Saturday, December 24, 2011

Further with Panasonic CF-F9

I've been using now my new CF-F9 with ubuntu 11.10 alternative install and I just love this combination. I even received additional memory (+4 GB) just before Xmas and even distributor warned me about it usefulness with windows (32 bit) - there is full memory available now to my 64 bit Linux. Way to go.

This computer is really solid for carry on usage and big screen makes things productive. Only thing which is not configured at this point is 3G connection with on-board Gobi2000 module. Firmware loading is pain under Linux (big thanks to Sierra Wireless!) and I even think to replace sierra wireless with some another module working without external loaded firmware. Maybe sony ericsson have a model for that.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Panasonic CF-F9

After evaluating couple of weeks which laptop should I get to replace and relief my Thinkpad EDGE - I got totally lost. I got excited about ASUS X31 but after reading troubles with Linux on that, gave up an idea of getting it. Then I checked out multiple HP's and Lenovo models, but they were all taking forever to buy.

While been loyal user of Toughbook family, I have kept distance to latest models lately. But after evaluating possibilities, I came across two models: CF-53 or CF-F9. 53 was a bit bulky for me, so I ordered CF-F9. What I like about here in Finland is Toughbook distributor. They ship immediately and I got F9 in my hands in couple of hours. Learn that Lenovo.

But best was yet to come. I put ubuntu 11.10 alternative in for my F9 and world was open. With zero boot to windows I was already enjoying fully featured development machine with my home directory untarred in place. Learn that Windows.

This computer is part of our high security approach to few governmental projects and no skype is allowed here. XMPP rocks and disk crypto keeps mind rested while traveling. Learn that.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Windows Phone :: not so easy life

I've been playing with Windows phone for a while now and I feel sorry for Nokia. From my experiences, windows phone is nothing but pain for advanced users and too complicated for normal users. Here goes few points noted so far;

User interface is complicated. No matter what, I am quite confused all the time when using phone. For example switching between applications is some how confused. Ordinary tasks like forwarding someones number to SMS is pain and I am always lost where I am with this phone. Maybe it's just me.

I don't need xbox live etc stuff on my screen, make them disappear. I need text editor to type quick notes, straight and plain. No flying tiles and partly shown title text and other candy.

Biggest problem is music, video and photo copying to and from phone. When I plug my phone to Linux, nothing happens. Making things dependent of some proprietary binary is no go road for most of users. I see big troubles in this.

And for last; SDK's. We made program for this phone and compared to other platforms, microsoft is pain. $99 money needed, no file based deployments to phones and totally unacceptable code ecosystem for todays open source users.

Nokia, you're on wrong train now.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

XMPP Support for N9

I know microsoft did all it could to prevent XMPP support in N9, but community is strong:

mc-tool add gabble/jabber [account] string:account=[user_id] string:password=[passwd] string:server=[server] bool:require-encryption=1 bool:ignore-ssl-errors=1


mc-tool enable [output_of_previous]

Now I can enjoy our corporate high security and standard compliant instant messaging over XMPP.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Competitors provider

I am glad that this gentleman is providing solutions to most of our competitors. Stay frosty.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ubuntu 11.10 vs Mac Air

It seems that I am jumping between these things. Now I am back with big laptop and ubuntu 11.10. Mac is hooked up to my desktop display to handle business emailing and PDF creation with stability. But development, nothing beats Linux in there.

Now I have my Thinkpad EDGE with latest ubuntu again in one project and I already enjoy following things (compared to Mac):
  • SSH read/write mounts :: These are essential if you work with remote Linux servers.
  • Disk space. My 64 GB SSD is showing almost 50 GB free after I have Ubuntu installed. Compare that to Mac Air 64 GB disk which is always full.
  • N9 integration. SSH mount to N9 and off you fly, compared to iTunes struggling.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ubuntu 10.11

Installed Ubuntu 10.11 to my EDGE thinkpad. Lot's of improvements! Visually this is stunning version, things seem more polished and I like Thunderbird as my default email client well. Unity lover I have never been, but this is now reasonable. I believe that I can live with this.

So, windows is vanishing, ubuntu is here and mac is serving.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Nokia N9 :: One week and running

I think it's around one week now which I've been using my Nokia N9. I upgraded iPhone4 to iOS5 following day after I got my N9. Spent few moments with it also, but interestingly returned to N9 for sleeker outfit and functionality. Generally speaking N9 has been working nicely, it's fast and responsive. I can take nice pic's with it and keep up with my MP3's. Emailing, messaging and those kind of things are easy. Nothing major in there, but this reduced complexity is kind of hitting me. Things are almost plain with this device.

I also changed my case for phone and credit cards. I got some Golla thing, which holds slim N9 nicely and I can use my BT in case someone tries to reach me, event my phone is in my pocket or backpack. Kind of new way to think phone, I believe.

I also acquired NFC enabled BT streaming audio receiver, MD-20W from Nokia. It works like it should. I touch it with my N9 and it grabs my audio output to amplifier. Works event while I am paired with normal handsfree device. Nice!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

First upgrade to N9

I just love this:

RM696-34-1_PR_001:~/dev# apt-get upgrade
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
The following packages will be upgraded:
1 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 1,144kB of archives.
After this operation, 0B of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]?

When did it began?

Inspired from this blog posting, I found out a lot food for thoughts, regarding how things turned from self sustained innovations to money driven decisions, already back in 2008.

I really would like explore a bit deeper into these relations between Finnish prime minister (ex) and Microsoft. Where did it started, what was agreed and how Nokia fits into picture. This is relevant question right now, when we are holding our N9 phones, with Finnish innovated Linux inside.

Friday, October 14, 2011

N9 First thoughts

I've been playing with this for a while now. Physics of this thing is amazing, feels like you want to hold this all the time. Software is bit weird, I kind of miss 'start screen' and other things familiar from Symbian, Android and iPhone. For example, when you hold this and want to make call or SMS, where to start and most important, how? I believe this flow of action will come if you keep using this, but for a start it's a bit different.

What I really like is this:

gpg: key F942A3B6 marked as ultimately trusted
public and secret key created and signed.

What I don't like is that Nokia has dropped Jabber support. No more interacting with our company IM server. Shame Nokia. Not all business runs in facebook chat.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Nokia N9 :: It's here

I visited today Nokia store in Helsinki. It was empty, sales peoples were a bit lost as well. They were clearly affected this syndrome which Elop created. On best place there was however two Nokia N9's which I played with. To put it short, phone is amazing. I kind of get now the whole picture. It could be tough competitor for microsoft if nokia pushes it forward. I believe money did it and they bought silence.

I also heard rumor that this marvelous device, Nokia N950 is agreed to be kept out of market. No other reason than Microsoft to keep it away. Shame on you Nokia, you gave it up too easy and too early.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Phones and Sim's

Follow up to normal day in phone user office, I attach couple of pictures of my phones. I keep swapping my sim between these models and I am quite fluent with adapting my micro-sim back and forth to phones which requires normal sim.

I got this sim cutter and it does nice job. Just keep in mind to insert sim in correct way. In smaller picture there is this 'micro sim adapter', which is not so good. Micro sim keeps popping out of it constantly and I gave up on those.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Nokia vs Android :: SDK battle

I've been doing tryout coding with Android SDK. It was indeed easy and breeze to build things with it and because it's free to use, potential is there. One question which is totally non visible today is Nokia's strategy on software development support on future platforms like microsoft one.

Developers do not pay for SDK's anymore, they choose which is available and technically supported to achieve their goals. I currently run business where money is always an issue and spending 1-15k€ for any microsoft development tool is totally out of question.

