$1 USB Cable for Smartphone & Camera

Well, I just purchased another USB cable (Type A to Mini 5 pin, 60″ length) at Dollar Tree for… $1 + tax. In one of my early posts, “Dollar Tree, Subway, and the Cheap Tekkie” , I told of having bought a couple of these USB cables to use with my Canon Digital Camera, to transfer images from the camera to my PC.

Just about a year later, as I was playing with an HTC Hero (Android) phone, I found that this same cable could be used when syncing files, email, and or just charging the phone from a PC. *How many times does this happen? Well, not very many. Usually what would seem a practical matter is hindered, intentionally, and there is an extra protuberance in the connector, or a pin missing or wires need to be crossed in a certain configuration (that requires an additional adaptor, or connector).

But, in this case, I just happened to try the camera cable in the smartphone, and it fit. I then found that the phone had the Sync Program in one of its folders. I downloaded it to the PC, and ran the install program. The Sync Program installed successfully, but then appeared to not work. Later I found that there were some “Connect to PC” options under the phone’s Settings, that needed to be set to determine whether the connection was for “Charge Only”, syncing data, or transferring files from the SD card.

Okay, the HTC Hero has a short battery life, when you are running various programs, like GPS Navigation, or pushing live video via USTREAM, or taking photos and sending them to your Flickr account. It’s probably less than 4 hours before the phone, on it’s last “battery” legs, starts beeping at you to connect it to a charging source.

I like the female voice of the GPS talking to me, telling me to take a left turn in a quarter mile, or stay on Garnett Street for 3 miles. I’m not really thrilled with the quality of the live video that the phone produces via USTREAM, but that it can produce any live video at all is exciting. And, I do want to be able to take pictures, on the road, record mp3 audio and then post both to a blog/podcast via email or the WordPress Android app.

4 port USB car chargerSo, I googled for phone adaptors, and car chargers and found that there was a simple USB car charger which had 4 USB ports for about $12 (plus shipping). *Should get that next week. I also purchased a window/dash mounting kit for an EVO phone (which I also hope will work with the Hero).

Will tell you about the portable, Bluetooth keyboard I’ve purchased ($29 + S&H) to use with an iPad or Android phone. Hopefully it will work with both (or at least one). There is another, Bluetooth keyboard, which is foldable and has a detachable phone stand that I would like to try… if FSU will fund the $189 price tag.  [iGo Stowaway Ultra-Slim Bluetooth Keyboard for PDAs and Handhelds from Amazon.com]