Entries categorized "Symbian" Feed

Pensioners without Data Anxiety

USB File System

Bernie Goldbach in Clonmel | Photo of USB connectivity

I HELP PENSIONERS avoid bill shock with their mobile phones and it often means keeping them off mobile data plans.

This runs counter to the Irish Minister for Communications' plan to move all of Ireland online. As utopian as a totally connected lifestyle seems, it always involves costs that cut into the fixed income of a pensioner.

I am trying to show the pensioners in our family circle ways of ruthlessly controlling data services. The process is made easier with Symbian, the operating system used by the grandparents. Nokia's venerable OS can force data connections only through wifi, so we are testing an old Nokia E7 in local hotspots.

Because we don't use cloud services like Snapfish, it has become more difficult to extract photos from the phone for printing in kiosks. Most phones don't have removable storage media. Fortunately Symbian recognizes file systems so when I plug a standard USB key into the phone's adapter cable, the grandparents can save their photos onto a key for printing.

We will test this "transfer to USB thumb drive" routine during a practical session next weekend. I haven't been able to sort put a similar solution with Windows Phone or iOS.


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N8 Delivering to the Analogue World

N8 CakeBernard Goldbach in Mullingar | 224 words

DURING A FESTIVE 40th anniversary celebration, we cut a photo of John and Rose from the top of a white cake and shared memories snapped in the 70s. Nearly all of those memories, like the snap of the happy couple in the photo at right, were pulled from the main memory of a Nokia N8.

That cameraphone, recognised as the best one in the world, worked as a rostrum camera a few weeks ago, carefully snapping shots from a 40-year-old wedding album. The results look better than the original photos in the album. In fact, they were sharp enough to make pass-along analogue objects like the cake in this blog post. I could not get this same result with the Carl Zeiss lens in our iPhone 4's camera (I tried).

I do a lot of digital work every working minute of the day. I hear people who I respect talking about backing up their digital archives, using cloud services or backup routines like Crashplan. Few of my connected friends talk about the analogue dimensions of their digital files, perhaps because they don't make hard bound photo albums--or cakes--like we often do in our home. 

In my experience, you can only truly experience the joy of sharing memories when you weave those memories in your real analogue world. For that, I'm glad we have our Nokia N8 cameraphone.


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Mobile Phone Costs One Euro A Week

Two BrothersI HAVE TWO YEARS of user data to confirm that when you can totally control the behaviour of your mobile phone, you can keep phone costs to one euro a week. Our grandparents are doing that with no data services.

You won't be able to constrain your running costs to five euro monthly (the average pay as you go charge my father-in-law incurs) unless you constrain email services totally to operations across wifi. And if you're a power texter or a Facebook addict, you have no hope of keeping your running costs so low. There's no Facebook in the lives of my in-laws because they prefer to deal with tightly-wrapped social collateral (i.e., viewing images and videos along with listening to occasional audio snippets on the handset). The Nokia E7 is a workhorse. I used it for several years as my daily phone--often getting more than two days between charges--and I still prefer its call handling and QWERTY keyboard over my Nokia Lumia. That's also the personal preference of the in-laws. The keyboard gives a greater sense of control over a touchscreen. The flip-up screen provides a tabletop focal point when using the phone on conference calls.

However, there is a major drawback when comparing the Nokia E7 over all other handsets my father-in-law has owned.

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Personal Nokia Maps with Sharing Inside

E7 GPSI AM A BIG FAN of Nokia Maps because I have used them for more than three years across four different handsets.

I think it's quite cool to be able to move from one handset to another and to find my favourite places starred and navigable on Nokia, Android and Windows Phone handsets. I can check into a place using Nokia Maps, save it as a favourite, and know that the next time that I synchronise my Nokia Maps, I'll have the favourite on my all of my handsets and also on Google Maps. Real life places are more important than bookmarks. It's important for me to be able to send latitudes and longitudes directly to friends who are looking for the best pastrami in Portland or the biggest bagels in Manhattan. I've had those kinds of things starred on my handset a few years before Dennis Crowley figured out Foursquare. And the magic of all this is that my mobile will work as a GPS long after it works as a phone. I'll be able to walk streets with a clear line of sight to the overhead satellites and have my phone reliably talk me through turns on the streets. I'm a big fan of this kind of useful technology.

Personal Maps

Watch on YouTube below the break.

