October 2013

Überallmusik liefert

by Volker Weber

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Vor zwei Tagen schrieb Thomas Lang von ueberall-musik.de:

ALLE bis jetzt getätigten PLAY:1 Bestellungen werden ab morgen ausgeliefert!

Heute kommt also Euer neuer SONOS. Good job!

Lektionen

by Volker Weber

Was Lenovo von Nokia lernen kann:

- Neue Geräte wollen gefilmt werden. Ob als Foto oder als Video.
- Ideal ist Studiolicht von oben.
- Eine dunkle Party Location taugt nicht.
- Laute Musik stört ebenfalls.

Was Nokia von Lenovo lernen kann:

- Testgeräte für jeden.
- Produkt sofort verfügbar.
- Keine Leaks.

Was beide lernen müssen:

- WLAN ist unverzichtbar.
- Funktionierendes WLAN.
- Ja, gestern ging es noch.
- Multipliziere die Anzahl der Gäste mit drei.
- Zähle die Testgeräte dazu.

Lenovo Yoga Tablet

by Volker Weber

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Das erste Design-Produkt, das ich hatte, war von Bang & Olufsen. Dafür habe ich damals meinen ersten Sony Trinitron rausgeworfen. War das Bild besser? Sicher nicht. Aber das Gerät sah einfach gut aus und die Fernbedienung war nicht aus Plastik. Ich habe diesen 54cm-Fernseher geliebt und erst vor 5 Jahren gegen ein LCD ersetzt. Und er steht immer noch in meinem Büro.

Das Yoga Tablet hat eine ähnliche Design-Qualität. Mich stört nur eins: der Lenovo-Schriftzug auf der Vorderseite. Zu oft steht er auf dem Kopf oder auf der Seite. In dem Bild oben passt es gerade. Was man auch sieht: das Tablet steht. Und es hat Stereo-Lautsprecher. Also wieder ein hübscher Fernseher.

Schauen wir uns mal die Details an:

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Apple Aperture and iWork for free

by Volker Weber

If you happen to have demo versions of Aperture and iWork laying around, install them and then hit the App Store. Apple then upgrades them to the full versions. Just sayin'.

Viceroy Yas Marina

by Volker Weber

Viceroy across Yas Marina

The Viceroy Yas Marina is a spectacular five star hotel and surprisingly affordable, as are flights with Etihad to Abu Dhabi. All photos shot with the Lumia 1020. Straight off the camera, no edits at all.

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BBM for iPhone and Android review

by Volker Weber

I just wanted to write a small review of BBM for Android and iOS, but The Verge already hit the nail:

BlackBerry built an app for people stuck in the year 2008, and those people will love it. For everybody else, welcome to 2013.

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What to see in Milano

by Volker Weber

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I shall be in Milano next week for two days. Who has suggestions what to do with a few free hours on both days? Piazza del Duomo, Duomo, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II are a given. What else?

Smart Resize

by Volker Weber

Found an interesting app at Nokia World: Smart Resize. It's available for free from the Windows Phone Store.

He does not say productive - not even once

by Volker Weber

What's in my bag

by Volker Weber

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Nokia Lumia 1020, plus camera grip, plus (slightly taller) tripod. That's all I need for photos and videos. This thing alone would be all I need to get the job done. Photos and videos upload to Skydrive to be shared with my fellow editors.

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Don't want to run out of juice. So I am carrying a couple of those to keep the Lumia happy. If you shoot videos for hours on end, you will run down the battery.

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The external batteries also power the travel router. Stick it to the end of an ethernet wire, power it through USB and your home network tags along. No pesky setup required. Much better than an Airport Express which requires a power outlet.

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I don't travel without a BlackBerry. It charges with the same power supply as the Lumia. This is a 5" Z30 and there is a second one at home. BBM Video works better than anything else, and BBM Audio provides better audio calls than the carrier does. Plus, calls are free. If I did not need the Lumia camera, this would be the only equipment to bring.

