Masud Reza's Blog on the Internet


Posted on June 6, 2009

Is Small really Beautiful?

In UNIX, i came to know that ‘small is beautiful’ referring to the small shell scripts and very small executables that could get the job done. If the spam that I recieve is any indicator, size does seem to matter. More than half of the spam I get is about increasing the size of one’s ‘johnson’ 🙂 . Viagra rules supreme when it comes to SPAM. So creative are the subjects of these emails that one is tempted to open them.

So size is also important when it comes to the mobile phone – a curse that we have to live in modern times. Why do we need a mobile phone? Does it not disconnect us with people who are around us and we need to connect with? In societies where men are mere number

Posted on March 9, 2008

E90 Essentials

The E90 is a marvelous piece of hardware. In the last five months of use, i’ve only had to reboot it twice and that too after installing software that was not compatible.

Here is some software that I’ve found out to be very useful.

SMS Spam Manager
SMS Spam Manager is made by Webgate. Unfortunately, unsolicited and junk SMS messages are on the rise. Every junk SMS message wastes around 10-15 seconds. And depending on what the SMS is all about, it could waste more by losing ‘focus’ 🙂

With the SMS Spam Manager, you can define your very own idiots list 🙂 which the software calls blacklist. Your phone will silently send all SMS messages from any blacklisted number to the junk folder. Your Phone will not alert you (beep) if the SMS is from a number in the blacklist. Fortunately, my circle comprises of sane people and hence the idiots list is pretty small 🙂

As you can see above, I’ve chosen the ‘Block Black List Rules’. If you choose the ‘Accept Phone Book’ setting, then only contacts in your Phonebook can send you an SMS.

A log is maintained for the blocked SMS messages. You can view them if you like or let them stay in oblivion.

Quest for the Best Cell Phone

Well the quest for the perfect converged device in a cell-phone form factor is over for the time being anyway for me that is. I ditched my faithful old Nokia 9300i Communicator for the Nokia E90 communicator. Communicators are not unlike a woman. You like holding them, feeling them, touching them, caressing them and pressing all the buttons :-). The E90 lacks the curves of the 9300i but ups the ante by including so many extras. The E90 will put a 1000 usd dent in your pocket if you buy it now. I think over the next three to four months it might come down to Rs 45k-50k. The E90 lot in the market now does not have the defects that made Nokia delay the Communicator by almost a month. Users had reported microphone issues and the fact that when the Keyboard was closed, the keys used to touch the Screen ruining the surface in a month or two of use. These have now been removed by Nokia and the current model of E90 in the Pakistan market is E90-1. Well, this set is not manufactured in China or India or even the US. It’s only manufactured in Finland!

Ditching the 9300i was tough. I literally grew up on a Commodore 64. So the Graphical Environment Operating System (GEOS) used to be the standard back then. At least on the Commodore 64. And the Nokia 9300i was a nostalgic piece of kit for me. The IBM PC in those days was primarily geared for Office use. The 1541C disk drive used to have such immense capacity 170KBytes… not to mention the size of the disks … 5.25″……. whoever said small is beautiful? :-). The Nokia 9300i’s Platform, S80 had roots in GEOS. I still wonder how the geniuses used to make the 6502/6510 Processor do wonders. I think the term bloatware came into existence once Windows Operating System appeared. And Intel and Microsoft seem to have an unholy alliance. One keeps on churning new higher speed CPUs and the other keeps on producing bloated code to make the programs run slower 🙂 wanking us all in the process.

I think one should be able to use a phone single-handedly… keeping one hand free for other important tasks :-). All touchscreen phones fail this one simple attribute. Windows Mobile Phones are what I call Dinosaurs… in terms of the resources they use. And Windows mobiles have such hefty dimensions. Slim is in baby. And it’s ok to love fatties once in a while too eh. Holding a stylus and touching the screen might make you a fashion icon but for people like myself it’s a big turn-off. And SMS and Emails require a QWERTY keyboard. Period.

The E90 includes a 3.2Mpixel camera and a GPS. Although, I’m unlikely to use the GPS unless travelling out of city. I was able to test drive the GPS, however, while travelling on the Motorway en route Islamabad. A 140 km/h on the speedometer translated to roughly the same speed on the GPS. The GPS co-ordinates of my house showed an error of 27.5 meters! I haven’t been able to confirm that by using my Garmin GPS though.

The best thing I like about the E90 is the speed. At last I can open pdf, Microsft Word and Excel files in a jiffy. On the 9300i, it used to take ages. The CPU does not let you lag even for a second. Another thing i’ve noticed is that switching from an active call to a call on hold takes split second…. as compared to almost a second on my old 9300i.

For Instant Messaging, Windows Live Messenger is available free of cost although for the E90-1 model released in Pakistan, it is not available officially. You can use IM+ from Shape Services, one of my favorite IM applications. It allows you to use MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, Google Chat and then some.

Trying to use the E90 for video is sort of well… stupid. You would have to hold the phone horizontally for shooting a video. A 2.5 minutes worth of MPEG4 video on the E90 resulted in a 50Mbyte file. Uploading it to Blogger Video took a mere four minutes on my home FTTU connection. Blogger then ‘processed’ the video and the results were as worse as they could be. Blogger cannot be used for any serious video hosting. The MPEG4 video made on the cell was excellent. But what Blogger did to it was horrible. So, I took the video off since it wouldn’t give you a tad bit of idea of how good the videos from an E90 can be.

The Blackberry Connect 4.0 software is much better than the Blackberry software on the 9300i. It is just more stable. So far i’ve not had any issues in recieving mails over the Blackberry Mobilink service.

So if you can live with the size and a single device which has it all, the E90 has no competition. Uh Puhleeez. NO windows mobile phones please. Be serious.