November 17, 2005
Damn. It turns out my ebay'd Samsung i500 phone didn't work out. The refurbished model I bought had some hardware problems, caveat ebayer, but really it was the software integration that just wasn't ready for primetime. There might be solutions for all those things, like a seperate app for text messaging, but when the usually rock-solid Palm "ToDo" app starts crashing, the karma just plunges through the floor. Pity that.
So I'm going back to my old Samsung video phone, the VM-A680. I was compiling a big snarky list of faults with it, I was going to start a feature called "the En-suck-lopedia", but then I found workarounds for what I thought were the more egregious UI crimes, so what was left sounded kind of petty, and the star-based "suckage" rating system was total overkill.
But no sense letting all the ranting go totally to waste, so here are the faults as I sees them:
- Because of the probably battery-draining color outer screen, you have to press a button to see the time. So it's less good of a pocketwatch than the ancient Samsung I used before. Minor point.
- I don't know how many damn pictures I took of the inside of my pocket before unearthing the "Camera Key Guard" feature. (Because it's clamshell, key guard isn't an issue otherwise.)
- Exact same icon for "VIBRATE" (ringer off) and "VIBE/HIGH" (ringer as loud as possible). These are the two settings I tend to bounce between, so the icon is useless.
- As I've previously grumbled about, 8 levels of volume is just too much fine grain control. (Must be a Samsung tradition, the i500 had the same deal.)
- Battery charging icon is the animation of 3 levels of charged-ness, you have to watch for a while to tell if it's charging or just at one one of those levels.
- You can't change the "Flip Sound" like you can the ringers, just on/off. I'm just so jonesing to get the same beeps Captain Kirk got when he flipped open his communicator, instead I'm stuck with the same "magical pixiedust" SFX that every other Samsung user has. Bleh.
- For the longest time I thought you couldn't edit the "name" associated with a phonebook entry. It turns out you can, it just looks like you can't.
- Voice Memo seems capped at 10 memos. Why? This is a phone that can store lots and lots of video (with sound) and picture.
- The photo and video management is odd. There's this distinction between "saved to camera" and "saved to phone" that makes no sense to me, and there's no "select all" or "invert selection" option, just an "erase all" when you go to delete. Also you can only select 10 items at once, I have no idea why. (Update...it seems things are "saved to phone" if you ever tag them for any use on the phone, either as background or to flash on screen when you get a call.)
- The ToDo list display is just dumb. Every ToDo has an associated priority and date, and on the main display these are displayed first, hogging up the whole line, and only when you move the cursor to that ToDo does the actual task name scroll into view.
I've been thinking that the only PDA functions I need these days are a decent datebook, a ToDo with categories (not priorities) and something I can put a few light memos in. My beloved Palm is overkill these days, but the phones aren't good enough yet. I guess you can download apps for this thing, but they all seem to be in Java. As much as I like Java, I'm not sure if it's really the greatest thing for small devices...no handheld gizmo should subject you to notice-able "Loading Please Wait" screens.
Quote of the Moment
"There is a coherent plan in the universe, though I don't know what it's a plan for."
--Fred Hoyle. I think that's one thing that most "Intelligent Design" people gloss over...they not trying to say "this could have a purpose" but also "and I'm confident I know what this purpose is"
Link of the Moment
Physician, heal thyself: an extremely cluttered site about decluttering...and advice like
Since you can access the Web and send and receive your own email without owning a computer (and for free when using access at a public library), think carefully if you need to get your own computer and Internet account.should tell me it's a "same planet, different worlds" kind of thing for me anyway.