Bicycles and Mobile Phones

Today’s mission: get the firmware on my Nokia N70 mobile phone upgraded. The “firmware” is really the software inside the phone — its guts, so to speak. And my phone guts dated back to October 2005 and many bug fixes and upgrades have been released since then, so it was time for a trip to the repair centre to have updated guts inserted.

The problem with owning a cool bleeding edge euro-phone like the N70 is that, because it hasn’t been released in Canada or the U.S. yet, you can’t actually get the firmware upgraded in North America. So this was my chance.

After some careful study of the Nokia Denmark website, I came across their locate a repair centre page and, from there, sent out a couple of email enquiries around town — “here’s what I need — can you help me?” — last night.

This morning I had two replies, and I choose one of them, from the Sonofon repair shop on Fredrikskaj, a location that appeared easy bicycle distance away.

I hitched up the bike (and figured out how to get on a bike that has a child seat attached — requires careful leaning) and headed south, rough directions printed out and in my pocket.

Fifteen minutes later I was inside the “Butik” at the gleaming Sonofon HQ (map) and found an extremely professional staff ready to help with the guts upgrade. They popped out my SIM card and my MMC card, took my name, told me it would take 30 minutes and cost me 250 kroner, and ushered me to the waiting room.

Thirty minutes later I had my phone back in hand, and the old “V 2.0539.1.2” firmware had been upgraded to “V 5.0609.2.0.1”. The tech apologized that he couldn’t install a Canadian firmware because one doesn’t exist; his compromise was to install the U.K. version, which was fine with me.

While I was there, I decided to up for a local SIM card; I’ve written a detailed guide to using a Sonofon prepaid SIM in the Rukapedia for anyone else who might want to go down the same path.

The only stumble this morning: I got really, really confused when I understood the Danish word øre to mean “euro”. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how Danes could withstand mobile telephone rates of 80 EUR/minute. Øre, as it turns out, is what the Danish kroner is divided into 100 of — think “cents.”

As to the bike ride, I again experienced that sort of transcendental feeling I got last year when I rode in Copenhagen for the first time. There’s something so life affirming about being in a community of bicycle riders in a city that’s specifically tailored for your needs (bike lanes everywhere, special bike traffic lights, etc.). My only biking challenge was to get coordinated with the new (to me) combination of hand brakes and “back pedal to brake” bike I’m borrowing; the main pinch point is at intersections where, because you can’t back-pedal, you need to made sure the pedal is in a “take off” position when the light turns green.


marian's picture
marian on May 31, 2006 - 14:42 Permalink

The pedal brake type bicycle is also known as a coaster bike. You’re lucky. I wish I could find one of those.