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Another reason to turn off the touchscreen on the N8: I have often switched WiFi & 3G off by accident

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2012-06-03 09:49

subject says it all: Symbian is prone to accidental touch screen disabling of WiFi & 3G while moving. Touchscreen interfaces assume you will be using them while stationary. Not true :-) Especially for cameraphone picture taking you don't want inadvertent touch screen touches while moving!

(this blog post is aimed at the 3 people in the world who still use N8 as their main cameraphone :-))

Nokia NOT Apple set the mobile phone industry back by not shipping a mass market phone until the N8 w/enough RAM to multi-task ShoZu and other apps

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2012-04-29 13:02

I disagree with Ewan :-) !

Nokia not Apple set the mobile phone industry back 10 years by not shipping a mass market phone until the N8 with enough RAM to multi-task ShoZu and other apps and to take full advantage of the great technical features of Symbian.

Prior to the N8 no mass market Nokias had enough RAM to run ShoZu in the background continously and upload dozens of photos per day. I know because I had an N95-1 (the N95 8GB had enough RAM but it didn't ship at iPhone scale), N82 and many other N series phones and only the N8 has enough RAM to multi-task. ShoZu  on the N95-1 and N82 regularly crashed (I worked around the problem by rebooting the phone every day something I don't have to do with my N8 or iPhone 4) and it crashed even more if I tried to run other apps simultaneously. Perhaps that was a ShoZu error but wouldn't have been awesome if Nokia had bought and bundled and made ShoZu bulletproof ? Much better than iCloud's rigid photo syncing solution!

Boy oh boy I loved ShoZu (I uploaded over 44000 photos using ShoZu) and used it until I got the N8. ShoZu doesn't work on the N8 :-( so I now use PixelPipe (which barely works because the developers have pivoted and the program is starting to bit rot and just barely works i.e. functionality that used to work no longer works: e.g. you can't enter tags from a list, you have to manually enter tags, you can't change which flickr account you are uploading to, etc)

Here's Ewan's argument in a nutshell

QUOTE (read the whole thing especially the comments)

Take yourself back to the days of the Nokia N95 8GB. It was a terrific handset: An excellent camera, super form factor, nice keypad — a true ‘Multimedia computer’.

Perhaps the best thing about those Symbian devices was that they could multitask properly. Hardcore Symbian developers could access almost every inch of the operating system’s plumbing to bring phenomenally useful services to users.

My most frequently used function on my Nokia Symbian devices was ShoZu. I wouldn’t shut up about it. This was (and still is!) a service that ran in the background on-demand. ShoZu would get your images off your Nokia really quickly. Many of my mobile friends had ShoZu doing an automatic upload. Snap a photo and boom, you’d see the little data indicator briefly switch on and off as the service sent your photo up to the ShoZu servers and then on to whatever services you’d configured (Flickr being a popular one). I opted for a little bit more control — so whenever I took a photo, ShoZu would immediately ask if I wanted the photo sent up to the internet. Again, if you pressed ‘yes’, that was it. Job done. Everything happened in the background.

You could get on with your day. I loved it.

Back at this point — 2005/2006, the mobile industry was looking incredibly exciting.

END QUOTE

 

Nokia Pureview 808 - 41 Megapixel sensor downsamples to superior 5 Megapixel images

Submitted by Roland on Mon, 2012-02-27 00:26

If the Nokia Pureview 808 hype (Nokia, Engadget, Verge, AAS) :-) (Xenon flash, continuous focus 1080p video, 34 megapixels for still images, pentaband HSDPA, Symbian Belle) is to be believed, the Nokia Pureview 808 has a 41 Megapixel sensor which downsamples 7 pixels into 1 which means awesome images. 5 years in the making! Anyhow as somebody who as taken over 50000 photos with Nokia cameraphones since 2004, I need to review this immediately :-) ! Glad to see that Damian and the rest of the Nokia cameraphone team are still having fun and producing kick a*s cameraphone modules!

Speakout Wireless no catches, unlimited but slow 3G data for $10/month, no voice plan required

Submitted by Roland on Sat, 2011-11-26 23:48

Speakout Wireless no catches, unlimited but slow 3G data for $10/month, no voice plan required is my conclusion after a month. Slow means under a 1Megabit sometimes  64 kilobits! But more than good enough to run GPS and do maps and geotag photos. Recommended if you are cheap :-) and want pay as you go data! Or just want a second phone with data and don't require voice! Only tested with a Nokia N8 with Nokia Maps and Pixelpipe but other folks have got it working on Android and iPhone. (see my previous speakout post for setup details).

