- the desktop companion?
446 posts • joined 9 Nov 2007
Not having that.
Sure, Series 60 5th edition was a mess as Nokia had tried to emulate iPhone, and the developer story had issues, but Symbian OS, the actual base platform was a very small Real-Time micro kernel architecture OS, that could be run up on some pretty low-end hardware, which was exactly what all phone OEMs at the time wanted. Android, even now, is no where close. The problem was, that that requirement was thrown out the window in order to chase iPhone with bells and whistles, and the key OS platform requirement became time to market and OS bring up time on new hardware, something Symbian hadn't really focussed on (new phone models typically took 18-24 months from concept to market at the time).
Symbian OS had problems sure, but it wasn't "crap".
Wow. Tough crowd.
I don't think I have missed the point of the ruling, if you run a PSV/PSC and are on a contract that falls within the remit of IR35, then your company is expected to pay both employee and employer NI contributions on the effective salary. The client, in this case the BBC, has no liability if you thought the contract was outside of IR35, but the taxman disagrees. This is the cost saving that has made such arrangements so popular.
I've met so many that get paid a fairly reasonable wage for just turning up and sitting at a desk.
As a contractor, more often than not brought in to do they work they either should have done, or have loused up so badly it needs redoing, I'm paid only because the work gets done.
"It's not cricket, lads."
Ask yourself this, if it's such an easy life, what's stopping you becoming an over-paid contractor yourself?
There are two questions you have to ask, what features could you not live without, and how much are you willing to pay. For consideration;
OS - As framed here, the choice is Android or Linux of some flavour. What are the pros and cons of these, and other potentials. Bare bones Linux is a good starting choice, if a little bloaty compared to E32, but the simple fact is that there exists a working kernel for nearly any HW you'd care to choose. The main issue would be UI, are you expecting a proper desktop, and all your apps 'just work' or are you looking for something more terminal focused? Getting a meaningful desktop experience on that screen form factor would require some effort, even more so if you don't actually update the screen. Android seems like a better fit, UX wise, but it's very resource intensive. You'd need a high end ARM SoC to run it at anything like responsive - just try out a cheapo Chinese Android with any of the 6.x and 7.x flavours.
Purists will say Epoc32/Symbian OS, but even if you had the source code, the fact is part of Symbian's downfall was down to the sheer amount of effort it took to bring it up on new HW platforms, also, the kernel wouldn't be readily compatible with ARMv7 anyway.
Fact is, unless you're willing to spend big bucks on development time, you're going to go with the path of least resistance, which is likely to be something Linux based. Someone mentioned Sailfish.
Hardware - Shell. The key selling point of the Series 5, and why we're all still here 20 years after it launched, bemoaning the fact that it has never been bettered (OK, the 3mx was better, but let's skip that), is it's form factor. You have two choices here really, do you try and get new housings/keyboards made, or scavenge eBay for spares. If you get new parts made, aside from the expense of tooling, you're opening yourself up to patent infringement for the design. I've no idea who currently holds the patents, it was Psion Industrial IIRC. I'm sure they'd crawl out of the woodwork if they smelled $$$. Assuming again the path of least resistance, and cost, your looking at essentially an upgrade kit for existing Series 5s. This would have implications.
Hardware - Main board. If you're making an upgrade kit, your choices are either have something fabricated, or find something of-the-shelf that's suitable. There's not a great deal of spare space inside the Series 5 case, and it's very low-profile. Assuming again you're going to skimp on cost and development effort you're down to looking at what can be made to fit. I still have an OpenMoko board stuck to the inside of a 5mx case from the last time I seriously looked into this, the good news these days is, I think a Pi Zero would be perfect.
Screen - Here you have to make a real choice between cost and 'must have'. Custom screens are not cheap, though a lot cheaper than they used to be. The last quote I had for this particular application was ~£10ks for prototype quantities of either LCD/E-Ink/OLED. A whole order of magnitude less than when I first looked into this, but you're still into having to have pre-orders, or money to burn territory. You could of course re-use the existing screen - for the things the Series 5 was good at, the screen was more than adequate, if a far cry from today's luxurious 6" 400dpi+ panels. Re-using the original is not without issue either, as you'll need to interface it to your main board, and then write the display driver, but that at least is getting near to 'hobbyist' level of effort/cost. The real question is, is the screen a deal breaker?
