Life is very short...
You know you twist so good...

And I want it now...

It's been a while since I griped about the Jury Duty information request form I received some time ago. But I was laboring under the impression that no news is good news insofar as I had no desire to serve.

However, a few weeks ago, I received a follow up. This time with specific dates. That can't be good. Or can it?

Basically, I was told to block off a two-week period starting next Monday. At this point, I have no idea if they'll actually need me. But, pending the possibility that they might, I'm trying to make the most of it and be a bit optimistic.

For example, here are some positives:

  • I get to visit Chicago, singularly the greatest city on the face of the Earth. I swear, after 21 years living here, I still get that googly eyed wondrous look on my face every time I go downtown. I'm a little kid. I love it.
  • I get to take the train each day, which is going to save boku bucks on gas.
  • I get to read or listen to my iPod or surf the Web on this Nokia smart phone while on the train. Fun!
  • I get paid. Not much, but it's mine!
  • I've never served on a jury before. The likelihood is that it will be boring stuff, if they even use me. Or it could be some big, juicy case. It is the District Court, after all.

So, yeah, I'm trying to stay upbeat about the whole thing. If I keep pissing and moaning, what good is that going to do? May as well make the most of it. That's so non-cynical of me.

Hey, not sure how lunch works during jury duty, but if anyone wants to meet up in the Loop area for lunch, let me know.

BTW, speaking of the Nokia E71 smart phone I'm playing with, I've got some initial impressions of it in the extended post.

I received and have activated my Nokia E71 and I'm actually using it to write this post now.

Initial impressions? Bear in mind this is going to be pretty stream of consciousness stuff here so forgive the lack of cohesive flow.

First and foremost, the phone just plain feels and looks GOOD. It's prettier than almost any phone I've seen and damned easy to use. It has home buttons that function much like Palm Pilots for easy information access, a full qwerty tactile keyboard (not touch screen, but actual buttons), a built-in microphone, and an external speaker for more than just ringtones. It also feels solid unlike a lot of phones these days that feel hollow or like they could easily break. I think I could throw this thing at somebody and it would do more damage to them than to the phone itself. I must keep this in mind, yanno, just in case.

Mad BallsThe camera on this thing is pretty nice, clocking in at 3.2 MP, and I can tie the phone into my Flickr account, which I already have, and upload photos, complete with titles, descriptions, and tags, directly into my Photostream. The color temperature is a bit off on the camera, but are any of us really looking for high quality from cell phones? You can click on the image at right to see the full version of it and judge the quality for yourself.

One downside is that the keyboard isn't always responsive to what I type. Some of the keys take a while to register that I've hit them like the caps key, the number shift key, and the apostrophe. I've had several Twitter messages go out with a space where the apostrophe should've been. A bit annoying. Another downside, and this isn't Nokia's fault but just a complaint about keyboards on phones in general,  is that my thumbs start to hurt very quickly. So I really can't see myself doing extensive blogging in this manner. Plus my typo rate has already quadrupled at the very least and without a spell checker to boot.

Another issue I have discovered is when I'm in my Typepad post writing window and I try to scroll down the screen, the screen and window scroll rates don't match up. I'm not sure I'm wording this correctly, so let me just say, when I move down the entire viewable screen, the typing window goes blank so you can't tell where you are in your post. So you scroll the entire viewable screen trying to find where you can place the cursor and you wind up back in the middle of your post and it doesn't autoscroll upwards when you start to type. Does that make any sense? I had to give up on posting using the phone. Maybe there is an applet I can download that will allow me to more effectively post to Typepad using the phone. But I'm not sure I'd want to. As I pointed out, my thumbs were really hurting. I'm starting to understand the whole carpal tunnel syndrome thing right about now.

This thing is great for short messages, text messages, and Twitter. I have no problem making any of the above work nicely. Directly within Twitter, I can see all the messages threaded in descending order just like I would see it on my computer screen. However, I do not see avatars nor do I have the star or reply options to the side of each Tweet. I also cannot see the method by which each person posted, although I can see when they posted. In Plurk, while I can see everything the way it should look, the AJAX interface really slows the phone down to the point where I have to take a snail's pace with my typing and scrolling is a bit of a pain. Plus, the phone, when I start to type my Plurk, prompts for a search of similar messages instead of letting me post what I just wrote. Not sure how to get around that at all. More than just a bit annoying.

Oh well. More later as I play a bit. I think I'll try downloading some mobile-ready versions of some of my more common applications like Typepad, Twitter, and Plurk (if one exists).

For the record, this review is solicited and goodies provided by WOM World/Nokia. Sadly, no, I don't get to keep it. Maybe if I salivate more, they'll change their minds.

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