 


Speakout Wireless Nokia N8 Internet access setup details

Submitted by Roland on Sat, 2011-10-22 16:25

(should work with Android too if you are technical enough to map Symbian to Android; this post describes how to do it for the iPhone)

tl;dr: N8 auto config sets up a WAP access point. All you have to is copy the WAP Access Point to your Internet Network Destinations group and setup the Positioning Server to be that WAP access point and you are done.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Settings
    IMG_20111022_153428.jpg
  2. Connectivity
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153444.jpg
  3. Settings (yes Settings | Connectivity | Settings i.e. a 2 level settings menu is something only Symbian has :-) !)
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153457.jpg
  4. Internet
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153522.jpg
  5. Create a WAP Access point under Internet configured as (or if you are lazy just copy the WAP access point from WAP Services to Internet)
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153534.jpg
  6. I was lazy and copied the N8 autoconfigured one called "GoRoger"s so Symbian called the copy "GoRogers(01)"
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153647.jpg
  7. Databearer: Packet Data, Access point name:goam.com, Username:wapuser1, Prompt pasword No, Password:wap, Authentication:normal, Homepage none
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153656.jpg
  8. Advanced Settings: IPV4, Phone IP address:Automatic, Proxy Server address:010.128.001.069, Proxy port number:80
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153726.jpg
  9. Next configure the GPS Position Server under Settings|Application Settings|Positioning
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153759.jpg
  10. Positioning Methods
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153810.jpg
  11. Check: Assisted GPS, Integrated GPS, Wi-Fi/Network, Network based
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153819.jpg
  12. Settings|Application Settings|Positioning server|Server settings
  13. Tap on supl.nokia.com
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153829.jpg
  14. Change Access point to: GoRogers(01) or whatever you created the access point in step 5
    N8 Speakout Wireless Settings - IMG_20111022_153846.jpg

Android built-in keyboard like Symbian's is unusable

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2011-10-02 23:41

The Android built-in keyboard like Symbian's is unusable for different reasons. The Android one has dead spots (e.g. try hitting the space bar on the Nexus S; enjoy the dead zones :-) !). Symbian's is unusable because it's two step (you have to tap a checkmark and then tap again to get the keyboard input recognized) not to mention the fact that pre Symbian Anna the portrait keyboard is a touch version of T9!). I am exploring different keyboards and hopefully will find something decent for both Android and Symbian and then I'll blog about it.

I have Nokia Cameraphone Stockholm syndrome, the N8 continues to rule!

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2011-05-01 16:33

fern! - 043020116311 043020116308 A dandelion between the cracks 043020116231 Purple flower of Cedar Cottage - 032720114585

I have Nokia Cameraphone Stockholm syndrome :-) which means I neglect the (un)usability of Symbian in order to get fantastic photos like the ones above! I can't stop taking photos with the Nokia N8, and I can't repeat it enough, the photo quality is amazing, thanks again to the Nokia team responsible for the N8!

My question, who will top the Nokia N8 in cameraphones? Will it be somebody on Android, Windows Phone 7, WebOS, or will Canon and Nikon or some camera upstart like Panasonic do the right thing and incorporate 3G connectivity with software programmability (I love Eye-Fi but unless it's built in it's a kludge! And the built-in WiFi in various Nikons and other cameras from traditional camera manufacturers is unusable since it's not programmable and not flexible) so that an ecosystem of cameraphone apps can spawn around a fantastic cameraphone (the iPhone4 has an excellent ecosystem of cameraphone apps but without a dedicated camera button, I can't use it as my goto cameraphone).

My guess it will be be an Android cameraphone with a dedicated camera button that will top the N8 but I'd love to be proven wrong by HP, or Panasonic or other upstart. (And feel free to think that my obsession with cameras with built in connectivity that is programmable is crazy but I think there are many 1000s of people like me!)

Symbian Anna is the kind of revision that we needed to see about 1.5 years ago.

