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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

How to Transfer Movies to iTunes for Free for your iPod, iTouch, and iPhone

My new 7th generation iPod classic has a number of features that my 4th gen iPod Photo and with the 120GB disk space – there is plenty of room to play. Since this model plays videos, movies, tv shows, and more – I decided to put a couple of movies from my home collection onto it for traveling. I figured I could just pop the movie into my DVD-ROM drive on my PC and iTunes would transfer it automatically to my iPod Classic for me.

Boy, I sure was wrong!

Learn how to convert your DVD movies to a format compatible with your iPod Classic, iTouch, or iPhone for free
I did some quick research and found that I would need some sort of program to rip the DVD movie from the disc to my hard drive in the MP4 / ACC format that iTunes wants to use to play on your iPod. At first, most of the programs found in Google searches masqueraded as “free”, but were really crippled trial or shareware versions that would not accomplish what I was looking to do. I was certain there had to be free options out there rather than paying for mediocre applications.

Determined, I was persistent and I stumbled across a two-pronged solution which enabled me to rip DVDs from my personal movie collection to an iTunes compatible format. It requires two different pieces of software – both either freeware or open licensing and each movie takes about 60 minutes to rip into the iPod format on my quad-core Intel system running Windows 2008.

The first piece of software you will need to download is DVD Decrypter 3.5.4 (check). This software created a lot of controversy several years ago when the author figured out a scheme to “crack” the security on DVDs in order to rip them to another media. After many court battles and DCMA reviews – the software is legal to use for your personal home collection, but not legal to distribute. For that reason, I will not provide a direct link to it, but by searching Goolge for “DVD Decrypter v3.5.4” you can obtain a download easily.

The second pieces of software you need is “Handbrake” (link here) which converts a movie from the full format to a modified format version such as iPod Classic, iPod Touch, or iPhone versions and is an GPL-license and available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux systems. I could not get it to work directly against a non-ripped DVD movie – even one without copy protection. However, this software has a ton of features and options for you to choose from to format and enhance the DVD media for whichever device you have once you have it on disc.

Here is the step-by-step process, which will take about 60 minutes total if you follow settings similar to mine on similar hardware -- a quad-core Intel processor on Windows Server 2008 with 8GB RAM. Note, the CPU is used mosed intensively for this, so varying amounts of RAM may not yield significant differences.

1. Install both the DVD Decrypter 3.6.4 and Handbrake on your system. This process should take less than 5 minutes.

2. Start up the DVD Decrypter software and then put your DVD movie into your computer’s DVD-ROM drive. The DVD Decrypter software will automatically detect the DVD. Depending on copy protection, it may ask for what region you are in. Choose the desired location for the files to be saved and click on the green button to start. Ripping to your hard drive will take approximately 10-15 minutes. In this example, I ripped my DVD Bad Boys II to disk.

Rip Movies Convert to iPod Classic, iTouch, and iPhone Formats Step 2
3. Once you complete the ripping process, fire up the Handbrake software. First, browse for the ripped folders you just created in step 2. A small window stating the CLI is scanning the source appears while the program catalogs the contents of your ripped DVD from disk.

Rip Movies Convert to iPod Classic, iTouch, and iPhone Formats Step 3
4. In the title dropdown of the Handbrake software, choose the longest length (timewise) option -- usually the first one. In the case for "The Bourne Supremacy", it is the first one with a length of 01:48:27. This automatically choose all 25 chapters of the DVD and names the file appropriately.

Rip Movies Convert to iPod Classic, iTouch, and iPhone Formats Step 4
5. Now choose a preset -- or a format standard on the right for the device you will be playing your movie on. The options include: Animation, AppleTV, Bedlam, Blind, Broke, Classic, Constant Quality Rate, Deux Six Quatre, File, iPhone / iPod Touch, iPod High-Rez (Resolution), iPod Low-Rez, Normal, PS3, PSP, Quicktime, Television, and Xbox 360. For my iPod 7th Generation I choose the iPod High-Rez which translates to the width setting of 640 pixels wide.

Rip Movies Convert to iPod Classic, iTouch, and iPhone Formats Step 5
6. Next choose the Video tab to control how the DVD is converted to the iPod specific format. Under, the first two check boxes under Advanced Encoding Settings check both the '2-Pass Encoding' and 'Turbo first pPass (pass)' checkboxes. Making two passes in any conversion helps to improve the quality and the first turbo pass will be fairly quick (< 15 minutes on my machine). Under quality, you can control the size of the files that you generate. The default is for an Avg Bitrate (kbps) setting of 1500, however you can adjust down to target a file size as I do in this example or manually change the bitrate. In order to make a size / quality trade-off here, these are the sizes of a 2 hour movie for bitrate settings of 1500, 750, and 375. 1500 = 1.43GB, 750 = 790MB, 375 = 465MB. Generally speaking, given the amount of space available on my iPod -- I have choose the default setting of 1500.

Rip Movies Convert to iPod Classic, iTouch, and iPhone Formats Step 6
7. Now go to the Audio and Subtitles screen. Set your desired Audio Tracks here in order to just rip what you need. I generally choose English under track 1 and then either Dolby Surround or Discreet 6 channel for Track 1 Mix. In all honesty, I have not noticed a difference by changing the mix. You can also adjust the sound quality, however I have not needed to change this setting.

