Samsung Galaxy S, USB mass storage mode, and the Mac

January 19, 2011

In the last few days, I’ve been experimenting with a Samsung Galaxy S GT-I9000 phone, to assess its compatibility with Salling Media Sync.

It appears to work fine, but I found the phone’s ability to work as a disk drive (USB mass storage mode) to be flaky. Basically, I’d connect the phone, select “Connect USB storage”, and… nothing.

Checking for connected USB devices in System Profiler showed no Samsung device connected, even though it is.

Sometimes, however, it’d work.

I googled this, and popular belief on the internet says you should enable Developer USB mode. For me, this never worked.

Instead, a trick that works most of the time (for me anyways) is this:

  1. Configure the phone so that it’s automatically using USB Mass Storage mode. Do this in the phone’s Settings under Wireless and networks (assuming your phone is running Android 2.2 Froyo).
  2. Disable USB Development mode, if you have enabled it.
  3. When you connect the phone, you’ll get a screen “USB Connected” with a button “Connect USB storage” on your phone. Quickly tap this button. I mean very quickly (within 0.5 seconds of the screen appearing). If this doesn’t work, reconnect and try again.

Obviously, this is not satisfactory, and one can only hope that Samsung fixes this problem for us Mac users. In the meantime, I’m reluctant to add a number of Samsung Galaxy devices to the list of supported phones, as I fear this would lead to a barrage of support inquiries and accusations of malfunction in my application.

What’s your experience with these Samsung devices?

WordPress updated

September 6, 2009

So. The scare campaign finally got me to update my WordPress installation. I think it was the news that Andy Ihnatko got hacked that finally drove the message home.

Nothing terribly exciting about this, but I figured I should let you know; in case there are issues with the update.

Thanks for listening!

Salling Clicker for Mac OS X 10.6 (“Snow Leopard”)

August 28, 2009

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, Salling Clicker was in need of some minor alterations to work well in Mac OS X 10.6 (“Snow Leopard”). These alterations will be rolled into a minor update labelled 3.5.2 (current public version is 3.5.1).

As I know some of you may get your hands on Snow Leopard as early as today, I want to make 3.5.2 available to you as soon as possible. Please use this link to download “beta 1” of 3.5.2:

Please note that the application no longer needs an installer. Drag the downloaded application into /Applications and launch it. Any previously installed Salling Clicker prefPane will be uninstalled on the first launch (requiring admin authorization).

I do expect to post further betas in the coming days and/or weeks, tweaking other aspects of the update as necessary (primarily controller scripts).

Thanks for listening!

Snow Leopard compatiblity

August 27, 2009

We’ve been using Snow Leopard here at the office for quite some time now, and here’s the status on Salling’s Mac applications with respect to Snow Leopard compatibility.

Salling Media Sync (latest version) work great in Snow Leopard, with one exception. The KEXT we’re installing to enable Sony Walkman (not Sony Ericsson) devices may give an error on installation (but works fine). Also, it’s not clear whether this KEXT does what it should if you’re running the 64-bit kernel (you most likely aren’t, unless you’re tinkering or using an xServe).

Salling Clicker has some issues. Whether these prevent you from using the software depends on your usage patterns, I think. Don’t worry, though. A compatibility update is coming. To save time, we’re not going to make Salling Clicker a 64-bit executable. This means, among other things, that we no longer want to stay in System Preferences (32-bit prefPanes cause System Preferences to restart in 32-bit mode when selected, and I don’t particularly like the feel of that). So the Salling Clicker stuff you’ve traditionally seen in System Preferences will now reside in its own application (simply named “Salling Clicker”). I expect I’ll be ready to post a beta build of Salling Clicker for Snow Leopard in the forums tomorrow (August 28 2009).

That’s all for now! Thanks for listening.

Extending a helping hand to Stephen Fry

December 15, 2008

The ever helpful Dave Nanian of Shirt-Pocket, who assisted me in my efforts to make Salling Media Sync work with the G1 “Android” phone, pointed me to a great blog post by the witty Stephen Fry. Stephen, who to my surprise turns out to be quite the gadget connoisseur, complains about the lack of music sync options with the G1:

You cannot sync the G1 with your PC or Mac – your music files have either to be downloaded OTA (your best bet may be Amazon’s DRM-free collection) or copied from your computer onto a MicroSD card that is then inserted in the G1. Cumbersome and disappointing.

Here’s to hoping he’ll give Salling Media Sync a try!

Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard” compatibility

October 26, 2007

Please check this forum post for a 3.5.1 build of Salling Clicker that’ll work with Leopard:

I’m out of town this week (scheduled since way back), and as I am not able to handle the full load of email support (over 3G/UMTS) that usually comes with a full release/announce cycle, I’m “sneaking” this out for the benefit of you early-adopters out there. Enjoy!

Opera Mini 4 (beta) – I’m impressed

June 19, 2007

I’ve long been a fan of the Opera Mini browser. Especially for whenever I’m using a non-smartphone (and sometimes when I’m on a smartphone, too). For those who’re not familiar with Opera Mini, here’s what’s so cool about it:

All browsing goes through Opera’s compressing web proxy. A web page which would normally be a one megabyte download from a regular browser is typically compressed to about one tenth the size. This browser will let you browse the real web, and on a tiny “dumb” phone, no less.

