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Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro compass recalibration

I'm documenting this in case anybody needs to reset their compass in an Xperia Mini Pro.

I wanted to look up a bright object in the night sky (via Google's Sky Map) and my phone told me it was facing East.


Well, that obviously wasn't right.

There is no obvious way to recalibrate the compass in the Location & security menu. Don't panic. There is a secret menu hidden in the phone that allows access to a load of additional things.

But first this:

Play with the other stuff (in the service menu) AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Okay then.

Go to the Dialler.
You don't need to have a signal in order to do this.

Enter: *#*#7378423#*#*

Calling up the Xperia Mini Pro service menu

If you're like me, you won't relish the idea of remembering obscure numbers, so think instead of remembering star-hash-star-hash-S-E-R-V-I-C-E-hash-star-hash-star. Much easier!

Once you have entered the final star, the service menu will appear. Click on "Service tests".

The Xperia Mini Pro service menu

Scroll down until you see "Compass", then tap it.

The Xperia Mini Pro service tests menu

The compass settings will appear. The item you want to concentrate on is the "Yaw" at the top. Point yourself South, it should read around 180. Turn around to face North, it should read around 360 or 0 (it'll wrap around).

The Xperia Mini Pro compass calibration

If the yaw is incorrect, or seems to be somehow stuck, then perform a figure-eight movement with your phone and some deft wrist action, as indicated in the diagram. Do this about eight times. The phone should notice you doing it and recalibrate itself.

Take a look at the yaw value again. If it looks to be mostly correct (you possibly won't get it bang on, "mostly" is the best you can hope for!) then simply hit the Back touch area several times to back out of these menus. You're all set.


For those interested - there are some things to play with in the various tests, but be aware that there might be some stuff that could cock up your phone if you abuse it.
Oh, and if you do the speaker test, for God's sake don't put your ear right next to the speaker, or do the test in a place where others could overhear or be disturbed. It can be quite loud and very noticeable!


The Register - FAIL!

Last Friday Orange France's mobile network keeled over. I reported this to El Reg but... nothing... They'd rather write about "Being a skinny is much more unhealthy than being fat new study" (whoo, sounds soooo interesting (synopsis "skinny people are twice as likely to drop dead than normal people, fatties only 1.2 times as likely; thus it is more dangerous to be skinny than severely obese"... um... people actually get paid to come up with stuff like this?!?)) than something a little more newsworthy such as a major European country's major mobile network keeling over dead.

Since El Reg doesn't consider this to be newsworthy, I'll describe what's been going on.

I, myself, first noticed at around 7.30pm. I wrote an email to Mick and... it wouldn't send. Had a signal, had a signal that was Orange, but I kept getting a message saying that my SIM did not allow me to connect to the chosen network.

Actually, I encountered this problem earlier, only I didn't know it. I called my friend in Lyon and received a message which I took to mean his phone was 'defunct', like the number had changed or something. Actually, it was probably Orange saying "oh crap". This problem appeared to have initially started mid-afternoon on Friday.

Anyway, I rebooted my phone. Same response. I took out the SIM and wiped it off. You know, when you read data at high speeds, some bits fall off and accumulate around the contacts. If too many bits get stuck there, they could interfere with the data being read, so it is best to keep the contacts clean. Same thing with 'smart' credit cards. Don't let 'lost' data accumulate. ☺

Still nothing. I had to resign myself to the fact that my phone was now nowt but a hardware-laden MP3 player.

My cow-orker glanced at his phone and said he had a signal. I don't know if he actually did or not, for mine indicates a signal even when there is no connection to the network (instead it reports that as an error somewhere else). He was an Orange PAYG customer with a little Bada phone. Never used Bada, so I can't comment on how it looks/feels.

If we was not mistaken, then possibly this problem was to do with account authentication - which is why the network was up but my phone just wouldn't be connected.

I periodically checked while at work. After all, this was a Friday night. A Friday night without a mobile phone could be...problematic for some people. You know, teenage girls, and such. People with lives. Not me, though. ☺

At around about 11pm the phone was able to connect to 3G (H) but not 2G (EDGE). No outgoing calls could be placed (I tried the answerphone thing), nor SMS' sent.

I was finally able to place an outgoing call at half two in the morning. The phone connected as 3G (H). I took my break late (as usual) at 2.55am. I kinda wish I could just say "done!" and go home, but it doesn't work like that. Anyway, calls worked but data still did not, so I could not discover I'd won the Eurolotto to allow me to quit, fly to Akihabara, hook up with the first cute girl I see, live happily ever after, etc etc.

I went back from break at 3.25, signed some paperwork, then went home at 3.30am. I told you it was stupid, but there ya go...
By this time, everything seemed to be working - 3G and EDGE, data too. So now I know that nobody scooped the jackpot, so Akihabara will remain nowt but a bookmarked Google Maps page. <sigh!>


Turns out that this problem, lasting around 12 hours, affected some 27 million people. Not just Orange, but also all the virtual operators who basically repackage and resell Orange.
The excuse thus far is that there was a software failure in a major piece of equipment. It isn't just subscribers who are angry, it is also political bods who had rammed home the degree to which people are dependent on such things as mobile phones, how much it can affect some people's lives if the network goes down, and how fragile the network is that it is actually capable of pretty much entirely keeling over dead at once. Not a part, not a town, not a region. EVERYWHERE.

Given the fact that it was a Friday, that it was the start of the weekend of the July holiday people (many take holidays in August, myself included; however those who want to be open in August tend to take holidays in July; it is not an insignificant number), plus the publication of exam results in some regions. You can now understand why Orange is being lambasted left, right, and centre for their lacklustre offer of "a day of free calls (conditions apply)" in September as compensation. Que Choisir (the French "Which?") is equally critical. I'm sure even the CGT would shout some abuse over burning barrels, but they're kinda busy right now [that's an in-joke for Frenchies].

Here's Orange's apology text (it is the one at the bottom):

Orange's apology by SMS
Yes. They texted an apology.

And here's their explanation of what they plan to offer:

Orange's lacklustre offer

This is, of course, of absolutely zero use to me. It looks as if Orange chooses the day. I don't make many outgoing calls to landlines. Certainly not enough to get a 'free day'. It would be much more useful to bump up the month's data allocation to 1Gb, maybe for the remainder of the contract. This isn't a crazy thing to ask, Sosh customers get 1.5Gb as opposed to my 500Mb, so I doubt this would actually cost them much.

But, to be honest, more than all of that, I just want an assurance that the network won't fail in this way again. Why was there no backup provision? I get it, something screwed up bad. Why was it not possible to swap out this borked thing and switch to working hardware? Why was the network down for half a day? If I was injured at work and taken to hospital, it might be nice to be able to call my mother. Well... um...
So this is what I want more than a day of free calls I won't use. I want to know that you are doing the "lessons have been learned" routine to ensure this won't occur again.


Yesterday afternoon I missed three calls from a withheld number. Just as I got to McDonald's, the phone rang. It was a girl from Orange speaking on an utterly appalling line (I had full signal and 3G, it wasn't my end!). She knew I had the Origami Style 1H contract and wanted to tempt me to upgrade.
Not a hint of an apology.
I wasn't impolite to her. I wasn't polite either. I would have said "not interested" and hung up, but with my accent and her crap line I needed more words. But it amounted to "not interested <click!> brrrrr....".


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