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Nokia Lumia 710: my personal impressions

I’ve always been fascinated by the mobility computing from a consumer perspective. My passion goes back to the 90’s when I owned 2 PockePCs (a Compaq and a Casio Cassiopeia with Windows CE 2.11), a Palm Pre 2, A Psion Revo (best smartphone keyboard ever), several Windows Mobile Phones and an Android device.

I have to be frank, when I first looked @ the first Windows Phone model, I was not that impressed. The metro style was kind of strange, considering where the other devices (iOS, Android, WebOS) where heading to. But when I started to use it, I realized the full potential. And I became addicted…

I got this beautiful present for Christmas (probably my family is VERY aware of my addiction :)), which was a Nokia Lumia 800. Superb phone, stunning display, lots of memory. But it doesn’t fit well.

What I mean is that I’m not a big fan of big phones (the Samsung Galaxy Note is like a giant phone to me, it’s not even a phone!). Technology is trying to “micro-do” everything since the Motorola 8700 and we’re going back to where we were before. Even though I see the value of them, I just don’t like to idea to carry a huge phone in my pocket. So my choice went to the Nokia Lumia 710.

I got the device yesterday and the price is at least a half of the normal Smartphone prizes, no matter which OS you like. Which is a good start…

When you lift the device for the first time, it’s seems like you’re handling an empty case, it’s just super lightweight. The form factor, something some people underestimate, it’s great. It perfectly fits in your hand. The USB connector is not in an awkward position like the Lumia 800. And it has buttons, instead of touch ones, which is great for a guy like me who was used to like the old IBM keyboards doing a lot of noise when you were typing.

Of course it lacks something: memory is only 8GB, the display is not even comparable with the Lumia 800 (TFT VS AMOLED, but the Gorilla Glass is good to have), the battery is only that powerful (although it’s removable, which is a good thing) and the camera is 5MP compared to the 810’s 8MP (which is ok for me. I don’t pretend to take stunning pictures from a phone).

You can have a look at this comparison I found (but there are plenty more out there):

 

If you’re still undecided, take a look at Tom’s Hardware Nokia Lumia 710 review.

I finally found the device I was looking for and I have no plans in changing it for anything. It reminds me, in a way, the HTC Mozart, one of the first Windows Phone I had, which was a great phone.

So overall I’m very satisfied with this purchase (at least this one I won’t regret it:)) and, if you want to see some pictures or have more info about my experience, just let me know in the comments box and I’ll definitely share them here.

And lastly, YOU, what Windows Phone do you have or you’re planning to buy? :)

Working on my slides…

I took some time today to make some order on the stuff I have on my computer. As I mentioned in my recent post, I had a few (!!!) issues to solve and finally I got everything.

And this is right after last week’s meeting I had with my extraordinary Team (the EMEA MVP Lead Team): it was so great to meet my fellow teammates, talented people with a lot of great ideas.

So now I was working on some slides I’ll present during a CEE Internal Meeting here in Prague. These people gave me an exceptional chance to present some of the things we are going to do (with their help) and some of the Microsoft MVPs’ Achievements during the last Fiscal Year.

This is the right time to start challenging people, talk with them and mingle (yes, that’s the right word :)).

This is the perfect time to start, with a strategy in mind, all the activities we want to create, support and embrace in order to make the communities stronger and better.

Of course, as said, for me nothing is achievable without the help of the local subsidiaries: whether it’s a small Country or a big one, it’s necessary to talk face-to-face, start planning the activities and the conference calls in order to measure the status of all the different things we do. Or, I should say the MVPs do. They’re the KEY, the pillar and the main actors of our discussions. And the reputation they gained on the field, being the trusted advisors for many people, well, this helps a lot.

Apologize for the digression…

Starting to work on my slides, I realized the synonym of a Microsoft MVP is not easy to find. So I came up with this:

image

There are so many terms that can identify an MVP but this really depends on a case-by-case scenario, whether you’re an Early Adopter, a Trusted Advisor a distinguished speaker, etc…

But there’s one thing that is in common, and sorry but I’ll never stop saying this: Passion.

This is what differentiate us for doing a nice job in doing an excellent job, this is what defines you when you happen to have a conversation with people that are delusional on what they do (it happened to me just yesterday). And, no matter if you are an MVP, an MCC, or just an avid twitterer and enthusiast, this is your (OUR) key driver…

But I’m not done with it: as soon as I think about it and brainstorm myself, rest assured I’ll come up with many more ideas for my slides :).

A glimpse of the future !

I had some great holidays during this summer, up in the mountains.

And I deliberately chose not to bring my laptop with me so not to be tempted to work. Anyway I used my Windows Phone to check my emails: not on a regular basis but at least to check the most important stuff that was going on. I wanted to take out job stuff from my vacations but I couldn’t resist. Every year I bring my laptop with me mostly for the candidates’ reviews (to see if everything was working the way I was expecting to).

