Skype calls on the Nokia N900.

I will echo a recent post by Kerry Wright of www.wrightaboutnow.com that modern technology and applications such as Skype and Facebook are bringing us closer together regardless of ones location.

Today i chatted to my Mom on my Nokia N900 for over 2 hours and it cost nothing. My Mom was at her computer in Windhoek, Namibia and I was logged into Skype on my N900. Skype is built into the N900, which makes it all the more amazing.

The call came through just like an ordinary phone call. When I am home my N900 is automatically connected to my Sky Broadband via wireless, so the entire call was using my broadband, as if I was at my PC.

Now imagine what a call of this magnitude would have cost had we used good old fashion Telekom or BT?

The fact is, we most certainly would not have spoken for so long. Modern technology is amazing and we should embrace it at every opportunity.

I discovered Stroke 9 at Last.FM.

Thanks again to Last.FM I have just discovered a brilliant band called Stroke 9.

Stroke 9 formed in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1989. The band has since recorded five albums and toured extensively in the United States, Canada and Europe. Fueled by the commercial success of the hit song “Little Black Backpack,” their third album, “Nasty Little Thoughts,” went gold in 2000. The single “Kick Some Ass” from their fourth album “Rip It Off” was featured in the movie “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

I’ve been listening to the album “Rip it off”… bloody awesome!

Pushing my Nokia N900 to the limit!

I thought I would see how many applications I can open at one time on my Nokia N900 since it’s supposedly one of the best devices for multitasking.

To make it a little more interesting, I have open various applications namely;

  • My browser bookmarks page,
  • a couple of (IM) instant message (three separate screens)
  • two fairly large websites with lots of images (www.wilkinsonsworld.com) and (www.expedia.com – I did a search for holiday appartments in New York city),
  • RSS Feeder application showing the latest headlines from Maemo, Twitter and BBC News.
  • Twitter website,
  • My blog (lookatbowen.com – edit comments screen),
  • Application manager showing all available applications,
  • Media box – 3rd party multimedia player – was listening to Clive Cussler – Dragon Audio Book,
  • File Manager,
  • Conversations window showing various IM and SMS messages,
  • SMS screen to my Mom,

The N900 so far is working like a dream. No sign of slowing down, so I thought I would open a few more applications.

  • OVI store website, did a search for Firefox and downloaded it,
  • FAQ screen is a help screen for something,
  • The default media player playing Counting Crows.

  • Firefox browser showing our website,
  • File Manager application showing the screens above and below,

  • Witter (a twitter application),
  • Vagalume (Last.fm player).
  • MaStory (blogging tool).
  • Email announcement.
  • SMS announcement.

One awesome feature of the task bar is that each of the mini screens are a real-time image of the actual application. It is bloody awesome!   At this stage I was running out of things to open, and after calculator the N900 finally started to show signs of slowness. Well it was a very clear sign – an error. (ha ha).

  • Calculator,
  • Calendar,
  • Address book,
  • Notes,
  • Buddy list in Pidgin,
  • A game of chess.

I think I have made my point. I challenge any iPhone owner to show me a similar test!

Dick Francis – RIP

I was quite saddened to read that author Dick Francis has passed away aged 89. He was famous for his horse racing-based crime novels. We have read a lot of his books and even have a signed copy of “Shattered”.

Recently I have been listening to “Wild horses” and “Decider” in audio. He was a good writer and a brilliant story teller. His style and knowledge of the horse racing world was second to none!

Fortunately he wrote almost 40 novels so we’ll be reading / listening for many years to come.

Rest in peace Dick Francis!

 

Mozilla Labs Weave ideal for Netbooks and Mobile devices.

I stumbled upon this incredible Firefox add-on recently after looking for a simple “open tab” bookmark or history tool, as I usually have a lot of tabs open when surfing the Internet, and often want them on another device at another location.

The Weave Sync add-on lets you securely take your Firefox experience with you wherever you go. You can now surf the Web on your PC, get up and go, and have everything waiting for you on your phone (N900) or Netbook/Laptop: your history, open tabs, bookmarks, the Awesome Bar – just as you had left it.

As netbooks and phone devices with mini browsers become more and more popular the idea of taking everything with you seems the logical next step.

At present I use all the features except for the bookmark synchronizing, as I don’t leave bookmarks or favourites on the local desktop, instead use Google Bookmarks (part of the Google Toolbar) for my personal shit and Del.icio.us for the websites I want to share with the world. If Weave could somehow manage those two options it would be an awesome add-on for Mozilla!

T-Mobile’s unlimited Internet is only 1GB – Ridiculous!

I recently upgraded my T-Mobile contract to a Sim Only deal where by I get X amount of minutes and X amount of voice calls and unlimited internet usage.  I took this option because I bought my phone outright.

T-Mobile were very quick to point out that the “unlimited internet usage” was not actually unlimited but instead capped at 1GB.

How ridiculous?

Ridiculous for many reasons as the phone I recently purchased is totally geared towards the Internet and for social networking (Skype, Gtalk, MSN, Facebook, Twitter, has a full internet browser, access to everything internet related). The Nokia N900 is a mini computer or tablet device with a phone function.

The Nokia N900 is not the only phone offering such features, there are many other phone makes (Blackberry, Apple, Motorola, Samsung, HTC, LG etc) and models offering fast download speeds (7.2MBit, 10MBit).

T-Mobile bragged that they were streaks ahead of the other mobile ISP’s because they offered 1GB instead of 500MB. All very well, but that is a pathetic statement to make!

I consider myself a heavy Internet data user on my mobile and by that I mean:

  1. The Nokia N900 is a multi-tasking device, therefore it is possible to open multiple web sites in the real internet browser, which is similar to what you would find on your desktop PC, and it is able to load up all the graphics, video and sounds that are normally present on a website quickly, which obviously uses a lot of data. I regularly browse;
    1. BBC, Sky News, Engadget, Wired, Netvibes, Youtube, Wilkinsonsworld, Crunchvictims, FT, CMAVision, Gmail,  etc.
  2. On top of that I would have open Facebook, an online scrabble game,
  3. Multiple Twitter accounts,
  4. Last.FM scrobbler, or Shoutcast music streaming, or E-Book reader,
  5. I am downloading a few podcasts on a daily basis,
  6. Reading and replying to my various Email accounts,
  7. Instant Messaging through Skype, MSN, GTalk and Facebook (all possible in one place on the N900),
  8. Blogging on my various websites,

I had a look at my data usage after a week of using the Nokia N900 and it’s up at 450MB. (Doh! after a week). There is no way on earth the 1GB limit is going to last me. I will reach that cap by the end of next week!

T-Mobile already offer broadband via a USB Dongle. They are quite generous in the amount one can download with their USB dongle (£ 10/mth – 4.5 Mb/s  – 3 Gb cap). – Check out wifi.co.uk

What they need to realize is that with the new mobile technology coming out with bigger and better devices with lovely large screens and qwerty keyboards, that devices such as the N900 are similar too and / or if not better than a netbook or a laptop with a USB Dongle, since they incorporate the internet technology in the device.

For a Sim Only contract with unlimited Internet at a cost of £15/mth, one would expect T-Mobile to offer a larger download limit!

Come on T-Mobile, please review your Interet download policy!