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20 August 2016

Time for a new phone

It's been some years

It was January 2009 when I got a new work phone from my then employer. It was the brand spanking new Nokia e71 smartphone. It did it all and it proved to be a longtime companion. I've used - and loved - that phone ever since. I'm on my 3rd battery. Lately though, more and more things stopped working. The VoIP client and the VPN didn't hold up with the software cycles in their fields. Lately the email-client stopped working too. Those are software problems, there might even be solutions. More and more keys stopped working or fell out. And then the USB connector started to break.

In the end I bit the bullet and decided on a new phone. Given the current selection of phones, this is like "choosing the least sucky of all those sucky phones out there". There's nothing with a physical keyboard. The phone ecosystem seems to think that as a customer, you're just an expendable that never really "owns" the hardware. The security problems are a nightmare. Providers don't bother to update software. Everybody thinks that it's ok if a phone breaks apart and is broken if it ever falls down (typical e71-owners wouldn't even check the phone for damage when it fell down).

So I got myself a "Samsung Galaxy XCover 3 VE" (instead of "VE" it might also be described as "(2016)". It came with Android 6.0.1, which means it will be up-to-date for a little while. I'm trying not to think about all the security holes that are already announced for that platform and duly ignored by providers and handset makers. It's a phone that is slightly waterproof (IP67 IIRC), dustproof, and "should" even survive a little bit of falling down. Only experience can tell on that side.

First impressions: It works. The cameras is better than the one from the e71, but not by a huge margin. Good enough for pics to put on the web when out cycling. Using it is ok. Response time in the UI are really ok. The screen resolution is not great, but good enough for the current state of my eyes (I wouldn't see more on an ultra high resolution screen). Battery time is not in the same league as the e71, but I guess good enough. I'm very stringent about shutting things like bluetooth down and dow't use much (same as on the old phone). The e71 clearly was a phone where "phone things" were much easier accessible.

There is this saying about war, that says it makes difficult things easy, and simple things complicated (or something like that). That's the impression I have about Android. Install a VoIP client? Easy peasy. Open the phone to make a simple phone call to someone in your address book? Takes about 10 steps more than on the Nokia. Put pictures from the camera straight into Strava using the client, childs play. Get your pictures from your phone to the computer that sits 30cm next to it? Ah well, you could do it this way but..., and you could do it that way, but... but in the end it was designed to just hand over your stuff to Google or some other "cloud" thing. Which I obviously don't do.

And there is an app for everything(TM). But that app is quite likely trying to display annoying ads or is crippled in some other way. On the Symbian platform there was none of the ad bullshit really, but there were the crippled apps too. The symbian app selection was smaller, that just meant that you had less "sifting through all the garbage" to do.

Verdict: For now, it will do. It won't last as long as the last one, and it makes some simple stuff complicated. The rest, time will tell.

Posted by betabug at 17:47 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
31 August 2016

Kein Wasser im Paradies

Aber sonst ist's schon schön

Ich bekomme ja öfters zu hören, dass ich im Paradies lebe. Ja, es ist schon schön hier, aber nirgendwo ist es perfekt. Also antworte ich meist, dass es hier auch seine Nachteile hat. Die letzten paar Wochen hatten wir einige Nachteile, denn dieses Jahr gibt es nicht genug Wasser. Den letzten Winter hatte es extrem wenig geregnet. Am 14. August war dann für Stunden kein Wasser in der Leitung. Das ganze verschlimmerte sich von Tag zu Tag. Die Ausfälle waren auch nicht immer zu den gleichen Stunden, so dass man sich nicht gut drauf einrichten konnte. Am 20. August war der Tiefpunkt erreicht, wir hatten einmal früh morgens und einmal spät in der Nacht für je eine halbe Stunde Wasser.

Danach wurde die Situation wieder etwas besser. Da mehr und mehr Touristen und Sommerhäusler abreisten, reichte das Wasser wohl wieder etwas weiter. Einige Tage später hatten wir wenigstens immer Vormittags Wasser. Damit konnten wir uns wenigstens etwas einrichten: Morgens erstmal Flaschen und Eimer füllen, Geschirr spülen, duschen, ab und zu sogar eine Waschmaschine laufen lassen. Mühsam und stressig ist es trotzdem.

Die letzten zwei Tage hatten wir dann wieder durchgehend Wasser. Ich klopfe erstmal auf Holz dass es so bleibt. Vielleicht regnet es irgendwann im September ja auch mal wieder.

Posted by betabug at 23:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)