Submitted by Roland on Tue, 2011-04-12 08:39

I agree with Ewan. Symbian Anna is the kind of revision that we needed to see about 1.5 years ago. We'll see when we get the N8 firmware update (late this quarter or next quarter, too late!) to Symbian Anna if the browser is really modern and supports HTML5 and all the other browser goodies that Android, Maemo and iPhone browsers do; I think it does. Symbian Anna is a great update for those who live in a bubble and don't know about the move to Windows Phone 7 or Android or iPhone or if the phones that have Symbian Anna were priced really low e.g. under $200. Unfortunately the X7 is almost 400 Euro and doesn't have a decent camera instead it's the 8 megapixel EDoF camera (but perhaps normal people will be happy with a non auto-focus camera, call me crazy but in 2011 I don't think people will be happy with that camera)

Android is everything Nokia phones could have been

Submitted by Roland on Fri, 2011-04-08 09:42

Geeky, hard to use, but continually updated and getting better and tied to compelling services like Google Maps and gmail. That's my summary of Android after playing with my Nexus S. This could have been Symbian or Meego or Maemo in an alternate Nokia universe. Oh well. Hopefully Nokia survives Windows Phone 7 long enough to launch something that's a truly useful and compelling total mobile experience and that allows them once again to be master of their own destiny.

Nokia execs believed it couldn't do 21st century mobile phone experience hence Nokmsft & the move to Windows Phone 7

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2011-02-13 21:03

We will never know for sure. But that's my theory and if you look at the failures of Nokia Software [Symbian, Meego, Qt (sure Qt has made compelling apps like Skype and VLC but nothing mobile and when has anything cross-platform beside HTML, CSS and JS produced compelling experiences? and QML had potential but was beta), etc. ; only Ovi Maps is great, IMHO all other Ovi services and software were failures] it makes sense to believe that.

I choose to believe that there were and are Nokia folks who can do 21st century mobile experiences but they were let down by upper management and leaders (all leaders who were involved in the total Nokia mobile experience prior to February 11  should go in my armchair CEO opinion).

Perhaps Nokia with this WP7 aliance can pull it off. But just like Nortel whose leadership never really moved from their circuit switched and transmission mentality to the Internet mentality, I don't think the Nokia leaders can pull this one off. Love to be proven wrong by a resurgent "non RF, non embedded software" mindset Nokia that somehow manages (after a dark "interregnum" of WP7) to surge forward with something that is truly a compelling and unique mobile experience that I would pay my own money for.

Until then my money will go to other platforms like iPhone, Android and in the future hopefully WebOS.

N8 Review - Nice Camera, Shame about the Total Experience which hasn't progressed since the N80 of April 2006

Submitted by Roland on Thu, 2011-02-10 23:25

N93 video camera app screen of death - Roland in Vancouver 054

tl;dr If you are the 1% who value a cameraphone with fantastic photos above total experience (user experience, dev experience, apps experience, etc), then the N8 is for you. For others who only require a decent camera and are  not cameraphone camera obsessed like I am, there are plenty of  alternatives in 2011 with better user, dev and apps experiences which I won't bother to name!

On the eve of Nokia's February 11, 2011 announcements, it seems appropriate to review the Nokia N8. For those who don't know I have taken over 50,000 photos with Nokia cameraphones (7610,N70,N80,N73,N93,N85,N82,N900 and now the N8) since I first bought my first Nokia cameraphone back in 2004, the Nokia 7610 a 1 megapixel cameraphone.

What I love about the camera:

  • The photos the photos the photos. Can't believe how great they are! Thanks!
  • Fastest shot to shot of any cameraphone I have ever used. faster than our Canon point and shoot.
  • Fastest auto-focus. Until the N8 I almost never used Nokia cameraphone focus, because it was too slow.
  • Best Sensor

In other words the hardware and the sensor and the embedded software of the N8 camera are unparalleled. Thanks to those at Nokia responsible for the hardware and the sensor and the embedded software. A+ !!!!

