Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Upgrading the E61 Firmware

I read with interest the new firmware released by Nokia for the E61. For example:
"I am waiting anxiously to get my hands on the new E61 firmware.
It is currently running 1.0610.04.04 and the new firmware version is 2.618.06.05. As soon as I get a chance to try it, I will post more details here "
This was written in August 18th 2006 on a blog called "All things fony!" which deals with E61 mods and stuff. Quite an interesting site.

To find out what firmware you are running, type in *#0000# in the dialer and immediately the phone should report what versions they are.


Nokia E61

So interestingly, mine was still the 1.0* version which is peculiar as I just bought it. Ah well. Fortunately, unlike older Nokia handphones, we dont need 'official' nor 'trained' Nokia 'service personnels' to flash the device to the latest and greatest firmware. For my 7710, I was scammed RM80 to get it flashed at a Dr.Mobiles, and vowed never to do so again. I hoped that the upgrade would make it faster, and have better character recognition. Unfortunately it was the Asian Version, so the upgrades were good for Chinese Character recognition which made my English character recognition even worse.

Anyway, the upgrade process was fortunately relatively simple! Just go to the Nokia Software Update Site, and follow the 5 steps.
  1. Backup Phone Settings (Tools / Mem / Options / Backup)
  2. Download the Windows based Software Updater (16MB)
  3. Install the Software Updater ( I had to install twice - the first attempt rolled back)
  4. Download the latest Firmware - 47.9MB (!!)
  5. Upload the Firmware to the device. It took about 8 minutes to upload the info to the E61, and the progress bar was moving slowly but surely. The device rebooted twice, and the last one showed the NOKIA logo (much to my relief) however it looked lower onscreen than usual.
Upon the restart,
  1. Had to reset the city/time settings
  2. Restore most settings from the memory card backup
  3. Restart the device again.
  4. Type in *#0000#


Nokia E61


I didnt see much difference, only that the colours of the top two icons (Tx power and Battery indicators) tend to not change when the background fades. Otherwise its suppose to be faster. I guess I didnt have enough time with the old version to tell the difference.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Nokia E61 vs Nokia 7710

Ive finally moved from my Nokia 7710 and purchased the relatively recent E61.

The main reasons are:
  1. Wifi support - something severely lacking in the 7710
  2. Proper browser - with a better aspect ratio
  3. A proper keyboard - instead of resorting to the onscreen keyboard, after the character recognition on the 7710 got worse (after a firmware 'upgrade')
  4. A whole lot thinner. Fits in the pocket better.
  5. 3G
  6. So much more responsive. The 7710 is lagggggy. It takes 5-10 seconds just to load up an sms. Frustrating! The E61 is fast. Just like the old mono phones of yesteryear.
  7. Other communication features, which I havent gotten round to configure yet: SIP phone, Push-To-Talk, IM, and all these niceties...
what a brick.

What would be missed are
  1. The Camera - the E61 doesnt have one, which is peculiar for a 'modern' phone, but I guess it brings weight and costs down
  2. A good Alarm Clock - the E61's alarm clock is primitive. Just set the time, and it rings and dissapears. The 7710 has some great functionality like only ringing on weekdays, scheduling multiple alarms. It was well thought out.
  3. Power socket is smaller than the normal Nokia plugs. This will be a nuinsance especially at remote locations when batteries are low and the device needs recharging. The package comes with a proper charger, and a adapter for the plug, but its such a hassle. I also dont understand why Nokia phones can't charge via the USB connector cable provided.
  4. Boomier Bass - The 7710's speakers are huge. The E61 is not too bad either, but doesnt quite compare with its older bro.

Besides the great communication features E61 offers, it the really tactile keyboard which I like. Its reminicent of an old HP 4350 I used before about 2 years ago.

The problem with that model was that it was just a iPaq, with no phone features. It had Wifi and Bluetooth, but it really needed to have a decent phone.

I guess it takes the 3 years since before we have something like the E61.

Ive been using the E61 for three days now, and Im really happy with the build quality. Its light, but it doesnt feel that plasticky. Most things are customisable. There are also quite a few annoyances which I will definitely rant about one of these days.

The default screen protector is still on, you'd just have to pick out the corner foil, and it should stay on. Dinesh had his on for quite a while, which looked dreadful. When the time comes Ill replace it with a better one, as I hope he has done.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Things that make me go *sigh* for Malaysia.

Reading the papers nowadays is depressing at worst or sadly humourous at best. It takes alot of effort to see that anything good can come out of it all.

The first of course was the case of the MP who asked Customs to 'Close one Eye' on his alleged illegal imports of timber. That alone was a huge farce, but the complications related to that event in the towing the party line of the Backbenchers club ,and the subsequent resignation of the president showed that the wrong person suffered. Subsequently the One-eyed MP goes on with business as usual, committing other wrongs while going off scot free.

Then the Article 11 issues, where good intentions of debating pertinent issues in a civilised manner was disrupted by unruly people. Instead of arresting the rioters, the organisors were persecuted. And the subsequent gag order in the pretense of maintain blah blah stability was issued. Again, the wrong persons became the victims.

Next up, the asli report on corporate equity distribution. Whether or not the model proposed is right, does not deserve the damning accusation that the report is 'rubbish'. The document seems well researched with facts to balance, and it is open for all to review. Versus the 'closed document', it doesnt seem 'rubbish' to me. Because of this report which was published 8 months ago (Feb '06) asli was politically pressured to retract the figures, now the good Dr. has to resign. Again, the wrong person was persecuted for no apparent wrong doing.

The new thing is the case of the Fraudulent APs where it is alleged that a Senator's son was selling fraud APs. The Senator has the gall to state in newspapers that his son was stupid, and should have been more discrete in the fraud. Perhaps his quotes was out of context, but it sure doesn't sound like this Senator wholeheartedly disproves of his son's act!

Its darn frustrating that people like these are running our country.

Things do make things right again:
  1. Transparency. Opaque procedures like APs and Govt docs should be documented and published.
  2. Zero tolerance for corruption. MPs and Senators should resign (and not their critics) if they find themselves in controversy
  3. Knowlege-based workforce. Studies like asli should be encouraged and not persecuted.
  4. Multi-culturalism and Understanding. More dialogues should be held instead of gagged.
And then we have the haze, but that, we can't do much about.