Posts Tagged: cellphone

Happy 6th Anniversary of my Mobile Photo Blogging!

My Happy New Nokia 7610 Phone Bird Refuge

My two favorite Nokia 7610 camera phone photos from 2004, click on them to go to the original post.

Thurs 12.09.10 – Today is the 6th anniversary of my having a camera phone in my hands and using the phone’s camera and internet connectivity to send photos to this blog & Flickr as well as using Nokia’s Lifeblog (r.i.p.) to mobile blog photos and text to this blog and others.
This six years has been the most consistently creative six years of my life, as taking photos daily with an internet connected camera that is always on you has honed my eye, sharpened my senses, made me *really* look & observe even in the most mundane moments, and has inspired many other areas of my life both my creative and other parts of my life.
Since SXSW 2003 when I heard Adam Greenfield & Joi Ito talk about how camera phone photography and mobile blogging was taking off in Japan, I yearned for my own camera phone. In July of 2004, Erika and I went to the “Sent” exhibition at The Standard that Xeni Jardin & SixSpace Gallery curated. My desire for a camera phone increased, as I hated that my computer’s hard drive had become a cemetery for photos never posted to the web, I just wanted to shoot and send.
On Dec. 9th, 2004, when I picked up the Nokia 7610 and drove to AT&T to re-up my contract with a fancy new, shiny unlimited data plan and then started taking photos and moblogging them, a whole new world opened up to me. A world of mobile photography, mobile creativity, and community that I am very glad to have participated in the last six years.
I would like to thank (then) Nokia’s Charlie Schick and (then) Creative Intelligence’s Kristen Bennett for taking a chance on me for the Lifeblog Wasabi four month project from Dec 2004 to March 2005. I am grateful that Nokia has continued a six year run of excellence in producing the best camera phones, here is to another six!
To celebrate my 6th Anniversary of camera phone photography & blogging, aka Moblogging, I will be posting my fave photos from each of the six years over the next week, starting with my two favorites from 2004 above.
Celebrate along with me: take a photo or two or three or more with your camera phone and post them to your blog. To life & creativity!

DIY Dev: Program or be Programmed

Fifteen years ago, to prove a snotty engineering student wrong who said artists couldn’t make websites, I taught myself in less than 2 hours how to code a website. Ten years ago, I wanted to do more than just write HTML and use Photoshop, so I checked myself into Long Beach State’s Extension and took a class on Javascript and one on Flash Actionscripting, more classes and trainings followed. Five years ago, I wanted to learn even more programming and checked myself into a graduate program that took 1/2 designers and 1/2 programmers and taught them both disciplines.
My programming professor at Trinity after our classes were over encouraged me to learn Python, of which I have done over the course of the last few years. In the last two years, I have had the opportunity to write several full web apps from the ground up. All of this has been hard, satisfying, and more than a bit of a stretch.
But I am glad that I have pushed my own boundaries and didn’t listen to the naysayers, not the ones 15 years ago or last week, who said that an artist/designer/webdev can’t learn to code/program.
If you can learn to speak/write/read a language and can reason, of which most of us have done at least once, you can learn to program.
Over the last few years, I have found myself getting increasingly frustrated that there is not the mobile app that I want out there or the one that is out does not have the features that I want, etc etc etc. Up until recently, at least from my perspective, programming a mobile application has been hard as one has to be a “real” programmer, the kind that learned Java/C/C++ in a four year Computer Science bachelors degree.
I am an optimist and frequently over commit myself by getting excited about how easy it will be to learn a new technology or language and then find myself more than a bit overwhelmed. But a funny thing happened along the way, C++ doesn’t seem so obscure/opaque and/or hard any more. In experimenting with it recently, I found myself delighting in how easy it was for me to learn it and make simple apps. All that programming in python for Google App Engine over the last 18 months has paid off.
This has me excited. Excited enough to go two weeks ago up to San Francisco for the Nokia Developer Day at CTIA to see the demos and presentations on Qt. Excited enough to then go to the Qt Training Days in Austin this week.
I have mobile app ideas running around my head and now is the time to start programming to get them out and about.
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Ms. Jen’s DIY Programming Series:
DIY Dev: Program or be Programmed
DIY Mobile Programming: Get Started with HTML, CSS, and Javascript
DIY Programming: Should HTML be Required for Literacy in the 21st Century?

