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Why I have stopped using ShoZu, Sports Tracker and the N82 and use N900 + PixelPipe + RunKeeper on iPhone 3G

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2010-08-11 01:44

Until I get an N8, I have stopped using ShoZu and Nokia Sports Tracker am using the N900 + PixelPipe + RunKeeper on the iPhone 3G. Why?

  1. None of my friends use Nokia Sports Tracker (On Nokia Sports Tracker, I recorded over 700 activities (90% bicycling, the rest cross country skiing)  and many people use it but not one of my friends around the world uses it on a regular basis anymore)
  2. A fair amount of my friends and people in Vancouver use RunKeeper
  3. Up until today despite many attempts, Nokia has been unsuccessful in creating a popular social network which is what Nokia Sports Tracker and RunKeeper are. And although I love Nokia Sports Tracker and I'll try it on the N8 in the future, I doubt Sports Tracker now that it's spun off Nokia will be successful! Love to be proven wrong
  4. All in all the N900 camera is better than the N82 (except for the flash which I don't use)
  5. I don't have to carry my Bluetooth GPS, the N900 GPS is good enough
  6. PixelPipe is not nearly as great as ShoZu but it's good enough

What's wrong with RunKeeper

  1. On the iPhone 3G, it doesn't multi-task so if I get an alert or phone call, the tracking stops. Hopefully fixed on iPhone 4
  2. There's no way to lock the touch screen so it's easy to inadvertently stop RunKeeper while you are bicycling. Of course this wasn't an issue with N82 which is an old school candybar phone without touch screen

PixelPipe observations

  1. No connectivity re-transmission unlike Shozu. So as I blogged before, if you lose connectivity in the middle of PixelPipe uploading  your photos you have to manually figure out which photos were uploaded and upload only the missing ones. This is very painful for a crazy :-) person like me who uploads dozens of photos ; not so painful for the normal person who only uploads 1 or 2 photos per day
  2. No automatic tagging on a per account basis. In ShoZu you can set it up to tag differently based on which flickr account you upload to
  3. No multiple accounts unlike ShoZu
  4. No way to upload friends only or family only i.e. no way to use flickr permissions like ShoZu does only public or private. A pain if you again are a crazy :-) person like me and use flickr permissions  like "friends only" or "family only" which I gather less than 1% of flickr users do
  5. No way to select multiple photos unlike ShoZu. This is a Maemo limitation I guess since there is no system UI gesture to select multiple photos or files. You have to laboriously select one photo at a time until all are selected.

N900 Camera App Nits

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2010-08-11 00:21

I have switched over to the N900 for the moment for my cameraphone pictures. All in all the N900 seems better than the N82. Some comments and nits:

  1. Would be nice to be able to switch off the touch screen because sometimes in the middle of bicycling I realize the GPS has turned off or the setting is wrong for some reason:
  2. Does this happen because of a glitch / bug or because of an inadvertent touch while bicycling? I think both!
  3. The N900 camera is not much faster than the N82 (in fact the N82 might be faster). Anybody done any timing?
  4. The N900 lens is clean. After 3 years, the N82 has dust under the cover
  5. In silent mode, the N900 camera app doesn't make a noise. This is different from the N82 and N95 which didn't allow me to turn the camera sound off even in silent mode
  6. The N900 built-in GPS is faster than  the N82 + Bluetooth GPS that I was using before

Why do I continue to use the N82 instead of the N900 for my cameraphone photos? A: ShoZu

Submitted by Roland on Tue, 2010-07-27 22:20

Tnkgrl brought up a good point today at lunch at Nuba. Why do I continue to use the N82 when the N900 is better (e.g. faster shot to shot, great macro, etc.) ?

The primary reason is ShoZu! There is no solution as far as I know on the N900 that will upload dozens of photos at once to flickr. If anybody knows of such a program for the N900, please let me know and I'll switch (I can't handle doing 12 at a time, it's a waste of time when you have taken 20-50 as I usually do!).

