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Old July 30th, 2010, 09:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Blush ZT-180 user expectations

I purchased a Zenithink ZT-180 and I am waiting for it to arrive.
Like most people, I have high hopes for it as a serious machine rather than just a toy.
My expectations for this device are probably too high. Ideally I would like the machine to do everything that my laptop can do. I want to adjust my expectations to something more realistic.
Here are the things I want to do...
  • Surf the web from anywhere.
  • Manage my day-to-day email work.
  • Play movies and all my media.
  • Swap files with my office and home PCs.
  • Read my e- books and magazines as well as PDFs.
  • Print documents on my office printer.(wifi print share)
  • Chat on-line with my friends.
  • Watch Youtube videos.
  • Attach devices like mice, keyboards, cameras, mp3 players.
  • Use with my existing bluetooth devices(camera and phone)
That list is a seriously large set of expectations, but I do hope to accomplish most of these tasks. I know the machine is not 3G but it has a USB port so I should be able to use with a prepay dongle.

So my question is - how much of this stuff will the machine actually do?
time.

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Last edited by trimpcs; July 30th, 2010 at 09:28 PM. Reason: clarify
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Old July 30th, 2010, 09:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trimpcs View Post
I purchased a Zenithink ZT-180 and I am waiting for it to arrive.
Like most people, I have high hopes for it as a serious machine rather than just a toy.
My expectations for this device are probably too high. Ideally I would like the machine to do everything that my laptop can do. I want to adjust my expectations to something more realistic.
Here are the things I want to do...
  • Surf the web from anywhere.
  • Manage my day-to-day email work.
  • Play movies and all my media.
  • Swap files with my office and home PCs.
  • Read my e- books and magazines as well as PDFs.
  • Print documents on my office printer.(wifi print share)
  • Chat on-line with my friends.
  • Watch Youtube videos.
  • Attach devices like mice, keyboards, cameras, mp3 players.
  • Use with my existing bluetooth devices(camera and phone)
That list is a seriously large set of expectations, but I do hope to accomplish most of these tasks. I know the machine is not 3G but it has a USB port so I should be able to use with a prepay dongle.

So my question is - how much of this stuff will the machine actually do?
time.
I am asking my self the same question but from what I have read, I don't think the device will fulfill your wish's out of the box.
As for the mobile networking, I don't that it is going to happen for me. The USB mobile network keys in Canada are expensive. I say I will be tethering the device to my phone somehow/hopefully.
Also, will I need to buy a bluetooth usb dongle? I didn't think the unit had bluetooth.

For the most part I am hoping to do what you outlined above, I will be very happy if I can do all of that fairly easily.
I guess were going to have to wait and see....
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Old July 31st, 2010, 03:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You may not be able to use your 3G dongle, it depends on the brand and whether it is supported by Android. However, everything else looks like it'll be covered
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Old July 31st, 2010, 04:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koppit View Post
You may not be able to use your 3G dongle, it depends on the brand and whether it is supported by Android. However, everything else looks like it'll be covered
Koppit,
I have a spare Huawei E270 dongle (Tied in Ireland to O2) which used to work OK until the tariff expired. Would this work with Android. Also how do I tell which dongles are compatable?

Also which Bluetooth dongles work with Android? Again, how can I look this up? I was thinking of a tiny unit like this one or €1.80...
DealExtreme: $1.80 Super Mini Bluetooth 2.0 Adapter Dongle (Vista Compatible) Small enough so as not to catch on things on the side of the tablet.

One more question - Could I set up an ad-hoc network with a notebook or other Android device? I have never seen this mentioned anywhere. Maybe there is an app for that?


Oops, I just found the answer to the last question just now, teathering via WiFi and bluetooth. http://code.google.com/p/android-wifi-tether/


Thanks in advance.
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Old July 31st, 2010, 05:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trimpcs View Post
Koppit,
I have a spare Huawei E270 dongle (Tied in Ireland to O2) which used to work OK until the tariff expired. Would this work with Android. Also how do I tell which dongles are compatable?

