Thursday, December 23, 2010

One year with the Nokia Booklet 3G

It was a bit after midnight on December 21, 2009 that I noticed something on twitter. Some stranded tourists needed to find each other during their road trip in Australia. I followed the links and found the location of a gas station via a geo-tagged picture. As a reward, they sent me a Nokia Booklet 3G.

I got a black one!
N97 | My Booklet 3G

It arrived a couple of weeks later after some fun with customs and DHL. I was glad to find I got a sleek black unit. It's a pretty light machine and I love the 1280 by 720 screen resolution. Windows 7 Starter Edition was not very fun to use. The slow slow hard drive and 1GB of ram made things worse. While the keyboard was a joy to type on, it came with a Finnish keyboard. Lots of characters were in foreign places and the second alt key was needed often to get to the highly trafficked @ symbol.

I used my Booklet mainly for watching video. It is so light, I could lay in bed and have it rest on my chest. Being so small, it fit in my small day bag. The sim card slot came in handy often. I remember one time I was riding in a car and purchased tickets to a show that often sells out in 10 minutes.

Uhoh, euro keyboard
N97 | What is that squiggly thing in the upper left where the ~ normally is?

When I get new gadgets, I typically try to tinker with them. After checking the Nokia discussion boards, I found that the Booklet was easy to take apart. The keyboard and hard drive were easily replaceable. I made a post to see if any one would want to trade my Finnish keyboard for an American one. After a couple of days, I got a reply to do the exchange. It took a few weeks for my keyboard to get to Finland and for the replacement keyboard to arrive.

While I was waiting for the keyboard to arrive, I bought an SSD to replace the slow hard drive. It was really easy to remove the hard drive and putting the SSD in. It was pretty hard installing Windows 7. The Booklet's chipset doesn't support the TRIM function of the SSD I purchased. I had to make a bootable USB thumb drive and then loaded Windows Vista. Once installed, I made sure TRIM was disabled by fixing some things in the registry. I then made another bootable USB thumb drive with Windows 7. This process took a whole day. The SSD made a significant change in speed.

American keyboard! #booklet3g
N97 | Booklet 3G with US keyboard and SSD.

A year later and I have another netbook waiting for me at home, the CR-48 with Google Chrome. I'm looking forward to making a comparison of the two computers.

ambient light sensor, backlit keyboard, upgradable ram, better video card,

Monday, December 13, 2010

Santacon 2010

N8 | Santa baby in Macarthur Park

I spent last Saturday getting drunk with 600 other Santas. We went from downtown to West Hollywood and back.

My N8 was a very important tool in getting through the day. In addition to taking pictures, I kept up with santacon over twitter to make sure I didn't get left behind. Battery wise, the N8 would not have gotten through the day without help from my Proporta charger. Good to know the next time I put it through another all day torture test.

Stuff I need to remember for next year: bring a hydration pack, bring mistletoe

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

VOX Archive: N95 NAM

This was originally posted to VOX on March 5, 2008

While at BarcampLA5, Ralf Pieper gave a demo of the N95-3.  He won it back at MobileCampLA.
He gave a demo of his prize and sang its praises and aired many grievances.

He likes the wifi and SIP capabilities. 
He likes the ability to add applications and task manager. 
He likes the loud speakers.

He doesn't like the steep learning curve or slowness of the UI
He loaded too many wifi locations and has run out of memory every time the wifi wizard loads.
He hated how slow the camera loads. 

I think that's the most important annoyance about the N95 NAM.  The camera is very slow.  The N95 NAM has a terrible 7-8 second load time. 

A typical end user like Ralf is not going to want to climb the learning curve if the one of the N95's main features doesn't perform well.

How can this be fixed?


On the original N95 (with v20 firmware), the camera application loads very quickly.  It takes about 4 seconds for the camera to load after opening the lens shutter. On the N95 8GB, its even faster with 2 second load time.  This is due to a combination of new camera optimizations and demand paging.

Demand paging would fix a lot of the problems Ralf or anyone else might have with the N95 NAM.  It speeds up the loading time of the camera and speeds up the whole UI as well.

The N95 NAM hasn't seen an update in almost 3 months.  That is long overdue.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

VOX Archive: Editing Video on the N95

This was originally posted to VOX on March 4, 2008

I love Doug's reaction to the capabilities of the N95.  We had a conversation about how he wants an N95 so he can shoot QIK video.  But he is quite happy with the gear he already has.

