Sucked into the Modern World

Laptop Overload - Smiffer
Image by: ilouque

Now I’m no technophobe, but neither will I be winning any awards for services of excellence in the field of information technology

I’m pretty much self taught at everything, from computers to games consoles to mobile phones. If there is something I don’t know, then I will make sure I am better prepared the next time that situation arises. If all else fails and one of my more knowledgeable counterparts is not to hand or for that matter to the other end of the phone, then I will refer to old faithful, the Internet.

For the six months or so that I have been blogging, the tools of my trade have been my trusty, albeit getting slower desktop, and my Nexus, which I purchased a little keyboard for. It’s great, but for blogging it’s small, fiddly sometimes and has a tendency to jump onto the floor. It’s also hard to balance when you’re on a train and have not been fortunate enough to sit at a a table.

With all this in mind I decided to bite the bullet and purchase a small laptop, just a baby one, small enough to carry, but big enough to type on without feeling I have sausages for fingers!

So it arrived, and I wasn’t overly excited, as in the 3 weeks it took for delivery I had almost talked myself out of the purchase and was tempted to send it back blaming the voices in my head for making me hit the buy button. It sat on the desk for almost two days before I opened it, but when I did, and I saw it, that little fecker called the ‘glimmer of excitement’ slapped me repeatedly about the face.

I was sensible enough to buy a touch screen laptop, I figured it would make the transition between my current Windows Vista to Windows 8 a lot smoother. Nope! For the first 2 hours or so, Windows 8 had me totally and utterly beat. It was about to take a one way ticket to Dumpsville on the end of my toe.

I took a walk, kicked a few things (no parents or live animals were harmed in the story behind this blog post), came back, looked at the laptop, kicked a few more things, counted to ten, picked up the laptop and sat down, with it on my lap, funnily enough.

It’s amazing the difference it makes when you look at something as an adult and not a temper tantrum throwing twat like I had been in the last 2 hours.

Clear thinking me had us onto Google and watching You tube videos, on the Windows website perusing the how to section, swishing, clicking and tickling the screen like Windows 8 and I had been the best of friends for years. Little Miss 4 T’s did try to raise her head a few more times, but counting to ten seems to be the ultimate weapon for keeping her at bay.

I’m not going to say it’s a match made in heaven, I can foresee many an uphill struggle in my journey with Pinguette (everything I own has a penguin type name….it’s better not to ask), but here’s hopeing she makes my blogging life just that little bit easier.

Reviewing the Nokia Lumia 820!

Nokia Lumia 820So I’ve had it for about 3 weeks now, my mobile phone upgrade, the impressive Nokia Lumia 820.

To be fair, there is not much difference between my previous phone, the Lumia 800 and this one, the most notable however being the screen size, 4.3″ as opposed to the 3.7″ on the 800. For years I have listened to men telling me that size matters and in this case it certainly has made a difference and put a smile on my face.

The AMOLED screen is bright and responsive and features Super Sensitive Touch meaning it can still be used, even when wearing gloves.

Windows Phone 8 allows for live tiles with 3 sizes, meaning with just a couple of presses you can customize your home screen to suit your lifestyle adding people, apps, weather and any other tiles you desire.

A feature I was glad to see introduced, was the ability on this phone to adjust text size through various key places on the phone, i.e. text messaging. Sometimes on the 800 I had struggled with text, especially in low light, which is not something you want when you are a spectacle wearing geek!

Notable in its absence however, is the option to change your keyboard layout, it’s qwerty or nothing I’m afraid. I loved my alpha numeric keypad on previous phones and miss it dearly, I have not been able to warm to the presence of the full keyboard and find my texts and e-mails littered with comma’s as they are so close to the space bar. I am fully expecting the glass to wear away in the position of the back space.

Another thing lacking is the ability to be able to personalise your phone with text message tones. After reading through various forums I see that I am not alone in my despair over this. I can only hope it has been considered and will be added when the new software update rolls out in the next couple of months.

The integrated Xbox app works well and seems to have fewer of the connection problems I experienced with the 800. Smartglass has been built in and your avartar is now larger and can be customised from the comfort of your armchair using your phone.

Geek Screenshot
Heya Eejits!

You certainly wouldn’t be buying a Windows Phone if you are an App fanatic, as the Windows marketplace holds nowhere near as many as the likes of the Play store on Google. It is not hard to tell, that at the moment Windows phone are seriously lagging behind the competition in sales, as they are not very well supported, some companies being unable to confirm if this will ever change.

My main reason for buying a Nokia however, was for the signal strength, and from the options available within their range, the Windows operating system was the best of the bunch, in my opinion.

I live in a low signal area, which few networks support and had changed to the Nokia Lumia 800 from my previous HTC Sensation due to the fact that I was not able to send or receive text messages and make or receive calls.

The 820 seems to be fairly good, however I would say the 800 would have had slightly better reception, and for this reason I am a little disappointed with my upgrade, but so far so good, it’s still early days.

I was excited this week to learn about O2’s new app called Tu Go.

No signal? Download our TU Go app to call or text from your O2 number over wifi

Sounds great right, especially for someone like me who has signal issues. Downloading the app would allow me to be able to make and receive calls in the house by using my WiFi connection. You usage is still taken from your monthly allowance, but in the grand scheme of things that wouldn’t matter as much as being able to make and receive telephone calls!

One snag – there is no App for Windows Phone. At present it’s only available for Iphone, Android, and Windows 7 PC’s. Worse still, it doesn’t look like one is coming any time soon, if at all. Another large company not supporting Windows phone despite Telef√≥nica announcing a Windows partnership, tut tut! Better get that sorted.

The introduction of this one app would make me consider Ebaying the Lumia and replacing it with an Android phone again, however as the Tu Go app is relatively new, I’ll give them a little time to get their act together.

Overall I’d give the Nokia Lumia 820 a hefty 8 outta 10. For what I need it for, it’ll do just fine…for now!!