Rip Movies Convert to iPod Classic, iTouch, and iPhone Formats Step 7
8. Now you are ready to go -- click on the 'Start' button in the upper left hand corner and a command window will open and track the conversion process. Expect it to take 45-50 minutes to convert the DVD movie to your desired format based on the above settings. This is highly CPU intensive, so try to minimize use of your machine if you are short on time for conversion.

Rip Movies Convert to iPod Classic, iTouch, and iPhone Formats Step 8
9. Once the conversion is complete, all you need to do is add the movie to your iTunes library. To add a simple movie to iTunes, click on File --> Add File to Library and browse to your newly created iPod movie file.

Rip Movies Convert to iPod Classic, iTouch, and iPhone Formats Step 9
10. Once the file is selected, you will see it add to your iTunes movie library as in the picture below. Now the video is ready for playback testing and transfer to your iPod / iTouch / iPhone via synchronization.

Rip Movies Convert to iPod Classic, iTouch, and iPhone Formats Step 10
11. The playback is successful and now you've completed the process to rip a DVD to your hard drive and then convert it to the format required for your iPod / iPhone / iTouch. Congratulations!
The playback is successful and now you've completed the process to rip a DVD to your hard drive and then convert it to the format required for your iPod / iPhone / iTouch.  Congratulations!

Note: It may be illegal to rip or copy movies that you do not own as part of your personal collection. The sole purpose of this guide is to show how you can play movies you have legally purchased and own on your iPod Classic, iPod Touch, or iPhone.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy 80th Birthday Grandma!

Early Saturday morning, Ashley and I headed down to the Banning / Cherry Valley area for a surprise birthday party for Ashley's Grandma. The party had been in the works for several months with Ashley and her Aunt Carol putting the plans together. On our way out, we had a planned stop at my favorite store, Costco -- to pick up some of the food and snacks for the party. Thanks to Costco's 15-minute early opening, we were able to get the food to Aunt Carol's house and head over to Grandma and Grandpa's without detection.

Grandma knew there was going to be a "party", but she thought it was going to be a small, family BBQ rather than a party of 40+ family and friends coming from as far away as the Sacramento area. Our job was to drive Grandma and Grandpa over at 2:00pm, just in time for the start. We were able to keep it a secret until we pulled into Carol's driveway and grandma stated -- "What did you guys do?" We simply smiled and the party began.

Below are a few of the photos from the grand occasion...

Grandma gets out of our vehicle and is greeted by Ashley's dad (son-in-law) Phil as she is surprised by the rest of the guests.

Phil chats with friends Chris and Frank while enjoying some snacks and party foods.

Friends Dan and Debbie (left, and breeders of our Chocolate Lab Luey) and Grandpa Jim, right pose for a quick snapshot.

Grandson Hunter tosses the football in the backyard.

Grandma blows out the candles on her 80th birthday while getting help from great-grandson's Nick & Ryan.

Great grandson Nick catches the football.

Great grandchildren Megan and Ryan pose for a quick photo.

Frank, Carol, and Debbie watch while grandma looks through her special 80-year photo album that was a gift from all the family and friends.

Grandson David and wife Dianna watch Grandma look through her new album.

Grandpa Jim watches the festivities.

Ashley poses with her grandma as the gifts are opened.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Blu-Ray: 2 Playstation 3’s PS3 For You!

Recently I noticed that 90% of the movies currently in my Blockbuster DVD Rental movie queue are Blu-Ray. That is a huge difference from just 9 months ago when the number was closer to 20%. With that huge increase, the importance of a Blu-Ray player is really emphasized. Already owning a Sony Playstation 3 (PS3) system, the built in Blu-Ray DVD capability was a huge benefit – and part of the original reason I purchased it.

Two PS3 Solution for Blu-Ray DVD Players
But now I had a new problem. Generally, we watch a large portion of our rental movies downstairs on our “home entertainment” system. However, sometimes we will watch them upstairs. With this shift in Blu-Ray availability and only one Blu-Ray player in the house – we could not watch movies upstairs, even if we wanted to.

Once again, the search for a Blu-Ray player began. After checking out the normal sites and places, I realized that there was still very little difference between the price of a Playstation 3 and a standard Blu-Ray player. This of course brought me quickly to the conclusion that I needed a second Playstation 3 for a number of reasons.

First off, I have to mention I have no idea why anyone would purchase a Blu-Ray player over a Playstation 3 system. Once you understand the benefits of the Playstation 3’s Blu-Ray player, it is a hard justification to make for any other options.

Why? The biggest reason is future compatibility with any standard – sound or video. Sony frequently provides updates to the Playstation 3 systems over the Internet automatically. Already, there have been several additional sound / video formats available through these updates. That means that as adoption of Blu-Ray continues and new enhancements come out – you are protected from having to replace the Blu-Ray player. That is hard to beat!

The other key reason is versatility. Yes, the Playstation 3 is a gaming system. No question about that. But other than movies, you can browse the Internet, look at photos, stream your iTunes and other music to it, among other features. When you add that to the Blu-Ray DVD movie capabilities – it is practically an all-in-one home entertainment system.

