Upgrading US Nokia N95 to v20 firmware, Part III, Better Bluetooth

I had previously blogged that I needed to use the Microsoft XP drivers to solve Bluetooth connection issues I was having when I connected/disconnected remotely to my PC via RDP. Well, after I upgraded to v20 on my phone, I found that I could no longer authenticate the phone from my PC using Bluetooth. So, as a long shot, I installed the Bluetooth dongle's software/drivers and voila, it seems to work. I'll keep my fingers crossed that it stays that way. Now if I could only figure out how to get protected WMAs to work…

My 2008 Predictions

My 2008 Predictions

  1. Housing will not recover in 2008.
  2. Gasoline will be $4/gallon and stay there.
  3. Oil will stay over $100 barrel for most of the year.
  4. The market will take a huge hit, but bounce back by year end.
  5. Republicans will somehow hang onto White House.
  6. Lakers will make it the conference finals.
  7. Foreclosures will be at record levels
  8. Apple will release a cool tablet which will basically be an iPod Touch with a larger screen.
  9. My daughter will achive a 3.5 report card…gawd I hope.
  10. I will buy a new TV.
  11. The Fed will raise interest rates
  12. Neither Blueray nor HD DVD will gain traction
  13. Supply of the Wii will exceed demand
  14. Steve Jobs will make some deal regarding stock option backdating and avoid having to leave Apple.
  15. Facebook will fade


My 2007 Prediction Results

  1. Housing market will continue to decline with flat sales and declining values. In other words, we did not hit bottom in 2006.I think I nailed this.
  2. Foreclosures will be at record highs Nailed this as well.
  3. We will see a recession Prolly wrong, but still possible since we wont know until mid '08.
  4. Oil will hit $80+ a barrel Nailed this. Hit $100!
  5. The stock market will tank early in the year Bzzzzz wrong! It's having its issues lately though.
  6. The Fed will cut interest rates Nailed this!
  7. A major terrorist attack will occur in US Bzzzzz…fortunately I wuz wrong on this.
  8. Apple with release a true video iPod with underwhelming features, but it will be cool and sell well. Hmmm should have stopped after the first part. 1/2 a nail.
  9. The iPod will be truly challenged by other media players Bzzzzz
  10. Microsoft will support PlaysForSure on the Zune Bzzzz
  11. Steve Jobs will be forced to step down (a terrible thing!) Bzzzzz
  12. Britney Spears will release a new and successful CD and restart her career her new CD peaked at #2 and she's #1 on Billboard's “The Buzz 100”, so I'm giving me a “nailed” on this one.
  13. Podcasting will become mainstream. Bzzzz popular yes, but not mainstream.
  14. Subscription music services will take off. (As opposed to iTunes buy-songs model) Bzzzzz
  15. Downloadable/on-demand TV shows and movies will be “normal” and expected by consumers Bzzzzz not quite yet.
  16. DVD and CD sales will show weakness and the latter may decline Nailed…I think
  17. Neither Blue Ray nor HD-DVD will gain traction Nailed
  18. FCC will be forced to delay NTSC expiration dates (again) Bzzzz not yet anyways
  19. Tube-based computer monitors and TVs will all but disappear at stores Nailed
  20. You Tube will flourish Nailed
  21. MySpace popularity will decline. Nailed…I think
  22. Google
    will consolidate all of their tools (word processor, spreadsheet,
    calendar, search, rss reader, store, YouTube, etc.) into a
    mainstream-accessible interface. Nailed
  23. Internet sales tax legislation will not be passed (again) Nailed…permanently.
  24. I will buy a new MP3 player The N95 counts here, so nailed!
  25. PS3 will be a flop.  Nailed
  26. XBOX 360 will flourish and a new version with built-in HD-DVD will be released Bzzzzzz, but go the 1st part right
  27. Intel will continue to dominate x86 CPU market. AMD will not catch up.  Nailed
  28. Windows Vista will meet with great initial resistance, but slowly gain momentum Bzzzzz…the resistance continues…but is prolly futile.
  29. The Lakers will make it to the conference finals. Bzzzz
  30. I will get off my fat a$$ and start working out. (This won't be very hard since I do nothing now ;-) Bzzzz unfortunately. Tired to start up golf again, but bursitis got me!
  31. My daughter's grades will show improvement Nailed, but only a little
  32. My wife's career will blossom Nailed!!! She's now the SoCal Mktg Mgr for a national CPA firm!
  33. My hearing and eyesight will continue to decline (C'mon I gotta have at least one slamdunk!) Nailed, but only slight decline fortunately.


Upgrading US Nokia N95 to v20 firmware, Part II, No Protected WMA

Well, looks like I screwed myself a little by pretending to be european and upgrading my N95's firmware.  It seems that Rhapsody subscription music will no longer play on the N95 due to licensing problems. Bummer. Well, I'll just have to live with MP3s until the American firmware upgrade becomes available. There is no way to downgrade.

Still, I really enjoy the additional ram and new podcast features. There is a big bug in the music player tho. Sometimes when you delete a song/podcast, the database gets confused and will continue to show it even after doing a refresh. The solution is to delete the db and cache which I found here. Basically, you just connect your N95 in USB drive mode and then from your PC delete the files (not the directories) in private101FFC31, private101f8857Cache and private101ffca9. After that do a refresh and all will be well.

Upgrading US Nokia N95 to v20 firmware

Well I just got tired of waiting for official US v20 firmware for my Nokia N95,  so I hacked the product code from 0548763 to 0536062 (“EURO1 – Plum”) and was able to upgrade using the normal Nokia software upgrade application. The hack is pretty easy and you basically just write over the product code. All of the instructions are at Force Flashing Vodafone-Branded Nokia E61. You must use this little utility called the Nemesis Service Suite. (On a side note, after you install NSS it asks you about installing a USB driver. You can just ignore this step.)

The benefits are well covered on the various N95 forums/blogs, but here are a couple improvements that really interested me. First, I've got about 28MB of free ram which is about 10MB more than I had before. That is a freaking 56% increase!!!

The other huge improvement is podcast playing. The Podcasting app seems to be integrated into the music player now or at least the UI is. It will actually REMEMBER where you left off playing a podcast!!! Woo hoo!!!

I'm sure there are many other things that I'll discover, but these two improvements are a godsend.  

Tips on upgrading 

I wouldn't worry about using the Nokia backup application. It wouldn't finishsuccessfully for me and besides its always better to start fresh. Here are some tips before you upgrade:

  • Write down all of the apps you have installed and make sure you have the files to re-install. Some may be web installed.
  • Export/save any databases that these apps may use.
  • Write down any special configurations, settings, etc.
  • Write down the shortcut apps you may have customized on the main screen.
  • Had a couple issues entering application reg codes and passwords, but a reboot seemed to fix.

My old Sony Z505 PIII laptop started working!

I loved this superslim laptop from the moment I got it. Cost me $2100 around 2000. It's small even my today's standards and the magnesium alloy case puts many current laptops to shame. I used it for years and then handed it down to my daughter. She got a new one for her birthday so I cleaned the drive and reinstalled Windows–who knows what kinda crap she has installed on it ;-)

This sucker's battery has never charged properly, but for some unknown reason, the after the reinstall the charge seems to be holding! Amazing! The PIII-500 has just enough power to do basic web stuff. I'm excited.