I’m nearly finished with a review of the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mobile phone but now comes word of a new firmware update that will fix some nagging issues people have been complaining about. I’ve been toying with releasing the review first but part of me wants to wait until the update is out so I can give a fairer review of the product. I’m leaning towards publishing sooner and then updating since I find the device to be usable now with no major downsides. More updates soon.
I’ve neglected this site long enough and am in the process of refreshing the site. If you see any weirdness over the next couple of days don’t be alarmed. I’m incrementally changing the site style so that it’s more easily maintainable, higher performing, and visually appealing.
I’m getting close to finishing this. The search will come back in a different form but not too many people were using it anyways. The forum will take a little while to go through so bear with me. I think it will be for the best since most people didn’t seem to like the dark colors to begin with. There are some flourishes missing and the new logo is still in progress. I’m sort of on a typography exploration now and thus the experimentation. I’m keeping everything simple right now since I don’t have time for a full redesign but at least it’s less ugly.
Last year I picked up a Sony Ericsson Xperia X1i to be my primary mobile phone. For the most part, I find the phone to be a beautifully designed piece of hardware marred by software that’s inadequate for the times.
So on to my beef with WinMo, the software running on the Xperia X1i…
As a fan and owner of numerous Sony Ericsson phones (T68i, Z200, Z600, W850i, and W910i), I had become pretty accustomed to the features and abilities their phones. One thing I always took for granted was their ability to display different language character sets. Given that phones are commonly used internationally (or at least sold internationally), it makes sense for them to be “multilingual” aware. So, when I got my Sony Ericsson Xperia X1i, it was a rude awakening for me to find out that Windows Mobile (WinMo) 6.1 AND the forthcoming 6.5 lack the native ability to display multiple languages. If you have the correct ROM, then you can display a single character set but that doesn’t help if you need more than one.
I know it may seem like a minor thing but it’s not….especially if you’re multilingual and correspond with people if different languages. WinMo really is a business oriented platform…and business is becoming more and more international everyday. Microsoft really needs to get their act together. Fast.
What is a netbook?
Seriously, what is it? It’s a small and cheap notebook, right? Right? Right?
Actually, is it even small? These things are reaching 12” in screen size!
So, all we’re left with is the cheap component of the term…and ultimately, that’s all it is. A marketing name for a cheap laptop.
The funny thing is that these “netbooks” really aren’t anything new as the form factor has been around for a really long time. It’s just that the products were very expensive. Years ago, I owned two “ultraportable” notebooks: the venerable Sony VAIO PCG-SR5K and the Fujitsu Loox-T.
A product of the year 2000, the VAIO PCG-SR5K was a 1” thin 2.98 lbs. notebook that sported a 10.4” (1024x768) screen and all the usual ports for the time (e.g. Firewire, PCMCIA, USB, VGA, etc). It came with a 6-cell battery that got roughly 3-5 hours of life. It supported up to 256MB of memory and a whopping 12GB hard disk.
A year later, I picked up the original Fujitsu Loox T which was the first “ultraportable” to sport an integrated DVD drive at 3.4lbs and got 3-4 hours of battery with the standard battery and 7.5-8 with the extended battery. The screen size was 10” (1280x600) and also came with all the typical ports for the time period (e.g. Firewire, PCMCIA, USB, VGA, etc.).
Now look carefully. Don’t those specifications look a lot like the “netbook” specifications that we’re seeing today? Physical screen size and resolution remains largely unchanged, battery life certainly hasn’t gotten any better, and weight is more or less the same. Certainly, technology has advanced but it’s really the same thing….except back then we just called them “ultraportable notebooks”.
Despite me not being a fan of this shameless marketing term, I do like that “ultraportable” computing has finally trickled down to the masses. The only bad thing about it is that it makes it a lot harder for non-netbook ultraportable notebooks to justify their markedly higher prices.
Ok, enough of this pseudo-rant. I’m off to bed.