Sunday 30 September 2007

A new phone already...?

It's that time of the year again, although this year it came much quicker than in previous years.

The N73 hadn't dated anywhere nearly as quickly as previous phones - a testament to its operating system and functionality. So, this time around it made sense to stick with the same phone, but just tweak it in the right places.

The Nokia N95 is exactly that... an N73. With wings.

For me, the two big drawcards were WiFi and a faster processor. The N73 was a little sluggish, but useable. The N95 sports a 330MHz CPU and a dedicated GPU which makes it very responsive.

Evil Vodafone cripples the phone out-of-the-box with their awful menu systems and no VOIP.

A quick search on the web reveals a simple guide for installing an un-branded firmware. Essentially, you need to update the internal product code of the phone, which allows it to download the factory firmware instead of the knobbled Vodafone versions.

Compatibility with the Mac is excellent too after you download the iSync driver and the iTunes/iPhotos transfer software.

The N95 has been out for a relatively long time now which means that the initial bugs have been flushed out, saving me some hassle. The latest firmware introduced Assisted-GPS too which is a God-send apparently, supplementing the GPS information with data from the Internet.

Woeful tales of small battery capacity should be tempered with the phone's functionality and size. The N73 had a brilliant battery but it didn't have GPS, WiFi or two processors to contend with. I think I'll be okay as I'm never too far away from a mains power source (or even a USB power supply, for that matter).

I'm not too bothered with the video functionality, but it's nice to know it's there.

All-in-all, a pretty cool phone. I'm trying to unlock the N73 but it's proving a little difficult. Apparently Vodafone will provide the code after you've had the phone for 12 months - so I might have to wait.

Update: It turns out that the Nemesis Software Suite resets the N73's SIM lock code too. ;)

Saturday 1 September 2007

Seam carving

Seam Carving is an ingenious method for dynamically resizing images without stretching, compressing or cropping.

It's one of those great marriages of mathematics and real-world application. Work like this is what drives the Web forward and allows for clean, flexible page design - without messing with the agreed standards.