Thursday, September 28, 2006

Blah blah blah

I was just checking my emails, about to head off to la-la-land, when I received TWO updates from Nokia Asia Pacific (I've been subscribing to them for a long time now surprise surprise). Normally I just browse through the new releases thinking, big deal... another rollout by nokia, "same innies, different outies", that's my opinion about their releases of late.

Blah, blah, blah...
introducing a new trio of Nokia phones, Nokia 5300 XpressMusic (Looks like a SE w850 oddly), Nokia 3250 XpressMusic and Nokia 6233 Music Edition. Then, in another email... the Nokia N95.

I thought to myself,
what now Nokia? What else can you do to your line? The 5300 looks strange yet simplistic, the 3250 and 6233 new editions are exactly like their "old" ones, just with an "XpressMusic" badge thrown in. Nothing to shout about really. SE still beats them in terms of music capabilities.

Then I read the "feature pitch" for Nokia N95....

"It's GPS. It's a photo studio. It's a mobile disco. It's the world wide web. It's anything you want it to be. Explore the internet with 3.5G ease. Navigate the world with interactive maps and purchasable local city guides. Download your favorite music tracks. And capture it all with 5 megapixel clarity and Carl Zeiss optics. Experience the true power of multimedia computing with the Nokia N95 multimedia computer."

My goodness! They've finally done it! A 5 megapixel camera! Sure it looks identical to a Nokia N80, but apparently, it slides both ways, one revealing the multimedia keys, the other, the normal numerical keys. Trust Nokia to come up with these funky ideas.

Ahhh, but knowing them, it'll probably take forever to be released. By then, SE would have beaten them with a killer competitor. But, I could be wrong

In another phone release update, there have been numerous rumours that a new Palm OS version of the Treo will be announced soon.

Here it is, the Palm Treo 680. Unofficially.

Now THIS one I've been anticipating for a long time now. Together with our small minority of local Treo users, we are just waiting for this long awaited upgrade. The Palm CEO Ed Colligan mentioned that more details will be launched in the coming weeks.

If you're reading this, and you think to yourself, what's the big deal about Palm? Well, its the kinda thing where you have to try it for yourself.... Palm brings on a new dimension in smartphones and their everyday uses for personal as well as business users. I'll try provide more updates on this in future, as well as "Why you should get a Palm" (in other words, my attempt to brainwash you)

On a separate note, a friend commented today, "It'll soon be your 8800's 1st week anniversary". I laughed at the fact that he's actually monitoring me. He said, "THIS one, I must keep track."

Well, I said it once, I'll say it again. This one's a keeper....

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Its personal.

Today's been somewhat of a bad day. Long story, but I endeavour to be just like how Pocoyo looks from my last post. Happy.

As reported, I went with my dad to the mobile shop on Saturday, with him being intent on getting a new phone, and me, intent on making sure he gets one that suits his habits. Its not as simple as you'd think when you have been using a series 40 nokia for a while, then switching to other models or even brands. Arriving at the QQstation (the mobile shop), we quickly asked the assistants for the working display model of the Sony Ericsson k800i....

Before I proceed, I feel I must mention a bit of background of my dad. He's primarily a Category 2 user (refer my prev blog posts). Its only recently that he's developed an interest in multimedia capabilities in his phone. Mp3's and camera megapixels. After introducing him to the potential of his (old faithful) nokia 6230i, lets just say, and I'm not ashamed to admit it, that its got more mp3's and sounds than any of my phones ever had. And photos, there were over 200+ photos saved in the memory card. So, as you can imagine, camera megapixel quality has now taken over as the only major criteria for him. (even though he owns 3 pretty-good digicams)

Anyways, back to the k800i. There I was, demonstrating the capabilities of it with my dad standing next to me, the many sales girls all in front of us, looking at us in amusement. I showed him the camera features, with its autofocus and zooms, its messaging systems, its internet connectivities.... the works basically. It seemed pretty set that the "K" would be the likely choice. And then, while the salesgirl was struggling with taking out my sim card (hey, k800i owners would not debate with me on this, but it is super difficult to remove em!), my dad then caught sight of the Nokia n73.

