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everyone is doing iPad posts…

Everyone is doing it…  of course they are…  but really how many of the posts are nothing more than link bait…  if I put iPad into a post it will get more visits…  Just how many words are being spent on the iPad, when say there are actually important things happening in the world.  I think more has been written about the iPad in Australia than the govts change of heart on the ETS.

So here are two posts in one…

A pro iPad and then an antiIpad post….


Magical device blah blah.
Revolutionary device blah blah blah
This changes the face of publishing blah blah
Taking the world by storm blah blah.
OMG how did we live with out this blah blah blah
Steve has shown the way of the future blah blah blah.
Flash is just for advertising blah blah blah
I waited 7 days in a blizzard for it blah blah blah
So many great apps blah blah blah
So much better than the iPhone blah blah blah
It replaces 500 devices in my house blah blah blah
Everyone should release an iPad version of their blah blah blah


Flash is an important part of the web blah blah blah
Close ecosystem blah blah blah
4×3 video is a waste of blah blah blah
No camera no blah blah blah
Queuing for a computer is just stupid blah blah
Oh you can change Job’s liver but not the battery blah blah blah
No Mulitasking blah blah blah
iTunes is just screwing developers blah blah blah
It is just a big iPhone that can’t make calls blah blah blah
Just more e-waste that does nothing my blah cant do blah blah blah
Why do we have to recode blah blah blah for the iPad


Under the post you may or may not find lots of pro and anti Apple flame wars…  although I doubt it 🙂

I think I’ll leave the conclusion to iPad Lorem Ipsum…. it seems only fitting, and possibly better research than a lot of content out there.

Nunc iPad lectus a urna commodo iPad. Apple feugiat ipad consectetur diam revolution scelerisque. Suspendisse iPad dui a Apple dictum Steve Jobs. Vivamus quis iPad magic sapien placerat blandit vitae in iPad. Apple erat magical, pulvinar nec elementum sed, facilisis sit amet est. Praesent ipad, tincidunt semper publishing industry, ornare vel turpis. Fusce lots of apps pharetra. Aenean tincidunt dapibus iPad, eu aliquam sem Apple non.

#telstradesire vs Nokia N95-8gb

When I entered the Telstra Social Reviewers I said I was interested in geodata and that what I wanted out of it was to know if it was time to upgrade my 3 year old Nokia N95-8gb.

For the really lazy… Here is my conclusion..

I like the HTC, I like Android and I’m finding myself living more and more connected due to this phone. If you use Google a lot, this is the phone for you, if you use Google a bit, this is the phone that will make you use Google alot.  There is a lot to like about it, there is a lot to be frustrated by it.  But will I recommend it to people.  Yes, with a big caveat you have to be someone with time to invest to get used to it.  Also this phone is for someone with a dataplan.  If you don’t have a decent data plan you are not going to get the most of out it.

On with the review…. my 3 year old nokia…Most people would say.. but the phone is three years old.. why haven’t you upgraded.  The reason was evolution not revolution.  The original N95 to me was the Revolutionary phone.. the N95-8gb which I got was the evolution.  One of the reasons for getting was that it had Flash Lite 2.1… aka Flash Lite with Flash 7 video.  (Sorry Steve but flash has been on mobiles for a few years now!), coupled with the GPS, wifi and 5 Mega pixel camera this phone still served me well.

What is interesting is that on paper the HTC-Desire is so close in so many areas.  At least for the things that I was particularly interested in. Of course I am moving from the old Nokia to the new HTC as my new base phone, but what I think I should point out is just where the phones are different.

Comparison Table N95 – HTC (Table Modified from – GSM Arena)

