How To: Fix Internet Explorer Freeze

Windows

Internet Explorer 7/8 has a nagging problem of freezing when its started. The tab opens up with the text “Connecting” and remains at the same state for an infinite amount of time.

The culprit seems to be the Windows Live Sign-in Helper add-on and disabling this add-on fixes this freeze issue.

To disable the add-on

  1. Start Internet Explorer with all plugins disabled. In the Windows Run, type iexplore -extoff
  2. Go to Tools –> Internet Options –> Programs –> Manage Add-Ons
  3. Within Toolbars and Extensions, search for Windows Live Sign-in Helper add-on (should be under Microsoft Corporation) 
  4. Disable the Add-on and restart the browser.
4 comments

MMS Configuration on Blackberry

Blackberry, Mobile

Configuring MMS on my old HTC Touch phone was a pain. In fact  configuring MMS on any device is a pain and is probably one of the reasons the service is not as popular as SMS.

The carrier (Airtel) did not have a way of pushing the settings to the device and the manual configuration that they were suggesting did not match the UI elements that I was seeing on the phone !

I did finally manage to configure MMS on HTC and did write a detailed post on the same.

MMS configuration on the Blackberry on the other hand was a breeze. A service book was pushed by the carrier which has the MMS settings

I was also asked to send a test MMS to myself to activate the feature (wonder why I had to do this).

A soft reset was also recommended after which the MMS feature started working.

If you are having trouble enabling MMS on Blackberry:

  1. Ensure that the MMS Service book is present
  2. Ensure that the service is activated as well (Activation methods are carrier specific)
  3. Ensure that you send a test MMS to yourself.
3 comments

How To: Fix the delay in receiving hotmail mail on Blackberry

Blackberry, Mobile

One thing that I noticed after setting up all my email accounts on Blackberry was the  hotmail email was landing real slow on the Blackberry device

It used to come almost after 10-15 minutes, much like my corporate email that I configured using Outlook Web Access (OWA).

On other accounts such as Gmail, Yahoo or yahoo, the mail delivery was almost instantaneous.

To fix this delay in hotmail do the following:

  1. Login to your carries BIS page i.e. http://carrier.blackberry.com
  2. Edit the hotmail account settings
  3. You should see a “Change Protocol” option as shown in the image below
  4. Click on it and accept the terms and conditions.
  5. This change to “Mobile Services Protocol” should now start delivering mails to your Blackberry device as and when it lands on the hotmail server.
     
7 comments

Screen Capture on Blackberry

Blackberry, Featured, Mobile

Screen capture utilities are required when you want to flaunt your Blackberry Home screen or when you want to accompany them along with a support query.

On support forums, query with an attached screenshot helps in quicker resolution of the issue.

Blackberry does not bundle any native application for screen capture and users have to rely on third party applications to take screenshots.Here again, we have wired and wireless(preferred) ways of capturing the screen.

If  you want to use wired way, you can try Blackberry JavaLoader or BBScreensho0ter. These are applications running on your desktop which capture the device screenshot !

Wireless way is preferred way of taking screen shots and for this, you need an application installed on the device.There are 2 popular applications out there

  1. CaptureIT
  2. ZonaSnap

ZonaSnap is a much better tool compared to CaptureIT and has options to send the image as an E-mail attachment or even publish it to Photobucket (wish Flickr was supported ! )

You can set a convenience key for the application which makes it easier to capture the screenshot !

1 comment

Blackberry Contact Sync

Blackberry, Mobile

Few years back, copying all contacts to the SIM was the only way of importing contacts onto a new phone. Most of the Smartphone operating systems today have better native support for address book management and synchronization.

On my old HTC Touch(running Windows Mobile), I could easily sync Outlook contacts with the device using ActiveSync. However ActiveSync worked only over a wired cable or via Bluetooth and there was no other wireless way of synchronizing contacts

Blackberry on the other hand has an amazing wireless contact sync feature. There is no separate “Sync” operation triggered by the user !! ; Any updates done on the Blackberry Address book are synced back to Gmail Contacts and same holds good for any updates done on Gmail Contacts.

