Saturday, November 29, 2008

Picasa on Eee PC

Have not been trying out new stuff on my Eee PC for a while, so was gently surprised to find that installation of Picasa for Linux was easy and seamless. Typing this blog (and inserting the photo below) using the in-built BlogThis! function.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Mozilla Thunderbird
It looks like Mozilla wants to replicate the success of its Firefox browser. I use webmail (Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail) extensively, and so Thunderbird doesn't really appeal to me, except perhaps as an alternative to Outlook Express which is configured for me to use at work. My only worry is that the transition won't be seamless. Reading this page reassures me a bit...

Fujifilm Z5fd - First impressions

Some quick thoughts of this digital camera
  • size (it's really small)
  • ISO (it likes to shoot at high ISO, though ISO1600 is not used in the Auto ISO mode)
  • focusing speed (quite fast, and i've not yet had an occasion where it didn't get a lock)
I've posted some photos at Flickr.

I bought a 2GB xD card at S$33, and I now have 600-plus photos capability, as compared to the 7 or so on the internal memory. Not sure if the battery can shoot so many photos though, it's like a piece of bubblegum...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Oh no, I made an impulse purchase (Not)

I just bought a Fujifilm Z5fd digital camera today. It felt like an impulse buy, perhaps because I just bought an electronic gadget recently (2 weeks ago), a Nokia E71 handphone.

Why did I choose this model? I wanted a camera with the following features
  • pocketable
  • sliding cover, non-extending lens
Why did I want the above features? I wanted a camera that
  • I can bring everywhere (even when I not carrying a bag)
  • looks unobtrusive
Basically, the camera will complement my existing DSLR (Pentax K100D).

I was looking at the following models
  • Sony T2/T70
  • Fujifilm Z20fd
  • Olympus ยต 1040
The Z5fd was an obsolete model (2 generations old) that wasn't on my radar, until I saw it on sale for S$169. A few quick internet searches confirmed its useful features [metal body (should be more durable while in a jeans pocket), Super CCD HR (low-light capability), less megapixels (less "noise", leading to better quality high ISO photos)].

Will follow up with sample shots and a user review:)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Week 1 with Nokia E71

After 1 week of usage, I can safely say that it was a worthwhile purchase for me. I'm finding new features daily, and playing with new software too.

A few quick updates to previous postings
  • keypad is no longer rubbery (my typing speed is getting faster)
  • have enabled the built-in search to search documents too (this is not done by default, not sure why. but still no searching within a word document)
  • automatic syncing of office documents is possible (contrary to my earlier comments) via PC Suite using the Briefcase function
  • gmail app works offline too (well, at least the most recent emails, works even if you have not opened the email previously when you were online)
  • downloaded browsers work well (Opera Mini 4.2 beta, Skyfire 0.85 beta), but the built-in one serves works well for most purposes (RSS reader is rudimentary but is good enough), will try Teashark next
  • using the web-based Ovi sync quite regularly, very useful as it allows syncing without the need to install PC Suite or a data cable
  • have just installed Mobile Web Server, will be trying out its features soon
  • its very important to learn the many shortcut keys available, it makes usage much faster (will post the undocumented shortcut keys in another post)
  • a few things to resolve (playing M4V files, alarms ringing when in silent profile, memory card not accessible during sync using PC Suite, and after disconnection)

Monday, November 17, 2008

More thoughts on the Nokia E71

I have to admit that the Nokia E71 is not the perfect mobile device. But it is a very good compromise for my requirements.

You should consider the E71 is you want the following features
  • a usable QWERTY keypad
  • great free Symbian software (Gmail, Google Maps, Mobbler, MSN Messenger, Skyfire, Opera Mini)
  • every connectivity option covered (Wifi, 3.5G, GPS, bluetooth, infra-red)
  • beta apps from phone manufacturer (Ovi, Beta Labs, MOSH)
  • search tool (a bit like a desktop search on a PC)
You should look elsewhere if you are looking for the following
  • good camera
  • lightweight handphone
  • 3.5mm headphone jack (to plug in better headphones)
  • charging using normal USB-mini USB cable
  • touchscreen
  • scroll-wheel
  • easy sync of documents with PC (it can't sync office documents, one way is to transfer manually)
Personally, I find that some of the missing features are a result of market segmentation, rather than a technology limitation...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Installing more software on the E71

Quick blog on 2 new software that I installed on my E71.

Not another browser, you might say. But this one supports viewing of youtube videos (not the mobile version)

Look at the photo above (quick grab shot, so quality is bad) showing the full version of youtube.

Also, you can zoom in to view full-screen

I've been trying to listen to internet radio on a mobile device for the longest time, so Mobbler is a great software for me. Looks like I really have to watch my mobile broadband usage...

Transition period

Currently getting to grips with the E71.

Still find some functions (Calendar, To do, and alarms) quite different from my previous phone, the P800.

Above is a quick grab shot of my pocket devices, old and new. From left to right, HP RX4240 (Pocket PC), Sony-Ericsson P800 (Symbian UIQ phone), and new purchase, Nokia E71 (Symbian S60)

Taken with my old (and sometimes cranky) Canon A70, resized using Irfanview...

My Asus Eee PC (or at least a corner of it) can be since at the top left hand corner

E71 - first impressions

Some quick thoughts
- rubbery keypad a bit different from the demo sets I tried earlier (hopefully it will get slicker after time)
- menu system is a bit messy; clock (and alarm) is in the Office folder (I will be moving my frequently used functions to a separate folder)
- gmail app (downloaded from works great
- built-in youtube support in the browser is appreciated
- camera is quite bad (although I knew about this before the purchase)
- search function (which appears on home screen) is fantastic (note: search within text works for Active Notes, not a Word document)
- Opera Mini browser is a bit slower than the built-in browser (perhaps time used to reformat the pages), the syncing of bookmarks with the desktop Opera work well (I will be trying out Opera Mini 4.2 Beta to see if there are improvements)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

E71 - early christmas present

Bought the E71 today. Had been comparing between the E71 & the Treo Pro, and at the same time, trying to remind myself that it was a want & not a need. But couldn't resist after SingTel dropped the price by $100 for this weekend. (posted using the E71)

EDIT: a bit more info: promotion was S$238 (with line) for this weekend