What is substandard about the camera is the software i.e. the Nokia camera application:

  • basically unchanged since the N80 in 2006.  Menus and user experience hasn't changed much since the N80 and N95 days back in 2006 and 2007. Over 5 years of wasted user experience improvement potential
  • Sometimes the camera app appears to crash and gives you a deceptive error message very similar to the one pictured above i.e. implying you need to restart the N8 to get the camera app working. This is deceptive and broken because you don't have to restart the N8; you simply have to quit and restart the camera app. Unacceptable that this has been appearing in Nokia camera apps since 2006

Substandard experiences of the current N8 pre PR 1.1  (I still haven't been able to upgrade to the newly released PR1.1):

  • Dev experience: doesn't work on a Mac or Linux as smoothly as Windows and there is no grassroots, innovative developer energy going forward with Qt. Get rid of the Mac and Linux versions or get them working properly and as smoothly as Windows. Qt is confusing and old school C++ without any of the refinement of other platforms. QML has great potential but is still not mature enough.
  • User Experience - Symbian^3 is much better than any previous Symbian on a touchscreen phone but it is still feels cobbled together and like a wart on a wart (power management and voice quality and true multitasking are the only exceptions which like awesome cameraphones nobody really cares about unfortunately!). And the primitive out of date web browser built-in to the N8 (I am aware that for PR 2.0 in March or April there will be an up to date browser, but "real artists ship" :-) !)  is an embarassment and very frustrating for users.
  • Apps Experience - I could go on and on about this but here is one example close to my heart: given Nokia's ridiculously large lead in cameraphones (at one point, Nokia was at least 3 years ahead of Apple and Android in cameraphone technology and software), it would stand to reason that there would be lots of great camera apps but there are none. It's really hard to use the OVI store and it's not built into the pre PR 1.1 firmware!

 

This is the golden age of computing, not the 1970s

Submitted by Roland on Fri, 2010-11-19 10:55

1977 - Love at First Sight - The PC That I used first - A Commodore Pet at Family friends somewhere in PA

As I said in my interesting Vancouver 2010 talk, this is the golden age of computing NOT the 70s and 80s like lots of folks seem to think. Write an awesome Javascript app (or just a fun proof of concept like my flickr Average Geo Tagged real time photos from 18 cities hack) and it works on millions of desktops and mobiles e.g.:Android, iPhone, Meego, Maemo, Mac, Windows and soon Symbian once Symbian gets a modern web browser. Share the code on github and make a video on YouTube and you can get recognition you could never get in the Internet less days of Creative Computing and Byte in the 1970s. Sure there are compatibility problems but nothing like the differences between Applesoft Basic, Commodore Pet Basic, Basic on the IBM PC (what was it called)?

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++ :-)

iPhone 4 camera better than every Nokia phone except the N8 which I remain optimistic about

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2010-06-23 07:35

If you examine the iPhone 4 photos and videos floating around the Internet you will see that the photos and videos are fantastic. Not as fantastic as the upcoming Nokia N8 but for 99% of the folks it's more than good enough. And that includes the "I have taken 40000 cameraphone pictures since 2004" cameraphone geeks like myself.

Even the mighty, not released until the fall, Nokia N8 doesn't have the fun and funky cameraphone applications that the iPhone has. One could argue as I have in the past that these are gimmicks to make up for the lousy camera which was true.  But with the iPhone 4, the camera is excellent: fast, plenty of pixels and excellent quality and the HD video on the iPhone 4 is unequalled by the N8.

So has Nokia lost the plot? I would certainly say so. Definitely lost the geeks and other "small c" and hobbyist creators to Android; the high profit, high margin trendy middle class and rich folks to the iPhone; the only thing remaining is low margin high volume phones and lingering vestiges of brand coolness in Asia and Europe.

Is Nokia doomed to "IBM-like 1980s irrelevance" where Apple and Android are like Microsoft in the 1980s - popularizing  and growing the market and pushing Nokia like Microsoft pushed IBM to the margins?

Certainly seems that way. I still think all is not lost. If the N8 ships on time and Symbian^3 is actually much more usable than I think it is and more importantly, the N8, post N900 device and Symbian are marketed properly worldwide and if the Meego post N900 device is cool and compelling, there's definitely the possibility of a rebound.

My fingers are crossed for the big N. I'll continue to enjoy my N900's unabashed and unequalled openess and hackability (disclosure:I received my N900 free from Nokia at the recent Nokia adventure but was going to buy anyway) and I am pretty sure I will buy an N8.

And to participate in the fun and use its great camera and software, I'll also get an iPhone 4.

