Archive for the ‘Wireless’ Category

May 17, 2009
Filed Under (Open Source, Technology, Web Development, Wireless) by Ollie Cronk on 17-05-2009

One of my projects at the moment is to look at our options for building SMS enabled web applications (specifically for us around our Zend Framework based apps). Both for data capture (Inbound) and as an alerting / notification system (Outbound).

Thought I’d pull together some of my thoughts and reference material [not exhaustive or complete yet] in case its of use to anyone else in a similar situation. But first I’d like to thank my good friend Jem who helped identify some different angles on this…

Research Material:

As always the first place to start is Google and Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS_gateways

LinkedIn Q&A is a great reference – here are a few relevant threads that I came across (you’ll probably need a Linkedin.com account to get to these) there are lots more if you search around with SMS related keywords.

Implementation Options:

There are 2 main options – and as always its the struggle between D.I.Y and DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself – or my version DRY-OFF – DRY or others [for f sake? I just wanted it to be OFF as it sounded better; anyway I’ll shut up now!])

Roll your own

The Kannel FAQ covers this point quite well – http://www.kannel.org/faq.shtml#1.2

pros – complete control over messaging and ability to iron out any kinks in connectivity etc, potentially cheaper to run / only costs you what you use (rather than having to buy credits)

cons – more complex to setup in the first place, need to buy & setup some hardware somewhere etc

Useful article on Kannel on Ubuntu with PHP5: http://www.chipmunkninja.com/Setting-up-Configuring-and-Using-13@

Outsourced

Pros – ease of getting it up and running if the integration API (eg HTTP, XML/E-mail based) is easy to pick up

Cons  – my concern around these guys is how do you how good they are – will they disappear tomorrow? What gateways are they using, how reliable are their channels etc.

Guide to Gateways (US focused) but has some nice general considerations) http://www.developershome.com/sms/howToChooseSMSGateway.asp This site also has a really nice comparison table – which you could also use as a template for doing your own matrix/scoring comparisions of these services.

We will probably go with a combination of the 2 options – using our own system for the development of services (as we have greater control) and then making use of a partner once the message volumes go above what is finanically viable/scalable in house…

Once the technical bit is out of the way you then need to consider the usability and process flow around the app – eg if users are sending in data, queuing, acknowledging their submissions, correcting mistakes etc…

Hope to post more on this topic if I get the opportunity! If anyone has any insights or good resources on this topic then by all means please comment on this post!

Thanks



July 17, 2008
Filed Under (Gadgets, Wireless) by Ollie Cronk on 17-07-2008

…is brilliant, miles better than the standard Web Browser, although still not quite on a par with the iPhone (but then half the magic of that is the touch screen interface). Very fast and displays pages like a standard desktop browser, but the killer feature is that it allows you to see the whole website in a zoomed out view allowing you can click to zoom in/out and then move around the page really easily. Also has a handy bookmarks sync feature (where you can enter URLs online using your desktop browser for use later on the phone).

Grab it from http://mini.opera.com (using the standard browser on the phone). You can also check out a demo on PC here: http://www.operamini.com/demo/. This is also available for other devices other than BlackBerrys.

Getting the Wifi to work can be a bit fiddly (not the initial Wifi Connection but getting the device to use the WLAN rather than the GPRS). Look for options along the lines of “Prefer Wifi” in the phone settings menus.
Opera Mini behaves much better in this respect than the standard browser.

Was also very pleased to discover that I could buy a Sandisk 2GB microSD memory card for my BlackBerry for £6 on play.com! Brilliant deal! Also discovered that Sandisk do a really cool SD card that folds in half to allow it slot into your USB port so that has joined my gadget collection too!



May 26, 2007
Filed Under (Linux, Technology, Wireless) by Ollie Cronk on 26-05-2007

This is the first time I’ve seen this (see the line highlighted in Orange) obviously I’ve seen Redhat or SuSE before but this is good to see. Hopefully we’ll start seeing Ubuntu too. (Ubuntu is Debian based but many users won’t know that – or care for that matter!)

Edimax Wireless USB - Debian Linux Supported

I also think its comedy that they’ve mistyped Mandrake as Mandark! For those of you that don’t know Mandrake is another Linux distribution that aims to be easy to use.

Talking of things that are good to see hopefully the Dell Ubuntu Store will be in Europe before too long!