With those reasons in hand, I made the decision to get another PS3 rather than a standard Blu-Ray player. When you look at the reason – and are in the same position as me, I bet you will likely make the same decision.

I also helps with Microsoft is offering 30% off of Playstation 3 (link here), making my purchase prices less than $300!

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

iPod: Out with the Old, In with the New

New 7th generation iPod that is. With the “free money” available from Live.com and PayPal as part of the cash back promotion – I decided to replace my 4th generation iPod photo with the latest and greatest from Apple.

The new 7th Generation iPod Classic 120GB in Black
As a result, several of my friends and co-workers will no longer be able to make fun of my iPod. It was common to hear comments like – “When did you get that iPod, 1995?, “How much does that thing way?”, “Will that even fit in your carry-on?”. My common response had become, at least it was a 60GB version. That was usually met with laughter.

However, social acceptance was not the key reason for the upgrade. An extended set of features, higher quality screen, and 120GB of space were very compelling at a price point less than $200 with cash back added in. Plus, features like better pictures, TV shows, movies, and videos made for a compelling argument.

Replacing my old 4th Generation iPod Photo with a 7th Generation iPod Classic 120GB
Why not the iPod touch? Primarily, for me – it was about the amount of space. Maxing out at 32GB was simply not enough space for my music – forget about video. Since I record all of my music in > 160 with VBR for sound quality reasons – space is a premium. That made an updated version of the iPod Classic an easy choice for me.

The craziest surprise of all was when I put the 4th gen iPod Photo on eBay. With the 60GB of space, all original boxes and receipt – it fetched just about $110. That meant that the upgrade itself was only $70 with the cash back consideration. An absolute no-brainer!

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Monday, October 20, 2008

MPT v5: How to Transfer Contacts from Outlook 2007 to RAZR

With the release of Motorola Phone Tools v5 (MPT 5.0), there are a ton of new features to take advantage of. As part of my on-going coverage of the Motorola RAZR and other phones, I am publishing a number of how-to guides so that you can use the updated features of the new software.

This particular guide is how you can transfer contacts from the program of your choice to your Motorola RAZR phone. The best news here is that for the first time, in version 5.0, you can access Microsoft Outlook 2007! Other versions of Outlook including Outlook 2000, Outlook XP, and Outlook 2003 and other software such as Microsoft Contacts and Lotus notes are available for transfer provided you have the software installed locally on your machine.

In addition, the following types of files are compatible for importing:

• Text file with delimiters*
• DBASE III or DBASE IV
• Motorola Phone Tools (DBF, MDB** and PBK)
• VCard (VCF)
• Personal Address Book (PAB*)
• Outlook/Exchange Contacts folder (PST**)
• Outlook Express Address Book (WAB**)
• Lotus Notes (NSF**)
• Vista windows contacts (VCS**)

This guide will take you through the process of connecting your Motorola Phone Tools software to Outlook 2007 as an example.

Here is the step-by-step guide.

1. Open the Motorola Phone Tools v5 Software. This guide assumes that you have already connected your phone via Bluetooth or USB cable.

Open the Motorola Phone Tools v5 Software. This guide assumes that you have already connected your phone via Bluetooth or USB cable.
2. Click on the Synchronize button under the Personal Data area. Now click on the button labeled Modify the synchronization settings.
Click on the Synchronize button under the Personal Data area. Now click on the button labeled Modify the synchronization settings.
3. This is the synchronization settings window. Click on the Data source tab to get to the contacts settings that we will be changing.
This is the synchronization settings window. Click on the Data source tab to get to the contacts settings that we will be changing.
4. In the drop down, choose the appropriate contact setting for your system. For my Outlook 2007 software, I choose the Outlook type over the Default phonebook (Outlook Express) or Windows Contacts. Then click on ok to continue.
In the drop down, choose the appropriate contact setting for your system. For my Outlook 2007 software, I choose the Outlook type over the Default phonebook (Outlook Express) or Windows Contacts. Then click on ok to continue.
5. Now click on the Contacts button underneath Personal Data. Connect your mobile phone and click on refresh for both Outlook and your Mobile Phone. Then highlight the contacts you want by clicking on them and then transfer them to your mobile phone by clicking on the arrow which is pointed to in red in the photo below.
Now click on the Contacts button underneath Personal Data. Connect your mobile phone and click on refresh for both Outlook and your Mobile Phone. Then highlight the contacts you want by clicking on them and then transfer them to your mobile phone by clicking on the arrow which is pointed to in red in the photo below.
6. After transferring the contact, this pop-up message notifies you that the changes are not automatically saved. Usually I choose to hide these notifications permanently, but in this case where my data is not saved -- I keep it around. Otherwise, I may forget.
After transferring the contact, this pop-up message notifies you that the changes are not automatically saved. Usually I choose to hide these notifications permanently, but in this case where my data is not saved -- I keep it around. Otherwise, I may forget.
7. Now click on the save button, will light up in below where the red arrow is pointed to below. This will save the changes to your phone.
Now click on the save button, will light up in below where the red arrow is pointed to below. This will save the changes to your phone.
8. The Quick Dial settings for your contact are automatically set by the order that you transfer them in the MPT v5 application. If you want to assign new Quick Dial settings to a given contact, just click on it, then the edit button and change it. Remember to click on the save button after you ok it, otherwise it will not be saved!
The Quick Dial settings for your contact are automatically set by the order that you transfer them in the MPT v5 application. If you want to assign new Quick Dial settings to a given contact, just click on it, then the edit button and change it. Remember to click on the save button after you ok it, otherwise it will not be saved!

