Monthly Archive for February, 2006

K750i Redux

I should start by saying that I absolutely love my phone. However, (isn't there always a however?) after using it full time for 5 months, I've come across a few little gripes, and have also formulated a list of features that will make this the perfect phone (for me):

First, let's talk about stuff that just turned out wrong:

1.) Sending Installed Items: Maybe I'm just too used to the way that the old Palm's handled this, but I feel I should be able to IR or Bluetooth any file on my phone to any similarly equipped recipient.

The file manager is a great feature, but a peculiarity I've encountered is that if I transfer a Java app to the phone, it's first treated as a file. So far, so good. Then, when accessing that file for the first time, it becomes an installed app (after asking permission, of course.) – once installed, it's locked to the phone, and the original, uninstalled copy of the file can be deleted (to save space, duh). Once the app is installed, however, I can no longer re-send the installed file to other devices. Bad call.

Sure, I can connect to the phone from my Mac and perform the requisite file management (even transfer the installed/locked files to the Mac, I believe) but this is really something I'd like on the phone. It'd be nice if I could send a game or Java app to a friends phone without needed the original file, or without needed a computer to perform any kind of mediation.

The reason, I would guess, for this intentional hobbling, is to prevent piracy of software. This feature would make it easy to distribute potentially copyrited materials from device to device with great ease. I understand the reasoning behind this, but I don't agree with it.

I think it should be the responsibility of the software developer to ensure their titles cannot be easily pirated, not the hardware manufacturer. Case in point: what is Intel or Microsoft doing to prevent Adobe software from being pirated? Yeah, almost nothing. Certainly nothing that can't be relatively easily circumvented. On top of all of this, I shy away from software I'd need to pay for anyway.

2.) The Joystick: At first, the five-way joystick was the primary way by which I would interact with the phone. It's various functions as a navigation and input device are well thought out, easily adapted to, and pretty much makes sense. Pretty standard stuff.

Then, maybe a month ago, the joy stick started acting… funny. It wouldn't respond sometimes, forcing me to press it twice. In games (specifically Aero Mission 3D, a game to which I am highly addicted,) I find that the joystick is just not accurate. I can press down, and I'll go right.

Thankfully, the phone has features built into it's interface that compensate for the shortcomings of the joystick, so this has been largely a non-issue (with the exception of gaming, as mentioned above.)

I'm fairly certain that the reason this is happening is not software related at all. More likely, it's a result of dust or lint getting behind the joystick, and thereby clogging up, or interfering with the way it indexes with the phone. I blow it out occasionally, or use a little piece of paper to unclog the gully around the stick. After that, it'll work flawlessly for a week or so, then it's back to the old tricks.

I could go on about some of these little things, but for the most part those are the biggies.

In terms of features I *wish* the phone had… well… I guess the sky's the limit.

1.) Wi-fi: Kamil and I talk about this a lot. We figure that in three years, pretty much any mid-range handheld device (phones, PDA's, digicams, etc.) will support wi-fi. This just makes sense in light of the rapid uptake of 802.11a/b/g standard over the past two or three (or maybe 5) years. You see wi-fi hotspots all over the damn place: in airports, coffee shops, book stores, even Philly is allegedly going to have free (or cheap) city-wide wi-fi access. Rather than pay out the nose for nominal EDGE or UTMS support, (or worse, plain-old GSM/GPRS data plans) it would be completely awesome for wi-fi to find its way onto every mid-range or higher handset.

2.) Bigger screen, same body size: This is something that always confused me: Why do handset manufacturers make a device 50 mm wide, with a screen that's only 38mm wide? The screen should go as close to the edges as possible, while still being embedded. Obviously, no one wants their screen to pop off. I'm sure as miniturized technology becomes more pervasive, we'll see manufactuers follow this trend, but c'mon – it's 2006 for crying out loud. Where are my flying cars?

3.) High Res, AF cameras with optical zooms: A year or two ago, a lot of people called these features pipe dreams in light of the confining form factor in a lot of the current handsets. I'll admit, I was blown away when I heard about the first 2 MP cameraphone. I was blown away even more when I first read about the Sharp 903 (with a 3 MP camera!) – Granted, the Korean phone market is CRAZY when it comes to feature-packing (they have crazy crazy crazy TV-over-the-air, 8 MP camera, 20 GB hard drives for the integrated video/MP3 player all in a form factor that would make a short stack of credit cards blush) so it might not be the fairest comparison.

SO back to the point: all i'm asking is for a converged device that allows me to not carry a camera, phone and DAP as separate items. As much as I love my ipod, it's difficult to budget space on my wardrobe for extra devices. Since I'm already carrying a phone around, why not cram as many features into it as possible?

In light of all these gripes and lusts, we find the Sony Ericsson K800i, aka "Wilma." Of particular interest to me is the A2DP setup, the giant 3.2 MP camera, and giant 466 MB internal storage, and of course the sleek lines.

For those of you who made it through this whole long tirade, well, I apologize. You know now what my poor fiance has to suffer through every time I get started on the topic of cellular phone handsets.

Felice Mastrippolito

Here’s a dude that came to America by himself when he was 14. He was born before 1900. He built a mushroom empire with his own giant bare hands.

There was something about his old-world wisdom, something inherent in occupying the role of patriarch.

Below are some things he used to say.

“Don’t let anything grow on your face that grows wild on your ass,” – when speaking about facial hair.

“You can always get another girlfriend/wife, but you only get one mother,” – when speaking about taking sides in an argument between your mother and your girlfriend/wife

“I never saw a bald-headed jackass,” – when teased about his baldness.

“If you don’t get old, you don’t live very long.” – on aging gracefully.

“No, I’m half left.” – when asked if he was all right.

“Only one thing can make water go uphill: money.” – when talking about things that are expensive, and/or impossible

Friends, Enemies, Whatever

I think that anyone who goes through life trying to be friends with everyone is fooling themselves: people will hate you BECAUSE you’re trying to be friends with them.

I think the best we can hope for is to mind our own business, and that everyone else will mind theirs.