50000 photos & 6 years with a Camera Phone

Submitted by Roland on Mon, 2010-07-19 06:35

Inspired by Jen's 2,045 Days with a Camera Phone:

  1. I have over 35000 (35823 as of this writing) public photos tagged "cameraphone" on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/roland/tags/cameraphone since I bought my Nokia 7610 1 megapixel cameraphone back in June 2004
  2. Over 90% of those were with Nokia Cameraphones
  3. most of them were with the N95 (7643) and N82 (20, 554 as of this writing)
  4. Combine the 35000 public plus over 10000 on my private kid flickr account plus the ones that I didn't download and I have over 50000
  5. Needless to say I love my N82 :-) and its "triumph of the lofi" sensor
  6. I also love the non blurriness of my digital SLR and Lightroom but hate the fact that WiFi and GPS are not built into DSLRs (they both should be! All cameras including cameraphones and SLRs and point and shoots will be social cameras in 10 years or less!!!!)
  7. And like Jen I have tried the N8 under NDA and it's fantastic
  8. Therefore even though (like Jen), Symbian is not my fav operating system anymore:
  9. N8 + ShoZu + gravity = a winner so I am getting one (and an iPhone 4 as previously blogged; it would be silly for me not to use the awesome cameraphone power of the iPhone 4)
  10. And Jen, I assume when you write:
    1. " I will be purchasing a Nokia N8 and then tracking down a QT developer to help me flesh out the code of my mobile app idea. Here's to 2,045 more days of camera phone photography. ;o)"
    2. that python is ok? Right Jen :-) ? If so I'll help you write a prototype. I don't do C++ :-)

N97 Review Day 6 - DemoCamp Vancouver 7 Video Test

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2009-07-08 11:15

I can't tell which is better N97 video or N82 video! Caveats: I don't have a keen eye and I only did limited testing last night at Demo Camp Vancouver 07 before the N97 battery ran out.

Both of the following videos are from the Anahita Social Engine demo last night at DemoCamp Vanocouver

Check out the flash videos below but for the best test download and compare and contrast:

N82 Video in flash format:

N97 Video in flash format:

The N97 ain't my N999 concept but it's closer

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2009-07-01 23:15

On the night before I receive my N97 from Nokia WOM World for a brief trial, just for fun I looked back at my N999 concept/vision from December 1, 2008. And what the heck here's the N999 concept updated for July 2009 (notable updates are in bold):

  1. screen with as many pixels as the 5800 Tube or iPhone (sorry but QVGA doesn't cut it in 2009!)
  2. S60 simplified and fixed as Rui describes
  3. 5 megapixel camera with cover and Xenon flash with 3x optical zoom and 640x480 30fps video (basically re-use the awesome N82 camera hardware and software and combine with the N93 optical zoom)
  4. Quad band GSM and 3G (i.e. works on Rogers and AT&T in North America AND European 3G out of the box just like the N85, no funky North American model)
  5. Built in ShoZu (with 10MB limit removed for 3G and WiFi, make the limit 50-200MB for 3G and WiFi) - killer app for photographers and videobloggers - Qik is built  into the N97 why not ShoZu? (I can't stand Share Online's limit of 6 photos at a time since I take over 50 a day; hope it's removed on the N97)
  6. Bult-in Qik (killer app for videobloggers!) - Qik is built  into the N97 can't wait to try it!
  7. Awesome web browser (Nokia's Web Kit browser was great in 2006, it is now far behind Apple's)
  8. Lots of available RAM (as much as the N95 8GB please!), 8GB storage on built-in card - Reviews are mixed on the N97, sounds like it has a lot of RAM (more than the N95 8GB)  but with widgets it takes up a lot more. - I doubt I will use widgets!
  9. Built in Nokia viNes to take advantage of Nokia's great GPS hardware (killer GPS app!) - viNes apears to be dead. Nokia Sports Tracker appears to be alive, so I'd rather have that built-in
  10. Built in Twitter App i.e. built in Gravity

Now I know the above list is not possible given today's processors and batteries but in that case I can live without optical zoom! Everything else is doable as far as I can tell.

