Dec 31, 2007

Happy New Year!!!

2007 was the year my passion about Symbian and Nokia grew. 2007 was the year I started blogging and got to know a lot of great bloggers around, with whom I share the same interests and with whom I had a lot of great conversations. 2007 was the year I got my first trial phone from WOMWorld. 2007 was also the year of achievements on a personal level: I got my masters 1 degree, I worked a lot with the faculty of pharmacy's student board, I became friends with many great people, I built great relationships with many of my teachers. It was the year where so many things happened and I am more than thankful for all of that.

Here's to anothey year like that, to 12 months of better productivity, of more friendships, of wiser experiences, of more memories. Here's also to you, readers, bloggers, Nokia lovers, S60 lovers, and everyone stopping here by chance, here's to a great 2008 for all of you!

1 & 2 - N95 8GB Lebanon Ambassador

This is the first report from my N95 8GB Lebanon Ambassador mission, where I spent the first 2 days demonstrating the camera and video recording capabilities of the device as well as the accelerometer goodness.

1 - Camera & Video Recording
When I first found out that the N95 was going to sport a 5MP cam and 640x480 video resolution with 30 fps, I was really impressed. I mean those are specs higher than my stand-alone digital camera. I am not a pro photographer, my main use of a camera is taking quick pictures and videos, now and then, for the memories. I usually didn't mind having a low-quality picture or video as long as the moment I took it in was great. After all, pictures and videos are like a visual diary, they are just here to remind us of great moments in our lives, moments that our lazy memory would erase or blurry. But with the N95 8GB, I am sure that I not only have a way to revive my memories, but also a way to show it and share it with everyone around me. That is the greatest part about it.

My Own Impressions
The picture quality is impressive. I don't print pictures, I don't make posters of them. I just keep them on my computer to view them later, so the 5MP is much more than enough for me: we all know that the laptop screen has a maximum resolution of 1280x800 (with something around 80dpi). The N95 8GB takes pictures with a maximum resolution of 2582 x 1944. Point made. Even if I did want to print out my pictures on a 17x15cm paper, they would come out really good.
The video quality blew me away. Yes I knew I was expecting a similar quality to my stand-alone Kodak digicam (who takes videos with the same resolution and fps), but I was thinking that it wouldn't actually BE the same quality. Well, I was wrong, really wrong. I also made a little comparison with the N73 (352x288 video res with 15fps), which still accounts as one of the best cameraphones out in the market. I took a video my friend had recorded with her N73 and sent it over BT to the N95 8GB. I then recorded one video with the N95 8GB itself. Then, using TV-Out, I played both videos on our 29in flat TV. And the result? Are you actually asking? No way you could compare them. The better resolution on the N95 8GB had a role to play, but the 30fps is the one that made the N95 8GB stand out. The N73 delivered a cameraphone video, expected result, but the N95 8GB delivered a quality as good as my own digicam. Thumbs up Nokia, seriously.
Also, having a dedicated not configurable gallery button was bugging me at first. But after a couple of days with the N95 8GB, I thank the designer team for introducing it.

Now, what didn't impress me all that much?
  • First of all there's the fact that everytime I popped the TV-Out cable in the N95 and selected TV-Out, the device would reboot. First time I thought it was my mistake, then I noticed it kept happening. So afterwards I had to press Cancel to have the thing working. But when I would disconnect the device from the TV, it would reboot, so it's a lose-lose situation. I guess it's a problem with my unit because I haven't heard anyone complain about it.
  • Second there's the fact that when I am connected on TV-Out and I take a picture, the preview image isn't the full resolution image, which means that quality on TV-Out looks crappy. I know that not many people would eventually try to take a picture while connected to a TV, but what if they do? They'll think their hand moved or that there's something wrong with the autofocus.
  • Speaking about autofocus, I noticed that getting the autofocus to work was pretty hard at first. I always ended up taking the picture before the focus was correct. Eventually I got used to it, but still
  • The gallery is painfully slow to load. I first thought that it was just me because I'm running so many apps in the background. Turns out other people are also complaining about it.
  • Why the hell can't I use the 1 and 3 buttons to rotate images left and right? Why???
  • And finally there's the obvious "where the hell is the video editor?", along with "where the hell is Muvee?". I saw Muvee on my friends' N73 and N76, which means it exists for S60 v3 (and fp1) why isn't it on the N95 8GB? Plain stupid!

  • People's Impressions
    What people first notice is the huge lens on the back of the device. I got a lot of "is that a new camera?" questions. Well, I believe that no one would expect to see such a huge lens on the back of a mobile phone.
    The other great positive they note is that point and shoot is tremendously easy, just because of the huge screen. They don't have to stare at a small screen to take the picture, they have 2.8in of goodness to feast their eyes on. 2 persons even told me the experience was comparable to their Sony CyberShot digital cameras!
    With a TV around, I also demonstrated viewing the pictures and video on TV-Out. The only comment I got was: Wow. People don't know what 5MP or 3MP or 8MP is, they just buy the highest number around. When you say you've got a 5MP cam on a mobile phone, they think about their own 7 or 8MP digicam and tend to think that 5MP is much lower quality. Stretching the picture on a whole 25in or 29in screen shows just how good it is. They are even surprised that it comes with a TV-Out cable! Video playback on TV also got a lot of admiration.

    Negative comments I got were about:
  • the camera button being a little hard to press
  • night pictures being lower quality
  • front camera is worthless
  • zooming takes all the picture quality. I did explain that it was a digital zoom, which doesn't compare in quality to an optical zoom, but hey, the end result remained the same, and that probably was the major letdown for many.

  • 2 - Accelerometer Goodies
    We were all mad at Nokia for not mentioning the N95 had a built-in accelerometer, and I still don't understand why they hid it. But thank God, they revealed it eventually! Thanks to Samir Oueldi, the accelerometer has a couple of great uses. I have installed RotateMe and Nokmote on the N95 8GB and leave them running in the background.

    My Own Impressions
    The accelerometer is pretty darn accurate!
    RotateMe is simply the best application in the world. Viewing pictures, watching videos, browsing the web, everything is made ridiculously simple with it. Normally you would see a picture in portrait mode and either use the zoom either slide the screen downwards to reveal the multimedia menu, which rotates the interface to landscape mode. RotateMe simplifies the whole thing. Just physically turn the device and taraaaa! I found it extremely helpful while browsing pages, sometimes you need to enter text, just slide the keypad out, enter your text, either holding the device vertically either horizontally, like you wish. Makes browsing a lot easier. But RotateMe does annoy a little because it sometimes rotates the screen when it's not meant to. Fiddling with the settings got the problem somewhat solved, but after all it is quite fast so i don't mind re-rotating the device myself.
    Nokmote doesn't have an adjustable senstivity and reactivity, for the obvious reason that it is still in development. But still having it around while playing Global Race or N-Gage's Asphalt 3 was a very nice experience. At first I spent the whole race time going from wall to wall, now I'm better at it, and I think that after a couple of days, I'll be a real pro at it. Of course Nokmote isn't meant to be used with the device, because you end up twisting it a lot, which makes looking at the screen to see where you are rather difficult. It is meant to be played on TV-Out and that's where it really shines. But it's pretty much impossible to leave it running on the device, because the sensitivity can't be set. I normally leave RotateMe on, but close Nokmote and only open it when in need.

    People's Impressions
    RotateMe really stood out as the champion of the day. People thought I was pressing a button or doing something, until I handed them the device and said "take it, see for yourself". A lot of nice comments were said. And because the iPhone is just starting to become famous in Lebanon, I heard 3 persons (roughly my age, 22-24) say "oh it's like the iPhone". Yeah the N95 can do that too baby! One comment I got from everyone (and I mean every single one) is "why doesn't it rotate the other way? or upside down?. Funny question. "The device is meant to be used in these 2 configurations only, I would understand wanting to rotate it the other way, but upside down, why would you need it?", answer "it'd be nice". So as you see, it wasn't about functionality, it was about the cool-factor.

