Monthly Archives: May 2012

Nokia N9 / N950 App Round Up

Now that my Nokia N9 has returned from the dead, I wanted to do a post about my favorite Nokia N9 / Harmattan apps that I use daily or very frequently:
Firefox for the Nokia n9Firefox – Oh Yes, the lovely folks at Mozilla have released a version of Firefox mobile for the N9. Love it! Thank you!
FM Radio for the Nokia n9FM Radio – I was a sad little Jen panda to learn last summer that the Nokia N9 had an FM radio receiver on board but no native app, as I do like my Los Angeles area radio when I am walking at home. Luckily, mobile app developer Andrey Kushanov has solved the lack of radio app problem with the simply named FM Radio.
The first version of FM Radio I used had only one UI skin choice, a rather amusing vintage radio interface with a possibility of 6 station presets, but the recently updated version allows one to choice between the N9 black UI skin or the vintage radio UI skin and to have more than 6 radio stations preset. Thank you, Andrey K!
Cameraa or Volume+ as Camera Button for the Nokia n9Cameraa, aka “Volume+ as Camera Button” – Brilliant app / hack. There is no camera button on the Nokia N9 and there are many times when pressing the screen to activate the camera shutter is downright awkward to unusable, thus Cameraa to the rescue! All the app does is turn the Volume Up button on the N9 into a physical camera button. Thanks, thp!
Sports Tracker for the Nokia n9Sports Tracker – Speaking of walking, I continue to love Sports Tracker (my second longest app relationship at 4 years & counting), as it not only keeps track of fun data about my walk, but more importantly photo maps my walking path. Thanks!
What Nokia N9 apps do you really like right now or can’t live without?

Incoming Blur

London Tube Train

Tues 05.29.12 – Sorry about the continued radio (mostly) intermittent silence here the last weeks, but I have been busy at my #AppRetreat and am a bit beat. And then there was last night’s egg incident, of which I won’t elaborate on now, but it put me off balance in more ways than one, including wobbly walking today.
I want to commit to returning to the practice of blogging daily in June. Please hold me to it.

Nokia 808 PureView : Five Years in the Making


Wed 05.23.12 – Ever since MWC in February, I have been waiting patiently for the supposed end of April 2012 or sometime in May 2012 release of the Nokia 808 PureView.
While we wait for firm release dates in various countries, I give you the video above on how the Nokia Imaging team conceived of the Nokia 808 PureView and a link to the whitepaper (pdf) on the technology behind the camera.

Home Free

Walking through the pedestrian tunnel under the Serpentine Bridge in Hyde Park, London

Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N8 while walking in Hyde Park this evening.

Tues 05.22.12 – A week and a half ago, I was in Amsterdam for Mobilism and at dinner with friends old and new, when one asked, “How is your first week of homelessness going?”
It was one of those half in jest, half in his bewilderment question/statements. The person who asked this is approximately 35 and is on his second owned home.
I laughed off the question and stated that my AppRetreat was off to a great start and I was not homeless as all my stuff was in storage and I have a place to stay for the next two months.
For most of my adult life the idea of actually owning a home in the Los Angeles area has been repugnant to me, as it represents both a stagnation of dreams and a tying down of my life to servicing a huge mortgage*. For what? Really, for what?
At the same time, I have longed deeply for home. But Los Angeles is not the deep home that I have longed for.
By the time I was 22, I had lived in over 27 different residences. By the time I was 22, my dad had been married 4 times and my mom 3. With so many marriages and divorces there had been many moves, along with moves of choice. My mother always buys a home each time she moves, even if it is every 3-5 years. My brother has reacted to all of this by buying one home in 1997 in Huntington Beach and staying put.
If I had the money, I would love to buy an apartment or flat in London or Barcelona and then have a rental apartment at the beach in Southern California. But that is not in the cards right now, nor do I have the visa(s) needed to travel back and forth frequently.
My Grandma Grace traveled twice a year for over 35 years between a summer home in Oregon and a winter home in San Diego. My Grandpa Jim and his wife now split the year between Marina del Rey and Uraguay.
Even as giving notice, packing up my Seal Beach apartment, putting all my stuff in storage, and traveling to Europe for these two months has freed me up greatly to get a back log of personal projects done, as well as freed up my spirit, I have woken up nearly every morning with my first thought of, “I want to go home.”
But I don’t know where home is. I don’t think I ever have known where home is, other than hoping it is at the next location.
I am ok with that right now and for the near future even though I long for home.
I am beginning to think that C.S. Lewis and Peter Kreeft were/are right and that home is not found here.
* For those of you who live in a cheap part of the US or world, please chortle now, but for those of use who live in the land of $525,000 starter homes with dry rot and bad neighborhoods, really it is not so attractive to own.

On the Other Side or Walking in Kensington Gardens

Looking On One Side Looking On the Other Side
Squirrel Nutkin and his wee stumpy tail The Round Pond I wonder no longer about allergies... Horse Chestnut trees in Bloom Tip top of the Albert Memorial Chestnut flower path Europa Ducks on the Serpentine: Mandarins and Mallards Gray Heron and Swan Hawthorn Flowers

All photos taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N8.

Mon 05.07.12 – My first full day in London coincided with May Bank Holiday which meant that streets and Park were fairly quiet, so a good long walk in Kensington Gardens was a lovely way to start my AppRetreat. A good long walk after catching up on my sleep and battling jetlap induced nap attacks.
After a rather dry winter, London and the UK have had the rainiest April ever and now the beginning of May is a lovely soft green with flowers unfolding everywhere.

The Serendipity of Twitter, or How I found Dhruv in London

Dhruv Bhutani in London! Nirave
Dhruv and Nirave Ms. Jen and Dani And then general mobile geekery ensues... Oxford Street all dressed up for the Diamond Jubilee

All photos taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N8.

Sun 05.06.12 – I arrived at London Heathrow to start my two month #AppRetreat this afternoon around 1:30pm or so. The airplane journey from LAX to LHR was fairly uneventful and so was passing through passport control and customs at Heathrow.
Upon arriving at my fave studio hotel and getting settled in, I checked twitter, only to see that Dhruv Bhutani was tweeting about sightseeing London. After a few back and forths, I found myself taking the Tube down to Oxford Circus and meeting up with Dhruv, Nirave, and Dani at the Slug and Lettuce next to the Apple Store on Regent’s Street.
[Insert jokes here about mobile geeks meeting up next to the Temple of the Oh Holy Jobs…./]
I last saw Dhruv and Nirave at MWC in February and Dani last year in Berlin and did not expect to see any of the three on my first evening it in London, so it was a delightful surprise to find Dhruv in London for a few days for the Galaxy S III launch.
From our meet up point at the Slug and Lettuce, we walked over to Busaba eathai on Wardour Street in Soho for a very tasty dinner of chicken, chicken, chicken, and aubergine, as well as a lot of mobile device and app programming talk.
Thanks to Dani, Nirave, and Dhruv for making my first night in London a great one!