This is still NOT good
I was both excited and concerned when Nokia launched the N900 mobile computer last year. Excited because it meant the slow-developing product line was continuing… but concerned due to past problems with reverse logistics involving the N900’s predecessors.
It’s starting to look like the concerns were justified.
By far the most popular article on this blog has been the one describing my experience with a microUSB failure on a pre-production device. That bothers me. For one thing I’d rather see that sort of attention on the pieces oriented around best practice and technological exploration. But that growing popularity also indicates a growing number of failures– not just on the devices themselves, but in Nokia’s handling of the cases.
Before I get deeper into the current situation, a little background and history:
Posted in Delivering Quality, Mentioning Maemo, The Write Stuff, Unusability, Views and Reviews
Tagged CARE, customer, customer satisfaction, failure, LinkedIn, Maemo, microUSB, N800, N900, Nokia, repair, reverse logistics, surface mount, warranty
This morning I officially kicked off my version of Maemo community outreach efforts, by joining my first meetup of the Dallas Open Source Saturday group. We met at Los Lupe’s TexMex restaurant in Addison, north of Dallas. The seating was decent and the breakfast tacos were very good in my opinion, but drawbacks for the location included lack of wifi, too much loud music/talking and inability to use TV for presentations.
Posted in Great Governance, Mentioning Maemo, The Write Stuff
Tagged community outreach, Dallas, Dallas Open Source Saturday, LinkedIn, Maemo, maemo.org, meetup, meetup.com, N800, N810, N900, Nokia
It’s funny the turns Life takes.
I started programming in the eartly 1980s, on Timex Sinclair, Commodore 64 and TRS-80 computers in short order. In those wild days when high-level languages were really coming into their own, free and open source software seemed more readily available than retail equivalents. Hobbyist magazines, online bulletin boards and even the fledgling internet (pre WWW) were stuffed with code just waiting for eager learners like me to take and tweak. There wasn’t much in the way of formal free and open source protocol at the time– that evolved soon enough though.
But as I evolved myself, from hobbyist to ad hoc developer for various employers, I found myself drawn in deeper and deeper to the closed source world. I discovered I had a liking and knack for Visual Basic and thus fell into the Microsoft development vortex.
It’s a seductive and powerful sucker, too. It was all too easy to be “bought off” by events with (ironically) free training, free food and even giveaways of free software. I ultimately joined a Microsoft program that dumped thousands of dollars of tools in my lap for an embarrassingly small outlay. Resistance was futile.
Yep, I was assimilated.
Posted in Inviting Change, Mentioning Maemo, Smooth Codings, The Cat Corral, The Write Stuff, Ways of Rocking
Tagged 770, Apache, Commodore 64, Knowledgetree, LinkedIn, Linux, Maemo, maemo.org, Microsoft, MySQL, N800, Nokia, open source, OpenBravo, Python, Qt, Timex Sinclair, Ubuntu, Visual Basic, Zimbra
Since starting this blog after my last job loss I’ve taken Nokia to task over what I perceive to be shortcomings and errors, particularly in staffing and ambitious enterprise projects like Ovi.
But in the spirit of fairness and balance, and in preparation of my trip to Amsterdam for the Nokia-sponsored Maemo Summit 2009, I want to take a moment to acknowledge one team that I believe is doing a fantastic job: Maemo.
Posted in Delivering Quality, Inviting Change, Mentioning Maemo, The Write Stuff, Ways of Rocking
Tagged 770, LinkedIn, Maemo, N800, N810, N900, Nokia
click for full-size image
As promised, I’m starting the series on use cases for Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs), beginning with one that may seem unusual to many: mobile auditing and inspection.
This particular usage hits close to home for me, or at least it did when I worked for Quality Assurance in Nokia’s old Alliance factory in the United States. My interest derives from the two roles I held there, first as a data analyst and later as a quality engineer.
