Monthly Archives: June 2007

My Dream Phone

In less than 50 minutes, all the folks waiting in line on the West Coast will be buying the first edition of the Apple iPhone. I am not in line, I am not at the Apple store. I thought about it, not to wait for a phone, but to take photos with my Nokia and moblog the event.
As previously documented, I won’t be buying an iPhone on this round. I want a competitive megapixel camera, a good lens, and the ability to moblog via email, 3rd party app (flickr, vox, Shozu, Lifeblog, etc.), or MMS. The iPhone only offers a 2 megapixel camera, email, no MMS and not 3rd Party apps.
Since the firmware meltdown of my N80 last week and the fact that I have been unable all week to get a hold of a Nokia Customer Care rep who can help me, I have been diligently watching the iPhone hype / broohaha build to a crescendo, as well as researching Nokia’s superior phone / computer : the Nokia N95.
I am more than a little upset at Nokia’s inability to provide authentic worldwide Customer Care rather than the byzantine Soviet-style bureaucracy they are currently providing in the name of Customer Care. On top of the inability to get my Nokia N80’s repaired this week, I have a choice, either buy a new Nokia N95 to replace the N80 or go to d.Construct 2007 & continue to use my old school Nokia 7610. I love the Brit Pack, but …
Temptation can be too much.
All of this. All of it. The iPhone hype, the dead N80, the tempting N95, returning to my first love the 7610, the summer sunlight hitting everything in the right light – calling to be moblogged .. all of it is adding up to me asking myself, “What really is your ideal phone?”
Ms. Jen’s Dream Phone / Camera, pulling from currently existing mobile phone and camera technologies, or All the Better to Moblog With:
* Carl Zeiss lens or better.
* 8 megapixel camera
* Sensor chip and software that can capture purples and dark blues accurately.
* Auto Focus with a manual option (like the N80) to choice up close or distance focus.
* 10x digital zoom.
* Video capture at the megapixel rating of the lens and digital sensor.
* On board flash.
* Option to add on another flash for night time or concert photography.
* Minimum 256 MB of RAM / Computer memory
* Minimum 8 GB of data storage, either internal or as an external memory chip.
* GPS without any additional software or subscriptions.
* The GPS data will be embedded automatically into the EXIF data of each photo, if the photo is taken outdoors or near a window.
* The ability upon set up of the phone to type in my name, url, and email address into the EXIF data structure that can be added into every photo taken by the the camera automatically.
* Quad band phone so that I can use the phone and data connection anywhere in the world on any network.
* Wifi / WLAN
* Unlocked, so that I can put in a SIM chip anywhere in the world.
* Email.
* MMS.
* SMS / text.
* Full internet browser.
* Ability to turn off images or just receive text on the internet browser if in a country where the data is too dear (hello, Ireland).
* RSS feed reader on the browser so I can keep up with my blog reading wherever I am.
* The ability to make text larger or smaller at any point in the UI.
* The ability to customize the UI by me (wallpaper or even the whole look of the UI)
* Open architecture so that I can install 3rd party apps to add functionality to the phone.
* MP3 player with shuffle and the ability to fast forward and reverse within a song or podcast.
* voice recording and text notes.
* calculator
* Oh, yeah, the phone thing. Bah.
I don’t need Office functions or a PDF reader. I don’t need calendar functions or an alarm clock. Or many of the other things common to a smart phone that waste memory space.
My Nokia N80 fit most the above bill with the exception of the camera was only 3 megapixels and got purples wrong all the time, it also did not have a feedreader, nor did it have GPS. I could toggle the font in the internet browser, but couldn’t in other parts of the UI. The big problem with the Nokia N80 is the on board memory was about 66 megs effectively and my miniSD chip was only 1 GB. The even bigger problem as the time lag that the N80 needed to interface with itself, the external chip, and the camera. Oh, yeah, one would have to reboot every day and some times 2-3x a day to keep it running well. Not so good.
I don’t want an office phone, I want a digital artist’s phone. I want the quick response of the Nokia 7610 in taking photos and accessing objects in the memory. Give me more on board memory and a bigger logic chip so that the smart phone can be both smart and quick.
Most of all, I really want a camera phone that I can use to access the Internets, post photos to my Movable Type blog without a 3rd party intermediary like Flickr, and the photos are print quality.
A bigger wish, not sure if any of the mobile device or digital camera manufacturers have considered this yet, but it would be lovely if I could choose either by switch or menu whether I want the photo to be 1 or 3 or 5 or 8 megapixels before I take it based on how much memory I have left, what I want to do with it (an MMS would choke on 5-8 megapixels) in the moment or in the long run (moblog immediately, for web later, or for print later).
It would also be lovely to have a high quality camera / smart phone that not only fit well in a woman’s hand but was designed as to not cramp up my thumbs trying to type.
Dreaming about moblogging with the best little networked camera phone mini computer.

Scruffy and Bird, Part II

Scruffy and Bird, Part II

Fri. 06.28.07 – Scruffy is back to doing hard cone time due to his seasonal grass allergy that is causing him to chew his feet to pieces. I am at wits end on how to deal with his foot chewing.
Two years ago, the vet put him on antihistamines, but the pills make Scruffy stoned and listless. This year, in an attempt to avoid a stoned Scruffy, we are trying spray on, expensive, anti-itch / anti-inflammatory steriods. This treatment is not working as Scruffy continues to lick his paws and the spray on steriods make his heart race and he gets distressed. End of expensive spray.
A few days ago, I went to buy a new cone. Tony the neighbor across the way recommends his family’s old German remedy of applying bacon grease on the animal for mange and foot chewing in dogs and cats. I am not sure I want bacon grease tracked all over the apartment. So, I consulted the Oracle of the Googles and it spit out the following:
My Akita is chewing on her pads of her feet : recommends washing the dog’s feet after walks, soaking them in epson salts, washing the dog’s feet with hydrogen peroxide, and using cold tea as a compress.
Self Mutilation: Dogs Who Chew, Lick or Scratch Themselves to the Point of Harm : Fleas (check, Scruffy is on Frontline), Ticks (no, too dry around here for them), allergies (check, certified allergic to grass), or hypothyroidism … the last one is interesting. The articles asserts at the end to give the dog a toy as they chew for relaxation. Check, have lots of dog toys.
Several of the articles that the Oracle of the Googles recommended giving the dog an Omega-3 fatty acid supplement. I will try this.
Has anyone tried Solid Gold Health dog food? I have been buying an all natural, no by-products, no gluten, no preservatives brand at Wild Oats. Dog food choice definitely makes a difference with Scruffy.

Earl and Patty or School’s Out for Summer


Thurs. 06.28.07 – As I was taking the dogs out for a walk, I encountered Earl and Patty (Ryan Patterson) out at the front of the apartments.
Me: “Hi Patty, what’s up?”
Patty: “Nothing.”
Me: “What are you doing today?”
Patty: “Nothing, blessedly, school’s out. I have no plans all summer.”
I love life. A guy who looks like an 80s rocker is having an unplanned summer after teaching the future generation of Angelenos all year at a school in the LAUSD. Enjoy your hard earned summer of nothing, Patty.

New Living Room / Office Layout

Living Room / Office Living Room / Office Living Room / Office Living Room / Office
All photos taken with Ms. Jen’s Nokia 7610.

Mon. 06.25.07 – Today, my Mom and I pulled my “art” table out of storage and I rearranged my living room / office space to accommodate a better working environment. Sitting on the couch with my laptop was wrecking havoc on my motivation to code and design. Upright at a desk forces me to stay alert and work.

iDrool vs. nDrool


iPhone, move over. Meet the Nokia N95.
With less than a week from the official start of the iPhone selling season, I say pshaw. Last night at my Aunt Dana’s birthday bbq, while talking to Greg Carpenter from Boopsie Mobile Find, I got to hold, view, and take photos with his new Nokia N95. A very sweet little machine. About the size of the N80 but with more screen (rather like an infinity pool), a 5 megapixel camera (!!!!), an interface similar to the N80 but more refined, and a second slider for Multimedia play functions. Did I mention the 5 megapixel camera?
Since I last wrote about the iPhone, Apple has bumped up the on board camera from 1 megapixel (phhhbbbffftt…) to 2 megapixel (be still my non-beating heart). The iPhone requires a 2 year contract with AT&T / Cingular and there is no MMS (multimedia messaging) at all. Touchscreen interface sounds intriguing, but I had that with my previous PDAs. The only big news of the iPhone is the on board memory storage of 4 to 8 gigabytes, compared to the 2 gigs of the Nokia N95 (added miniSD card).
Let’s do a side by side comparison using the tech specs of both devices as of June 24, 2007:


Typography + Modernist Architecture = Fun Home


Fri. 06.22.07 – Mom and I were walking the dogs down Ocean Ave in Seal Beach when I noticed that the last house just across from the San Gabriel River had its street address announced in a sans-serif font (name it?) between the first and second stories. I had to take a photo of this whimsical blend of modernist typography and architecture.

The Return of the 7610

The Return of the 7610

I will let my Twitters from this afternoon speak for themselves:

"is finding Facebook annoying. Again. Updating my Nokia N80s firmware. Then off to coding fun."
"It is a very BAD idea to attempt to upgrade one’s Nokia firmware with Parallels. Nokia N80 now dead. Nokia – release Mac OS X software!"
"Crap. Now charging old 7610 so that I have a phone. Crap."

Why update the Nokia software? Just like it is a good idea to update your computer’s software, it is marvelous that Nokia provides an update for my lovely mini-computer the Nokia N80. But today things went wrong. Very wrong. Be it the Nokia data cable or Parallels, I know not.
I have updated the firmware on the N80 three times in the last year with no problems, but for some reason today the update stopped 90% of the way through and pitched a fit. The phone is not turning on, the Nokia updater is not recognizing the phone or data cable. Argh.
I bought my Nokia N80 in Ireland last June and is not recognizing my serial number. Will make phone calls tomorrow to rectify the problem or at least find a Nokia Care provider who can resurrect the N80 from the dead.
The silver lining to this particular cloud is that I kept my Nokia 7610, charged it up this afternoon, and even though the camera is only 1 megapixel, I do love the photos from the 7610. Welcome, old friend.