My Digital Life Part 1 of 2: The Nokia N95 (2GB)

Subtitled: Like Edmund and Turkish delights

I used to be one of them. One of the few remaining individuals completely resistant to the assimilation of cell phones into our daily brains. I would chant towards the sky on sunny days, praying for the downfall of these soul-sucking, sickening devil machines. And all my friends hated me. They were all like: Where can I get hold of you? And I was all like: You wanna hold me, baby?

A hypothetic truth is, a little less than half of the world’s population has never used a phone (1). Any kind of phone, that is. That’s because 50% of the world’s population agreed with me. But actually the numbers are probably a bit lower. Point remains, though; phones are not necessary for survival. At least if you plan to be a hermit.

I was not allowed to be a hermit, however, oh no. It was people all over the place just dying for a chance to call me their ‘friend’. And as their ‘friend’ I was somehow obliged to ‘keep in touch’. To my big disappointment I soon discovered that this touch-keeping had nothing to do with actual touching at all, which was a bit frustrating since I was a frustrated guy at the time. The 14th of June 2004, a day I was particularly hung over and had some cash to spend, I went out and bought my first cellphone: The Siemens MC60.

It lasted (actually it still "lasts") until fall 2007 when it had serious trouble remembering numbers. This is the first time in all of my computer (and calculator) experience that I have seen a computer that actually forgets numbers in an equation. I would need a new one, but where to begin? I didn’t know twat. I asked around and found out about Amobil.no – a brilliant Norwegian website for phone reviews, regardless of your level of experience. I spent the next two-three weeks making myself familiar with the technology and I boiled it down to a Shakespearian to be or not to be: Quick’n Easy or Everything Included? I ended up with this little baby:

Nokia N95 pose

I must admit I was in favour of the Nokia brand from the get-go thanks to Maddox’s excellent article where he compares the iPhone to his Nokia E70.

So far it’s been great. For a business phone it’s not too big for my pocket, not too heavy, and not too sophisticated to use when drunk. It can take a little beating too, and you don’t need a friggin’ stylus: «it allows you to do things like dial a phone number without staring at your screen like a shit-chucking ape. In fact, every other cellphone ever made has this technology, sometimes called "buttons".» (Maddox)

Sigg3net's PhotostreamThe reason why I went for this was the 3-in-1 combo:

  1. Telephone
  2. Small Camera
  3. Music Player

Now, the Nokia N95 completes these three tasks as if it was three separate devices, much unlike Steve Jobbs’ definition of "device". The 5 megapixel camera is good enough for everyday use, the music player is brilliant and intuitive, and the telephone is as good as it gets (3.5G anyone?). I can do all sorts of other things too, like watch porn or surf open networks with SSH tunneling, program in Python or mShell, combine pictures, videos and songs to ‘muvees’, pick up my position using the built-in GPS module etcetera ad infinitum.

Pros:

  • Wifi b/g (WPA/WPA2, 802.1x, WEP) 
  • GPS and aGPS 
  • Symbian 60 3rd edition (e.g. lots of available resources) 
  • Lens Cover for the Carl Zeiss camera lens! (Finally!) 
  • Connect to PC as Mass Storage Device 
  • Many content-to-web possibilities (flickr, vox, blogging..) 
  • Great online communities 

Cons:

  • Poor battery life (mended by firmware upgrade) 
  • Little internal memory (mended by firmware upgrade) 
  • Browser vs. RSS Feed Reader bug (mended by firmware upgrade) 
  • Slow camera (mended by firmware upgrade) 
  • Slow locking to GPS satellites 
  • No USB power charging 
  • Flash not sufficient in poor light (night mode often gets a bit blurry) 
  • It’s too easy to hit the Cancel button when typing.. Thank Nokia for drafts! 

Some adjustments I’ve made:

  • Removed unnecessary apps 
  • Installed Timer, Kama Sutra (that’s right!), Putty and sicFTP 
  • Installed New_Menu_Structure 
  • Registered N95 account at flickr.com (click pic below) 
  • Set log to 1 week (reduces phone memory usage) 
  • Bought an extra power adapter for the office 
  • Moved inbox to memory card 
  • Backed up and installed the firmware upgrade! 

The firmware I’m referring to is 20.0.015 released November 2007.

And if you want to, you can install the Accelerometer and this app (both to the phone memory) and use your N95 as a light saber.

Sigg3net's PhotostreamSince last year I’ve been without a computer, and it’s no exaggeration to say that I’ve been reading websites for hours using the N95 without getting headaches or eye problems. My neck hurts a bit, though. The new music player is also a lot better with the podcasts integrated so you don’t have to go look for them elsewhere. You can also quit the podcast, say in class, and when you open it again it will resume where you left it. This is one of the obvious things that many players get so wrong.

The 2GB memory card limitation is a bit annoying as album after album start filling up space while you don’t want to delete/transfer your images yet. If you’re in the market now, buy the 8GB version. Of course you’ll have to expect to use some hard money on this. I’m chained to Norway’s greatest slave own– I mean, telephone company for at least a year now. Doesn’t really matter to me however, because you can’t put a price tag on love. Amen.

5 thoughts on “My Digital Life Part 1 of 2: The Nokia N95 (2GB)”

  1. There is so much I didn’t fit into that article, but let me assure you that this changed my way of thinking about phones completely!
    Two more pros:
    – Multitasking
    – Alt+Tab function

  2. That’s the phone I’ve been dreaming about for a while, but its price is what puts me off. Even with the contract, at the moment you can’t get it for less than 500 Euros, which is seriously too much for me. And the other fact is that my skills suck when it comes to mobile phones and if it’s not a Samsung, I don’t even know how to do anything other than receiving a call and/or hanging up. Guess I’m used to Samsung controls.

    But N95 is soooo yummy! You’re one lucky guy!

  3. Got one of those cellphone “socks” for it today. It was freezing outside, and the poor thing didn’t have any clothes..
    Right now I’m in the market for some sexy lingerie for it. Who would’ve thought?

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