    I demonstrated Nokmote to a lot of people, who really liked the concept. But the main public I was interested in were my 9 (male) and 10 (female) year old neighbors, as well as my 23 and 20 year old male cousins. I started Asphalt 3, launched Nokmote and connected the N95 8GB to our 29in screen. All of them thought it was impressive. The 9 year old boy, who had just got a PS2 for Christmas said "oh it's like the Wii!" and I couldn't get him off the N95 for 15 minutes. He bumped into a couple of walls at first, then 2 laps later, he was flying like rocket. "What do you think of it, Tony?", poor boy looked at me after I took the N95 out of his hands and said "Cool, really cool, can I play more?". The 10 year old girl played a little bit, but she's not into racing games, I guess if I had some sort of Super Mario running, she would've been swept away. My 23 year old cousin who loves technology a tidbit (he's a mechanical engineer after all), didn't have any trouble adjusting to the play mode, but 3 minutes later, he was tired of twisting the device. My 20 year old cousin who is really into all those racing games was watching his brother not impressed about it, but when he got to play with it he ended up having fun and getting used to the sensitivity in no-time. Other friends that saw it didn't get the chance to experience it with gaming and TV-Out, but just with the gallery, videos and music playing. They were amazed by the concept but found it rather annoying and hard to control. I explained it was still in development.

    What do you think of the comments I have been receiving so far? Do you get the same notes with your friends? As far as I can see, the first experiences have been rather good. Stay tuned for more N95 8GB Lebanon Ambassador reports. Coming next are music and video playback, wifi and browsing.

    Dec 29, 2007

    N95 8GB unboxing & trial plans

    The powerhouse arrived yesterday, courtesy of the WOMWorld team, a little bit late for Christmas, but I consider it a great holiday surprise. It's a shame they didn't create a new series for the N95, like a P95 as in Powerhouse95, or a U95 as in UFO95, or an O95 as in the obvious Oh-My-Goodness-Does-Such-A-Thing-Even-Exist95. Yes the device has its flaws, yes it's not perfect, but on the actual market it's one of the rare devices that can claim to live up to the "Perfect Device" title.

    Here are the unboxing pictures. I wanted to record a video but my camera battery was close to dead. Then I thought I'd make a video out of the unboxing pictures, but my computer kept shutting down everytime I opened Windows Movie Maker. So you'll have to watch the unboxing pictures in a Flickr slideshow and try to imagine the "All I Want For Christmas" song as a soundtrack. That's the closest it can get to an unboxing video.

    Now for the good part: What can you expect me to cover in these 2 weeks of N95 8GB trial? Well, I won't do it the ordinary way. Normally bloggers receive a device, review every aspect of it: hardware, software, battery, RAM, camera, music,...

    Well this won't be the case with me. I am starting my own iteration of S60 New York and California Ambassadors and I'm calling it N95 8GB Lebanon Ambassador.


    I thought that a device as powerful as the N95 8GB doesn't always wind up in the right hands that can show what N-Series combined with S60 3rd and Nokia can deliver as an overall experience. I also thought that I'd be too selfish to keep all those wonders to myself.


    N95 8GB Lebanon Ambassador consists of a 14-day 14-feature demonstration. Basically I will have the N95 8GB with me all the time, and every day I will have one new feature to demonstrate to everyone I run into: friends, family, neighbors, classmates,... just about everyone I know (or don't know, for all I care). I had previously asked readers here for opinions about the main uses of the N95 and the best applications to try on it, and I came up with this list of features to demonstrate (in no particular order):
    1 - Camera shooting & Video recording
    2 - WiFi connectivity, web browsing, instant messaging & mail checking
    3 - Music & Video playing
    4 - Accelerometer : RotateMe, LightSabre & NokMote (hopefully ShutUp)
    5 - Controlling TV & Stereo with Psiloc irRemote
    6 - GPS & Nokia Maps or Google Maps
    7 - Nokia Music Store
    8 - NGage (hopefully)
    9 - Mobile Web Server
    10 - Podcasts & Internet Radio
    11 - Medical Consultant
    12 - Uploading pictures to Flickr
    13 - Catching RSS feeds
    14 - Watching YouTube videos

    Other features that may make it to the list are Widsets, Download!, Gizmo, Wikipedia, Photo Tagging, Fring, Nokia Channels & MOSH. Too much to try and so little time.


    As I said, I will demonstrate one feature per day. I will then present my own notes of the feature as well as people's impressions, questions, suggestions and remarks. I will then post a recap every 2-3 days.

    And else?

    Depending on how much free time I have, I am also planning:
    - an evolution of S60 3rd post: comparison between the first S60 3rd device, the Nokia 3250, and one of the last S60 3rd devices, the N95 8GB
    - a comparison with Windows Mobile, when it comes to connectivity, web browsing, rss and podcast catching.
    - an actual review of the device (hardware, battery, memory, software,...)
    - other random posts.

    Final Word

    That is about it. It is my first trial, and with a device as capable as the N95 8GB, I knew it had to be special. The N95 8GB Lebanon Ambassador started today, with the camera and video recording demonstration. I will get into details later, but so far so good. If you have any suggestions of something I should try on the N95 8GB, a new way to use the device, a new application I should try, a new feature I should demonstrate, please do leave your suggestions. I am a newbie in the N-Series world and I could use some advice. If you also have any questions about the device, please ask. I will try to get to them in my final review. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll go dive right back into the N95 goodness!

    Dec 27, 2007

    N95 8GB Is In Da House!

    Ha yeah! As you read, the N95 8GB just arrived. I have unboxing pictures and a couple first impressions and all that, but ya gonna have to wait... For some reason my computer keeps shutting down when I open Windows Movie Maker to try and make a video out of the unboxing pictures. Argh!!! And no, I won't just upload the pictures! *frown*

    Anyway, follow the full coverage here on Dotsisx and on Symbian-Guru in the next 2 weeks. There's plenty to cover, little time and a final exam coming up.

    One sentence to sum up the experience so far:
    I'm gonna miss this sucker when it goes back home and I'm left with my 3250 :'(

    Dec 24, 2007

    Merry Christmas Y'all!

    'Tis the holidays again, and if i missed the great tree in our living room or the Xmas cheers going on all over the streets of Beirut, I couldn't miss the red Santa hats all over my friend's heads in the hospital, so I ended up grabbing one and taking this quick picture (I am wearing my intern white blouse):

    HOHOHO! Merry Christmas!

    Dec 23, 2007

    Gold Mine For Italian Themers & Themes

    Let's face it, I am a theme maniac. I change themes at least once a week, sometimes even once a day. I have been a fan of many, many theme makers for a while, and never found their original homeland. I always ended up with one of their themes on some viral russian or chinese forum. Not too convenient. I wanted all the collection, from the master himself/herself. One themer in particular was always on my must-find list: Jendell.

    So recently I was browsing, googling or whatever (can't remember), and I ended up finding Nokioteca. What is Nokioteca? The homeland of all glorious Italian themers. Turns out all the theme makers I was longing to find were italian, and all had a thread, on Nokioteca, made by them, with all their collections, from scratch: Jendell, Ivanov, Giambi and Gnokkia. Add to that the very well known Babi, Pietro (or Pasco to many), Pizero, Luca and Lillium, and you've got yourself an amazing idea of how many great and even GRAND might I say theme providers are Italians, flourishing in that hidden Nokioteca forum. Along the way, I jumped on some other threads, and started looking at other themers, like Luciola, Martina, Rugge89lau and Ciuppy.

    Yes, the forum is in italian and first off you won't understand a word, but you'll easily recognize the theme screenshot and the huge "DOWNLOAD" link below.

    Finalmente, molto bello!

    Yeah I am starting to catch up on a couple of italian words myself, thanks to Pasco's blog being on my RSS feeds and him posting in italian, and now to Nokioteca. What are you waiting for, jump up to the theme threads in Nokioteca (S60 3rd and FP1) and I seriously recommend Ivory and Steel by Ivanov, Blox and Symphony by Jendell, Shockin'Red by Giambi, Xmas for me by Gnokkia.

    Now tell me, don't you think these themers need to get a blog of their own? I already made an ultimate request for that, seems like some liked the idea, but I am still waiting. Join me in that request, please.

    Review - Sony MDR-Q68

    A couple of days ago, I got the MDR-Q68 Clip-On Headphones from Sony. I had been looking at several options of retractable headphones and earphones, because let's face it, I am not good with wires. Cord cluster is something I totally hate and I don't know why but everytime I pick my earphones from my bag, pocket or table, I find at least 2 or 3 knots. So I thought retractable was the way to go. I eventually ended up wondering whether to get the MDR-Q68 or the MDR-KE30 Bud Style earphones, but since I already have my white iPod earphones, I thought headphones would be a great change.

    The MDR-Q68 come in 4 different color shades: white and pink, black and blue, black and red, all black. Normally all-black would've been the best option, but they were made out of a similar material to the N81, which meant fingerprint and grease magnet. Black and blue looked totally cool, but it's Xmas, heck, I got the black and red that also looked extremely nice.

    As you can see from the images above, there is one button on each headphone. One retracts the cord between the two headphones, and one retracts the 3.5mm cord.

