Patches, Work-arounds, and Add-ons

It’s good to be a geek: I’ve had my new Nokia E71 for a while now, and have been plagued with various problems that have been driving me nuts:

  • No way to sync with Gmail unless you have MfE (Mail for Exchange), and since I don’t work for a big company with an Exchange server, I’m SOL.
  • No way to sync with the old version of Outlook that I have (and don’t use, anyway, for a number of reasons).
  • Video playback gets progressively choppy and eventually hangs, so I end up having to remove the battery to reset the phone.

My local cell provider (Orange) was less than helpful.  Nokia’s own support didn’t even acknowledge that those problems exist, even though I found other people in various cellphone forums complaining of hanging videos.

Someone directed me to Ovi, Nokia’s free web-based apps for coordinating contacts, calendars, and to-do lists between the computer and phone.  It has some pretty tight limitations, but still gives me a synced calendar and contacts, which is tres important.

Another site talked about a DivX player for Symbian-OS phones, even if they aren’t DiVX-ready.  That, coupled with a little converter app, seems to be working.  I  installed the player onto the phone and used the converter to optimize a large (358 MB) video for the phone.  It was an extremely CPU-intensive process and took about an hour, but the resultant file (228 MB) worked flawlessly.  No delay, no out-of-sync video and audio, no hanging.

Before finding these solutions, I wasted about 12 hours attempting to kludge Outlook into working, and finding an MP4 splitter app, etc.  Lots of wasted time, but now my dog has been exposed to an expanded list of swear words.  (Which reminds me of the T-shirt company in Israel called s-Wear, which makes my anti-spam filter go nuts!)  But I digress…

So lift your glass in toast to all those crackers and hackers who use social networking on Web 2.0 sites to share info.  You are going to start seeing more and more tech support issues being solved by these savvy users, rather than by the companies responsible for the products.

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