This guide and Motorola Phone Tools (MPT) v5 works with the following Motorola Phones:
Motorola A1200
Motorola A1600
Motorola A630
Motorola A732
Motorola A780
Motorola A835
Motorola A845
Motorola A910
Motorola A920
Motorola A925
Motorola C390
Motorola C698
Motorola DC600
Motorola E1000
Motorola E1060
Motorola E1070
Motorola E1120
Motorola E2
Motorola E398
Motorola E550
Motorola E680
Motorola E690
Motorola E770v
Motorola E790
Motorola E8
Motorola E815
Motorola E825
Motorola E895
Motorola Em30
Motorola K1
Motorola K1c
Motorola K3
Motorola L2
Motorola L6
Motorola L7
Motorola L7c
Motorola L7e
Motorola L7r
Motorola L9
Motorola M990
Motorola Maxx
Motorola ROKR_E1
Motorola ROKR_E6
Motorola U6
Motorola U9
Motorola v1100
Motorola V1150
Motorola V176
Motorola V195
Motorola V235
Motorola V280
Motorola V3
Motorola V300
Motorola V323i
Motorola V330
Motorola V360
Motorola V361
Motorola V3c
Motorola V3i
Motorola V3x
Motorola v3xx
Motorola V400p
Motorola V500
Motorola V501
Motorola V505
Motorola V525
Motorola V535
Motorola V540
Motorola v545
Motorola V547
Motorola v550
Motorola V551
Motorola V555
Motorola V557
Motorola V560
Motorola V6
Motorola V600
Motorola V620
Motorola V635
Motorola V710
Motorola V750
Motorola V750g
Motorola V8
Motorola V8 LUX
Motorola V80
Motorola V9
Motorola V950
Motorola V9m
Motorola V9mS
Motorola VA76r
Motorola Ve
Motorola VU30
Motorola W205
Motorola W208
Motorola W209
Motorola W215
Motorola W218
Motorola W220
Motorola W360
Motorola W375
Motorola W380
Motorola W385
Motorola W385m
Motorola W385re
Motorola W395
Motorola W510
Motorola W755
Motorola W760r
Motorola Z3
Motorola Z6
Motorola Z6c
Motorola Z6M
Motorola Z6tv
Motorola Z6v
Motorola Z9
Motorola ZN5
RAZR2 V8 LUX
RAZR2 V9
ROKR E8
RAZR2 V9m
RAZR V3e
RAZR V3a
ROKR Z6m
RAZR2 V8
MOTO Z6c
MOTO Z9
W510
ROKR Z6
W490
V325i
W315
Maxx Ve
RIZR Z3
RAZR V3xx
RIZR Z6tv
L6
V323i
W755
V197
W385
PEBL
SLVR L7c
V266
V235
V262
V265
RAZR V3t
V365
V325
V195
KRZR
V276
V361
E815
ROKR E1
V260
RAZR V3r
V323
V360
SLVR L7
RAZR V3C
RAZR V3
RAZR V3i
RAZR V3m
KRZR K1m

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Photos: Create a Macro Studio Light Box / Tent for Free!

Sometimes photography can be frustrating for an amateur or starting photographer. My particular frustrations have mainly occurred around indoor and macro photography. Regardless of the quality of my lens and camera the photos frequently come out looking less than optimal. I had attributed this mainly to the lack of decent lighting, often from direct ceiling sources without any diffusion. In addition, the stock flash on my Canon Rebel series cameras (XTi & XSi) that I have made matters worse.

Commonly, I have the need to take macro-type photos for things I sold on eBay or for the how-to guides I frequently published on this site. The real question I had was, how could I make the pictures I take look like more like this...

Picture taken in the cheap macro studio light tent
and not this...

Picture taken without the aide of a macro studio
without spending several hundred dollars on a professional setup or pricey flashes?

After thinking about spending $100-$200 on a low end setup, I came across several discussion on photography sites on how to make a cheap macro studio also know as a lightbox or light tent. Often times, for a total investment of less than $20. I took a look at a few of the posts and put together an amalgamation of them to create a light box that met my needs. In fact, due to some of the items I had sitting around the house, I was able to create my own macro studio light tent for less than $3 in about 45 minutes.

Here is the direction I went with the materials that were required...
- Cardboard Box - 12"x12"x18" - laying around the house - $0
- Razor blade / box cutter - laying around the house - $0
- Tracing paper - purchased pad from Staples - $1.49
- Posterboard - 22"x28" sheet of white - $0.49 from Staples
- 500-watt Halogen work-light - laying around the house - $0
- Scotch and Packaging Tape - laying around the house - $0

Total cost - $1.98.