    The MDR-Q68 are comfortable to wear, not too light, not too heavy. They just feel right around the ear, and I could easily wear them for 2 hours without feeling disturbed. The black hangers are adjustable and can really fit any ear shape.

    I am not a sound expert, but I do listen to music on a daily basis (1 to 2 hours a day). I compared the sound quality of the MDR-Q68 to the earphones that came with my Nokia 3250, my iPod earphones and several others that I had in my tech drawer. All I can tell is that they sounded as good as the others, and they can deliver really high sound volumes. They are not noise-cancelling or extreme quality, but they sound really good for the casual listener.

    For 30$, the MDR-Q68 aren't cheap but don't cost an aweful much. They are extremely stylish, feel perfect around the ear, are small, easy to carry, relieve you from wire and cord cluster, sound nice. I would most definitely recommend them to the casual music listener, looking for a nice retractable replacement for their earphones. The white and pink ones are the lady killers (trust me), the black and blue ones will have many music lovers sigh.

    Dear Santa...

    Dear Santa,

    You know I have been a good girl this year. I was there for my friends in need, I was respectful with everyone. I didn't study all that much, but I managed to pass my masters exams brilliantly. I helped my friends install applications, themes and games on their mobiles and I helped 5 friends get new phones (4 Nokias and 1 HTC) according to their needs and budgets, they are all very glad about my advices.

    If you've been watching me all year Santa, you would know that I love mobiles, a little bit too much for people's taste, but when they need something they always come to me. But Santa, look around at all the devices in the shops, and look at mine. See, Santa, I can't be much of a mobile blogger with a Nokia 3250 in my hands! There will come a time when I wouldn't be able to help people anymore cuz I don't know how to because my main unit leaves me outdated. So Santa, if you just help me get a new device this year, you would be helping a lot of people along, how cool is that? My parents want to get me a brown jacket and boots, I can't tell them I want a new mobile instead, they'll kill me. See, they are as far away from technology as you are from the South Pole.

    Ok Santa, I hear you, I'll cut the begging and tell you what i want for Christmas:
    - a Nokia N95 8GB or an N82 or the rumored N96 (hotty!)
    - a Nokia N810 or an iPod Touch 16GB
    - an E-Series device to play with for a while

    See, I am not asking for much, money-wise.

    But there are also a couple of things I want for 2008. I will be applying for a Masters 2 in the Univeristy of Paris 5, called "Structure, Proteome et Genomique Fonctionelle". I know this sounds like a loads of crap to you Santa, but this is what I love, this is where I know I'll be able to proove myself. In a couple of words, gene therapy is the future, for many disease's cures, and I want to be part of it. Not for my own glory Santa, I am not that selfish, but to help sick people. So if you can tell them a couple of positive words about me to help me get in, I'd be really delighted.

    One more thing, this year I want my country to have a President. It's stupid I know because the country is running with/without him, but it would be good to have someone warming that empty seat in Baabda. I am not a religion maniac Santa, but this is the only powerful post for a Christian in Lebanon and in the Middle East, and I would like it to remain this way. See with days passing by they are proving that we don't need a president to run the country, which means that we might end up always without one. That would be bad.

    Ok, this is it, Santa. I don't know if I deserve all I've asked for but I really really need and want all of those. Now off I go Santa, my mom says lunch is ready and there's a nice smell in the house. Seems like it's chicken. I could save you a plate for tomorrow. Oh and I know we don't have a chimney but you can always manage to squeeze yourself through the Air Conditioner hole. Just park your ride on the building roof, but please don't let Rudolf move the satellite antenna. Dad says it's very delicate and that's why he didn't want me to write you a letter this year: said you'll ruin the dish's direction. And don't eat too much candies tomorrow night. You've spent all this year trying to get off those 5 kgs you took last christmas. Hush Hush, I know it's a secret, but your diet advisor told me, she was my friend in college.

    B-Bye Santa.

    Dec 18, 2007

    Salling Clicker Gets Reviewed

    Jaime Rivera from has just put up a 2-page review of Salling Clicker. I have been using Salling for quite a while now and just simply loving it. In a couple of words, it remote controls your PC, using your phone and a BT or WiFi connection. Make sure to check the review for all the screenshots they have posted to see what this treasure looks like. I'll just add a couple of things:

    - you have to buy Salling Clicker once, no matter what device you use. Because you only register the PC client. Then you can download the mobile client to one or a hundred devices, they are free and they work. There are S60 3rd clients, WM clients, Java clients,... more than 300 devices are supported so it's an extremely nice deal.

    - BT connection works like a charm. I usually have the PC client autostarting with Windows, and then when I need to use it, I just pick my phone, turn BT on and then launch Clicker and connect. Takes 5 seconds all-in-all. I do agree with Jaime that getting connected on WM is slower and less intuitive than on Nokia, but hey, their loss!

    - It works this well even on the Toshiba BT stack (which is quite weird and doesn't work with most apps)

    - The iTunes controlling is just Awesome. You can search for a song from the device (search by artist, genre, album, song name), you can browse full playlists and launch whichever you want, you can view album art.

    - There are all sorts of PC notifications when you pause, forward, skip or rewind a song. But the greatest one is when you get a phone call and see the caller number or name on the PC. Brilliant.

    You can check out Jaime's review here or catch the official website here.

    Dec 16, 2007

    What's the fuss about dedicated ebook readers?

    It's been all over the web: Amazon released it's Kindle: a dedicated ebook reader that costs quite a fortune (399$) and looks terribly 1980ish. And I just don't get it.

    Dedicated ebook readers have always irritated me. They are a silly solution to a problem that never existed. If the problem was that you couldn't take all your books with you wherever you go, we have our mobiles and our memory cards, duh! If the problem was that the mobiles don't allow easy reading outdoors, then we could always take the paperbook outside. If the problem was that books are too bulky to carry then do you see the Kindle skinny and cute? Seriously no matter what the problem was, there was a certain solution to it, already on the market.

    Yes I understand the screen is more visible for outdoor reading, compared to mobiles, but seriously who would read outdoors? First there's 1/2 of the year when it's practically crazy to go outdoors. Second, there are like half of the globe population who don't have a balcony or a garden to enjoy during the summer/spring seasons. Third, would you imagine yourself reading while walking on the streets or in a cab? I would say Metros, Subways and public parks are the only "outdoor" places you could be reading in. Now do you think you would take a Kindle with you on the subway? Seriously?!

    So in one word, if you do your reading indoors, you can use a phone with a big 2.6" or 2.8" screen that can do so MANY other things than reading books and costs probably the same if not less, and if you do your reading on the balcony/porch/public park/garden, do you think it's worth paying 400$ for an ebook reader? And for a device that looks like it just came out of World War II? I can almost see it used in The English Patient!

    Please someone explain the whole deal to me, and why you have to "pay" for blog susbcriptions on the Kindle. Argh...

    I'm interviewed!

    Norman from Symbian World has been interviewing bloggers for a long time now. He helps introduce new bloggers and even established ones, by asking them about the reason they blog, how they came to S60 and other information too. Now my own review is up: Catch it Here!

    Dec 14, 2007

    Skyscape on S60 - Pinch me!

    Thanks to Mark for posting a comment on the I'm Outraged - part 2 post, I now know that Skyscape have released an agent for S60 3rd devices! I haven't checked Skyscape's website for a couple of weeks now and this is what I get for doing so. I almost missed the news! Lesson learned.

    If you've been on this blog long enough you would know that my MAIN ache with Symbian was the unavailability of professional medical applications. Well now I believe my prayers have been answered or Santa got my letter, which proves I was a good girl this year, Skyscape decided to go for S60 after all. There ARE now and will be dedicated medical apps on Symbian, no need to wait for StyleTap or Net60 implementations. I can't tell you how excited I am! I have now to cross fingers for Epocrates and Lexicomp to follow their path.

    The installation process seems a little bit complicated, but at this point, I couldn't care any less. Anything is better than having to put up with the WM madness! Just 2 days ago my Qtek 9100 decided to no longer launch any software installed on the memory card (only solution: format) and I was so bumped that less than 12 hours ago I was telling Ricky litterally (thank you conversation logs):

    "If only there were med apps on S60! I wouldn't even get 100 meters close to a WM device, would invent some sort of WM repellent"

    Now picture a red angry outraged emoticon, shaking his head and taping it with his hands. Point made.

    Dec 10, 2007

    N95 8GB coming from WOM World - HELP NEEDED!

    They say when it rains, it pours. Well it seems that this saying is true. I am leading a hectic rythm of life now and to top that, In the next days, I will be getting an N95 8GB from WOM World! Hoorray!

