Stephen Fry: Now Blogger and Gadget-Head

I love Stephen Fry. Fabulously intelligent, interesting, and brilliantly talented, he’s the person I’d most like to meet. Given that the chances of our meeting stay at zero with every day I don’t travel to Norfolk and trespass on the set of his TV show, I’m chuffed to discover that he has a blog. And not just a “today I met this celebrity, dined at this splendid restaurant, and flew to the premiere of this pop culture belch” blog, but something of interest to us geeks.

His first post is an incredible long and coruscating review of a pile of would-be iPhone-killers. I’ve selected a few gems for your pleasure, but I recommend getting a cup of tea or coffee and sitting down to enjoy the whole thing. He’s not just good to read, but he hones in on the strengths and weaknesses of each device. Enjoy!

Since then, in one of the most astonishing public suicide attempts in the history of this industry, Palm have produced a item that EVEN I DO NOT WANT, the Foleo. If it’s got a chip in it, and a keyboard, and WiFi and a screen and I haven’t sent off for one, then by God you’d better believe it’s in trouble. Though mind you, knowing me, I probably would have bought one in the end. […]

Windows for Mobiles is certainly better than Windows for PCs or, God help us all, Vista, but it is still an insulting offering. The feeling, as with all things Microsoft, is that all design features and functions are there to suit MS rather than to delight, enthuse and compel the user. Compromise, short-cuts, inconveniences, vestigial residues – no one responsible is likely to pat themselves on the back for the design or the s’ware engineering, any more than the architect or project manager of a 60s council flat is likely to point it out with pride as he rides by with his grandchildren. You’re only on this planet once – do something extraordinary, imaginative and inspiring. […]

Mine arrived at the beginning of this week. What a crushing, lowering, fury-inducing disappointment. Just how dumb are the software engineers, designers and marketeers at Sony E? Believe me, I so wanted this to be good. Instead, it is nothing more than a gesture, an under-considered, badly implemented nod at the market. It’s an M600i running Symbian v 9.1 and UIQ v 3.0 equipped with a camera and WiFi.. That’s it. No attempt has been made to alter the UI or the OS. The result: the clumsiest, most asinine method of internet connection ever devised (yes it has a wizard to download your network’s APN etc., but that’s not enough) comes unaltered, the bugginess and the slowness too have all have been inherited, and the short battery life. Did they really think slinging on a 3.2MP camera and WiFi would make a desirable device, let alone an iPhone killer? […]