sugoll (sugoll) wrote,

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More on the phone

A week in, and the ride's not significantly less bumpy.

GPS: reading around, the implication appears to be that:
  1. The GPS takes forever in a wide-open field to first lock into the location, and thereafter is much faster. I'll look into this more when I'm next in a field, but I won't hold my breath, being surrounded as I am by n-storey granite buildings.
  2. Not to mention that, it seems, one has to download the maps to begin with. The implication seems to be that initially, this has to be done via Maploader, a PC-only application. No Mac support, at all. I might be mis-reading this, though. Once you've got the maps downloaded, further information is downloaded on demand. This bit's free, apart from the data transfer. I might see if I can get something going via the WAN, though.
  3. The maps are free, as far as location goes. Navigation (from point A to point B) requires a subscription service.
Documents: bit of a disaster here. On the T3, I was using Documents To Go, which was bundled. A passable rendition of Word documents, provided you didn't use anything in the way of actual formatting (italics, for example, tended to run until the end of the document). I'd create them on the PC, set them up for synchronisation, and thereafter, could edit in either place and it would sync all changes. Maybe that works in the PC-only PC Suite, but not so for the Mac user:
  1. iSync (the standard Mac application) syncs Contacts and Calendar, but doesn't do anything about documents. It's possible I might be able to do something with iTunes (see later), but I have my doubts. iDisk, the Mac's standard approach for automatically syncing arbitrary files, appears to be a .Mac service (so it'll only sync with your rented space on Apple's servers in the US. Er, no thanks.). So I have to do the copying manually, when I remember that a file's changed in one location or another. That's a pain. I can do that via USB flash-drive mode (drag'n'drop) or via Bluetooth File Transfer, but it's still a pain.
  2. First attempt at dropping them onto the phone failed: QuickOffice couldn't open the file. I explicitly transferred again (via Bluetooth this time) as CSV, 95 and 97 variants of XLS, and found only the latter would open. This is just a bog-standard list of column entries, folks. Nothing clever.
  3. While looking up the failure in the Guide (could hardly call it a manual), it has the note: "To upgrade to a version that supports editing..." What? Okay, so it's only $49.99, but still.
On Databases: I'm only faffing around with Excel because, really, what I want is a simple index-card-like database. Back in the Psion days, I think the 3a's address book was merely a pre-defined instance of such a beast, and you could create any number of other databases with different fields. Not complicated, but effective. Can't see anything like that here, which is very disappointing. I'll have go to looking for S60 applications to download.

On To-Do lists: Well, I'm disappointed by both Apple and the phone here. The T3 supported multiple categories of list (and you could define as many as you wanted). The Mac's iCal application does too, but it's not clear that you can display them separately, and anyway, that distinction is lost when downloaded to the phone. It's just a flat list.

(I have a lot of lists: things to do, things to buy, items for cons, fencing, stuff to get on the next supermarket trip, things to pack for the next few impending trips, and so on. Some of them are entered six months in advance, and I don't want them mixed in with everything else. I'll take this as a database, a document, a list, whatever, but I need some separation. I'll be trying the Notes/Memos thing next.)

On Media: Nokia have, in the last couple of weeks, released a beta of an application for downloading music, photos and video to the phone, and it appears to work. Ish. I managed to download music yesterday, and that was okay. It's a little confusing as to the connection modes, as the phone has four: PC Suite, Mass Storage, Image Print and Media Player. The first is for the PC-sync'ing software, the second for USB-drive mode, and I'm a little confused about the other two, because the Mac responds differently depending on how I connect it. More investigation required. Anyway, the music transfer thing wasn't directly via iTunes, but it used the iTunes library (and took forever to download - apparently it's converting the formats en route). I'm wondering if I could get any of this to do transfer of arbitrary files, but I doubt it. I haven't tried video transfer, because I don't actually have any I'd want to transfer [though I do have some fencing videos. Hmm...]. The photo upload from the camera into iPhoto worked, although not quite how I imagined. More USB mode confusion.

Amusing point: the guide lists media, connections, web, gallery, etc. It takes eleven chapters before it gets round to "Making calls". Eleven. And we still call them "phones"... (we got katlinel to call it today, just to make sure that bit actually worked, since it hadn't been tried out before).
Tags: n95
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