Monday, February 16, 2009

Nokia N79 + Ovi Suite = Epic Fail

Two previously unthinkable things happened within the past 24 hours: I bought a new cellphone, and I installed Microsoft Windows on my laptop. I know, I know: I'm also wondering if hell has frozen over. But I digress.

On the Windows incident: it turns out that, as a part-time teacher at the Computer Studies Division of Ateneo de Davao, I can enjoy the benefits of the Microsoft Academic Alliance. That means free use of Microsoft software for educational purposes. And there's a wide range, too, from operating systems to applications to development tools. Regardless, I still wouldn't have considered it if my Information Security students had not asked me to discuss Windows security.

So off I go to download an ISO file from their library -- using Wine to run their special downloader, naturally. I now have Windows running in a guest partition of VirtualBox. I feel so dirty. (I have more to say about my Windows experience, but I'll leave that for my Ubuntu blog.)

And I also got a new phone. I've had my Nokia 6233i for the longest time, and it's now literally falling apart. It's still functional, though, and I would have held on for a while longer. This afternoon, I blurted out to my Mom and my sister that it might be time for me to get a new phone. I thought I'd have another day or so to change my mind, but before I knew it, they had already arranged to get a Nokia N79 from my sister's best friend. Oh, boy.

Form- and function-wise, I like the Nokia N79. It has WiFi and a 5-megapixel Carl Zeiss lens, features I've been hankering after ever since all my friends went Nokia N82. But it has a more sensible keyboard than the N82, something akin to my Nokia 6233i.

As happens whenever you get a new phone, I have to transfer all my contacts from the old phone. Quite serendipitous that I have Windows XP running, because Nokia software Only Runs With Windows. Easy-peasy, right? Wrong.

It used to be that Nokia shipped out PC Suite with all their phones, but now that's apparently been replaced by the Ovi Suite. What do I have to say about it? Epic FAIL!

The Ovi Suite looks all sleek and shiny outside, but is actually a miserable clunker on the inside. All I really want is to manage my contacts and messages, but it's giving me choices on movie conversion, photo folders, One-Touch Internet (whatever that is) -- anything except the simple contact management I was looking for.

Not only that, it took forever and ever to download all the necessary components from the Internet. It went a-looking for the Microsoft .NET Framework, Windows Media Player 11, Visual C# Components, XML converters, and what have you. Don't you get it, Nokia? I don't want your Web 2.0 / cloud computing / social networking mumbo-jumbo! I just want to manage my contacts, darnit! Leave the Internet stuff to the phone where it's supposed to be.

Good thing I just managed to copy the contents of the old phone over, but I can't clean up my address book like I want to. It seems to want to sync it with Outlook Express or some other. Up to now, I'm still wrestling with it.

What horrible, complicated way of doing things!

Update: So I finally figured it out. Ovi synchronizes with Outlook Express, which is as crappy as crappy PIMs go. I do have other options, like Outlook and Lotus Notes, etc., none of which I have installed. Won't sync with Thunderbird, though.

Hooboy, this is the problem with proprietary software -- it has to be installed and configured the way they want it.

Anyway, I'm just thankful I'm done.


  1. Love the fact that your mom and sister collaborated on this cellphone project.

  2. Sending contacts over via bluetooth didn't work?

  3. That's why I am no longer a Nokia fan. Switched on over to Sony Ericsson and haven't looked back since. Better camera, easier to use, better resolution, better screen... and above all I can actually use it as a remote mouse for my laptop. woohoo! :D


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