie UX-50 and Sony T610.  Problem is, it has way to much Microshit in it...


After the news came a couple of weeks ago that Palm OS is dead, and over two years after the news came that Sony is out of the PDA business, I have settled on a successor -- maybe I should say SUCKcessor -- to the throne that is my pocket or the passenger's seat in the front of my cars.  

T-Mobile calls it the "MDA," but in Yurp, it's been available for some time as the HTC K-Jam.  It's a Windows Mobile 5.0 smartphone with Bluetooth, 802.11b, a keyboard, SMS and support for T-Mobile's higher-speed EDGE network in the USA.

It's... Windows Mobile.



I will forgive all its suckage on the above line of text.

And whenever you want it to any non-Microshit stuff, it does, in fact, suck.  Mozilla Minimo hangs the unit.  Opera for Windows Mobile hangs the unit.  Often, just doing regular ole shit hangs the unit.  You must must must make frequent visits to Settings/System/Memory to forcibly kill other apps you thought you killed hours ago, but no, they are still there, eating the fairly small system RAM the MDA contains.

The keyboard is good.

The phone parts are OK and quite obscure.
The documentation sucks hot, sweaty donkey dongs, and hard.  For instance, while both T-Mobile's and Microsoft's website talk long and lovingly about how to add new accounts to the email app on the MDA (Shitsuck Outlook for Windows Mobile) you will not find any mention of how to REMOVE an email account from the mail app.  When I called T-Mobile, I was informed that the wait for a "specialist" to tell me this secret was 58 minutes.  In three minutes, I found an obscure post on   if you want to remove an email account from the email app on Windows Mobile, go to Options, and then hold your pen on the name of the account you want to delete.  A DELETE option menu will fly out.  

You then know what to do.  And now, you know better what to do than the fuckwads who wrote the user manual!   You could get a great job in customer support!

Being Windows, the sumbitch goes into periodic Mystery Rests.  You ask it to do too much stuff, and it goes into a tizzy.  If you are patient, and can wait these out, no problem.  If you have lost a limb in a traffic accident and the motherfucker is trying to download all the spam from your work email account (Windows Mobile, unlike Clie Mail, offers no filtering of any kind), and you want to hit the PHONE button to call someone to stem the bleedign, well, thanks for playing.  You will die.  Soon.

The environment is hostile to all non-MS apps.  Mozilla Minimo and Opera for Windows Mobile both had severe problems requiring a reset.  There is no native telnet, ftp or ping utilities to give you a real sense of the digital world around you.

Bill Gates can suck my neighbors' sheep.
Maybe he already has.  That's why they're so restless at night.

In any case, with PalmOS leaving the scene, this is the shit we are left with.  I will make the best of it.  Can't fault the hardware, which is amazing.  Good digital camera, great voice quality, excellent keyboard, form factor is hot.

Sorry that it has Microshit inside.

Move along.

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1. Greyhawk6802/28/2006 01:37:13 PM

Cool, sounds like a pretty killer unit then. I will still probably live vicariously through you for awhile just to see if there are any more gotchas. It does look like a hot phone though.

Thanks Scott!

2. Turtle02/28/2006 12:40:43 AM

Aha! Turns out that Skype refuses to work on a PocketPC whose clock speed is too low. The K-Jam (also known as the QTEC 9100 and the HTC Wizard) is clocked around 180Mhz, and Skype refuses to start because it perceives that speed as too slow.

Enter overclocking!

It turns out that the TI OMAP processor in the K-Jam can be overclocked using a handy little utility that can be found here through the links on this page:

I cranked the clock up from 180Mhz to 240Mhz, and sure enough, Skype started. I logged on, and while it seemed to take a good long while looking for my contacts list, I was able to search for contacts just fine. I looked for Wild Bill Buchan, since I still owe him L35 from Lotusphere.

3. Turtle02/28/2006 12:18:16 AM

Further udpate: I have tried but cannot get any version of Skype for PocketPC to work on this beast. The underlying hardware that this thing "is" is an i-mate K-JAM. It's been available in Europe a while, but there's no Skype version specifically for the K-JAM, even though i-mate's own website insists that all its 802.11-enabled units (this beast can go as fast as 802.11g) ship with Skype preinstalled. I assume that they just haven't tweaked it for the K-JAM, or possibly T-Mobile has hosed up the unit to prevent Skype from working (since then they won't make money off telephone calls).

I will keep fooling with it. The software installs just fine, but when started, spins a while then quits.

4. Turtle02/27/2006 04:37:53 PM

* How is the battery life?

So far, pretty good, and recharge is quite quick. Another nice thing: it can charge off any powered USB port. No special adapter needed.

* How well does the wi-fi stuff work?

Quite well, though I've found the throughput isn't all that amazing.

* Have you been able to use skype over the wi-fi?

Haven't tried... now you've made me curious. Is there a Skype client for Windows Mobile? This thing runs Mobile 5.0.

* Do you know if Blackberry connect for Windows Mobile will work (I heard that it won't in the states)

Can't say one way or the other... I don't use Blackberry.

* If you are using the MS browser, how good is the fidelity. Does it work fairly well or is it dumbed down versions of sites.

It's moderately good, but MSIE for Windows Mobile seems to choke very easily. I've also tried Mozilla Minimo and Opera 8.5 for Windows Mobile.

* How about IM? What can you use? Is it any good?

I've used it, it's pretty decent. They actually have clients for AIM, Yahoo, MSN and ICQ already installed.

5. Greyhawk6802/27/2006 11:16:56 AM

I have really been considering getting this as well. Couple questions...

* How is the battery life?
* How well does the wi-fi stuff work?
* Have you been able to use skype over the wi-fi?
* Do you know if Blackberry connect for Windows Mobile will work (I heard that it won't in the states)
* If you are using the MS browser, how good is the fidelity. Does it work fairly well or is it dumbed down versions of sites.
* How about IM? What can you use? Is it any good?

Kinda bummed to hear that it dislikes outside software... that is terribly uncool...

Anyway, let me know how it goes. Wondering if I truly want to plunk down the $400 or just get myself a RAZR...


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