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The Lenovo Yoga 11 is the typewriter and entertainment center. It converts from laptop to tablet and provides backup options in case some of the other plans fail. It's now on Windows 8.1 RT. Skydrive syncs all files for offline use right into the Yoga storage.

5 Levels of SONOS addiction

by Volker Weber

Level 0: Male

You have a media room with surround sound, huge speakers, fat amp. Components and TV set up at one end of the room, sofas facing the shrine.

Level 0: Female

You have a sound dock that is actually quite good. However, you have to let go of your iPhone to hear music. Apple replaces the 30pin connector so you have to dust off that old iPod.

Level 1: Novice

You have a "real stereo" in your living room. You buy your first PLAY:3 for the bedroom and add a CONNECT to your stereo. You leave your stereo on at all times, so you can control both the bedroom and the living room through your phone.

Level 2: First sign of the Sonos flu

You add a PLAY:1 to the kitchen and another one to the bathroom. You program the alarms to wake you up Mon-Fri with your favorite music. Music is on almost throughout the day. You forget about your CD collection. Instead you subscribe to Spotify.

Level 3: Building it out

You add a PLAYBAR to your TV. You switch off the old stereo since you no longer need it. You add a SUB to the living room. Your stereo collects dust, since PLAYBAR+SUB blows it out of the water. Your neighbors start asking if you got a new stereo. You smile.

Level 4: Serious SONOS flu

You try to find more places in your home that need a player. You move the stereo to the basement and wire up your CONNECT there.

Level 5: Nirvana

You try to sell your old school stereo at a garage sale. Friends borrow your CONNECT. You throw out the kitchen radio. You smile when you think about the Level 0 Male who still lives in the last millennium.

Level 5+: Addicted

You run out of power outlets.

New Software update for TomTom Runner and Multi-Sport

by Volker Weber

TomTom adds a feature Stefan was missing:

You can create your own unique schedule using time or distance, to better your performance or speed. The watch alerts you with beeps and buzzes when you need to switch to the next interval stage.

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Acco isn't happy:

I'm sorry to say this, but the Interval function looks like something a product manager that haven't done a single interval in his life came up up with after some Googling. Talk to people who is doing real training, list some use cases, get feedback from the users and react to that.

That is why I give the watch to people who do serious workout.

Sonos :: Decisions, decisions, decisions

by Volker Weber

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With the Play:1 my previous chart became obsolete and I had to make some adjustments at the low end. So here we go again.

The biggest difference is not which player you buy, but whether you want to spend the money to get two players per room. And then, whether you want to add a SUB. It's also quite clear that you should get a Playbar if there is a TV that could use better sound. A Playbar will also replace your existing stereo at the same time.

Having two players in a room makes a huge difference. Especially for the smaller Play:1 and Play:3. You configure them as a stereo pair and they appear as one Sonos zone. There are rooms like the bathroom or the kitchen, where one player is fine. But as soon as you think about the living room, you should go for two. If you watch movies on TV, a SUB is almost a must. Having said that, a SUB is the only speaker you will definitely hear in adjacent rooms, also in your neighbor's.

Play:1, Play:3, Play:5? Play:1 is mono. Play:3 is mono or (a little bit) stereo depending on the orientation you set them up. You want two of them, unless we are talking about kitchen or bathroom. Play:5 is the oldest one of them and offers line-in. That means you can connect an iPhone directly with a 3.5mm jack. Play:1 and Play:3 cannot do that. But their internals are newer and they can serve as the surround channels for movie nights.

If you have a Playbar connected to your TV, and maybe a SUB, you can build your movie theater when you need it. Collect your Play:1 from the kitchen and the bathroom and set up surround sound for the movie night, and then break it up again and put them back. It takes only a minute to reconfigure both ways.

You currently can get the bridge for free. You will only need it if you cannot through an Ethernet wire to one of your Sonos players. The bridge will connect your (invisible) Sonos network to the Internet, just as the Ethernet wire would. If you can connect all Sonos players to Ethernet, then there is a trick to switch off the wireless Sonos network.

