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Friday, 30.06.06
Unboxing the O2 Xda trion Pocket PC Phone Edition
Posted by Arne Hess - at 13:52 CET under Wireless - Mobile Devices

Thanks to O2 Germany, yesterday I've received the final O2 Xda trion aka the HTC Hermes. The first tri-band UMTS Windows Mobile Pocket PC and I'm just going to provide you these photos without any further comments. Enjoy:

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Tuesday, 27.06.06
Windows Vista Beta 2 Build 5456 is now available for download!
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:55 CET under Off Topic

I've just received an E-Mail from the Microsoft Windows Vista Beta team and these guys are pleased to announce the availability of Microsoft Windows Vista Build 5456 - a new and freshly updated Beta 2 version! Many of the things we - the users - have reported in Beta 2 have been fixed and while Microsoft believes this build to be generally better than the initial Beta 2, it is an interim build only and has not been through a rigorous test pass, also it's not the earlier announced RC!

In addition to the many bug fixes we'll find:

  • List View is back! Thanks to your feedback on this the shell team has added back this popular feature.
  • We no longer change the system clock when you set your time zone. We have removed this feature.
  • UAC behavior has changed a bit. You'll find deleting things off the desktop to work much easier now for starters.
  • The images posted first will be for x86 and x64 English. Home Basic, Home Premium, Business and Ultimate are all in the image and can be installed with the appropriate product key. You will not need a new key for this build. Existing beta 2 keys will work.
  • The Windows Driver Kit, Software Development Kit in addition to German and Japanese language versions of Vista are planned to follow shortly.

The following download packages are available for download now:

  • Windows Vista Beta 2 English builds for x86 and x64
  • Windows Vista Beta 2 Japanese Build for x86 and x64
  • Windows Vista Beta 2 German Build for x86 and x64
  • Windows Driver Kit
  • Windows Software Development Kit
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Monday, 26.06.06
Watching the FIFA World Cup live in a Munich Beer Garden
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:58 CET under Digital - Lifestyle

You know, one of the things I really enjoy here in Munich are our Beer Gardens. A great place to meet friends, to have lunch or dinner, to relax and - during the World Cup - to watch the matches! :-) So I did as well last Saturday when Germany played against Sweden (sorry Sweden, never knew that Germany can play so "Brazilian"). So yes, I was early enough in the Beer Garden close to my apartment to make sure I get a place with sight to the video wall (most Beer Gardens have at the moment and since the weather is so Mediterranean, the best place to watch Football is anywhere in the garden). However, I prepared myself, just in case something fails, like the video wall crashes during the match or whatever - I took my O2 Xda trion (one of the early development devices) with me, equipped with the Sling Media SlingPlayer to access my Slingbox at home - just as a fallback and indeed, it was working great (sorry for the low quality of the pictures I snapped with my i-mate SP5):

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Friday, 23.06.06
the::unwired Arne - now with RSS support for your Newsreader
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:25 CET under Off Topic

Interesting, some of you really asked me by E-Mail if I could enable the RSS feeds for my personal blog and sure I can - even if I thought nobody is interested in - but so I did. :-)
From now you can also read my blog through your favorite Newsreader and therefore the::unwired Arne is also better reachable from mobile devices (I know, I still don't have a mobile device optimized site of my personal blog as I have it for the::unwired).

So enjoy your latest RSS feed and let me know how it works for you.
By the way, if you haven't found it yet - the RSS feed is in the right column (same place where it is on the::unwired), right from the big orange feed logo but you can also click on the huge feed logo on the right of this posting to get the URL for my personal feed. ;-)

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Thursday, 22.06.06
Configuring the Sling Media Slingbox for DVB-T in Germany
Posted by Arne Hess - at 14:09 CET under Digital - Gadgets

Here we go. I've just connected my Slingbox to my antenna, plugged in the LAN cable into my Slingbox and router and started the installation of the SlingPlayer which isn't part of the sales pack but you have to download the SlingPlayer (for Windows XP) fro free from Sling Media's website. That's okay for me, since I always download the latest software from the manufactures websites because but keep in mind, if you don't have DSL (which doesn't makes sense since you need broadband to operate the Slingbox anyway), that is is a 32 MB download.

After your have installed the SlingPlayer (for the first time), it starts with a configuration wizard where you can select if you want to set-up your Slingbox for the first time or if you have previously configured it already and you have installed the SlingPlayer just on a different PC:

Right after the installation it starts with a verification process, if the SlingPlayer version you are going to use is the latest one - which was - in my case since I have downloaded it just 5 minutes before:

After it checks for the Slingbox firmware and here came the first surprise. Even if the Slingbox was brand new, the firmware was already outdated. Nevertheless, the Slingbox Setup Wizard offered a update itself, already had the firmware update included and the overall update process took something about 5 minutes only.

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Unpacking my latest gadget - a UK Slingbox from Sling Media
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:06 CET under Digital - Gadgets

Today and finally, my long awaited and brand new Slingbox arrived. It's the recently launched UK version which also includes support for DVB-T (FreeView as it is called in the UK) and I even have some good news for everybody out here, who is also trying to get a Slingbox in or from the UK as well: Sling Media UK already received a new delivery which is available again in the UK through PC World and at for £ 179.99 plus £ 4.99 for standard delivery as well as it should be available in Currys and the new stores soon.