    Remember when I was deserately trying to trial an N95 8GB? Well, I shot them an email and they answered, but silly Gmail, the reply ended up in my Spam folder and it isn't until this saturday, 23 days later, that I noticed I had an email in Spam. A quick look at it and it was their approval! Thank God I didn't wait more than 30 days to check my Spam, Gmail would've erased it by then.

    Anyway all works well in a perfect world, and if my math is correct, the N95 8GB will still be here for Christmas :) What a nice gift? Heh?

    So, since I always have a weird approach to everything, I am putting these 2 weeks of trial for a good use and going for something other than reviewing the N95 8GB... Well, I might eventually review it in the end, but for now I have something else in mind. This is where you readers kick in. I would love each and every one of you, if you have time, to answer these questions:

    1 - What are the top 10 uses of the N95? (top 5 if you can't think of 10, but I am sure you could easily come up with 20 and even 30)
    2 - Pick 1 application you think I should download to the N95 in these categories (preferably freeware): web browser, instant messenger, rss reader, gps navigation, photo sharing, online communities, mail catcher.
    3 - Name 10 more (other than the ones you just cited in question 2) great applications (preferably freeware) that run great on the N95 / are designed for it.
    4 - If you had to pick ONLY ONE feature by which to describe the N95, what would it be?
    5 - Name 10 mobile websites that run well on the N95 and that I should check on it.

    Please answer these if you have an N95 or any other S60 3rd device with connectivity features. Also feel free to answer as many as you can or with as much (I picked 10 as a number, but you can give me 7, 8 or even 5 exemples to each question). These will be a lot of help for me, because my current device doesn't have any sort of GPS features, wifi or connectivity. So I am less into software that require these features and I could use some advice.

    Voice in you asnwers as soon as you can. For me, I should probably set my mind to getting a router for my ADSL connection now. I won't be wasting the N95's wireless capabilities by spending just a couple of minutes everyday on the university's slow WLAN network!

    Dec 9, 2007

    Dotsisx on Symbian-Guru!

    I mentionned it before: "in the next couple of weeks, you may not see me as often on Dotsisx, but don't think you're gonna miss me, I'll be somewhere else". Well, my first post has been up for a week and now my introduction post has been published so now I'm free to announce it: I'm going to be blogging on Symbian-Guru. How and why did that happen? I honestly lost track: it happened so fast my head was spinning.

    So how will things be divided between Symbian-Guru and Dotsisx? Seriously, I don't know at the moment. With everything so piled up these days, I still haven't had time to sit down (or lay down actually) and think it over. I will tell you as soon as I get my act together.

    Nokia Music Store Lives (Again!)

    Remember when I posted that I had a problem downloading usage rights for songs downloaded from the Nokia Music Store? Well, yesterday I thought I ought to give it one more shot and see if the problem persists. And hoorray! It's back from the dead! I honestly don't know what the problem was. I didn't change anything in the settings, just visited it again and it worked. That's weird :s but it sure is nice to see it running fine again. I sure missed a couple of free tracks but what the 'eck!

    Dec 7, 2007

    Thoughts on Comes With Music

    I had jotted down some notes but as crazy as I am now, I ended up dumping the document in the recycle bin and emptying it the second after, just to realize a moment from then that i had deleated my article. I will try to repost as much as I can of it.

    If you are here, then you probably know many S60 blogs/sites and you probably know that Nokia announced on Tuesday during their first day on the Nokia World expo a new service called Comes With Music.

    My point behind that 1 page article I had written was to say that Comes With Music is every music and Nokia lover dream come true. Ricky (from Symbian-Guru) has posted today his thoughts on the whole matter, and I totally agree with him. It will introduce customers to the Nokia Music Store, to your device's music capabilities and to new artists and bands. It is also beneficial for the music industry since they'd be getting money from people who usuallu pirate the songs. I know it's a paid service and that the songs will be DRM'd and that it will launch in almost a half a year and that only Universal is on it now, but all those limitations get erased in my point of view.

    Honestly I wouldn't mind popping in 50-100$ more on a device to get all-I-can-eat music for free from major labels for a year. I wouldn't mind the DRM either if the device had a 3.5mm headphone jack, a couple of music dedicated keys, a great battery life and some 8GB memory. And those are the specifications of almost all music-aimed devices by Nokia. I wouldn't also mind not being able to sync the music with my iPod or my laptop, because after all I don't take the laptop everywhere and I would easily let go of my iPod. I already carry the Qtek, the 3250 and the iPod. One less gadget in my bag would be great!

    These are my main thoughts, you might disagree but I am sticking to the idea that it's one of the greatest ideas Nokia has ever had. The ordinary Mike wouldn't try to see what his device holds, he just uses it for sms, calls, pictures and ringtones. But when you tell him he can have his music for free, directly on the device, for one year, ordinary Mike won't be able to refuse the temptation of "free". He will do everything to set his connection to work, he will buy a wireless router for his house, he will search for hotspots all over the country, in order to access his "free" music. While using his connection, he will start wondering if he could IM or check his Facebook account on his device and he will therefore discover browsing and installing applications, and then Bam! Welcome to the real world of Symbian!

    Papyrus today's freebie on Handango!

    Hurry on before the day is over, Handango's free app friday today is a symbian legend: Papyrus, the great powerful calendar solution, a value of 19.95$ !!! Click here to go get it.

    Manage your busy life with Papyrus and your mobile phone. Papyrus is a robust time management solution for Symbian series 60 devices. Papyrus offers smart views and powerful tools to manage and keep track of your schedule and tasks. This is how your Symbian 60 is supposed to act!

    Papyrus can be synchronized with your desktop Outlook using the Nokia PC suite, including items' note/description fields (For Symbian 7 or higher) that are missing when using the default calendar application.

    Dec 6, 2007

    New Blog Colors

    Quick note:
    So I have updated the blog banner and changed the blog colors accordingly. But something doesn't feel right... Feel free to suggest. I want to keep the green/pink/blue colors from the s60 logo. Do you think I should go back to the light grey background color i was using or is this new dark blue one good? And where do you think i should add the green/pink/blue colors? I feel like however I turn this around it doesn't look good. Suggestions are welcome.

    Dec 4, 2007

    Pick my new blog banner - Results Innnnn

    Remember the Pick my new blog banner poll? Well results are in, and they aren't pretty much different from what I expected.

    Banner 5: the dark blue one with the dance-step fonts grabbed the 3rd place.
    Banner 1: the green one with pink-written Dotsisx, ie the improved version of the banner I am using right now, managed to catch the runner-up spot.
    And all glory went to Banner 3, the dark blue one with harry-potterish looks (yes I am sticking to this impression). With 58% of the votes, the choice was very clear. Plus, it was my own favorite ;) Ladies and Gentlemen, hail the new Dotsisx Banner! (well, you've picked it, now live with it!)

    I will update the looks of the blog in the following week to fit the new banner. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a couple of reports to write.

    I wish I had a call recorder on my phone!

    Today I received an unexpected phone call. I was driving back to my house and shouting whole-heartedly at the lebanese drivers / traffic / policemen when I felt something vibrating near my foot. I looked down and saw a light coming out of my handbag (yes I put it on the floor beneath the seat, near my foot, so if anyone tries to steal something from the car, he doesn't find it). It was my phone. Took it out and looked at the screen, didn't recognize the number, answered. It was a woman, speaking in french. She told me she was part of the Rami Azzam Prize community.

    Now why did that name sound familiar?!?! Oh yes, it was a writing contest I participated in a few months ago... in may, yes, in may of this year. Oh yes, it was one crazy month, may. Had my usual pharmacy courses, was taking my masters courses too at the same time, was organizing by myself the student board's orientation and recruitment forum, was keeping Dotsisx alive and was writing the novel for the Rami Azzam Prize. The prize theme was "L'homme, ce damné de l'espérance" or for all of you non-frenchies: "Man, this damned of hope" or something like it. I remember when I first read the topic a lamp lit in my head: I had been wanting to write a story about the Alzheimer disease, from a human point of view, and the theme was just perfect. I had to do it. Crazy May! Ah I remember I was waking up at 6am each day, going for my usual 1 hour walk - the only free time I could find to exercise and I wanted to participate in that contest so badly I wrote 90% of the story on my mobile phone. Yes the 3250! Since my schedule was so hectic, I could only write the novel while doing my morning walks, I used to take the 3250 with me and I did the writing with QuickOffice. Then after a couple of days, I would send the file to my pc, re-read it, correct what had to be corrected, add some sentences, change some or delete some.