I am not really talking about Connect:Amp and Connect anymore. Connect delivers the Sonos experience into your existing stereo, which you are likely to ditch anyway. And Connect:Amp is for those who want to keep their existing speakers.

How to force your Windows (RT) 8.1 Upgrade

by Volker Weber

The Windows Store is a bit "unresponsive" today. It should present you with an upgrade option, but it did't for me. If you want to upgrade from 8.1 Preview or 8.0, just copy this string into the Internet Explorer URL bar:

ms-windows-store:WindowsUpgrade?ocid=GA8-1_O_WOL_Hero_Home_81Update_Pos1_01

It should open the appropriate page inside Windows Store. You can take it from there.

[Link found in Thomas Kuhn's article, but did not work on Surface RT.]

Inside the Play:1 and the Playbar

by Volker Weber

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I love these renderings that are showing you what's inside those Sonos players. They don't give you a sense of size. The Play:1 is tiny, and the Playbar is pretty large at three feet wide. And they are both quite heavy.

Message from BlackBerry: You can still count on us

by Volker Weber

Crackberry has an open letter from BlackBerry:

We have one important message for you: You can continue to count on BlackBerry.

I have no doubt that BlackBerry management is committed. The problem appears to be that customers aren't buying.

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Control more than one Sonos household

by Volker Weber

Don't miss this update in Sonos 4.2:

Support for more than one household - easily switch between different locations with Sonos (e.g. your home and the office or a friend’s home). Your Sonos Controller apps will remember once you connect, so you won’t be required to reconnect in the future.

You can now associate your controller with more than one Sonos household. Control at home, in the office, at a friend's home.

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In other news

by Volker Weber

How to upgrade your Lumia to WP8 GDR3

by Volker Weber

Microsoft announced GDR3 today and offers a preview version for developers. If you are adventurous, you can become a developer and upgrade your phone. Three easy steps:

  1. Sign up as a developer. It's free.
  2. Install this app and run it.
  3. Search for updates.

That took 18 minutes on my Lumia 1020 and was non-destructive. Caveat emptor: there is no way back.

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Sonos announces the Play:1

by Volker Weber

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It's always a difficult situation for me when there is a very public Sonos leak. Generally I don't comment on it, even if the leak is misleading. This was the case with the Play:1 that Sonos announced today. It's not a one driver speaker. People were extrapolating from Play:5 (5 drivers) and the Play:3 (3 drivers) to the Play:1 (2 drivers, oops). Anyway, the news is out today. The Play:1 becomes available at the end of the month, in black or white.

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For those of you already running Sonos 4.2 on your existing players, this may not come as a surprise, but for the first time ever Sonos has revised a decision, which they made many years ago. You get a new button: pause/play instead of mute. We have been pushing hard for this. For the Play:1, the button has been changed, but your mute button on the existing hardware does the same. Push it once for pause, push it again for play. Double push to skip forward.

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This is the kitchen radio I have been waiting for. It's tiny compared to the Play:3, it's surprisingly heavy, but it sounds the same, if not better, if you put the Play:3 in mono mode by using it vertically. In a horizontal setup, the Play:3 is a stereo speaker, but not with much of a stereo effect. The Play:1 is a mono speaker to begin with, and quite a powerful one. It sounds way larger than it is. And if you buy two, you can run them as a wireless stereo pair.

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It's also a little bit easier to mount, since (a) it is much smaller and (b) the mount is dead center. Power goes in through the bottom, or if you mount it upside down, the top. Since the Sonos logo works upside down, overhead mount looks just right. You just have to have power from the ceiling. The Play:1 looks nice from all directions, and the surprising thing is that it also sounds nice from all directions. If you place a stereo pair on a countertop, you get an incredible wide area where you enjoy stereo sound.

