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.