I really would like to see some 'analyst' to state something out from this point of view. I thought that Nokia did great with QT, they paid huge money of it and tried to preserve future for developers. Now any developer who should put his efforts to microsoft coding are facing that unlimited fun with license costs and a away to keep it fluent.

But actually, I hope that all of our competitors does windows coding on nokia. That's the way.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Android, Symbian, iPhone

Experiences from all major mobile platforms. I've been playing with Android, Samsung S2 and new Sony Ericsson Mini Pro and I have to say, it's too complicated. I get frustrated with Android from time to time, simple tasks like calling and writing sms's, just too many moves and eye candies all the time. With iPhone, it's too restricted. I need music, I need images. I need them now, on the go and with linux. No iTunes available all the time.

Symbian Anna on my E7, better but sluggish. Email is quite responsive but gets stuck from time to time. Needs rebooting. Calling and texting is breeze. It's big, but robust. Best hardware at this point, even software is lacking.

I think I will give up on these phones soon. Reach me with IM or Email.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Symbian Anna

After quite steady weeks with my iPhone, I was excited to notice that Nokia has come out with Symbian Anna (finally). I took my only Windows workstation out of dust and launched Nokia software updater and rolled Anna in to my E7 and N8.

It worked well, even I realized just a bit afterwards that there were couple extra packets to install (1/2, 2/2 updates). But it was for me quite breeze. No worries in there, like few others I noticed.

After Anna update my E7 received my sim and there I was, back in Symbian. Keyboard is fantastic to use after trial and error on iPhone. And symbian felt quite smooth after update. After this update, I think Nokia is only lacking integration with outside services like Twitter and Facebook. Even I just resigned from Facebook, I believe current Anna implementation of these services is bit outdated. I don't know.

I wish Nokia would have believed in developers in 5 years ago, given them a hand and tools to implement. Things could be different. Still I miss Jabber integration from my E7, like it was in N900. Skype is not for secure communication.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Nokia's Dive

Back in 1995 I had Psion 5. It run EPOC operating system, which later turned to be Nokia flagship Symbian.

In 2007 when I took this picture I thought that why Nokia acquired EPOC for smart phone platform and made it ten years too late for try out to public consumption. Ever since I have just wondered why Nokia is not capable to do right decision, they kept back Maemo team's with N800/N810 which was superior product on those days. They were too tied to operators and that obsolete EPOC variant in their main products and were afraid to fly with Maemo.

But still, there is one major factor which is affecting to iOs and Android dominance and volume. It's well kept secret and who know how long it will stay like that.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Why there is no good phones available anymore?

I am stuck. I am stuck with all these mobiles in my life. It seems that there is just no good mobile phone available at the moment, I give you short intro what I currently have and why they are not usable;

  • Missing keyboard
  • painfull ecosystem, I want to copy those MP3's and images without itunes.
  • Multitasking sucks still (I want real Jabber IM client)
Nokia E7
  • Symbian sucks
  • Camera is bad
  • I need wifi accesspoint functionality which does work
  • I have also Nokia N8, which I occasional use because of it's camera. It's so good, but still does not help for other issues (keyboard, symbian, accesspoint functionality).
Android's (HTC Desire Z, Ericsson X10 (&PRO), Samsung 5 and others)
  • Keyboard, yes desire Z has that but it sucks. Android is not designed to support keyboard well enough (yes, that tiny entry field for SMS's for example) and Z's keyboard is really pain if you compare to E7's. And Z's design is not so good.
  • OS is candy, too candy to be usable. Too much complication and somehow cluttered outfit of everything gives me headache.
  • I have done some coding with SDK, which is nice. But conceptually my target is to produce something professional and since I don't know when OS decides to close my tasks things turns again unacceptable. Any clue for me related to this?
Nokia N900
  • This was best as long as it lasted. Elop killed a dream of Meego and successors of this wonderful device. Only disadvantages were battery life and display, which were a bit outdated.
  • SDK functionality could have been lot better, giving users access to all telecommunication api's like android. Why it did not happen, I don't know.
  • Basically this N900 was really exciting device, which gave me and still does some very intuitive UI approaches.
  • IM integration, native Jabber support for corporate security audited IM infra was 10+ for our business, cross platform usage of IM was breeze with this.

