WM6.5 with HTC Sense

The customer service representative at HTC Care Centre was very friendly when I requested for a free ROM upgrade for my HTC TP2. I have backup all my data and programs using SPB Backup Tool, before sending in my device for service. It just took the technician 30 minutes (partly because there are no other customer at the time) to flash my HTC Touch Pro2 to Windows Mobile 6.5 completed with HTC Sense™.

It took me sometimes to familiarize with the new UI, and compare to WM6.1 with TouchFLO 3D, it has a significant improvement to user-friendliness and I truly love it! A key aspect of HTC Sense™ has focused on social communication, hence the seamless integration with Facebook and Twitter.

Contacts integration with Facebook
Twitter Updates with HTC Peep

Another surprise from WM6.5 is the Lock Screen, which is similar to the iPhone slider unlock! The original slider was positioned at the top of the screen, which makes it difficult to stretch my finger to the top of the screen. I have applied a cab update to position the slider to the middle. Note you can slide it to the left or right to reveal the password unlock screen, suitable for both left or right-handed users.

Slider Unlock Screen
Passwork Unlock Screen

Weather screen deserve a shout out here, it has integrated into your home screen and calendar agenda, to allow quick glance of weather condition at your current location! Yes, the apps has smartly uses the built in GPS module to determine your current location, very impressive! Besides, your home screen can be configure to use the animated weather wallpaper, check out the video below.

Before this, for those of you who are using TouchFlo 3D on HTC TP2, the proximity sensor is a cool and useful feature that will turn off the screen to save batter life when you place the phone over your ear. Often, there was time when you want to use the virtual keypad during a phone conversation (to save a phone number or record a note for instance), the proximity sensor will turn the screen back on (when you move your phone away from your ear). However, it switches back to the home screen, which annoyingly requires you to tap a few keys back to the phone screen and virtual keypad! Fortunately HTC Sense™ has fixed this and now I can have a flexible voice call experience.

Enough of the pros, let’s see what are the cons. After using WM6.5 for few weeks, there are 2 big problems I’ve realized:

  1. I have rebooted the device more than I have done that on WM6.1, i.e. it becomes sluggish after some times!
  2. Occasionally, when my voice call is connected, the receiving party cannot hear my voice. Not really sure whether it’s the network issue or the device or the OS.

To overcome #1, try install a RAM or task management program. This will ensure your OS is always at it’s optimum performance. The odd with WM so far was the ‘X’ button at the top right screen is to minimize instead of exit a program; day-to-day operation of apps in WM will pile up a lot of programs running in the background. At least that’s my feeling about the reason of poor performance of WM; Mike Calligaro has an interesting blog post of why WM has no close feature.

Overall, it’s still a good experience with HTC Sense™. I hope I can try to get rid of the unused default programs to free up some RAM for the phone to run smoother.

My Upgraded ROM

Anyone upgraded to WM6.5?

I got an email from HTC Asia recently regarding the ROM WM6.5 free upgrade for my HTC TP2. I was hesitated at the moment, while quite exciting about it. The exciting part is there’s a new firmware for my mobile phone, and I was hoping the upgrade will boost the performance, or at least solve the occasional program lag issues. If I were to compare my current WM6.1 phone with my 4 years old PPC2003 Phone, there are no complaint at all; to be certain that they were 3 major versions apart (PPC2003 > PPC2003 SE > WM5.0 > WM6.0), most problems I encountered that time were resolved.



Now back to what I’ve been hesitated for the upgrade. It was stated in the email, that I can perform the upgrade online; or bring my phone to HTC Service Center @ Plaza Berjaya KL. Obviously, I’ve try clicking on the link which brings me to HTC SEA Support site. Fast track to what was stated as the Improved Functions for WM6.5:

  1. HTC phones featuring Windows Mobile 6.5 are designed to handle your daily life, with only one consideration: You.
  2. Nah…not impressed!

  3. You can customize with programs, ringtones, TouchFLO 3D options, and more.
  4. Come on, I can do that now!

  5. Connect with the people you care about most using Windows Live, Facebook and other chat clients available for download.
  6. You called that an improved function?

  7. Backing up with Microsoft My Phone is as easy as typing in a username and password and selecting what you want to back up. Everything else is automatic. You can even let it run in the background while you surf the net, chat with friends, or have it just resting in your pocket while you relax on the couch.
  8. Sounds a bit interesting…

  9. All this and increased convenience with a one stop shop for applications available for free and for download in the brand new Marketplace.
  10. Should try that out…

A few more lines down the page, there’s a warning quote which reminds that all data will be erased once I proceed with the upgrade. Well I can understand the point and backup my data prior to the upgrade, but what about the free softwares I get when I purchased the phone?! I know what’s the decision and will surely pay HTC Care Center a visit, I do not know when, but let’s see…

Troubleshooting WSS 3.0 Search Service

I recently installed WSS 3.0 using server farm mode: with SQL Server 2005 Express preinstalled. I created a site collection on a new Web Application, setting up the search service, and when I clicked on the search button, I got the following error message on the result page:

“The search request was unable to connect to the Search Service”

Another click on the search button, I got the following error message:

“Your search cannot be completed because of a service error”

A peek on the Application Event Log shows the following logs description:

“Query machine ‘SERVERNAME’ has been taken out of rotation due to this error: Access is denied.”
“Retry of query machine ‘SERVERNAME’ has failed with error: Access is denied.”

After googling around I found some suggestion to use Administrator account for the Sharepoint Application Pool (which turns out workable!), but somehow I think is not a proper setting. A further studies on the Internet suggest me to do the following:

  1. Create 2 new domain accounts under WSS_WPG, I called it Wssreader and Wsspooler.
  2. Change Application Pool to run under Wsspooler. (Central Administration > Operations > Service Accounts)
  3. Change Web Application’s IIS Authentication Settings to use NTLM, if you are using Kerboros previously. (Central Administration > Application Management > Authentication Providers > Select Web Application > Default Zone)
  4. Reconfigure WSS Search Service and Content Crawler to run under Wssreader, I recommend stop the service, drop the previous search database, and start the service again to let WSS auto-configure the SQL Permission for Wssreader. (Central Administration > Operations > Services on Server > WSSSS)
  5. Finally reconfigure content database for search service. (Central Administration > Application Management > Content Databases > Search Server)

If things still doesn’t work out, you can always relies on Application Event Log to help you make necessary troubleshooting. Most commonly is your Application Pool account do not have sufficient permission to access, execute and select into your content database. Just fire up your SQL Management Studio and start making changes to the security schema of your content database. However, I am suspecting Kerboros Authentication do not work well with the search service configured under farm setting (or probably SQL Server Express). Good Luck!