Nokia 6820

Nokia 6820My old Motorola Timeport finally gave up the ghost recently. To be honest it was always less than excellent anyway - I only got it because it was the only tri-band phone available at the time. The user interface was at best idiosyncratic, at worst unusable - certainly for sending SMS messages it was a joke - I used to challenge people in pubs to send a SMS in less than five minutes. I had a scan through the list of phones we can choose from, and quite liked the look of the Nokia 6820 as it has a really cute flip-out QWERTY keyboard - I figured that even I could sent a SMS using it! I paired it up with a Jabra BT250 bluetooth headset so I'm car-legal as well.

I'm really happy with the phone so far, and yes, even I can send text messages with it! The fold-out keyboard is quite useable, I can type quite comfortably with my thumbs on it. When you open the phone up to use the keyboard the display rotates around to match the orientation of the keyboard which is kinda cool. The phone has lots of toys, it supports GPRS, SMS, MMS, WAP, yada, yada, yada. It also has a simple inbuilt PIM so I can keep my diary and to-do notes on it. I used to use a Psion 5mx, but to be honest I couldn't be bothered carrying it around with me all the time. I've already started using the phone as my main diary, and it has got the balance between simplicity and usefulness just about right. I've also had endless fun downloading stupid ringtones onto it, however I have noticed that if you set up ringtone groups it doesn't always pick the correct one, which is a little annoying. It also has a 352x288 camera, but quite frankly it's useless - it's not only that it's low resolution but it produces pictures that look like they have been drawn by a three year old in wax crayon - and then left on a radiator for a week.

The phone also comes with some PC software that allows you to manage the address book and upload/download files to the phone. The phone shipped with version 5.8, but I subsequently noticed that version 6.41 was available from the Nokia website. I duly removed 5.8 and installed 6.41, and that's where my problems started. 6.41 couldn't see the address book entries I'd created with the earlier version, even after I'd de/reinstalled 6.41. And to cap it all, the 6.41 version was distinctly inferior to 5.8 - for example the address book editor wouldn't let you assign contacts to caller groups, and wouldn't allow you to assign email addresses to contacts either. I tried rolling back to 5.8, but that also didn't work any longer. In the end I had to uninstall the software and manually delete all files and directories it had created, and then go and manually delete all the registry keys that had 'Nokia' in them - eek! However, on reinstalling 5.8 everything started behaving. I contacted Nokia tech support and they gave me a strong hint that 6.41 was to be avoided in favour of 5.8, so 3 out of 10 for the software, Nokia!

The phone has a web browser which is OK in a 'WAP is pretty crap' way - I used it to check the reviews for the rather good Gurkha restaurant we ate at in Fleet when we were down there on Monday, and I suspect it might also be useful for cheating at pub quizzes ;-) The other thing that intrigued me was that the phone has an email client that includes IMAP support. My service provider (Vodafone) supplies it's customers with a free email account - if you register and upgrade your voicemail account you can manage your voicemail from the web, and if people email your vodafone.net email address you can get the emails read out to your phone by an electronic lady, which is kinda spooky. The website gives instructions for how to set up Microsoft Outlook to work with the email system and from that I figured out how to do the same for the email client on the phone. I thought I'd document it here as it will probably work for any similar Nokia phone. The first step is to register to upgrade your voicemail account, then configure the phone as follows:

1. Menu -> Messages -> Voice messages ->Voice mailbox number
and set your voicemail number to 242 instead of 121.

2 . Menu -> Messages -> Message settings -> E-mail messages -> Edit active e-mail settings
and configure as follows:

Mailbox name: vodafone.net
E-mail address: yourname@vodafone.net
My name: Your Name
Outgoing (SMTP) server: smtp.vodafone.net
Incoming server type: IMAP4
Incoming (IMAP4) server: imap.vodafone.net
IMAP4 user name: yourname
IMAP4 password: yourpassword

Then go into the "Other settings" submenu and configure as follows:

Use SMTP authorisation: Yes
SMTP user name: yourname
SMTP password: yourpassword

Then go into the "SMTP connection settings" submenu and configure as follows:

Proxies: Disable
Data bearer: GPRS

Then go into the "Bearer settings submenu" and configure as follows:

GPRS access point: Internet
Authentication type: Normal
Login type: Automatic
Username: leave blank
Password: leave blank

Then select "back" twice and go into the "IMAP4 connections settings" submenu and configure exactly the same as the "SMTP connection settings".

If you now fire up the email client you should be able to both send and receive emails via your vodafone.net account. One thing to note: the phone email client doesn't delete messages on the server even if you delete them from the phone, so you'll occasionally have to log on via the web interface to delete them. You can use the web browser in the phone do do this - the web-based email system is linked to from the Vodafone mobile homepage.

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Categories : Tech

Tsunami gig #2

I'm kinda behind on my blogging, so I better play catchup! Last Sunday we played at our second Tsumami benefit gig at The Globe, a pub in Glossop that specialises in real ale, vegan food and live music. We normally go there after Wednesday practice sessions to try (usually in vain) to win the pub quiz. There were 35 other acts playing, acoustic sets downstairs and bands upstairs. The place was heaving - it took us a quarter of an hour just to get our kit up to the stage! The venue upstairs is pretty small - intimate I think is the correct term. There were about 15 of us playing, so the Surdo section managed to fit on the stage but the rest had to stand in front on the dance floor. We kicked off, and as sometimes happens we all just gelled and we played a really solid set. As we were making our way off people were grabbing my hand and pummelling it up and down, saying how great we sounded. I had to dash after the gig, but Laszlo stayed behind and people kept coming up to him and saying that we were the best band there. One guy came up to Laszlo and asked if we'd like to play some other gigs. Laszlo asked him where he was thinking of and the answer was 'All over the place' - turns out the guy is a promoter. He said that he obviously listens to a lot of bands, but every now and then he comes across a band that sounds really good - and we were just such a band. Then Laszlo notices his hearing aid ... just joking ;-) Laszlo also said a guy who is part of a brass section wanted to bring along his mates to play with us, something Laslo has wanted to do for some time.

Perhaps it's time to pack up the day job and hit the road, I've always fancied having a go at some rock excess - groupies and smashing up hotel rooms sounds like it might be quite fun - mid-life crisis here I come ;-)

Categories : Drumming