Chaotic Weekend


Tried not to switch on any computers until I had organized my desk and a couple dozen storage boxes, watched a couple of Farscape episodes, had car trouble (how I loathe the damn thing, especially since I can't get rid of it), went to the Movies, and still have to pop over to help set up a new TV, finish organizing my stuff and, of course, vote.

Like Melo posted, no animals were injured, though - they run too fast.

My 9300 Mini-Review

On the gadget front, I picked up a 9300 again to test a few things and reminisce about the couple years I spent living off a 9210i. The screen is glorious, but Nokia seems to be always one step behind - the 9210i was launched when GPRS was the thing (and it only supported HSCSD), and now that the 9300 has GPRS, everything else worth mentioning (save the Blackberry) has 3G.

Still, I understand their positioning - the Communicator range is geared to professional users that will stick to using the same device for much longer than the average folk (there are still 9110s around, and it's quite common to see people with 9210is, even in this Pocket PC age) and power consumption on these things is finely tuned, so GPRS was probably an easier compromise.

But despite the neat Bluetooth syncing (again, the Nokia data suite software is so intrusive that it can even override your standard Bluetooth stack), Communicator applications and features look awfully dated, and the overall feeling is that the platform is pretty much dead - nothing much has changed, either in terms of software features or UI design. So, it has graphical themes, and I don't have to reboot the device to change them. Big deal.

Oddly, the UI is much, much faster than the 9500, but I find it unacceptable for the thing to pause nearly ten seconds when switching from the browser to the SMS editor. The Blackberry may have a smaller (and lower res) screen, but it's much faster and easier to use for simple operations.

Not to mention that the 9300's battery life is something like one third that of a 7290 (i.e., roughly two days), and that I don't have to sync anything with my PC - the Blackberry syncs over-the-air (on an Enterprise 4.0 setup, changes to your contacts, todos and calendar get sent along with your mail, in real time).

The e-mail client did surprise me in that it now supports SSL mail properly (and it was fast in terms of SSL/TLS negotiation), but having to download whole attachments to the 9300 made it somewhat useless for professional use. I'm used to asking the Blackberry server to render a text-only version in seconds, and waiting 15 minutes for the 9300 to download a medium-sized attachment and display it in the dinky PDF viewer kind of drove the point home.

(Downloading and trying to edit a Word document, however, failed. It seems that document format support isn't that hot.)

Not to mention how much you'll get charged for getting the full attachment, and the fact that if it was an Office file, you wouldn't be able to do much with the built-in word processor and spreadsheet - I don't think anyone would actually draft a document in one of these things.

So, despite the sleek metallic finish and the fact that the 9300 actually fits in a trouser pocket without showing, in a week's time I'll be getting my daily berry fix again.

In the meantime, I'll be torturing the built-in Opera browser against a few web applications we have. It is working swimmingly for casual browsing, but Opera has been known to have gross bugs in Symbian phones, so I'm throwing it some weird test cases.