Also which Bluetooth dongles work with Android? Again, how can I look this up? I was thinking of a tiny unit like this one or 1.80...
DealExtreme: $1.80 Super Mini Bluetooth 2.0 Adapter Dongle (Vista Compatible) Small enough so as not to catch on things on the side of the tablet.

One more question - Could I set up an ad-hoc network with a notebook or other Android device? I have never seen this mentioned anywhere. Maybe there is an app for that?


Oops, I just found the answer to the last question just now, teathering via WiFi and bluetooth. android-wifi-tether - Project Hosting on Google Code


Thanks in advance.
About the wifi tethering...... I have read that the zt 180 doesn't support an ad-hoc network. So I don't know if Bluetooth is another option?
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Old July 31st, 2010, 07:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Usb is not supported at the moment. Maybe in Android update soon because it was in the specs.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 04:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icurafu View Post
Usb is not supported at the moment. Maybe in Android update soon because it was in the specs.
Sorry icurafu, can you explain that? Do you mean usb teathering or something else?
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Old August 1st, 2010, 09:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Sorry, I mean to say USB 3G. I was writing on my ePad, so I missed a word. Oops.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 08:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trimpcs View Post
  • Surf the web from anywhere.
  • Manage my day-to-day email work.
  • Play movies and all my media.
  • Swap files with my office and home PCs.
  • Read my e- books and magazines as well as PDFs.
  • Print documents on my office printer.(wifi print share)
  • Chat on-line with my friends.
  • Watch Youtube videos.
  • Attach devices like mice, keyboards, cameras, mp3 players.
  • Use with my existing bluetooth devices(camera and phone)
Apart from THESE I want a tablet to do the same.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 09:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Won't support youtube videos since I don't think Android 2.1 supports flash. Plus all of the Zenithink 180s have been proclaimed fake as they do not have the advertised A8 core.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 10:40 PM   #11 (permalink)
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without the cortex type CPU, it will not support the GPU accelerated Flash which is the main point of flash on 2.2. Hey, there might be a CPU version out there for ARM11 devices, but it will be slow. Best to keep using the Skyfire solution of extracting and playing as a raw video file on the local media player, so a DSP can be used.
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 02:11 AM   #12 (permalink)
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gotta say i'm a little let down that the ZT-180 CPU is a bit of a dud. I *almost* ... *almost* ordered one last night. Now I think I'm gonna wait around and see what comes out by end of year.
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 04:43 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Well this is a letdown. I ordered the Zenithink last week because I thought it was a machine with a future. A machine that would have a strong support base among the Android community. I don't think that this will happen now and so we have a machine with just a single release and then nothing, with little fanbase support.

I read somewhere in Google News that KMart in the US were selling a version of this pad as well. This may well stop as a large retailer would not be able to sell a product that is not advertised correctly.

The real kicker is that I received shipping confirmation from ********** on Saturday afternoon just one day before the fake CPU story broke.

I am not a developer or an Android tecchie so I was hoping to be able to keep the machine up-to-date with new software releases and develop some expertise in this new area of computing.

I have a very tight budget so I must spend wisely as I can. Can anybody tell me how to go about getting a refund from Alibaba? I purchased with a credit card.

Does anybody recommend sticking with the Zenithink? Would the machine be able to upgrade to Android 2.2. Would 2.2 make things better?

Thanks in advance.
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 08:20 AM   #14 (permalink)
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It's a great machine still, worth every cent. Just a shame that the manufacturer had to lie about it. It's a wonderful MID, with a slightly disappointing battery life.

Don't feel too bad about it, just avoid Zenithink in the future.
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 02:43 PM   #15 (permalink)
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trimpcs

im not sure where you got your info, but some of it is incorrect.

the tablet being sold at kmart is a 7" e-reader running android made by augen. its being hacked to death (xda-developers) and turned into a full fleged android tablet, but is NOT running the zt180

the origin of the zt180 story is from a site that was NOT the manufacturers

the manufacturers only REAL fault is overclocking these chips from 600/800 to 1GHZ

the re sellers are the ones who said it was the cortex A8

I too was a hair away from ordering one.

now im waiting until the end of august to make my decision.

many folks who have received the zt180s have been pleased for the most part, price seems to be the big factor now.

my 2 cts (btw I'll let you know about the kmart pad when mine cmes in this week)
j
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 06:13 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mindwave View Post
trimpcs

my 2 cts (btw I'll let you know about the kmart pad when mine cmes in this week)
j
OK thanks. I was just repeating what I saw on a website. I am a user rather than a technical expert on Android. It is hard to tell what is true from what is speculation.

