I actually quite like the WP8 user experience. Innovative and different. Not bad for a first attempt.
What’s that? 8th what? Oh well, um…
Most niggles with Nokia Lumia 920 are really niggles with WP8. Most niggles with WP8 are really niggles with Windows NT. Lipstick on a pig.
This Clevo laptop is a new machine and like a lot of new machines, not all of its hardware has drivers in the current stable release of debian.
Happily, there is a driver for its rtl8723ae wireless networking device in the later 3.8 Linux kernel versions. So it’s just a case of installing the package called “kernel-package” and following the instructions in it, to make a new linux-image package with the latest drivers in it.
One small thing which tripped me up is that you usually need to write “make-kpkg –rootcmd fakeroot –initrd kernel-image” now. I forgot the “–initrd” option at first.
The Shard sdrv.ms/147go5h
The problem with Apple: if you’re going to have a locked-in ecosystem, you’d better make sure your apps work properly. iTunes is a disaster.
By “Other”, iTunes means “stuff I lost track of, even though my only job is to sync with the iPad”. iTunes, you suck. img.ly/txnt
Having a Guinness with @mfifield in honour of Sunday.
Saint Patrick’s Day. sdrv.ms/144DNES
Can you tell what it is yet? sdrv.ms/ZyhUIv
Shopping in Blackheath. sdrv.ms/15SeljV
Lewisham town centre: German sausages! sdrv.ms/YfBDhr
I went for a walk in the park with my family a couple of weeks ago; my beloved mp3 player was in my coat pocket. The next day, I put my coat on and noticed that the mp3 player was gone! (Tiredness is making me forgetful and not notice things very quickly). Now, after a couple more days, I'd accepted that I'd very likely dropped it while walking and would never see it again and went back to using my old mp3 player.
When I got home today, while opening the door to the back passage [not a euphemism], I happened to glance at the ground near my front door and there, just under the gas meter box right by the front door, was my mp3 player!
Two possibilities occur:
The player dropped out of my pocket either on the way in or out of my house.
I had dropped it somewhere near my house and some kind neighbour (or passerby), picked it up and put it under the gas meter box.
Either possibility has mysteries. If I dropped it near my front door, the chances of it happening to have found the very small gap necessary to nestle right under the gas meter box - conveniently sheltered from the elements - seem very small.
If it was put there for safe-keeping by another person who had noticed it dropped near my house, why not leave a note to let me know?!
Either way, I'm most pleased :)
And if option 2 is the one... thank you very much whoever it was!
Revelation: noise-cancelling headphones are awesome for working from home, as well as for flying on a plane.
ARGH. Just seen the floppy disk “save” icon in Windows Azure. img.ly/tqCv
Why, Microsoft, why?!
I’ll install apps. I’ll run my life from the phone. I’ll take the opportunity to try out the Windows Phone SDKs to get my simple proof-of-concept Tube Status app up and running. I’ll throw an Apache Cordova app together.
But first and foremost, I’ll see if this is finally the phone to bring me back to Nokia. It’s been six years since my N95. I’d like to see what’s changed since then.
The phone arrived yesterday – an incredibly fast turnaround by the Nokia folks. Here’s my first impressions, as they happened, stream-of-consciousness style.
Box is … meh. Same as every other mobile phone box. Nothing to judge, nothing to see here, move along. Opening it up…
Actually, I love the metallic yellow plastic finish. It reminds me of a die-cast toy car.
OMG HEAVY. Actually not that heavy, similar to iPhone 4S, but the length of the phone makes it feel disproportionately top-heavy. I’ve also been using a Galaxy SIII recently,
Plugged in to charge. Turned on! Weird. Powered off by holding down power off button. I like the visual style of the “goodbye”.
Oh, it’s on again.
I tested my other phones. The Samsung stays off when turned off whilst plugged in, but keeps a battery indicator on screen. The iPhone will stays off when turned off whilst plugged in.
I admit to reading about the phone that won’t stay off. Moving on.
Ok, time to do setup. Open up with the handy SIM removal tool. Take a deep breath. Turn off the iPhone. Remove the SIM. Stick it in the Lumia. Power on. Picked up network – good, this Lumia is not network-locked.
I’m not getting the full “first run” experience. That’s a shame – Nokia, you might want to ship these factory-reset.
While searching for “Lumia Factory Reset” I get a text from o2:
“O2: If you’d like to use Wap or Mms on this phone we’ll need to help, so please call us free on 08448090202.”
Urgh. Why, o2? Why not push the configs automatically, provide a URL with handy info, or “text HELP and we’ll call you“?
