The parrot who loves Rammstein

Lucifer loves Rammstein.

Lucifer is a parrot – a Rainbow Lorikeet.

Enjoy his crazy antics as he sings along and bangs his head to the wonderful Du Hast by Rammstein.

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Windows Phone 7 and the Phoenix called Nokia – mobile phones as an indication of fickle slavishness to fashion

My first mobile phone was a Nokia 3210, it was kindly given to me by an employer back in 1999.

Mine was blue:

One of the most reliable phones ever.

I had resisted being on call 24×7 for about seven years prior.

Once I became ensnared in the mobile phone trap however (Snake was a wonderful game!), I began to wonder how I had ever existed without one.

I could converse with people without actually conversing with them, text was quite wonderful! Being as antisocial as I am, I saw it as the best invention since ICQ, and scrolly greets on C64 demos prior.

The Nokia 3210 was a solid phone – great reception, wonderful buttons, a pleasure to use. I dropped it into a toilet, accidentally trod on it several times, treated it rather poorly, and yet it refused to stop loving me.

Why then, when it died, did I even contemplate the Motorola V60 when some cretin stole my 3210?

The only reason was because it was a clamshell and they were “new and exciting”.

Here I was, someone who swore to never hold one of these things in my hand, scouring the place for the most advanced, coolest looking phone around.

Worst phone I have ever owned (second only to the iPhone 3GS) – I returned it no less than five or six times to be repaired after it failed to pick up a signal on day one and ended up biting the bullet and writing off the couple of hundred that I dropped on it and going back to Nokia.

The Nokia 8250 was what I chose.

The Nokia 8250 - a solid phone

Another solid phone from Nokia. This one lasted me a while. The thing that I loved about it was the menu and call button layout – it just worked so well, it was so Nokia.

I had come to associate things “just working” with Nokia and loved their menu system, their keypad layout – they had it all working so well.

My next five or six phones were all Nokias.

One of them was the flip phone – the 7270:

It remains one of my favourite phones. Sadly, someone stole it off me as I slept on a flight from Sydney to Adelaide, so I had to purchase a new phone when I got there and it wasn’t the same model.

Nokia copped a lot of criticism for not pandering to the market and making everything in the clamshell mould when the consumers dictated that clamshell was the in thing.

These days, if twelve year old girls are to be believed, short shorts that expose ones labia are the in thing:

Nokia were right not to rush toward the clamshell market, even though it cost them dearly in terms of sales.

Steve Jobs has proven that the customer is always wrongyou can get away with selling the moronic members of the great unwashed an unnecessary piece of detritus if you make them think that it is somehow cool.

Sadly, Nokia haven’t been as successful in convincing the consumer that their product is not only cool, but without doubt, manufactured using best practice.

I went through a few more Nokia phones (usually doing silly things to kill them, like kicking back in a hot bath for a few hours and calling erstwhile friends for a chat whilst sipping on various alcoholic beverages prior to dropping the phone in the water) before I realised that they had started to really drop the ball.

By 2007-08, Symbian had become quite stagnant.

Windows Mobile 6.5 was really emerging as the strong contender and the threat of the iPhone was imminent.

For some reason, Nokia ignored this.

My next phone was the HTC Touch running Windows 6.something:

This was a bloody good phone.

The handwriting recognition was beyond anything I had experienced before.

Whilst I missed the ability to “blind text” – being able to text without looking at my phone as I dashed through the busy streets of Melbourne – I began to really love this phone.

The stylus however, marked the screen terribly and soon it looked like vandals had begun attacking it overnight.

Still, it was an impressive piece of hardware and I really enjoyed the Windows Mobile experience.

For some stupid reason, when I lost that phone (I have a habit of losing phones, as you may have guessed), I decided to try the iPhone 3Gs.

The iPhone 3Gs is, without doubt, the second worst phone I have ever owned.

I shan’t go into it here, as it would take me several more pages to tell you why. Just take my advice and never buy an iPhone.

When my iPhone died (pretty swiftly) I thought I might try Android.

Google aren’t evil after all.

A couple of Android phones later, I settled on the HTC Desire.

Fucking google phones

Initially, I was impressed.

Of course, being a geek, I rooted it and fiddled around with it, and for two years (the longest I have ever had a phone), I really enjoyed it. I pimped ‘droid to everyone and recommended the HTC ‘droid range to all and sundry.

Sadly, I now have to withdraw my support for the Android platform, and for Google.