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Sliver of Light for NokiaWorld

Sliver of LightNOKIA UNVEILS ITS first Windows Phone shortly and enjoys a sliver of light in a market spoiled by the surprise of "one more thing". For years, Apple delivered that new thing in yearly cycles but this year's iPhone is not a game changer.

The market likes new things and from what's leaking in buzz-filled London hotels, the webcast audience will get to see some clever uses of mobile technology at Nokia World 2011.

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Pocket Link Kills My Nokia E7

E7 KillerONCE A MONTH, I discover my micro-USB charging cable will not snap into my Nokia E7 and I have a minor panic.

The panic is caused by pocket lint that burrows into the small slot where the micro-USB tongue should fit. With lint in the way, I cannot recharge the phone. This is more of a problem than getting the phone's glass scratched by keys in my pocket. I have several solutions. I could clean all paper from my pockets prior to washing my pants. That's not going to happen--why have a washing machine if you have to do any work? The easier solution for me is to carry a small needle in one of my cable bags. Then all I have to do is squint, tap and remove the irritating pocket lint. Sorted!


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Nokia 603 with NFC Launching

Nokia 603 with NFCI'M HEADING OVER TO NOKIA WORLD to see the Nokia 603, a smartphone handset powered by Symbian Belle. The Nokia 603 is part of a swarm of new Nokia Symbian-powered handsets being launched before the company's first Windows Phone device this Christmas.

I think the Nokia 603 will appeal to new smartphone customers who have around €90 to spend on a new phone with a contract. It comes with a 3.5-inch ClearBlack display, a 1GHz processor, GPS, Wi-Fi and a 5-megapixel camera. But the near field communications (NFC) chip inside the handset appeals to me most. Having NFC means the handset can easily synchronise with accessories. With NFC and a cashless app activated, people attending the London 2012 Olympics will be able to complete point-of-sale transactions. By using NFC, you can tap another NFC pone and share contacts, photos, audio snippets and video clips. I carry entire DVD movies on several of my mobile phones so I could easily share the collection with people via NFC, a protocol that seems to be more accommodating to large file sizes.

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The Brilliance of On-Board Maps

Exiting T2 ParkingIT IS A BIG RELIEF knowing that I can open my phone in the States, Ireland or England and use maps that navigate me with no requirement to be connected to the local mobile phone operator.

I routinely use Nokia Maps on my Nokia E7 because I like noticing what the maps don't comprehend about the Irish motorway system. A few months ago, Nokia Maps did not recognise the new motorway connecting Kilkenny to Dublin. Until last year, the confusing mess of the Red Cow interchange threw the electronic navigator into an endless loop of "recalculating" as we maneuvered around road works. Today, the calm voice guidance simply says, "Follow the course of the road". To which I might add, "Stay alert for motorists making lane changes."

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Goosync Control of Multiple Calendars

GoosyncLAST YEAR, I BOUGHT A LIFETIME license to use Goosync since I needed a way of controlling calendars on three different mobile operating systems. It's brilliant.

When I first started blogging 10 years ago, I used to control my calendars with Lotus Organizer. Then Outlook entered my life but the calendaring function just didn't work across all my handsets. That all changed when I started syncing Outlook with Google Calendar and then telling my phones to sync their calendars to the Goosync Cloud. It's remarkable how these things just work. For those using Symbian handsets, here are the settings I use on my Nokia E7:

Sync Profile Name: Goosync
Server Version : 1.2
Server ID (leave this blank and it populates itself)
Data Bearer: internet
Network Connection: Default connection
Host address: http://sync2.goosync.com
Port: 80
User name: topgold
Password: (you set this on the Goosync server)
Allow sync requests: Automatically accept
Network username: topgold
Network password: (set it if you're password-controlled)
Synchronisation type: Both ways


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First Impressions of the Kindle

Kindle CafeI NEVER EXPECTED to get a Kindle but recent events involving the creating and use interactive electronic textbooks have pushed me into a purchase.

Four days after ordering the wifi version from Amazon.com ($150 all fees for the device and cover), the little thing arrived and only then did I realise it was the size of a Moleskine. So I can carry it anywhere and because I do, I read more. That's Simon McGarr's experience as well. My personal circumstances involve a little three year old who asks to use the iPad whenever she sees its cover so all the Kindle content on the iPad is temporarily out of reach as she explores New Dora on YouTube.

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