Sunday, 27 September 2009

Sony Ericsson K550i vs. Nokia E63

I recently bought a "smartphone", a Nokia E63 for which I left a Sony Ericsson K550i. And honestly, my K550i seems smarter than my E63. Not that the E63 is a bad phone, no way. It's just that Nokia E63 doesn't show its smartness in conspicuous ways. The K550i was just a normal phone with normal features, yet it had some features I wish were in my new phone. I love the features of E63, but when it comes to ease of access and the user interface it is no match to Sony Ericsson. If Nokia learnt looking at phones from Sony Ericsson, without doubt they would be one of the best mobile phone manufacturers in the world.

Here's what, I think, Nokia should learn from Sony Ericsson:
Smartness - When a person who's not in my contacts messages me, I see his/her number in the From field. After I enter the person into my contacts, the number doesn't change to the name of the new contact! This is really annoying after using K550i where the name appeared in every place the number had been there! Nokia, where is your smartness?

One-touch buttons - I could do more on my K550i without the one-touch buttons than I can do with the E63. While E63 has specialised customisable one-touch buttons, I could use the up, down, left and right buttons on the K550i as one-touch buttons that I could customise. There was a button on the right where I could list any number of frequently used applications for easy access. I agree, the home screen on the E63 has this option too, but I can list only six applications (nine, if you include the long-press feature of the one-touch buttons). If I list the rest of the applications on the second homescreen, the switching between the homescreens takes longer than my limit of patience with electronic gadgets. There was another button on the K550i that showed me a list of all open applications that I could switch between. I think the feature is there on the E63 too, but what are the buttons for it? Anyone?

Organisation of the menu - I'm sure anybody who has used Sony Ericsson would agree with me on this. Sony Ericsson always has only nine menu items within which all features are embedded. Nokia has a very cluttered and confusing menu. It takes really long to get used to, and most people who have little patience never go through the entire menu. It looks like in an attempt to organise all the features they ended up over-organising. I just wish my E63 had a menu like the K550i where I didn't have to scroll down every time for the rest of the menu.

The T9 dictionary text predictions - This I can never get over. The K550i seemed to know exactly what I was going to say. If it offered me the wrong word and I hit a backspace, it immediately offered me the next most likely word I would use which, 99% of the time, turned out to be right! It offered me the list of words in a drop-down box from which I could choose the appropriate word. Though with the E63 I no longer need word predictions what with the qwerty keyboard, the text prediction feature on K550i was the best! I truly miss it.

Mark Several feature - This feature on the E63 frustrates me a little. When I need to select a few items in a list, I have to select individual items, open its menu and then mark each one of them, while in the K550i the Mark Several option would only require 'checkmark'ing the required little boxes that appeared at the bottom-right corner of the all the items on selecting Mark Several. This, I think, is a feature that Nokia should really work on. Nokia, please introduce a Mark Several concept in the phone.

Delivery Reports - A whole section for delivery reports? Isn't that a little bit of an overkill? E63 lists delivery reports in a separate section! In the K550i, a successful message delivery would be indicated by a tick mark next to the message in sent items. An undelivered message wouldn't have the tick mark. Sony Ericsson kept the concept of delivery reports really simple.

Well, there are a few more but these are the main features that I wish were different in Nokia. If you're asking me why I didn't buy another Sony Ericsson phone when I have so many complaints against Nokia, blame the price. A Sony Ericsson phone with the same features as an E63 would be at least 50% more expensive. If it weren't for the price, I'd have bought another Sony Ericsson phone without a second thought. That doesn't mean I like my E63 any lesser. I still love it! E63 rocks! :D

Thursday, 24 September 2009

I don't know what to do online

Internet has revolutionalised the world. It has changed the way people live. In India, however, it does not seem to have influenced the lives of people in a very big way. Yes, people do use the internet to keep in touch with family and friends; however their usage of the internet stops there. I wonder why.

Ever since I was introduced to it at 12 years of age, the internet has never failed to fascinate me. It first started with exchanging emails with my cousin. I then got introduced to the ever-green search engine, and ever since then, there was no looking back. And that is the reason I fail to understand why the internet hasn't intrigued more than half the population in our country. You might say half of them cannot afford it or don't have access. My point is in purview of the people who can afford it and have access to it.

In college, everytime there was an assignment to find out information from the internet, most people groaned. Well, that's probably because it meant more "studying". Most people I know have email accounts they never use. They hardly ever log in to social networking sites. When asked why they don't access the internet often, they say they don't know what to do online! How could they not know what to do online? I could spend hours browsing, reading and discussing online. There is no dearth of things to do online! After checking my inbox, replying to emails, reading online newspapers and feeds on my feed reader, reading blogs, watching videos, appreciating art on and I still have time to stay online, I google-search questions that haunt my mind, or just play silly games on facebook or I never run out of things to do online, and people say they don't know what to do!

I find it incredibly amazing that I can share the silliest of thoughts on and have interesting conversations on them. It's amazing how I can stay abreast with the latest information to the minute, and people say they find it boring and don't know what to do online! How is this possible?

P.S. If you are reading this, you probably are among the small percentage of people who use the internet for more than just keeping in touch. I would be glad to know how you spend your time online.

[3rd Nov 2010] Things  to do online:
Here's a list of interesting websites that maybe you could check out. Just a few to get you started (in case you're here because you really want to know what you could do online)

  • If you've got a lot of digital photos on your computer, maybe you could try ShapeCollage that lets you make picture collages in different shapes.
  • If you want to learn something new you could try - a website that tells you how to paint your room, how to fake an appreciation for art, how to survive in a Brazilian jungle, how to publish a book, how to be a model, or maybe even how to be productive online... just about anything for anyone.
  • New to the internet, and want to know all the things you've missed? Check these top 35 internet memes of the last 15 years.
  • There's even a website that says it is dedicated to the bored and unemployed (not that you are), but this site's got interesting entertaining stuff. It's called Fork Party. I like checking the Fail section for laughs.
  • If you like TV (or fiction - be it watching or reading), there's TV tropes. This website, I must warn you, can be addictive.
  • If you like art, or even if you want to look at all the beautiful art that people are coming up with, you could try Paintings I Love or Deviant Art.
  • And then there are the more popular websites like TechCrunch, Mashable for all the technology and gadget news, YouTube and Vimeo for videos, Flickr for photography. There are websites for just about anything one could be interested in. Someone I know learns to cook new recipes through YouTube.
  • And I absolutely love the Make magazine. The DIY stuff is awesome.
  • And finally, animation. If you're into it go to LineBoil.
These are just a few websites that I like (I'm not associated with any of these websites). But you could really find anything you want on the internet. Have you tried Postcrossing (where you can trade postcards from your country with someone else from another country)?

There is so much you can do and learn online. I hope I've helped you get started. Happy browsing. And also, be careful.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Artwork with Custom Brushes

Photoshop assignment: To create a custom brush and come up with artwork using the brush you just defined. I made five, and I'm posting two of them here. The other three don't warrant any consideration for they are below-average pieces of work.