October 2007


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Archive for October 27th, 2007

Ye Gods, I’m a geek

Posted in Geekery on October 27th, 2007

Posted by mobile phone:
So I finally joined the ranks of the truly geeky. You used to be able to spot us by the pocket protector or the physics book in our hand, but nowdays it’s all about the cellphone you carry – and I am now the proud owner of a T-Mobile Wing.

My pocket protector is truly big now, as I am writing this from my phone. This was made possible by the WordPress Mobile Plugin from Andy Moore, which not only makes your blog readable on a tiny phone screen, it makes it possible to blog from anywhere.

I told you I was geeky.

Okay, while that was fun and all, I type even slower by thumbnail than I do on a regular keyboard, so I’m going to finish this post from the laptop. Sure, it’s a cool feature to have for when I get really bored out in the world, but really. Back to talking about the phone.

For those of you who just gotta know, specs can be had here.

I have to say, I’m pretty happy with it so far, which is good considering how many clams I had to shuck out to buy it. I love T-Mobile’s plan pricing, but their phone selection could really use some help. There are one or two phones out there I may have liked better, but I wasn’t about to try and sever my contract and go through all of that hassle just to get a slightly shinier toy.

The Wing has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, so they can fit a nice big screen on the front, which was the main selling point for the device. The only other models on the T-Mo lineup with that feature are the SideKicks, which really feel flimsy to me due to the way the screen rotates out of the way. the last thing I want to do is slide that screen off every couple of months.

The phone runs Windows Mobile (PocketPC) 6, which means the Exchange server at work can talk to it directly to push out my work emails. In practice, I get an echo when I’m working at my desk since both the phone and the laptop have the same email notifier, and the phone gets the email about a second behind the laptop. (I will probably turn off that notifier on the phone.)

Another cool feature is the fact that for the first time, I can actually get my computer to talk directly to my phone for transferring files and such, instead of only being able to download ringtones from my provider’s website – no more of this $2.50 for a 20-second crappy segment of a song! So now, if you’re ever out and about and you hear machine-gun fire super-imposed on tinny Muzak, you know I’m close by and just got a call :) (24 Hours Open, from the Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door Soundtrack.)

Other things I like about it: easy customization (just about everything is configurable since it is running a Windows variant) and easy software installation. Just copy over the .cab file and click it in most cases. Multiple email accounts, with the above-mentioned Exchange integration. Built-in WiFi access that has worked every time I try it (Yay!), and a 1.3 megapixel camera that beats the hell out of the one on the last phone.

While the Wing has alot of cool features, no device is ever perfect. The big bummer for me right out of the gate is that it only comes in that damn blue color, so I can’t stick to my black-or-silver forever motif. I make up for that by keeping it in a black leather holster on my belt.

The biggest headache, however, is the fact that the phone is already short on resources. It comes with only 128MB of internal RAM, and about 1/3 of that is being sucked up by the OS. The OS then assigns the rest of that memory to storage and running applications at about 50/50. Sure, you can get an expansion card for it (I got a 2GB card) for file storage, but there are a number of folders that can’t be re-directed to the card without doing a registry hack. That scares me a bit, so I won’t be messing with that.

What this all means is that after poking around on it for a couple hours, I had to reboot the phone to get the camera to work due to lack of program memory available. It also means that if you want to install any additional software on the phone, you will need to install it to the storage card instead of system memory so it can actually run. Annoying to be sure, and something I will probably just have to get used to.

the last bummer, and one that kind of surprised me, is that it only comes with two games, and one of them is Solitaire. That will have to change! Other than that though, I am happy with the phone and would recommend it to anyone else on T-Mo looking for an upgrade. You might want to hit a couple auction sites though, to see if you can get it cheaper than retail.