Finland for a 3 day Nokia Workshop.

Just like whatleydude, I too got the email from WOM World asking if I’d like to attend a brand new event for Nokia in Helsinki.

Here’s some of the email WOM sent me giving me an idea of what this brand new event involves;

It aims to involve everyone from creative’s, designers, video producers to open source software bloggers and mobile tech pioneers in a thorough discussion. Including, what the future holds for everything from mobile tech to media creation. There will be a number of workshops that’ll see discussion with participants and with Nokia guys about the future of different online arenas and mobile technology. Workshops that we hope you’d like to join in with and make yourself heard.

You’ll also be provided with a ‘trial pack’ that will include a Nokia device and other things for trial prior to and during the event.

I’ve only just noticed that we’re getting a new trial device which is great news, as I’ve been so looking forward to going and massively busy at work to spend too much blogging, I hadn’t read all of the email!

I’m hoping Truphone will let me have a beta product of theirs to use as well. So I’ll be taking some time to think of what kit to take so I can capture as much of the experience as possible, I do know I’ll be packing at least 3  Nokia devices and now that I’ve just noticed we’re getting a trial device, that’ll make it 4 Nokia devices.

I’m also really looking forward to meeting a bunch of the jaiku crowd too, as I’ve managed to miss all the MGoL’s, so really keen to actual put a real face to some of these manga faces for once.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to post on the working anywhere experience of Finland too, I’ve worked in Sweden,  Denmark,  France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Switzerland, Ireland and the US but never Finland.


My Dad gets a Dongle

My Dad lives in Spain, he’s been there a few years now and we’ve managed to keep in touch using BT, and then I changed that to first jajah and most recently to Rebtel.

However,  recently Dad had a visitor who brought a laptop when they came to stay. Dad’s lucky there a open wireless nearby it’s a bit flaky at times but from his sun deck its OK for grabbing your mail.

However, Dad’s visitor fired up Skype and called home for free, I’m not sure if they fired up video or not but my Dad did comment on the call quality. As a result my Dad was hooked and was keen to get a laptop of his own get on Skype.

So a few months back on a trip to the UK he picked up a Fujitsu-Siemens laptop and gave Telefonica a call and requested DSL. This is where he hit a stumblling block, as he doesn’t have a landline in his farmhouse, the DSL requested caused Telefonica a problem. Telefonica  said they could provide data over his phone but it’d take a while to sort out, but this dragged on and on, if you’ve ever worked with Telefonica you’ll know what I mean.

So I was a tad surprised when I got a call saying let’s try Skype we’ve bought a Vodafone dongle.

I had to remind him he should have bought an Orange one but nevermind, I’m pleased he’s got one. It offers a lot more flexibility for him rather than being tied to a DSL line at home, but all in it’s good, we’ve given Skype a go and it works fine.

Nokia N800 is fantastic in the car

We’ve just come back from vacation down in Devon and this year we decide to up the distance we’d drive to a good beach to about an hour. As a result we’d start the day pretty early and head off to the beach as soon as possible which usually meant around 9.30am-ish. This meant that we’d have a fair chunk of time each day stuck in the car driving backwards and forwards to the best beaches we could find. The first day we placed the intro game with the ipod and the FM transmitter, guess the artist and song as quickly as possible, 2 secs was my record btw. The second day I decided to drop the Nokia N800 into the storage box in the front of the car and leave it syncing rss feeds tethered to my N95 whilst we drove around in areas with coverage. There isn’t any mobile phone coverage at the cottages which is great so contact with the outside world was done whilst out and about except for wi-fi in the cottage and that’s another post.

Whilst driving we wondered what the weather was going to be like for the next few days, so my wife pulled out the N800, which was tethered to the N95 and looked up and checked out the weather. We then wondered where the exact location of the nearest farm shop was so it was googled and the postcode entered into the satnav. Over the next few days the N800 lived in the car and whenever we where driving for a while my wife would fire it up and either checkout the weather or check her email or just surf around to find bits of information. This was a bout of a revelation for us that you could have simple and reliable access to the Internet whilst travelling around in there car as the N800 is some much more friendly to use on the go so to speak than a laptop.


The N800 came into it’s own on Sunday as well, we left the St Pierre Hotel at 12noon heading back to my mum’s when my brother texted me the time and location of the pub were we’d agreed to met for sunday lunch. But he’d only entered pretty basic location information and having not lived in Cardiff for more than 10 years I couldn’t remember where it was, so once again, the N800 was pulled out of the arm rest and fired up as we drove down the hotel drive way. The pub was located and the postcode entered into the satnav before we’d reached the hotel gates.

From now on the N800 is the bit of kit that’s thrown into the front of the car on long car journey’s and I’m going to look into the Nokia FM transmitters too, and the N800 may become the web and entertainment device for long journeys.

Proporta bought me a drink!

My Proporta Mobile USB charger just turned up and in the package was an Earl Grey Tea Bag!

The device is pretty neat too, it used mini usb to charge, so I can carry just one mini usb cable around (the same one as used to connect the Phone to the PC) and I can use my CA-100 mini USB charge to connect my N95 to the Proporta device as well as using it to connect to my PC. So the only bit of extra kit I have to carry is the white unit itself, great.

Oh and thanks for the drink Proporta!

