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VR panorama on a Nokia cell phone

panorama on a Nokia 5200A few weeks ago I was forced to buy a new cell phone. I belong to the (minority?) kind of people who use a phone only to make and receive calls. Moreover, I don’t need to fry my brain with extended usage of cellular service. Last but not least, I travel internationally. My requirements boil down to:

  • GSM tri- or quadriband phone, unlocked
  • a local prepaid SIM card
  • lowest possible rates
  • reasonable credit expiration policy
  • simple backup / management from the desktop

I already have my good old Nokia 6310i, that has followed me from Europe to North America. All I need is a simple prepaid SIM card. As others have found out before me, the Canadian wireless industry is useless. The only way to get a decent prepaid SIM card was to buy a phone. Since I must buy a phone, I may as well buy one that fits my requirements. Only one offering met my requirements: 7-Eleven’s Speakout. with the Nokia 5200. There are no 7-Eleven in Québec, so I waited for the next occasion I was in Ottawa ( BSDCan 2008 ) and bought one there. 7-Eleven Speakout is in my opinion the best service currently available to Canadian customers with similar, simple need as me.

This is pretty much a mainstream consumer phone. And since it fulfilled the minimum requirements for Helmut Dersch’s PTviewerME, I decided to give it a try. It works! I will explain in a future post how to make it. I might show the how-to live this weekend in Toronto at the Panoheads meeting hosted by Mark Banas at Autodesk if there is interest.

In the meantime, I can’t do otherwise but rant about Nokia. This will most likely be my last Nokia handset ever. This company is displaying an arrogant attitude on my desktop and in the community of free software.

On my desktop, the Nokia software is an all-or-nothing thing. It hijacks media from my preferred media player (VideoLAN), and it hijacked all of my Java code too! It has that bloated Vista feeling, and is as far as I am concerned a downgrade from the barely acceptable eight year old software that came with my previous Nokia model.

And then Nokia wants to teach us business? The market will teach them a lesson: respect! The desktop belongs to the user. Before messing it up, ask for permission. And if the user only needs a part of your software functionality, respect that as well and don’t install bloatware.

Hasta la vista, Nokia, soon comes OpenMoko.

5 Responses

  1. I bet you will find bad things in OpenMoko as well :)

  2. hm, somehow I havn’t had that problem with the file extensions, maybe you overlooked that option while installing ?

    on the other side, there aren’t yet many open source mobile phones, so for so long we gotta keep up with all those nokia, sonyericson and samsung edited: removed expletive.

  3. Edit:The original message was scattered with strong, offensive wording that is inappropriate on this blog. The content has been left unchanged, just the language moderated. Italics are words that have either been replaced or, if indicated, removed.

    Nokia’s phone UI used to be the best, but nowadays they are doing so bad, they have to do it on purpose. I mean, seriously, they’re opening a (DRM infested) music store to ostensibly compete with ITMS, but those removed expletive couldn’t be fscked to implement the FAST FORWARD feature properly on my 6200 (and I assume on all other S40 phones, if not all others).
    I mean, seriously? Pressing ‘right’ advances the player 3s. Every 2s. That’s not FF, that’s SLOW forward, removed expletive. That’s 5 times slower than a first gen WALKMAN from 1978. You can’t get THAT right, and you expect to beat Apple? Give me a break.
    Oh and, wow, it’s neat, my phone can play video! But the removed expletive “multimedia” player can’t even SLOW forward or backward. It’s read or pause. Hey, geniuses, it’s spelled multMEDIA, not removed expletive.
    This removed expletive phone is also supposed to do email (unusably crippled) and MMS (removed expletive never works).
    What’s the point of shipping unusable removed expletive? Apple gets the obvious right: why bother with MMS, nobody uses it because it fails 1/2 the time.

  4. First of all, apology to my readers for the offensive words that I had to remove from some comments.For 24 hours after publishing the article I did not have access to the blog and I was not expecting such strong language from my “regulars” (comments from new reader are moderated by default). Despite offensive language that is not tolerated on this blog, the comments have their merit, so I allowed myself to tone them down – italics in the comments mark my edits.

    @Alexandre: Yes, I am damned to see improvement potential everywhere and never be happy with what I have :-)

    @Erwin: I might have missed something, but there was no choice whatsoever in the installer I run. And I tend to scrupulously check each and every button and option I click in an installer, because so many of them are assuming the opposite of what I want. They always assume I want to clutter my desktop with their icon (disguised form of advertising), and they always assume I want to give them free access to my machine, my desktop, my data. Trust is something hard to earn and easy to lose, and most of those software publishers have not even earned my trust when they are already doing all they can to lose it.

    @Nico (NM): If I was looking for a media player I would probably subscribe to some of your views, which I understand and share. Either do things right or don’t do them. I don’t mind DRM. The content belongs to the legitimate owners. I am free to choose to buy a license under the given condition, or to look for alternative content. It’s a free world. If you don’t want DRM “infested” content, don’t use it, don’t buy it, and let the market send a clear message to the content owners. Unfortunately in today’s world some consumers need more than a polite reminder to respect the owner’s right, and this is why DRM exists.

  5. I look forward to seeing PTViewerME on your handset in a few days! Also, at least you have a mobile in Canada and are not being violated by Rogers for that “privilege!”

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