HTC Mogul ROM Upgrade

Well, I just upgraded my HTC Mogul to the latest Sprint firmware (3.56.651.0). Overall, I’m very happy with the upgrade. The upgrade process itself continues to be straight-forward on the new HTC devices. In this case, just download the installer from here and run it with the device connected. (Do backup your data first if you want to keep it – anything not on the nano-SD memory card will be wiped.)
After the upgrade, I had a little problem getting the phone to connect back up to ActiveSync. After rebooting my laptop, that worked fine too.
The most important feature added by this latest ROM set – GPS Navigation! This firmware adds and enables the Sprint Telenav navigation software. It is very reminiscent of TomTom or Garmin GPS software and seems to work fairly well. The only downside I noticed is that the responsiveness can be a little slow since it works with an online service for all of it’s data. The TomTom software I’ve used previously installed totally on the memory card (all 1GB of it) and thus was not dependent on a data network connection. If you travel through non-EVDO areas a lot, this would be a concern for you. Since I mostly use this to find my way through cities I’m unfamiliar with, I can live with it.
The other side effect of this upgrade is that the on-board GPS is now available to third party applications. Goodbye bluetooth GPS receiver! While I didn’t mind using the external receiver, one less thing to pack and charge is a good thing. I was testing the on-board GPS with the mobile application version of Google Maps and it worked great.
Since I was several revisions behind on the firmware, I also picked up the new radio code for the EVDO Rev A data network. Since I’ve purchased an aircard for my laptop, this is less of a big deal, but I’m sure it will be a nice touch for checking email and pulling down data using the mapping applications.
Another small improvement that comes with Windows Mobile 6.1 is the addition of a task manager. Finally, a one-click way to see running applications and close them! This was such a basic function, it was embarrassing that it took this long to get into Windows Mobile on the Mogul.
Stability has yet to be evaluated, since I just did the upgrade a few hours ago. Other than that, everything about this firmware upgrade seems like a rock-solid good move!

Tilt/Shift Lenses

Tilt/shift lenses are a type of lens that allows a “normal” D/SLR to mimic special photographic techniques that are normally only found on large format cameras. (Large format cameras are those old style cameras that look like they are made of a bellows.) One of the really cool uses for these lenses is to create a feeling of miniaturization – everything looks like it’s a model on a toy train table instead of a shot of real life. The video below is a stop-motion animation made with a tilt/shift lens and gives a great demonstration of both time-lapse/stop motion filming and the possibilities of a tilt/shift lens.

Helpless from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.