    So the woman says they are handing out the prizes on Thursday the 6th of december, that's the day after tomorrow. She says they'll be having a small round table and then distribute the 1st and 2nd prizes. Now whether I wasn't one of the winners but they were inviting everyone to participate, or whether they still haven't announced the winners, I don't think she told me. Because I was in the middle of a crazy traffic with horns going out at the frequency of light, I almost missed half of the conversation. Back at home, thinking it over, I believe she didn't specifically tell me who won. But I will never know or will I, well at least not before thursday night. Now I just wish I had a call recorder installed on my mobile to replay that conversation and try to hear what she said. In any case, I will be attending the event on thursday for one main reason: Rami Azzam was a young active lebanese journalist, passionate about poetry and writing, who died in 2003 at the age of 24 from a sudden heart attack. His first and last wish was to help lebanese youth open up and try to build this country on a healthier basis.

    Although I am almost sure my mobile-written story won't win a thing, I am quite overwhelmed that I wrote it, especially for this contest. It was the first time I tackle a topic as sensitive as this one and I was surprised by the result. If any french-speaking person reads this blog, you can download it from MOSH: Demain, ca ira mieux. It's 12-13 pages long so don't worry about it taking years to be read.

    Nov 30, 2007

    Dotsisx gets reviewed!

    Well, a lot is happening these days and as if that is not enough, Dotsisx (ie this blog) just got reviewed by Tarek of Symbiano-Tek. Last week he started a Friday blog review. Well everyone out there is reviewing devices, applications, games,... but who's reviewing the reviewers? Well, Tarek is. And that is one GREAT idea! It should introduce readers to other blogs, enhance bloggers relations and in a couple of words do some good to the mobile community.

    So Dotsisx is this week on Tarek's radar and although the review is shorter than I would love it to be, he is right on with some points:
    - The site design is very basic and well, I am working on it, step by step (the banner is the first one)
    - The RSS link isn't visible to everyone and i will fix it
    - The left column is crowded (but I still prefer it over right and let column templates)
    - I get sidetracked often, but I think these sidetracks help readers know the blogger better and identify him as a person, not just a technophile with nothing else going on. Well at least I, for one, prefer sites where bloggers introduce a personal touch.
    - I don't post often and that is the major letdown. One reason is the lack of time and the other the lack of material : I don't like to repeat the news on the blogosphere, and if I do, I only do so if I have some personal thoughts about it.

    Well thank you Tarek for reviewing Dotsisx and for the good words! I hope Dotsisx remains a good source for your S60 3rd readings ;)

    Nov 29, 2007

    "How are you?" Crap as hell!

    This is one little post to tell you that I will post extremely rarely on Dotsisx during the next 2-3 weeks. Reasons:
    - I have 6 reports (5-7 page each) due next week
    - I have my masters memoire (20-30 pages) due next week
    - I have my training report (along the 200 pages) due in 2 weeks
    - I have 2 final exams on the 18th (i think)
    - I have my Gastro-Pneumo 3-week training starting on the 10th of december, and the doctors/interns in this department ask us to do a medical presentation every 2-3 days
    - I have to read some journal articles for my end-year thesis (20-30 articles) and that before the 10th of december

    But don't you think you're gonna miss me :) Oh no, you will see me, just somewhere else. Let's leave it here. Hopefully I will get my things together.

    During a boring pharmacy legislation course (s60 3rd love)

    Passionate teacher Mme Jihane Abou Jaoude in white, bored student (Cynthia K) looking at her watch in orange, black bag on the table, roaming Tanios looking at something or nothing, Elie next to him asleep (the black sweater on the lowest left of the pic), interested students (or not) trying to take a couple of notes, and well, me...

    ...the mobile addict playing with some cool Nokias taken from my surrounding classmates. See from left to right: Cynthia E's N80, Stef's 6120, Yaya's N76 (with a peeled silver front), Racha's N73 and my 3250. Picture taken with Zeina's 3250 music edition (blame the lack of quality on the 2MP). All I can say is that I just noticed that my little surrounding only carries S60 3rd devices and that beside the N80, all devices were bought after my comments and advices. I told Yaya about the N76's silver coating problems and advised her to go for an E65 instead, she went ahead and got the N76 and regretted it the next month. Well beside Yaya, everyone is content with their choices and I'm a happy tech-advisor/friend.

    Nov 24, 2007

    Pick my new blog banner!

    Well, I spent all afternoon discovering and working on Photoshop, trying to figure out ideas for new banners for the blog. If you can see, yesterday I uploaded the first one I created, but today I made a couple of changes to that one and even finished 3 others. I don't know what you think, but I believe the result is pretty good, considering that 2 weeks ago I didn't know what a layer was in Photoshop. Anyway, I figured since I can't choose what banner to use, it would be nice to let you, readers pick one. Of course I will make some blog color changes to match the new banner better, but let's only think about the banner now.

    Oh and I'm sticking to green and pink mostly because they are the S60 3rd edition's logo colors, not because I love Bubble Gum wrap-up themes :p

    Banner 1 - Green
    The one used right now with some 3d effects

    Banner 2 - Pink
    Well, this one looks very pinky (Darla will sue me!)
    I took the star-like shape on the top-right of the S60 3rd logo, put some together and formed this smiley face.
    Add a drop shadow effect with outer glow, some modifications and I got this face shape outside. Neat!

    Banner 3 - Dark Blue
    Background is made out of the same S60 3rd logo star. I seriously like this one.
    The font looks very Harry-Potterish, esp in the lower line, or am I mistaken?

    Banner 4 - Dark Blue vertical
    DanceStep font with some lighting renderings. I got the 3D effect I was looking for after 1h of work.

    Banner 4 v2 - Dark Blue vertical
    Same one but with a different shadow effect. I felt the first one was fading, so I made this one.

    Well it's now time to make your choice, after all you are the ones who visit this blog! I will see the results on monday december the 3rd.

    Pick the best Dotsisx Banner
    Banner 1
    Banner 2
    Banner 3
    Banner 4
    Banner 4 v2

    Nov 23, 2007

    Snowed In 6 by ClickGamer - Free game for Xmas!

    It's FREE-zing! Celebrate Xmas 2007 with’s new DEEP FREEZE game. Download this free game and help us combat climate change.

    Help us reach 1,000,000 downloads before 15th January 2008 and clickgamer will donate USD 10,000 to a non-profit climate change organisation. Let's 'play' our little part in stopping global climate change this winter!

    Well, it's good someone is thinking ecologically. I, myself, have been finding myself thinking very frequently about planetary damage, everytime I throw something in the garbage, like batteries, broken electronics, paper, it's too bad there is no recycling programs in Lebanon or I would be the first to adopt it.

    Anyway, back to the game, Snowed-In is a nice bejeweled-like game and it is made free from Nov 15th 2007 to Jan 15th 2008. What's more, it's available for every platform you can think of: PPC, Smartphone, S60, S80, S90, UIQ and desktop PC!

    To get it, simply go to Snowed-In 6's page on Clickgamer, pick your platform and click on the TRY icon next to it. After you download and install it on your device, go to this registering page and write the 16-digit code that you can find on the "Register" menu of the game (on the device). Tap your email, choose your platform, click "Generate" and you instantly get the unlocking key!

    The Lebanese Situation

    You must be living in a desert with no TV, no internet, no satellites, no electricity if you don't know that the lebanese political situation has degenerated dramatically the last days. Honestly I don't know what's gonna happen next. If you remember I wrote a post in September called Tomorrow, a day in history. Well, the new president wasn't elected then, and still not.

    Today, at midnight, the presidency of Emile Lahoud will be over, and still, there isn't a new president. The whole deal is that for electing a new president, there should be 2/3 of the parliament present. But since there are 2 forces in Lebanon who possess 55-60% and 40-45% of the parliament, neither are capable of electing a president to their liking without the presence of the other group. Constitutionally, the government should take control of things, do another parliament election and the new parliament would elect the new president. Problem is the actual government is anti-constitutional itself (1/3 ministers resigned, were murdered or were unassigned). Another solution is that the actual president, Emile Lahoud, puts the army general in charge of a temporary government that would do parliament elections.

    I could go on for hours explaining what I know of the situation, and that would be only 1% of the whole story: I am not a politics fanatic. But I will tell you the end of it: we either end up with 2 governments, 2 parliaments and 2 presidents with the eventuality of a civil war on the end of the tunnel, either a bunny is taken out of the hat (that's my training supervisor's way of saying a president would be elected). Sure enough, we should know which way we are headed by midnight today.