TFT, 16M colors AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
240 x 320 pixels, 2.8 inches 480 x 800 pixels, 3.7 inches
– Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate – Multi-touch input method
– Accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate
– Proximity sensor for auto turn-off
– Optical trackpad
– HTC Sense UI
Speakers Stereo Mono
Internal 8 GB storage, 128 MB RAM 576 MB RAM; 512 MB ROM
Card slot No microSD, up to 32GB, 2GB included
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, UPnP technology Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g
Bluetooth Yes, v2.0 with A2DP Yes v2.1 with A2DP
USB Yes, v2.0 miniUSB Yes, microUSB v2.0 (Includes Charging Via USB)
Primary 5 MP, 2592 x 1944 pixels, Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus, LED flash 5 MP, 2592 x 1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
Video Yes, VGA@30fps Yes, WVGA (800×480 pixels) @ 15fps
Secondary QVGA videocall camera No
OS Symbian OS 9.2, S60 rel. 3.1 Android OS, v2.1 (Eclair)
CPU Dual ARM 11 332 MHz processor; 3D Graphics HW Accelerator Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8250 1 GHz processor
SMS, MMS, Email, Instant Messaging SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
Stereo FM radio; Visual radio Stereo FM radio with RDS
Maps Ovi Offline Maps (Now $10) Offline Maps with 3rd Party $50)
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support; Nokia Maps Yes, with A-GPS support
– Dual slide design – Digital compass
– WMV/RV/MP4/3GP video player – Dedicated search key
MP3/WMA/WAV/RA/AAC/M4A music player – Google Search, Maps, Gmail
– TV-out – YouTube, Google Talk, Picasa integration
– Organizer MP4/H.263/H.264/WMV9 player
– Document viewer (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF) MP3/AAC+/WAV/WMA9 player
– Voice dial/memo – Facebook, Flickr, Twitter applications
– Push to talk – Voice memo
Standard battery, Li-Ion 1200mAH (BL-6F) Standard battery, Li-Ion 1400 mAh
Stand-by Up to 280 h Up to 340 h (2G) / Up to 360 h (3G)
Talk time Up to 6 h Up to 6 h 40 min (2G) / Up to 6 h 30 min (3G)

For me what is interesting is that the Nokia still holds its own in a large number of these fields, including camera, wifi, gps and multitasking.

I’ve given the nod to Nokia for battery as well whilst on paper the HTC is the better battery, not once you start using the features of the phone and features is what is comes down to. Until people start putting “using the phone time” in battery life is somewhat of a useless number.  9 years ago this kind of computer was top end sitting on your desktop.  Now it is in your hand.

The camera also goes to Nokia as well for the optics, but the camera controls are more refined on the HTC, but the dedicated Camera button on the Nokia is much easier to use, also the way you hold the phone is much easier with the Nokia and on the HTC I kept covering the lens with my hand.

The screen goes hands down to the HTC, it is a joy to use and is so bright and clear that even going back to the Nokia for 20 minutes was to be honest quite hard just to read the text on the screen.

I’ve already blogged about the GPS, which is incredibly fast and responsive and with the digital compass a huge advance of the Nokia. Couple that with the beautiful screen it is a great car gps as well.  However Nokia still have one big thing over all the Android phones and that is Ovi Maps.  The fact that you can now get (on all new Nokia’s) free world wide offline maps this is something that I missed with the HTC.  I often use my Nokia to plan routes or when I am travelling outside phone coverage and even in the dense urban areas your map never goes offline and you never have to pay for data charges to get maps.

The Android Store can be a dogs breakfast when using if from your phone.  Sure if you know just what you are after then it is great, but it still needs a lot of work to be really user friendly and help users find the apps and give them the control on sorting.  However there are number of third party solutions, AppBrain in particular is very handy giving you control over your apps and the ability to see what your friends have installed.

I miss my Real Player and my Divx player as well.  Like a number of things, that is not HTC’s fault, nor Androids, someone hasn’t built them yet.  Sure people scoff at Real Player, but there are a lot of sites that still use it and a lot of streaming radio uses it as well. I am going to miss the TV out function as well, I liked being able to see my camera photos on the tv when I was travelling.

The wifi in the Desire is very impressive… getting signals at the other end of my house where the Nokia doesn’t.  Which means that I can be a little bit further out from free wifi and still get a signal, which suits me perfectly.

As for the Telstra set up, I get where they were coming from in the way they put the apps on.  Sure they want to push their own brand, but do it right.  WAP is not an Application.. so don’t make things look like Apps that are just WAP Links.. Further why WAP… seriously this phone can display stunning webpages.. make light version of the page yes, but not WAP.  And let people remove them.  Why introduce limitations to a device that was designed not to have them.

As for Network, if you live outside the major metro’s I would say Telstra hands down.  If you travel outside the metro’s frequently also Telstra hands down.  Nationally their network is fantastic.  Yes when they say their coverage is in more place and is stronger they are telling the truth. If you live in the city though other factors can come into play… price is the biggest one.

Using the HTC is fast, it is very responsive and with the update to Android hopefully due soon it should be even faster.  Couple that with Flash 10.1 and this phone is seriously going to rock.  I look forward to seeing what Nokia can come up with, but it looks like Android have me in their grasp for a while yet.

