My first steps with the N810

It’s been already a full week since I got my little toy (the N810 for those of you who don’t follow), and what a week !!!
I spent the first two days (over the week end) with the tablet replacing my second hand ! The third day, at work, I just had time to configure the local wifi connection (which is by the way as easy as it could be) before entering an hectic week that took me to friday night without having touched my toy except for a couple of minutes late one night in the remote countryside of Rodez !!!
Anyhow, now is time for a little roundup of my first impressions… I won’t do the traditional unboxing as there are already a couple out there, and clearly I don’t understand how those people have the patience to take pictures when opening that box ! (Oh wait … Someone tells me they’re getting payed sponsored 😉 … No comment !) I’ll rather share with you some points of focus on this device, how I used it, and my feelings about it.
First point : It is a really neat device, looks cool, is beautiful, and simply turning it on makes me happy. Okay maybe this is because it’s been only a week since I got it, but I really don’t think so ! Supposably the kind of feeling you can only get when buying an iPhone Apple product … I’m sorry Mika, but I’m really glad I have this Nokia device 😉
Second point :Apprehension is really easy as I got wifi connectivity less than 5 minutes after powering it for the first time. The next day I connected it using my bluetooth phone as a gprs/edge modem (Actually I had to slightly modify the default Orange Entreprises settings to match my settings after a failed attempt), evene demoed to some friends over lunch. Starting from that, basic Internet usage is as simple as it can get. The browser is Firefox like and the web pages I hang around most of the time were really sharp looking despite the slightly smaller screen. This of course includes Google Mail and Reader (although for this last one I would recommend learning the keyboard shortcuts).
Third point :Portability was the key interest for me, and it delivered big time ! This mean I can follow my little boy everywhere he goes (and believe me, for him, stability is a 2min timespan :-D) while typing this message, or watch a girly serie with my wife while getting my day’s fix of RSS. Of course this also includes chatting with Clowny while watching the pittyfull defeat of France versus Croatia in the European Handball Championship semifinal. Of course it comes with some drawbacks that is it is hard to loose the device, for example when going to bed (ask my wife) or when some attention is strongly required (ask my son).
Fourth point : Global usability is very good. The OS2008 comes with some pre-installed programs as well as a program to facilitate the installation of new programs provided you configured the correct repositories … Does it ring any Ubuntu bell ? It sure does and it’s for the best of it !
The keyboard, although kind of small, is really efficient and I got acquainted with it very fast ! Typing isn’t as fast as it can be on a real one, but it’s much better than T9, and makes the available autocompletion feature almost useless after a week of training !
Fifth point : Now lets start with some complaints ! Battery life is not rising to my expectations. At first I would always leave Wifi on … Bad habit as the device would not pass the day without being charged. Altough I understood that quickly and now use the easily acessible offline mode as soon as possible, I find that a small deception that I cannot stay connected a full day, even with a fully charged battery at the start of it. Anyhow with this usage rule, I can go a week without charging the toy, which is largely enough for me !
Sixth point : I’m slightly disappointed with the default applications as they don’t make a full use of the device. For example to make video calls, you have to use Gizmo (I don’t know a lot of people using this program) as Skype does not seem to support it (Even sound seems a problem). There is no default application for recording videos or taking pictures. The official app “Camera” does not yet support video 🙁. There is no real efficient app to manage podcasts/videocasts as the available ones don’t really work (no flv playback, no capability to differenciate articles from podcasts …). Even blog reading is slightly hectic as offline reading is not that well implemented …
Seventh point : I have not yet really tried the GPS but I know I’m going to be disapointed with it. The few times I tried it, it took like forever to “fix”. The navigation app is actually not free, and does not seem to be up to the level of TomTom for example (Anybody up for the port ?). And although some workaround (other apps) are available, none of them seem to really work offline.

Well I thin I’m going to wrap things up here … I wrote the full article from the toy itself(One other reason why I bought it) with MaemoWordPy (Yes there are some gems out there for this blogging device), an offline writing tool for WordPress. Only thing kind of lengthy to integrate are links … For the rest of it, it’s great ! So all in all I’m definitely thrilled with the N810, even though I waited a long time for it !

See you later for some more feedbacks and insiders tells on the N810

My Two first GreaseMonkey scripts

I just created my two first scripts for the geniusly useful greasemonkey engine, so I thought I’d share this with you !
For those of you not familiar with GreaseMonkey, this is a Firefox addon that basically executes some Javascrit code inside your browser once the page has been loaded. This allows to modify the UI, add some functionalities, etc to some website, without having to actually modify the website itself since everything is done on the client side. I’ll try to write another post to share with you some of the script I use on daily basis !
Anyhow, I also have several computers at home, and one of them is a blackbox running the Azureus bittorrent client, with the HTMLWebUI interface enabled. This allows me to remotely control the engine, and upload, stop, monitor the various torrents I’m downloading. At some point, I was fed up with having to search for the torrent on some torrent search site, then right click to copy the link location of the torrent, and paste that in the WebUI interface. So I created two scripts to facilitate that process.
The first scripts adds a link in the mininova search page to directly send the torrent file to the remote azureus. So I don’t need to right click, paste, change tab and all … Torrent download is only one click away !
The second script goes the opposite way. I sometimes have torrents that don’t start for some reasons. So usually I would go back to mininova, search for the thing I was downloading and re-upload it to Azureus. I accelerated this process by adding a link that directly gets you to the mininova search page with the correct search terms. Again, one click away from finding the perfect torrent !
You can get those scripts on my UserScripts page… Enjoy ! And if you have any question, don’t hesitate to ask !