Personally, the only thing lacking from the Series 5mx as it stands today is connectivity, and even then I think just Bluetooth would be good enough.
So would you pay;
£100 for an upgrade kit that turned your existing Series 5 into a wireless, portable ssh client?
£1000 for a reconditioned Series 5mx with e-ink/oled display and usable GUI?
Or something in between?
If a few hundred of you pick the £1000 option, then let me know! ;-)
Might that be the actual problem? They're putting an awful lot of dev time into Android, but to very little advantage to the end user, and with very little clear direction. A lot of the changes seem to be change for change's sake, worse still from the OEM's point of view. often there are changes to system APIs or behaviour that means adaptation becomes an incredible PITA - and I say that as someone who has spent plenty of time digging through the AOSP to track down reasons why something works on one version of Android, but fails completely on a subsequent version.
Smartphone features have largely stagnated, from an OS point of view. You can either add new bells and whistles, or you can try to improve performance. Take a look at the difference between Lollipop and Marshmallow and you can see where the Oompa Loompas have spent their dev-dollars.
If Google seriously want OEMs to keep up with their update cycle, they need to make adaptationsimpler between version transitions, and each new version needs to deliver actual value to the OEMs
If Google did ramp up their own OEM efforts, then they'll need to offer more than their current Nexus efforts do, as they've so far not been anywhere near as successful the Galaxy series.
I call bullshit, it's easily provable that when off a phone isn't transmitting.
It could well be recieving, ie it wasn't off but in a deep sleep, and there was a mechanism like wake-on-lan. Even then that would be problematic, as it would require all cell towers to broadcast the message, in the hope that the target device is within range (it's not broadcasting, so only the last connected tower is known).
The other 'smurfs' he describes are possible, of course, basic spy-ware. Though I find it unlikely that the capability is present in un hacked phones, this would require far too great a level of compliance (and secrecy) from all phone manufacturers.
Perhaps that's the point. I thnk every sufficiently large community needs it's own 'flame war' talking point, and this is just theirs, giving them something to argue about at conferences, write papers and books on, and keeping them on the talk-show circuit for life!
If these apps are leading to an increase in promiscuity, and an associated rise in STDs, then surely they are also in a great position (F'Nar!) to track hook-ups, so that past partners could be warned, and the infection could be tracked back to source? You'd have to work out how best to remove the stigma of course.
The original Twingo was a great little runaround, great fun to drive and very practical. The Twingo II was even more fun, as it had sportier engine options, and lost little of the practicality. With this, it would appear that Renault have given up on the whole idea of Twingo, and decided to make Fiat 500s, or as the article notes, Smart Forfours.
As someone who has owned both previous iterations of the Twingo, I think I'll be passing on this, even as a first car for the kids, I'd just buy an 2nd hand, original Twingo.
Every phone that does MMS does exactly that.
At the time, with texts costing ~10p a go, WAP over SMS offered very little in the way of advantage over WAP over dialup, except for small data transfers where connectivity might be intermittant, such fire-and-forget packets used in Push messaging
IIRC, No, they weren't. Indeed this was the whole premise of WAP proxies. They just stuck at it long enough for it to fly.
My memory of those days is hazy at best, but ISTR at least two, non-WAP, companies offering a similar solution, before Opera-mini was launched. Names escape me though.
a 'thorpe' is an old word meaning field, probably of norse origin, common in and around Yorkshire place names. AFAIK the reasoning behind the name octothorpe was that it 'looked' like a village surrounded by 8 fields.
Obviously the surname Thorpe has the same roots, equivalent to the surname Field(s).
That the product is an electron/positron pair suggests to me that rather than converting the photons into e-/e+ pairs, it could be that it's interacting with a virtual e-/e+ pair and giving them enough energy to overcome their attractive nature, so instead of instantly annihilating again, they fly off on separate paths, having absorbed the photon(s), a sort of analogue to Hawking Radiation. Be interesting to see the outcome of this experiment. And I wonder if there are similar interactions that thoeretically exists, or if it's only photons->e-/e+ - ie could sufficiently energetic photons produce muon/anti-muon pairs?
"...to brick the target ... the user's only option would be to completely wipe the device via a boot loader recovery."
