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21 January 2009

New Work-Phone: Nokia e71

Or "New Toy", whichever really
Nokia e71 running mutt (in a putty ssh session)

Yesterday, I received my new phone from the company (thanx folks, the Graphics Garage is really a great workplace!), a replacement for my time honored P910i. I've already installed the most important thing on it: PuTTY, an SSH client. This phone is really much, much more comfortable to use with PuTTY (or SSH in general) than the P910. The picture shows mutt running in an ssh-session on my server. You could even go to "full screen mode" to get a tiny little bit more screen real estate.

This morning on the way to work I already had occasion to use the phone in an "emergency": One of "my" servers had restarted itself in the night and Zope did not get auto-started as expected. I was just passing through a little park and sat down on a bench to fix things. Logging in to a pre-defined connection with putty, starting up Zope, all very easy with this phone. SSH on the P910 was much more clunky in comparison, always poking around to get a certain special character to be sent. Putty on the Nokia e71 even sets up the navi-button to act as cursor keys.

Apart from that techy stuff: It seems to be a nice enough phone. It looks and feels sturdy, all metal and stuff. The keys are good enough to use, but since I have the version with Greek keyboard, the printing on the keys is really crowded, sometimes I get a bit lost. Switching from Greek to English input and back could be easier, but it really isn't that bad too (press and hold "Shift", press "Chr", then use the navi-button to select the other language in the menu and press the center button to select. Maybe it could be possible to write a python script to do that and assign it to a button).

The SMS application, the contacts and phone handling and all that seems to be reasonable. Settings are a bit spread out all over the place. I think the P910 with the stylus interface and a central "control panel" for the settings had a bit of an advantage there. Web browsing works, I think I'll only ever use it in emergencies. The connectivity is a bit of a mess - as I have a bandwidth restriction on 3G connectivity, I'm trying to use wifi connections as much as possible, but somehow the phone has a tendency to jump back to the 3G connection. It feels as if I have to select the proper connection again and again. Oh and the connection indicator is tiny, tiny in some applications - good deal of squinting there.

The phone also has GPS and a "Maps" application. I have no experience with GPS, but it seems to have found more or less where I am. The GPS seems to be a bit handicapped by all the buildings obscuring the sky here in Athens, the position jumping around a bit. Nonetheless it calculated the speed and average speed of my bus ride home yesterday evening. It also managed to find me and the bus on the map anytime. If you want to use "driving instructions" ("turn left on the next corner, fast! the traffic cop is watching us!") or even "walking instructions" (the same for pedestrians) you'll have to pay for a license. I got a 90 day demo license, but didn't manage to try it yet.

I managed to get my contacts moved over from the Mac: Nokia has made an iSync plugin and it works fine. Syncs calendar stuff too, but I don't really have much there. No idea yet how backup and archiving of messages will work, but I'm sure I'll find out. So, overall I'm happy with this phone for now.


Posted by betabug at 10:04 | Comments (8) | Trackbacks (0)
ch athens
Life in Athens (Greece) for a foreigner from the other side of the mountains. And with an interest in digital life and the feeling of change in a big city. Multilingual English - German - Greek.
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Comments
Re: New Work-Phone: Nokia e71

Having had more exposure to the iPhone lately through friends and just once to the E71 I wonder how the keyboard of the Nokia really matters when you have a bigger screen with the iPhone.
Also the iPhone seems to be more consumer oriented, with a more polished UI and a great selection of apps from a central place.
At the moment the iPhone is the winner for me.

P.S. I don't own any of these devices :-)

Posted by: rgouveia at January 21,2009 22:09
Re: New Work-Phone: Nokia e71

I've got an iPhone, and it is very nice to work with the selected apps with the touch gestures. I can't imagine a more easy to use UI than the flick and pinch, etc.

But as far as programming, I would guess you'd have to go for the keyboard. The only reason the iPhone keyboard works is by guessing what you are trying to type. All the other characters are 1-2 screens away. And, if you use the landscape mode keyboard, your screen area is reduced to a sliver. I love the phone, but I'm looking into a netbook for writing purposes, because there's no way the iphone can cut it, even for ordinary text.

I think I would put the use of the iPhone thusly--it's like iTunes for a phone. iTunes (the media player) is a great, simple media player, with expanding functionality. But, you wouldn't want to control you're entire computer through its interface. The iPhone is a great phone/media device/mobile interface, but its not a computer. I'm still hoping that a new breakthrough comes along that puts a computer's power (or most of it) in the palm of the hand. Perhaps with a voice interface?

Posted by: Adam Rothstein at January 21,2009 22:43
Re: New Work-Phone: Nokia e71

Rodolfo, as Adam mentions, the iPhone keyboard is really more a guessing game. I've played around with iPhones some times and my success rate was very low. The "real keys" keyboard on the e71 (or similar phones) is much more successful there. Access to the special characters needed in the shell is much, much simpler too.

Oh, and lets not forget that I have working "Copy and Paste" now :-)

Adam, I'm kind of old fashioned with user interfaces. I think the command line interface does a wonderful job of giving humans access to computers in a simple way. Yeah, the screen is a lot smaller with all the place spent for the keyboard (and a lot "wasted" for telephone keys), but for me the keys make a difference. In fact, due to using a keyboard-only text editor all day, not having even a stylus feels normal to me. A netbook was really something I'd considered, but the form factor of a phone can't be beaten - while it still lets me access a server in an emergency.

Posted by: betabug at January 22,2009 21:35
Re: New Work-Phone: Nokia e71

I've tried an iPhone for some hours and the web experience is quite good, but when you need to type something the experience becomes a nightmare.

The last day when I tried your E71 and I typed something I just loved it. The size is perfect, and the keyboard can save you if you need to email someone or some basic system administration.

Also, as an owner of an old Nokia S60 I also like that you can find any type of application for these phones.

For the multimedia geek I'd recommend the iphone. But not for me (unless given for free or really cheap) :P

Posted by: graffic at January 22,2009 22:55
Re: New Work-Phone: Nokia e71

hello i have a nokia e71 and i want to install the greek keyboard to write greek. Can you help me please;
Thanks!

Posted by: george at April 30,2009 20:53
Re: typing an accent ` on Nokia e71

i have been searching for the accent on the e71 keyboard i cant find it.
it is the first button " ` " under the "esc" on the regular keyboard.
please help.

Posted by: nuran at September 28,2009 11:10
Need Software for my Nokia E-71

Dear Sir,

I m looking for a software by which I can login any windows/linux server if I have Username and Password and also can control as per my needs.

If such kind of software is available please let me know about this and also wanna try to do it.

My hand set is Nokia E-71.

Posted by: Chandon at December 30,2009 10:50
Re: New Work-Phone: Nokia e71

how you install putty

Posted by: brecht at September 17,2011 10:46
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