Monday, November 29, 2010

LA Auto Show: Fiat

N8 | I love tiny cars

N8 | Too bad it was roped off, I would have loved to sit in it

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Another window macro

N8 | The rain on a window combined with the flash makes for an interesting shot. You can see the Capitol Records Christmas tree in the background.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Seattle behind a window

Rainy view
N8 | I haven't done one of these rainy window macro shots before. I love the result.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Seattle Night and Day

N8 | Night shot from a Seattle Ferry.

N8 | Same shot in the morning

I unintentionally shot this night and day comparison with the N8. You can see some camera shake if you look at the Space Needle.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Seattle has Chocolate Bacon Martinis

Chocolate Bacon Martini
N8 | Delish!

After an hour's bus ride from Bellevue to downtown Seattle, I walked around for half a mile trying to find the Capitol Club while dragging along my big heavy backpack. I looked in and found the place empty. I walked upstairs and found the bar. The place had a Mediterranean vibe and their menu reflected it with lamb on the menu. But I wasn't there for lamb, I was there for the club's specialty: the chocolate bacon martini.

The CBM took a few minutes to prepare. The chocolate was smooth while the bacon vodka bites back sharp. You can't really taste the bacon without the bacon salt that adorns the rim. The happy hour price was only $9 for something that I would have gladly have paid $20 for.

If you ever visit Seattle, put this on your to do list.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Seattle light comparison

I sat at a park just north of Pike Place Market. It was interesting to see spikes at the top of the two totem poles there to ward off birds.

N97 | Gloomy light conditions because the sun wasn't out. The brown building in the center caught my eye, I like its design.

N97 | The sun was out when I shot this. Much better and I caught a seagull in mid flight.

I watched the clouds in wonder. There were low dark grey clouds headed north while high above were white clouds heading south.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


N8 | I love this low light shot of a fountain at a mall in Huntington Beach.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Los Feliz 3

N8 | I saw The Social Network here. Nice theater, but small. Sit up front because lights in the back are distracting.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Coffee Lock

N8 | There are lots of these coffee shaped bike racks all over Long Beach

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Friday, November 05, 2010

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Election Day

N8 | Edgar Wright Aubrey Plaza and Michael Cera at Doug Benson's podcast recording at the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater in Hollywood

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Monday, November 01, 2010

At the Wild

At the Wild, originally uploaded by Al Pavangkanan.

Walking around the Sepulveda Dam

I spent last Thursday at the Sepulveda Wildlife Reserve here in Van Nuys. The sunny afternoon light provided for some great shots with the N8.

N8 | Wildlife Reserve, North End

Sepulveda Wildlife Reserve
N8 | Fleeing water fowl

Sepulveda Wildlife Reserve
N8 | Sepulveda Dam

Sepulveda Wildlife Reserve
N8 | Water flow

Sepulveda Wildlife Reserve
N8 | Reflection

Sepulveda Wildlife Reserve
N8 | Sunset in the park

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Three Clubs

Wednesday night I went to see my friend play a show at a lounge in Hollywood called Three Clubs. It is a dark dark place with a little stage.

Bountiful Hearts
N8 | The Bountiful Hearts

The flash went off for this picture, yet the scene is as dark as I remember. I really like this about the N8.

N8 | Out of Key

This video didn't come out well. I have to remember next time to use the low light mode and to bring my AD-54 for better audio capture.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Suicide House

Suicide House
N8 | Doug Loves Movies

I spent Tuesday Night at the UCB Theater. They had an excellent maze set up that led into the theater. At Comedy Death Ray, I saw guys eat a pumpkin, an f'd up Christmas story and zombie Kanye West in Peace. Afterwards I saw Doug Benson record his podcast.

Good times.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Die Antwoord at Jimmy Kimmel Live

Die Antwoord has taken the internets by storm. I had the chance to see them Wednesday night.

I got there around 5PM. There was only about 10 people in front of me in line. Everyone there was very friendly. The venue had a policy of not allowing cameras in, but cellphones were okay. Not a problem for the N8 I was carrying.

N8 | Ninja crotch

I was lucky enough to get rail. My back was aching from the awkward position I was in to keep that spot. I'm pretty happy with the photos I took from the show. I was close enough to get some really good shots.

Die Antwoord
N8 | Die Antwoord

N8 | Die Antwoord performs Beat Boy

One of the best features of the N8 is the 3G radio. Not only is it pentaband, it is seriously fast. I uploaded the above 8 minute 725MB video in about 90 minutes. That would have taken me over 24 hours via my home internet! The N8 becomes more of a joy to use as days go by.

Check out my flickr set from the show!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Poppin the cherry with Steel Panther

Steel Panther
N8 | Bass and Guitar

I scored tickets to see Steel Panther Monday night. I've been wanting to see them for over 5 years. This was also a opportunity to test out the Nokia N8 in a concert environment.