Another piece of background on this, me pops has been reading numerous reviews (which I recommended to him earlier) on all these camera phones. So he's pretty knowledged about whats good out there and what recommendations there are.

So, I began my pitch again, "the camera features...autofocus and zooms.... messaging.... internet... the works", emphasizing this time, that n73 is a symbian phone. Meaning, more complex to use than a k800i, and definitely more complex than a nokia 6230i. I additionally highlighted that the fonts for symbian phones aren't exactly big, or adjustable. So if he was ok with that, then no worries. What DID catch his attention, aside from the camera qualities, was the 240 x 340 screen size. You gotta admit, photos do seem better on a bigger screen and especially with the new Nseries standard 262k TFT screen resolutions. I think that was the deal breaker. Coupled with the fact that Nokia, for him, was "familiar",with "no need to learn another system" .... the k800i never stood a chance.

(Personal note: N73 IS pretty impressive, especially with the first ever auto-focus capabilities. But, having said that, its just TOO familiar. Afterall, the n80 and the E61 does have the same series 60 3rd editions... which to me... is... boring)

With that, my dad is now a happy owner of the new n73. I spent most of last night at his place sorting out the syncronisations of data and saving back his good ol'mp3's and photos from his ol'banger of 6230i into a 1Gb mini-SD I had lying around. Yup, by the time I left, the scorching n73 was good to go.
However, I do foresee many, many, M-A-N-Y more candid photo snapping during family functions or even just out of the blue. But, that's ok, that's my dad. My loveable-techy dad.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Pimp My Phone

Day 5, with my Precious. Would you believe it, people throwing offers at me for my 8800 already. No way I tell em, "this one's a keeper".

Stil clunking away with the opening/closing mechanisms. Its just so... so.... COOL. I've added my personal fav tones and wallpapers already, especially the super cool kids animation series, POCOYO.

If you've never seen or heard of Pocoyo, here's a pic. In fact, its the same pic I use as my wallpaper now. To me, its just got so many meanings. Well, more on that later.

Now, the ringtone of Pocoyo (click this link, it will lead you to the official blog where you can download it) its an all time favourite of mine. It starts off with bells, then gradually more instruments come in, with Pocoyo calling out to his friends, Pato, Ellie etc. Now, you're probably wondering why I'm into this kiddie series. Two reasons! First, its perfect for a ringtone, especially if you don't like those that just EXPLODE into your life and shock the living day lights outta you. And secondly, its POCOYO! C'mon! You can't watch it and say you don't like him! He's so cute!! Well, watch it and be a believer.

Well, back to my 8800, its pretty much near to perfection, how I've customized it that is. Ringtones to different groups of people who call me, and profiles according to the environment I'm in. "General", "Home" or "discr33t". Nokia users will be familiar with this.

Anyways, I will keep this post short, I have to go out and do some phone consultancy now. This time, its personal. My dad! He reckons its time to do away with his (aging) Nokia 6230i and venture into the unknown of the SE k800i or the boring-but-familiar Nokia 6233.

More later.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

"Not everyone...."

I know, I know... I've been silent for a few days.... there's a reason.
I've been somewhat occupied, and captivated by....

My new toy!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My........... PRECIOUS......

*drum roll pls.... *


(Ok, I'm not the best photographer in the world, and for these pics, I used a SE w810i to try snap it rather than my digicam. So this will do for now until I run a proper review)

I have been waiting (im)patiently for this for the past 2 weeks. A good friend of mine had managed to source this from Singapore at a very very good deal. Its just ONE DAY old. I just COULDN'T resist. And being a special edition, that was the icing on the cake. (Although, having said that, I ALMOST went for the newly launched Sirocco edition too! Decided to get this instead)(Also, big price difference)

You may ask, what's the big deal about this phone? "So what, its just a flashy nokia. Nothing great about features, better phones out there" etc.
I liken it to buying a watch. Like buying a Tag Heuer or a Swatch watch. Both do the same thing, both tell time, both are swiss too! Ahh, but the difference between wearing a Tag or a Swatch is just worlds apart. You would KNOW you're wearing a quality product and you would KNOW not everyone around uses the same watch too...... Its called exclusivity.

