Archive for January, 2007

Key’p waiting

January 29, 2007 Leave a comment

OK – terrible pun.

Today’s brief grapple is with the keyboard lag. Now – with some phones, there’s a system-level buffer that ensures no matter how tied up your CPU is, your keypresses will be safely queued, and continue to be read into whichever your application once it catches it’s breath.

Not the Hermes.

Despite the great keyboard, and the tactile feedback that tells you that you DEFINITELY pressed that key, the CPU must not be too busy, or your keypress will simply be missed.

Now, this may not sound like much of a problem. But what it does mean is that you have to keep a wary eye for each time it DOESmiss something, and you then have to waste time going back to edit it each time. Tis is especially true when you have processes running in the background, like push email.

S – as you can see from the 3 typos in the preceeding paragraph and a bit,it can slow you down if you stop to correct these (for these two paragraphs, I haven’t). This is while on the Underground, where there’s no mobile signal and hence no background load – ie. A relatively easy scenario. It’s also even more annoying if it happens while using a system key such as Fcn or CAPS, and you then end up typing a line full of symbols or SHOUTING.

Whether the Nokia E61 does this, I don’t know – the P910 did have around a 15 character buffer, which was enough for normal use. I wonder if this is true for all Windows Mobile Sartphones…

Categories: Mobile


January 19, 2007 Leave a comment

Again, another bad day on the Hermes front.

It seems that the Hermes is fine until you actually put it under any pressure. Yesterday, I had a flurry of calls, texts, emails and things I needed to do, and Mr Vario 2 seemed to object at having to do so much at the same time.

Firstly, voice calls. I remember someone at the SonyEricsson stand last year when demoing the P990, trying to wow me by telling me that even the P910i had multiple processors: I think the P990 has 7, whereas the P910 has three. I assume these are for graphics, phone module, OS, etc. etc. And I imagine the idea is that even if one CPU gets swamped, the others keep running – including vital functions such as the phone.

It appears the Vario 2 / Hermes has no such redundancy. While on one call yesterday, I had another come in. In the 10-15 seconds that I had before it diverted to voicemail, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t answer the second call! The CPU just seemed to be too overloaded by the ongoing email I was writing, and the current call, and couldn’t take any more input. By the time it responded, the call had diverted.

Likewise for key input. One great thing about the P910i is that, no matter how busy it is, it has something like a 15-20 character buffer; whatever you type WILL make it in eventually (although after that, it forgets any further input). Not so with the Hermes: if it stutters for a second, it simply ignores the keypresses during that time, and so you look down to see several characters missing… and you have to back up, edit, insert….

So – by the time my 3 hour train journey had ended, the Hermes was in a right old state. It had an ‘inverse’ CAPS lock – when it showed the C for Caps, caps was actually off – and vice versa. It was missing odd keypresses. The backlight was switching on and off occasionally as I typed, with each keypress (an ongoing fault). At one point the entire keyboard stopped responding for 2-3 minutes. And Yahoo Go, at one point, completely wiped my Inbox on the Vario (but got it back later).

Overall, I reset the phone around 5-6 times in 3 hours. And all while trying to juggle multiple tasks, as you would in business.

Is this progress?

Categories: Mobile