My main gripe is that I wanted a tablet that was what it claimed to be. A building block for the future that I could study and gain some expertise, perhaps get involved in the industry some time later.

I don't think that Zenithink will ever be regarded as a serious machine and iPad rival that would attract a fanbase now. It will be just another curiosity from a dodgy Chinese outfit.

This I feel is a missed opportunity for them. "They could have been a contender" Sad.

Now it is up to the established brands to take up that role.

P
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Old August 6th, 2010, 09:09 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trimpcs View Post
I purchased a Zenithink ZT-180 and I am waiting for it to arrive.
Like most people, I have high hopes for it as a serious machine rather than just a toy.
My expectations for this device are probably too high. Ideally I would like the machine to do everything that my laptop can do. I want to adjust my expectations to something more realistic.
Here are the things I want to do...
  • Surf the web from anywhere.
  • Manage my day-to-day email work.
  • Play movies and all my media.
  • Swap files with my office and home PCs.
  • Read my e- books and magazines as well as PDFs.
  • Print documents on my office printer.(wifi print share)
  • Chat on-line with my friends.
  • Watch Youtube videos.
  • Attach devices like mice, keyboards, cameras, mp3 players.
  • Use with my existing bluetooth devices(camera and phone)
That list is a seriously large set of expectations, but I do hope to accomplish most of these tasks. I know the machine is not 3G but it has a USB port so I should be able to use with a prepay dongle.

So my question is - how much of this stuff will the machine actually do?
time.
So I have Had mine for a few days now, and It does basically everything I expected.....

As for you, So far...

Surf the web from anywhere-
You can surf the web using wifi, I dont really have any connection problems in my house. I tried tethering it wirelessly with anet and the pad didnt pick it up.

Manage my day-to-day email work-
Does this, through wifi pretty well.

Play movies and all my media-
Does this very good too, I havent had any problems yet

Swap files with my office and home PCs-
I havent tried this yet.

Read my e- books and magazines as well as PDFs-

It reads PDFs, doc and docx for sure. I havent tried anything else

Print documents on my office printer.(wifi print share)-
Havent tried it.

Chat on-line with my friends-
Havent tried it but i dont think it will be a problem

Watch Youtube videos-
Does this very well through the youtube app, uses full screen!

Attach devices like mice, keyboards, cameras, mp3 players.-
Mice and keyboards work, well atleast mine do, I havent tried anything else. It does charge my phone though

Use with my existing bluetooth devices(camera and phone)
I am waiting on my bluetooth dongle to test this. I have read on another forum that some had done this with no problem. Maybe this could be the solution to tethering.


Overall I am really happy with my device. Tether my phone to it somehow is the only other thing I expect from it.
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Old August 10th, 2010, 06:11 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Hi hipditch, thank you for your quick review.

could you pls tell me more about the PDF reading capability? I want to buy it to replace my Sony ebook reader. Therefore I was wondering how good it is when you use it to read ebook.

Thank you.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 06:01 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icurafu View Post
without the cortex type CPU, it will not support the GPU accelerated Flash which is the main point of flash on 2.2. Hey, there might be a CPU version out there for ARM11 devices, but it will be slow. Best to keep using the Skyfire solution of extracting and playing as a raw video file on the local media player, so a DSP can be used.
Your confusing apples and oranges it seems.

ZT-180 board contains the GC600 graphics accelerator which has supported hardware accelerated instructions in Adobe flash

CPU's are generally not used solely to display flash regardless of the CPU type supported. It requires hardware graphical accelerated support which Adobe Flash technically will support via the instructions available to it in the GC600 chip, so we'll have to wait and see.

