Sunday, January 14, 2007

Guess the Nokia 770 is dead...

Unless things change it won't see another official OS release now that the n800 has been released.

I'm cool with that sort of approach I guess, it's a consumer appliance after all, and the 770 was more of a prototype than an actual product.

Nonetheless the sinking feeling when I got the message that the 770 wouldn't see another software release was sort of like having a pet die. I relate to Linux machines differently than I do to say phones, they're more extensible, they expose more of the inner workings, you negotiate with the operating system rather than being held hostage by it like on a normal embedded communications device.

I have gotten a lot of value out of device since I ordered it in November of 2005 certainly it was $350 well spent. I should order the n800 right now I guess but I haven't quite worked up to it.

There's some question in my mind here about how people relate to objects of varying levels of sophistication and interactivity. I don't really get all that concerned when my toaster gets discontinued by sunbeam, that my 30 year old Beosystem is obsolete or that next year Honda will release a newer slightly restyled version of my car. I didn't get that upset when I bricked my n91 by flashing the firmware (it's just a phone after all), but when something that like many open-source products has a built-in assumption of routine software releases to enhance it's functionality gets discontinued, a little part of it dies. Some pieces of hardware take on a life of their own long after they're technically obsolete and abandoned by their manufacturers (the Newton and the Amiga come to mind) but that's by no means guaranteed, classic electronic devices aren't really that numerous.

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