I still don't need:

  1. QWERTY keyboard - I'd rather have an awesome camera and flash than a touch or QWERTY keyboard. And for me touch keyboards are just as good as QWERTY.
  2. Email (Email is dead to me (ok email isn't dead but my resolution is to take any email thread  that I need to keep that has more than 2 replies to a wiki or blog); I continue to use it  for work and to communicate with "normal" folks!) - If the browser is as good as the iPhone's, then webmail clients work just fine.
  3. Touch (would be nice, but not convinced Nokia has the software chops for this; I am not interested in S60 transmogrified with touch, I would prefer touch to be part of a totally revamped user interface that's NOT S60.) - Unfortunately it appears that Nokia's current touch interface s*cks. I hope I am proven wrong by my N97 trial.
  4. Micro SD card slot
  5. Calendar (would be nice but that's what my laptop is for :-) !) - Again with a good enough browser a web client would be good enough)
  6. IM (Twitter is IM enough for me and I am fine with using it in the browser)
  7. VOIP is dead to me except for Skype
  8. MMS - I am not convinced I need it, I can always use ShoZu email photos :-) but I was wrong about SMS (so maybe I am wrong about MMS) - I am pretty sure I am wrong about MMS and I am pretty sure (unfortunately) I will be MMSing my relatives with pictures since they all finally seem to have MMS plans and devices and none of my luddite :-) relatives still use flickr or any of the other public or private photosharing sites!


 

Nokia Software Updater won't let me update my European N95-1 and N82-1 to the latest firmware even with Fido SIM installed

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2009-01-28 14:37

The Nokia Software Updater won't let me update my European N95-1 and N82-1 to the latest firmware even with my valid Fido SIM installed and even though the Nokia Canada site says there are updates for these two phones. This used to work with my Fido SIM with prior versions of the Nokia Software update and prior N95-1 and N82-1 updates. I also tried using my Belgian, Finnish and AT&T SIMs and that didn't work either. Any ideas? Is this Canada specific? I can't believe NSU would be updated to block these firmware updates but anything's possible with Rogers and Fido I suppose !

Nokia to reveal insanely great device at Nokia World on Wednesday Dec 3, 2008!?!

Submitted by Roland on Mon, 2008-12-01 05:11

Nokia has to do something soon. Don't think it's quite as urgent as "must introduce something this week" as Scoble describes but the window is closing for Nokia to re-capture the "high-end today but quickly becoming profitable mainstream" mind share that they have lost.

What do I want? Here's my N999 "multimedia-creator phone" vision updated for Dec 2008 (not in order of priority):

  1. screen the size of the 5800 Tube
  2. S60 simplified and fixed as Rui describes
  3. 5 megapixel camera with cover and Xenon flash with 3x optical zoom and 640x480 30fps video (basically re-use the awesome N82 camera hardware and software)
  4. Quad band GSM and 3G (i.e. works on Rogers and AT&T in North America AND European 3G out of the box just like the N85, no funky North American model)
  5. Built in ShoZu (with 10MB limit removed for 3G and WiFi, make the limit 50MB for 3G and WiFi) - killer app for photographers and videobloggers
  6. Bult-in Qik (killer app for videobloggers!)
  7. Awesome web browser (Nokia's Web Kit browser was great in 2006, it is now far behind Apple's)
  8. Lots of available RAM (as much as the N95 8GB please!), 8GB storage on built-in card
  9. Built in Nokia viNes to take advantage of Nokia's great GPS hardware (killer GPS app!)

Here's what I don't need:

  1. QWERTY keyboard
  2. Email (Email is dead to me; I continue to use it reluctantly for work)
  3. Touch (would be nice, but not convinced Nokia has the software chops for this; I am not interested in S60 transmogrified with touch, I would prefer touch to be part of a totally revamped user interface that's NOT S60.)
  4. Micro SD card slot
  5. Calendar (would be nice but that's what my laptop is for :-) !)
  6. IM (Twitter is IM enough for me and I am fine with using it in the browser)
  7. VOIP is dead to me except for Skype
  8. MMS - I am not convinced I need it, I can always use ShoZu email photos :-) but I was wrong about SMS (so maybe I am wrong about MMS)

Would be nice:

