Monthly Archives: April, 2002

Mobile Surprises

Two surprises today.

The first is to discover that my new phone, a cheap and unassuming Ericsson T39, actually has a builtin POP email client and can be configured to send and receive email via my regular account over GPRS, which I’m starting to believe is therefore worth the rather high costs charged here in the UK.

Setting the phone up for a non-standard connection isn’t entirely trivial, though, and the second surprise, when I called my service provider, Orange, was to get through immediately to somebody who understood my rather technical questions and knew the answers. And this was just before midnight. Amazing!

More on the lab closure

[Original Link] Here’s the thread on Slashdot.

The news is out!

[Original Link] John Naughton’s article on the closing of the lab where I’ve worked for the past six years.

Those witty young men in their flying machines.

[Original Link] A nice story on John Naughton’s weblog.

A year ago…

[Original Link] the press was covering the imminent demise of the Trojan Room Coffee Pot. I can’t believe it’s only a year. So much has happened since then. Nothing quite so momentous, of course 🙂

Mac OS X tip for the day

[Original Link] This describes how to modify the Internet Explorer resources so that the IE location bar uses Google by default for searching. You just type a location of ‘? woody allen’, for example, to search.
I did this several months ago and use it every day; so much so that I’d forgotten it wasn’t the default behaviour. If you use IE on OS X, try this. Small hassle. Big rewards.


[Original Link] Today I release my first ever Mac OS X utility! Wait – don’t get over-excited! It’s a simple bit of AppleScript which changes the SMTP server of all your Mail accounts at once; very handy if, like me, you have several accounts and move between networks frequently. Absolutely no use to anybody else.

Update:This really isn’t necessary on more recent versions of Mac OS X, so I’ve deleted it.

Impressions after riding a Segway

[Original Link] Dan Bricklin, lucky chap, has had a really good play on a Segway and records his experiences.


Microsoft Hailstorm (aka World Domination v2.0) is dead!
New York Times story. [Memex 1.1] Bit of a non-starter, really. How many will mourn its passing?

BBC: Britons dash for broadband

[Original Link] Jolly good show, I say. Takes quite a lot to make us dash for anything! But as somebody on Slashdot commented, this map paints a less enthralling picture.

Apple and Nokia

It’s that time again – I’m starting to consider a new mobile phone, with the added twist this time that I’ll have to pay for it myself.

I’ve looked at various offerings from Sony, Erricson & Motorola, but, as at least three different salesmen have said to me, once you’ve had a Nokia, you’ve been spoiled. I don’t know why it is, but no matter how appealing the various bells and whistles on the other makes, you can’t beat a Nokia for convenience and ease of use. The only reason, I think, that the others sell as well as they do is because many people have to buy a phone based on colour, weight and size. Few shops are able to let you play with the user interface for any length of time before you hand over the cash.

It’s a similar situation with Apple. Those who have had the chance to use a Mac for any length of time are often reluctant to go back to Windows – especially since the new Mac OS has sorted out the reliability issues – even if more bells and whistles are available for Windows machines.

Of course, Apple have only 5% of their target market, where Nokia have the majority of theirs, so buying Apple is seen as a riskier decision. But that’s changing, as the things you can do on your machine become less important than the things you can connect to with it. It’s like moving to a Nokia and finding that your old chargers, belt clips etc no longer work, and you have to key in your phone book again, but you can make phone calls to your Motorola-owning friends just as easily. Perhaps even more so…


JN on the problems in AOL/Time Warner. If you’re putting people in a walled garden, make sure the walls are high enough that they can’t see what’s outside.

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser