Tuesday, July 17, 2007

My museum of content related artefacts (3)

Nokia Communicator

In 1999 I bought this Nokia Communicator, a version of the 9000 series. Among gadget lovers it is known as the brick; it is rather large and heavy. I had seen it being used by my Finnish friend Cai and by my Swedish friend Anne. It was fascinating on several aspects.

I loved the usability of the Communicator. It contains a complete key board, which stimulates the production of SMS messages. Besides the screen is also larger and reads like a small notice.

One of the main reasons to buy the communicator was the built-in PDA facility of contacts, notes and calendar. At that time there was hardly a combination of a PDA and mobile. By combining these functions you could save a PDA. In the meantime the number of mobile PDAs has grown.

But the argument to buy the brick was the communication facilities. You could send out and receive faxes. I have never used this facility as I already worked for a long time with e-mail. Fax was already outdated to me. But the unique selling point was the e-mail and internet facility. As soon as I had bought the brick I had it prepared as I was going on a trip and wanted to use my latest toy. But that experience was timely and costly. The speed of the e-mail and internet was horribly slow. I remember that I received a photograph in one of the e-mail sessions and it took more than 7 minutes to load the photograph. Of course also the loading and removing of all the spam messages took up a lot of time. I also noticed that I did not use the communicator in order to look up time tables. I had expected that I would do that, but I found out that I looked up the schedules beforehand on my computer at home or on the railway announcement boards, when I was in a station. And I did not use internet to look up telephone numbers either. All in all I did not use e-mail and internet on the communicator that much. Part of the reason for that were also the costs, especially when I was abroad. I still remember that the first bill for using the communicator totalled 150 euro, while my average was less than 60 euro a month. Despite the lowering of the costs for mobile phoning and especially the costs abroad, the charges for data handling are still costly.

For me the communicator held also an e-Book promise. Given the screen width it would be interesting to download and carry an e-Book. But no book seller picked up the idea. Nokia thought about the distribution of e-books in 2000, but appropriated this to the Nokia tablet. But neither Nokia nor an e-Book seller ever got involved in e-Books seriously. But now newspaper publisher amongst others in Finland have news services for the communicator.

The communicator is still in the Nokia assortment and has been improved on several scores. It has a colour screen; it is faster in connections, which is also partly due to the mobile technology with GPRS and 3G. And it is smaller and more elegant.

The communicator remains in my collection as it is the first combination of mobile phone, PDA address and calendar facilities and e-mail and internet functions. The brick will stay behind the glass doors of the show case.

Blog Posting Number: 815

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