I Should Really Get Mobile Broadband

I’ve noticed a change in my blogging trends of late. The free time that I wish to dedicate to blog posts finds me in areas where my connectivity is completely restricted. My work within the theatre has increased dramatically (no pun intended) over the last few weeks (I spent the last two weeks of June in preparation for and producing a run of ‘Trainspotting’ only to take last week off before starting pre-production this week on a new show for August) and the gig count is going up.

I find myself with downtime in venues and restaurants where no laptops go, or where there’s no wifi signal to be found. That said, the Watergate Theatre were kind enough to allow me use of their connection to make the occasional tweet, check email etc.

During the Trainspotting run I pulled out a piece of paper and marked all the dates for July on it noticing more Xs (away) than spaces (home) between evenings and weekends. August, not so bad.

So now I look towards a mobile broadband solution. I’ve been tempted once again by O2 and their reduced offer for the summer months (€19.99p/m and a modem for €19.99). Having spoken with Bernie Goldbach and some O2 support people, the thoughts of running a 3G sim through an iPhone are quite tempting (my desire for an iPhone exists as a secondary phone to my N95 8GB though the 3G model has me very interested).

Pat wonders why there is no interest in the 3G iPhone though I’ll agree that the price and dataplans are a pain in the arse. Is it possible to pick up a 3G iPhone away from O2 (I’m happy on my current contract, thanks) but fire a 3G datasim in there from the broadband dongle? If so, sign me up.

When I find myself in Sligo (such as this weekend and at least 2 of the next 3 weekends), my options are limited around the lake but there are healthy signals 2-3 miles away which I don’t mind the short spin in the van for.

I’ve recently added another musical promotion string to my bow so it would certainly make work life that bit easier.

Perhaps I’m just trying to convince myself to go out and get it sorted. Lifehacker’s guide to sharing your internet connection from your iPhone to your MacBook Pro also has me wondering.

Nokia 770 Discontinued?

Nokia 770A friend of mine called me at lunch time today asking me to order him a Nokia 770 which I’m currently enjoying playing with. So I log onto eXpansys.ie and I’m presented with this error. Ok, I figure, the Google index could be wrong. So I hit the eXpansys homepage and notice that the shiny Nokia 770 button that decorated the right sidebar is missing.

A little digging around later and Justin Mason reveals that the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet has been discontinued, eXpansys are no longer stocking it. Sure enough, they’re (Nokia) hyping up the Nokia 800, the successor to the 770, but did many people know about the discontinuation? Is this the possible reason for the recent dramatic drop in price or are Nokia and eXpansys sick of sending out 770s to Irish bloggers and gadget-heads?

Nokia 770 In The Wild

There must be a fair few Irish bloggers getting up this morning to DHL deliveries, or from during this week anyway, as Expansys shipped their new stock of Nokia 770 internet tablets into the wild, one of them arriving on my desk late yesterday afternoon.

Nokia 770 Internet Tablet

As with every new gadget, instruction kits and leaflets were dumped straight out of the box, diving in instead for the battery, charger and pulling the 2GB RS-MMC card I’d ordered via eBay last week. In goes the card and battery, 770 starts charging and its off through the setup I go. The whole setup process itself shouldn’t really take you any more and two minutes or so, though admittedly I didn’t time the setup but you’ll go through personal details, pairing of a phone device, localisation (no sign of Kilkenny so Dublin will have to do) etc.

Nokia 770 Internet Tablet

The device itself is comfortable to use, the screen rendering sharp for it’s size though on a UI point of view I think a bit more life could have gone into the icon sets. They get the point across but don’t go expecting an iPhone-esque interface. Sizewise you’ll see it above in comparison to my laptop and a standard 17″ Dell monitor (yes, that is PodCamp Ireland logo in the background). Speaking of PodCamp, the first thing I did was pay a visit to SoundSystemPodcast.com on the 770, no problem at all streaming the latest KilkennyMusic.com podcast straight to the tablet.

Nokia 770 Internet Tablet

The web browsing (above) is pretty quick, pages render quite well and can viewed as standard or optimised (like reduce-to-fit). Email setup too is a breeze, if it is your first time to check email you’ll be prompted to set up an account and so I pulled the kenmc.com mail, the device picking up mail but leaving copies on the server so I can deliver them to the laptop later on.

GoogleTalk too itself (‘New Chat’ via the contacts menu, entering your gTalk / Jabber details pulling all your contacts direct from Google) is quite easy, nice big chat window, no problems in maintaining a conversation flow (see how fast you can ‘tap’ on the screen).

Very little done with it thus far bar the above but plenty of opportunities presenting itself. Pretty much fits in the pocket, also fits in the phone holder in the van, sees the MacBook Pro and Sony Ericsson K800i no probelm – that in itself is enough for me. Plenty of toying around with it at the weekend to be done!

31% With Mobile Web Access Use It

Doing the mobile browse this evening, Stephen Wellman writes that of 77% of users questioned in a European survey across the UK, Germany, Italy, France and Spain (no Ireland eh?) with mobile web access, only 31% actually make use of it. The percentage in the US goes that bit higher, with 41% out of 71% making use of mobile web access.

Mobile web of course referring to the use of the web (internet access) via a mobile device such as a mobile phone, pdas etc.

Rankwise in Europe it looks like the UK is the leader with over half the people responding to the survey saying the use mobile web access regularly with Italy second with just over 40%. No mention of how many people were targeted in the US and through Europe (equal numbers on both sides) but the statistics are interesting all the same.