Tuesday, June 29, 2004

The Handheld That Rocks The Cradle

As far as handhelds go, Symbian is the undisputed king of the OS hill. Elegant, simple, stable, intuitive. It’s everything the Pocket PC OS (Windows) is not.

Really, a moron is one who gets all constipated railing against the bugginess , slowness and bloatedness of Windows, and then goes out and buys a Pocket PC handheld – just because he finds it cute to have a mini-version of that rolling-hills-against-a-blue-sky theme of XP sitting on his phone or organizer.

Pare, tingnan mo, parang Windows yung phone ko ‘no…ayos ba?, ha, ayos ba?

I should know. I am one such moron.

While under the influence of some dark force, I once gave up my Symbian phone (a Nokia 3650), for a Smart Amazing Phone. Well gee whiz, Mr. Manny Pangilinan sir, may I just tell you that your gizmo ain’t really what I would normally call “smart” and is nowhere near a 10 kilometer radius of “amazing.”

I was supposed to know better. Indeed, grandma always said to me,“You want your phone to do Windows? Fine, but expect to get Windows -- warts and all , bugs and all, Clippy and all.”

But grandma’s sage advice flew out the window in the face of the withering temptation of having a mini-version of that rolling-hills-against-a-blue-sky theme of XP sitting on my phone. And besides, I figured Bill Gates wanted to get into the handheld market so bad that for once, he wouldn’t hire programmers who write books-full of code to make the gadget chirp “HELLO WORLD!”

Or so I thought.

The lovely phone hung all over place, was slower than the Congressional Canvass, groaned under the weight of all those gratuitous lines of codes, and came with a plastic camera. And the best part is, it had no way of sending and receiving business cards!

(Just for a minute, imagine telling your client that no, he just can’t simply send a biz card but if he badly wants you to call up this certain number, he would have to manually type this up and then SMS it to you –-- all because not one of wonderboys in Microsoft remembered to squeeze in a few miserable lines of code to handle vCard/vCal )

Thank goodness I eventually snapped out of it. Now I’m back happily using Symbian! And once again, I can astound friends by seeming to pull any darn information from thin air without anyone realizing I’m using my phone’s lean, text-only browser to Google it.

Also, no longer do I agonize over people thinking I’m a swellhead that’s ignoring them whenever I couldn’t reply to their texts at once. A nice little Symbian program I got from a WAP site automatically sends all texters a message informing them that “Skip is currently busy but he would text you back as soon as he can.”

Now that’s Smart. And pretty amazing, ain’t it?