Some writings from 2011, and other stuff

I’ve began writing for xda-developers regularly a few weeks ago, and thought I should highlight some of my more notable articles. Here they are:

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Also, I’ve recently gotten some new stuff: the first one is a new monitor, the 23” Dell U2312HM with an IPS panel at 1920x1080. It’s absolutely fantastic, and a huge improvement over, well, the monitor of my 15” Dell Vostro 3500 notebook I was (and still am) using.

The other big thing I got is the Logitech Performance Mouse MX, probably the best mouse a non-gamer can buy right now. It costs more than the M500 or M705 I was using previously, but is also much better. You definitely get what you’re paying for. The only weakness is the battery life; the Performance MX lasts only one or two weeks, compared to the three years you should get with the M705. Which isn’t too far off, since I still have over 60% left after eight months of use.

My Personal Experience With The HTC HD2

The HTC HD2 was released two years ago, in November 2009. I got my HD2 one year ago, in November 2010.

I was in China when I bought it. My old phone – an HTC Hermes that my uncle had given to me – wasn’t in good shape: the touchscreen was more or less broken, and the battery had to be recharged after every phone call. I needed a new phone, for less than 3000 ¥ (about 340 €).

Unfortunately, since the Galaxy S and Desire HD were still quite new at the time, they were too expensive for me, and I didn’t want to wait another month or two till their price became acceptable. So, I ended up choosing between two older HTC devices: the Desire and HD2.

When I got to try the Desire, however, I was very disappointed. I didn’t expect Android to be as smooth as iOS, but I thought it would at least come close. It didn’t. And I found that it looked much better on screenshots than in actual use: Both stock Android on the Nexus One and Sense UI on the Desire were ugly, compared to Sense UI on the HD2, running Windows Mobile.

What I really liked about the HD2, though, is that it could run both Windows Mobile and Android, thanks to the development done at the xda-developers forum. Even a port of Windows Phone 7 wasn’t entirely unlikely, so I decided to get the HD2, knowing that I could switch to other operating systems should I ever get tired of Windows Mobile.

And I did get tired of it pretty quickly. But trying various Android builds only reinforced my initial impression: that Android was laggy and ugly. No matter how you customized it, it wouldn’t look as good as Sense UI on Windows Mobile.

I put up with Windows Mobile till April, when I finally flashed a CyanogenMod ROM. I also tried Windows Phone 7, but it didn’t support Chinese input yet; I eventually settled with another Android version: a MIUI-ROM. It wasn’t as stable as other builds, but at least I liked its design.

When I came back to Germany, I didn’t need Chinese input anymore, so I switched to Windows Phone 7. However, I realized it had some quirks of its own: Third-party apps didn’t have access to native controls, so they were laggy. But the general design and smoothness made me stick with it, especially after Mango was successfully ported in late August.

So, that’s it, I guess. I’m still running Windows Phone Mango, and am satisfied with it. When I once flashed Windows Mobile, which was required as preparation before the Mango update, and played with it for a few minutes, I realized how slow it was. And how far the HD2 had come.

I will probably keep it for another year or two, since I don’t really have money to get a new smartphone. I don’t mind.

Jil Sander Phone Advertisement In German Newspaper

DIE ZEIT is the most widely read weekly newspaper in Germany, and highly respected for its quality journalism. I’m subscribed to it since this August. It also comes with the ZEITmagazin, a lifestyle magazine. Its ads are, well, let’s say expensive. At least that’s what I think of when I see full-page adverts for brands like Prada, Giorgio Armani, Hugo Boss, and more Swiss watch companies than… you get the idea.

So I was quite surprised to see one of those ads in issue 45 dedicated to the Jil Sander phone, a Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango” device from LG.

Jil Sander phone advert

Even though it’s part of the second generation of Windows Phones, its specs are more in line with the first generation – in fact, it’s essentially the Optimus 7 with a new design that’s said to feel quite cheap. Still, it’s nice to see such a marketing effort being made by Microsoft and its hardware partners. The red logo at the bottom left is from Media Markt, which you could describe as the German Best Buy, so it should also have some retail backing (though I haven’t checked myself).

Update: Here’s another ad, this time from issue 46 of the main newspaper.

Another Jil Sander phone ad

Hello World

Last time I posted here was over a year ago. Since I got a scholarship, I spent that last year in China, which is why I haven’t been around much on those places you may know me from (see sidebar).

Then, yesterday I decided that I finally wanted to start blogging, for real this time. I already set up a website back at the end of 2009 to showcase my themes for Windows Mobile 6.5 (yes, there weren’t only people using Windows Mobile, it also had a very enthusiastic community cooking ROMs, creating themes and stuff), and thanks to referrals from xda-developers it would get almost 500 visitors a week – I probably won’t get one tenth of that on this site, at least for now – but I didn’t know what to do with it. I wanted to expand it, with more themes, maybe even start covering related news, but I didn’t have enough experience to do actually do it. Eventually, I returned my themes to xda-developers, and forgot about it – till I remembered this July, only to discover that I won’t ever be able to close it down. Oh well. According to my analytics, there are still a few people every month who somehow manage to visit that horribly neglected website. You be the next.

So, that’s the story behind this site, or tumblelog, or blog. I guess tumblelog doesn’t actually fit here, even though this is hosted on Tumblr, as I will use this like a real blog, not microblog. I have Twitter for that, and since you’re bothering to read this, you should really follow me there. Also, I spent well over twelve hours designing this site, so I’d really like to hear some honest feedback. I do consider myself to have good taste, but I have almost no experience designing websites (that old site has a standard template).

Well, yeah, I’d really be happy about some comments.

Goodbye world – till my next post.

Testing Tumblr

Just testing whether this is good enough as a real blog, let’s see!