3’s Mobile broadband

This is a bit tricky as I work for Orange, but I was checking out 3’s mobile broadband products and they look pretty neat. Why you looking at 3 you ask, well, I’ve got unlimited data on my Orange account, but there are places where it’s not great or there’s no coverage. Therefore having a different operator as a provider means I can cut down the number of places where I’m out of coverage.

The other reason I was looking was, that I’ve been thinking of picking up a 9" Asus EeePC, and pariing that with the mobile broadband dongle would provide a pretty awesome mobile too. Anyone else tried this or using this setup?…any pitfalls?

Now if only I could remember who 3 uses as it’s roaming partner when there’s no 3 service, it used to be O2?

Gadgets and kit for vacation

I mentioned in an earlier post that our vacation was fast approaching and that I was clearing off memory cards ready. I’ve made an effort to fit all the kit into one bag this year and make it easier on me to remember kit and transport it, it’s a Lowe pro Stealth Reporter camera bag.

I apologize for the ghostly photo above, it’s the glare off the cover, anyway, you can see the kit laid out ready to go.

1. LowePro Stealth reporter
2. Canon 400D DSLR
3. Canon 50mm 1.8 lens.
4. Letherman
5. Swiss Army credit card,
6. I-Go slim bluetooth keyboard,
7. Nokia N800 Internet Tablet.
8. Jawbone Bluetooth headset.
9. Nokia TV-out cable,
10, 8GB’s of CF memory cards.
11, space pen
12. Moleskine note pad (small) (under keyboard)
13. two spare Canon 400D batteries.

and what’s out of shot, or taking the shot, my trusty Nokia N95 (with 8GB card) and 2 spare batteries for it and a charger of course, along with my iPod (30GB) that’s in the special iPod dock in the glove box ready to roll. I’m key to try out a solar charger too, so will check them out prior to the trip and maybe pick one up, we’ll see.

What’s not going, is my laptop, so the pics of the CF cards will have to wait till we get back and be photo shopped before being uploaded. So that’s another what’s in my bag photo, this time it’s what’s in my bag for vacation. Sad thing is, we’re not going for another 2 weeks!

Wiping memory cards

Our vacation is fast approaching so it’s time to get the kit sorted out ready. I’m currently wiping all the CF memory cards for my Canon 400D, that’s 2 x 2GB and 1 x 4GB cards, which is plenty even shooting in RAW for me. We’ve got a wedding down in Cardiff straight after our vacation, so I’ll save one of the 2GB CF cards for that.

There’s one micro SD card that I’m not wiping, in fact I’m trying to cram as much onto as possible, I bought an 8GB micro SDHC card a while back for my N95. So I’m using double twist to strip out the DRM from my iTunes purchased tracks and convert them to MP3’s so I can drop onto the card.

new iPhone sometimes doesn’t last a working day – walt mossberg

Just been watching the iPhone news hit the web and walt’s video is here and in the video he mentions that on several occasions his iPhone didn’t even last a full working day. So it sounds like the 3G has impacted the battery life considerably then if it can’t even last a full working day.

I’ve been depressed by the battery on the N95, and have been looking forward to technology catching back up with battery life to where it was prior to GPS and video etc. So to go backwards again to an iPhone where the battery doesn’t even last a day, is just something I can’t bring myself to do.

1 week with the Nokia E66

I’ve now had the brand new Nokia E66 for just over a week and..I haven’t been able to put it down. It’s one of the best phone’s I’ve ever had. So I’ll kick off with the bad points first of all then cover the good things about this device.

First off, the firmware has a few bug’s scrolling in the browser doesn’t show the web page image (see below), I’m sure this will get fixed so no big deal. The headset socket is 2.5mm and not the larger 3.5mm like the N95, this means having a different set of headphones for it than my iPod and N800. The camera doesn’t deal with low light environments at all, but outside on a bright day no problem, photo’s are fine. The N95 camera is in a different league compared to it which is fine, but for taking snaps it does a job.

The good points, the size and build quality, this phone is so nice to hold and fit’s in your pocket with ease with no unsightly bulge like the N95. The metal back and case makes it feel really solid and expensive and the sliding mechanism is perfect. The keyboard is excellent, slightly flatter than the N95 keyboard and as a result easier to use. There are lot’s of other good points such as the new calendar which I like, the new message notification. The ram is also a massive plus over the N95-1, not so over the N95 8G. The battery life is also better on the E66 than the N95, the E66 has a 1000mAh battery, whilst the N95 has a 950mAh battery. The E66 is lasting all day, 7am till 11pm with jaiku on ‘more up to date’ and push email is on too. With both of those on my N95 it’d start beeping around 5pm, so that’s a major bonus, a battery that copes with a solid day of use.

I’ve replaced my N95 with the E66 and I’m still using my E61i for work, the difference between the E66 and the E61i is huge though, it’s like using a phone that’s 10 years older. But for me it’s about the E66 being a viable replacement for my N95. The N95 is about creating and consuming media, and the camera, TV out, 30 fps video, stereo speakers and 3.5mm headset socket are all benefits of the N95 over the E66. But I could live with those, the camera is OK, the upload straight to blyk missing out the TV negates that issue, I’m not a chav so don’t tend to listen to music via the stereo speakers whilst waiting for the bus so again they won’t be missed. Finally having and carrying around in a bag a second pair of headphones isn’t such a huge bind.

So to conclude, for me the E66 can do pretty much everything that the N95 can do, and last longer in my pocket as the phone. So the E67 needs a 3.5mm headphones socket and a 30fps 5mp camera and we’re done.

Again thanks to WOM World.