When I work out more things… I’ll just add more blog posts.. but without the hashtag 🙂

and the review continues #telstradesire

Well it will continue for me, why because I get to keep the phone.  This was the most controversial part of the project by a few very vocal critics.  Whilst I was lucky to be on holiday at the time all of that fuss blew up and in some respect over, I thought I would just add my thoughts on that.  I knew of some of the reviewers… and I have actually meet some of the reviewers and they are the people I would have gone to and asked about the phone before this came along.

One thing with most of the reviewers running blogs is that the review process will not stop because of the “two week limitation” of the actual review. I know that already some of the reviewers are looking at Android 2.2 on there devices, I can just keep following them and see what they do.

I think that the guys and girls and Telstra do deserve a big stiff drink after this experiment and I think it has been really interesting.  The reviews have been more indepth and critical than any other Australian Media review that I have encountered and yet people were saying that the reviews would be tainted.

Yes I have been up and down with the phone and I am still working on the final review this weekend, however I am using the phone.  During the first few days I kept going back to my N95-8gb, mostly out of familiarity and in a few cases for a feature.  I’m still cursing under my breath entering text on the keyboard and bumping the volume control way to often.  Even now I am much more familiar with the device to the point I would recommend it, with the caveat of a few tweaks here and there.. some by adding new default apps,  some by Telstra removing Wap Links that look like apps.

This recommendation comes from two weeks of playing and learning (more like 9 days from when the phone arrived).  In a few more weeks I will have refined the Apps list, worked out a few more tips and tricks and maybe just maybe have found a decent keyboard.  Then it will be like most computer reviews… because really this is a computer that makes phone calls and fits in your pocket.  Great computer.. needs the following software.

I’ll be tweaking the blog as I move over to Android.. keeping the old N95 stuff but adding some new categories…

A suprise near conclusion for the #telstradesire

When I started this, I was thinking would I use this phone to replace my Nokia n95-8gb and whilst the answer is a qualified yes… there is a different item it may well end up replacing.

The Car Computer for the Road Trip My UMPC, the Asus R2H which I use primarily as my car computer these days (yes I am that sad I have a car computer).  I’ll need to trick it up a bit.. like with a bigger SD card or two but it could be possible.  The main things I do with the R2H are make time-lapse driving videos (eg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwjbluNF3So)  and run OziExplorer for offline detailed topomaps to see where I am and where I want to go.  Google maps just doesn’t cut it when you get off the beaten path. And have some music to sing along badly to.

With a few well choosen Apps I could do this.  It is going to take sometime to work it all out, but I really think that this is possible.

There are a few things that the R2H can do that the Desire can not.. storage and downloading photos from my D90, but I can still take the computer for longer trips, just not mount it on the windscreen.  One of these weekends I’ll get a decent screen mount, and I already have a lighter to USB power supply, plug in my FM transmitter to the headphone jack and I think it can be done.

I really wish that I could get offline navigation for free like I can on my Nokia with Ovi Maps (well not free $10 because I have an old phone) but still… the fact I am even considering this I think is noteworthy about the device.


missing from the EXIF – Hidden Cove

This is going to be kind of a short one…  and one I hope will surprise a few people…

This shot is from my recent sojourn to Tasmania.  We had a few days in Hobart and decided to do something different, and something that wouldn’t cost a fortune  (of course if more of you brought my prints…. but aside).  So the plan became do a day trip down to Geeveston down in the Huon Valley.  We have toured Tasmania extensively but still hadn’t made it down that part of the island and there is a very affordable public bus that goes down there, $40 for a whole day excursion for two people is damned cheap in my books.

So the bus leaves town at 8:30am and we head down the coast.  (Can you see where I am getting at….) It is a beautiful sunny/foggy morning in Tasmania and what do I do… I grab a window seat, tweak the polarising filter to cut out some glare, dial the camera to Sports Mode and start shooting.  Yes this shot was done at 80kph! out a bus window. It was one of 4 that I took as we rounded a bend where the sun was not shining on the bus so there were no reflections and that Cat said “Now” to.  She called out the gaps in the trees so I could keep shooting and not waste shots on trees and powerlines.  So there you go…   you can shoot fast if the location and the camera settings are right.