So that was my first lesson: never leave my laptop @ home.

Because after I came back, I switched it on only to realize that the hard disk was broken. Oh my, I was so disappointed, especially because I was not so sure that I backed everything up.

With all the cloud services we now have at our disposal, none of them had all the stuff (at least the recent one) I was supposed to reinstall on my laptop. Fortunately, I made a backup on May, 2011 on my external hard disk so not everything was lost. Also, SkyDrive and Windows Live Mesh did help me in recovering some of the most important files I had.

Having said that, it was not over…

I ordered a new hard disk from HP (thanks to the local IT for the big help!) but it took about a week to have it. In the meantime, my smartcard was not working. Bummer !

As you may know, in order to have Direct Access on Windows 7 working, you have to use BitLocker and then use your smartcard to enable the corpnet access.

So I was lost…

Not to mention I got flu that took me @ home for almost a week.

So I went to the local IT and ordered a new one but it takes some time.

Long story short: I have my laptop (which is great), I recovered most of the files (even better) but I still need my smartcard. Well, close enough, I’m @ 80% I’d say…

Back to us,

during the hiking time back to the mountains I had some time to think about all the activities and top stories and the great collaborations with all the Countries I have the pleasure to represent as the Community Program Manager for the MVP Award Program. I guess everyone does that: when you have time and you’re relaxed, it’s much easier to build your last year’s history. Even better, you have a lot of creativity and lots of ideas that you want to put into action.

So, apart from being stuck right after my holidays, I’m SO READY to start the new (fiscal) year!

And you know what? There are a lot of things happening and planned to happen in the next 90 days. Lots of events, lots of engagements and of course the Microsoft and the 3rd party forums are still running and they get healthier.

You know I’m addicted to the social media and, to me, it’s the best way to monitor what is going on in the communities. As I represent 20 Countries, it’s not that easy to track everything you want to but at least you got what I need.

Also, I found a new way to use my Windows Phone more effectively: basically I created groups in which there are people (aka Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn accounts) that I want to monitor. In that way, and when you don’t have much time to use a PC client, I was able to get the most important things, at least important for me and the Communities.

So from an offline perspective, here is what is going to happen in the next 90 days (again, this is not a comprehensive list):

Mobility Day – Zagreb, Croatia (September 21st)

mobilityday

SQL TUNEIN – Zagreb, Croatia (September 26, 27)

SQLTuneIN

Bleeding Edge 2011 – Gozd Martuljek, Slovenia (September 29th, 30th)

Bleeding Edge

DevReach – Sofia, Bulgaria (October17-18)

DevReach

Microsoft TechDay 2011 Baltic Region (October 18th till 20th)

Estonian page contains links to TechDay Lithuania & TechDay Latvia as well

TechDay Baltics

Microsoft Technology Summit – Warsaw, Poland (October 18-19)

MTS

Sinergija – Belgrade, Serbia (October 18-20th)

Sinergija11

Microsoft Vizija – Skopje Macedonia F.Y.R.O. (October 20-21)

Vizija

Virtualization Conference 2011 – Milan, Italy (November, 16-17)

Virtualization Conference

Windows Professional Conference – Milan, Italy (November 22-24)

WPC

Microsoft Fest 2011 – Prague, Czech Republic (November 26-27)

MSFest2011

ITPro-Dev Connections 2011 – Athens, Greece (November 26-27)

ItproDevcon2011

As you can see many events (or I should say at least some of the most important ones) are happening in the Region, with a strong Microsoft MVP participation, whether the MVPs will be speakers or Ask The Expert. These are events that are community-driven and/or Microsoft-driven with the help of the Communities and I guess it’s a great opportunity for all the community members to stop by to some of these events and have a chance to talk with them about Microsoft technology.

And bear with me if I missed some events: feel free to comment on this post and let me know (I’m still digging around to see what’s going to happen and also starting to have conference calls and Live Meetings with my colleagues in the Region but of course it takes time so any help would be much appreciated!)

Of course I didn’t forget about the MVP candidates’ review, which is, as a matter of fact, the first thing I want & need to make sure it’s okay. So expect a blog post, as always, the 1st of October, late in the day, to see new names/new faces and great community contributors being awarded as part of this exciting community which is the MVP Award Program.

 

So, putting aside all the issues I had after my holidays’ return, I’m VERY VERY excited to start a new year with a lot of activities being so confident that the communities and the Microsoft MVPs will have a big part on the new wave of Microsoft Products and a strong impact on the future of Microsoft Technologies moving forward.

And you know what? I want to be part of it too !! :)

Love my randomized tag Cloud !

