Interview: Steve Litchfield
Well, you all know Steve Litchfield – the man behind Allaboutsymbian, 3lib and the Smarthphones Show. However, do you know why he starts ”blogging”? This interview will give you a new point of view of this power-man.
So, tell me something about your person.(age, hobby etc.)
45, too old for this game really. My main hobby is my job, really, playing with smartphones and writing about them – it’s quite addictive, as perhaps most of your readers can sympathise! Outside of this, I play guitar in a rock band and a church band (different set lists, obviously!) and help look after my 8 year old daughter.
How do you come to the mobile and S60 scene?
I started with the Psion Series 3 in 1992 and created the 3-Lib shareware library (this was all pre-Internet). From there I started writing for Palmtop magazine and then PDA Essentials (both still current) and, of course, AllAboutSymbian in recent times. My device line has gone from Series 3 to Series 3mx, Series 5, 5mx, Palm III, IIIx, IIIc, Treo 180, Treo 270, Nokia 9210, 9500, 6300, N70, N90, N93, N95, E90…. err… I may have missed a few along the way, but you get the idea!All the way searching for a single device that could do everything…. The E90′s pretty much nailed it, but it’s not perfect and doubtless there will be an E91 at some point…… And the N95 8GB is going to be hard to resist when it arrives here for testing in a few weeks.
Tell us something about your blog
Err… which one? AllAboutSymbian.com is known by just about everybody, but there’s also my 3-Lib web site, kind of a holding place for interesting tables and bits of information these days, a personal blog for anything non-phone-related, a photo blog and, in the last 2 years, my Smartphones Show video podcast. Apologies if that all sounded a bit like a commercial, but I’ve been err….. busy.
Why did you start your blog
The Smartphones Show grew out of my desire to do something with smartphones that wasn’t limited by plain text and photos. With the arrival of broadband to most of the world, it suddenly became practical to film and publish one’s own TV show, effectively, with almost zero startup costs. I’ve been through a few changes in style as it’s gone on, biggest of which was the switch to filming it ON a smartphone. Initially this was because my old camcorder packed up, but the more I used the N93 and N95 to film the show, the more I appreciated the elegance of using the very devices I was supposed to be covering to do the filming, as kind of an ultimate demo of how far imaging and video recording on smartphones had come. Well, in Nokia’s hands, at least.
Do you have an idol (blogging idol)?
Now, I’m sure the Bible says something about not having idols…. There are loads of very clever people I’ve come across in my career though, I’ve been hoping some of it has been rubbing off along the way, to offset the gradual extinction of my own brain cells!
What was your first S60 phone and which device do you have at the moment?
I think the Nokia 6630 was the first one that I used as my main device. I did own a second-hand 7650 and 3650, but they were just test devices for the purposes of writing hint and tips. I’m currently using the Nokia E90, which I think is terrific.
What do you like most about S60?
I don’t have a religious conviction about S60, though I do have a legacy allegiance to Symbian OS. To be honest, I preferred the now-obsolete Series 80, as used in the 9300 and 9500, but I just couldn’t ignore the huge advances in hardware (camera, GPS, HSDPA etc) in the latest devices. S60 does work very well one-handed – and I can live with it in E90 ‘open’ mode or E61i landscape mode (for example).
Where should S60 makes improvements?
Having played with the Apple iPhone, I can see that the current interface on most S60 devices is a bit confused. Not within applications – I’m talking about the three or four ways of switching to an application – standby screen shortcut, main menu, multimedia menu and app/task list. OK, so it’s very flexible, and loved by power users, but it’s very messy. And I’m not sure how S60 are going to get themselves out of the mess.
Now a question you miss and you want to answer?
Ah! “Q. When can people come and meet me in the flesh?”
A. Either on October 15th in the evening, at the AllAboutSymbian pub meet – http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/features/item/AAS_Pub_Meet_2007.php – or the next day at the London Smartphone Show - http://www.smartphoneshow.com/ – or with my rock band, Shed Music, at our debut ‘gig’, the night after, October 17th, from 9pm at the 3Bs in Reading. It’s going to be a busy few days for me!