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N800 + GSM 850 phone = perfect price checker - N800 Review Part 2

Submitted by Roland on Tue, 2007-05-22 03:29

I misplaced my mouse at Super Happy Dev House. I went shopping for a replacement on Friday and found that the combination of the:
N800 and 850 GSM phone + unlimited data plan = perfect price checker and shopping companion.

The 850 means that unlike GSM 1900 phones it basically works anywhere except a Faraday shielded bunker :-) ! A bit geeky but it was fun being able to take notes and check out the websites of the mouse I was considering as well as verifying that contrary to the label on the box, the mouse I bought, a Microsoft Wireless Bluetooth Mouse 8000, actually works with Macs (inaccurate MS 8000 mouse review - works fine for me out of the box with latest MS drivers - I luv MS mice; I think this is the 4th I've bought with my own money!) !

And I guess maybe not so geeky since I didn't get any second looks and I see "normal" people playing around with their Sony PSPs and Nintendo DS's all the time these days.

Mark my words, shopping and checking prices and taking photos and sharing media back and forth about what you are buying with friends while shopping will become just as normal as playing games on mobile devices!

Couldn't get Bluetooth console working with Python on my N93 - Super Happy Dev House Redux Part 2

Submitted by Roland on Mon, 2007-05-14 07:11

I couldn't do the most basic thing and connect my terminal.app with my Python running on my Nokia N93. Aaargh!

I followed the Using the Python for Series 60 Bluetooth Console from OS X HOW TO from Erk Smartt but was unsuccessful.

Invoking the Bluetooth console from the python app on the Nokia N93 worked but then after typing "screen /dev/tty.BT_CONSOLE", I get the following error messages: "Cannot open line '/dev/tty.BT_CONSOLE' for R/W: Resource busy " followed by "Sorry, could not find a PTY. ".

What am I doing wrong? I know I had this working with my Mac and Series 60 Python on the N70 back in the day so it's a bit frustrating!

Nokia N800 Hacking at Vancouver Super Happy Dev House?

Submitted by Roland on Thu, 2007-05-10 04:39

Anybody up for some impromptu Nokia N800 hacking at the Vancouver Super Happy Dev House on Friday? I am in as long as: i) it's less than a 1000 lines of code; I am an old man and can't keep more than 1000 lines in my head at once :-) ii) we use a dynamic language like PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby, etc. Sorry I am done with C++, Java, C# etc and refuse to program in them ever again!

Nokia, how about a Vancouver Evening like Evening with S60 Helsinki: June 14, 2007

Submitted by Roland on Thu, 2007-05-10 04:34

I predict there will be a Nokia Vancouver event like this in 2 years or less. Doesn't have to be S60 (because nobody in Canada knows what S60 is) but let's highlight the hundreds of awesome researchers, engineers, marketers, developers, etc at Nokia Vancouver and expose them to the public and sell Nokia stuff as well as give out swag. I suggested this before and I'll keep suggesting it :-) !

FROM Ring Nokia: Evening with S60 Helsinki: June 14, 2007:

QUOTE

Our "An Evening with S60" event first touched down in New York City, then Chicago, now we're trying to score a hat trick with Helsinki! So you're all very warming welcomed to our third "An Evening with S60" to be held at the Nokia Flagship in Helsinki, Thursday June 14, 2007 from 19.00 to 21.00 (they're shutting down the store an hour early for us). It's a night of networking, technology, and of course...fun!

END QUOTE

Nokia: please build Christian Lindholm's Transformer Mobile OS around an open source core

Submitted by Roland on Tue, 2007-05-08 05:49

Awesome vision (I am not a fan of Lifeblog (his previous vision) but I am fan of Christian! And of course I am a fan of Series 60 which was one of Christian's first visions!). Go Christian go! Wouldn't it be cool if Christian Lindholm built this OS at a startup around an open source core like Linux and wouldn't it be cool if Nokia bought that OS and used it on future phones? This would blow the iPhone out of the water. In the long run, this is what has to be done if the iPod-ization of mobile phones is to be avoided IMHO (but hey I could be wrong :-) !)

FROM ChristianLindholm.com: My speech at MEX, The SW Transformer A Vision for a mobile OS:

QUOTE

I was asked by Marek Pawlowski from PMM to give a keynote at the MEX conference, a small mobile user experience conference. It is great small conference with key people in mobile user experience.