First, since I do a good amount of technical shooting -- often times I shoot from the top down. For me, that meant I wanted to be able to create a significant angle from above to great great shots of the items I was working on. For that reason, I was looking to create a more rectangular box rather than what many sites recommend with a square one. Also, other sites recommend only cutting on 3 sides of your box -- but since I will occasionally want to shoot directly down on the subject, I will be cutting on all four sides.

Here is how you make your photography macro studio light tent...

1. Start with your empty box -- mine was an old Uhaul 12"x12"x18" box.
Cheap Macro Studio Light Box / Tent:Start with your empty box -- mine was an old Uhaul 12
2. Tape the bottom of the box together to form the back of your macro studio light box.
Cheap Macro Studio Light Box / Tent:Tape the bottom of the box together to form the back of your macro studio light box.
3. Take your box cutter and trace your cutouts on each side of the box. I recommend just breaking the first layer of your cardboard box with the first cut and then going back another time to complete the cut. This will make it easier and you will not damage the rigidity of the box. In addition, try not to cut any overlapping cardboard around the corners to maintain the integrity of the box.
Cheap Macro Studio Light Box / Tent:Take your box cutter and trace your cutouts on each side of the box. I recommend just breaking the first layer of your cardboard box with the first cut and then going back another time to complete the cut. This will make it easier and you will not damage the rigidity of the box. In addition, try not to cut any overlapping cardboard around the corners to maintain the integrity of the box.
4. I have completed my first cut and now am continuing to remove the panels from each of the other sides.
Cheap Macro Studio Light Box / Tent:I have completed my first cut and now am continuing to remove the panels from each of the other sides.
5. The completed box cut-out. Now begin lining each of the panels with the tracing paper by taping along the outside. Cover each panel completely.
Cheap Macro Studio Light Box / Tent:The completed box cut-out. Now begin lining each of the panels with the tracinng paper by taping along the outside. Cover each panel completely.
6. After completing the tracing paper paneling, I cut the white poster board to 18" wide 28" long strip to run into the box and allow it to bend (not crease) in the corner for my white background. The macro studio light box is now complete.
Cheap Macro Studio Light Box / Tent:After completing the tracing paper paneling, I cut the white posterboard to 18
7. A quick look at the photo shoot setup for the test picture used for this post.
Cheap Macro Studio Light Box / Tent:A quick look at the photo shoot setup for the test picture used for this post.

It is important to realize that all of this including the initial pictures were taken in less than 1 hour and that the use of halogen lights are extremely yellow. While the picture below is vastly improved over the non-lightbox -- there are still a good number of improvements that can be made by adjusting lighting and correcting for the right white balance. In addition, I am currently only using a main 500-watt halogen and will consider adding a 300-watt halogen for fill light in the future.

Also beware that Halogens can be very hot and tracing paper is flammable. Do not get the halogen light too close to the light box!



Did you find this post useful or helpful? Please let me know with a comment below.

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Motorola Phone Tools 5.0 is Now Available!

Motorola Phone Tools v5 is finally available. In fact, it was available a few short months ago -- I just had not checked my Motorola update to see it. In addition to upgrading (my experience here), you can also purchase it cheapest through Amazon.com (link here) for $14.99. If you do not already have it, you should either upgrade or pick yours up today!

Splash screen for the new Motorola Phone Tools (MPT V5) 5.0 that includes support for a ton of new featuers and mobile cellular phones
Featuring a brand new look and feel, as well as a ton of new features over the predecessor, Motorola Phone Tools 5.0 is a long awaited upgrade to the previous released 4.0 (4.60F) version. It works on a great variety of Operating Systems incluing my 64-bit (x64) version of Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate Edition.

The new shell / gui / user interface for Motorola Phone Tools v5 (MPT 5.0) that was recently released
Here are the key features of the new MPT software:
New User Interface
MPT 5.0 has a brand new, simple to follow, task-based user interface.

One Way Sync
One Way Sync uses the same familiar easy to use synchronization interface but only transfer's data from PC to Phone, PC data is never changed. The simplicity of synchronization while protecting your PC PIM data integrity.

Improved BT pairing wizard
The BT pairing wizard has improved easy to follow steps for pairing your Phone and PC along with technical changes that improve the speed and commutation with your BT stack.

Support for Domino
Lotus users can now use MPT 5.0 to sync their phones with Domino servers.

Support for Windows Vista, and Vista integrated PIM
MPT 5.0 includes support for both Windows Contacts and Windows Calendar in Vista 32 and 64.

Phonebook Transfer
Phonebook Transfer is a new easy-to-follow wizard that steps you through the process of transferring your phonebook from your old phone to your new phone.

Reset Default Number Types in Outlook
When transferring a contact from the phone to the PC, MPT can reset the 4 default viewable number types in Outlook to match the number types stored in the contact.

Folder Transfer Support
In MPT 5.0 you can now transfer entire folders to your phone's memory card.

MSU Integration
Motorola Mobile Software Update is included as part of MPT 5.0.

Music Mixing
This new feature allows you to mix multiple audio tracks to create custom ring tones. Supported formats are MP3, WAV, AMR, and ADP.

Windows Media Player Play list and MTP support
MPT 5.0 will include support for Play List and other WMP functions for phones that support media sync mode.