  1. Built in S60 Python so I can hack around and do some Geo hacks (and with reasonable security model to let mash up creators create some insanely great mashups) - Sorry widsets, Nokia WRT and flash lite don't cut it for me, but I am willing to be convinced of course!
  2. Built-in Skype (the one on the N800 is fab and yes I know it's on a different operating system but Nokia has some awesome developers, c'mon and get with it :-) )
  3. USB charging
  4. Over the air firmware updates

QUOTE [From Scobleizer — Tech geek blogger » Blog Archive Nokia’s touchiest week «]

Translation: this is the week that Nokia either shines or moves to the B list of the cell phone market. Yeah, you won’t know how this week turned out for a year or two, but there is no bigger week for Nokia.

Now, can you count Nokia out yet? No way. It has the biggest slice of the cell phone marketshare pie. Its devices are much better engineered than Apple’s are (GPS on Nokia is better, so are the antennas, the cameras, and bluetooth radios that Nokia uses). But engineering does NOT equal a great experience. Yeah, my Nokia does not drop phone calls in places in Silicon Valley that my iPhone does, but generally I reach for the iPhone when I want to make a call or surf the web. Why?

Nokia is behind in experience. The executives here from Nokia that I’ve talked to know that. They know this is Nokia’s touchiest week and one where they either deliver a much better device or they are going to face a very tough 2009 globally.

END QUOTE

Almost free ShoZu help for Vancouverites - Helping the ShoZu MIR Campaign

Submitted by Roland on Mon, 2008-12-01 00:57

Hey Vancouverites! Got an N95, N82 or other Nokia cameraphone and a data plan (or a Wifi phone)? If so, I'll show you how to install ShoZu and configure it to send photos to any email address, flickr, facebook, twitter, Now Public, any arbitrary email address, etc. (ShoZu supports an incredible number of photo and video services in fact over 90% of the popular ones!). All I ask is we do this over coffee in downtown or Gastown before work or at lunch and that you buy me a $2.25 macchiato :-) in return. Text me at 604 729 7924 if interested! iPhone ShoZu users, the offer applies to you too but I doubt you need any help :-) !

Some little known cool ShoZu features:

  1. Did you know you can use ShoZu to send to multiple flickr accounts (e.g. one for work and one for family)?
  2. Did you know ShoZu supports videos? Who needs 12seconds.tv when you can send 20 second videos from your Nokia to flickr (or anywhere else! e.g. facebook)?

QUOTE [From The ShoZu Campaign begins on MIR! | Mobile Industry Review]

And here we are: My Campaign! I want to raise awareness of ShoZu amongst the Mobile Industry Review audience and beyond. My hope is that you, dear reader, will take it upon yourself to educate at least five normobs about ShoZu. Further, I hope you will help them get the app installed on their handset and setup to send to Facebook or Flickr or the like.

It’s my firm belief that ShoZu is a ‘gateway application’ — like a gateway drug — that converts a normob to a mobile data user (a ‘promob’).

ONCE you’ve tasted and started using ShoZu, you ‘get’ mobile data. You can start to look at other applications and uses. You might like to check out Jaiku. Or try and get your head around Twitter.

But the key is photos. Photos OFF your handset, on to the internet. That’s the magic that converts the normob.

Too often, nobody cares. We’re all busy. Normobs just get on with their lives. Take 10 seconds out to explain the concept though — and you spread a little joy with your technical experience.

END QUOTE

Nokia Sports Tracker - I want to believe but I can't because it's flakey

Submitted by Roland on Mon, 2008-11-10 02:22

Seeing Ms Jen's and Glenn's posts about the Nokia Sports Tracker Widget a few weeks back made me create my own Sports Tracker N Series Widget page. Unfortunately Sports Tracker is maddeningly infuriating in that annoying kind of "Nokia can almost make software way" because:

