Apple’s outrageous share of the mobile industry’s profits

That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?

Pie chart: Apple’s outrageous share of the mobile industry’s profits

In any other businesses this would be called a RIP OFF! by Apple, but with the Apple-Fanboy base, They can do no wrong. I used to be a Apple Evanglista back in Apple’s dark days, and I still use a MacBook. But I use a Nokia N900, because I can do more, with less Apple regulation, and I pay a great deal less than any iPhone ball-and-chain.

N900 3G speed test

I have been in Stockholm this past week on a bit of a holiday, and while I was nursing my pay-as-you-go Vodafone account I tried out both the GSM Edge and 3G speeds while in the Stockholm Arlanda Airport


Stockholm Airport 3G

Disregard that it says it’s testing a Vodafone.ie connection to Dublin, it’s from Stockholm to Dublin and what it indicates is that it’s more than 30% faster download speed than my Eircom DSL and more than 3X faster upload speed. So much for DSL. And compared to a test I ran from Vodafone 3G in Cork a while back, it’s was fully 3 Times the speed both up and down link. Why do we put up with such third world performance from our broadband providers? We’re Sheep, has be be, ready to be shorn.

Maemo vs Meego

This week Nokia announced that MeeGo would not officially be supported on the N900. On first appearance this would seem to be a bad thing. But I managed to down load the MeeGo v1.0 for Netbooks and burned it to a DVD. I attempted to run this with VirtualBox and then Parallels and neither would finish the load. But my old work Dell Pentium 4 worked just fine booting from the CD.

So I went exploring, and overall it was a bit of fun, and most 5 year olds will be comfortable in a few minutes with it. But use it on an adult machine, a netbook to get work done on? Not a chance, it’s like a world-of-wonder 5-10 year old grade toy.

And guess what, it’s a GREAT thing that this, this, what ever MeeGo is, is not going to be forced ‘officially’ on the N900 users of the world. Compared to Maemo 5…what am I saying, it’s not comparable, if you are listening…

Nokia!

Keep Maemo, and FUCK MeeGo!!!

UPDATE: Someone else doesn’t like Netbook MeeGo a NoGo

NOTE: and the BS continues, with Intel killing off MeeGo for Tizen to further delay or destroy Open Source for mobile devices.

Wating for the unexpected

It’s pure vanity that makes one believe they can be unaffected while waiting for an unexpected event. It may be even worse when you are a geek waiting on something as Geeky as the Nokia N900 PR-1.2 update. It’s like waiting on arthritis and old age, you know they are coming, just not when.

The Return of the N900

Sounds like a Saga doesn’t it? Well it might be, if for no other reason than one of learning.

My Nokia has finally returned, thrice actually. My original Nokia N900 was always having a problem with battery life, and a bit of problem with the media player application not being able to play video and The problem required a solution.

If you’ve been reading this Blog, the fiasco which resulted with the N900 being returned without being fixed my Nokia directly. But upon contacting Expansys where I purchased it, and they directed me to sent it to them. And I did, 5 weeks ago! I had contacted them after 3 weeks of no news, and they indicated that its was being ‘quality’ checked and would be sent in a few days. Another week elapsed, and I contacted them again, and again they indicated that they would sent it, 4 days later (on a monday) I was surprised to see the delivery of my N900, the same N900, WITH THE SAME PROBLEM! They even sent me back the document I included to explain how to test and identify the problem. A problem so simple, that just turning it on would identify it’s functionality. They never even tried to fix it. They simply expected me to accept it broken! Which I didn’t! Contacting them the very afternoon that it had been returned resulted in another return, on their account, to their facility. With the promise of a ‘Replacement’ Finally! And now it arrived, Yesterday, and the problem (that would appear a boot time) was gone, so I thought great. Done!

