Archive for the ‘technology’ Category


New toy

April 3, 2008

Got an iPod Shuffle, the new clip-on kind, 2GB. I love it. My old iPod (2nd generation) was excellent, and I’ve had a lot of use out of it, but it was a bit difficult sometimes to know where to keep it, because it is too large for a trouser pocket, and also its battery only lasts for about 40 minutes these days, which is not even a return journey to Uppsala.

The new one has one single drawback, which was obvious before I bought it: there is no display. On the other hand, that hasn’t caused any problems for me yet, in particular because when I plug in the iPod to change the play list, I can see in Itunes when I last played a track. This is important, because so far I’ve pretty much only used it for audiobooks. (Anna Karenina, as I mentioned in a previous post.)


Phony design, or, Meet me at Fagelsangen

February 20, 2008

I have found one design flaw with the Nokia 6085, and it is a rather annoying one. With the old Nokia phone I had, it was simple to temporarily switch off the word list for txt messages, only a matter of two clicks on the same button. That functionality has been removed – it takes eight or nine clicks, using two different buttons, to turn off the word list, and another two or three clicks to switch languages. Language switching was also quick on the old model, you had to access the menu but it was one of the first choices rather than hid in the middle of the menu as in this model.

The reason why this is a problem is that I do switch a lot between languages when txting, sometimes within the same message even (but more commonly between messages). In particular I think it’s unreasonable not to have a very simple way of turning the word list on and off, since that function used to exist. Another thing that is just stupid is that if the language is set to English, it is impossible to type Swedish characters – so when I send a message in English, arranging to meet somebody somewhere in Uppsala with a Swedish char in the name, writing the txt takes three times as long as it would have if they hadn’t broken the functionality. This is presented as a feature so you won’t “accidentally” use foreign characters. I guess Nokia have no world traveller customers who may need to send txts with foreign street names, to take one obvious example.



February 7, 2008

So as I mentioned, a new phone. The old one was… five years or so, I think. It was reasonably functional still, although the sound quality was terrible to the point where I often couldn’t hear the person I was talking to at all, and the “6” (mno) key was bad so I usually had to press it several times. So all in all it didn’t feel like too much of a mad splurge to get a new one.

I wanted to stay with Nokia because it’s what I’m used to; I got a 6085 (sand gold). It has a camera, and I can listen to the radio, and in theory also to mp3s. In theory only, because you need a Windows computer to transfer music – but I knew that before I bought it and I wasn’t looking for an mp3 player anyway. Nor a camera, and the one in this phone is fairly bad, which again I knew. The things I was looking for work just fine though. The sound quality when I use the phone to talk is excellent, and the sms sending also works great. And I can send and receive pictures!! Oh, and there is a hook where I could attach the Moomin I bought a year ago in Helsinki, for the day when I’d get a new mobile with such a hook. And there is a Sudoku game, which means I don’t have to miss the Backgammon on the old phone, especially since that was getting a bit too easy to beat.

No particular downsides to it, so far. It’s annoying that the pre-set template messages can’t be erased, but I suppose that’s a Nokia thing, and unlike my old phone this one doesn’t seem to run out of memory very quickly. Good phone, I’d recommend it as long as you’re not looking for a superduperultrawow thing. (I still covet an iPhone of course, but that won’t be possible for normal humans to buy for several years, I believe.)



February 2, 2008

Today is Zot’s birthday. We just got home from the celebration; naturally, we gave him this book. It was fun and the food was excellent.

Before that, I met Stina, Anders and Ale; I see them very seldom these days and it was a lot of fun. Stina is one of those rare people who I can get together with after a long period of not being in touch, without feeling awkward; we just pick up where we left off, which is very restful. I took some pictures of Ale, who is now one year old, but they probably didn’t come out very well. [Note to hypothetical foreign readers: “Ale” is pronounced with a long “Ah” sound and a distinct final “e”.]

Stina also displayed her iPod Nano, which made me realise that that’s probably what I want – my iPod is quite functional but the battery doesn’t last very long and it’s doubtful whether it would be better value for my money to get a new battery for the 3rd generation iPod I have rather than get a new one. (In particular a Nano, which really isn’t that expensive, and I would be likely to use it much more.)


Phony post

February 1, 2008

One of the things I’ll write about soon is my new phone. Which I’m posting this from. Which is unbelievably geeky given that I am sitting by the computer. Go me!


January 10, 2007

Shiny new toy I covet: iPhone. Will cost a bundle and not be available for ten months or so. But still.

I wonder just how revolutionary the phone is, though. I mean, will it cause an industrial or cultural revolution, or just overthrow the natural order in society? Will it collaborate with the cats to make them the decision-makers? I think Apple should make these things a bit more clear.

Also, and slightly less flippantly, it does sound a bit dangerous to be able to make a call just by pointing at a phone number in the phone book. I mean, I sometimes call the wrong person as it is, by being absent-minded. Not to mention that we sometimes receive “pocket calls” from people whose mobiles (in their pocket) wasn’t locked, and we are first in their call list – is it really a good idea to make it easier to do that? Not that I know just how this one-click call system actually works, mind you.

Anyway. Shiny toy. Shiny.


January 11, 2006

MacBook Pro. I wants it.

I need a new computer, there is no question of that – there are too many things broken or too slow or just plain malfunctioning with my old PowerBook. The latest one I popped up today, when the screen has started to flutter, not alarmingly but enough to make it difficult to work. Question is how long one wants to wait before buying a brand-new product. I haven’t read any reviews of the MacBook yet, presumably there are none since it’s so new that nobody has had a chance to try it. I do wants it, though.