My brief for the talk was this manifesto:

"Manifesto point #4:

Handsets, applications and services should be more aware of the user's physical environment and adapt to provide the most appropriate interface for sound and visual conditions. We think multi-modal interfaces should be supported on many more mobile devices and can dramatically improve the user experience."

Summary:

We are at a stage where a new mobile operating system should be created. One that enables the creation of a cheap monoblock enabling best of breed convergence of mobility and computing. I envision an OS that morphs to accommodate both moving use and mobile use. Focused use and multi-tasking. I call it a Transformer OS.

One way to think of this is to think of RSS in terms of comand. Each command or feature in the user experience is wrapped into a meta language of context. This language of context will drive the use cases and the rendering. We do not only separate funtion and presentation we make function and context interdependant.

With such an operating system we would tear down classic application boundaries: like calling, camera, idle, and calendar into a fluid dynamic environment. The operating system is broader than the footprint of the silicon. It extends into the environment and the network.

I think this kind of device and system could be a massive hit in emerging markets where they choose a mobile before they buy a computer.

END QUOTE

Nokia S60 3rd Edition Devices Need to run Positioning app to activate external GPS?!?

Submitted by Roland on Thu, 2007-05-03 15:02

This might eliminate the need to run Nokia maps to get ShoZu to put GPS coordinates in photos. Need to try this. Cyprien can I borrow that GPS again :-) ?

FROM Nokia S60 3rd Edition Applications Review » Tips & Tricks: Accessing Hidden Apps (Navigator, Landmarks, etc):

QUOTE

One last thing to note is that some people may have experienced problems when trying to use apps that require an external bluetooth GPS receiver. Within s60 3rd devices there is an app called Positioning that allows you to enable/disable your GPS methods. My N80 for example, shipped with bluetooth GPS disabled and I wasn’t able to use any navigation apps with my Nokia LD-3W until I enabled it.

END QUOTE

Nokia N800 Review Part 1 - Linux is surprisingly usable, S60 on Linux in the future?

Submitted by Roland on Mon, 2007-04-30 04:54

I'm really enjoying the Nokia N800 that I received from the Nokia Blogger Relations Program. Surprisingly, Nokia have made Linux almost usable :-) . Seriously, it's fast enough and does what it does well (of course what is the market for the N800? I think it's a great portable Linux computer for geeks and cheap phone and video call power users today!). I am not a big fan of the stylus so I am happy that you can use your fingers. Going to have to try to go a day without my laptop once I have all the apps installed (irc client, ssh client, and a few others).

I think that all major operating systems will be built on an open source core in less than 10 years. So why not build S60 on top of Linux instead of whatever it's built on top of now? Perhaps the N800 as atmasphere suggested in twitter is the one of the first steps to that.

In the long run, it makes sense given the introduction of Open C and Widgets on S60. If apps actually use these two APIs then they should mostly work if S60 were to switch to Linux.

Rogers hypes video shot on N series Nokia phones that they don't sell

Submitted by Roland on Mon, 2007-04-16 08:24

Pretty hilarious that Rogers is hawking a video shot on N series Nokia phones when Rogers doesn't offer any Nokia N series phones in Canada. Or maybe this means Rogers will be selling N series phones in Canada soon? Now that would be cool! Fingers crossed.

Of course anything that Rogers sells would be horribly locked like my trial KRZR K1 which has had its ring tones locked (you can't put your own MP3 ringtones even though unlocked KRZRs support them) and its bluetooth address book and calendar are locked.

I'd love to see Rogers introduce unlocked N series phones. If/when that day comes, I'll be the first to praise them for it. Not holding my breath.

Buyers beware. Buy only unlocked phones if you want to use all their multimedia features and not be tied to cellcos r*poff ringtone stores. At least Rogers and Fido customers have the option of buying and using unlocked phones. Telus and Bell customers are stuck with the cr*ppy handsets that Bell and Telus foist on them.

