Ups and Downs


It’s been a while since I last posted.  I guess that’s because I haven’t bought any new gadgets that have been worth writing about.  Well, that’s changed.  I’ve recently bought a Nokia E61 phone, a TomTom 910 navigation unit and a new Nikon flash for my digital SLR.  2 have turned out great.  1 should, I hope, soon.
The Nokia E61 is a full featured version of the E62 sold by Cingular in the U.S.  I purchased the phone in the Philippines as it is unavailable in the U.S. (unless you buy it on Ebay).  I preferred to see it before I bought it so on my last trip to Cebu, I plunked down $350 for the phone.  Cool.  I thought.  It turns out the phone is permanently identified as a southeast Asian version of the phone.  Technically, it’s just like the European version.  Only, it has Asian languages, and English.  But, and even more importantly, it can only be updated via a Windows-based updater while the phone is attached via a Nokia supplied USB cable.  I run Windows XP Pro in Parallels on my MacBook Pro so this isn’t a problem.  But, the Nokia servers won’t update my phone to the latest and greatest (as now possible on the Euro phones) as it is a Philippines phone and not a European phone.  No difference in these phones except language support.  I guess that until all is translated into all languages and tested, Nokia won’t put out the update that supposedly solves all problem.  ARGH.  The reason I bought the phone is its support for GSM/GPRS/EDGE and 3G.  Further, it is a WiFi enabled device too.  And, it’s supposed to support SIP (VOIP) natively and through other apps (which it won’t due to lack of many IP things such as NAT traversal).  Imagine that when you are attached to a wireless access point, your phone automatically links to it and your SIP client (VOIP client) registers with a SIP server (Gizmo).  Then, when someone calls your one number that is associated with this VOIP client, it goes to the phone that way.  Otherwise, it goes to your mobile number.  Which rings the very same phone but through your mobile services provider.  Since my company’s phone system is SIP based, I could even point the SIP client to the company phone server, log in, and then merely dial an extension and connect to a desk in our Philippines office.  Or call anybody anywhere and have them see our office caller ID.  But, sadly, this doesn’t all happen until the update comes.  Nokia released a phone that sounds good but just doesn’t deliver yet.
Now, my TomTom is really different.  It’s a portal satellite nagivation system that has worked as advertised right from the beginning.  Both in the U.S and in England on a recent drive around.  It even allows my Blackberry Pearl to attach via Bluetooth and then act as a speakerphone.  It includes all maps in Europe and the U.S. and even notified me of speed cameras along English roads.  WOW.  So, if you’ve wanted one of these, go for this one.


My NIkon Flash is also a charm.  I purchased a Nikon D50 last year, a full functional digital SLR.  I’ve loved it.  But, the built in flash keeps causing redeye.  This is a known problem wtih these simple flash units.  They sit too close to the lens and as well don’t diffuse the light very well.  I purchased a medium level Nikon flash designed for my camera (the SB-600 AF Speedlight).  The flash rotates in all directions (even backwards) and has a two different diffusion methods.  I can make a night picture look like day and I haven’t seen redeye yet.

What’s next?  Not sure.  I need so many things around the house I think I’ll have to make my current toys keep me happy.  Looks like my next post will be around things I’d like to have.  Like the new iPhone, on T-Mobile.  Given Apple has signed a 3 year exclusive, I will have to beat on Nokia to provide me cool mobile technology.

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