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.