FROM Chantal Kreviazuk, Rogers and Nokia Partner to Shoot the First Canadian Major Label Video with Handsets:

QUOTE

TORONTO, April 5 /CNW/ - Multiple award-winning singer/songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk has partnered with Rogers and Nokia, to film her new video for the smash single "Wonderful," entirely on two Nokia Nseries mobile phones. The video was conceptualized by SONY BMG MUSIC (CANADA) to be filmed using a Nokia Nseries handset and was shot in Los Angeles last month at six unique locations. This marks the first time a major record label has partnered with a mobile phone manufacturer to shoot a music video for widespread servicing on national television outlets. Log onto www.chantalonline.com/wonderful to watch a 30second clip of "Wonderful" and access information on Nokia products. Win one of 5 prize packs including a Nokia 5300 XpressMusic phone, $100 gift card from Rogers and a full Chantal Kreviazuk discography. Visit Rogers Yahoo! at rogers.yahoo.com to get an exclusive first look at "Wonderful" and the making of the video, for a limited time.

END QUOTE

My Symbian History - 7610 with my own money, rest from Nokia Blogger Relations

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2007-04-15 21:55

Don't usually play these tag games, but this will be the exception that proves the rule. My first Symbian device was the Nokia 7610 which I bought unlocked in August 2004 from a Vietnamese grey market vendor here (thanks Harry!) in Vancouver.

I bought the 7610 because of its 1 megapixel camera which was fab for its time and also because S60 was and is a platform where I knew I could get 3rd party apps and possibly develop my own. I bought the 7610 as a belated 40th birthday gift to myself (much better than a sports car :-) and much cheaper!). I was was smart enough to also buy an unlimited GPRS data plan for my phone which is no longer available in Canada and allows me to monthly use about 250 MB of data traffic photos and videos which is a lot over GPRS.

Took plenty of photos and uploaded many with HuginAndMugin (which my friend Simon wrote in Java; the Java mobile platform annoyed me back then because it couldn't take 1 megapixel photos and it annoys me now because there is a new JSR released seemingly every month and every phone has a different implementation of the Java mobile platform but I am still willing to be convinced that Java on mobile is actually a viable platform ) and via ShoZu.

Went to BloggerCon III where I spoke about HuginAndMugin at the mobile session and met Andy who later became the man behind Nokia Blogger Relations.

From there, the rest is history. N70 and then N91, N93 and N73 and many, many photos and videos taken with all of these phones. Hopefully N95 soon. Oh and I also had a Newton 2000 and one of the first Palm Pilots. I used the Newton alot and the Palm for about 3 or 4 months; never liked Palm; too simple, really ugly fonts compared to the Newton :-) and didn't meet my geeky needs!

Except for the memory problems and the user interface problems of S60v3 (both of which can be fixed or improved, more on that later in a future post), I am quite happy with Symbian and S60.

I truly believe that if the iPhone is 1/4 as usable as it appears and ships 1/2 of the units Apple expects to, then this will be great competition and cause S60's memory problems and usability to be fixed rapidly. Vive la competition!

FROM atmaspheric | endeavors » My Symbian History:

QUOTE

Ok - that was probably far too long and rambling, but I suppose that’s the point of this exercise. For the next round, I will tag people from my Twitter and Jaiku contact lists and ping Matthew Miller, Roland Tanglao and Ken Camp.

END QUOTE

N800 received from Nokia Blogger Relations - looking forward to using it for GTalk video and Skype

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2007-04-15 15:02

Got my free trial Nokia N800 from Nokia Blogger Relations on Thursday (thanks Nokia and Andy). Haven't had much time for fun video, voice and other N800 geekery yet (fun with the Canucks in the playoffs, work and family has taken up too much time :-) !). Have to install new update to the N800 operating system and have bought two 2 GB SD cards to store music and my experiments. Looking forward to video GTalking (rolandt AT gmail.com) with you all (I'll finally be able to see Ken Camp!).

First impressions:

  1. Have had one spontaneous reboot already of the N800 (I thought this only happened with S60). Hope this is fixed in latest N800 update.
  2. The built in Opera web browser is fabulous!
  3. The automatic WiFi detector works great!

ShoZu still the best way to quickly flickr photos, Lifeblog & Gallery require too many clicks

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2007-04-11 03:23

For me, ShoZu is still the best way to flickr photos. I can't imagine not using it in spite of the bugs that Ken, Alec and others have observed. When it works, it is fast and easy and requires 0 clicks (or 2 if you don't automagically upload the photos as they are taken).