Follow the below steps to get the perfect wireless contact sync on Blackberry

  1. The first thing to do is to setup Gmail as the primary store for Address Book. If you are using Outlook or any other contact store, you need to export the contacts to  CSV and import them in Gmail
  2. Gmail also has this nice de-duplicator feature which can be used to eliminate all the duplicate contacts in the address book.
  3. While setting up the Gmail account on Blackberry, select the “Sync Contacts” option
  4. It will take a few minutes, before you start seeing all the Gmail contacts on your Blackberry Address book.
  5. However there is a bug because of which, sync might cause duplicate contacts only on the Blackberry Address book (not on Gmail). To avoid this go to Address Book -> Options -> General Options and set "Allow Duplicate Names" to "No"
  6. All contact changes (add/update/delete)  done either on device or on Gmail are synced almost immediately.

Some of the frequently asked questions  on how to get the contact sync up and going:

What If I have the contacts only on the SIM?

  1. Import the contacts from SIM to Blackberry Address book. If a contact had multiple phone numbers, this will create multiple contacts on BB Address book.
  2. Setup Gmail sync (using the above 6 steps)
  3. Use Gmail de-duplicator to fix all the duplicate contacts which got created during SIM import
  4. Changes done on Gmail should automatically sync back to the device

What If I have already synced/imported the contacts via Blackberry Desktop Manager

  1. One way of handling this is to import the contacts into Gmail first, use the Gmail de-duplicator feature and then setup the Gmail contact sync feature.
  2. Alternatively, you can just go ahead and setup the Gmail sync; If there are duplicates, Gmail should help in merging the duplicate contacts.

Note: Wireless Synchronization can be turned ON or OFF even via the Blackberry Address book options.

20 comments

Blackberry Keyboard Shortcuts

Blackberry, Mobile

As with any other frequently used desktop application, the first thing that I did when I got the Blackberry was to familiarize myself with the keyboard shortcuts.

Keyboard shortcuts are typically an alternate means for invoking one or more commands that would otherwise be accessible only through a menu, a pointing device, different levels of a user interface, or via a command console – Wikipedia

My old HTC Touch, being a touch based phone, had no concept of keyboard or a shortcut which was quite frustrating. The Blackberry OS comes with a multitude of shortcuts and in this article, I will cover only the shortcuts available on the Blackberry Home Screen.

In order to enable some of the shortcuts listed in the table below, one has to first disable “Dialing from Home Screen”

  1. Go to Phone Screen -> Blackberry Key -> Options -> General Options
  2. Set Dial From Home Screen to NO

Note:
These shortcuts are the ones defined in the OS; one can always install a third party application like QuickLaunch which helps in assigning shortcuts to all kinds of operations possible on a Blackberry device

Keyboard Shortcut

Function

M

Messages

A

Address Book

C

Compose Message via Address Book

L

Calendar

N

Blackberry Messenger

B

Browser

S

Search

H

Help

O

Options

K

Lock Keyboard

D

MemoPad

T

Tasks

U

Calculator

V

Saved Messages

G

Google Talk

X

Windows Live Messenger

Y

Yahoo Messenger

P

Phone

Alt+Shift+H

Blackberry Help Me Screen

Alt+LGLG

Blackberry Event Log

Alt+ Right Shift+Del

Soft Reset

Alt+Escape

Application Switch Taskbar

The shortcuts for the Instant Messaging Applications will work provided they are installed.

If I have missed any other Home Screen shortcut key, do let me know by leaving a comment.

4 comments

Unlocking Blackberry Bold 9700

Blackberry, Mobile

Most of the Blackberry devices sold by RIM are locked onto a specific carrier, which means that the phone wouldn’t work with any other carriers SIM

I bought a Bold 9700 which was locked into AT&T network. There are lots of people out there selling the unlock code starting from 10$ all the way to 35$

These guys even give out complementary codes on popular blackberry blogs and have seen them pretty active in the Blackberry forums

When I was searching for “Unlocked Blackberry Bold 9700″ in Goolge Product search,I ended up seeing all the unlock providers first in the list (For some reason, Google couldn’t distinguish between “Unlocked” and “Unlock” in my search query)

And most of these in the list were guys selling the code via eBay and the surprising part was the offer price: 1.85$ ~ 2.5$

I went by seller rating and bough the unlock code from eBay. To get the unlock code, as with any “unlocker”, you have to submit the phone IMEI , phone model and the carrier

I was surprised to see the code delivered to my email within 10 min.