The new version takes more than a few ideas from Nokia’s “minimap” S60 browser, and I really like it! See this link for a demo and this one for a tongue-in-cheek jab at Apple’s iPhone.

Then go check it out for yourself on your mobile phone. I’m really impressed Opera’s work on this one!

Edit: here’s a simulator, allowing you to try the browser from your computer.

Getting Salling Clicker to autolaunch on S60 3rd Edition

May 21, 2007

One snag introduced in S60 3rd Edition is that we can no longer launch our Salling Clicker background server application automatically when the phone starts. What this means for you is that your phone cannot accept incoming Bluetooth connections from Salling Clicker on your computer, unless you’ve manually launched the Salling Clicker application on your phone at least once after restarting the phone.

The reason for this inconvenience is that platform security in Symbian 9.x prevents applications from automatically starting unless Symbian Signed. Now you might ask: why isn’t Salling Clicker Symbian Signed? The reason is that for our type of application this would be rather costly and time consuming. I’ve decided, for now at least, that Symbian Signed is not worth it.

The good news is that Wireless Labs just released a free Symbian Signed app (for S60 3rd Edition only, not UIQ3 unfortunately), PowerBoot, that lets you automatically launch any executable on your phone when the phone starts.

(Certifying freeware doesn’t cost anything, and as PowerBoot does only one thing it’s not likely Wireless Labs will need to revise it and have it re-certified in the future. For us, certifying is a more painful affair)

If you want to try this, configure PowerBoot to automatically launch E:sysbinClickerSvr.exe (change the drive letter depending on phone model and where you installed Salling Clicker). I’ve tested this with a Nokia N95, and it seems to work perfectly. Salling Clicker on my Mac can now connect to the phone after it’s been restarted without me having to launch the Salling Clicker UI client on the phone.


Quick Interview with Carl-Johan Eelde at MacNytt

May 19, 2007

I had a nice chat with Carl-Johan Eelde from Swedish Mac-site MacNytt the other day. Here’s my rough translation of the interview, as it was originally posted on the MacNytt site (his questions in bold; parts of the interview specifically pertaining to Swedish customers have been edited out):

A few days ago, the remote control application Salling Clicker was updated to version 3.5. We spoke with the developer about the new version and the future.

First question. What feature in 3.5 are you most exited about?
The Wifi-support. The customers seem to like it too. I think Clicker 3.5 is a great reason to get a WiFi-enabled phone, and there’s now a bunch of models to choose from.

Clicker has been available for Windows for a while now. How’s it doing?
So far, I’ve been very pleased with how we’re doing on the Windows platform, and I have high hopes for the new version. We’re now supporting all Bluetooth stacks: Microsoft, Toshiba, IVT, and Broadcom. Without requiring configuration of COM ports. We’ve also added support for Bonjour (but we call it “zero configuration” for trademark reasons).

Can a license key for Mac be used in the Windows version?
Nope. The Windows and Mac licenses are sold separately. They can be bought in a bundle at a 25% discount, however. Quite a few customers pick up the bundle; not sure if they take the opportunity to buy for a colleague with Windows/Mac, or if they’re hardcore Boot Camp users.

How has the release of 3.5 been? Successful?
It’s gone really well. I’m happy. We’ll follow up with a number of smaller releases now.

Exciting. Bug fixes?
I’ve got a couple of new features up the sleeve. A cooler iTunes controller is in the works. It’ll be a fairly massive update to the controller, actually. Better support for podcasts, audio books, shared libraries, and more.

Sounds nice. Are you also going to support more devices?
Always. Most certainly the new Motorola RIZR Z8, based on UIQ 3.1, will be added to the support list.

What are the chances for Clicker on the iPhone?
I’m taking a wait-and-see approach to the iPhone. Without support for (real) 3rd-party applications, it’ll be difficult.

Will you be going to (Apple’s) WWDC this year?
The way things look now, no. Not this year.

Thanks for the interview, and best of luck with your business!

Shocking WiFi-performance on Nokia N95

April 26, 2007

As a followup to my last post about the surprising longevity of the Sony Ericsson P990i battery under (light) WiFi usage, I ran a similar test on the Nokia N95.

Again, I connected Salling Clicker 3.5 (non-public beta) via WiFi to my computer and went to bed. As with the P990, in the morning I was able to pick up the N95 and control iTunes right away. Here’s the shocker, though, considering the N95 has been pretty much slammed in many reviews for its battery life (or rather its lack thereof):

The battery indicator showed no signs of drainage (all bars were lit)! I suspect Nokia chose to give the N95’s battery indicator a rather aggressive “curve” (by which I mean that it will stay high for quite some time and then drop quickly). Still, I find it pretty darn impressive that we were able to stay attached to the WiFi network for eight hours without noticeable power drain.

I’ve been using the N95 for about a week now, and it’s a really quite a fun device. I hope to find the time to write a post about my experiences later. Stay tuned.

(Dave asked if the 3G-radio was on during this test: yes it was)