Sonos gear is getting better. Not only the stuff you already own, through software updates. With each new hardware (Sub, Playbar, Play:1) it's also the hardware that keeps improving. Speaking of the Playbar and Sub combination, these are the back channels I was waiting for. They were the reason I recommended to stay with 3.1. Now you can get your credit card humming.

I suggest you put a couple of them on your Xmas wish list. ;-)

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Is Mike Lazaridis trying to buy back BlackBerry?

by Volker Weber

Mr. Lazaridis is a founder and former President, Co-Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chair of the Issuer and Mr. Fregin is a founder and former Vice President, Operations of the Issuer. Each of Mr. Lazaridis and Mr. Fregin acquired the Shares he beneficially owns for investment purposes, including upon founding of the Issuer and through the exercise of options and other equity grants received by him during his prior term of employment with the Issuer.

In light of the Issuer’s recent announcement that its board of directors has formed a Special Committee to explore strategic alternatives to enhance value and increase scale, the Reporting Persons are considering all available options with respect to their holdings of the Shares, including, without limitation, a potential acquisition of all the outstanding Shares of the Issuer that they do not currently own, either by themselves or with other interested investors (an “Acquisition”)

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Bericht: Blackberry erwärmt sich für die Zerschlagung

by Volker Weber

Die Handysparte will offenbar niemand haben, sie dürfte im Fall einer Zerschlagung abgewickelt werden.

Uff. Aber so schnell schießen die Preussen nicht.

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TomTom Multi-Sport :: Mein Fazit

by Volker Weber

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Erste Eindrücke, dann sind Klaus gelaufen und Stefan gelaufen und geschwommen. Mir war es wichtig, dass richtige Sportler die Uhr in Augenschein nehmen. Zeit für ein Fazit.

  1. Die TomTom-Uhr ist nicht so klobig wie andere Sportuhren. Sie trägt sich sehr angenehm am Handgelenk und ist deshalb immer dabei.
  2. Sie hat einen reduzierten Funktionsumfang. Ich finde sie sehr übersichtlich. Stefan und Klaus finden, dass sie nicht die wichtigen Dinge anzeigt.
  3. Die Software ist noch nicht fertig. Beim Schwimmen ist sie völlig überfordert. Bis zur aktuellen Firmware 1.3.1 gab es reichlich Probleme mit der Anbindung der Sensoren.

Jetzt kommt der Knaller. Editor-refuses-to-give-it-back award. Warum? Weil sie genau das kann, was ich will. Sie legt den saubersten Track, den ich bisher gesehen habe. Und den kann man nutzen, ohne auf eine der beliebten Cloud Services für Sportler zurückzugreifen. Die Software auf dem Mac legt den Track einfach als KML-Datei in ein Unterverzeichnis. Sauber sortiert und benannt nach Datum und Uhrzeit. Ich kann also jederzeit mal eben mitschreiben, wo ich war, und das bis zu 12 Stunden am Stück. Mit so einem Track kann man später Fotos taggen, Radtouren dokumentieren, ach was weiß ich. Das GPS in der Uhr ist genial. Die Software wird über die Zeit besser werden.

This is how a Helsingin Sanomat journalist tried to save Nokia

by Volker Weber

I hope that you will forward my letter to wherever you feel would be the best place. However, it would be best if you were to frame this and put it on the wall of your lobby so that every Nokia employee will see this every morning when they come to work.

Very clear message: complexity kills. It's not about features. Ease of use wins.

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Marktforscher: PC-Markt weiter auf Talfahrt

by Volker Weber

Der PC-Markt schrumpft weiterhin rasant. Die Marktforscher von Gartner errechneten für das dritte Quartal ein Minus von 8,6 Prozent im Jahresvergleich, ihre Kollegen von IDC kamen auf ein Minus von 7,6 Prozent. Der chinesische Konzern Lenovo liegt in beiden Ranglisten knapp an der Spitze der PC-Hersteller.

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TomTom Multi-Sport :: Stefan schwimmt

by Volker Weber

Zweiter Teil von Stefans Erfahrungsbericht:

Zweimal war ich im Wasser -- und da geht die Uhr wirklich baden.