Boris & Roland pontificate on iPhone 4.0, Meego, qik, Drupal,Aegir, Acquia, etc. aka "Mobile and Web Pontifications w/o borders"

Submitted by Roland on Fri, 2010-04-09 00:51
More shaky backlight video from the fantastic combo of the E75, Qik and 3.5G. this time mobile and web related pontifications from Boris Mann of Bootup Labs (and fellow co-founder of Bryght). Check out the video after the jump or read my stream of consciousness pseudo-transcript :-) !
  1. Please port Maemo to Qik, and Nokia please buy Qik; just like Nokia should have bought ShoZu :-)
  2. Miss604's Denial of Service of Attack
  3. Bryght - the first hosted Drupal, first Drupal as a service, 5 years ago
  4. Bryght partnership with Workhabit - 50 servers, Cisco routers, pre cloud, we had DOS attacks and Workhabit's awesome Gary, Aaron and Jonathan fixed the routers
  5. DOS cannot be fixed completely but it can be minimized through various means including taking out the DOS IP addresses at the router level, taking your site down is not a solution, shows that real hosting companies need to own their infrastructure or have DNS separated
  6. Drupal Gardens aka "Bryght done right" aka "Bryght in the cloud is not using Aegir
  7. But Drupal Gardens does use Drush
  8. Bryght didn't use Drush, we used python for lots of historical reasons To upgrade 1000 Drupal sites e.g. from Drupal 5.1 to Drupal 5.2 sites I ran hmupdate.py (or was it hmupgrade.py? it's fuzzy now!) in a for loop over the 1000 Bryght Drupal web sites
  9. Aegir has commoditized Bryght (former Bryght guy, Adrian Rossouw, developed Aegir; Adrian rocks)
  10. The entire Bryght Drupal as a service is available in a box i.e. commoditized
  11. The awesome Emma Jane Hogbin has advocated a web infrastructure e.g. a Drupal cloud for every town
  12. A Drupal cloud for every town is a way to attract businesses because you can spin up a free (government pays for it, far better than bogus tax breaks) scalable, modern, SEO optimised website for a business or non profit in 5 minutes
  13. Dreamweaver doesn't cut it - Technologists have failed because there is still no Dreamweaver for 21st century but wordpress.com is close and Acquia Gardens when it's 1.0 will be even closer
  14. Does Qik have a business model? Yes bundling with handset
  15. Schmap is annoying and irrelevant
  16. Iphone 4.0 is highly relevant :-)
  17. Apple Gaming network is huge - Could Tiny Speck use it for Glitch? Yes! How porous will Apple make it? i.e. will it play nice with other social networking sites? probably not in the near term but maybe in the long term
  18. iAds - based on HTML5! Big ! Will make HTML5 "the voice of the new web dev generation"
  19. Multi-tasking - it doesn't matter, it comes down to UX; area where Nokia is lost (except possibly Maemo! go Maemo go! p.s. I hate the name Meego much prefer Maemo!)
  20. User Experience of multi-tasking is what's important and having to install a 3rd party task manager to make Symbian multi-tasking work is a really, really bad user experience
  21. Yet another shout-out to Jan Ole Suhr for the awesome Gravity Twitter App - best mobile Twitter app on ony platform, only available on Symbian for the moment
  22. Took Boris "83 clicks" to pay for Gravity, sad but true :-) ! Nokia, please fix!
  23. Maemo potential is so much greater than Apple iPhone and Symbian because it's Linux and because it's truly open from the get go rather than openness being bolted on like Symbian :-) !

Shaky pontifications without borders video

2010 Mobile Tech Predictions

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2010-01-03 17:30

Hard to believe that I didn't make any predictions in 2009 (my 2008 predictions)!

Herewith again some randomly ordered Mobile predictions which are worth what you paid for them!

Mobile

  1. Google will introduce a "comes with data" mobile phone featuring an easy environment to write HTML5 & JS apps
  2. A Canadian mobile phone carrier will actually sell mobiles other than the iPhone that have current software & aren't 6-12 months old :-) The current "sell old phones with old firmware with bogus customizations" model of Rogers, Bell and Telus will be over in 2011.
  3. Apple's tablet will be introduced, it wil be big seller and a great creator and consumer of multi-media and it will be closed and have the iPhone App Store model rather than the Mac app model.
  4. Nokia will deliver Maemo 6 and an N900 successor but it won't be good enough for the mainstream but will be awesome for me & other mobile devs because mobile Firefox will offer superior HTML5 and JS experience (yes working for Mozilla I am biased :-) !)
  5. The next iPhone will boast a 5 mega pixel camera and other still and video imaging improvements which will be more than good enough for old cameraphone snobs like me and accelerate Nokia's decline among mobile multimedia creators.
  6. Mozilla Messaging (my employer!) will introduce a version of Raindrop that doesn't require you to do geeky things like install things like CouchDB yourself and it will rock on Android, Maemo and any other modern open mobile web  environment (sorry Blackberry, iPhone and Symbian but you lose since you are all neither open or modern or both :-) !) Just kidding, it will rock on any modern mobile web browser open or closed methinks :-) !