Several weeks ago, when google changed their privacy policy, it was the final straw for me.

I had been a fan of Google since 1996.

Prior to that, I had been a big fan of Altavista – an honest search engine that has sadly perished since being purchased by Yahoo. Babelfish was brilliant.

Altavista were the pioneers of search and I believe that Google stole from them.

Still, I became a massive Android fan until I discovered that everything that I did with my Android phone was being tracked by Google.

All of my contacts were being disseminated and dissected, my activity was being monitored and I was receiving suggestions on alternate, non linked Google accounts that I had for business, that I should connect up with people from my personal life.

This concerned me.

What concerned me most was when a professional contact somehow obtained my personal email address due to Google making it available to him.

I then decided that it was time to move away from Google and am in the process of moving all of my email accounts away from them also.

Some information on Google’s decision to start tracking everything that you do (in case they weren’t already doing it surreptitiously anyway can be found here)

I couldn’t go back to the iPhone. I use a Mac, that is enough.

I couldn’t stay with Android.

Symbian is dead in the water, as is MeeGo.

Should I consider Windows Phone?

The answer is a resounding fucking YES.

Lumia 800 - best phone ever

I had a play with Windows Phone 7.5 (mango) in a shop quite by accident.

I had been supposed to meet my employer for a meeting but he had neglected to mention to me that he would be in the UK, despite assuring me that our meeting was most important.

When he didn’t turn up, after waiting for an hour or two, I checked out a few mobile phone stores.

I had a play with the Nokia Lumia 800

I was highly impressed.

The Windows Phone 7.5 interface was so refreshing.

It wasn’t the bland sameness of iOS, nor was it the poor attempt to replicate iOS that Android provides.

It was new, it was innovative, it was refreshing.

I was sold on the spot.

I went straight to my local Telstra Store and purchased one outright.

Sadly, a few hours later, it died, though for the brief time that I held it in my hand, I knew that Windows Mobile will be the future of mobile operating systems. I am eagerly awaiting my replacement as my local Telstra store had none in stock.

It is intuitive, fast, beautiful, and comes with the many moons of experience that Microsoft have in terms of refining the user experience.

Whilst I have not used a Windows computer for a long time, if they get Windows 8 right in the same manner that they have blitzed it with Windows Mobile 7, then I am going to consider coming back.

Nokia have made the right decision, betting the house on Windows Phone – combined with their experience in producing the hardiest, most beautiful mobile phones, and the fantastic job that Microsoft have done on Windows Phone, come 2015, Windows Phone will be the dominant OS in the mobile space.

Great work Microsoft – and thank you for your honesty when it comes to what you do with the data collected on a Windows Phone mobile.

Google – take note, Microsoft have usurped your “do no evil” crown.

Put simply, Nokia and Microsoft will be the next true powers in the mobile OS/phone sphere.

Sophos, News, Ducks, metaphors and missing parrots

Since having lost our beloved Alexandrine parrot, Icari; kindness has poured in from all quarters.

It has been quite refreshing and has realigned my opinion of humanity somewhat.

The two most potent  examples of said kindness have come from some rather unexpected sources; two big businesses.

“Big business” is oft maligned, though the altruism shown by both of these companies, neither of whom have anything to gain as a result of their selfless displays, shows that perhaps the fury directed toward large corporations by the great unwashed may be misplaced.

Sophos; the people who invented antivirus, and who provide the best free antivirus protection for Mac and Windows, not to mention some exceptional mobile security products, heard about our loss and wrote a beautiful piece on their Naked Security website that involves some of the best use of metaphors that I have ever seen.

The author, Paul Ducklin, an Sophos’¬† head of technology, has quite a way with words. Even if you aren’t into computer security, his articles are well worth reading – they have a unique way of removing the obfuscation and obscurantism oft indulged in by IT professionals.

In other words, his words appeal to geeks, nerds and technophobes alike.

You can get an idea of what I am talking about at:

The other business that has gone above and beyond the thermals, is News Ltd.

Scott Howlett, a journalist with the Northern District Times, saw the posters that we had plastered around the local area and wrote a beautiful piece on our missing Icari.

We have had a great deal of people contacting us as a result of the article that Scott put together and we can’t thank him and his team enough.

Thank you, Paul, Sophos, Scott and News Ltd – whilst we have yet to find Icari, your efforts to assist us have been quite the tonic during our weeks of despair.