Posted on September 30th, 2005 No comments
Posted on September 28th, 2005 No comments
Here‘s a job posting on Apple’s website that requires a Sr. Software Engineer “to help bring iTunes technology to embedded devices.” The posting goes back a year ago around this time.
Was this for the recently released Motorola Rokr? Or has Apple got something up its sleeve? Like an iPhone, maybe?
Posted on September 27th, 2005 No comments
Phew, this took a while to complete. As you may know, Series 60 doesn’t provide an API for implementing combo boxes. The closest you get to them is with the use of popup fields. Creating one from the resource file is relatively easy, but when you want to dynamically generate the fields, it’s different and turned out to be quite a pain in the butt (read extra hours spent in googling).
Posted on September 23rd, 2005 No comments
One thing that has not changed significantly over the last few years has to be Yahoo! Briefcase. It still has the same old interface and the some old (at least for me) 30 MB upload limit. Briefcase and Notepad are two features that I frequently use.
I tried, like everyone else probably does, to use Gmail for this, creating plussed addresses for uploading stuff like these. But with Gmail banning zip attachments, this became useless for me pretty quickly.
I wonder if Y! is planning to update Briefcase anytime. With what they’ve done to Y! mail (I’ve only seen screenshots), it looks like it’s time for me to switched back to Y!. I already did that with search.
Quick note to self: ask Jeremy for an invite to the beta Y! mail.
Posted on September 22nd, 2005 No comments
Yesterday, I went to a mobile servicing center get my broken LCD replaced. While the replacement itself took about five minutes, I had to hang around the place for longer as the guy there was busy with other people.
I noticed the following things (some are funny, some not):
* “Which do you suggest is better – Nokia or Samsung?” seems to be the most popular question. It boils down to the fact that Samsung has made a much bigger impact than LG (their mobiles suck anyway) and Motorola (okayish) in the minds of the consumers. Only because Nokia is slightly costlier do people prefer to buy Samsung (at least I’d like to think so!).
* People care two hoots about piracy here. The guy chargs Rs.100 to install “any software you want.” UltraMP3 seems to be the most popular application for Series 60 phones. Granted, that’s a little obvious, but even guys with 6600/7610 (mono sound) get it installed – which means they aren’t really looking at quality. That sounds weird.
* I asked another guy about the 6630 just for kicks. He said it’s not good. When asked why, he said it’s got a lot of software problems. I pressed on, what kind of software problems? So he replied saying “I don’t know, but we haven’t had too many sales of that model. The 6681 is selling much better.” Weird, people purchasing a non-3G model over one that supports WCDMA? Then it hit me: people are either very ignorant about these differences or are misinformed by the salespersons.
* Battery backup is the biggest concern when purchasing a phone. This one’s pretty obvious again.
* Camera phones sell like hot cakes. When I told the repair guy I write software for these phones, he asked me whether it’s true that they will stop manufacturing camera phones in the near future due to fears over privacy issues. I replied in the negative, of course.
The new LCD put me short by Rs.1,600 (~ $40), and it’s not as good as the original. The old one had blue back-lights for the keypad, but the new one is white and looks pretty strange. But, that’s about all I was ready to spend for it – keeping in mind a major upgrade when the N91 hits the market sometime next year.
Posted on September 20th, 2005 11 comments
So you signed up with BSNL’s DataOne broadband plan, and are left clueless on how to keep your bandwidth usage in check? Don’t worry: Down2Home is just the thing for you. It’s lightweight and produces a graphical summary of your usage, so you can regulate the usage.
For “Home 500″ and above, BSNL also has a superb offer: free surfing between 2 AM and 8 AM. If you have Linux/FreeBSD, I assume you also know how to set up a cron job to download stuff in that duration. For the Windows users, here’s a little tip:
Go to Control Panel > Scheduled Tasks > Add Scheduled Task. This opens the Scheduled Task Wizard. It’ll ask you to choose a program to start. If your download program (ahem) is not listed, browse and select it. In the next screen, choose “Daily” if you want to run the downloader daily, and so on, and click Next. The wizard asks you to select the time, and other details like when and how long you want to schedule that program.
Once done, your chosen program will start at the specified time everyday. Just keep your computer and ADSL modem switched on, and enjoy unlimited downloads every day!
Posted on September 19th, 2005 No comments
Well, it finally happened.
I let go of my 3650 from a height of five feet, and it crashed so hard that the LCD screen is gone. Kaput. I only get like a few hundred black and white lines. I can still make and receive calls, but no messaging. If you messaged me and I don’t reply – well, that’s the reason for it. I will, of course, get it replaced ASAP. Can’t live without a decent Series 60 phone these days, you see. I don’t have the moolah to splurge on the 6680 or its 3G-less cousin 6681. And no, I wouldn’t come within ten feet of a Sony-Ericsson or Motorola or Samsung or LG (… you get the idea).
I switched to an SPV E200 Microsoft Smartphone-based mobile for a few hours today, whilst the 3650 was at the repairman’s. It’s Gawd-awful. I hate the interface, and lengthy menus, bad (and hard) buttons and general what-nots. I didn’t fiddle around with it for too long, so I won’t be reviewing it here. But generally, it’s teh suck.
An “original” LCD costs upwards of Rs.3,500 (~ $80) and one of those Taiwan-make costs Rs.1,800 (~ $40). I’m going for the cheaper one, as I hope to upgrade in the near future.
Well now, isn’t this a coincidence? I just refreshed my Bloglines subscription and saw that Darla posted about the 6630 music phone. Now that’s another phone I wouldn’t mind pocketing. Of course, I have the same complaint against 6630 as the 6680: the buttons; they are just too close to each other.
Posted on September 13th, 2005 No comments
Firefox 1.5 beta 1 is out. I am trying it out now.
The tab drag-and-drop feature is something I’d been waiting for – so it’s good to see that’s done. Although, the arrow that shows when you try to drag a tab is a bit confusing. I am not really sure of the faster navigation – although I’ve been having network issues since morning here. The automatic RSS discovery is another useful feature.
Most of the extensions I had earlier do not work – so that’s a bummer. But I’m sure they’ll be upgraded over the next few days (or hours).
I’ll update if I notice any of the other new features.
Posted on September 12th, 2005 3 comments
If you look close enough, Nokia has taken care of another one of my whines. The pencil and “C” keys are on the opposite sides. w00t!
Making things usable is one of the biggest challenges. This is what Apple understood and conquered a long time ago. Some of today’s mobile interfaces make me cry, literally. Take, for example, the LG RD 5130 CDMA mobile phone. I don’t know where all it ships, but in India, we got it under contract with Reliance.
The thing has one of the most annoying UI I’ve ever come across in a mobile. The most frequently used keys (the main navigation area for accessing menus and the call receive/hang-up keys) are cluttered. We have exactly nine keys (call receive, call hang-up, menu select, menu exit, four shortcuts and the delete button) placed in a very confusing way. I thought it takes a while to get used to, but even now I make mistakes.
The spacing between the keys is no good, as usual. If you are the type that sends gazillion number of SMSs in a day, um, consider otherwise. This thing can strain your wrists like mad. The one good thing I like about it is the large font it uses to display the number being dialed.
It also comes with the most annoying set of default ringtones. Ever.
Posted on September 5th, 2005 No comments
It looks like Vazu has a very tight limit on the usage of the API license key – I expired my daily limit after just a few tries (I’m getting a “There are no credits available” error).