Nothing is set in stone, especially when it comes to software support for hardware.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 07:32 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Android 2.2 has the official Adobe flash driver which uses CortexA8 specific instructions even with GPU acceleration.

I pointed out that GC600 uses OpenVG 1.1 originally. It still needs to be programmed into the application or driver that uses it.

Just google "zenithink gc600 flash".

And please stop grave digging my posts just to dig at me.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 05:30 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Picked up my Augen tablet on Friday and after messing with it some here's the issues I'm having:

*No external volume controls (would be best as rocker where stylus is located and move the stylus to bottom corner).
*English dictionary... it's non-existent. Settings says set to English but not a single English word comes up when typing but some sort of German or Russian words are suggested. I've been adding EVERY word I type.
*Battery Life isn't anywhere near as good as it should be for a 7" tablet device running at 800mhz. Auto or ability to manually adjust display brightness would help this immensely.
*Inability to download from market. Now Augen claims adding the Market app was a mistake and will be removed on future models. What's the point of this device w/o market apps??
*Power source doesn't stay plugged in and pulls out way to easily and sometimes it pulls out just slightly so you think it's still plugged in when it's not. Why not just use USB for power?
*No auto or manual adjust of screen brightness. Too bright in low light conditions and I can't lower in normal light to save on battery life.
*Very slow and unresponsive for 800mhz processor. Seems to struggle with basic commands and tasks.
*Timezone MUST be set regardless of auto or manually setting time/date or Google sync will be inaccurate. Took me hours to figure this one out.
*Sometimes doesn't want to come out of sleep mode. The answer is pressing the reset button which is less than ideal.
*Random indicators in notification bar 'E' & 'R'? What the heck are these? E seems empty all the time and R seems full all the time. No idea what these are.
*Notification bar only uses center section of display. Would be nice if it took advantage of the full width of the display.
*Random phrase 'El Telco Loco' at top of notification bar. What in the hell is this?? At first I thought it was the name of a network since I was traveling the first time I used it but now I don't know.
*Even after screen calibration typing is chore: Del & Shift keys especially don't seem to work well and you are hitting the 'L' and 'A' keys above them unless you are almost off of the bottom of the key.
*Update to correct obvious issues has been 'coming within 48hrs' for over two weeks. Anyone else feel like we already have lost software support and the damn thing has only been out a couple weeks?
*Processor runs warm, could benefit from vents on back of case where processor is to help run cooler.
*2.5mm headphone jack... I don't care to carry around a 2nd pair of headphones even if they are free. This is just a HUGE oversight on the part of Augen.
*Does appear to be physically capable of multi-touch. I installed Dolphin Browser which allowed for MT on my v2.1 and earlier Droid phones and it enabled MT within Dolphin Browser
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Old August 12th, 2010, 05:45 PM   #22 (permalink)
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My zt-80 arrived today 12th Aug. The order was confirmed by ********** on 31st of July.
Well packaged to survive the journy from China to Ireland. No earphones. The poorly printed documentation was a booklet about WinCE.


Model Number: p7901a
Firmware Version: 2.1-update1
Kernal Version: 2.6.32.9
root@zenithink #1603
Build Number: p7901a-eng 2.1-update1 ERE27 eng.root.20100708.111326 test-keys



The machine had enough battery power to start up. It connected to my wireless router no problem (wpa2 psk) and has no trouble keeping connected. The screen is touch sensitive enough even through the protective cover film.

The microsd card slot is a bit flimsy as my 4Gb card does not click home smoothly but it does come out again when pressed carefully.

Now I need to learn how to do updates and what updates are worthwhile.
I cannot get youtube videos to play reliably, some just decend into mush. Some won't play at all.