Mobile Phone Tools 5.0 System Requirements
Windows 2000, XP, or Vista.
Pentium II 233 MHz computer
64MB of RAM under Windows 2000 and XP, 128MB of RAM under Vista
Local hard drive with 120 MB free space
A USB cable or Bluetooth on your PC if you wish to connect wirelessly
Motorola Mobile phone compatible with Motorola Phone Tools
Internet Explorer 6.0 or Later

Connection Options
Bluetooth
Cable (Mini USB or CE Bus)

What you get:Download File Size: 90MB (broadband speeds required)

*Network, subscription and SIM card or service provider feature. Some features may be disabled by your service provider. **Certain features are dependent on the capabilities and settings of your service provider's network. Additionally, certain features may not be activated by your service provider and/or the provider's network settings may limit the feature's functionality. Always contact your service provider about feature availability and functionality.


Finally, there is strong support for a greated number of Motorola Mobile / Cellular phones with this version, including the most recent releases.

Motorola Phone Tools (MPT) v5 works with the following Motorola Phones:
Motorola A1200
Motorola A1600
Motorola A630
Motorola A732
Motorola A780
Motorola A835
Motorola A845
Motorola A910
Motorola A920
Motorola A925
Motorola C390
Motorola C698
Motorola DC600
Motorola E1000
Motorola E1060
Motorola E1070
Motorola E1120
Motorola E2
Motorola E398
Motorola E550
Motorola E680
Motorola E690
Motorola E770v
Motorola E790
Motorola E8
Motorola E815
Motorola E825
Motorola E895
Motorola Em30
Motorola K1
Motorola K1c
Motorola K3
Motorola L2
Motorola L6
Motorola L7
Motorola L7c
Motorola L7e
Motorola L7r
Motorola L9
Motorola M990
Motorola Maxx
Motorola ROKR_E1
Motorola ROKR_E6
Motorola U6
Motorola U9
Motorola v1100
Motorola V1150
Motorola V176
Motorola V195
Motorola V235
Motorola V280
Motorola V3
Motorola V300
Motorola V323i
Motorola V330
Motorola V360
Motorola V361
Motorola V3c
Motorola V3i
Motorola V3x
Motorola v3xx
Motorola V400p
Motorola V500
Motorola V501
Motorola V505
Motorola V525
Motorola V535
Motorola V540
Motorola v545
Motorola V547
Motorola v550
Motorola V551
Motorola V555
Motorola V557
Motorola V560
Motorola V6
Motorola V600
Motorola V620
Motorola V635
Motorola V710
Motorola V750
Motorola V750g
Motorola V8
Motorola V8 LUX
Motorola V80
Motorola V9
Motorola V950
Motorola V9m
Motorola V9mS
Motorola VA76r
Motorola Ve
Motorola VU30
Motorola W205
Motorola W208
Motorola W209
Motorola W215
Motorola W218
Motorola W220
Motorola W360
Motorola W375
Motorola W380
Motorola W385
Motorola W385m
Motorola W385re
Motorola W395
Motorola W510
Motorola W755
Motorola W760r
Motorola Z3
Motorola Z6
Motorola Z6c
Motorola Z6M
Motorola Z6tv
Motorola Z6v
Motorola Z9
Motorola ZN5
RAZR2 V8 LUX
RAZR2 V9
ROKR E8
RAZR2 V9m
RAZR V3e
RAZR V3a
ROKR Z6m
RAZR2 V8
MOTO Z6c
MOTO Z9
W510
ROKR Z6
W490
V325i
W315
Maxx Ve
RIZR Z3
RAZR V3xx
RIZR Z6tv
L6
V323i
W755
V197
W385
PEBL
SLVR L7c
V266
V235
V262
V265
RAZR V3t
V365
V325
V195
KRZR
V276
V361
E815
ROKR E1
V260
RAZR V3r
V323
V360
SLVR L7
RAZR V3C
RAZR V3
RAZR V3i
RAZR V3m
KRZR K1m

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Free Upgrade to Motorola Phone Tools V5 Available! (MPT 5.0)

It seems that it had been ages since Motorola release their Motorola Phone Tools Software (aka MPT, produced by Avanquest) version 4.0 in order to perform some common functions like transferring contacts, calendar, and multimedia functions in the "authorized" way to do this. While there are free versions of the software out there like P2K Commander, Motorola Phone Tools has by far the best user experience. The only drawback previously for the MPT solution had been price tag of $34.99 that Motorola had attached to the software. In recent months, that problem had been solved in that you can now get Motorola Phone Tools version 4.0 from Amazon.com for only $2. (Click here for link)

While that was fine, it had long been rumored that Avanquest had been working on an updated version termed v5, short for 5.0. The main question that purchasers of Motorola Phone Tools had was: would the version upgrade be provided for free? Great news for me -- in that just a few days ago the long awaited version 5.0 with a ton of new features and support for new phones became available to me through the Motorola Live Update tool.

This may be great news for you as well -- in that rather than spending the $34.99 that Motorola charges on their website (link here) or the $39.90 that Avanquest charges on their website (link here) you may be able to purchase the 4.0 version (link here) for just $2 and upgrade to version 5.0 for free!

