Windows Software: Vista Caller ID 1.05 Beta

VcidThere are a number of caller ID utilities available for you to choose between. Many of them have been featured here at Inspect My Gadget. There is now another one on the scene which has been in steady development over the last 9 months. The result is a very polished caller ID utility that suits the impressive visuals of Vista.

Vista Caller ID shows you who is calling as you would expect from any caller ID utility. It shows you a box pop out of the task tray which looks very stylish, unlike many other packages I have used.

Vista Caller ID takes it even further. You can sync up with your Outlook contacts to utilise names and photos of your friends and family. It also has a talking alert feature which tells you who is calling. Unfortunately, Microsoft’s voices aren’t very impressive, but it sounds alright.

It supports multiple phone lines and a history log. The colours of the caller ID box can even be changed. What more could you want from it? If you feel something is missing, comments are welcomed.

This is a Beta release, but there are stable releases available which offer a few less features. There is even a Media Center Plugin. Keep an eye on this one as it is still under development. I would say they are winning the race so far.

Available for free from Vista Caller ID’s website.

How-to: Send text messages and files using Bluetooth

Difficulty: 1.5

Screenshot0006With the addition of Bluetooth technology in many mobile phone handsets, we are now able to create small networks in which we can pass around notes and files from one phone or computer to another.

While there are not really many practical reasons for doing this, it is free, easy, and fun to play with.

I think about a school classroom, where teenagers are texting each other messages in class, each time clocking up 15c on their phone bill. As they are in close range to each other, there is no need for this to cost money. If both their phones are fitted with Bluetooth, they are able to use this technology to send the notes for free.

This article will show you how to send messages and files from one phone to another over a short range for free, using Bluetooth technology. We can also send files such as ring tones, images and other audio files to one another using the same method. No additional software is required to make this work.

This article will show:

  • A message/file sent from a Nokia N70 to a Windows Vista PC running Outlook 2007.
  • A message/file sent from a Nokia N70 to a HP Ipaq rw6828
  • A message/file sent from a HP Ipaq rw6828 to a Nokia N70

This should be possible on just about any Bluetooth enabled phone. The menus will be different, but the idea will be the same.

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How-to: Hack your Windows Mobile registry

Difficulty: 4

PhmIn all Microsoft operating systems, there is a registry which loads as your computer starts up. The registry lets the operating system know what settings to to start your computer up with. Most settings on our computers are stored in the registry somewhere, we just need to know what to change to achieve what we want.

Windows Mobile devices also have a registry. We can customise many of the defaults on our devices to suit our needs. The structure is very similar to the Windows Registry structure, so if you are familiar with it, you will find this just as easy. If you have not yet delved into a registry, you will find this quite tricky.

This article will cover some of the changes we are able to make to our devices, through our devices registry. I hope to update this article as time goes on so please use the comments to report your own changes. These hacks are for Windows Mobile 5 devices, though some may work with other versions of Windows Mobile.

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How-to: Use your computer to alert you of incoming landline calls

Difficulty: 2

CallerIDAlready at Inspect my gadget, I have given you a How-to which shows you how to have your computer alert you of the incoming calls to your mobile/cell phone. Now it is time to do the same for your landline phone. Using old technology we can easily acheive this. You will never miss a call again unless you choose to.

There are many free tools which can assist you in achieving this. Attach your computer to a modem and you have a complete call management system. You are even able to use your computer as an answering machine, with advanced features such as replying with a pre recorded message depending on who the caller is.

This could work well in the workplace depending on your workplaces’ phone system. We always feel the need to answer a phone immediately, dropping everything we are doing, no matter the importance just to find out it is a telemarketer on the other end. Most other methods of communication don’t require this speedy response, such as email. To get out of the habit of dropping everything, this will give you the choice. You can always call the caller back, as once this is set up your computer will log all incoming phone numbers.

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