Ich habe mich die ganze Zeit gefragt, was will mir Uhr eigentlich sagen? Das Bedienkonzept passt nicht zum Schwimmen. Solange ich schwimme, schaue ich nicht auf die Uhr. Wenn ich auf die Uhr schaue, mache ich Pause. Auto-Pause? Gut, das ist vielleicht schwer zu erkennen. Wenn ich auf Pause gedrückt habe, sehe ich aber nur die Gesamtzeit/Gesamtdistanz. Die verschiedenen Anzeigen kann ich nur durchblättern, solange die Uhr läuft. Das macht wenig Sinn.

Und wieder fehlt ein Zwischenzeit-Konzept. Ein Schwimmtraining ist doch in Abschnitte gegliedert. Und zweckmäßig wäre immer die Daten des letzten Trainingsabschnitts anzuzeigen (Distanz/Zeit/Pace) und von mir aus wenn die Uhr richtig zählt auch Strokes und SWOLF.

Fazit:

Fürs Laufen wäre die Uhr mit Zwischenzeitfunktion und verbesserten Anzeigeoptionen eine tolle Alternative. Beim Schwimmen ist sie noch zu weit von den Mitbewerbern entfernt.

Mixed Tape 53 is out

by Volker Weber

mixedtape53

01 LOW FRAMES | TITANICS | 2:51
02 OUR PERSONAL ZOO (ENVEE PONGLISH LION MIX) | CUEFX BAND | 4:07
03 ANNA | NGHTS | 2:50
04 KNOW YOU BETTER | YUSUF SAHILLI | 3:06
05 ENCORE | GROVES | 5:54
06 GIDDY UP | FE | 3:27
07 SUMMER ECHO | SWEATSHIRT | 3:42
08 NO NO WAKE UP | DON MONNET & SVEN | 2:49
09 M&MS | TEI SHI | 4:06
10 SKYWIDE ACOUSTIC | NIGHTPORTS | 3:53

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TOPP

by Volker Weber

Some of the best user interface designers out there. This is the stuff they worked on.

TomTom Multi-Sport :: GPS Track

by Volker Weber

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An der Software der TomTom Mult-Sport gibt es viel auszusetzen. Aber eins funktioniert super: der GPS-Track. Die Uhr findet sehr schnell einen Fix, wenn man sie regelmäßig alle drei Tage an den PC/Mac hängt. Und sie zeichnet jede Sekunde einen Punkt auf. Der Track ist sensationell genau.

TomTom Multi-Sport :: Stefan läuft

by Volker Weber

Nach Klaus der nächste Supersportburschi - ein Triathlet. Seine Eindrücke:

Gelaufen bin ich zwei mal mit der Uhr, am anderen Arm hatte ich meine Garmin Fenix als Vergleich und Benchmark:

Der GPS-Fix bei der TomTom war schnell (weniger als 60 Sekunden) - das ist sehr positiv. Die Garmin war an diesen Tagen gut in Form und genauso fix, manchmal warte ich aber auch länger.

Ich habe den Modus "Laps" gewählt, die Uhr soll mir jeden km sagen, wie schnell ich bin. Das ist so die Standardfunktion, die ich mir als Läufer wünsche. Das tat die Uhr auch wirklich gut. Auf meiner "Hausstrecke" kenne ich die km Punkte aus Erfahrung, die TomTom war hier sehr genau und damit besser als die Garmin. Die Tracks spiegeln das auch deutlich wieder.

Die Garmin zählte beim ersten Lauf auf 12km ca. 300 m mehr (m. M. zu viel), beim zweiten fiel das GPS nahezu total aus. Das habe ich in dieser Form bei über hundert Einsätzen bisher erst einmal erlebt.

Die TomTom-Anzeige beim Rundenzählen ist allerdings etwas unglücklich, die Anzahl der Laps wird im Display groß, die Zeit klein dargestellt. Umgekehrt wäre deutlich praktischer, km zählen schaffe ich meist alleine.

