“100 days with the Nokia N900” and other links…


AG: “So, I thought it was time to begin talking about the migration from the very dated Treo650. In truth, I held hope that Palm would eventually get its act together and develop a platform that would rival all of the current Linux based smart phone offerings (ie Nokia N900, Android, WebOS). Unfortunately, Palm was acquired by HP and a number of executive folks got fired. Perhaps the most interesting trend was that during the time I owned my trusty Treo, social networking became a normal past time for me.”

Windows Phone Secrets “Tip: Tap and hold on the virtual keyboard”

Paul Thurrott: “Most Windows Phone users are familiar with the fact that the “tap and hold” gesture is akin to the right mouse click in desktop versions of Windows, often resulting in a pop-up menu of commands related to the selected object. This gesture is used throughout Windows Phone, including, oddly enough, on the virtual, software-based keyboard.”

“Sony Creative Software on Vimeo”

Vimeo.com: “Sony Creative Software inspires artistic expression with its award-winning line of products for digital video, audio, and music production, as well as industry-leading technology for DVD production and Blu-ray Disc™ authoring. Sound Forge™ Pro, ACID™ Pro, and Vegas™ Pro software have defined digital content creation for a generation of creative professionals.” So far: two videos.

“A Secure Network Drive for Windows Azure Blob Storage”

Jerry Huang: “First you will need to install the Gladinet Cloud Desktop and map a network drive to Windows Azure Blob Storage. …Without further setup, you can drag and drop files to transfer files in and out of Azure Blob Storage. The transfer is under SSL but not encrypted yet once it reaches Azure Blob Storage.”

“Important Info for WP7 Application Developers”

Chris Koenig: “Do you have a Pivot Control stacked inside a Panorama Control?  That would be bad.  Are you using the Windows Phone 7 built-in styles to display text and highlights? If not, it could raise some additional questions. PLEASE read this first one thoroughly (it’s a long read) to make sure you understand what METRO is all about, and what the design checkers will be looking for.”

“HP Showcases World’s First High-speed, 30-inch Digital Color Press”

2009: “HP today announced developments for its HP Inkjet Web Press platform to help print service providers (PSPs) become more profitable and accelerate their transition from analog to digital printing. …On show at an open house event at Los Angeles-based O’Neil Data Systems—site of the first HP Inkjet Web Press beta installation—the press demonstrates how customers can benefit from market-leading total cost of ownership, excellent productivity and a high level of quality.” I heard about this machine while I was working at William O’Neil.

Wikipedia.org Moment: “Colnago”

“In 1960, Colnago saw fame as Luigi Arienti rode to a gold medal at the Rome Olympics on a Colnago bicycle. From the late 1960s through the 1970s, Colnago was generally regarded as one of the builders of the world’s best custom road race frames.”

Visiting the Stone of the Old Kingdom: Windows Phone 7 for My Travel Toolkit

Chris Guillebeau of the “Art of Nonconformity” shares his 2009 opinion of how to travel with communications gear:

Phone — I just have a basic Verizon LG model, which only works in the U.S. and Canada. Because I live in North America, our international phone options are limited. I’ve thought about getting a world phone, but since I don’t answer the phone at home very often, I decided there’s not much of a need to ignore it elsewhere in the world.

Verizon MiFi — At least in the U.S. now, I have my own WiFi hotspot wherever I go. I can also share it with up to four others, which I like to do in airports that don’t offer free WiFi. Coming back to Grand Central Station from Hastings, New York recently, I was able to work online for 40 minutes, and I shared the signal with my friend Ishita so that she could work too.

Again, if you live in a more developed country than mine, you might not understand why this is so awesome. Those of us not in Finland or Japan have to struggle to get online when we leave our homes and offices. For me, the MiFi is great and definitely worth the $60/month I pay.

The impression that I’m getting from Chris is that his feature phone plus his laptop (mentioned in his packing list) combine to make the core of his communications kit. Chris also mentions this thing called a “world phone”—and how he really doesn’t need it.

My novice guess is that one can get around the world with a combination of free or fee-based Wi-Fi and roaming—however with roaming there is this warning:

International roaming minutes, on the other hand, are billed as separate minutes of use. These can be pricey with AT&T and can go all the way up to $4.99 per minute. These fees by country can be found here.


Windows Phone 7 for a Travel Tool?

Windows Phone 7 caused me to ‘surrender’ to my carrier and take a new, two-year contract. This is after almost a decade of being unsupported and, finally, unlocked. Why did I do this? Windows Phone 7 provides:

  • A communication center that replaces almost all of the functionality of a computer big enough for a wired keyboard.
  • A media player comes from Zune ecosystem. I agree with Paul Thurrott saying, “Where iTunes is big and heavy, Zune 4.0 feels light and airy, and it features both a better design and better usability.”
  • A “marketplace” ecosystem for my years of experience as a Microsoft developer.