    It's 1:07pm here, so less than 11 hours left. It's the deadly countdown.

    Please pray for my country, for my country's people. Pray for everything I believe in. Pray for christians and muslims living together, pray for the little dot on the world map that every major country is intersted in. Pray that we can finally forget this whole nightmare that started a year or so ago. Pray for people that just want to live fully to the last breath, party, go out, laugh, socialize, dance, drink, eat, invest, build, without having to wonder whether tomorrow everything might disappear.

    [Edit: They just announced that the presidential election has been postponned to next friday. Another week of hell. Seriously, I just want it to be over!]

    [New edit: Emile Lahoud just handed the security to the army and said that the current government is non-constitutional and hence the army shouldn't be held responsible in front of it (or something like that)

    Quick Updates

    I can't reply to 3JAM's sms
    As you probably know by now, I have a "Text me" widget provided by 3JAM, that allows visitors of the site to send me sms for free. I used to be able to reply, but I don't know why a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that the reply sms couldn't be sent, and remained stuck in my Outbox. I don't know what is the problem, and although I have been trying to solve it, it doesn't look like it will be fixed any time soon. Seems like sms are blocked from lebanon to the US. So I apologize to everyone who has sent me an sms in the last month or two, for not being able to reply. I will do so here, quickly:
    - Mohsen: there are many apps like the 1 you requested, but I don't use them so I can't recommend any :s
    - Partha: thanks for your comment and hope you liked that I didn't post a review but a personal view on SkyeQuiKey
    - KoOoty: thanks for the nice words
    - Marwan: thanks for the warm wishes

    One more thing, if you sms me with a question or a request or anything that would need an answer, please insert an email or a phone number I can reply on. Until this issue is fixed, that's the only solution I have.

    New Blog Banner
    You probably noticed that the Dotsisx banner needed some serious improvements. If you remember, it was first a flash banner which I uploaded on ZShare but it kept showing as "image couldn't be found" so I eventually took a "print screen" out of it and posted it as jpeg. At that time, I wasn't really good with image creation and Photoshop was just too complicated for my tastes. As I am now taking a Photoshop course as an optional at uni, the world of image editing is becoming clearer. I did a couple of banners and maybe I will let you, readers, choose between them. But at the time, this is the first finished one. I hope you like it, and bear with me, it's on of my first creations.

    Nov 18, 2007

    2 Games you shouldn't die before playing :p

    Beside being very addicted to applications, I am a good gamer too. I can spend hours playing a certain game, even during my exams period, and I would never stop until I actually finish the game or get stuck without ANY solution. I have tried hundreds of games on my 3250: action, sports, boards, cards, brain, puzzles, racing, arcade, shooting,... just to name a few.

    But there are really some games that stand out of the crowd when you're a good gamer, games that make you play them even after each level is finished, the championship is won and the phone battery is close to dead and you're away from any charging source. Of course there are the games that we all know about (ie Sky Force, Sky Force Reloaded, K-Rally, Top Hits Solitaire, Sensible Sudoku) but there are also 2 other games that got me at hello, or in other words made me stick to my phone for hours from the first time. Both are java, so they can be played on any mobile phone typically:

    - Digital Chocolate's 3D Extreme Air Snowboarding: a great snowboarding game with multiple tricks, the ability to jump higher than you coul'd've imagined, 4-player mode and many levels to master your skills. The graphics aren't outstanding, but it definitely is a nice game to play. Even when you've conquered all levels, it's always nice to go back and try to break that record. Unfortunately I have formatted my phone recently so I can't remember what highscore I had achieved but I do believe it was amazing (h)

    - Gameloft's Domino Fever: you've NEVER played domino until you've played this one. Maybe you went like "What?! Dominoes? Is she kidding?" but seriously, it's the most addictive game I have EVER played. The usual rules of dominoes are there, but there are also tweaked modes where you have to learn new rules and get used to them before you lose. Multiple rules, multiple modes, multiple dominoes, multiple sets, multiple opponents, mupltiple partners... Seriously this is THE domino game that will make you change your mind about dominoes being easy and recreational, forever. The first time I started playing it, I couldn't get out of bed before finishing it!

    One last word, while I recommend both games, I should say that if you have 5$, go ahead, grab Domino Fever, I couldn't recommend it any more. If you're still doubting, I am thinking about reviewing it in a week or two, when I have some free time.

    Nov 14, 2007

    (WiMAX + Lebanon) x 2008 = Heart Attack!

    Back in June, I wrote a WiMax + Middle East = Dancing on the roof post, where I stated that there seemed to be talks about implementing WiMax in the Middle East, but I was skeptical as to which countries that would involve, suspecting essentially the Gulf countries (KSA, UAE, Kuwait, etc). Well, my prayers seem to have worked efficiently enough and just now I cam across this AMAZING news from IntoMobile. At first I just didn't get it, I was like "wwwwwwhat? am I reading right?". Seems like we're gonna get out WiMAX in mid-2008! Are you kidding me? Just when I'm supposed to leave to France for my Masters?! Anyway, I will paste the whole article here, just so I can read it everytime I open my blog in the following days, enjoy the idea and frustrate at the fact that I might not even be here to try it at first!

    While the US’s WiMAX future is still being hashed out by the likes of Sprint and Clearwire, our friends in Lebanon have already nailed-down their plans for getting a WiMAX network deployed in 2008. Redline Communications has announced that its RedMAX WiMAX solution has been tapped by Lebanon’s Comium Data Lebanon to be used in its country-wide WiMAX infrastructure deployment.
    Comium’s current wireless broadband solution is limited to line-of-sight technologies, but with Redline Communications’ RedMAX solutions, Comium will be able to complete their WiMAX network build-out by mid-2008.
    “Redline’s WiMAX technology enables us to deliver high-bandwidth services to a higher number of subscribers than with other solutions we considered, with 24 hours a day, 7 days a week fault-proof availability,” says Khaldoun Farhat, VP, Comium Data Lebanon. The RedMAX network will comprise of Redline base stations that will bring users in Beirut, Mount Lebanon, Tripoli, Keserwan and Nabatiye online at distances of 17km and at speeds of 2Mbps per connection.
    Hey, if Lebanon can do it, so can the US. Right? Well, at least we hope the US can do it. As far as getting it done by 2008 - we’ll just have to wait and see. Oh, and there’s going to be some finger-crossing involved. Hey Sprint. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Get your WiMAX plans in order! We’re all ready to pay you for it.

    Mainly, by saying that it will cover 17km away from Beirut, Mount Lebanon (I live somewhere between these 2 regions), Keserwan (that's where I spend my summers), Tripoli (that's the North) and Nabatiye (that's the South), they will have basically covered more than 70% of the lebanese territory (lebanon is an extremely small country, with just 10452 sq km area) and even more than 90% of the lebanese population (muy personal percentage assumptions). THAT'S FRIGGIN INCREDIBLE! Just think that in terms of wireless mobile connectivity, Lebanon is going from WAP to WiMAX, no transition (no EDGE, no 3G). Haha, hilarious!

    Nov 12, 2007

    I desperately want to trial an N95 8GB!

    When the N95 was first announced, I was still blogging over on Vox and I expressed myself a couple of times about it, with my main opinion being: I'm not that enthusiastic. My main 3 reasons were that it was a slider and I'm a candybar lover, it has GPS and 3G 2 features I would definetely not need in Lebanon, because, well, they are unavailable. Meaning I would be plunking down 700$-800$ for a lot of things I wouldn't use. I further rested assured with the multiple reports about the lacking battery, the RAM issues, the violet cam pics,... many bugs that made me feel less stupid about refusing to join the cult of those swearing by the N95 as the best phone ever built.

    When the N95 8GB was announced, I was glad Nokia listened to customers and fixed the reported issues, but I was still confortable in my denial position. But day after day, review after review, I found my decision softening, and well now, you read the title of this post: I DESPERATELY WANT TO TRIAL AN N95 8GB!

    I can't help it, I have been counting the reasons that made me change my mind and they are too many: black color, N-Gage, new multimedia menu, the newly discovered Accelerometer (with the amazing forthcoming Nokmote), more juice, enough RAM to run an old PC, availability of Nokia Conversation for FP1 devices,... What's not to like? Moreover, every review I read stated that the N95 is the closest phone to perfection, ever built. In fact the only thing it lacks, in my opinion is the forthcoming touch UI. Think about it, the most hardened and stubborn anti-N95 enthusiast falling head over toes in love with the 8GB version. That's too much, 'ight?