Wirklich vermisst habe ich die Funktion "Zwischenzeit", d.h. ich möchte der Uhr selbst sagen, wann eine Runde fertig ist. Konkret beim Intervalltraining laufe ich z.B. 2 km schnell, dann trabe ich ein paar 100 Meter und dann wieder 2 km schnell. Da kann ich mit der Uhr nicht das Tempo kontrollieren. Realisieren ließ sich das softwareseitig bestimmt, z.B. über eine Wippe rechts im Betrieb (Wippe links = Pause). Dann bräuchte ich in der Anzeige nur die Durchschnittsgeschwindigkeit (Pace) für das aktuelle Lap. Sicherlich ist "Minimalismus" ein Konzept der Uhr, aber bei der Auswahl und der Konfigurierbarkeit der möglichen Anzeigen ist hier auf jeden Fall nachzubessern. Zum Thema Anzeige hat Klaus ja auch schon einiges gesagt, dem kann ich auch nur beipflichten.

Der Tragekomfort und das Gewicht ist für eine GPS-Uhr perfekt. Die Bedienwippe ist zwar am Anfang gewöhnungsbedürftig (instinktiv greife ich zunächst zum Stoppen direkt an die Uhr). Mir persönlich hat die Wippe dann aber sehr gut gefallen.

Finger in the air question for Blackberry customers/consultants

by Volker Weber

I am currently moving to Proof of Concept on a customer that wants BES10 service for new devices.

One customer.  That’s it.

Read this for the comments. Keep in mind that these are IBM (Lotus) Notes shops. There is a lot of pain that does not exist in Exchange. If you have something to contribute, I suggest you do it over there.

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BlackBerry Previews New Cloud-based Enterprise Mobility Management Solution

by Volker Weber

ORLANDO, FLORIDA--(Marketwired - Oct. 7, 2013) - GARTNER SYMPOSIUM/ITxpo - At Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2013, BlackBerry today previewed a new multi-platform cloud-based enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution that will enable businesses to easily secure and manage corporate and personal devices.

Closed beta testing for the new cloud-based EMM solution is already underway. The service will be available as a single monthly subscription that covers both the license and technical support, and is expected to be generally available by the end of November 2013.

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Why people have dashcams

by Volker Weber

Art on Fire :: Burning Man

by Volker Weber

Image quality of oversampling cameras

by Volker Weber

Science paper written by Juha Alakarhu, Samu Koskinen, and Eero Tuulos:

This paper considers the oversampling cameras and their image quality. The formulas for analyzing the low light performance are developed and they are compared to subjective testing results. In addition to the developed formulas, the key findings show that there is a significant amount of spatial information available above Nyqvist frequency of the camera system that can be captured with an oversampling camera. We also show that the low light performance is essentially defined by image sensor rather than the pixel size

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The Lumia 1020 is back from the doctor

by Volker Weber

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As you may remember, I destroyed one microphone on the Lumia when setting up the phone. I was just too sure I knew what I was doing. Removed all the plastic wrapper and stickers, inserted the SIM tool to eject the tray. Did not work. Pushed a little harder. And then I noticed I was punching the wrong hole. TILT. User error.

I quickly forgot about the incident, until I uploaded a work video to Hannover and the video guy said "video transcodes well. But I am only hearing you on one channel." Doh!

After a trip to Nokia Care, the 1020 is back and in perfect working order. I just had to spend a few hours setting everything back up. The restore process isn't as elegant as Apple's, but the "punishment" was well deserved. Since I am uploading everything from the phone immediately, there was no data loss.

I used two new phones in the last two weeks while the 1020 was gone: the new BlackBerry Z30 which is so much better than both the Q10 and Z10, and the new iPhone 5S. Loved them both. But I am afraid, the Lumia 1020 is my number 1. So happy to have it back.

And this

by Volker Weber

Bruce

This guy deserves a hug. #ThanksBruce

Ceci n'est pas un blog

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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