So not bricked at all then. If it were bricked, even the bootloader would be broken.
If it is just causing a crash during bootup, then it may even be possible to uninstall the offending app via ADB in between reboots, if you timed it right.
Amusing bug though.
“Microsoft was willing to buy it, too,”
Why? What for? it's just a moderately popular messaging system, Microsoft have had about a dozen of those. Could they not find someone in their 100 000 strong workforce to work out why it was popular and MSN messenger wasn't? Really?!?
I'll give them a hint - iPhone.
“I don't know if it was for $19 billion, but the company's extremely valuable.”
No, no it's not. It was extremely expensive for Facebook, but Zuck's got way more money than sense, that doesn't make it valuable.
If Microsoft tried really hard, they could roll their own WhatsApp a thousand times over, and probably make it better, and afford to run it at a loss so that it was free for ever, and hook it into Live, but that would require the guy at the top having some sense of vision for a product, or someone in their organisation not being a cow-towing yes-man lacky sucking up to their immediate boss. Oh well.
This is something that has perpelexed me for years, is why this form factor has seemingly been abandoned. I know a fair few people who would jump at the chance to own a modern take on this, yet all we get are ever increasing sized touch screens.
You could (and I know people who have) write a book on a Series 5, but I doubt anyone will ever write a novel on a Galaxy Note.
The screen is the real problem, if you'd still be happy with the original screen (and it wasn't that bad) then it's not too hard a job to fit any of a number of off-the-shelf boards into the case (minus many of the cumbersome external connectors they have) A bit of soldering to wire the screen to some GPIO pins... then comes the fun bit, writing the software for it all!
If you want a colour screen, then all bets are off, as nothing has the same aspect ratio of the original, so you're talking compromise or new case, which of course won't have the killer hinge or proper keyboard.
Yeah, the Revo, not a bad little device. Of course ironic it was missed off the list, as it was the Revo successor ('Odin' ISTR) that finally burnt Psion out of the PDA market, and concentrating on warehousing applications, where of course, WinCE was a tick box that had to be checked.
The real end (apart from the doomed Motorola project circa 1999) I think was the simple fact that the Series 5mx was just _too_ good. They were built to last, did everything you'd need, and get a months use out of a couple of AAs. At the time Wifi was nowhere, certainly nowhere you'd be able to embed into something that ran on duracells, and putting a colour screen on it would've been Gameboy vs Lynx all over again.
Psion had released their own 'Use your Illusion' - it'd never be bettered, might as well pack up and go home.
"EPOC had become Symbian and had much of its functionality stripped out so it could fit into smartphones"
That's not an entirely fair comment, if you look at the initial Symbian smartphones, the Ericsson R380 and the Nokia 9210 pretty much all of the functionality that was on the 5mx was there. Of course, by the time it got to the Nokia 7650 and the SEMC P900 the functionality was there, it had just been wrapped in a much simpler UI. To say that Symbian was EPOC cut down to fit into a phone is just bad research.
Their pitch of having the 'Windows Experience' on your phone was also their curse - everyone still remembered what that was like, not to mention their reputation for predatory practices when it can to partnerships. OEMs and consumers alike wouldn't have given them any more leeway if they had released their own devices sooner, and let's not forget that at the time, with the generous subsidies they reportedly got, Compaq was a defacto PocketPC/WinCE/WinMo OEM for them.
Ironically, having garnered some plaudits for the Windows Phone UI, they then nearly slaughtered the old cash cow by sticking to the old 'single unified windows experience' mantra, and ramming it down PC user's throats.
Yes Ballmer, Microsoft may have been a two-trick pony, but you shot them both.
I'm no financial whizz (I'm not typing this from a luxury yacht moored in Monaco) but it's pretty obvious that Bitcoin and similar are more like intangible assets such as shares traded on a stock market than hard cash, but they have the aim of being as liquid as actual money. Money, I think, has to be backed by a bank with a tangible asset, which Bitcoin certainly isn't.
Of course I doubt that'll have any bearing on any prospective regulation, although the desire for regulation seems to stem from the fact that Bitcoin has served it's purpose too well (being an independent, open form of currency - or easily tradable asset if you will) and can be used for illicit trading, rather than because it caught on, bubbled, and burst, losing some people some money.
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