Posted in Delivering Quality, Inviting Change, Mentioning Maemo, Out There, Smooth Codings, The Cat Corral, The Process and Product Frontier, The Write Stuff, Ways of Rocking
Tagged 770, audit, handheld, inspection, instant messaging, LinkedIn, Lotus Notes, Maemo, mobile, mobile internet device, more, N800, N900, Nokia, PDM, SQL Server, SSRS, VPN
The wild bunch at maemo talk know well by now that I’ve been a hardcore advocate of Nokia’s internet tablets ever since a fellow engineer quietly placed a preproduction 770 on my desk a few years ago. I have been on a rabid one-man mission to promote the touchscreen tablets ever since.
At least, it felt that way in the halls of Nokia, where as a quality engineer I found myself the sole evangelist for getting the tablet technology into corporate and industrial uses. This was a consumer experiment, I was told, and the product agenda was very limited. The same applied, I soon found, to the size and scope of the hard-working Nokia developer team involved.
Posted in Mentioning Maemo, The Write Stuff, Views and Reviews
Tagged 770, Android, Apple, Commodore 64, Google, internet tablet, LinkedIn, Maemo, N800, N810, Nokia, Reggie Suplido
Many readers of this blog already know of my involvement with the launch of the Nokia N800 internet tablet. I took a high personal interest in the product line that went beyond my normal duties, because I saw a great deal of potential for the devices and their technology. That interest led me to constantly suggest ideas for software applications and use cases. Unfortunately for me, there was a development agenda in place that allowed little room for additional exploration. This agenda was deliberately conservative and is just now enabling maturity in the device family, four years after the first true Nokia Internet Tablet (the 770) was introduced.
But what if Nokia had taken a radically different approach? That thought (along with musing over related possibilities) has been eating at me a lot lately as speculation around the next device grows. So for sheer sake of a wishful, whimsical writing exercise, I decided to construct an alternate product timeline with the benefit of my own hindsight and opinions combined with a vast accumulation of user input. Note that this is not intended to be reflective of reality!
So without further ado, let’s rewind a few years and play with the idea a bit (all hyperlinks are actual and not part of this fantasy)…
Posted in Mentioning Maemo, The Process and Product Frontier, The Write Stuff, Ways of Rocking
Tagged 770, 7700, 7710, alternate history, internet tablet, iPhone, Kindle, LinkedIn, N800, N810, Nokia
Some months ago I last touched on the prospects of Nokia’s relatively new internet service, Ovi.com, and recent news made me believe it is now time for a follow-up.
The first item to touch on is the revelation that Ovi will be scaled back a bit in scope. The media sharing portion has apparently not gained enough traction in the time accrued thus far, so further development will be halted at least for the time being. As with anything in these economically-uncertain times, it’s difficult to speculate on whether this is truly the start of a permanent drawdown in that service or perhaps just a temporary retreat. Personally I hope Nokia does continue the service, even though I admit it’s up against some very entrenched competitors (such as the very popular Flickr). As I opined in the previous article, there still remains quite a bit of potential in parts of the world not fully served by established providers that are popular in the US, Europe, etc.
Nokia could still gain respect and admiration (and surely users) by providing that holy grail of internet services, the single-sign on experience. Imagine a one-stop-shop front end for all the various media services out there! True, there would be logistical and possibly legal hurdles to clear but the prospect is exciting nonetheless.
Posted in Inviting Change, Mentioning Maemo, The Write Stuff, Views and Reviews, Ways of Rocking
Tagged Flickr, internet service, internet tablet, layoffs, LinkedIn, Maemo, media sharing, N800, N810, Nokia, Ovi
In the past several years we’ve seen many companies offer up their vision of The Next Big Thing in personal computing. The goal to get PCs increasingly portable is one admirable attempt but any drastic changes to the interface status quo tend to be met with consumer resistance. Screens and keyboards can only get so small before they become cute but useless novelties.
One exception is netbooks, the currently most compelling segment of portable personal computing. These little-brother laptops are rapidly cannibalizing more conventional computing platforms. Their attributes of low cost and high portability combined with a reasonable attempt to maintain usable interface real estate has contributed to a truly impressive success story.
Posted in Mentioning Maemo, The Process and Product Frontier, The Write Stuff
Tagged 770, Apple, Intel, internet tablet, iPhone, iPod, LinkedIn, MID, mobile internet device, N800, N810, netbook, netbooks, Nokia