Writings on technology and society from Wellington, New Zealand

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The new Windows Mobile – A teenager’s perspective

A guest entry today – I lent the HTC Trophy running Windows Mobile 7 to my teenage son. Here’s his take on it.

One 17 year old’s opinion on this phone may be somewhat redundant, I don’t pretend to be the target market for a phone this expensive (possibly attributing to my ogling when being handed this for a play by my father?). But from the perspective of one who’s owned many Nokias and an iPod Touch, this phone seems to be a mix of the two with money thrown at it. So I’ll assume that you, reader of this post, who almost certainly spends more than $10 a month on their phone don’t really mind about spending a bit of money on some data. Not that I pretend to be an expert on data pricing.

Seeing as I have just spent 114 words outlining why I am completely unsuited to providing my opinion on this phone, I will now proceed to give it. In terms of hardware I can find no fault with it. It has a few buttons that are easy to grasp, but relies predominantly on its touch screen as an interface. The screen seems to be as good, if not better than my iPod, and it has a 4.1 megapixel camera. The Windows-driven interface is also easily manageable, their ‘tiles’ approach seems to work effectively, and maneuvering between the phone’s functions is easy and efficient.

The Internet user will also find that their address book is integrated with Facebook, and I would guess heaps of other stuff which my teenage phone experience has warranted little exposure to.

However, I still find myself maintaining my initial judgement of this phone, that the software, after a harsh upbringing in an orphanage, has been adopted into the hardware’s family, unlike with an iPhone where the components seem to be blood brothers. Oh please, elaborate on your confusing comparison I hear you ask. Very well. (i’m drunk on power by this stage.) Many of the phone’s menus and titles don’t fit, or are just a little too small for the screen, with seemingly random areas of blank screen space for no apparent reason. Stupid. Also, this may sound typical of someone who has grown up on Macs [the computers, not the beer -Ed], but the ‘Windows’ factor becomes apparent sooner rather than later. I have found myself turning to Google far too often to solve my problems, with a depressing rate of success. In this way (and many others) the phone seems more restrictive than the iPhone, and indeed it would be hard to not view the iPhone as more varied.

Thanks for taking the time to read this uncomprehensive (and in hindsight shockingly pretentious) report on my time with this phone. In conclusion, This phone seems to be good at being a phone, and I’m sure if you wanted to fork out around $900 for it, it could make your telephonic experience easy and simple. Comparing it to an iPhone seems harsh, despite them being in the same price bracket, and my Mac experience makes me question why you would buy one over an iPhone, but i’m sure Windows users will quite justifiably belittle this opinion. Whatever, man.

posted by colin at 12:10 pm  

Friday, January 29, 2010

Today on the Radio

I talked about Apple’s latest launch, the state of Telecom’s XT network, Google being hacked in China and ACTA. I didn’t get time for Lieutenant Uhura, but she’s here.

No speaker notes for today – most of it was done off the cuff after the Apple launch. But if you missed it live, you can download the audio as ogg or mp3.

posted by colin at 12:58 am  

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Why you should back up your computer and how to do it

There is an utterly heart-rending scene in Miranda Harcourt’s autobiographical play A Biography of my Skin in which their family computer’s disc crashes and they lose all their family photographs.

Today on Radio New Zealand National I’ll talk about how to keep your computer backed up. It’s not a hard thing to do. I’ll also have a few other tidbits from the world of technology.

I’ll be on air after the 11am news, and soon afterwards the you’ll be able to download the audio as ogg or mp3. (more…)

posted by colin at 8:16 pm  

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sucking up the Juice

Today on Radio New Zealand National I talk about the energy consumption of computers and how you can do your bit to keep that down.

Read below the “more” for my speaker notes, or download the audio as ogg or mp3. (more…)

posted by colin at 11:07 pm  

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Today on the radio

Today on Radio New Zealand National I’ll talk about a whole list of things – not sure if I’ll get time for them all. I’m going to mention the rumours that IBM will buy Sun, talk about why you can’t use your mobile on the London Underground, how you can tell if your computer is infected, and about where the value lies in software, which is based on a blog post I made a few days ago. I’ll put some of my speaker notes and the links for the program behind the “more…” below.

Listen live at 11:05 or download the audio as ogg or mp3. (more…)

posted by colin at 9:00 am  

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Off to Foo

Tomorrow I’m going to Warkworth to the third annual Kiwi Foo Camp.

Foo is an amazing experience. It’s so energising to be there with scientists, geeks, and artists. And Nathan, Jenine and Russell do a fine job in organising it.

Part of the deal with Foo is that everyone presents (“no passengers”). I’m going to talk about “Hacking Government”. It seems that the geek community is quite bad at telling government what it wants, in a way that government actually responds to. Perhaps we can start to deal with that.

posted by colin at 2:54 pm  

Thursday, November 27, 2008

1,000 mph. On land.

Today on Radio New Zealand National I celebrated the British attempt to break the land speed record. The British broke it last time it was broken as well, back in 1997 when ThrustSSC took the record to 633mph – a massive 20% increase on the previous record. ThrustSSC was the first car to go supersonic on land, hence the name. And every day, the project posted a huge amount of information on the Internet so armchair record breakers could follow it from around the globe. And its Internet supporters were there for it when it ran out money.

Now, the same team has started a new project – BloodhoundSSC. They want to break their own record and get up to 1,000mph on land. Wow!

Read on for my speaking notes or download the audio as ogg or mp3. (more…)

posted by colin at 1:12 pm  

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Do Androids dream of Electric Phones?

Today on Radio New Zealand National I talked about Google’s new mobile phone platform, called Android. The first Android phone has just gone on sale in the US. It’s a very interesting move by Google and will probably result in dropping mobile phone prices. Can’t be bad.

Read on for my speaking notes, or download the audio as ogg or mp3.


posted by colin at 10:11 pm  

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Birthdays: Google, GNU and the silicon chip

Today on Radio New Zealand National I talked about some birthdays and tried to look at what these different things had meant to us.

Read on for my speaking notes, or listen to the audio download as ogg or mp3.


posted by colin at 11:11 am  

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Computer monitors

This week on Radio New Zealand National I talked about computer monitors. They may sound boring, but some of us spend a lot of time staring at them. I talked about where they have come from, where they are going and how they work.

Read on for my speaking notes, or listen to the podcast!


posted by colin at 11:53 am  
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