But this is Expansys The first indication of trouble, the camera, right after I opened the camera door, it indicated that it could not open the application, as there was NO MEMORY to open it, which I checked, and sure enough the user memory, some 32GB of ram was ‘corrupted’ and unusable. Broken, except to the geek, Me, who while trying to diagnose the issue with the first N900, had become an expert in ‘flashing’ the phone. So I flashed the eMMC with the ‘VANILLA_PR_EMMC’ image. And surprise, the camera worked, along with the sample videos stored there, which further proved that the old error was gone. Happy right! Not! While I was doing this testing/fixing/ I did not have my SIM installed, so having celebrated my Geek victory, I proceeded to complete my move back into my new device.

Deliberate Pause

The N900 didn’t recognize my SIM, any SIM. Not a useful thing for a Phone not to do. But I didn’t throw it across the room, or jump up and down crushing it into dust. I rallied the Geek, and did a System Flash with the latest Maemo Image. And without further adieu, it worked, I had a phone, and it works. Having inserted my micro SD card I restored my backup from the previous N900, and Bingo, it works. I did not restore the applications that I had installed previously, but enough to know that it mostly works. I did not install some of the communications extensions that knew were causing performance issues with the battery. It’s been 7 hours and I’m only down one bar, the battery works!

The bottom line, Expansys is a pain to work with! They took ages to return my ‘repaired’ phone, that wasn’t repaired, nor did they do ANY QUALITY CHECKS to see if it had been repaired. Then after being forced to do the ‘right’ thing, they replaced it with another (non-working) phone that was Obviously NOT NEW. I can only assume that it was another used N900 that someone had returned. To anyone else this replacement was more broken than the one I had sent in, and only by my own hand does it work at all. Not a good place to do business. The experience has taught me never to purchase an item like this via the internet. Better to spend the extra money to have a place to return it to, and this one has cost me plenty in time and shipping costs to resolve.

One last point, both the first N900, the one with the broken DSP, it still worked, with the only real impact being shortened battery life. The replacement, broken also, has been corrected, as far a I can see, via software alone. Making the N900 and very reliable, although quirky device. One I can still recommend. Try doing those things with your iPhone, OOPS, sorry, no can do.

Another iPad prediction

Having read this article about iPad sales predicted to top 7.1 million in 2010 alone, the term, FanBoy gains a new meaning, Delusional! It’s not that the iPad isn’t cute, or that it won’t BE fun or even useful. It’s that this is still a recession, and there aren’t 7.1 Million geeks in the world who have enough money to buy this thing. The second point, Apple with all it’s planning couldn’t get God to manufacture 7 million of these things this year.

I almost assumed that the article was a late April Fool’s joke. But there really are a lot of people who believe that Apple can do no wrong. Mostly because of youthful forgetfulness no one seems remembers the Cube and even though Steve Job’s was not at Apple, still there was the Newton.

I remember, I still have a Newton 100, which I upgraded from the the original Messagepad. And I think, I’m even pretty sure the sales of the iPad will not exceed 1 million sales this year. I can almost guarantee they will NOT exceed 2 Million. Given that, it will still be profitable, and considered a success. I might even like to have one, except of the fact that I already have something a lot more practical, and ultimately more useful, a Nokia N900!

Update One: I’m calling BullShit on the 700,000 iPads. At best there was 500K with less than 100k which were not pre-orders.

Nokia N900 Battery life

While I love my Nokia N900 I’ve often been disappointed with the battery life. Recently I’ve been only getting 6 hours between charges and while I’ve had better runs in the past, I could never narrow down what the major drain was, but I think I have it. It looks like the ‘extra-devel’ Pidgin Protocols may be spending too much CPU keeping in contact with Yahoo IM. When I have that disabled from the ‘Availability’ panel, my battery life doubles.

So for now I’ll have to content with just GSM/SMS Skype and Skype IM for my connections.

Nokia support is indescribable, really indescribable.

What can say Nokia support is indescribable, as in not available. I have an New Nokia N900 purchased through Expansys U.K. Which shipped it to me, from london (as in U.K.) but it turns out it was acquired by them from the U.S. and Nokia Europe does NOT service (as in repair) Nokia handsets that are sold by Nokia U.S. in the U.S.