Hidden Cove

Camera: Nikon D90
Exposure: 0.001 sec (1/1250)
Aperture: f/4.5
Focal Length: 18 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Flash: Auto, Did not fire
Date and Time (Digitized): 2010:05:21 09:37:30
Subject Distance: 4.73 m
Focal Length In35mm Format: 27 mm
GPS Latitude: 43 deg 8′ 52.56″ S
GPS Longitude: 146 deg 58′ 40.13″ E
GPSAltitude Ref: Above Sea Level
GPSAltitude: 6.25757575757576 m
GPSDate Time: 2010:05:20 23:37:30Z

And yes this image is on RedBubble for purchase as well

a week on #telstradesire

this is more of a quick ramble than a well thought out and cognitive argument…

Ok it has been one week since I started playing my HTC-Desire.  A week that has seen me change points of view on more than once occasion.  From pure joy, to frustration, to relief and back again.  Which to be honest is not what I should be going through.  You don’t see people looking at an iphone and going na.. but I think I can get it.  And that may well be the biggest problem with this phone.  Sure I don’t get the iPhone myself, but you only have to look at people and how they use it and I just don’t think they are struggling as much.

But that aside… and moving on as it were.  I still really like it.  It has taken me a week to get used to the keyboard and that is coming along, even starting to get used to using it on the bus and train.  The haptic feedback is helpful but still I make more errors than I would just using an SMS keypad.

I really want to like this device.  It is so powerful flexible and with so much potential.  But a lot of that potential is coming… oh the app store will get easier to use, oh Flash 10.1 is coming, oh DIVX is coming, oh you just need an app for that it isn’t built in.  And this is a major issue.  Some of these things may well be fixed in the next month if rumours are to be believed and I sure hope that when Froyo comes out Telstra stick on it everyphone they have in stock before they sell it out the door.

Being part of the review has meant that I have had access to minds that are a lot smarter than mine so I could “steal” their tips and tricks and yes I have found the apps to get around some of the issues.. but there are a lot of things that Android just needs a bit of polishing on.

Take ringtones on my Nokia.. I just select a song to listen to.. one of the options there.. make it a ringtone.  Simple.. but not on the Android, why not?  Where are those things.. those extra bits of UX UI that companies like Nokia have been thinking about for years.  This is just one example but can be applied across the whole device. (Correction… you can…. but I missed it…  when a song is playing you have to press the menu option then it can be set as a ringtone… but only when the song is playing.. the Nokia doesn’t need the song to be playing)

Of course there is a lot of good things to be said for it.. and I do feel I’m just nay saying in some respects. But I shouldn’t have to be, I said I would be comparing this phone to my 3year old Nokia and it comes so close and yet strangely is so far away.

One thing that has been amazing has been the coverage on the Telstra network, strong and coherent even down the bottom of Tassie where I went for a few days along with strong coverage for watching Foxtel Mobile on the train. I have a Telstra phone for when I get out of the city and head bush and must say the Next G coverage even out the back of Bourke has been amazing.  But then that was with my Blue Ticked Phone with an aerial and this is not a Blue Tick Phone.  I’d love to see a full HTC Android Blue Tick phone because that would really interest me.

I think I will grow into this phone and I think the Android OS is growing up real fast and that holds hope.

But then why am I complaining I have a 1ghz mobile computer that can see the whole world that fits into my hand….

another GPS trace from the #telstradesire

This time I took the bus and train to work. Electric Trains are notorious for getting a GPS signal even with a window seat it can be tricky to get a solid lock. I was very pleased with the strength of the signal and the trace. Once again I just used the GPS and not the WIFI positioning. There are a few drop outs in the signal when the train passed through some cut outs and some big road bridges. However the trace is still good enough to see where I went. Another advantage is that the trace actually has the broken lines. The traces via Sports Tracker fill in the blanks. Having the Gaps lets me see where the signal did drop out and most software for geotagging photos will let you infer location from gaps in the traces so this is not a major problem.

So here is the trace.

View Larger Map

Geotracing and the #telstradesire

One of the reasons I put down as my interest in the #telstradesire was my interest in Geotagging and Geoawareness…   So here is the blog post covering that…

First things first.. the bad.  There is a known issue with the GPS on the Desire and the Telstra HTC setup.  One hopes that all the people buying the phone from the shop from now on don’t have to do an Over the Air Update to get the GPS working… it needs to ship with the correct firmware. Mine didn’t, but then mine was not factory standard, so I can’t comment on that.

