music, opinion and technology

a weak week

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Well, I’m glad that one’s over. Annoyances at work, a nasty cold and, just to put the cherry on top, I even took a tumble on to concrete on Wednesday, which explains why I have scratches on my hands and face, and haven’t shaved for days. (Ouch.)

The fall was one of those nasty confluences of little things that can spoil your whole day: I’d just set out for work, still woozy from the cold, wearing shoes with hundreds of miles on them that have worn unevenly, trying to get the music in my new headphones to play reliably. Mix that with bulging, cracked concrete near a building site, and you can guess the rest: the Earth sucks. I wasn’t badly hurt, but I could tell the day was over before it began, so I went straight back home, called in sick and stopped trying to be a “good little worker”.

The week had some compensations: I ordered a new phone on Monday, was told it would be here from the UK in two days, and it arrived on Tuesday. It’s a HTC S620 Smartphone, replacing the phone I lost and the 3-year-old iPaq that flaked out on me. The purchase was the result of some serious thought into just what I need such personal electronics for. It does the essential things I want: it’s a phone, of course, with internet access through either GPRS or WiFi: I can set up “push email” if I want to, though I’m in no particular hurry to do that, since email can generally wait till I’m ready.

I had a little concern about how it would perform as a electronic book reader – something I’m appreciating more and more – but Mobipocket came to the rescue there, and the screen is incredibly readable in all light conditions I’ve seen so far. It’s a media player, of course, since I added a 512MB MicroSD card (for €16 extra) and a Bluetooth stereo headset for another €40. Finding games is a little trying, with older packages not working, but I have Sudoku and Poker going, as well as some Space Invaders. There’s even DOOM for it, though so far it performs poorly.

It’s not been all plain sailing: I’m still trying to get GPRS set up, and audio problems were distracting me when I took the tumble: I had too many applications open, so the phone was struggling to process the high bit-rate MP3s I like. The headphones can cut out at times, but keeping the phone on the same side as the headphone’s Bluetooth receiver helps a lot – my body was getting in the way of the signal. The lack of a word processor is odd, though I didn’t notice since I’m using Microsoft OneNote Mobile, with the notes synchronized to the Tablet PC alongside the usual Outlook data. The major remaining hole is Maths: I’ve only just found a usable scientific calculator, and there’s no spreadsheet program.

That’s a minor omission, considering I now have a single device that is smaller and lighter than my old phone or PDA were, and is more usable than either, thanks to the keyboard and screen.


Written by brian t

October 28, 2006 at 12:23 am

Posted in life, technology, work

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