Here was my experience upgrading:

Motorola Phone Tools (MPT) V5 Upgrade 1: Upgrade from version 4.60 to 5.07a is available.  Wow, is that a 76MB upgrade?Motorola Phone Tools (MPT) V5 Upgrade 1: Upgrade from version 4.60 to 5.07a is available. Wow, is that a 76MB upgrade?

Motorola Phone Tools (MPT) V5 Upgrade 2: Downloading the V5 upgrade.Motorola Phone Tools (MPT) V5 Upgrade 2: Downloading the V5 upgrade.

Motorola Phone Tools (MPT) V5 Upgrade 3: Now that the V5 download has completed, time to install the update.Motorola Phone Tools (MPT) V5 Upgrade 3: Now that the V5 download has completed, time to install the update.

Motorola Phone Tools (MPT) V5 Upgrade 4:  Uncompressing and updating the files.  Luckily an uninstall procedure was not required.Motorola Phone Tools (MPT) V5 Upgrade 4: Uncompressing and updating the files. Luckily an uninstall procedure was not required.

Motorola Phone Tools (MPT) V5 Upgrade 5:  Finish the installation for v5.07a and restart Motorola Phone Tools ENU.Motorola Phone Tools (MPT) V5 Upgrade 5: Finish the installation for v5.07a and restart Motorola Phone Tools ENU.

Motorola Phone Tools (MPT) V5 Upgrade 6:  Similar interface with a new shell for the Motorola live update.  Also need to install an additional 21MB update to go from 5.07a to 5.10a.Motorola Phone Tools (MPT) V5 Upgrade 6: Similar interface with a new shell for the Motorola live update. Also need to install an additional 21MB update to go from 5.07a to 5.10a.

Motorola Phone Tools (MPT) V5 Upgrade 7:  Choose the profile that you want t load for your first time run.Motorola Phone Tools (MPT) V5 Upgrade 7: Choose the profile that you want t load for your first time run.

Motorola Phone Tools (MPT) V5 Upgrade 8:  Option to register and sign up for automatic notifications of upgrades and patches.Motorola Phone Tools (MPT) V5 Upgrade 8: Option to register and sign up for automatic notifications of upgrades and patches.

Motorola Phone Tools (MPT) V5 Upgrade 9: Welcome to the new version of MPT, V5!  Your upgrade is complete.Motorola Phone Tools (MPT) V5 Upgrade 9: Welcome to the new version of MPT, V5! Your upgrade is complete.

Lastly, if you had been struggling to find support for your particular Motorola Phone with the free tools out there, Motorola Phone Tools v5 (MPT v5) supports the following Motorola phones:
RAZR2 V8 LUX
RAZR2 V9
ROKR E8
RAZR2 V9m
RAZR V3e
RAZR V3a
ROKR Z6m
RAZR2 V8
MOTO Z6c
MOTO Z9
W510
ROKR Z6
W490
V325i
W315
Maxx Ve
RIZR Z3
RAZR V3xx
RIZR Z6tv
L6
V323i
W755
V197
W385
PEBL
SLVR L7c
V266
V235
V262
V265
RAZR V3t
V365
V325
V195
KRZR
V276
V361
E815
ROKR E1
V260
RAZR V3r
V323
V360
SLVR L7
RAZR V3C
RAZR V3
RAZR V3i
RAZR V3m
KRZR K1m

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Photo Blog: USC Trojans vs. Arizona State Sun Devils - October 11, 2008 - Los Angeles Coliseum

We headed down to the Los Angeles Coliseum today for the rare noontime (12:30 PST, 3:30 EST) start for the USC Trojans vs. Arizona State Sun Devils. Just a few weeks ago, everyone circled this game on their calendar as one of the showdown games of the year. But, after the Sun Devils lost to UNLV as part of a 3-game losing streak -- the build up lost some of its luster.

Still, we were excited to head down -- although leaving our house at 8:30am seemed a little bit early. Arriving in just under an hour, traffic in the early morning was much less than the previous week. We met up with Ashley's dad and neighbors to check out some of the festivities including our normal pre-game from the "Beer Garden" at the old Los Angeles Sports arena where we were able to catch the Texas Longhorns vs. Oklahoma Sooners before heading over at game time.

We pose right in front of the Coliseum in our USC attire.
A sloppy 28-0 victory by the USC Trojans should have been a fifty-something to zero trouncing all but for some questionable plays and calls that eliminated much of the excite. Definitely not as exciting as last week's game against Oregon.

I did however experience some excitement -- due more to my camera than anything else. This week, rather the bringing my SD790IS camera (link here) -- I brought my Canon Rebel XSi (link here) including some of my recent acquisitions: The EF 17-40mm F/4L USM (link here) lens and my EF 70-200mm F/4L USM (link here). They were packed neatly in my favorite Camera bag, the Canon 200EG backpack (link here). Walking around outside was not the problem, however when I went for bag inspection, here was a little problem...