On Device Attachment

I am not a super-uper-duper early adopter with device lust who *must* have a new device [Insert Name of Object] NOW – of which that now is every few weeks to month.
No, I am another person entirely. I am the person who knows and is friends with the super early adopter device junkies, who is conversant in the various bits about new devices, but whose dirty little secret is that I like to keep my mobile phones for at least 18 months and my computers for at least 3 years before purchasing a new one.
I like getting to know them and living with them over time. And I name them.
I name my cars. I name my computers. And I name my mobile phones.
I had my Nokia 7610 for 18 months. I had my Nokia N95 and used it for 3 years, on & off after the first 18 months. And I have only had my Nokia N86 (love the little beast) for 5 months now and am not sure I am ready to give it up for a new device, no matter how shiny, pretty, new and full of 12 megapixel camera goodness.
When I took my sim and memory chips out of the N86 and did the device transfer to the N8, knowing that it was not a couple week trial but instead for good, I was not ready. I was not ready to give up my N86 yet. I was not ready, no matter how delicious of a camera on the Nokia N8 to give up my precious baby N86.
I have been keeping the N86 with me most of the time without a sim chip in it, ostensibly to take photos for a side by side comparison with the N8. But the real reason is that 5 months is too short of a time with my beloved N86 8mp little tank of a slider phone.
Whatleydude was right, there will never be another mobile like the N86.

The Nokia N97, More than One Year Later

I have tried to write this blog post at least 4 times over the last 5 months, and have several very different drafts littering my “To Blog” folder. I started this April when I was able to directly upload photos and blog to this Movable Type blog using the Nokia N97‘s web browser and not a mobile app. Go little N97 go! I was so happy.
Then in early May, another attempt at writing this post, as I was about to retire the the Nokia N97 in favor of my new Nokia N86 and I wanted to write about after nearly a year since its release, the N97 had really changed my mind about it and that I did like it, really like it. But I was very busy with work and didn’t have the time to spend to write a quality post beyond, “Hey, the N97 isn’t that bad after all.”
Then came late May and early June, I had a some down time of which to think & write, and then the great N97 inspired blogger meltdown of June 2010 occurred: Dan, Micky & Jay, and then the big boom: Ricky & Rita. I watched over a period of 3 weeks in astonishment and wrote two whole drafts in response to their blog posts that did not leave my “To Blog” folder.
I was astonished for a variety of reasons, but mostly if one was going to meltdown about the N97 as a icon for Nokia’s failures of the last three years, why not point a finger that the two phones that were much greater actual failures at being flagship devices: The N96 and N85. But those two posts didn’t leave the draft folder, as I couldn’t really sum up without anger what I wanted to say, as I wasn’t angry at the bloggers in question but more the overall techno-cultural situation that has lead all of us to a place where we get frustrated with our relationships with a piece of plastic/metal/silicon&rareearths.
By late June, early July, I realized that I really had two blog posts in my head and in draft forms in my folder: One on how I do actually like the Nokia N97 and another on our evolving relationships with brands, devices, and blogging. Work was once again intense and I had even less time and creative energy to write two long posts about mobile devices and our relationships thereof. I did change the title of the draft post from “Nokia N97: Nearly One Year Later” to “Nokia N97: One Year Later”.
For the last two months, I have two to do items in my notebook, my Google Tasks, and on my whiteboard: Blog: Nokia N97, More than a Year Later; Blog: Brands: Fans, Relationship, or Cult? Have either of these gotten written? No. I have designed & launched 2 websites, I have coded like mad on another one, I have done various other bits of client consulting stuff in internet promotion & social media. I have taken lots of photos and worked on developing my personal mobile application. I even upgraded my computer to Mac OS X Snow Leopard and my “To Blog” folder now lives on an external hard drive and isn’t even on my desktop any more.
Let this be a lesson. Of what, I will let you all decide.
I popped my sim chip back into the Nokia N97 the other day, and other than photos being a bit washed out, I was very happy all day long. For the rest of the week, I flipped back and forth between the N97 and my N86. I love the N97’s form factor. I love the touchscreen that tilts up to reveal a whole Qwerty keyboard. I love the solid thwack of the marvelously engineered mechanism that opens and reveals the keyboard, I love this in the most primal, inner five year old with new Christmas presents sort of way. Do it in public in SoCal and you get a crowd, “Oooh, what phone is that?”
Maybe I have been lucky to not have the memory and crashing problems that have greatly frustrated others with the Nokia N97. Due to the lack of Lifeblog and official Sports Tracker for the N97, I was not running multiple processes that drew heavily on memory or battery. The only time I had memory problems was early on with my Gmail, so I just put my email in the E: drive and not the system drive. Basically in my six plus months of full time plus the trial usage before that, the Nokia N97 was very good to me.
I understand having a good blog meltdown over a device, a brand, or the like. My own frustration over Nokia dropping Lifeblog in 2008 was my moment of “Nokia, I am so over you.” But much like a really good fiery fight, in autumn of 2008 I expressed my anger in a series of blog posts, tracked down the last PM on the project and gave him a piece of my mind (Sorry, Danny, I am so sorry.), then nursed my grudge for a bit, but I was not going to give up Nokia’s camera phones as they are still the best.
After my anger subsided, I did something that I had been meaning to do for sometime: teach myself to program in Python and Python for S60 so that I could write my own mobile apps rather than grouse about the lack of what I wanted on the marketplace.
All of this to say, Nokia N97, I like you. You are cute, you worked for me, and we had a lot of fun together. Thanks, you rock.