I have tried LifeBlog (hate the Windows and PC centric world view (it's about the cloud not the PC!) and the fact that you can only upload 6 photos at a time and the many clicks and how it's quite easy to upload the same photo twice since there's no UI cues for which photos have been uploaded) and the Gallery App on the N93 (again only 6 photos at at time and way too many clicks!)

ShoZu worked much better for me on the Nokia N70 (2237 photos uploaded to flickr via ShoZu) and 7610 (814 photos dating back to October 2005) i.e. S60v2 I think! I have had the same issues as Ken and Alec on all my S60v3 phones i.e. N80i (701 photos; which unfortunately seems to have memory issues in general even with the latest firmware), N73 (178 photos) and N93 (152). The N93 with the latest firmware runs ShoZu better I think.

As a former software developer who currently tests software (Drupal), who as well writes software documentation for Drupal, it annoys me that I can't seem to definitively pin down the reason for the instability of ShoZu on S60v3 nor can I reproduce it a will.

Some guesses (I would call them theories but I am unencumbered by S60 developer knowledge!):

  1. Symbian memory allocation/deallocation/leaks
  2. S60 memory allocation/deallocation/leaks
  3. ShoZu memory allocation/deallocation/leaks
  4. Clash with the phone's thumbnail creation code (I have noticed that if you go into the gallery, the thumbnails can take many many seconds to appear and when they don't appear ShoZu doesn't work. Coincidence? Maybe!)
  5. The auto upload code hogs the CPU?!?

I am trying to test #5 by turning off auto upload. Currently have 98 photos on my N93. We'll see if the instability starts up again after 120 or so photos as seems to be the pattern. Any help or clues would be appreciated

FROM ShoZu. Not ready for prime-time. -- Alec Saunders .LOG:

QUOTE

Ken Camp has a love / hate relationship with Shozu. I have to say that I concur. It's unbelievably promising, and purports to solve a problem that I have — that Nokia's LifeBlog software doesn't target Wordpress. However, it took hours last night to remove it from the phone. Once installed, it takes over the phone entirely. Hopefully they can solve the problems quickly.

END QUOTE

Nokia DT-22 Tripod - will use it to videoblog at Massive

Submitted by Roland on Sat, 2007-03-24 16:54

Last week I received the cool DT-22 Tripod from Nokia Blogger Relations. First impressions: a great tool for videoblogging and like Ken wrote, the base is a great little adapter for use with other tripods.

Come see the DT-22 this Wednesday at Massive 2007 at the Bryght booth where I will use the DT-22 to videoblog 3 minute videoblogs with show-goers.

Automatic Live Conference Photo Blogging with ShoZu and your Nokia N series phone

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2007-03-14 06:16

A lot of conferences have free WiFi these days and I have used my N Series phones with WiFi that I received free from Nokia (thanks! In particular the N80i, N91 and N93) to live photoblog over WiFi to ShoZu and then to flickr at these conferences.

So, don't forget to set up your wireless Access point with ShoZu if you have an N series phone with WiFi:

First set up the access point (this assumes that it's an open access point, if not you have to add the password in by hand in the Tools->Settings App->Connections which is cumbersome but doable):

  1. App Key -> Connectivity -> Connection Mgr -> Available WLAN - > Scroll down to the free WiFi for the conference -> Options -> Define Access Point
  2. Define the Conference WiFi access point as usual

In ShoZu, add the access point:

  1. Options->Transfer Status->Options->Advanced->Click on Access Points-> Add the Conference WiFi access point you just added

Finally, follow the excellent How To I quoted below.

I most recently did this at Saskatchewan Interactive and and it worked really well,

FROM How To: Automatic Upload Photos With Your Nseries Phone at the Nokia blog:

QUOTE

I’ll show you how you can take pictures and skip the steps of uploading. Your Nokia Nseries phone will do all the uploading in the background while you do what’s more important: taking pictures. This will be very useful if you are going to conventions or events, but I wrote this because of the upcoming Evening with the S60 that I will be attending. I will be using this “live photoblogging

Motorola KRZR K1 Review Part 3 - Photos as good as two year old N70 except no flash

Submitted by Roland on Tue, 2007-03-13 11:58

I think the photos are as good as the ones on the Nokia N70 (except of course there is no flash) which is two year old technology. What do you think?