So, how to reset a Lumia:
It took a minute or so to reset. I noticed curiously the phone settings aren’t alphabetical. Since they are a text list, it feels like they should be.
Ok, that’s better. “Let’s get started” – well, alright then! (Minus one point to the Microsoft designers for repetition of Windows Phone on that screen.)
I’m on the Setup screen.
There’s lots of information on the “recommended” configuration, but not so much info on “custom”. What does custom mean? It would be nice to have some examples.
Given the dearth of information on the alternative, I select “recommended”.
Next is the Windows Live (or whatever it’s called this week) account page.
There’s a bit of a bug that on the signup page there’s no way to hide the keyboard (unless I missed it). Much scrolling of the remains of the screen to see checkboxes (which, when clicked, hide the keyboard). I had this same problem with Windows 8 on a tablet. Major design flaw. Astounding this hasn’t been picked up in user experience testing.
It’s funny to start with signing in to Windows Live and not setting up WiFi. I feel this will bite me later.
Ok, it’s later. Signing in didn’t work, it seems my mobile data connection isn’t working, so I had to skip adding my account and will then add it afterwards.
I want to fix my mobile data settings. Some googling shows up settings: http://getsettings.o2.co.uk/ It’s as easy as texting o2!
Nope: that’s iPhone only. Strike two for o2.
I find some o2 apn settings online, but decide to contact o2 instead, on the number they texted me. Remember, they said “If you’d like to use Wap or Mms on this phone we’ll need to help” so they should be able to assist. I dial the number. Wait, it’s a generic number. I’m in a menu (“press one for accounts, …”). That’s appalling service. o2 know why I am calling, why don’t they have a custom number that jumps straight to someone handing out APN details?
I’m recording the call (for quality and training purposes), so it’s on speakerphone. I notice the speakerphone is quieter than the S3.
o2 manage to help me by switching my APN from one o2 setting to another.
While I’m in settings, I set up wifi.
So time to add accounts. I add hotmail, google, Facebook, twitter … but then I notice I get an error:
It’s a rather disingenuous error! If you were to read it without thinking, you might assume there is a problem with twitter. There’s not – what it actually means is Windows Phone has a problem connecting to twitter. It’s pretty ugly behaviour to blame a third party service rather than being honest.
The design language of the phone feels familiar … very xbox.
I’m not sure I like the phone network status disappearing from the top-left. I’m too used to having permanent status indicators – the menu bar on my Mac has more than a dozen indicators.
I decide to make sure I’m on the latest and greatest version of Windows Phone. I go into Settings, and click on updates.
Checking for updates … takes … forever … and I lost patience. Time to try something else.
Time to add some apps.
The problem with a search button is it gets confusing when an app has search – like the Windows store.
There’s a big search button on-screen, but then another hardware search bottom-right. The on-screen search is for the store, the hardware search is for Bing. Since it’s always there, I want to use the hardware search in a context-sensitive fashion.
I install apps based on which ones I use on my iPhone.
Foursquare, British Airways, Battle.net authenticator, Flickr, Flixster, Tesco, Ocado, Last.fm, Netflix, RedLaser, The Guardian, Tube Map, Weather: boom. Found it, installed it.
Cyclemeter: http://forums.wpcentral.com/windows-phone-apps/191077-best-running-cycling-apps.html suggests endomondo or runkeeper. I grab both.
As I’m searching for apps, I’m abruptly interrupted by software update. Very abruptly: I’m taken out of the app store and confronted with an update button. I didn’t even know updates had been found.
During the update (which worked, and was painless), I’m shown two reminders of the Windows legacy:
This is rubbish.
Update completed! Update completed! Update completed! Update completed!
Someone at Microsoft should be hanging their head in shame.
Back to the app install.
I’m pleasantly surprised: my bank has an app. It works just as nicely as the iPhone app – maybe even better, as the extra screen real estate allows more information on-screen at once.
Foursquare works, but I don’t get the icons. I miss the textual cues from Android and iOS.
As I’m installing apps, I notice this:
That’s right – the app name isn’t available so the list of apps shows @C:\Data\Programs\….
Muscle memory says the bottom middle of the phone turns it on. I don’t like the switch on the side.
End of day one summary
I think I need to give this phone more time to grow on me.
This is basically a link-post to the Debian Project Leader election email discussions on GMANE’s blog-style interface to debian-vote. After only 3 days of the 21, there’s already a pageful, so if I don’t start collecting links now, I’ll probably miss some. Right or wrong, I’ve grouped these into three topics:The Job
So, what do you think are the key points or differences? Leave me a comment, or get involved in the discussions. Campaigning ends and voting begins 30/31 March.