[Gllug] iPhone 4 or Android phone

damion.yates at gmail.com damion.yates at gmail.com
Fri Jul 16 22:04:59 UTC 2010

On Fri, 16 Jul 2010, Tethys wrote:

> Alain Williams writes:
> > This is what I am thinking of using android for -- emergency access;
> > I don't want to carry my netbook around all the time; I rarely get
> > emergency support calls from customers - but it would be nice to be
> > able to login if/when the need arose. It would also be nice to able
> > to ssh into my home machine & look the occasional things up.
> Again, I would expect an N900 to be better for than than an Android
> phone.

I've been doing support via a mobile for over a decade, starting with
the Nokia 9000 (1998) then: 9110, 9210, 9500, 9300i, e90, n97 now I have
an n900.  Yes, a bit of a Nokia fanboy.

Basically I like phones with wide keyboards.  I also rate the ability to
type things like "^$#'\[{|~!&" quickly, and as I use screen heavily I
need Ctrl and Escape.  I got a free G1 Android for xmas and though it
would bridge the gap between the iPhone's apps and swishyness and the
keyboard I loved from the 9500/e90 era.  Nope.  Keyboard lacked Ctrl and
had an annoying right side lump.  The font were ugly on 80x24 and I'd
just got s2putty the way I liked it on symbian.  The N1 didn't have a
keyboard so was useless.

The n97 was the first truely consumer/non business communicator phone
I'd risked switching to and was _tiny_!  I love that phone.

The n900 is a fricking linux box in your pocket.  X11, xrandr is how the
screen rotates, xmodmap controls keys, the cameras are /dev/video*
hcitool for bluetooth, iwconfig for wifi, trivial to crosscompile stuff,
I've even used vim and crontab for alarms and qemu-usermode to run
arbitrary linux x86 binaries that are hard to crosscompile like cfdisk
and wine... Seriously it's just like a laptop but the size of a phone.
This is VERY open, they provide you with root shell for the xterm app.
Nothing like Android.

I would advise e90 for regular ssh support, n97 if you want a smart
phone with comfortable ssh, n900 if you're a geek* and maybe a
9300i/9500 if you're looking for a very cheap 2nd hand phone.

I have yet to try Android milestone/droid, the keyboard /may/ be

Oh and I'd recommend O2 if you want near 100% coverage.  Sure they might
only have 85% 3G compared to 88-90% for 3/tmob+orange/voda, but it's
fine in all the towns I've visited for 3G, and in the middle of nowhere
I'd rather my maps app picked up 2G than 0 bars of other network
signals.  EDGE/GPRS is ample for ssh, heck I used GSM data dialup at
9600baud before the 9210->9500.  But Ki generally get 3G most of the
time anyway.


*seriously ONLY if you're a geek.
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