  1. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it would freeze or stop tracking my movements in the middle of a bicycle ride when I first tried it (using the built in GPS on the N95-1 and the built-in GPS on the N82 (North American version). And I tried to make it work about 70 times (yes I have 70 routes on Sports Tracker and far too many are incomplete because the GPS froze) which I think constitutes a fair trial!
  2. So I bought an LD-4W GPS when I was in Finland for Nokia Open Lab 2008, thinking that would improve the reliability. Well it did for ShoZu but for Sports Tracker it was no more or less reliable
  3. I want to believe :-) ! Maybe it's the fact that I have an N95-1 so maybe I run out of memory? Maybe the N82 NAM doesn't work because it doesn't have the latest normal N82 firmware updates. Maybe it's because I don't use 3G (I'd love to use 3G but none of the devices Nokia has sent me to date has North American 3G)
  4. And yes I know it's beta, I hope the next version called Nokia viNe is less flakey. Maybe both Sports Tracker and viNe are more reliable on newer phones like the N95 8GB NAM, N96, N85 etc! ShoZu has dramatically improved in reliability in recent versions for fanatical 30 pictures or more per day users like myself (pretty reliable for normal folks all along methinks)! Fingers crossed that the same thing will happen for Sports Tracker and viNe.
  5. Postscript: just tried logging into my sports tracker account with my Nokia Account and it failed, in fact I can't login into my Nokia account at all. Here's the error message: "Servlet error: An exception occurred. The current application deployment descriptors do not allow for including it in this response. Please consult the application log for details." - Weekend maintainence? Regardless, a very unfriendly error message.

N82 - 2300 photos since August 26, 2008 - going back to N95-1

Submitted by Roland on Mon, 2008-11-03 21:42

Kris briefly lent me his N82 but asked for it back so he could give it to a friend today.This led me to  look up how many photos I have taken with the N82 since August 26, 2008 when Kris lent it to me: 2300 public photos! Lots of blurry ones but some decent ones. Last N82 observations after 2 months of use primarily from my bicycle but also private ones of of the kid :

  1. It's the North American Version so none of the recent software upgrades are applicable. No, I didn't consider changing the product code to get around this. Life is too short for ridiculous :-) hacks like changing phone product codes.
  2. The N82 is actually slower shot to shot than the N95 when the sensor powers down. My theory is that the Xeon flash powers up for pre-flash/pre-focus and that takes time and this time is not needed in the N95
  3. The built-in GPS seemed faster than the N95 but not much faster perhaps if I had the European variant which has had more firmware updates I would notice more of a speedup.
  4. The keys are too small. Like Whatley Dude I prefer the N95's keys.
  5. Sports Tracker *seemed* less reliable. Again this may be a firmware issue

Back to the N95-1 tomorrow! But my power cameraphone recommendation of choice for Canadians and Americans remains the N95-4 aka N95 8GB NAM (and if you have lots of money, the gorgeous sounding N85 (come on Nokia Blogger Relations send us North American 3G phones please!  which also does North American 3G). For a power user of cameraphones, life is too short for EDGE!

Car Free Vancouver Day 2008 Mobile Streaming Video Post Mortem Part 1

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2008-06-15 19:28

Had a blast bicycling and checking out Car Free Vancouver 2008 from Commercial Drive to the West End to Kitsilano and back to Commercial Drive (we skipped Main Street since it didn't start until 4p.m.)

Here's some of the media we created:

  1. My Vancouver Car Free Vancouver 2008 Videos (Part 1, 2, 3, 4)
  2. Jean's Videos - 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 , 11, 12
  3. JMV's Videos - 1, 2
  4. JMV's Pictures
  5. My Pictures
Nokia Sports Tracker data is missing! (mine didn't turn out i.e. most of my track is missing since I had to reboot the phone thereby losing my GPS Track, aaaaargh! Jean hasn't posted his!)
Things that were Great
  1. The weather! Perfect!
  2. Jean's McGyvered bicycle mount - although I am investigating using the N95 ProClip Motorcycle Mount, anybody know whether it will work on a bicycle?
  3. The event itself. Rockin' great time at all venus. Great food, great happenings (e.g. mojave, Paul Jarvis' band, Japanese food, African Drum circle, etc)
  4. Qik was rock solid. It just worked and buffered when we lost connection.