Guy’s the iPhone master !

So how cool is the new iPhone ? Today is lauch day in the US, and everyone on the planet is writing about this cool new phone. However only one person could do it in such a way that you need to read it twice before understanding the whole purpose of the post … Guy !
The post is here, and the title is clear : “My iPhone review“. However when reading it, it’s more about AT&T and some stupid DSL problem he had with a truemors account. At the end of the reading you will be like “I though the post was about the iPhone, what a F&$££$$* ?”
Anyhow, read it again, and you’ll find the one flaw that may be problematic for the iPhone because it seems granted it will a really great phone !

Google to buy Apple ? The world is next !

I’m sure that by now if you follow the Internet a little bit you’ve heard about rumors of Google buying Apple … For me it took 5s after I started my laptop for VTH to message me about the supposed prank !
Anyhow, digging into my stash of feeds, I foud this article. It really highlights how a simple sentence can be turned around in something completely different than what is was meant for ! I really like the way the author shows that this would be the way in for Google into PC business for completely overpowering Msft … Really nice thought ! Moreover with all the rumors about Msft buying Yahoo, this is even more of a powerful thought !
Maybe that example highlights the limit of the Internet and shows that you should always double check your sources before affirming something !

AppleTV killer ?

I’m sure that as a good blog reader, and techno fan out there, you cannot have missed the launch of the AppleTV. This is this cool little device sold by the Apple company in hopes to rule over the entertainment center world like the iPod did.
A certain number of competitors like Msft itself, Tivo, … are also competing on the market, and some software providers like Joost are eagerly looking into that space also. So believe me when I say this is a crowded place.
But fortunately, no place is too crowded for opened and standard compliant innovative initiatives. DivX, the company behind the world’s famous video encoding codec, has recently announced the release of the GejBox.
A complete post here on NewTeeVee describes the product, but this basically is a system similar to the AppleTV, but which will use DivX as an encoding system, use Stage6 as the content provider, and provide more standard and HD compatible outputs like HDMI. Connectivity will include WiFi and Ethernet. However no CPU or hard drive will be present on the box (CPU is replaced by a HW DivX stream decoder) which might be a little drawback but will certainly help making it unnoticeable in your living room. Finally the platform should remain opened for extension, living some room for all of you with imaginative minds to come up with some great usages for this platform.

Guy and Trumeors

I’m not sure I already mentioned that but since I watched the video The Art of the Start from Guy Kawasaki, I’ve become a huge fan ! From reading his blog, to looking at the company CogHead (he his on the advisory board), to following his advices, I’ve done it all ! You can see that in the presentations I made in tradeshows for my current company … You should surely see the change of method 😉
Anyhow, in a first post on his blog, Guy mentioned the Trumeors web site. And a couple of days later, the verdict got thrown out … It was Guy’s new company, with all the explanation in this post. The list of actions that lead to the current success of this website is plain dead simple, and simply shows how much Guy is understanding how current trends are going. This means how to go from a plain simple (but sure real and new) idea to a successful implementation. Nothing is really complicated as long as you know (the one about the legal fees is clearly interesting) about it. But clearly the starter point here is key : The one great idea that will transform an adventure into success.
I have made it clear to close friends that it was one of my goals to find this great idea and finally start on the entrepreneurial road. However I do think this is the key starter point that is the only way to success. So while looking for it, and finally finding it, I’ll continue learning which I think is another key important point that must not be forgotten about !

To WordPress or not ?

When I started this blog, I clearly did not search around for the various blogging platforms available out there. I followed Sebz instincts although I had a previous experience with Serendipity with my son’s blog.
Blogger seemed like a good platform (aren’t all Google tools one of the best ones ever ?), and I had previously chosen s9y only because it was easily installable on Free. And since I mainly use Google Reader to read my blog feeds, I do not often see the real platforms being the blogs I read.
However I have been quite disappointed with the platform. First of the preview is really lame since it does not take into account the template chosen for the blog, and so alignment and spacing often need some fixup once a message published. The HTML edition feature is nice although it seems that there always is some reprocessing once you edit the code. Another thing that troubles me is the lack of possibility to reference posts via meta keywords. This means that visibility of your blog is not really controllable and I would like to have better control over that.
As a result, I have been looking for other platforms available out there. WordPress seems to be plebiscited as one of the best ones. Vince has recently made this choice, and so did Guy ! (Vince you can thank me later for the comparison ;-)). So my question is simple : should I switch over to a WordPress platform ?
I already do like the multi-tab possibility which allows to go beyond blogging and add extra functionalities. This might be why WordPress defines itself as a “semantic personal publishing platform”, not only blogging platform ! It seems that on the edition side, it is more than OK. The missing thing might be the limit on the images (50Mb) although I’m not sure about the limit in Blogger. One deal breaker seems to be the impossibility to add flash content on the hosted platform wordpress.com 🙁
Anyhow I’ll continue to look into this… If you have any comment to make, do not hesitate ! And you might see some changes in the near future !