Not everyone wears a Tag remember.

Its the same reason why I got my PRECIOUS. I have been eyeing this model for SO long, ever since its worldwide debut, always drooling, ooh-ing and aah-ing over it. But back then, its launch price was simply insane! It had been so unattainable... until now.

It arrived in the country on Wed midnight, and as my friend who brought it back for me stays nearby (a minute away), you can imagine where I was shortly after that! Good thing my buddy understands my phone craze, even called me up to tell me its arrived.
Drove back, brought it upstairs, saw the box beautiful box (what a sight!), carefully examined each item in the box, simply in awe of the amazing condition. (Well, it IS a day old!) Apparently, the owner bought it, realised it wasn't for him, and wanted to sell. Luckily for him, I came along then. (Needless to say, I heard he later went for a Nokia N93 instead)

To get right to the point, after about 2 days use so far, I'm just loving it. As you might expect, its constantly living in the suede pouch that comes along with the set. Every so often, I find myself just taking it out, looking at it, playing with the menus, familiarizing myself with it.

I'm happy. No regrets.

Things I like about it so far: -
  • The heavy "thunk" sound it makes while opening and closing, which is similar to opening and closing a zippo lighter, but heavier sounding.
  • The "special edition" engravement on the back.
  • The screen resolution... which makes the phone an absolute joy to use....
ok, ok, I won't go into any further details, just wait for my personal review on it soon, with photos. But, so far, alot of people are impressed. For some, its the first time being able to hold a Nokia 8800 in their hands, for others, the look on their faces when the phone rings.... Priceless.

But, as expected, I've faced opposition. Some friends don't think I'll last long with it. Some even giving me 3 weeks with it, till I sell it off. They just don't understand... THIS TIME, I told em, THIS one's a keeper, just you wait and see. NO ONE just sells off a Nokia 8800, and especially NOT the special edition version.... NO....... ONE....

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Updates 1.0

"d3x 2nd Chances" updated!

3 phones on offer, and counting...
(There are a couple more, but I'm finding more details on them first)

Check it out!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

2nd Chances

Its feels like ages since my last post. I had planned to upload my post last night, but it was a case of the mind being willing, but the flesh being weak. That's what you get for pushing yourself too hard at the gym. Its a great feeling though...

Anyways, its been an interesting start to the week. True enough, as anticipated, the Treo 650 I mentioned before, sold instantly. Showed it to the buyer, he had a look at it, tested it out, and confirmed. Simple. Another happy buyer and seller. Now THAT'S a great way to start a Monday.

My new toy will be arriving shortly. I really can't wait now.

I've had a few interesting reactions to my blog thus far. The one that causes the most reaction is "26 phones so far?!". I have to keep reminding them, "over a timespan of 6 years! C'mon! Its not that bad". Sigh. No one understands. Some people have watches they collect, some pens, some sunglasses... others handbags, shoes.... mine are mobiles. So what's the big deal? I don't make a fuss about anyone changing anything. I always tell them, at least its not cars, or worst still, girls... Geez...

But, having said that, with the new toy I'm expecting soon, its gonna be a keeper. (Of course no one believes me) I plan to create some sort of accountability from this blog to track the time I hold on to this phone. I haven't decided whether it'll be a weekly or monthly "anniversary" yet. (I did not include "yearly" as that would be phenomenal in my case). Who knows, maybe throw a party every time I cross a checkpoint. In any case, I'm determined for this one to be a keeper.