This is a tag cloud based on my blog.

It is not based on my personal tags (in fact, most of them are not shown in it) but it relies on the word counting in all the blog posts I did.

tagcloud

(created with Wordle)

 

And this is my twitter cloud, created with Tagxedo

tag cloud twitter

Twitter name change with capital letters

I joined Twitter on April-May 2007 (I don’t remember exactly), when people thought that Twitter was just a mere “what am I doing” tool. Then I kept my account but I decided to use Jaiku which had, on that time, geo-location already. Jaiku “lost” the micro-blogging battle (and Google was not that happy about that as it bought Jaiku..).

Then Twitter changed, and people realized how powerful this tool can be. But I don’t want to talk about that in details (maybe in another post) but I want to focus on an issue that is still present.

On that time I used the nick Alead (with A capital letter). After starting to re-use it, I decided to change the name (you can easily do so by going to “Settings –> Profile –> Username), in line with the trends, to alead.

I realized, year over year, that sometimes I couldn’t see my tweets’ re-tweets made by other users.

The reason? some client don’t support the new re-tweet feature. Or, I should say, they have that feature but for some reasons they see my username as 2 different ones. So basically, if you re-tweet in the old style using a phone client, everything is fine (and if you use TweetDeck or Metro Twit you can see them in the Mentions column). But If you re-tweet in the new way, chances are you won’t be able to see them (it doesn’t happen all the time, it seems to be random).

Hootsuite and Rowi, for example, do not allow you to see the re-tweets made in this way. And there are probably other twitter clients that don’t allow to do that.

So this is just to make you aware of this, and maybe push the developers to implement it better…

One last tip: if you are new to twitter, be sure to choose a very “simple and short” username: remember there are only 140 characters available and you need to let others add their own comments…:)

The Airlines’ Affair

I just got to Bucharest for a business trip, 3 days’ meetings with Microsoft Romania to talk about the Communities and the Microsoft MVPs. As I’ll probably talk about that on another post, I just wanted to drop a few lines about my recent flying experience and the experience overall.

I never booked a flight with Alitalia (part of the SkyTeam) primarily because of the strikes. But, as it seems everything’s cooling down, I decided to do so (and not only for that, I could fly through Linate :)).

My experience was pretty good and I had to change my mind on that.

The online checkin was easy and more complete compared to some other airlines. I could print the boarding pass and also ask the system to send me a text message and an even an email as a valid boarding pass. In there, I could also pick more comfortable seats for just 20 euros more. And this is definitely a good service.

Even the flight was a 2 hours one, there were monitors for each seat. There were documentaries, trip details and cartoons. Not that much but what would you expect for a short flight like that?

I also know that pilots are very good. Not that the others from other Airlines are not, but I have a friend who works there and tells me all the good stories around that.

When it was the time to land, it was crazy windy and people were really scared. But the landing was perfect (and a run of applause to the captain !).

So overall my experience (and I would like highlight that: it’s just my personal experience) was very good. I’ll definitely get more Alitalia flights in the future…

I also remember some time ago I posted about a website reviewing all the Airlines in the World (including giving Awards). In Europe, Lufthansa is still number one (and my favorite one as well) and there’s gonna be the 2011 Awards that will take place in Paris @ the end of June.

Skytrax

During these years, and thanks to my job, I had the pleasure to fly with different airlines so here is my Top 5 personal ranking (sorry if there are not many APGC nor LATAM Airlines but I had very few trips there):

  1. Singapore Airlines
  2. Emirates
  3. Lufthansa
  4. Czech Airlines
  5. MALEV Hungarian Airlines

Swiss and SAS were great in the past but I never had the chance to “test” them anymore…

One more thing to mention regarding the US Airlines: I would say that, overall, they are not comparable to the rest of the World’s Airlines in terms of service offering, comfort and entertainment. And this is probably because people in the US tend to get a flight in the same way as we get a bus :)

Categories: Amenities, Reviews, Travels

Pinging blog posts

I already blogged about this topic some time ago (a blog post I moved from my old blog to this new one) but things change pretty fast in this IT world.

Basically what I wanted to talk about is the pinging servers functionality. This “feature” lets you ping servers everywhere in the world for each and every one blog post you do.

It’s a very common activity bloggers do in order to “boost” their blogs and thus increase their reputation and ranking among search engines.

One of the most popular online one is (still) Ping-o-Matic but there are plenty others out there.

What is interesting is that, if you use Windows Live Writer, you can easily add the servers you want to ping just one time and the Writer will do the rest.

All you need to do is go to the Insert Tab, Plug-in options and select Ping Servers.

ping servers

Then, in that box, you can add all your ping servers you want !