I have no real programming skills and am an Android noob, so I will be seeking help in updating and maybe moving to 2.2 eventually if possible.
Is there a good Introduction to Android 2.1 guide anywhere?
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Old August 21st, 2010, 03:18 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Happy user expectations scorecard

My original list of expectations...
Surf the web from anywhere.
Manage my day-to-day email work.
Play movies and all my media.
Swap files with my office and home PCs.
Read my e- books and magazines as well as PDFs.
Print documents on my office printer.(wifi print share)
Chat on-line with my friends.
Watch Youtube videos.
Attach devices like mice, keyboards, cameras, mp3 players.
Use with my existing bluetooth devices(camera and phone)

Well I have had the machine for a week and a half now and have had some time to get familiar with it so here is an account of my progress

Surf the web from anywhere.
I can work the machine pretty well when I am within range of the wifi router. I re-flashed the machine to build 0818 and I thinkit doesn't drop the link so much.

Manage my day-to-day email work.
No problms here as I use a separate gmail account for my mobile work. I use the original email client app as well as my normal web gmail account.

Play movies and all my media.
Will play most well encoded divx avi movies. If there is a bad spot in the movie it may sometimes hang the machine. MP3s play well bur it will not recognise .flac files(lossless encoding) for some reason.

Swap files with my office and home PCs.
Only through a USB stick or FTP at the moment. I am still hoping to get connected to my home workgroup, but I don't know how.

Read my e- books and magazines as well as PDFs.
Works like a charm with the laputa ebook reader. This is the best app I have and I cannot fault it.

Print documents on my office printer.(wifi print share)
No. Still waiting to connect to other machines through wifi. If my Ubuntu PC can do it, so should this one.

Chat on-line with my friends.
Not yet, The facebook app seems tobe missing chat and the Hi MSN app won't connect. I expect to get some app working on chat soon.

Watch Youtube videos.
Yes. No problem with the youtube app installed. Real smooth on 1080p as well as lower resolutions.

Attach devices like mice, keyboards, cameras, mp3 players.
Mouse, keyboard, memory stick, cheap card reader, mp3 player and camera all recognised. The card reader (2euro store) is handy as I can move stuff between microSD cards.

Use with my existing bluetooth devices(camera and phone).
No sucess yet. I have a cheap generic bluetooth dongle that xp recognises but it is not recognised as anything but an empty udisk.

Other points I have noticed:
The wifi gets an extra bar when headphones are connected. There is a mod published on
ZT-180 A105 where someone had changed the internal antenna for one from an old laptop and claims a big improvement. I may try this myself when I learn how to open the unit without damaging it.

Using a resistive screen takes practice. For the first few days I was using the pads of my fingers to type. Later I found that light contact with a fingernail is quicker and far more accurate.

Keep a dry tissue in the bag and polish the screen often. This stops grease buildup and keeps the screen shiney. I have seen replacement resistive screens on ebay if yours is damaged

I was playing with an iPad in PC World yesterday and yes the iPd looks and feels better, mainly due to its flat smooth glass screen and metailc edge. My fingernail typing style on the ZT-180 is just as fast as fingerpad typing on the Ipad's capacitive screen.

It is not a good idea to lay the machine down flat on a bed as the back can get quite warm. The warmest place is at the rear of the machine near the microphone hole.

I am glad I bought my epad and I hope to work my way completely through the list before I am finished.

Oh and some games are very good. I only use free ones as I only know if they work by trying them first. Access to the official market is not that big a deal when you learn to find, download and install apps yourself.

So I guess I am a fairly happy bunny with 187 well spent.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 10:59 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Nice review trimpcs. I am trying to wean my kids from their apple addiction. What games did you like. Thx.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 11:20 PM   #25 (permalink)
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trimpcs: In regards to swapping files with office and home PCs, give Dropbox a try - The Android app works perfectly
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Old August 24th, 2010, 03:52 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n4sa View Post
trimpcs: In regards to swapping files with office and home PCs, give Dropbox a try - The Android app works perfectly

Thanks for that. I installed it and the app works fine.
I like dropbox and I will keep it.. Unfortunately the local wifi-only portion does not work.(Too much to expect in fairness as I still cannot access the local MS workgroup. ) Is there something like samba available in an android app?

Getting direct access to my lan would make my life complete right now.
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