Reindeer Break

With around the corner, I have slipped into this most timely and merry 4-day break as if into a comfy pair of slippers.

Despite a timid incursion to a place with sunlight and decent food by the seaside and a brief dip into the froth of last-minute shopping madness (more to gauge the levels of consumer desperation than to actually buy anything), time has been spent leafing through books, puttering about the house and generally unwinding.

To pass the time, I finally re-flashed my E90 with a firmware version supporting Simplified Chinese1, and was gratified to find that the Singapore firmware includes a passable dictionary, which is sure to be a nice study aid.

I am, however, dismayed at the utterly preposterous (or should I say pedestrian?) limitations of text-to-speech system, since I cannot do more than read SMS messages with it.

After all, it doesn’t take more than a moment’s thought to realize that it would be a lot more useful if they had included a “Listen” option on the notepad application, so I wonder what the designers were thinking, since:

  1. It can’t honestly be that hard to add this
  2. It would be tremendously useful for people with vision impairments (besides those wanting to pick up a different language)

Still, I can now at least take my pathetic attempts at reading Chinese on the go, so I guess I should be grateful.

1 This by dint of changing the device’s product code and forcing a firmware upgrade – don’t bother asking me how to do it, there is plenty of literature on that online. I even wrote some of it 60_60 myself.