    So today my friend, who has a little fuse problem with her N73, asked me to come with her to the mobile shop. I went and, as always, popped a couple of questions about pricing and availability, held a couple of devices in my hand, and here I found:
    - New N95-1 : around 500$ (I still am not falling for it)
    - Used N95-1 : 430$
    - New N81 : around 550$ (extremely sexy phone, but too shiny on the material and fingerprint magnet)
    - New unlocked iPhone 8GB : 640$. I actually held it in my hand, but the battery was dead so I couldn't experience the iPhone mania. Well, from the looks of it, it's dead sexy, but a symbian addict won't go iPhoning over nothing but looks and a couple of animated transitions.
    - New N95 8GB : around 700$... there wasn't one, so I'm still aching to hold one in my hands, yeah I'm THAT addicted now. 700$ !!! And yet, I'm this close to selling all my geeky gear (iPod 30GB video + Qtek 9100 + Nokia 3250) to get this baby! How crazy is that? Yet, there's that voice of reason that reminds me that I'm saving a couple of bucks because I'm applying to go to France next fall, for a Masters and a PhD [I'm a pharmacist to remind you]. Studies come first, and I have to compromise.

    What I'm getting to is that if someone reading this blog knows, is in contact, wants, cares,... to get me to trial an N95 8GB for a couple of weeks, I would be the HAPPIEST girl on earth. Anyone? Please???

    Nov 10, 2007

    Net60 Beta Released!

    Red Five Labs have just released the beta of their application Net60. If you don't remember Net60, I wrote about it a while ago with the My Madness Makes Sense post, then mentionned it while reporting about StyleTap then corrected some mistakes made about it again here. In case you don't have time to go through it all, Net60 is an S60 3rd application that should allow you to run applications developed under the .NET 1.0 Compact Framework, ie some applications that already run on Windows Mobile.

    While I first went jumping off my feet when I first heard about it (because of my legendary rant about Symbian not supporting medical applications), I was quickly brought to the real world after noticing that Net60 only supports .NET 1.0 and not v2 and v3, and also that it will only be restricted to smartphone apps and not all WM apps, because of the lack of a touchscreen on Symbian devices (hopefully this one problem will be solved by next year).

    In any case, Net60 should allow more developers to integrate the Symbian sphere, because of the .NET CF support. It also is a nice step in the right direction. The team behind it is really great and enthusiastic. The support they provide is awesome. I have been in contact with one member, Filip Bulovic, for a while now and I can tell from the amazing fast replies to my mails that this company CARES.

    Unfortunately, the beta they just released is restricted to registered users of the site who still have to apply a form and wait for approval to get there. But if you're interested in this kind of novelty, hop in, you don't know. I've already applied myself, I wonder if I will be accepted :s but if I don't there's always Filip and I wouldn't mind shouting in his ears for a while!

    [Edit: Well my request has been approved for the beta, and instead of me shouting an email to Filip, he's the one who sent me an email! Go figure! Anyway, I'm downloading it as we speak. I don't know if I'll be able to give it a go during this week (a lot of postponned university projects are due soon) but I'll keep you posted.]

    Nov 9, 2007

    Periodic Table by Markus Goldkamp

    Probably this kind of software won't interest the most of you, because of its small target audience, but i can't pass on it cuz it's awesome!

    Ever since I got my 3250, i've been searchin for a great periodic table software. I found a flash-based one a couple of months ago, it was good yet not as detailed as i wished it would be.

    And then recently I came across Periodic Table by Markus Goldkamp and it's one piece of software i'll never forget to install if i reset my phone (yeah it's that good)!

    Like every periodic table, once it is launched, you are presented with the actual table. Clicking right left up and down will browse you through the table. A little preview window with some info is shown below the table. Once you get to the element you are looking for, click it. The table will be minimized and the info part will step up.

    You can now scroll right and left to check the basic, physical, thermal and atomic details, up and down to see the info in each of the 4 categories. You won't believe how much you'll find out about each element in this little treasure. From the ultimate atomic mass, melting temperatures and conductivity, to crystal structure, shell structure, electron configuration and much much more. There's even the date and country of discovery!

    What i even like more about it is that when you're scrolling through some property like thermal conductivity, you can press # to see the graph with all elements' (represented by atomic mass) thermal conductivities and the element you're browsing (represented by a red point, as you see in the screenshot below, gold has one of the highest constants) to see whether compared to others it's a good conductor or not. Of course you can still scroll while in # mode (through physical, thermal and atomic info but not basic), so you don't have to go back to the normal view to select another constant to check.

    The nice part is that electron configuration and 3d crystal structure are also clearly shown.

    Pressing # again will take you back to the ordinary view. Also pressing the center button at any moment will bring back the original view with the large periodic table.

    As if that's not enough, you can search not only via the periodic table but also alphabetically by pressing the * button at any time. Right and left soft key bring up a Menu and Exit small bar. The Menu is forward with only Online Order, Help, About and Back. You know what Exit does :p

    Seriously, if you are in any domain that requires some chemistry knowledge, Periodic Table 2.0 is THE tool you shouldn't miss. I can't recommend it enough as it's fast, easy and contains a lot of information. I can't see any flaw in this software! Oh I should mention that it's JAVA so it must work on almost any phone. Sweet!

    LCG Jukebox FREE @ Handango!

    So finally, Handango decided to offer an S60 freebie! Wuhuuuu! You most probably know about their Free App Friday project (if you don't read my first report here).

    Today's freebie is none other than the top-10 seller Lonely Cat Games' Jukebox, a great music player that plays mp3 and ogg formats, supports lyrics, searches for album art on the net and even displays a mini player on the standby screen!

    Priced normally at 24.99$, today is the only day you can get it for 0.00$, yup, exactly! So go ahead and quickly grab it before 11:59 CST! Hurry!

    Nov 5, 2007

    SkyeQuiKey by SkyeStream

    Even with the new symbian mobiles that have incredible RAM and processors, accessing applications burried deep down in the 3rd or 4th level of the menu takes a couple of seconds and can lead to some "oh where the 'eck did I put that?" screams and indignations. Now, of course, there used to be a solution to access those apps, AppQLaunch, which I have already reviewed over here. But AppQLaunch was only an application quick launcher, it didn't allow quick contact search (which I needed desperately since the Contacts was taking ages to load) nor direct inbox/sent items access, which is a feature I have been dying to have.

    And here comes SkyeQuiKey: a solution to both of my problems. I won't review the application here, because Zacharye has already put up a very nice and detailed review on SiMo. What I will do is emphasize on the things I like in it and what are the improvements that would make it a 10/10 for me (it's an 8/10 now, not that much behind!)

    What I seriously like about SkyeQuiKey
    - It is darn lightening - fast!
    - It doesn't slow down the phone. I tried it on my practically full Nokia 3250. I didn't notice any slowing down in phone processes, on the opposite : it made accessing things much much easier and faster.
    - Unlike any other app, this one doesn't need to be summoned by any key before it starts searching. Just type a letter from the standby screen and it functions. Very convenient.
    - Unlike AppQLaunch where I had to write down the name of the application, letter by letter, SkyeQuiKey functions on a T9-like system. At first it's not that intuitive when you see the numbers in the box but the letters on the selected apps, but after a couple of times, thankfully, it all makes sense.
    - As I said, it not only searchs apps but also searchs contacts. If you're like me and the Contacts application on your phone takes ages to launch, then this little piece of software will relieve you from sooo much hassle. Just type the numbers corresponding and send an sms, an email, call,... it's awesome! I didn't know how much time it'd save me until I tried it :)
    - Not only it searches contacts by names, but it also searches by companies, which is more than just convenient and is missing from S60's original platform.
    - As I stated, it can be used to launch the inbox, drafts, outbox, sent items, which is absolutely phenomenal to me. I have been waiting for this feature for so long, I got sick'n'tired of having to go to my menu/messages/inbox everytime I needed to check something quickly. This is probably the one feature that made me fall in love with SkyeQuiKey. It may not be as essential to you as it is to me, but seriously, try it once and you'll never go to your inbox or sent items through the menu again!
    - It can be used to know the name behind an unknown number. Let me explain, say someone asks you: "do you know this number 01234567?". You know it but can't recall who has this number, it's right there in your head but won't come out. What do you do? Normally, you tap the number on your phone and call. If the person is in your contacts then you'll see it in the "calling" bubble. Then you immediately disconnect after you see the name. Right? Well, the beauty of SkyeQuiKey is that you don't have to do that. Just type the number and you'll see the contacts name on your screen. It searches contacts by number too!
    - It immediately updates its database. When you create a new contact, it is immediately added to the database, and so is the case with new installed apps/games.