 

REAL - Read, Evaluate, Art, Loop - N900 is the closest thing to a "REAL" machine

Submitted by Roland on Thu, 2009-10-15 23:19

What I am looking for in my ongoing mobile art experiments is REAL!

  1. Read the sensors (GPS, accelerometer, compass, etc)
  2. Evaluate the data from the sensors
  3. Art - Make some art (sound, graphic, image, etc) and display and store it on the mobile
  4. Loop - Back to step 1

And I want to do it in a dynamic environment that doesn't force me to do yak shaving like spawning separate threads for each of the sensors or other such needless complexity that's not needed by my artistic algorithms. Nor the slings and arrows of outrageous certificates or certifications or developer programs or DRM malarkey :-) !

After reading the N900 technical reviews from the Maemo summit, it appears that the unlocked version of the N900 is the closest current device that could do this:

  1. It's Linux so assuming the sensor APIs are available from a standard Linux C (i.e. not using some non standard craziness like Carbide C++ for Symbian) library, Python, Ruby, name your favourite dynamic language here, etc (C++ and Java are just not malleable and easily hackable enough, sorry!) bindings could be (and probably are or are in the process of being) built to those C libraries
  2. No need for developer fees or ridiculous certificates
  3. It has all the sensors I want for my current experiments
  4. It's NOT mass market, but it's mass market enough for hackers (unlike Bug Labs Bug which I love but already probably has less than 1/10 the amount of developers working on it as the N900).

Am I right? Time for me to watch the blogs for signs of the N900 and Maemo 5 and 6 making dynamic languages first class citizens unlike on Symbian where S60 Python was far too many steps behind Carbide C++  (and time for to save up for the N910 since the N900 will probably be crippled in some significant way as all 1st gen Nokia devices are e.g. N95-1 not having enough memory)

Belated Nokia N999 er N900 Congrats

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2009-09-16 22:17

The N900 is the closest thing to my N999 vision that Nokia has announced. More like this please. Still prefer a separate company/stealth division. Still really want a device that caters to  mobile, social multi media creators like  myself. Still want an optical zoom. Still don't need a QWERTY keyboard. Congrats, Nokia, anyway on thinking a wee bit different for a change. And good-bye to S60/S^2/whatever crazy re-branding Nokia wants to give you.. You'll always be my first mobile crush but yes I have jilted you and it will never be the same between us :-)

N97 Review Day 5 - Camera app crashed & Lock Switch wouldn't unlock so I did a hard reset

Submitted by Roland on Tue, 2009-07-07 00:11

N97-1 camera app crash 070620098264

 

Today was a wee day of frustration (which could be attributed probably due to the early V11 firmware or less likely the the fact that I am running the 5800 i.e. unsupported version of ShoZu) in trial N97 review land:

  1. At one point, the N97 lock switch aka "keyguard" stopped working, i.e. it wouldn't unlock and the only way I could fix it was to do a *#7370# hard reset which meant I had to re-install all my apps (ShoZu, Nokia Sports Tracker, etc which was very annoying for me, imagine if a non S60 geek had to do this!)
    1. Hmmm, looks it might be fixed as follows (hat tip to The Definitive Nokia N97 Bug List):
      "Unlocking the phone via lock switch will not activate the backlight most of the time. This happens on the first unlock after an idle period – subsequent unlocks will activate the backlight until the phone goes into idle mode again. Seems to be a pretty universal problem. Extremely annoying because I have to hit the unlock switch a minimum of three times, usually more. No fix yet. Workaround: Hit the Menu Key [thanks Jasz] or Camera Key [me] to turn the backlight on before hitting the unlock key."

  2. The camera app hung as shown in the photo above in the "Processing Image" state. Holding the menu key and trying to kill the camera app didn't fix it (instead the phone just showed a blank menu of apps). I had to turn the phone off and then on to make it work.

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!


 

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