Once you get the unlock code, the process of unlocking the phone is pretty straightforward (This again might differ from phone to phone)

For Bold 9700

  1. Go to “Manage Connections” and select “Turn All Connections Off”
  2. Go to Options -> Advanced Options -> SIM Card
  3. You do end up seeing a empty screen here. Type MEPD (case insensitive) on this screen
  4. You would see a list in which “Network” would be marked as “Active”
  5. Type MEP2 on this screen to bring up the unlock code entry text box (note 2 here is Alt+E)
  6. Type in the unlock code received from the “unlocker” and you should see “Network” status changing from “Active” to “Disabled”

Now the device is unlocked and work with any GSM carrier. I would recommend anyone to use eBay service rather than paying exorbitant amounts to the “unlockers” charging almost more than 10-30 times the price offered on eBay

Note: If you are a long standing customer of the carrier, you can even call the customer care and ask for the unlock code. You should mention that you are traveling out of the country and intend to use the phone with some other SIM. This way you can get the unlock code for FREE !

11 comments

Blackberry Bold 9700 released in India

Blackberry, Mobile

Blackberry Bold 9700 which was released in US around mid November is now finally available in India.

There was no launch party for the Bold release like the one that happened for Singapore launch !

The BlackBerry Bold 9700 will be available nationally from multi brand outlets serviced by Redington India as well as from operators including Airtel, Aircel, BSNL, Idea Cellular, Loop Mobile, MTNL, Reliance, Tata and Vodafone beginning today

Now for the disappointing part; Its priced at 31990 which is almost 700 USD

In US, the no-commitment price for the same device is 350USD.

Here is an video, which might tempt you to go for the phone irrespective of the price :)

2 comments

BlackBerry Bold 9700

Blackberry, Gadgets

In my earlier review of HTC Touch, I had hoped that the phone would last for couple of years; it did last for more than couple of years – 2.5 years to be exact and got replaced by a much superior, nicer, faster Blackberry Bold 9700

HTC Touch was a nice phone but not a useful device. The messaging capabilities were very limited partly because of the touch interface and partly because of the almost useless OS – Windows Mobile. The processor was too slow to run applications and it was a pain to watch the device load the applications.

I have been using the Blackberry for almost a week now and it has been an amazing experience till now !

  • The messaging capabilities in Blackberry is something that can’t be even experienced on an iPhone. I could quickly configure all my E-Mail accounts via the Blackberry Internet service and now new E-Mails are pushed to the device as and when they land on the server
  • The physical keyboard is a pleasure to use when compared to the touchscreen keyboard.
  • Blackberry Messenger is an excellent tool to chat with your other Blackberry friends.
  • Facebook App is developed by RIM and does integrate nicely into Blackberry. You can even link Facebook contacts into Blackberry contacts which in turn pulls information like phone number, photo etc from Facebook onto the device address book.
  • There are quite a few useful applications which can be downloaded from Blackberry App World (like iPhone App Store) . There are few others which can be downloaded OTA.
  • I love keyboard shortcuts and Blackberry has taken care to incorporate the same in most of the applications – Messaging, Browser, Home Screen etc.

The only problem I had was with respect to the boot time. Every time I uninstall an application, you have to reboot the device and this is something which does take a lot of time.

I don’t intend to write an exhaustive review of the device hardware and capabilities. In case you are interested to know more about this phone, do read the reviews done by Phone Arena and Crackberry.

4 comments

Google Calendar Sync with Outlook 2010

Google, Tips n Tricks

I use Google Calendar Sync to synchronize my Outlook calendar items with Google Calendar and this worked fine until I upgraded to Office 2010.

Google Calendar Sync did not like Outlook 2010 and I was no longer able to synchronize calendar items. I was almost tempted to go back to Outlook 2007 and then I found a thread to resolve this issue

Follow these steps to get Google Sync work with Outlook 2010

  1. Backup Outlook.exe. If you have done a default install of Office 2010, the file can be found at C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14
  2. Close Outlook if its already running and ensure that Outlook.exe is not listed in Task Manager
  3. Edit Outlook.exe in a Hex Editor
  4. Replace text 14.0.0 with 12.0.0
  5. Save the file.
  6. Start Outlook and ensure that its still functioning
  7. Start Google Calendar Sync and you should see sync back in action.
37 comments