Ok, What? Nokia will NOT service Nokia handsets because it’s a U.S. Nokia warrantee and not a E.U. Nokia warrantee. It’s a Nokia, and it’s a their warrantee!


BIG FAIL, NOKIA!

Now I have to ship my phone to the U.S. to find warrantee service on my NOKIA Phone!

My Nokia N900 is Broken

Or rather fractured, at least as far as the operating system. It appears that the DSP, a function (I think) of the GPU (PowerVR SGX) is not working as the DMESG command executed in the terminal application results in the following output:

[ 83.651947] WMD_DEH_Notify: ********** DEVICE EXCEPTION **********
[ 83.651977] WMD_DEH_Notify: DSP_SYSERROR, errInfo = 0x300

But due to the very forgiving Debian/Maemo kernel simply works around the issue, by making the CPU work harder, and consuming the batteries quicker. When everyone else was experiencing improved battery life with the release of PR 1.1.1, mine got worse.

Now the issue will be how to get it serviced as I bought it from Expansys out of the U.K. (I’m in Ireland, the Republic of) and there is the question of wither I send it to them, or directly back to Nokia?

The really important question is, when do I want to let go of this fun computer/phone thingy long enough to get it fixed.

A reply about the Nokia N900

I was ask to tell someone about my Nokia N900 and I replied:

I blogged about the N900 here, Expansys which turned out to a U.S. N900 with a U.S. Power supply.

However the system, and I have to call it a system as it not just a phone, was bought with the purpose of replacing my then Nokia phone and my Palm T/X. I wanted a computer with a phone. And that is exactly what the N900 is. I have to agree, if you are a power Phone user this is not going to cut it, as an example it does not do MMS, (I’ve never sent an MMS, ever) with the exception that there is a third party developer who had deployed a MMS app that fills this gap. And I guess that is the point, all the gaps, and extensions to the operating system are coming on hot and heavy. It’s really quite surprising. What’s more surprising it the integration of the apps in the communicator. I have to check my inbound call to know if it’s a Skype or a GSM/3G call, as you can not tell via call quality or ringtone. IM from any and all IM systems are combined into a single ‘conversations’ stream sorted by the user you are talking with, reply’s can be via any communication path detailed for the contact you are talking with. The same with shareing, your notes, photos, anything can be shared to any of the ‘social media’ site you have logins to.

I find the most interesting thing is that I can SSH into and out of the system as easily as with any laptop. OpenVPN which is available, but I haven’t tried, is loadable as both server and client. The 2G/3G network connections are treated just like WiFi with no restrictions that I can detect. (dataplan not withstanding) I am even on pay-as-you-go with Vodafone and they either have not throttled me yet, or don’t care, isn’t an issue, it works seamlessly.

The only drawback is power, as you might expect, but I doubt that you would fault any laptop for not running 12 hours on batteries, and this is no difference. I can useably get 14 to 16 hours from it with ‘normal’ use, but playing with lots of widgets on the desktop, and too many beta apps from the development catalog will shorten this. I use a car charger while on GPS traveling, and I’m sure most would. but really, I have all the IM connections running below, 7/24 when on my WiFi connection and it works a treat. I blog, I tweet, I surf, frankly it’s another pocket sized palmtop… with a phone app.

Mobile Firefox needs some work.

I downloaded and tried out Firefox Mobile a few days ago and while it seems to be very useful (and actually fun to use), I discovered yesterday I was having serious battery drain issues. I had thought that I had gotten passed this, it was disturbing that the problem had returned. I was afraid that I was finally going to be required to reflash my phone. Then while Googling the issue, I stumbled upon a discussion about the Mozilla JVM runtime that gets installed as part of Firefox and it turns out that it’s not exactly perfected on the Nokia N900 yet, Functional, but it spins up the CPU in the background, using up the battery. So I un-installed it with the App Manager and I’m back to the regular Nokia browser only, which is just fine.