Shot & Burned

Dear Internet Diary,

I’ve bought an iPhone today.  A used 2G with a broken screen.

It was (really) cheap, a spontaneous deal and I bought it because I want to enjoy some apps like this one – which will most probably never be available for Symbian S60 3rd. Heck, it was even cheaper than a used iPod Touch (which are also still very expensive). Imagine a 2y+ old 2G iPhone still sells for the same amount (on eBay Germany) you could also cough up for a brand-new Nokia business phone.

So why this video? Because it’s cool and it represents to some extent what I’ve thought about the iPhone(s) & other “smartphones” in the past.

The apps, however, the missing apps…. the missing apps really did it for me.

My Nokia E72 is a great phone and I will continue using it as a phone, but – and that’s the important part – it will not be the device that I’ll pull out for some entertainment. Mind you, though, the same could be said about my N95, which obviously comes from the eNtertainment range of phones. However, I wouldn’t want to compare the iPhones with any Nokia phone, but the way apps are made available to consumers.

Sure, there are now free Ovi Maps with free navigation and a few other apps I’ve mentioned earlier, but that’s maybe 5-10 good apps for my E72 vs. a plethora of apps on Apple’s Appstore. And it’s not that there are no other Symbian apps – there are quite a few interesting ones out there – but you most probably won’t find them on Ovi, Nokia’s all-in-one website (“the door”) which also includes Ovi Store.

Now, Nokia’s “Appstore” Ovi Store is nothing but a lame joke.  And this in February 2010. They could do SO much better and start selling all their R&D beta apps, market them accordingly and show what’s really inside their devices (think of all the sensors). Ovi Store is also available online, via a browser – which I think is a very good approach (does that also exist for Apple’s Appstore, or will you have to visit their store using iTunes?). The Ovi Store application for Nokia phones though is a failure. Imagine what could be done if e.g. the developer of (the Twitter client) Gravity was to redesign this app…

You’d think that Nokia is where German car manufacturers used to be some time ago – at least from a customer’s point of view: a company run by engineers who are trying to deliver a perfectly engineered product, but then getting stuck in bureaucracy and end up selling less than they could.

Nokia. Great R&D, but such lame implementers. Great hardware, lame software. Why?

I don’t know. What I know is that I’ve just invested money into my first Apple product ever. Because Nokia couldn’t deliver.

Author: jke

Hi, I am an engineer who freelances in water & sanitation-related IT projects at You'll also find me on Twitter @jke and Instagram.

6 thoughts on “Shot & Burned”

  1. I still haven’t bought my iPhone – I would like to, but can’t convince myself that those few apps which are REALLY useful (until now I know of five) really justify it. Although there is one REALLY REALLY REALLY cool game: Flightcontrol! ;-)

    Apart from that, I keep on talking about the iphone with my friends and colleagues, many of whom already have one. But all it runs down to, is demonstrations about funny gags and addictive games.
    The proper apps which actually make sense (for me) are currency converters, timezone-adjusted clocks, electronic loogbooks, or flight duty limitation calculators. All very well, but nothing which I couldn’t also do on my laptop.

    For instance here, in the United Arab Emirates, I quite often need to know the sunrise and sunset times. Passengers usually ask for them, because of their compulsory prayer times.
    Telling them the direction to Muq’qa (Mecca) is easy, it just requires one look at the compass. But the sunrise depends also on the moving aircraft’s geographic position and altitude – making a signifficant difference – it’s very embarassing to announce sunrise in “30 minutes from now”, and it’s still dark after an hour… ;-)
    This calculation could be done by checking out the relevant tables in the Jeppesen-manuals and applying some mathematic interpolation, or by software. I have that on my laptop, together with a detailed worldmap I can view all relevant times for each city on the planet with more than 2.000 inhabitants (!), as well as using various additional features and options.
    I’m sure an iphone could also do it, but would it be even better in any way whatsoever? Apart from looking cool, of course.

    Well, as I said, I still can’t convince myself to buying it.

    But I’ve had my first Apple-product much earlier than you, JKE, I’m afraid (although I’m not sure if that still counts after 21 years): An Apple //e :-)
    It was, and still is today!, a fantastic machine! It beat any other kid’s equipment, back in the eighties, when everyone still used to have a Commodore 64 (or less).

    Now comes the real connection back to today’s world: I still have an Apple // – emulator installed on my laptop, and use it quite a lot! You see, an old kid like me still depends 99% on ye good ole BASIC, to write any code.
    So I have all sorts of self-written programs in Applesoft, using my acer-Notebook as a 1984-model Apple eight bit machine with (also emulated) 5,25″ floppy drives. It took nothing but a few hours of easy work to create software for ALL of the mentioned tasks above. :-)
    Oh, and some of the old games, like “Aztec”, “Taipan”, “Star Blazer”, “Swashbuckler”, etc. are also unbeaten by anything else. Goddamnit, if I wanted to, I could even use “Applewriter II” for most of my letters, and scrap MS-Word. A bit far-fetched maybe, but try that with your smartphone.

    Okay, maybe I shouolld just shut up and get back into the crypt of Z80-CPUs…

    But anybody who can find and email me the game “XONIX” for the Apple IIe in .dsk-format, I’ll pay them a hundred Euros cash!
    It is my all-time favorite on the IIe (don’t mention any other platform to me though), and I just can’t find it anywhere. It used to be extremely popular in my old school (Hillcrest Secondary), but on all the software-archives on the internet that claim to be “complete”, I just can’t find it anywhere.

    Sorry for hijacking your blog, JKE ;-)

  2. Yeah, sorry for the bad grammar and typo’s. I should be neither skypeing nor writing anymore at 3:20 in the morning and after a few cold ones with my friends.
    But the offer of a hundred Euros is up.

  3. Dave, thx! What about an iPod Touch?

    Some of those needs (world traveller map) can also be fulfilled with a Nokia E-Series phone, btw. E71, E72. Come and I’ll show you next time you’re in FFM!

    Now let me go and search for that game you’re asking for…

  4. The ipod touch? No, that makes even less sense – without it being a mobile phone, it would simply mean to carry yet another piece of equipment around with me. Nah, either do it or leave it. ;-)
    But anyway, I already know about the Nokia E72, but in any case I’d love to come around and visit you whenever I get to FRA some time. I’ll certainly call you.

    > Now let me go and search for that game you’re asking for…

    You’ll never find it. I’ve tried for several years, posted on various forums and even wrote an email to our former Computer Science teacher (he never answered me, the bastard – but what can one expect from a Hillcrest-jerk anyway). But thanks for any kind of effort. :-)

  5. Dave ?
    I’ve sent you the game Xonix a few years ago in germany where you are, are’nt you ? But as i didn’t know how to convert i’ve sent you the apple disk. I’d like anybody to convert it in dsk format…

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