One of Us: Stephen Fry Blogs About Smartphones

fryphone.jpg

In a pleasing but entirely surprising turn, it appears loved British comic actor Stephen Fry is blogging—about smartphones. It’s not like the only people who are allowed to wax rhapsodic about the Psion 3′s ARM processor are tech writers, but it’s just a bit shocking to realize someone in the real world is still a major nerd.

My obsession with SmartPhones began many, many years ago. Certainly well before such devices existed in the real world. From the first Sharp contact-and-calendar “electronic organisers” , through the early Psions, the sadly missed AgendA (see above: no QWERTY there, more a kind of weird courtroom stenographer’s chord-based input pad: never have I been able to write faster than with that splendid object – I had another device using the same input system called, I think, Qinky, which connected to the Centronix port of a BBC Micro), to the opening salvo of Palm Pilots, Apple’s Newton and the arrival of Handspring. If they existed I had to have them. Had to. Some could be used with a phone: they might generate dial-tones for example, or somehow, like the later Psions, come with the optional extra of an infrared modem that could shake hands with a Nokia mobile phone and put one on the path to something approaching what today we might call a SmartPhone experience. Those infrared modem scripts still lurk in the system preference and plugin files of even the most up-to-the-minute computer, like a Kodak Instamatic in the back of a drawer. Obsolete, but too charming to throw away. And you never know – one day you might just need them …

After clearing his throat for a couple thousand entertaining words, Fry gets into reviewing his current stable, including the Nokia E61 and E61i, the Palm Foleo, and the Sony Ericsson M600i—all compared to his iPhone, which he loves.

Device and Desires [StephenFry.com via Gadget Lab]

Update: Okay, so I’m still sitting here reading this instead of working, but man, what a treat. This piece is like a mental massage for me. Check this out:

We spend our lives inside the virtual environment of digital platforms – why should a faceless, graceless, styleless nerd or a greedy hog of a corporate twat deny us simplicity, beauty, grace, fun, sexiness, delight, imagination and creative energy in our digital lives?

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7 Responses to One of Us: Stephen Fry Blogs About Smartphones

  1. Halloween Jack says:

    Everyone in the world must be trying to hit his blog–can’t get in.

  2. hijinx comics says:

    “It’s not like the only people who are allowed to wax rhapsodic about the Psion 3′s ARM processor, but it’s just a bit shocking to realize someone in the real world is still a major nerd.”

    Am I the only one having a hard time parsing this sentence? Does it make sense grammatically? There’s been a lot of sloppy grammar in BB Gadget postings. I like the posts, but sometimes I can’t stand to read the writing style.

    Sorry!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Stephen Fry made a great two-part documentary about what it’s like to have bipolar disorder [aka. to be manic depressive]. In it you see a little of his love of shopping for the latest gadgets.

    If I had to name one non-obvious techie to review things, I couldn’t do better than Stephen Fry.

  4. castewar says:

    The surprise to me isn’t that Fry is blogging about smartphones, but that he doesn’t do this type of thing more often – he’s a self-confessed Mac hound, for starters, so I’d imagine the iPhone is what got this particular piece rolling.

    If you like this article, you should try and find his BBC radio segments on things like gibberish – honest to gosh, an oral essay on talking nonsense. Awesome.

  5. jbang says:

    Regarding the SE990i:

    “This thing crashed more times than an Italian dodgem car; actually it didn’t even have the dramatic wit to crash, it just hung and wasted your time. Plus it had an internet/access point/wifi set-up system that made you want to weep, stamp your feet and disembowel the team responsible.”

    Fantastic.

    @hijinx comics: Interminable grammar, rolling senences… but it all makes sense if you just imagine him speaking while you read.

    Again, fantastic.

  6. jbang says:

    @Hijinx Comics: Oh, it was Joel. Duh!

    @Joel: you bad man, you.

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