FloAt?EUR(TM)s Mobile Agent

By Team Digit Published Date
01 - Sep - 2006
| Last Updated
01 - Sep - 2006
FloAt’s Mobile Agent
In the past, in this same section, we've spoken about phone managers. Admittedly, most people have Nokia phones, and most phone managers are therefore targeted towards those models. However, with the growing popularity of other brands, and some very nice models being released, it's time to look at something else.

floAt's Mobile Agent (fMA) is an option everyone with a Sony Ericsson phone should consider. It's an open source project, started by-arguably-the biggest Sony Ericsson fans around. In what follows, we'll show you how to install and start using this advanced phone manager.

Before anything else, head over to http://snipurl.com/v9hr and look for your phone model number, and confirm that the stable release of fMA supports it. Though this software is designed for Sony Ericsson phones, it also works with some models of other brands.

Next, install the software from this month's Digit CD.

You will need to install your phone's drivers on your PC and connect your phone via either Bluetooth or USB. With this done, launch fMA and go to Phone > Connect, or press [F7]. fMA will connect to the phone and get a list of all the contacts, messages and data on your phone. It will then ask you to sync times between your phone and computer, which you should do. This step is more important than you might think, because any two devices that exchange data should have the same date and time to arrive at correct decisions about which file version is newer.

No problems here; fMA is designed to look like a cross between Windows Explorer and Microsoft Outlook-the folder navigation is Explorer-style, while contact and event handling will make MS Office users feel right at home. Take a look at all the menu options and you'll find they're all self-explanatory. On the left, you'll see the folder structure, and on the right you'll see details including call history, messages, battery status, and even signal strength.

Once you start using fMA, you'll find yourself more addicted to it each day. At least when you're sitting at your computer, you're likely to never touch your phone-and you don't need to.

If you want to shoot off an SMS to someone, just press [Ctrl] [N]. Type in your text, choose a recipient, and click Send-it really is that simple. The same goes for making or receiving a call-just press [Ctrl] [Shift] [C], or go to Action > Call Contact, choose a contact, and click Call.

The developers of fMA seem to have taken note of the fact that a lot of us are absent-minded. Using fMA, you can make sure that as soon as you step out of Bluetooth range, your computer automatically locks itself.  You can also set it to mute sounds or reduce the system volume, and reset itself when you return. Go to Tools > Options, click on the Proximity tab, and change the settings there. 

No software is perfect, and by now you will have found a fair share of bugs in fMA. For instance, we used it in conjunction with a Sony Ericsson K750i on an AMD Athlon 64 3000 , MSI RS480 MII motherboard with 1 GB of DDR 400 RAM, and found that very often it would hang, and start consuming 99 per cent CPU. If this happens to you, the only way out is to open the Task Manager ([Ctrl] [Alt] [Delete]) and end-task MobileAgent.exe.

Another thing that will have you tearing your hair out is when you try and type a new SMS using fMA. The window that pops up tries to use a transparency effect but fails miserably. The first thing you're going to want to do is get rid of that transparent look by heading over to Tools > Options and clicking on the Appearance tab. Here, you will see various values at the bottom. It's best to change everything to 255 (solid), so you can see what you're typing.

And You're Done!
Most of what you'll see in fMA doesn't need much explanation, and you should have no trouble getting by. Our thanks to the floAt's Mobile Agent developers for keeping this open source. If you're a developer, you will find that it's really easy to make scripts work with fMA, so go ahead and add some functionality to the project!
Hey Tiddle Tiddle

Get yourself organised with your own personal Wiki-the TiddlyWiki!

The TiddlyWiki is a single HTML file that you can carry around with yourself to organise your thoughts, information, and life in general. You can carry this file around on a USB stick as well, making it your wiki on the go. You can even put it up on the Internet as your own personal Web site-no fancy web design required! TiddlyWiki's own web site is a TiddlyWiki. It's even useful on an office network-setting up an internal wiki server is going to be quite a pain, not to mention expensive, and using a web-based solution can't be good for sensitive information. But put this on any PC on the network, and you have a simple, secure wiki for everyone in the office to access and contribute to.

You will find the "empty.html" file for it on the May 2006 Digit CD or get it from www.tiddlywiki.com.

Get It To Work With Opera
While TiddlyWiki works just fine with IE and Firefox, Opera's security features prevent TiddlyWiki from saving any changes to your wiki. So if you're an Opera user, you'll have to use this hack to be able to save your TiddlyWiki:

Use WordPad to open the opera.policy file in C:Program FilesOperaClasses and put in this line of code before the final "};"
permission java.io.FilePermission "c:[wiki path here]*", "read,write";
(The double back-slashes are important here.)
It will still take time for your wiki to save while Opera validates the permissions, though.

Your first Tiddler
Everything in a TiddlyWiki is organised in tiddlers-for example, the equivalent of a "Shopping List" page will be a "ShoppingList" tiddler, containing your entire shopping list. A tiddler has a title, a body, and a tag (a keyword you can assign to it for quick reference). A shopping list for electronic goodies, for example, can be tagged "gadgets", and essential shopping can be tagged "essentials", or something to that effect. You can link to other relevant tiddlers by using WikiWords-words joined together with their first letters capitalised-JustLikeThis. Now all you need to do is create a tiddler with the title JustLikeThis, and your link is made. Links come in handy for cross referencing-if you're writing a tiddler about, say, video editing, you could link to a review of your favourite video editing software, which you might have written before or plan to write soon.

If you don't want to use WikiWords, enclose the tiddler title you want to link to in double square brackets [[Just Like This]]. If you don't want a WikiWord to turn up as a link to a tiddler, precede it with a tilde (the character you get by pressing [Shift] the key to the left of [1]).
When you're done with your tiddler, hit [Ctrl] [Enter] to confirm it. To edit a tiddler, just double-click on the content.

Formatting Fun In Tiddlers
To format your text in a tiddler, use these formats:
''This makes text bold''
==Use this for strikethrough text==
__Use two underscores for underlining__
//Italics thus//
@@And highlights@@

To embed images into a tiddler (either from your PC or the Web), use the following code: [img[Text for optional tooltip|address of the image]].

If you want floating images that text will wrap around, use [<img[ to left-align the image and [>img[ to right-align them.

To emphasise text, enclose it within double curly braces {{like this}}. To place text inside a "code" box (a yellow box with a fixed width font like courier), use four curly braces on either side {{{{like this}}}}.

To link to an external site, use this format: [[put text here|www.urlhere.com]]

Swift Operations With Macros

The TiddlyWiki lets you use inbuilt macros to add more features to a tiddler: To insert the current date and time, use <

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