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Camera Phone Apps, A Very Small Survey

Recently I found myself thinking about camera phone apps, more specifically about Hipstamatic and do folks really use it past the week they bought it out of the App Store?
Amongst the photographers and designers I know and follow on Flickr, I will occasionally see a photo that looks like it was Hipstamatic-d but not often, which makes me to wonder if it is due to the fact that Hipstamatic does not make a back up of the original photo before it is processed or if folks just aren’t interested in Lomo like mobile camera phone photos.
My curiosity continued to wander and I started to wonder really how many camera phone apps people were using past the first week of buying them. Furthermore, what iPhone and Android camera phone apps were people buying and using with any regularity. Do folks like the ‘toy camera’ apps or were they using camera apps with other functionality?
The Camera phone app world has quite exploded on the iPhone and Android is catching up, but when I searched the Ovi Store there were very few camera phone apps for Symbian devices and those that were there were more geared to an East Asian J-Pop photo booth cute overload on neon aesthetic than the Graham Parson-esque Silver Like circa 1972 via a yellow daisy filled green meadow in misty sunlight aesthetic of Hipstamatic.
There was one Symbian app, Joyeye, that promised Lomo style photos, but it did not work on my Nokia N86 and I did not try to download a version for the N97. It may be that it is only for touchscreen Symbian devices or it may be that the Ovi Store seems dead set on thinking my N86 is an N97.
Two weeks ago to satisfy my curiosity, I conducted a very small survey on Twitter by asking:

msjen: iPhone folk, what is your favorite camera or photo app & why?

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The Google Nexus One Phone, The Gushing Geysers of Hype or is it Hope?

The geyers are a’ gushin’ on the Google Nexus One reveal this morning:
The Atlantic Wire filtering Engadget & TechCrunch’s reviews : Nexus One: The Summary Judgement
ars technica : Google’s biggest announcement was not a phone, but a URL
Frog : Why Google Had to Take Control of Android with Nexus One
Tuttle LA’s own Matt Kapko at The Eye on Mobile: Google is in the trenches while Apple is in our pockets
TechCrunch : Apple And Google Just Tag Teamed The U.S. Carriers
Quote from the last article:

“Think about your cellphone and cellular service five years ago. Both were likely horrible. But you were content in your misery, because you didn’t know any better.”

Actually, TechCrunch, no, five years ago – Jaunary 2005, I had AT&T’s data all to myself and a Nokia N7610 with email, a web browser, a cameraphone, and Lifeblog; I was not miserable and the combo was the opposite of horrible. It didn’t get horrible until late 2006 when (Cingular) AT&T in LA started degrading in its service. Then again, I have not owned a phone that was branded by a carrier since 2004. Since 2004, all of my phones have been unlocked and unbranded, praise be to Amazon and Nokia.
My own toddle down memory lane aside, I will be watching what Google does with their own Android mobile. I won’t be spending $529 to buy this nexus one, when I do have that amount extra, I will be buying Nokia N900 Maemo mobile as I love that it has python natively on the mobile, Maemo is more open from the dev point of view, it has a qwerty keyboard and the camera kicks bootay.
Even though I am not ready to part with $529 for the Google Nexus One, I am very excited that Android is continuing to mature as a mobile OS and that Google is taking more control of the product. If I were forced to choose between the Nexus One and the iPhone 3GS for my next purchased mobile, I would definitely choose Google over Apple.

Conversation with Al, Jeb, & Ms. Jen #2 – On the Nokia N86 & N900 amongst other bits

Fri. 10.09.09 – Here is the second in what appears to be an ongoing series of conversations with Al Pavangkanan and Jeb Brilliant, while we are at the Tuttle Club LA (really Long Beach) because I get curious and feel the need to ask Al and Jeb lots of questions with the video capture running. Lucky for me they are gracious, opinionated, and funny.
Wherein we discuss:
1. The Nokia N86
2. Why white mobile devices are Sexy.
3. The Nokia N900 and the Nokia Booklet
4. Laughter
5. Software licenses: should they be attached to one phone IMEI, one sim chip, or one email?
6. Joikuspot & Mifi
7. Back to the Nokia N900: mobile devices that are stand alone and don’t need a PC, particularly a PC, to sync. Plus rant from Jeb and Ms. Jen about PCs. Then a rant by Ms. Jen about bad marketing & copywriting.