After all this talk about changing phones, you might be wondering what I'm using now.
Here it is: -

My cousin's trusty ol'Nokia 6680. Yes, its red. This is of course a temporary weapon of choice at the moment. I must say though, looking at the screen resolution and features, although armed with the aged series60 Symbian, it just seems rather outdated. (This one I KNOW I wouldn't last long with). But then, I AM comparing to the 3rd editions of s60 Symbian weapons like N80 and E61. In any case, I've used symbian from as far back as Nokia 7650, and to date, honestly, its developments are nothing much to shout about. I could, however, go on about what I really think the real killer Operating System is out there, but I may get alot of debates starting.
(Its Palm!)

ANYWAY, I'd like now to draw your attention to a link I created, on your right, to advertise what 2nd hand phones there are out there.

"d3x 2nd chances"

I am still tweaking this link/site so please bear with me. BUT, I do plan to update it regularly on what's available out there, and whether I'd recommend it or not. If time permits, or sellers permit, I'd like to try review them too. We'll see.

I'v aptly titled it something for everyone.... there always is. =)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Today's paper

Let's hope this does not refer to any of you.

A British report published in today's paper. The header shouts,
"Really hung up on your mobile phone?"

"People can become very attached to their mobile phones and some may even show signs of addictive behaviour..." (Hmmm...)

Reading on, I GENERALLY agree with the research, from statements about how "mobile phones have become a very significant part of everyday life" to "90% of 18-25 year olds admitted they take them (mobiles) everywhere". (Btw, this is based from a sample survey taken from 106 Uni students.) BUT it starts getting a bit questionable when they also report that its linked to "pathological gambling" and how "7% blamed their phone for the loss of a significant relationship or job".

Geez... get a life right?

Well, its true in many ways I suppose. Mobile phones now are becoming such a huge part of everyone's life, young and old. Even among my peers, when you forget to bring your mobile with you, its likened to "feeling naked", as if something's missing. Sad but true.

I admit to feeling like that though, I mean, how can you POSSIBLY forget your mobile phone!?

Whatever your opinion is, I'm willing to bet you own a mobile phone. You may fall under the different sorts of categories, ranging from:-
1. Using it JUST for calls
2. Using it JUST for calls and texting
3. Using it in place of a certain white iconic mp3 player that's taken over the world
4. Using it in place of your regular digital camera
5. Using it as a personal organiser to keep track of your apointments and reminders.
6. Using it as a watch (??)
This is apparently becoming a trend.
7. OR, all of the above...

Face it. Embrace it. Don't lie to yourself. You need it. Its part of life.

Well, enough of that article... Before I get philosophical, which isn't my aim here. Papers nowadays are just so full of crap anyways. Especially the local ones sometimes.

No further comments on that.

ANYWAY.... back to reality. This blog's been quite refreshing I must say. Received numerous feedback on it from friends, and how to improve. But that will come in time. I hope to be able to include other links in the near future like:
- Reviews
- Downloads" (or links). For wallpapers, themes, ringtones, apps etc
- FAQ's
And in future, perhaps even offers of 2nd hand phones I hear about. There are many.

For now, its just me and my simple blog..

Phone support

The new toy... As the days SLOWLY pass by, I get more anxious waiting for it. SO typical isn't it? When you want something badly, time suddenly slows down....

The wait continues....

Today's been interesting. Usual Saturday routine, woke up later (than usual), quick brunch with the family, lunch with a mate, then did a bit of zooming around as a "mobile phone support" and gym afterwards. What a weekend.

Mobile phone support, like tech support. Minus the charges... =p

Three cases today.

First, a Palm Treo 650 for sale. 2nd hand Treo 650's now are like hidden treasures. You better believe it.

Quick lesson in local 650 history: 650's were not very popular during the first launch here in early 2005. Only the tech freaks bought them. As the months went by, with people beginning to hear about the power of the legendary palm OS and what it could handle, (especially the one with one of its the killer apps, a program allowing MSN chats through GPRS!) Then suddenly, EVERYONE wanted one. Ladies included.

