So farewell to the cheesy phone OS

The not unexpected news that Nokia have finally given up on it’s Symbian mobile phone operating system is still sad news. Symbian owes its existence to the plucky (yes I know a cliche) British firm of Psion, original develops of computer games for Sinclair and developers of the first generation of PDAs. Needing a relatively powerful operating system which allowed multi-taking, could drive a simple graphic user interface with low power consumption, Psion developed EPOC the  “Electronic Piece Of Cheese”.

EPOC was developed over ten years from the late 1980’s powering such iconic devices at least for us Brits as the Psion Series 3 PDA. EPOC had developed into a full 32bit operating system by 1997, and was renamed Symbian and in 1998 Psion itself became part of Symbian a joint venture with the major mobile phone manufacturers of the time; Motorola, Ericsson and Nokia with the aim of producing software to run mobile phones.

And the rest is history.. Symbian increasing lead by Nokia as the other phone manufactures dropped out became increasing complex both from a developer perspective but more importantly from a user perspective.. a point driven home when the iPhone hit the market.

So we come to last weeks burning platform memo, and the jump to Microsoft, a sad end to another British innovation that lost it’s way ?

Incidentally if I was in charge of a burning oil platform and had to command my crew to jump into the dark waters below, I’m not sure if would be very wise to direct everybody to get on just one of the lifeboats in the water, and really dangerous to all get on the smallest.. Still what do I know about maritime safety !

Written and submitted from home (51.425N, 0.331W)

Mobile Thoughts

The antidote to smartphones ?

You have to appreciate the minimalist design aesthetic of this phone from Amsterdam based  designer John Doe, but I’m not sure I could really love a phone that only made and received calls, no SMS, email, camera or heaven forbid Location Based Services !!

I tried to use an old Ericsson T28 as my “home” mobile for a while, because I thought it was cool and had a certain retro chic about it… but I missed email, maps, surfing the web too much.

Once you have gone smartphone, there is no going back..

Written and submitted from home (51.425N, 0.331W)
LBS Mobile

mashup* – Being Location Aware Event


I am going to be speaking at the  mashup* – Being-Location-Aware Event in London on the 19th March, an event which I hope will really capture the current excitement around using  location in both mobile and desktop applications.

After many false starts, your location is finally easily available to application developers allowing them to create a range of applications which use where you are, as a key element of context providing more relevant information and services to the user.

There are of course still many areas to be explored, around business models, technology platforms and privacy, and this event I’m sure will provide a great forum to continue the debate.

Written and submitted from home, using my home 802.11 network.