And now the critiques:

  • Self-Critique: I tend to forget that wireless synching with the Zune desktop does not happen when the phone is not on a charger. This makes sense as it should prevent data corruption during a power failure.
  • There are too many clicks for me to toggle Wi-Fi. Maybe there’s a shortcut out there…
  • By omission, Paul Thurrott suggests (to me) that the People Hub does not support LinkedIn.com contacts. Since live.com supports LinkedIn.com, this lack of support is surely temporary.
  • Skype says ‘no’ to Windows Phone 7
  • Not sure whether this is a loss: swyping.
  • From Microsoft: “Finally, we come to Bluetooth connectivity. Although you can’t use Bluetooth to connect to the Internet, you can use it to pair your phone with a Bluetooth accessory, such as a car kit or a headset for hands-free phone calls. [emphasis added]”

Before Windows Phone 7, I had to consider these travel hardware options:

Relevant Links

Only Y! Go Works Well on My Old New Phone

Buy this product at Amazon.com! The phone confrontation is over (for now) and the sons of the New World Order smirk. I’m using a Nokia 6300 and Y! Go works on it without a problem. My surprise is that Google has left my old new phone behind—which really should not be a surprise since they have Android.

My biggest challenge so far with my new Nokia was getting the Internet connectivity to work. This involved the following steps:

  • Complying with the monopolistic, New World Order aesthetic of AT&T by getting a new plan and paying more for an “unlimited” data plan.
  • Calling AT&T to inform them that I have an unlocked Nokia phone and to get almost useless information about how to connect my rogue phone with their so-called service. This resulted in two warnings of non-guarantee (non-compliance) that I interpret as admonishments for allying with some un-American company over in Europe at nokiausa.com.
  • Calling Nokia to get better, more educated, technical support which culminated in a single text message that configured my phone for Internet access.

So, to put this experience in dramatic terms, the little guy (me) pitted Nokia and Yahoo! “against” AT&T and Google in (New World) order to “win” the “right” to pay AT&T more money and provide all of these corporate characters with more information about me. I do not want my grandkids to read this text in the future with tears in their eyes, disappointed with just how compliant their granddad was with this central control shit.

The Phone Confrontation: the Unlocked Nokia 6300?

Buy this product at Amazon.com! The last month of 2007 had me planning to break a stalemate between me and U.S. telecom tyranny. This lack of progress has been going on for over two years! It’s been more than two years since I’ve had a contract with a domestic carrier. Now my non-plan plan seems to trade one kind of tyranny for another—but the “hell” I’m planning seems a bit cooler than the one I’m in right now…

It’s cool that I plan to buy an unlocked phone. It’s not cool that this phone runs on the proprietary Symbian OS. My choice intends to fall short of “smart phone” status but light years beyond the 1990’s Motorola crap (with Cingular logos) I’m toting now. I do not need to write Blog posts and edit spreadsheets with a mobile-phone-sized device—but:

  • The SIM card support should allow me to pop in my existing Cingular/AT&T card and just keep going!
  • It would be nice to catch some movie showing times via crappy WAP on the go…
  • I guess a cheap camera with no flash could be useful occasionally…
  • I’m sure I have no idea how much Bluetooth support in a phone will seriously make a difference…

My choice is the Nokia 6300 sold by Amazon.com. This choice is supposed to be “boring”—not stupid:

  • I’m pretty sure this is a “boring” but decent MP3 player—especially with the microSD support. Hey! What are these “ring tones” you speak of?
  • This is supposed to be a horrible video player—but the screen is small anyway. I’ve got my eye on a Cowon D2-08BL for a bigger small screen.
  • The volume buttons on the sides of the phone are supposed to be impossible to press—sounds like a fingernail-strength challenge to me!
  • I might be able to hook this deal up with a real computer and use it as a “modem.”

Just for the record, the table below summarizes my other sub-$300 choices:

Nokia E51 This is a real “smart phone” but too close to $300 for me… Also the 6300 can “be used as a wireless modem for laptops and PDAs. Use the supported EDGE high-speed data transfer protocol for high-speed Internet connectivity” so I can place VOIP calls with a notebook computer when the need arises…
Motorola RIZR Z3 Sliding the keys in and out just has to wear out faster than a phone that is not cool like this. Even though the “international version” of the unlocked phone comes with a warranty, I’m still a bit nervous about Amazon.com not selling this very mainstream brand directly. Maybe I’m not suave enough to carry this phone! Maybe it’s the Motorola I’m using right now that has me reluctant.
Sony Ericsson S500i This phone is very attractive—but I just can go along with that Sony memory stick format!

Nokia E71 Walkthrough and other links…

Yes, I sat through this somewhat time-consuming Nokia E71 walkthrough on YouTube.com. Myself looks at myself in a daze just gazing in a blur at the computer phone.

“Build an Atom PC”

I have not been interested in visualizing my next PC since computers first got hot—with CPU and GPU heat that is… This Extreme Tech article, “Build an Atom PC,” fills me with renewed focus.

“Building Tiny, Ultra Low Power PCs”

Jeff Atwood: “In previous posts, I’ve talked about building your own desktop PC, and building your own home theater PC. I’m still very much in love with that little HTPC I built. Not only does it have a modern dual-core CPU, and fantastic high-definition capable integrated video—it’s an outstanding general purpose media sharing server, too.”

VirtualBox

Sun Microsystem’s open source response to Virtual PC and VMware is VirtualBox. Blog posts like these seem buzz worthy: “VMWare to VirtualBox” and “Stunning OpenSolaris running on VirtualBox.”