And so, this is probably the 4th 650 that's come thru my hands to help sell off now. I guaranteed my friend that it would be an easy sale. All it takes is time. (Note: I already found a buyer last night. Very keen, pending the sighting of the unit on Monday) So, went to pick it up from my friend's place this afternoon. (A service I don't mind doing, depending on geographical positioning of the sets)

Secondly, a Silver Nokia 6230. Gotta be at least a year and a half old. Didn't look like it though. Was near perfect. Lady owner. Protected by one of those cutesy lil'bag-pouches that are (now) impt accessories for ladies, and oddly, some guys too!
Tested out the set for a few days, a practice I try to uphold where possible, JUST to make sure I don't sell to people faulty and crappy phones.

(Reputation, reputation)

It works perfectly. And true enough, as expected, a few days ago, a friend called up looking for a cheap phone, and best of all, this exact model too! So, delivered it to him today. Thats another happy seller+buyer. Hey, they're happy, I'm happy right?

The last case was a family related request. Couple of days back, found an aunt a 2nd hand Nokia 6131, a model she had been eyeing for a while. This case, I KNEW I would be doing some sort of support at least. Coming from a Nokia 6510 which she had been using for like, centuries... Her main problem, "How do I transfer all my contacts from the old phone to the new one?". So off to her place I went after dropping off the Nokia 6230, thinking to myself in the car, ok the extreme case is that if she has more than 250 contacts (which is the limit what our local sim cards can fit), then I'll just save into the sim a couple of times and move across to new phone. Easy! (I usually recommend using one of nokias DKU USB cables or sthg to sync across any data, but Nokia 6510's didn't support that tech back then. So it had to be manual.)
Arrived and got cracking right away. 35% used of phone memory "That's it?!" I said to her. This was easier than I thought! So, moved all 225 numbers into her blank sim card and copied across. Easy! 5 minute job. ANOTHER happy buyer.

And with that, off to the gym I went....

Little did I know, a couple hours later, another request was coming. A tough one this time. A friend's looked me up. He wants a Sony Ericsson w810i. i told him that's a tough one. No one who owns one lets go of their w810i at this time. Best bet is to buy new... I told him.

BUT, who knows, I promised I'd try.

So, with a new challenge, a new request. The search begins again....

Saturday, September 16, 2006

More on the Past... and its reputations.

Another day gone. I just realised! I have yet to reveal my next target. More on that later. I promise it to be interesting.

Aside from trying all these phones over these years, another joy I have is helping friends out here and there with selling their phones, or helping them with advice on what phone to get next etc. Its strange but I get a real satisfaction from seeing them happy. Maybe its because I feel happy when I get a new toy, so I imagine them having that same feeling.

Looking back, its just hit me, all this has lead to one thing.

Building a reputation.

Having a relationship with people. Through all these "helping out's", I've made SO MANY friends and somehow even, without realising, even established networks with people from various mobile phone companies, who I now call my friends. Over the years, there are now only two businesses that I truly truly support because of their integrity, business sense and most of all, SERVICE. (C'mon, we ALL know SERVICE makes the difference in buying a product. Would you buy from a helpful and friendly salesperson or one that doesn't seem to give any crap about you? I rest my case)

(Please check them out. Their links are on my blog. No one can offer you a better price and service than these two can. Please note, I don't earn anything from them nor do I have any affiliations with their businesses. Just trust me and take my word for it.)

SO, since I can't start my own business (yet), I guess this is what I have to settle with for now.
Referrals to my friends' businesses, or continuing in my dabbling with the 2nd hand phone market.

To this day, this is still my own lil'service which I am so gladly willing to offer anyone. Have a phone for sale? I will try my best to find you a buyer. Want a new phone? Let me hook you up.

"See the need, fill the need"

Thats my search-tag line. Somewhere out there, there's someone who wants a phone.

To end, I want to share a story of something someone said, which has touched me.
Recently, I found for a friend, a GOOD conditioned Nokia 6230i which he had been hunting for since ..... forever. I knew it was a good deal after testing it out myself, so upon showing him the phone, it was an instant sale, on behalf of another friend.
A while later, he says to a friend... in front of me... "you knw, normally when I see 2nd hand Nokias for sale, I am doubtful about its condition and hardware cos of all the fakes and imitation accessories you can find nowadays, but cos its d3xlabs who got this 6230i for me, I know I can trust him thats why I bought it"

Now that my friend.... is reputation.

