Monday, February 28, 2011

How to set up the Samsung Galaxy S for the network

*** UPDATED ***

I bought a new smart phone yesterday, the Samsung Galaxy S i9000. Orange sell this model in Israel but it’s only the 8 GB version and costs almost twice as much as the 16 GB version bought in an independent mobile phone shop. (Try for the best deals.)

*** UPDATE ***
Orange now do the 16 GB version.
I no longer recommend buying over the Internet due to nightmare experience. See below.

I also bought a 16GB MicroSD card. I would have liked the 32GB but it's way too expensive at the moment but as soon as a 64Gb version becomes available, I'm sure the price of the 32GB will drop.

The trick is to get it working fully on the Orange network. Here's how to do it.

You should check before purchase that you are getting a phone which already has Hebrew support and Android 2.2 (probably within a few months of writing this, you should insist that it comes with Android 2.3).

Some Internet sites have Hebrew support as an option for extra money. You should ignore this and make sure that the supplier is sending you a model from an Israeli supplier.

The model that I received was destined for Pelephone so it came with all the stickers plus wallpaper and widget setups for that phone company. Just pressing for a few seconds on the widgets brings up an erase option and I removed them from the wallpaper menus. Note that you have not deleted the applications as they still exist inside the Menus.

The setup:

1. Pop in the SIM card and then phone up Orange

2. The most important thing to do once you’ve popped in your Orange SIM card is to phone Orange on *054 or if you are phoning on a landline phone, 1-800-074-074.

Tell them that you have just bought this phone and ask them to check that the System recognises the phone.

If you fail to do this then the phone might well work for a few hours but eventually you will receive the worrying message:
Conditional Call Forwarding Active -- Call Ended

You won’t be able call anyone or receive any calls.

I wasted a good few hours scouring the Internet for solutions and going through every single setting in the phone to no avail. I lost a night’s sleep trying to solve this problem. I assumed all along that it was the phone that was to blame as upon popping the SIM card back in my old phone, the old phone worked fine.


You simply have to phone Orange and tell them that you have a new smart phone because they need to configure something at their end.

*** UPDATE ***

The phone kept getting blocked every few days. I keep phoning Orange and they'd unblock the phone and it would work another couple of days and then get blocked again. Then one morning, Orange phoned and said that the reason why the device kept getting blocked was because Pelephone had marked my device as stolen! Orange told me that they could not unblock it anymore and asked me the details of where I'd bought the phone and how I'd paid. I told them everything, after all, I had nothing to hide. I contacted the phone shop where I'd purchased the machine and then began a week of arguments. Eventually I returned the phone by registered mail after they had agreed to give me a full credit card refund. However, as of this date (4/5/2011) they have yet to return my money and refuse to return my calls.

I loved the Galaxy S so much that I went to Orange and bought one there with a full package. The device works perfectly and of course now I get full support and insurance from Orange.

3. The next thing you need to do is configure the Orange Internet 3G network.

Click on Settings and go to Wifi and Network settings.

Scroll down and click on Mobile networks settings.

Click on Access point Names
Click on the Menu button and click on New APN.

Enter the following Orange configurations:

User name:
(leave unset)
MMS proxy:
MMS port:
Authen Type:
(leave unset)
APN type:
internet + mms

Save these settings.

4.Set up a Fake APN

Orange Internet connection is on by default if you are out of range of any recognised Wifi network. Unless you have paid for unlimited GPRS Internet access, this is going to be very expensive. Once you go over your allotted monthly MB download limit, Orange will start charging you muchas muchas buckeroonies!

I searched and searched but could not find a way to shut the Orange Internet Service off. I found a work around though by defining another APN called “Fake APN” and setting the IP addresses to Then, when you wish to shut the Orange Internet service down you simply go into APN settings and switch to your “Fake APN”.

If you've followed these instructions, you should have a fully working Smart Phone running on the Orange network.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Morel’s Fat Lady loud speakers

Let's make one thing clear from the start. This is not a review and I probably will never get to hear these little beauties. Nevertheless, I thought they were interesting enough to blog about.

First off, I saw these speakers on Malcolm Steward’s blog pages. Malcolm was a kind of a hero of mine back in the 1980s. Back then, he wrote for a magazine called HIFI Review, long since deceased, (not him, the magazine), and was one of the first HIFI reviewers to not write about “mids”, “highs” and “bass” tones but instead, actually write about how a piece of music sounded. Did the piano sound like a piano? Could you identify the musical instruments in a piece or was it all merged into one? Did the HIFI set up a convincing sound stage, placing the instruments and singers in their proper place or was everything flat?

The fact that the measured frequency response of those speakers or wattage power output of that power-amp was low according to someone’s standards was for him, totally irrelevant. Absent were those oscilloscope style graphs that had always accompanied hifi component reviews in other magazines up until then and instead he simply stated that "the proof of the pudding was only in the eating", or, in this case, in the listening. If it made your foot tap, if it put a smile on your face then that’s all that counts!

Naim Nait
 (Take the Naim Nait Intergrated Amp for example. On paper it didn't have the power to drive a pair of paper cups but connect them up to the most demanding of loud speakers and they sung for all they were worth.)

Talking of sayings, let’s mention another one. “It’s not over till the fat lady sings”.

The term was actually used first in the 1970s by American baseball commentators and is synonymous with the English football term “It’s not over until the final whistle”

According to Wikipedia, the original saying was “The opera is not over ‘till the fat lady sings” which was supposed to conjure up an image of some obese woman singing on stage in the final act of a Wagner opera.

By calling his speakers “Fat Lady”, the designer is making the outrageously bold claim that these speakers are the ultimate, never to be improved HIFI speakers. According to him, anyone who listens to his Fat Lady will agree that she has indeed just sung.
The Fat Lady sings

When I first heard this claim I laughed at the guy’s chutzpa. I should have known. Only an Israeli could have said such a thing. Sure enough, the company that produces these works of art is called Morel and is based in Ness Ziona, Israel.

The manager of Morel is one Oren Mordechai but the designer of the “Fat Lady” is an oleh chadash from England (swelling with pride time...) called Russell Kauffman.

The first thing you notice about these speakers is that they look more like a cross between a shiny black double bass and a giant slug than an obese woman. Indeed, the unit’s girth is actually quite slim.

Here’s a very sleek video of the product.

For those who are interested, there is a review here.
and a Video interview with Russell Kaufman here.

(Before you play the video, I'd just say that it features an American, Israeli and Anglo Jew. Just for fun, try and guess from the picture below, which is which - Clue:  Not difficult!).

Morel has made the ultimate claim with regard to the qualities of the Fat Lady and has backed this up with a totally outrageous chutzpadik price. They are retailing in the States for $32,000. (Yes, that is for the pair!)

I wish the company much hatzlacha and hope they bring out a cheaper version soon (perhaps called the "Not So Fat Lady") so that us mere mortals can hear what this company has to say.