Saturday, February 09, 2008

A day in my mobile life

SMS Text News asked me to log "my mobile day" ahead of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (BTW, we are at Hall 1, stand #1J46, stop by and get your kite to fly high with Funambol :-) Here it is.

7:05 – the radio starts, somebody is talking about something stupid as usual. Why can’t I set up a system that wakes me up with the sound of waves like in the movies?
7:10 – wife is back snoring, better get up and prepare breakfast
7:15 – daughter (4 years old) asks for Topo Gigio, an Italian cartoon. I play it for her in my hacked DVD player, which plays movies from every region. The region thing is insane. How would my daughter learn Italian in the US, otherwise? Give us a worldwide open DVD system, please…
7:25 – Cappuccino is ready. It is the only thing I do around the house, but I do it with pride. Everything else in my life is done by my wife, who is just putting the finishing touches on my bag (I am flying out to Europe tonight). I would be in Frankfurt walking around in shorts in February, without her.
7:40 – I am in the restroom, where I substituted the classical magazine with the iPhone. I check email and read feeds via Netvibes (I have two tabs, one called mobile with the feeds I care most about. Otherwise, it is too slow on the iPhone, even with wi-fi)
7:45 – daughter comes looking for my iPhone. She wants to check the weather. Swipes it off, asks “is this Menlo Park or Pavia?” (she can swipe but she can’t read yet…). Darn, weather is going to be great in Menlo Park this week, why am I flying to freezing Germany tonight?
7:50 - Daughter disappears with the iPhone playing some crazy Mika music. I wish I was still four.
8:00 – On my laptop, connected with my external keyboard and monitor, I check email with Outlook and Skype away with colleagues in Europe (with one-ear headset and microphone, looking like a customer support representative which will be with you in a moment).
8:30 – daughter comes again, this time asking to see Sesame Street on TV. I fire up my SlingPlayer on the laptop, connect to my TV in the other room and select Sesame Street on my TiVo. Without moving from my chair. Laziness forever.
9:00 – drop daughter at the childcare where she tells me I should not go on a business trip for 10 weeks because it is too long. I try to explain it is 10 days but she still claims it is too long. I promise I will videoskype her the next day and she tells me she can’t hug me through the computer. I shut up and sadly kiss her bye bye.
9:05 – get on 101 just when the carpool lanes open. I love my seven minutes commute, especially later in the season when I can take the top off my New Beetle (in California, I can do it for seven months in a row…).
9:10 – in the office parking lot I check new emails on my Windows Mobile Treo 700w with Verizon (on EVDO, which is 3G). I know it is stupid, because I can walk upstairs and read them on my laptop, but this is my only addiction (together with Nutella), so please do not bother me.
10:00 – I spend some time installing the new Funambol JavaME email client, with mobile advertising powered by Amobee, on my RAZR. I use it only for demos, linked to my Gmail account. The guys in Italy delivered the client this morning (time zone difference rocks!). I see it for the first time. It shows me an ad with La Sagrada Familia and beeps when an email is pushed to it. Awesome, I am ready for the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week!
11:00 – meeting in the office, no mobile devices but great coffee. My Lavazza coffee machine delivers the best coffee in Silicon Valley.
12:00 – quick Capri panino at AG Ferrari in Belmont. Love the place and the food. They mix up the orders at least 50% of the times. I feel like home.
12:30 – I leave the office for a meeting at a customer site. To get directions, I take out my iPhone and try the Location feature and get direction to their office. It works smoothly. Who said you need GPS for location-aware services? Can Google give us that API on every phone where they have maps? Yes, they can and they will.
13:00 - I show off the JavaME client to the customer, and I get an “ahhh, if you do it like that it could work: it does not look like spam, the ad is not in the face of the user!”. Bingo, we are on the right track. Open source will finally be free.
15:00 – I am back in the office and I play a foosball game. I haven’t lost one game this year so far. This one is close, gets interrupted by the arrival of my next meeting, but we finish anyway (priorities are properly set at Funambol). Nope, streak still good, maybe next time, sorry Ata.
16:00 – I realize I am missing the notes for my iPhone (which I need for the trip) and I left them on my desktop at home. I use LogMeIn and take control of the remote computer, then use Skype to send a file back to my laptop. Just when I am done, my wife buzzes me on Skype and tells me to leave the computer alone. She got scared when the mouse started moving by itself. That’s life in the technology lane…
16:30 – The Windows Mobile phone won’t work in Europe (it is CDMA), so I sync contacts on my iPhone with the Funambol iPhone client. Works like a charm. I am ready to go.
17:00 – time to leave for the airport. Half a way I decide to use a different long-term parking than usual. Anza parking is nice, with the free valet, but their bus never shows up. I am going to try Fasttrack, because I always use it when I leave from Oakland and their bus is there right when I land. I search for it with the Google Maps application on the Windows Mobile. Found it, got direction. When I need to know where to turn, the damn thing shows an http error and the application quits. Didn’t they hire only PhDs at Google? I want to meet the guy who designed the map application sitting in his office with the lava lamps all day, assuming my phone will keep the connection when I am driving. I bet he lives in London. Dude, here the network sucks. Carrier ads are about “lowest dropped calls”… The connection will drop. And do not tell me I should not use the application while driving. The iPhone Google Maps works perfectly, because Steve Jobs tried it while driving and yelled at your team…
18:00 - despite missing the exit, I get to the airport on time, and while I check-in, it appears I do not have a ticket for my second leg of the trip (London to Frankfurt). But my email said “Booked and Confirmed”! “Sorry Sir, we’ll fix it”. I am sitting on the luggage scale and I open my SlingPlayer on the Windows Mobile. I am watching the news I taped on TiVo about last night’s election. I won on every proposition, that’s good. I feel I could vote for any of the three candidates left for President. That’s even better. A sad thought goes to the future Italian election, but then the BA lady gives me my ticket and I am off to the lounge (Tip1 for entrepreneur: never keep miles for pleasure trips, always use them to upgrade to business. Tip2: if you want to be Gold on BA, just switch your country of residence to Italy. It requires half the miles than if you reside in the US. Odd). I realize that watching TV on my phone for free, I am violating my contract with Verizon. Why did they give me a 3G phone with unlimited data? For email??
19:30 - I am on the plane. I forward my cell calls to my SkypeIn number. From there, I will forward them to my local cell phone in Europe and I will save a bundle (yes, Funambol is a startup, roaming charges are a rip-off). I call my wife to say good bye and turn off all my mobile devices. In a near future, I will be able to keep them on. My flight will be a nightmare. Flying is about a book, a movie and lots of silence. Please do not allow me to keep the mobile phone on. You know, I am addicted to it.
20:30 – Dinner is served. British are not really famous for food. There is a reason.
22:30 – I am ready to sleep. Tomorrow is going to be a short day.