So here we go with some photos of the box and all the stuff the sales pack includes:

After you've opened the pack, you get the Slingbox itself and many cables:

Sling Media packed basically every possibly required cable into the sales box and you might not use too many of these cables. But it's really appreciated, that it comes this way, since you don't have to buy another, maybe missing cable to get your Slingbox started because you can use the Slingbox with different sources, like cable or satellite set-top boxes or DVRs (Digital Video Recorder) which you can either connect via S-Video (for best results), Audio/Video cable or SCART Adapter. Also included is a IR Control cable, which lets you remote control your set-top box or DVR. Since it is the UK version, this Slingbox also supports analogue cable or antenna as well as (which is new) DVB-T. Also included is a LAN cable anf fore sure the UK power plug. Good that I still have a couple of UK to Continental Europe power plug-converters. :-)

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Wednesday, 21.06.06
Finally - Orb and my Windows Vista Media Center are living in coexistence
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:16 CET under Digital - Gadgets

While the latest version of Orb was running fine on my Windows Vista Beta 2 Ultimate Media Center Edition (Oh boy, what a name. I hope Microsoft will rethink its Windows Vista naming, otherwise we will end with something similar like we had before with Pocket PCs when the official name was "Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition for Pocket PC Phone Edition".) I had some serious problems to get Orb's live TV function working. I even bought a new DVB-T TV card for the "perfect" setup and indeed, the Hauppauge WinTV-NOVA-T PCI works fine with both, Windows Vista Media Center and Orb via DVB-T.

Nevertheless, all the time I've switched back from Orb to the Media Center live TV, Orb cracked up next time I tried to start it again or vice versa, if I switched back to MCE, live TV wasn't working anymore. It always ends with the same result, I had to uninstall Orb to get the MCE working and had to reinstall Orb to get it streaming.
However, today - after 3 weeks of heavy configuration and testing I found out what was wrong. It wasn't the second Pinnacle PCTV 200e USB TV card but the third Philips chipset based dual analogue/DVB-T PCI card which cracked up both systems all the time.
Now, after I disabled the Philips card in the hardware settings, and having the Hauppauge and Pinnacle card active only, everything works fine.

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Wednesday, 14.06.06
Doing something for the fitness - this time my new bike
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:38 CET under Off Topic

Ok, all of us come sooner or later into the age, where we have to do something more for our fitness. We are not kids anymore and therefore we are not playing football/soccer or whatever on the streets everyday anymore but most of us are sitting most time in the offices, cars, aircrafts or whatever. So I did, the past 20 years or so. Nevertheless, I thought it's time to do more fore me, beside snowboarding in the winter and scuba diving in the summer, which are nice and great sports but let's face it, they are not that good for the fitness at all.
Therefore - after 20 years - I bought my first bike yesterday, a Bulls Cross Bike (not to be confound with a Mountain Bike) and yes, I can confirm that you are not unlearn bicycling, even if I don't feel as comfortable as I felt 25 years ago when I was heavily doing BMX (racing and freestyle but I wasn't that good in the half pipe after I've crashed pretty hard one time). Anyway, I think I have unlearned all these stunts and even worse I have lost all my condition but it's really good to be back in the saddle. :-)

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Monday, 12.06.06
FIFA + Word Cup + Video Streaming = Hot Topic for Search Engines?
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:13 CET under Digital - Lifestyle

Looks like, at least I got many hits today from Google News where users searched for - "World Cup and Video and Streaming" - which Google News points to my previous article about Orb's new PC version which better supports DVB-T now and which enabled me as well (okay, I got the previous version also working but after the upgrade, this version works way better) to follow the World Cup, wherever I'm - as long as I have a broadband (UMTS or better) connection.

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Ah - finally the Windows Live team added me to its Windows Live Mail Beta
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:02 CET under Digital - Lifestyle

I've written about my tries to get my Windows Live Mail Beta up and running before and today, when I tried to login to, it worked - finally.Also it asked me if I want to continue in classic view (Hotmail - nah... I don't like Homail and its layout at all) or with the new Windows Live Mail view and for sure I've selected the new Windows Live Mail view. So here it is, my new Windows Live Mail account which works with one of my own domains, I've registered with Microsoft's Live Domains:

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Tuesday, 06.06.06
Anyone else tried Windows Live Mail already?
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:26 CET under Digital - Lifestyle

Anyone tried this "new" Windows Live Mail stuff yet? I mean it sound promising in terms of the features and UI:

  • AJAX-based user interface
  • Previews of your messages you can read without leaving your Inbox
  • Drag-and-drop organization
  • One-click control over junk and scam E-Mails
  • Right-click power - reply, delete, and forward
  • 2 GB of storage (2 GB = 2,000,000,000 bytes)

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Monday, 05.06.06
Frankfurt kicked-off the Word Cup with its fantastic SkyArena
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:17 CET under Off Topic

Not sure if you have seen it in your local TV too but tonight you might have the last chance to watch it again. Last Saturday, Frankfurt am Main kicked-off the this year's FIFA World Cup in the Frankfurt night sky. The SkyArena, a multivisual show on the façades of the Frankfurt skyline, set the mood on Saturday night for the World Cup in Germany. Amongst the celebrity guests were numerous football stars and former World Cup winners, including Franz Beckenbauer, who was clearly thrilled by the spectacle.

Several hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world watched on in admiration, cheering Frankfurt's World Cup overture. A number of bridges had to be closed due the crowds and the public squares in the city centre were just a mass of people.

"That was pure emotion – as an artistic, multimedia presentation of the history and passion of football there's no topping that", was the unanimous reaction of the world stars on the banks of the Main.

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