Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Nokia Widget

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Nokia N97 review: After One Week*

Likes: Nokia Music Store where I could download millions of songs (and I have downloaded thousands already)
Dislikes: Music store takes ages to load, terribly slow, poor search capabilities and frequently crash

Likes: Nokia Music Store where I was able to download wonderful long forgotten songs which I could not get anywhere else
Dislikes: Norton 360 antivirus thinking Nokia Music Store (or some component) of it as a Trojan.

Likes: Lock button on the phone to lock key board. The screen goes dark instantly saving battery.
Dislikes: The screen does not lighten up when it is unlocked. Lock again and unlock and it works fine

Likes: USB cable that can charge the battery and sync contents
Dislikes: Some times it does not charge the battery. Still haven’t found out the reason

Likes: Auto-sync between the computer and phone
Dislikes: Has to press OK twice to start this process

Likes: Voice recognition
Dislikes: Does not work with any reasonable accuracy

Likes: Handwriting recognition calculator
Dislikes: Nothing here, it works!

Likes: Pre-loaded with applications to grab news, stock quotes etc.
Dislikes: Dislikes – no way to measure or control data downloads

Likes: Nothing about Ovi store
Dislikes: Everything about Ovi store. When comparing with Android Marketplace, Windows Marketplace and Apple store, Ovi store is a disgrace

Likes: Able to play lots of music when going for a walk
Dislikes: No Sportstracker for N97

* Are the dislike due to a bug or is it a feature? Only time will tell!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Nokia N97 Review

And how Nokia lost the PC/Internet integration plot…

P6130564 (1)

I got hold of my new Nokia N97 yesterday. The telco, Starhub delivered it at home (though I have put in a Singtel SIM card!). I was eagerly looking forward to getting this phone.

Closely following the latest mobile trends, I believe there are three distinct technologies fighting a big battle for the dominance of mobile world – iPhone with it coolness and infinite number of third party applications, Android Phones (like HTC magic) with its open architecture and user extendibility and Nokia (and few other players) with the updated Symbian OS and its stability.

I always loved my Nokia phones – my first one was a Nokia 6110 - probably the best phone ever (may not be a smart phone, but it was a great phone). Except once when I tried a HP Windows mobile, all the other phones I always used was a Nokia model. Every one of them was better than the previous one.

Then came the period where the Nokia phones started talking with PC’s and Internet for the firs time. Nokia started loosing it. Every time I tried using Nokia software on a PC it misbehaved. The Nokia Ovi website is too slow and many times down – so are the other websites like http://sportstracker.nokia.com, which I use to track my walks. The great phone was not able to work with PC/Internet properly. The Nokia application on my Vista PC started hanging frequently.

The height of the problem was when I found out that Nokia has started quietly uploading the music I am playing while walking to its website. No way to switch it off – and my emails to Nokia went unanswered! Some much for privacy!

I also have different names and passwords to remember – one for ovi.com website one for my Nokia music website and … can’t remember!

I still stuck with Nokia and applied for the latest N97 phone. After all it has a better display, for me to see my maps better, and even a digital compass a saving grace for someone like me who is directionally challenged.

And today when I got my N97, the first thing I want to add to the phone is the Sports tracker tool – oops – Nokia Sports Tracker does not support N97 (or vice versa). Yes, Sports Tracker is beta, but when I upgrade my phone, I am expecting an “upgrade” and not a “downgrade”. There goes the plan to use the new phones to track my walks.

On installation, Noki Ovi Store does not install properly as download failed. However the rest of the components did install correctly. I had to reboot the machine and try again to make it Ovi store work (and it did). Even from the phone Ovi store worked just 2 out of 4 times I tried.

Having said all that, leaving aside Internet/PC integration, the Nokia N97 is a wonderful phone. Looks cool, very customizable (it also comes with a lot of re-learning on how to use a Nokia phone). A 5 mega pixel camera with a lens protector, 32MB memory, slide out keyboard, lots of pre-installed applications including Facebook and Straits Times. Well, if you want technical review, there are hundreds of reviews already online.

The biggest plus for me is that the phone “Comes with Music”. Millions of songs waiting to be (legally) downloaded – that itself is worth the price of the new phone! I have already downloaded hundreds of songs. The collection is amazing – equally amazing is the fact that all the songs downloaded, can be kept even after the free subscription (for one year) is over. I just can’t believe it. And yes, the music plays in one PC also.

And of course the new phone comes with a new power connector tip, ensuring that all the old Nokia power cables are all obsolete! When is this going to end?

In summary - a wonderful phone with a lousy PC/internet integration…

Just one thing, I haven’t made a call with the phone yet. Let me try to find out how to make a call….

P6130561 (1)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Little India

There are certain things in life which a picture or even a video cannot capture. The sights, smell and sounds of Little India is one of them. 


Even after heavy “sterilization”, Little India still give you some clues on what Singapore was like in the earlier days - scenes that are fast disappearing from the Singapore landscape.

The “Little India walk” (my version, in fact most people’s version!), is a walk from Mustafa Shopping mall to Tekka Mall through narrow lanes besides packed shops selling everything Indian (and few non-Indian stuff).

Sights: There are hundreds of shops selling Indian spices, groceries, and a huge collection of saris, wood carvings, bangles, jewellery, books, cheap souvenirs and what not.

Smell: It is filled with scents of Indian food (North and South), spices, vegetables, jasmine garlands and even raw meat!

Sound: Temple chants, street side vendors inviting you to their shops (there are at least 3 “Cheapest Shop in Singapore” in this stretch), people bargaining (increasing this is becoming extinct), sound of Indian music blaring from music shops.


Little India offers so much to visitors and locals to see, hear, smell, taste and experience!

Here is my effort to catch Little India on video. The 9 minute 58 seconds long (youtube.com has a maximum of 10 minutes) Little India walk video is somewhat headache inducing because of the shaking of the hand held video camera.