So I am juggling between iPhone, Nokia E7/N8/E72 and various Androids, making every night prayers for something like N900 to appear. I seriously checked out Aava's products and other phone hardware to support native Linux because all of this confusion in field. I believe I end up building my phone by myself.

Nokia could have scored with Meego devices, but they ended up to play with evil. How can they believe that we could pay 10k€ for microsoft msdn development stuff to get started, while others offers us open source approach. Think about it.

And yes, seriously I started to follow mr. Jääksi again. I really hope that he gets some air to breath in HP and is able to push something open enough for all of us. Please continue from what you left behind with N900 team.

So, now I am after a good phone at least with these features;
  1. Open, Linux able operating system with decently supported and free SDK and with future proof vendor.
  2. Standard Jabber IM integration (no, gtalk and microsoft communicator are not secure)
  3. Keyboard (Like E7/N900, not like Desire Z
  4. Wifi accesspoint functionality
  5. Easy to connect (USB mass memory storage support, micro SD's etc)

Ubuntu 11.04

Colleague of mine entered in office, and noted my freshly installed Ubuntu 11.04. Linux guys have Christmas more often than others. I like new release, my Thinkpad EDGE and HP Mini, it just rocks. Main desktop is not yet upgraded, because phasing evolution makes it a bit more predictable. I found this new release suffering only this bug, which makes my window manager to freeze from time to time. I tweaked some settings and now it seems to work again. Something related to compiz and kernel. I hope upgrades brings good things for that.

But from unity I switched to classic gnome, not because unity was lacking but somehow I am more productive under familiar gnome. I believe that I go again with unity, by steps.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dumpped Mac Air

After a lot of travelling, I find myself sitting in front of Ubuntu capable Thinkpad EDGE again. While Mac Air is wonderful travelling companion, it's just too small for serious computing, which does include SSH mounts and administration of various Linux developments.

I think I stick with Mac still on travels, but seriously computing along a way - I just need Linux. No other operating system is in that level.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

iPad 2

25th of March, two hours after I landed from London, I found myself in line at Stockman. To acquire iPad 2. On that trip, among many others - I have found that tablet computing is a way to go. I have used iPad 1 for months, and this new one is definitely a move forward. Some how I found my calendar and emailing very easy to use with tablet device, compared to any phone I have owned. Including iphone4.

I ordered a month access to Helsingin Sanomat, local big news paper iPad version to find out have my earlier thoughts changed. Not much. Even there is good journalism available, stories in digital format feels like short, I have noted this before with other printed vs digital media stories. It remains to see, how frequent reader I develop myself.

Today I also read a news entry that Apple is going to be big in near future, bypassing IBM and others soon. I certainly can see that happening, while other manufactures are struckling with bad decision or with need to please everyone. Sometimes it just requires strong hand. Nokia is something along that same road, dying together with microsoft. Which is shame, I remember myself being employed by Nokia back in 80's and we got toilet paper on discount with company badge. Those were the days.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Magazines with iPad

Spent some time travelling, week was awesome and things worked out well. On that trip, I was able to explore possibilities of iPad in global world. I was very pleased when Linux Journal emailed that my latest issue was downloadable and I got magazine delivered directly to iPad, while watching sandstorm behind my window. That was nice.

Second thing was that while sleeping, iPad was getting Finnish tv shows for my consumption on coming trip home. Awesome experience again and made possible by service.

What's so special about this? I tell you. These both models which I use, I have paid and which I do promote - are considered to be against all media companies opinion how things should be handled. LJ is delivering issues non DRM'ed format, plain PDF files and therefore 'threat' for publisher is imminent loss of control and incomes. How's that possible? Think about it.

