Sunday, January 15, 2006

My new Motorola ROKR E1

Shifting from Nokia 3100 to Motorola ROKR E1 was fun and not so fun. I was not changing cell phone due to one reason i.e. I had all my contacts in my phonebook (not in SIM) and they were organized using “Multiple Contacts against one name” feature of the Nokia (Nokia rocks in flexibility regarding this – I think!).

Now when I finally decided to change, the problem was to get all my contacts to ROKR and this is where the story begins. I encountered a lot of LIMITATIONS in several software products.

First question was to shift all the contacts from Nokia phone to my computer. DKU-5 cable along with the Nokia PC suite is the best solution to do this. I decided not to install the cable driver and PC suite from the CD that came with the cable. Instead, I downloaded the latest version and it didn’t work. On searching, I came to know that DKU-5 cable comes in clones as well and I happen to have a cloned cable that is somewhat different from the standard cable. Original Nokia DKU-5 cable was of $100 while I got the cable for Rs. 250 (less than $5). I had to uninstall the latest version, re-install the driver that came with the CD and then upgrade the Nokia PC Suite. Eventually it worked. I took a backup (which Nokia PC suite saves in its own format) and then moved on to getting the contacts in Outlook as well.

Now look at Outlook. Somehow Outlook contact book designers also decided that a person can have only one home, one mobile and one office number (that is not very much in accordance with the real world). People tend to have several office/home numbers and some people do have more than one mobile numbers. I hope that in Office 12, they would have thought of that.

Now how to move those contacts to ROKR? It was a bigger problem. I found out that there was no software from Motorola to do this (at least no free software). There were several products (which were obviously not free). I tried MobilEdit and mobile PhoneTools. mobile PhoneTools is a software from Motorola but it should have been free. Both MobilEdit and mobile PhoneTools almost serve the purpose. However mobile PhoneTools provides contact synchronization as well while MobilEdit just allows you to copy the contacts from computer to mobile (and vice versa).

Motorola doesn’t GROUP contacts like Nokia does. It just adds another entry but at least I have all my contacts.

Apart from this, iTunes in RORK is cool. You can have 100 songs at most (which may be a little less for some people but it will work for me). Sound quality is pretty good. A decent option if you are a music freak and want to have a iPod with Mobile – and if by stroke of luck you keep all your contacts in SIM (my SIM has a 200 contact limit which is less for me), the switching over will just take a couple of minutes. Camera results are good as well. Overall a good option!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Reinventing the Wheel !!!

Consumer Electronic Show 2006 has seen some of the great presentations during this week. Starting with Bill Gates (no need to introduce), we saw some other great CEOs coming forward and presenting their innovations. Among these were Paul Otellini (Intel President and CEO), Terry Semel (Yahoo CEO), Larry Page (Google CEO) etc.

Bill G started with the word ENTERTAINMENT and that is what all the other’s followed. See the announcements and you will find a lot of them e.g. mobile phones with enhanced multimedia capabilities, collaborations with TV channels, audios/videos on sale etc.

Windows Vista is one attraction, Yahoo Go and Google Pack are yet some others (Not exactly the discussion of this topic but I did wonder why Norton agreed to give a reduced Antivirus with Google Pack).

And listening all this, I was wondering who is going to INTEGRATE all this? Larry did talk about simplifying things. However Google is introducing yet another media player for its Video Sales service when they could have Licensed Windows Media Player which is a de-facto standard for almost all the Window users (more than 90% computer users in the world). I already have three media players, Windows media player, Real Player and Quick Time as none of these can play all the formats.

Right now, I need at least three accounts, one for Hotmail, one for Yahoo, One for Google (three passwords, three profiles etc). Yahoo Groups won’t let me get the files and photos even if I am subscribed to that group from my GMail account. I cannot sign in to ORKUT using hotmail or yahoo. This sort of incompatibility list is long rather very long. If just my phone numbers change, I would have to update at so many places that I’m sure to forget some of these.

Companies should work together. MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger are joining hands, which is a good sign.

I still remember my course in Object Oriented Programming. In the very beginning, we were told that reinventing the wheel is a bad idea. Probably someone forgot to tell me that this “reinventing the wheel” phrase should only be used get an A+ in OOP course - Afterwards forget it!

P.S. These are some random thoughts at entering my passwords ten times, installing software that will do the partial work etc etc.