Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Snake Issues

So the product manager inside Nokia of the high-end N-series, intent on alienating the US market by using marketing terminology that will never play there while also sounding borderline stupid in Europe even among the geeks, has decided that these phones need to be referred to as 'multimedia computers'. And indeed, these phones have one thing indeed in common with actual desktop or laptop computers: you can update the system software. In fact, you pretty much have to: although they aren't being released with as many bugs as the first run of the Nokia 7710 was (hi ), the N-series phones are not perfect machines once out of their testing period. They're just too multi-functional, and every model pushes a new frontier in functionality. You'd need longer and bigger beta tests to get that perfect.

Instead they get pushed out the door when they are acceptable, and owners can get updates for the OS over the web, easily installed over the supplied USB data cable. Now, I am not saying releasing buggy phones in a sort-of public beta test is actual Nokia policy: I have not worked for Nokia in almost a year and when I did I never had insight at what level of bugs -- and there are always bugs in every system released, no matter who makes it -- Nokia deems a product releasable, just so you know. But yes, these fantastic machines, and I do like my N73, can now have their base OS updated without having to go to a store.

I have already done so once, and it was smooth and brilliant. Now it seems a new update is out for the N73, and I could do it again, except for one tiny stupid thing. While you can back up all your data and 3d-party software easily before an upgrade and restore it all just fine afterwards, it seems the upgrade wipes out the data of the levels reached on the built-in game of Snake 2.0. According to the progress bar there seem to be 36 levels, and, after months of play in the subway, I am now at level 36. I don't want to throw all that away. Not even to fix a lingering memory leak with the camera, or the inaccuracy of the battery meter. I keep thinking I am just one day away from finishing that last level...

Then of course I saw on the Wikipedia that Snake 2.0 actually has 45 levels. Drat. Here I was hoping for some festive 'You won!' graphics and music sequence after level 36. Still not doing the update, though.