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Past

Well I'll be... I'm back. Just spent the whole of last night tweaking this blog the way I like. (With expert advice from a dear cousin of course. Owe her one.)

The Past.

I titled this because I'd like to keep track of my own history on the mobile phone madness. Call it a walk down memory lane if you like. I remember the 1st time I've EVER owned a mobile. Sure there were first encounters with the Startacs of Motorola in their pre-GSM days, and the oddities of the nokia banana phones.... but it was way back in 1997, in the good ol'uni days in the UK.... the Ericsson T28, a small blue cracker of a phone which I thought was not only cool but made me feel "I'd keep this forever". Boy was I wrong.

Shortly after that, the onslaught of technology with SMS texting had been introduced into the public. It was a small unnecessary add-on from the network I thought, "It'll never catch on" I thought... boy, was I wrong again.

A year later, I decided to "upgrade" my mobile (this must be when the madness began!) The year was 1998. At that time, all my buddies were using Nokia 6110's. A very beautiful phone, now looking back. I decided to be the odd one, and went for a Sony phone. I can't even remember the model, but it had a lil'stick that flipped out for phone calls. So cool. It looked like a small walkie talkie actually. Well, that was my faithful sidekick for almost 2 years.

Returning back home in 2000, my Sony began looking a bit dated and boring, and it was timely too, Nokia had released their newly redesigned series... the Nokia 3210. Almost EVERYONE owned one back then. I knew I HAD to own one too. $630 I remember buying for. Crazy. But it was the phone to be seen with! Everyone else used boring ericsson T-series and the cool ones used 3210's.

Needless to say, since then, i've owned, in this order:-
1. Nokia 8210
2. Nokia 8310
3. Nokia 6510
4. Nokia 3310 (beats me why I went backwards...)
5. Nokia 3330
6. Nokia 5210
7. Nokia 6210
8. Nokia 8850
9. Nokia 6610
10. Nokia 7650
11. Nokia 6600
12. Nokia 3530
13. Nokia 3510
14. Nokia 3120
15. Nokia 7610
16. Nokia 7200
17. Nokia 9500 Communicator
18. Palm Treo 650 (The longest ever... "almost" a year)
19. Nokia 6681
20. Sony Ericsson k750 (Arguably one of the best cam phones in the market still)
21. Sony Ericsson w800i
22. Nokia n80
23. Nokia E61
24. Sony Ericsson w810i
25. Nokia 6230 (a temp phone I'm using now)
26. ???

You knw, looking back at this, over a span of 6 years now... thats alot of phones...
Geez! I need to stop a while and take stock of this....

*3 sec pause*

Ok, thats enough.

I've tried and tested each one of these models, from monophonic black & white models of the iconic Nokia 3210 to polyphonic Nokia 3530 to mp3/wav enabled Nokia 7650 to the full spec'd wonders of 3 megapixel smartphones like n80.... then the awesome Sony Ericsson series and even the ultimate smartphone (I still believe), the Treo 650.....
Its crazy I know, some would say foolish even.... no one understands really.....

But, personally, I've come to a conclusion. Its a human thing. The constant thirst for more. The drive for something better. I'm not proud of it, but I'm not going to be defensive either.
Call it a problem, call it an obsession, call it a hobby.... whatever.
But in the end, what I have gained is the knowledge and experience of knowing everything there is to know about these devices. Honestly, I feel that its all part of a preparation stage to something bigger for me.

That day will come....

With this in mind.... I end my 2nd blog.... more thoughts later.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The genesis

Like everything, there is always a start. Its the finish that matters....
So, here I am, experimenting my first ever blog/journal.

I'm not big on filling my blog on deep philosophical thoughts. So you probably won't find me rambling on about that here. What I expect to be a frequent blogger on is with regards to a certain passion (some say its an obsession) with mobile phones.

I may throw in the odd personal insights of who I am, and what I'm made up of.... but we'll see.

The "start" has begun....