Diss is done!

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Yesterday I handed in my diss! I still have to do a demo, to show that (almost) everything works as it should and prove that I was the one who actually wrote it. This shouldn’t be too bad as I’ve been working on it since October so I know the ins and outs of the code.

It was quite a relief to have handed it in, but I’m kind of lost now as it has dominated my life for so long!

I’ve now only got 3 weeks left of Uni (well, till the end of my exams) which I have to say, is quite scary. I still haven’t found a job so I don’t know what I’ll be doing after I finish yet.

The N95 is still really cool, it definitely needs an update but from the forums that I’ve visited, it seems like an update is only a few days/weeks away. Hopefully this will fix the random restarts and memory problems. Other than these few (fixable) problems the N95 is brilliant. Unfortunately I can’t use the wifi network on the uni campus but there are a few free unencrypted networks around which I can use if I need to.

My N95 is here! :D

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It has arrived!

I spent all yesterday sat in the front room of the house, trying to do some work on my dissertation, waiting for DHL to deliver my phone. It eventually turned up at just before 3pm.

It didn’t come with a memory card, so one of the first things I did was to go online and order this one. At only £20 delivered it was a good bargain 🙂 and even though I ordered just after 3pm yesterday (about 3:06pm) it turned up today!

I’m currently transferring lots of maps to the memory card to save on GPRS charges. It says it’s going to take about 3 hours at the moment! I hope it doesn’t actually take that long (it’s only copying 130MB).

Right, onto the review!

General Use

In terms of general use, it’s not that much different from my old phone (the Nokia N70), although the screen is much bigger and sharper. It is also running a newer version of the S60 symbian operating system so there are a few improvements to little aspects of the phone. The battery life is OK at the moment, although I haven’t had a proper days usage yet so i’ll post back in a week or so and comment on that. The keys are well sized, if slightly on the small side, but having used the N70 for over a year i’m used to small keys.

Camera

The N95 comes with a 5 megapixel Camera with a Carl Zeiss lens. This is almost the same as a reasonably priced dedicated digital camera. The photos it takes are very impressive, at a resolution of 2592×1944 pixels and with up to 20x digital zoom. I expect that if you compared the photos taken by the N95 and a dedicated digital camera then the digital camera would probably produce better photos. Having said that, the N95 is definitely good enough to use for most shots, and unless you are a particularly good photographer then it may well replace a separate camera.

GPS

Although i haven’t played with this very much, I am still impressed with how good it is. It is definitely better when outside rather than sat in the house, but by placing the phone by a window it soon picked up on some satellites and found where I was. If you get this phone I would definitely recommend downloading the maps via the internet on a computer first, as it does cost a lot to download through GPRS.

Media

As I mentioned before the screen is very big and sharp and watching video’s on the N95 gives (apparently) DVD quality video. I have yet to watch anything other than the preinstalled video, but I may use it to watch the odd episode of something whilst on the move.

Audio quality is excellent, partly down to the stereo speakers on either side of the phone. The phone comes with a remote control into which you can plug your own headphones and listen to music. The remote also has a mic so it can be used as a handsfree kit too.

The phone has a two way slide mechanism, and when sliding up the dedicated media keys are available. These allow you to control music and video with ease. Sliding this way also rotates the screen to horizontal, which is quite a nice feature, particularly for video.

Other Stuff

Nokia have finally got rid of their pop-port interface, and the N95 now has a mini usb port on the base, and a 3.5mm headphone socket on the side. This is a great move because it now means I don’t have to carry extra cables around with me!

TV-Out is also a nice addition, and it uses the same 3.5mm headphone socket. Having tried this out on a large tv, I was very impressed how good it looked. I doubt i’ll use this very much though as the cable isn’t that long and I doubt that i’ll want to play on a huge screen (which I don’t have) on my own.

Stopping coding

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By now I was supposed to have now stopped writing code for my dissertation… and I almost have! Jon keeps finding bugs which need fixing and so I have to play around with things to sort them out. Obviously it’s better to find them and fix them now rather than having to list all the bugs as “Known bugs” in the report.

I now have to start writing the report, which needs to be between 10,000 and 20,000 words! It’s not due in for another 6 weeks so i have plenty of time, but it’s still a daunting thought that it’s nearly over.
There are still a lot of things to do besides the report, I need to write more tests to prove that everything works properly, and I need to comment my code properly (there are only a few comments here and there)

Dissertation

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As part of my final year at Aber i have to do a final year project (Dissertation). I am doing mine on the Corris railway, with one of my friends (Jon). I am doing a generic railway system which could be used for any similar railways as a basis for a larger project. Jon is doing a GUI which bolts on top of my project, and is specific to the Corris railway. When complete, it should be able to be used as a training tool for signalmen.
At the moment, we are in the last stages of coding, although we do not expect to have completed everything we planned to, and will soon be starting on the report. This project is worth 1/3 of the final years marks, and if it receives a good mark, might even be worth about 1/4 of my whole degree!