Nokia Messaging for IM

So last night I attempted to sign on to Google Talk and MSN using the Nokia Messaging for IM app from Nokia Beta Labs. The program itself is rather good, with only a few usability flaws here and there.

But last night all that changed, as I got the following “Subscription expired” error screen:

Nokia Messaging for IM Subscription Error

After this, the phone will not sign on to any IM networks supported (Google Talk, Windows Live, Yahoo! Messenger) except Nokia Ovi. Going to the URL provided only gets you market-speak for how cool and affordable the thing is.

From what I was able to gather, it seems Nokia is following RIM’s path and beginning to associate with cellular providers to force people to get a cellular data plan in order to use its software. Never mind most of the supported phones do have WiFi connectivity on them, allowing you to bypass your provider. They want you to spend the money.

If only I were living in a country were cellular data access was cheap.

Since the application was original provided on a trial basis, I guess I can’t complain too much… except people are. This is one of the best programs Nokia has made for their phones, and here they go fucking it up.

So now I’m looking for alternative clients. So far I’ve found

  • eBuddy (free, need to create account with them first).
  • Nimbuzz (free, need to create account with them first).
  • Fring (free, advertisements).
  • Agile Messenger (pay, with trial period).
  • Cracked Windows Live clients.

None of which really convince me.

So… way to go Nokia, you little money grubber. Yet another reason why this will be my last phone from you.

VirtualBox 2.0.6

Actualicen. Hace que Las Cosas Funcionen.

Ahorita tengo mi Nokia E62 conectado a una instancia de WinXP si tener que hacer trabajo adicional aparte del que ya había hecho. Así que todo bien.

Mi iPod de tercera generación también funciona! Los añorados días de Winamp + ml_ipod han regresado. Ya nada de sufrir con Amarok o Rhythmbox! Una razón menos para probar Songbird!

Esto, señores, es Progreso.

No quiero sonar tan condescendiente… pero la mayoría de los programas en Linux todavía les falta un tramo por avanzar, es todo. Me siento mas cómodo utilizando Winamp + ml_ipod, así que si existe una oportunidad de usarlos, la tomaré.

VirtualBox 2.0.6

Do upgrade. It makes things Just Work.

Right now I’ve got my Nokia E62 connected to a WinXP instance without having to do any additional work than what I did before. So it’s all good now.

Hey! My third gen iPod works too! The halcyon days of Winamp + ml_ipod have come back. No more suffering around with Amarok or Rhythmbox! Even less reasons to try Songbird!

This, my friends, is Progress.

I don’t want to sound too condescending… but most music software on Linux still have some ways to go, is all. I’m most at home with Winamp + ml_iPod, so if there’s any chance I can use that, I will.

Del otro lado del rango celular

Estos dos están muy, muy lejos de las grandes pantallas multi-tacto tan adoradas por el jet-set digerati, quienes se están cagando los pantalones cada hora de una manera bastante olorosa.

Nokia 1100
Imagen tomada de la pagina de producto oficial de Nokia

Motorola C200
Imagen tomada de la pagina de producto oficial de Motorola

Aunque ya son son fabricados, mucha gente aquí en México jura por ellos. Yo personalmente se que son capaces de resistir la batalla diaria. Cuando el armazón ya esta muy rayado, es simple ponerles uno nuevo. Las únicas instancias que los he visto fallar es cuando el usuario quiere su destrucción, pero contra eso no hay mucho que un diseñador industrial puede hacer.

Aunque estén bloqueados en la red de algún proveedor resulta mas barato comprar otro de algún otro proveedor que desbloquear el que ya tienes. Por lo regular son vendidos con minutos pre-pagados, así que no te arriesgas al iPocalipsis o forzados a activar el aparato en algún lado.

También para considerarse es su uso mientras viajas. Deja tu celular caro en casa y consigue uno de estos — o una variante — cuando llegues a tu destino. Evitaras pagar roamin y otros problemillas técnicos — tu sabes de cuales estoy hablando — además de tener un numero local con el cual la gente puede contactarte sin pagar larga distancia. Esto funciona bastante bien si cambias mucho entre locaciones. Si lo pierdes o te lo roban no te va a doler mucho. Puede que sea útil desbloquear uno de estos en caso de que si viajes mucho.

Aquí esta por ellos y sus sucesores.

At the other end of the cellphone spectrum

These two are far, far away from the big multi-touch screens so adored by the digerati jet-set, who are crapping their pants hourly in a very odorous way:

Nokia 1100
Image taken from the Nokia official product page

Motorola C200
Image taken from the Motorola official product page

Even though they’re not made anymore, lots of people here in Mexico swear by them. I personally know they’re able to resist most daily carnage. When the shell becomes too scratched, it’s simple to change it over to a new one. The only instances I’ve seen them fail is when the user actually wants their destruction, but against that there isn’t much an industrial designer can do.

Even if they’re GSM locked in to their providers, it’s actually cheaper to buy a new one with another provider than to unlock your existing one. Since they’re usually sold with pre-paid minutes, you don’t risk the iPocalypse or forced to activate the device somewhere.

Also to be considered is their use while traveling. Leave your expensive phone at home, get one of these — or its variants — when arriving at your destination. You’ll avoid roaming charges and other hi-tech hijinks — you know the ones I’m talking about — and you’ll have a local number people can reach you at without paying long distance. This specially works great if you go back and forth between locations. Plus if you lose it or it gets stolen you won’t hurt for it. It might be worth it to have one of these unlocked if you do travel a lot though.

So here’s to them and their successors.