Below you can find a non-comprehensive list of servers to ping I found in the web. Sorry if some servers are duplicated (or not working anymore) but hey WLW will not complain about that :)

http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping
http://rpc.pingomatic.com/
http://api.feedster.com/ping
http://api.moreover.com/RPC2
http://api.my.yahoo.com/RPC2
http://xping.pubsub.com/ping/
http://ping.blo.gs/
http://ping.feedburner.com
http://ping.syndic8.com/xmlrpc.php
http://ping.weblogalot.com/rpc.php
http://rpc.blogrolling.com/pinger/
http://rpc.icerocket.com:10080/
http://rpc.newsgator.com/
http://rpc.weblogs.com/RPC2
http://topicexchange.com/RPC2
http://www.blogdigger.com/RPC2
http://www.blogstreet.com/xrbin/xmlrpc.cgi
http://www.newsisfree.com/RPCCloud
http://ping.weblogs.se/
http://blogmatcher.com/u.php
http://coreblog.org/ping/
http://www.blogpeople.net/servlet/weblogUpdates
http://bulkfeeds.net/rpc
http://trackback.bakeinu.jp/bakeping.php
http://ping.myblog.jp
http://ping.bitacoras.com
http://ping.bloggers.jp/rpc/
http://ping.blogmura.jp/rpc/
http://xmlrpc.blogg.de
http://1470.net/api/ping
http://bblog.com/ping.php
http://blog.goo.ne.jp/XMLRPC
http://api.feedster.com/ping.php
http://api.moreover.com/ping
http://api.my.yahoo.com/rss/ping
http://bitacoras.net/ping
http://blogdb.jp/xmlrpc
http://mod-pubsub.org/kn_apps/blogchatt
https://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZFinance.woa/wa/pingPodcast
http://ping.amagle.com/
http://ping.cocolog-nifty.com/xmlrpc
http://pinger.blogflux.com/rpc/
http://ping.exblog.jp/xmlrpc
http://pingqueue.com/rpc/
http://ping.blogg.de/
http://ping.rootblog.com/rpc.php
http://rcs.datashed.net/RPC2/
http://rpc.blogbuzzmachine.com/RPC2
http://rpc.britblog.com/
http://rpc.tailrank.com/feedburner/RPC2
http://rpc.wpkeys.com/
http://services.newsgator.com/ngws/xmlrpcping.aspx
http://signup.alerts.msn.com/alerts-PREP/submitPingExtended.doz
http://www.a2b.cc/setloc/bp.a2b
http://www.bitacoles.net/ping.php
http://www.blogoole.com/ping/
http://www.blogoon.net/ping/
http://www.blogroots.com/tb_populi.blog?id=1
http://www.blogshares.com/rpc.php
http://www.blogsnow.com/ping
http://www.holycowdude.com/rpc/ping/
http://www.lasermemory.com/lsrpc/
http://www.imblogs.net/ping/
http://www.mod-pubsub.org/kn_apps/blogchatter/ping.php
http://www.newsisfree.com/xmlrpctest.php
http://www.popdex.com/addsite.php
http://www.snipsnap.org/RPC2
http://www.weblogues.com/RPC/
http://bulkfeeds.net
http://thingamablog.sourceforge.net/ping.php
http://pingoat.com/goat/RPC2
http://xmlrpc.blogg.de/
http://zing.zingfast.com
http://blogbot.dk/io/xml-rpc.php
http://www.catapings.com/ping.php
http://effbot.org/rpc/ping.cgi
http://rpc.wpkeys.com
http://rpc.britblog.com
http://ping.fakapster.com/rpc
http://pinger.blogflux.com/rpc
http://blogsearch.google.com/ping/RPC2
http://rpc.icerocket.com:10080
http://rpc.pingomatic.com
http://blogupdate.org/ping/
http://www.feedsky.com/api/RPC2
http://bitacoras.net/ping/
http://rcs.datashed.net/RPC2
http://euro.weblogs.com
http://www.bitacoles.net/notificacio.php
http://ping.blogoon.net/
http://www.weblogues.com/ping/
http://blo.gs/ping.php
http://www.weblogalot.com/Ping/
http://www.packetmonster.net/xmlrpc.php
http://blogsearch.google.com/ping
http://www.blogupdate.org/ping/
http://blogupdate.org/sverige/ping/
http://ping.feeds.yahoo.com/RPC2/
http://www.syndic8.com/xmlrpc.php
http://pingoat.com/
http://www.mod-pubsub.org/ping.php
http://www.weblogues.com/RPC
http://rpc.odiogo.com/ping/
http://www.bloglines.com/ping/
http://api.feedset.com/ping
http://rpc.pingomatic.com/RPC2
http://ping.blogmura.jp/rpc

 

Feel free to add your own ones and enjoy !

Categories: Amenities, Blogging, Tips