Things that weren't so great
  1. Rogers Portable Internet combined with FreeTheNet combined with splash screen = FAIL (or at least it seemed to fail a lot more than during our 2 dry runs during today's bike ride, actually we did stream a lot more video than I thought). Next time I suggest EV-DO card from Bell or a HSDPA card (i.e. something designed for mobile connectivity, Rogers Mobile Internet is designed to be portable NOT mobile) plus a travel router like the $170 Cradlepoint CTR500 EVDO/HSDPA 3G Router . I am a supporter of FreeTheNet but again it's designed for non mobile use.
  2. My IOGear Mobile Portable Power loose connection with my N95 caused me to run out out of power at one point - Jean's N82 had no problem so probably an issue with my phone, not the IOGear power.But probably points to the fact that the Nokia power connector wasn't designed to be connected horizontally for charging. I'd prefer a micro USB / mini USB for charging personally
  3. Nokia Sports Tracker's 1998isms (I realize it's beta but if they had used Drupal or any modern system they'd get these things for free) - i) Bad URLs that end in .do instead of being clean ii) no search feature iii) no tags iv) no RSS for tags
  4. Qik's tags have no RSS feeds

Car Free Vancouver Live Streaming Video from my N95 on my bicycle

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2008-06-08 16:13
Fearless / Mobile Muse 3 / Car Free Vancouver Dry Run Route courtesy of Nokia Sports Tracker Beta

In preparation for a "car versus bicycle" streaming video showdown on Car Free Vancouver next Sunday June 15, 2008, Jean (Jean's blog post has the background and lots of useful info, read it!) and I did a dry run early this morning.

Our config was:

  1. helmet mounted N95-1 for me and N82 for Jean
  2. N95-1 ran the following software
    1. Qik - streamed video live over EDGE
    2. Nokia Sports Tracker
Our videos and GPS Tracks:
  1. My video - also below
  2. My GPS Track and map
  3. Jean's GPS Track and map
A question: Anybody know of software to stream in real-time GPS coordinates in RSS, KML or Atom over WiFi or 3G or Edge from a Nokia phone?
Some observations and comments:
  1. Helmet mounted video is more stable BUT on the whole not great because everytime we check our blind spots, the camera moves which is more disconcerting than the jitter from a handlebar mounted phone. I think as Jean noted, we'll move to a handle bar mounted solution like a Gorillopod for the real Car Free Vancouver on Sunday June 15, 2008
  2. A bluetooth microphone with wind reduction like a the Jawbone would probably result in better sound

My video:

Cecily Walker Video on S60 Interface - S60 Ambassadors

Submitted by Roland on Tue, 2008-05-27 08:42

As part of my contribution to the S60 Ambassadors program, I'm doing some videos of people's reactions to S60 and awareness of Ovi. Herewith my first 1:30 S60 Ambassadors video with Cecily Walker, library and social media maven (recorded with her N82 at Vidfest). - Watch Cecily's S60 video or check out my transcript below!

Positives:

  1. absolutely loves it
  2. changes the way Cecily views media, "all in one package" she can post audio and video immediately via Bluetooth or WiFi
  3. really pretty
  4. paid with N82 with her own money! (off Craigslist since not officially available in Canada, aaargh!)

S60 Not so Positive

  1. S60 "really really buggy" things quitting without error message
  2. Never heard of OVI (unfortunately most people in Canada haven't but that's not surprising given Canada's lack of awareness on these issues and Nokia's lack of marketing)

N82 has cool Xenon flash but will it pass the Roland Shozu Challenge?

Submitted by Roland on Fri, 2007-11-16 00:35

The N82 was released today with great fanfare (rightly so since it's the first Nokia with a real flash!) and some fun video but nobody has told me whether it can pass the "Roland Challenge" and the "Roland ShoZu Challenge". I'm hoping the latest Nokias like the N95-3 and the N82 pass because of their increased RAM.

p.s. in case you forgot, here's the Roland Challenge: take 50 pictures in 30 minutes of random stuff and see if the phone or camera app crashes (without any 3rd party software installed and a freshly formatted 2Gig or larger card)

p.p.s. and here's the Roland ShoZu Challenge: Repeat the Roland Challenge but install ShoZu first and set ShoZu to auto-upload and again let me know if ShoZu, camera app or the phone crashes

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