Now on to the good stuff.

WOW… the GPS on the HTC-Desire rocks.  Not just a little, but a lot.  Time to get a fix (even without Cell Tower prefixing) is simply fantastic.  This is the fastest GPS that I have now.  I have 3 others… two Nokia Phones (n95-8gb, N78) and my Asus R2H.. the HTC leaves them for dead.  Time to fix is often under 1 min even when it is a long distance from last fix, strength of fix is always great and it holds it fix very well once you move out of optimal GPS signal range, ie slightly indoors and in built up areas.

Although it took me a while to find the app to suit my needs.  What I was after was something that created either a KML or preferably a GPX file and stored that on the memory card.  No surprise really that the app to do this the cleanest was a Google App called My Tracks http://mytracks.appspot.com/ (See the website for a slightly tacky but helpful introduction.

Once I had the app that suited my need…  It was then easy to show a comparison to my most commonly used GPS (the Nokia N95-8gb) and the HTC-Desire.  So what I did was trace the drive into town I do I both devices.  Now they both were set to GPS only (no wifi) and I hit go within a few seconds on the trace.  Also both phones had a fix approx 2km away the night before.

The embedded file can below can be downloaded here.. n95-htc-samples.kmz (right click save as) to show you the detailed path.  The HTC-Desire got a fix before I had even turned the car on.. the Nokia took a couple of minutes to catch up.  To many this time frame may not seem important, but it means I can fire up the GPS on the Desire much faster to get a trace to log my road trips or just to tag photos on a photo walk.

Of course this will suck battery… but once I managed to turn off all the power and bandwidth sucking default settings battery life is once again acceptable.  Whilst the new iPhone may have the ability to do background apps.. the current ones don’t.  And a background task is what is required to do decent GPS logging.  The HTC did that perfectly.  As a test for a some other apps.. on the way home I ran two different background tasks doing logging to see what I would get, what I got was two different trace files 🙂

So here are the traces… Blue is the Nokia, Red is the HTC.  Overall I’d give the more accurate trace to the HTC as well, but I still have to play with the software to get the most out of it.

View Larger Map

This blog post that I did covers how to take a GPX file and marry it to the shots from your DSLR to geocode your photos.

Given that this is a Google App, I really think Telstra should look at including Apps like this on the default setup on the phone, not just fill the phone with apps that are just WAP links.

Video Comparrison for #telstradesire

Kind of sad when you think… I’ll just go up the road on my holiday to make a video to test out my HTC Desire for its video making abilities to realise that you had on you 4 different devices capable of making HD (or near HD) video…   I was annoyed I forgot to take my wife’s phone so then I could have made 5 videos :-)…. ah well… 4 will just have to do.

All of these sample Videos are on default settings for recording only, where I walked part way up the Elizabeth St Mall in Hobart repeating the same walk 4 times (yes I did get some looks :-))

Devices used were a Nikon D90, a HTC-Desire, a Nokia n95-8gb and a  JVC GC-FM1 PICSIO

Output formats and files Sizes

Device Native Format File Size Frame Size FPS Audio
Nikon D90 avi 112mb 1280×720 24FPS 176kbps-mono-11kHz
HTC-Desire 3pg 7.46mb 640×480 26FPS 12kbps
Nokia n95-8gb mp4 15mb 640×480 27FPS 96kbps-mono-48kHz
JVC GC-FM1 PICSIO mov 57.8mb 1440×1080 29FPS 130kbps-Stereo-48kHz

D90 Video

HTC Desire Video


Nokia N95-8gb Video

Now one thing I did try was to upload these videos via the YouTube app on my phone as a way of testing upload speeds… guess what… you are not allowed.  The YouTube App says no you have to upload large files via wifi only.  I really can’t begin to describe how wrong that is.  What if you don’t have wifi, what if you are on the road in the middle of no-where taking photos and have 3g coverage (like this shot).  I’ve had Telstra 3g coverage in some amazing areas.. but certainly no wifi… so how do I upload video?

What happens when someone sees something amazing or even breaking news and wants to upload it… well they can’t.  If this is going to be a true social device that has to change and change fast.

Couple of New T-Shirt Designs as well

Click on each image to see it on Redbubble as t-shirts, long sleeve or Hoodies..

remember every purchase helps me with my camera addiction…

Inspired by the Weeping Angles from the new Doctor Who…

And who can forget the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog