So, my bargain basement new Nokia 2630 phone/camera/radio device now seems to be fully functional. This satisfying minor success followed a considerable amount of judicious debugging (it’s good to know I haven’t switched off completely since retiring) in which my phone calls to both O2 and Nokia support, combined with a 20-mile round trip to an O2 shop in Milton Keynes to get a new SIM card, probably cost getting on for as much as the phone/camera/radio thingy in the first place.
Carol has possessed a camera-equipped phone for a couple of years. We even used it once to take a photograph of Beastie and Billy (our car and caravan) in pole position for a swift getaway in the car deck of a P&O ferry. Accessing the photographs on Carol’s phone is quite easy since it has a USB connection. Does my phone/camera/radio have a USB connection? No, apparently not. There is a connection that looks a little like a USB socket but the manual makes contains the following warning:
Note: Do not touch this connector as it is intended for use by authorized service personnel only.
Yikes, best leave that alone! How, then, do I look at the crappy photographs taken by the phone’s crappy camera on anything other than the microscopic screen of the phone/camera/radio itself? My options appeared to include an expensive email message sending them as attachments and a wireless Bluetooth® connection. Naturally, being hardly of the mobile phone generation, I was not already Bluetooth® enabled. However, here was, perhaps, a fine excuse to become Bluetooth® enabled. Isn’t technology fun? A little investigation revealed several relatively inexpensive (~£10) Bluetooth® USB adapters that should Bluetooth®-enable my desktop computer.
A brief side issue. The Airmiles program has recently introduced utterly outrageous new rules enabling them to expire their customers’ hard-earned miles:
Our terms and conditions have changed to say, if you’ve not had any Airmiles added to your account for 24 consecutive months, all Airmiles you’ve collected will expire.
The bastards! It is apparently not enough that we have to contend with our blackguardly bankers losing all our money and, courtesy of dramatically falling interest rates, a serious chunk of our income, we are also required to contend with other unscrupulous scoundrels ripping off any other remaining assets. It seems that absolutely everyone is out to screw us.
Returning to the main thread, I noticed that buying a Bluetooth® USB adapter from John Lewis through the Airmiles program should earn me a princely 2 air miles. Whilst this isn’t enough even to get me down the main runway at Heathrow, it should be enough to keep my existing 7940 air miles alive. I ordered one.
Today my new toy arrived and I eagerly unpacked it and installed it. The Bluetooth® technology comes with a lot of new buzzwords such as "pairing" (sounds quite enjoyable) but eventually I conquered the vocabulary and got it to communicate with my new phone/camera/radio thingy. How better to try out the new toy combination than by taking a picture of my long-suffering wife? Having pointed the phone/camera/radio in the appropriate direction, i.e. at Carol, I pressed the button and it went "click" indicating, I supposed, that I was using the camera rather than the phone or radio. I sent it via Bluetooth® to my desktop and opened it in a picture editor.
Very generously, Carol has given me permission to display the somewhat startling results publicly. She is, after all, wearing a pleasant smile. In looking at the full size image (640 by 480 pixels) linked to the thumbnail on the right, please bear in mind that the camera was set to high quality. Ye Gods! I dread to think what the result would have been had a lower quality been selected. Way back in the stone age, Kodak introduced some particularly awful disc film technology (celluloid, not computer disc) which, hitherto, had produced some of the worst pictures I’ve ever clapped eyes on. Compared to this, though, its results were worthy of the eminent Lord Lichfield (RIP).
I know I said the phone camera would be crappy but I didn’t expect it to be this crappy. Marketing anything this bad is completely pointless.