KRZR K1:

Nokia N70

Apples to Oranges comparison to be sure! I have 2000 other N70 photos for you to compare if you don't like the one above :-) !

Motorola KRZR K1 Review Part 2 - Video as good as 2 year old Nokia N70

Submitted by Roland on Tue, 2007-03-13 04:42

The KRZR K1 video is decent CIF quality but it's two year old techology. The Nokia N70 videos were just as good quality back in 2005.

Check it out and judge for yourself:

KRZR K1 video of the Skyte (blip.tv bug, I rotated the original but the flash video below is not rotated: original KRZR K1 Skyte 3GP Video with correct orientation)

Click To Play

Not bad CIF quality. Not great either. About as good as the N70 which is now 2 years old. Not nearly as good as an Nokia N93

Compare and contrast with Richard's Nokia N70 video of the Skyte

m.YouTube.com doesn't work on my N80i or N93

Submitted by Roland on Fri, 2007-03-02 05:36

m.YouTube.com doesn't work on N80i or N93 - Image029

m.YouTube.com doesn't work on my N80i or N93. Quelle surprise. Fingers crossed that it will eventually.

FROM Tommi's S60 applications blog:

QUOTE

Symbian-Guru and Symbian-Freak found via HowardForums the YouTube Mobile site that Nokia announced back at 3GSM.

The URL apparently is "m.youtube.com"

END QUOTE

N80i not supported by ShoZu Geotagging feature

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2007-02-28 15:52

OK, the N80i is not supported. I hope the N93 is supported! Sorry about those having comment problems; I need to upgrade to Drupal 5 to fix it. Soon!

FROM Geotagging not working (Nokia N73):

QUOTE

You won't need to wake the GPS antenna, ShoZu will do this when necessary so you don't need to do any more than pair the device. What you will need, however, is a very strong GPS signal. ShoZu will wait until you have signal from 5 or more satellites before tagging your images because any less than this can produce inaccurate results. You'll notice sometimes on weak signal that your navigation software will jitter for a moment, if we tagged images at this time they would be way off. So please make sure you don't just have signal, but you have a very strong signal. We've done this because we figure geotagging is no use unless it's 100% accurate all the time!

By the way Roland, the N80i is not supported as yet and there are a lot of memory issues on this phone so just be weary of this also. Tried to post a reply on your blog but it had an internal server error and now I'm listed as a spammer and it won't let me post! Now's the time I finally get to ask you for support :-D

END QUOTE

N80i + ShoZu + Tom Tom GPS works 50% of the time -N80i, S60, ShoZu, or Tom Tom bug?

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2007-02-28 08:22

GeoWalk Bryght to VAG - Yahoo map

Using a borrowed Tom Tom Navigator 6 GPS from Cyprien (thanks!), I did a little outdoor GeoWalk from Bryght at 1 Alexander to the Vancouver Art Gallery, I took 29 photos with my Nokia N80i. Only roughly 50%, 15 out of 29 were geotagged, shouldn't that number be 100% or closer to it?

Is this a S60, N80i, ShoZu, or Tom Tom bug? Suggestions to make this closer to 100% gratefully received.

Please improve memory management and thumbnail generation in S60 Feature Pack 2

Submitted by Roland on Thu, 2007-02-08 07:37

I don't need any new features in S60 FP2. Please fix the following bugs:

  • Memory Management (may not be a bug, maybe N series phones just need much more memory, my guestimate would be double the current memory)
  • Thumbnail race condition with ShoZu (might be a ShoZu bug but just in case! I want my reliable ShoZu back! ShoZu on the pre S60V3 devices seemed much more reliable).

Making multiple apps run fine without running out of memory (I can make all of my N series phones run out of memory by simply running the S60 browser, surfing to flickr.com/photos/roland and using the Nokia wireless keyboard) and ShoZu work perfectly would greatly improve the S60 user experience in my opinion!

From See into S60:

QUOTE

S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 2 has been announced! On Friday I'll be doing an interview for the Voice of S60 with the head of S60 Platforms Marketing, Mikko Röntynen. Please send me any questions or comments you might have for Mikko and I'll ask him during the interview! You can leave your questions/comments below in the comments section...

END QUOTE

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