Secondly. service is under investigation and guess who has filed case. Yle, MTV Media, Nelonen, Sanoma Television, Kopiosto. I like to spell out my opinion about this case here.

If I have paid my fee for television (in Finland 244,90 € / year) and I have permission to record programs for personal use and consumption with my digital receiving unit (to HD) - why on earth I cannot use this also as an service. I mean, those guys at service are offering this equal capability to use personal digital program recorder in a way that 2011 is supposed to.

Since I know that this blog is followed in Sanoma corporation, I really hope that they could gain some innovations by themselves, before neutralizing others. Now it's very different case.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

iPhone experiences

I got iPhone4 two weeks ago and witnessed apple's nice strategy, when I cut my sim to micro sized. No returning from there, my sim card swapping syndrome stopped in one step. No more experimenting with Nokia's, Android's or other phones. I am locked in iPhone4 now.

But it's actually very nice phone. No wonder Nokia is in trouble. Even Linux user is satisfied.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

iPad magazines and newspapers in Finland

After spending few weeks with iPad on my holidays, I came across these new digital magazines and newspapers, like 'Tietokone', 'Suomenkuvalehti' and most interesting 'Helsingin Sanomat'. I thought that returning to quality stories in digital form could be the thing, but it was not.

iPad is wonderful device to enjoy digital content, but firmly I have found out that those separate apps to every magazine is painful experience. Instead I found myself reading digital edition of Linux Journal, which is delivered in fair format, PDF. I can download that with my desktop and get it over to iPad via various ways. Dropbox, email or iTunes sync. It's clear to read Linux Journal, it's immediate copy of paper version and therefore very familiar.

I just cannot stand any of three mentioned Finnish versions offered to iPad. They are painful and very complex to read. For example Tietokone, I just cannot understand logic of pages and subscrolling sections down to find more content for the story. Same in Helsingin Sanomat, outfit and layout for app format is totally difficult to adopt and I just keep on reading web sites of those magazines, rather than paying for confusing app content.

To correct this, I would like to see following things;

  • Learn from Linux Journal. Their approach is best at the moment. You get what you pay for and it feels like that (even it's pdf file you are holding). Even those colorful advertisements are valuable content for me, to keep up with the world.
  • Do not get over excited for DRM stuff. I just cannot see value for publisher to keep issues in proprietary form to protect something not worth it. Fair distribution in PDF format would skyrocket paying readers.
  • When you deliver you magazine or newspaper in PDF format, you increase readers capable to participate, every desktop, tablets and phones do have PDF reading software.
Tietokone, Helsingin Sanomat and Suomenkuvalehti - I'd like to subscribe you. But I just cannot accept delivery format you are offering, even I am solid user of iPad your application approach sucks a lot.

Linux Journal - thanks for good magazine, I've been reading your paper subscription for years and just ordered digital edition, knowing that I am able to keep up with you even I might throw iPad overboard in some point.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Year 2011

Happy new year! I fell a sleep last night before 10pm and now it seems that we are running already in 2011 with our busy minds. I personally feel good about this, lots of good thing happened last year, we got some great moments in our family and business turned out to be amazingly good for year 2010.

What I've been doing lately, I've been utilizing some of my spare time to get in order in our computing environment. It has not been easy and there is still tons of work to do, but somehow I see light in end of tunnel. I've learned to use dropbox, youtube and google calendar. I managed to obtain Mac Air 11" and iPad for moving situations, producing some media and doing some fast mind ordering things. I don't say that Mac is best, I just say that carrying around any normal laptop is killer for me after this Air 11". And living in cross platform world, reminds me sometimes life outside of Linux scene. It's there.

So, let's move on to 2011 with happy minds - lets find out what Nokia Meego is going to be, lets see how Microsoft moves to stay alive etc. Meanwhile I enjoy my latest ubuntu computers, ipad and mac air, lets try to be productive.