The lady inspecting my bag looked inside the camera bag and said, woah -- you cannot bring this inside here. Her reaction was mainly due to the battery grip and the huge Lens Hood on the EF 17-40mm lens -- and then seeing the telephoto in the bag. I mentioned it was my personal camera and that I wanted to take some photos in the bag. She called over a supervisor who mentioned that the contents of my bag made it look like I was a professional photographer rather than just a fan. He mentioned that I may want to only bring in one lens for future events.

Perhaps the oddest part is that there are no postings anywhere (like I have seen at Staples Center) saying there were any limitations on photography equipment coming in. Not on my ticket stub, signs, or anything.

Knowing that this might be my one chance to get some action photos -- I snapped away at the game. Below are a collection of pictures -- most of which I am very happy with given the distance from the end zone about 20 rows up....

Here they are the pictures outside the stadium are shot with the EF 17-40mm F/4L USM and the pictures inside the stadium with the EF 70-200mm F/4L USM:
Every week a different Pinata stabbed with a spear greets us upon arrival. This week, it's the Sun Devil.Every week a different Pinata stabbed with a spear greets us upon arrival. This week, it's the Sun Devil.

We love stopping by this stand right outside the Beer Garden at the LA Sports Arena. Last year they offered taquitos which we sorely miss this year. Still, the tacos and bacon wrapped hot dogs are pretty tasty!We love stopping by this stand right outside the Beer Garden at the LA Sports Arena. Last year they offered taquitos which we sorely miss this year. Still, the tacos and bacon wrapped hot dogs are pretty tasty!

This week, we joined the lineup between the Sports Arena and the Coliseum to watch the entire USC Trojan Team come out and the chance to shake hands with Pete Carroll and Mark Sanchez.This week, we joined the lineup between the Sports Arena and the Coliseum to watch the entire USC Trojan Team come out and the chance to shake hands with Pete Carroll and Mark Sanchez.

Pete Carroll passes right in front of us in his suit before changing into his sideline attire.Pete Carroll passes right in front of us in his suit before changing into his sideline attire.

Mark Sanchez strolls by before hugging his family on the way into the stadium.

Ashley sporting her free USC visor from Chevy. Perfect for today's fall weather.Ashley sporting her free USC visor from Chevy. Perfect for today's fall weather.

We pose right in front of the Coliseum in our USC attire.We pose right in front of the Coliseum in our USC attire.

Ashley plays arm chair quarterback trying to throw a football through a small target.Ashley plays arm chair quarterback trying to throw a football through a small target.

Ashley's dad, Phil Wilke takes his turn as the armchair quarterback.Ashley's dad, Phil Wilke takes his turn as the armchair quarterback.

The USC Trojan's marching band lines up to take the field before the Arizona State game.The USC Trojan's marching band lines up to take the field before the Arizona State game.

The USC Trojan student section filled up and ready to cheer on the team.The USC Trojan student section filled up and ready to cheer on the team.

Traveler and Tommy Trojan pose next to the band just before game time.Traveler and Tommy Trojan pose next to the band just before game time.

The USC Trojans congregate to take the field before the game starts. Tight End Blake Ayles front and center in the picture.The USC Trojans congregate to take the field before the game starts. Tight End Blake Ayles front and center in the picture.

The USC Team captains including Mark Sanchez head towards the center of the field at the 50-yard line for the coin toss.The USC Team captains including Mark Sanchez head towards the center of the field at the 50-yard line for the coin toss.

Mark Sanchez #6 barks out the signals as he readies to take the football snap.Mark Sanchez #6 barks out the signals as he readies to take the football snap.

Damian Williams #18 catches Mark Sanchez's pass for a touchdown while being closely defended by an Arizona State player.Damian Williams #18 catches Mark Sanchez's pass for a touchdown while being closely defended by an Arizona State player.

Stafon Johnson #13 greets Damian Willams #18 to celebrate the touchdown.Stafon Johnson #13 greets Damian Willams #18 to celebrate the touchdown.

Taylor Mays #2 and Clay Matthews #47 are ready to defend the USC Trojans.Taylor Mays #2 and Clay Matthews #47 are ready to defend the USC Trojans.

Pete Carroll pauses for a minute to discuss the previous play with the referee.Pete Carroll pauses for a minute to discuss the previous play with the referee.

My favorite picture of the day as Pete Carroll groups with his defensive leaders (Tayor Mays, Josh Pinkard, Kevin Ellison) during a timeout.My favorite picture of the day as Pete Carroll groups with his defensive leaders (Tayor Mays, Josh Pinkard, Kevin Ellison) during a timeout.

Steve Sarkisian strategizes the next offensive pay with Mark Sanchez while Mitch Mustain and Aaron Corp listen in.Steve Sarkisian strategizes the next offensive pay with Mark Sanchez while Mitch Mustain and Aaron Corp listen in.

Stafon Johnson rolls into the end zone while being tackled for a USC touchdown.Stafon Johnson rolls into the end zone while being tackled for a USC touchdown.

Stafon Johnson celebrates the last USC touchdown that make it 28-0.Stafon Johnson celebrates the last USC touchdown that make it 28-0.

David Buehler kicks off the ball for a touchback against Arizona state with the Mario Danelo tribute padding on the goalpost.David Buehler kicks off the ball for a touchback against Arizona state with the Mario Danelo tribute padding on the goalpost.

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