Dispatches from Andyland "Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever!" — The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

September 21, 2008

a quote

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrew @ 11:04 am

“The computing scientist’s main challenge is not to get confused by the complexities of his own making” – Dijkstra (1988)

September 4, 2008

um, never mind

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrew @ 7:37 pm

The phone I lost turned up. So my decision for a new phone can be delayed a bit. I’ll still probably look at the T-Mobile’s Android based phone when it is released, but now the need isn’t as great. If I don’t like the Android phone (for any reason, including price) then I might still get another phone, for playing around developing mobile apps if nothing else. (so probably not another Nokia) I’ll probably keep using the E61 for day to day use for a while.

When I was still looking for the phone, my wife asked the kids to help look, and offered them a dollar if they found one. Then she added that she’ll add a dollar for each day until it is found. My older daughter then said “Does that mean that if I find it and then hide it for a few days, then I’ll get more money?”

September 3, 2008

Ring Ring Ring, Bananaphone

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrew @ 12:08 am

Ugh, this is frustrating.

Saturday morning, I went out with my kids to buy my older daughter a mobile phone. Yes, she seems a little young to have one, but she is away from us a bit more and payphones are slightly harder to be found for “I missed my ride” and “they let us out early” sort of calls. So after instilling in her the responsibility that we are placing on her to have this gadget (and her needing to show us that she won’t lose it, she won’t use it unecessarily, she won’t rack up a huge bill,  etc.) I go and do the stupidest thing possible. I lose my Nokia E61 phone.

I remember a point in the evening that I had it. (I was reading Google Reader over the phone’s WiFi mode) and I know a point when I’m sure I didn’t have it. (after putting my younger daughter to bed.) and I know I didn’t leave the house any time between the two. But two days later and it still hasn’t shown up.(and I did try calling it and listening for the ringing, but it seems likely that I left the web browser open with a WiFi connection, which drains the battery quickly.) I feel foolish doing this, but I’m at the point where I might just have to spring for a new phone, and this one will show up when it shows up.If I do spring for another phone, what to get?

I probably text message more than I talk, so data entry is a discriminating feature. I want what would be called a smartphone. One I can install applications onto. (and to explain the range of applications that I want,  I probably used “putty” on my E61 more often than I used its built in word processing app. The copy of Acrobat has been indispensable a few times. (like downloading the PDF of a user manual and reading it while trying to work on something.)  I’ve done lots of playing around with Bluetooth applications, and would like something with more than just HSP and HFP Bluetooth Profiles (HSP and HFP will give you enough support to connect to  a wireless headset, but I would want something to support OPP, FTP, DUN, PAN, etc.)

  • The iPhone looks like an interesting choice, but is at the high end of what I want to spend, its Bluetooth support is weak, and the only reasonable way of getting one would be to switch carriers. (which would then make me have my daughter give back her lovely bright pink phone that she is so proud of.) Application support seems to be great (it feels like selection is bigger than Nokia/Symbian apps, and they’ve been at this for years.), but no J2ME support. (which is the closest to crossplatorm that we’ve got.  Typing is probably a bit worse than I had with the E61, but better than T9 based text input. (I can’t imagine trying to run ssh over a 12 key keypad.)
  • A Treo has good application support. (I even know a bit about the Palm  API for writing apps.) and I might be able to find a used one cheap on Craigslist.
  • A Blackberry might work. Some have good text input support. Some have good bluetooth support. Has good application support. Its a new development environment to try.
  • A WinCE based system with a QWERTY keyboard might do. Good app support. Depending on the model it might have good bluetooth support. Its also a new development environment to try. Depending on the model it might not continuously crash on me.
  • A Sidekick? Some application support.  Poor bluetooth support. Great text entry support.
  • Wait for an HTC Dream (Google Phone) to be released? (I could  probably do with an old phone for a while if it would be worth the wait.)
  • Open Moko seems too pricey and unfinished (only a day worth of battery life and a great deal of buggy apps. About twice the price of the smaller iPhone)

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