N8 | hey man nice shot

The above is some video I shot with the N8. The audio didn't come out too well, but I am pleased with the vocals.

Steel Panther
N8 | Bon Jovi shirt

The photos I took have excellent color, but were often blurry. I couldn't use the xenon flash because of all the fog. I think I would have been better off using portrait mode since I was so close.

I do remember having a lot of issues with the touchscreen after unlocking it with the slidelock. I missed a few opportunities to take a shot.

Check out the rest of my photos on flickr

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

VOX Archive: Lunar Eclipse at the Griffith Observatory

This was originally posted to VOX on February 21, 2008. It has been edited around dead links

I spent the evening of February 20th, 2008 at mecca of astronomy, the Griffith Observatory. It was a pretty chilly evening. There were quite a few clouds in the sky. They added a lot of drama, people cheered whenever the moon peeked out from the clouds.

The Los Angeles Astronomical Society and the Los Angeles Sidewalk Astronomers showed up and shared their telescopes. Kudos to them for not only sharing their telescopes, but their knowledge of the skies as well.

I shot some video for QIK where some staffers demonstrated an eclipse mostly for the many children who were in attendance.

Around 7:25 in the evening, we were informed an an extra special treat. A satellite focused its light to form an iridium flare for us.

Later on, I shot some video of Dr. E.C. Krupp, the director of the observatory, dressed up as a wizard to chase away the dragon who was eating the moon.

N95 | Lunar Eclipse at the Griffith Observatory

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Social Artwalk

October 14 was a long day.

It started off with a trip to Universal Citywalk. There's a popcorn place near the entrance that smelled wonderful. I walked down to the cineplex and bught tickets for the social network.

I just ate up this movie. Sorkin's fast dialogue, Fincher's dark visuals and Reznor's score made for a very entertaining movie.

After the movie I walked over to Universal Studios and used my annual pass for the final time. I made my first visit to Shrek 4D. The last time I was in that building, I was competing for the Nintendo World Championship. It is very different now. The Shrek show was a lot of fun, but I was sitting too close to get a good view of the 3D effects.

N82 | Entrance to King Kong

I went on the Studio Tour. I got a terrible spot with a support beam stuck in my arm. The tour guide wasn't too interesting and a lot of shooting took away some locations. The highlight was seeing a bunny. The second highlight was King Kong 360. It was nice to see it from the right side of the tram.

After the Studio Tour, I headed over to see Terminator 2: 3D. I got a really good spot and saw the whole show. Afterwards, I headed outside to the Coke Soak and played with the consoles. I hit some buttons and water would shoot out of something. I noticed a girl examining another console and pressed the button that shoots water at her. I am so evil.

This is my sky
N82 | Afternoon sky from the west end of Universal Studios

I then headed over to the Simpsons Ride. I never knew there were three levels to the building. Most times I went, I got the middle level. On my previous visit, I was sent upstairs. This time I went in via the bottom. The Simpsons Ride is the best part of visiting Universal Studios.

N82 | I got to remember to leave the flash on.

The park closed so I headed downtown for the Artwalk. When I came out of the subway, it was dark and cold and I hadn't brought a jacket with me. Despite this, I stopped at 7-eleven and used a slurpee coupon. I was walking the streets when I saw the Grilled Cheese truck turn a corner. I followed it to a parking lot and saw a bunch of trucks already there. Earlier in the day I saw on twitter that the Baby's Bad Ass Burgers truck would be there, so I waited for them to open. They make amazing sliders served on Hawaiian Bread.

N82 | Scarlet Paradigm

After my meal, I walked around a bit. I saw a band playing in an alley. I thought I recognized the bassist as Bryan Villarin, a guy I met a couple of years ago. I checked his twitter and it was indeed him. I listened to a couple of songs and said hi to him.

N82 | Smokin Willie's bbq food truck

I walked on and saw a cupcake store. They had mini cupcakes for a buck. Yummy. Not too far away was another parking lot full of food trucks. There must have been around 15 trucks, many I had never heard of.

N82 | Lots of trucks, lots of people

I arrived at the Downtown Indie for a movie screening. I had no idea what was playing, I just knew that some old friends of mine would be there. There was a short film about a haunted car that was strange. The main film, Four Boxes, was very interesting. It needs a second viewing. There was an afterparty on the roof. This guy told me about this cool thing he saw at Goodwill. It was a KISS shirt, except under the makeup was Bill Cosby.

Along the walk back to the subway, I saw a third lot full of food trucks and a clown stripper. I love LA.