    What needs to be fixed
    Although I didn't have any drastic let downs with SkyeQuiKey, I experienced a couple of disappointments with the contact search part of the application (the software search and launch was perfect) and here they are:
    - Add to Contacts is no longer possible! Suppose you need to add a new number to an existing or new contact. What do you usually do? Type the number then S60 gives you the option to add to a new or existing contact. Well with this software, once you type a new number (one that doesn't exist in your data), you're only presented with the option to call. No more easy add to contact features. Now you'll have to go open Contacts, select add new for new contacts, or browse to the one you want to update and click edit. Not convenient!
    - I already said that it allows to search contacts by number. But it still asks for the number after the contact is selected! I guess this one isn't clear enough. Let me explain. Suppose my friend XY has a couple of numbers, one of which is 01234567. I type 01234567 on the screen, it narrows down the search to XY. I choose to send an sms or to call or to send an mms (whatever the shortcut to that action is set), and what does the app do? Ask me for the number! For heaven's sake, I just wrote down 01234567 myself whilst searching, what number do you think I want to sms/call/mms?
    - It doesn't import sms defaults. In his review, Zach opened my eyes to one feature I wouldn't have noticed if it wasn't for him. While the app gives you the freedom to chose what operations are performed with the right arrow and left arrow selection, it also comes with 2 other shortcuts: the green-call button which immediately calls the default phone number (if it set for this contact) and the center dpad button which gives you the option to call all the contact's numbers. While these 2 shortcuts are quite handy because of the support for both default and all numbers call, it isn't the case with sms. If I set a certain number to be the default messaging number for a certain person, SkyeQuiKey won't recognize the default and will still ask me what number I would like to send the sms to. I want to have both defaults and all numbers sms. Or at least defaults. Or make it recognize the mobile number immediately as the default sms number. I don't know, but it needs to be fixed!
    - When I choose to view a certain contact, it first opens the contact application then waits a second or two then opens the contact's card. The lag time is too long, should be shortened somehow.
    - How the hell did they come up with the "SkyeQuiKey" name? Such a horrible unpronouncable name for such a beauty!

    What new features I would love to be added
    - Send an sms to a non-contact number ie when I type a new number, give me the option to send an sms to it, not just call it.
    - Add more contacts search options, like job titles, nicknames, addresses, emails,... Company is great but a little push forward wouldn't do it any wrong.
    - Give me the option to edit contacts, and not just sms/mms/emai/call them or view their contact card.
    - Give me the option to uninstall applications or games, not just launch them.
    - Let me also assign the green call key and the center button shortcuts.
    - More searchable data, like themes or files or inside sms...
    - Like the messaging subdivisions quick launch (inbox/sent items/...) I would love to have quick access to Gallery subdivisions and Settings subdivisions, ie Images, Videos, Tracks, Sound clips, Phone, Call, Connection, Date and time,... I suppose it's doable :D

    Well in all manners, I believe SkyeStream have a winner in their hands. This amazing piece of software can easily replace so many other applications and works amazingly fast. A couple of adjustments, especially the sms defaults import and reintroducing the "add to contact" would be very welcomed. Other features would make it a perfect wonder. That's my opinion, fair and square, no added sugar, no extra cheese :p

    Nov 4, 2007

    Michael Mace's 2007 April's Fool ain't much of a prank after all!

    Back in April 2007, when the N73 was still hot as volcano lava, yeah waaaaay back then, Michael Mace wrote on his blog Mobile Opportunity an amazing piece of entertainment and creativity called An early look at the ultimate social networking tool. To tell you the truth, it wasn't until I read the last sentence that I noticed that it was an April's Fool post. To my defense, we don't do much April's Fool tricks in my family or friend circle, so to me it was just another day: I wasn't pretty aware it was April 1st. Plus, Michael usually writes very serious, informative and open-minded posts, I just couldn't question his sources. And finally, we're seeing just about any sort of extravagant technology nowadays popping up as a concept or an almost reality, so his idea wasn't much unbelievable to me.

    So, in April 2007, Michael considered this idea of his so abracadabral he raised it to be the April's Fool post. Now, in November 2007, merely 8 months later, the concept isn't that far away. In fact, brain-to-device interaction (without the need for the middle-man aka the finger) is under development! What kind of wagon are we on? Abdul Aziz of the Tech[dot]Blog reports that brainwaves will be used to control pc, mobiles or games and unlike Michael's creative post, the links actually work and take you to the original post by (which also has a demo video!) and to the concept developers' websites: NeuroSky and Project Epoc.

    I'll just let you read the pieces and won't comment in fear of bringing you back from your daydream... See you in, ehm let's see, 10 minutes. Is that enough? I guess it's enough.

    10. 9. 8. 7. 6. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1. 0.

    Now get back to Planet Earth: yo phone's ringin 'n it ain't yo brain dat's gonna answa dis one. Maybe in 2015?

    Can't play Nokia Music Store's tracks!

    You most probably know that Nokia launched on the 1st of November their UK Music Store. Of course, I registered and because I don't have any sort of Internet paying Card, I went on to download the free track of the week. It's Freemason's Nothing But A Heartache.

    After it finished downloading, I just couldn't get it to play. When I click on it, it says "Downloading media usage rights" (I understand that's DRM) in the Nokia Media Player toolbar. Then it shows up an xp window titled "Media Usage Rights Acquisition" with a spinning earth globe. After a couple of seconds, I get a "This program cannot display the webpage" note with this address "".

    I am using Windows XP FP2 with IE7 so it's supposed to work. I tried to open the track with Windows Media Player, but I got the same result. My WMP is set to automatically download usage rights for tracks so that's not the problem.

    Anybody has this issue? Do you know what's the problem? Is it the fact that I don't live in the UK? Can it be solved? The middle eastern Nokia Music Store won't probably be launched for a year, plus I am not a fan of arabic music, so the UK store was ok for me, even though I can't buy. If it works, I could at least browse, listen to previews, see what's new and get the free tracks ;)

    Nov 3, 2007

    Small Site Updates

    Well, I don't know if you have noticed but Dotsisx has quite evolved since the first post I made here after shifting from Vox. The left column used to contain just the "About Me", "Labels" and "Archive" sections. Now it includes much much more, but I'll only highlight a few of the new additions:

    1 - Interact with me
    In this section you have the option to send me a free SMS to my mobile phone, to know my email address, to visit my MOSH page, my own poetry page and the Amicale FP website, which is the USJ Faculty of Pharmacy Student Board's Website, designed from scratch by yours truly (it's in french).
    I also noticed that many people ask me to send them my themes (which are shown in the My Current Theme section) so i decided to upload my current theme to MOSH and share it with you guys. And while I am at it, I added a link to download my current ringtone, sms ringtone and feeds subscriptions addresses (in an OPML file, IE7 compatible)... I know I'm probably stealing some of Ricky's ideas here, but I suppose he'll be OK with it :)

    2 - Get Dotsisx RSS
    Dotsisx always had RSS but only if you cared enough to scroll down, down, waaaay down to the bottom of the site. I suppose it wasn't practical so I added the feed address (in feedburner) right on the left column, along with an RSS feed subscription counter and quick buttons to add to Google or Yahoo readers.

    3 - Favourite ... of the Moment
    This one has been here for a long time, but I haven't emphasized on it. It's actually a nice list that let's you see what are the latest apps / games / themes / ringtones / blogs / ... that I am checking and liking :D If there's another category of favourite you'd like me to add to the list, just ask ;)

    4 - Nokia & Symbian Bookmarks
    We love Nokia don't we? But we just hate that every little or big service of theirs has a different web address. Well, let's be serious for a while: you have to be a Symbian geek to know all of Nokia's ins and outs. So I added all the links to Nokia or Symbian services & sites that I know of. Hope you find something here you didn't know about ;)

    5 - Free App Friday @ Handango
    Handango have started making every friday one of their applications free. Click on this link and you immediately access the offer's page. Over the last 5 Fridays, they rotated between different platforms of which Windows Mobile, Smartphone, Blackberry, Palm and Windows Mobile again. I don't know if they'll ever offer a Symbian application, but I sure hope they do. And don't worry, if they do I'll instantly let you know!

    There's also the My Current Theme, MyBlogLog, Bookmarks with my favourite blogs and sites and the Webrings and Carnivals.

    I have been adding these changes day after day over the past months, and always trying to choose the most efficient and useful tools to add, whether it's for you readers or even for me, without generating much cluster. I hope you like what Dotsisx has become and if you have any propositions for useful widgets to add, shoot me a comment or an email. I'm open to suggestions.