Hi guys,

some of you might have been pondering my latest absence, so let me explain the issue. This blog was my little experimenting corner during my studies in Creative Writing and Film Studies. Over the three years, I learned many things through blogging and shared my experiences as Nahno McLein - the anagram made with my real name.

Last year, I successfully finished my degree and ever since I wanted to move this blog to my new website. Setting up the new blog took quite some time as I was dealing with other career changes. However, there is some good news - the blog is up and running, ready to be read and filled with posts about writing, editing and e-publishing.

Partly through this blog and through my three year course, I realised where I want to set a focus in my life. Film studies were fun, but not what I want from life. Writing will always be a big part, but I decided to specialize in digital publishing, e-learning and other new advances in the writing world. At the same time, I started working in linguistics, deepening the base for my editing and proofreading work. This will also prompt some posts, for sure.

Now, if you are curious and want to see what I am doing these days - follow me to nicolehmann.com

As Buchbesprechung brought to my attention, some authors have pondered what would be if Twilight had been written by a skilled and famous author. Find some great ideas on Lizzie Starks Blog.

Here is my go:
Goethe a la The Sorrows of Young Werther:

Edward is in love with Lady Bella, who is married to the noble man Jacob. Jacob is often out of town with his “wolfpack”, that’s how Edwards secretly calls them, because they are all way to proud of their royal blood. In the meantime Edward accompanies Bella throughout most of the day.

They spend their time reading books and playing with Bella’s daughter Ellesmera, who is a very smart little girl. When Edward is at home, he ponders a lot about the “other” family, how he wishes Ellesmera was his child, how he wants to dive his lips into Bella’s bosom and how he pictures himself as a much better father than the dull Jacob.

Secretly, Bella has feelings for Edward too, but there is no way she could leave the house of Jacob, especially since they have a daughter together. She covers her sorrow with fake laughs but unfortunately it also results in her absence from social events, so that she becomes somewhat of an outsider.

Edward spends more and more time in his little study from where he can look into Bella’s house, particularly the upper window where Bella’s bedroom lies. He fantasizes more and more, writing down every single thought into his diary, every little detail of Bella and their experiences together. He starts to think he is the only one that can how beautuiful she is, what qualities she really possesses, which makes him somewhat of an ubermensch in his own eyes. The loneliness finally drives him crazy and he has flashes of drinking Bella’s blood. He becomes so afraid of hurting her that he kills himself, leaving a poem for Bella which ends in:

“no longer do I request your love,
will look down on your from above
and whisper to your ear,
with every leaf that’s near.”

So my smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S2 has proven its power to me over the last few weeks and mastered difficult times as in Christmas and New Years, where I travelled a lot and interacted with friends more than usual.

So here is my conclusion:
Objectively seen, I'm completely amazed. Subjectively, I don't know how I could live without a smartphone.
The S2 has been my daily companion since day one and after learning the language for the device, I learned what it was capable of - and vice versa where it lacked a bit. The camera as shown in my last post has fascinated me and I've been using it wherever I can. However, it depends largely on the light source whether pictures turn out well. On the other hand, for New Years and Christmas market lights, I used the scene feature and it was quite stunning.

The display is more than I wished for. My photographer friend gave me some high-class pictures (I used the phone as a USB-device and it's working smoothly) and even she was surprised by how clear and bright the photos looked. On the plane back to Germany I watched a film, which was never really comfortable on my old Nokia N96. Now it's pure pleasure and would even work without headphones. I didn't think the speakers would be that great - but then I guess I don't have really high expectations for sound. The headphones were quite long, which I love, and the sound is great as far as I can tell.

Internet works perfectly. Only downside are trains but even there it worked better than my friend's older Samsung phone. I used Google Maps and GPS a lot to find my way around in London and also used the internet for tube directions - have never found it easier to travel. I don't have to look up plans before my trip anymore.

Battery - my one and only criticism - relatively seen. It lasts for a day in heavy use, however, on trips when I take lots of pictures, it runs out quicker. That's a bit annoying. However, other smartphones don't seem to do much better here and considering that the smartphone is a small laptop, I can live with that. I just need to remember to charge it in between or buy a new battery for those rare occasions on trips where I might want to use it as Ipod and camera all day.

Organizing skills. It took me a while to snychronize the S2 with facebook and have my events show up in the calendar (but only the one's I said yes too). Other than that I love using my calendar and have the most important ones per day show up on my widget. I also finally got Skype and Twitter working - I guess I made some installing mistakes at the beginning. All in all I'm really happy about the Android market for apps. Everything I need and more.

I even used the phone to read e-books and it's fantastic. Never had to wait for anything to happen. Well, Samsung Kies is not really working on my computer but I didn't have problems using the Kies Air function instead (or mostly just USB - it's faster anyway).

I can honestly say I'm happy with my choice. Today I read about the Android 4.0 version coming out for the Galaxy S2 soon. We'll see how that's like.

I'm utterly impressed by the camera quality. I knew it would be good, but it's so much better than my old Carl Zeiss lens from Nokia. I'm gonna have a lot of fun with this. And the best, viewing the picture now is the easiest in the world and really quick. I love this smartphone, truly do.

Smartphone, Android, Touchscreen, Internet - for someone who has never owned any of these on a phone, this is a quite scary and exciting adventure.

First I had to get internet, I can't use my old simcard with it. Then I charged the phone. When I bought the small package, elegant black box with silver sweeping letters, I was surprised and amazed. It's so small for such a huge device - huge as in lots of features.

I was even more surprised when I opened it. The phone was almost as big as the box but it was so thin and light. First I was afraid to hold it. Even though I had seen it in the shop, owning it is a different experience.
The clear charging light battery already amazed me, it was so bright. When it was finally full (barely took a few hours, wow) and I had my new Internet Sim-card from Vodafone, I opened the back. Quite easy and against other comments the back is very robust. Putting in the Sim-card was easy, too, didn't even have to take out the battery. Closing worked great. The hooks clicked with a nice firm grip and in the end the back is very smooth.

Now turning it on. OMG. Nice first opening screen, wonderful graphics. Then there is my screen. It looks so awesome. I had seen HTCs and Iphones but this was just amazing. And such a big screen. I did the jeans pocket test and works perfectly.

Then I tried to make a call. Working with the keys needs some work, yes, but it was better and easier than I thought. (better than on my Ipod touch). But then I pressed the wrong button and the call menu was gone.

But I was still on the line of the service center. I freaked a bit, tried to get back to where I can end the call. I usually consider myself a computer, technology etc geek, a small one, but the smartphone first impression literally took my breath away. I finally realized how to get back to the call menu by swiping down the top where there was a red phone sign.

This really is a device for the future. I'm looking forward to exploring it in detail.

In my last post I compared prices online. There are two online shops that offer the Galaxy SII for 399€; Amazon and a few others are 20 € more expensive but don't have shipping costs.

Amazon is the only online retailer that I really trust. Only once did I buy a laptop with T-online. Buying my flatscreen with Amazon was a huge decision but when prices are hundreds of Euro cheaper, you just have to give in. Usually I prefer to go to shops and wait for offers. A huge problem for me is that I'm only in Berlin for a short time, so I can't wait too long for shipping.

When looking back on Amazon, the price is at 465€ and only other partner firms sell it for 419€ there. This rules out Amazon for me - and due to lack of trust online retailers in general.

My subjective and biased view on shops: I can pick up the product right away, no waiting. I get service when buying but most importantly when something is wrong - bringing the device back and receiving a new one takes only minutes. In case there is a hardware problem later in my 2-year warrenty time, they take care of all the hassle with sending, repairing etc.

For me this is worth paying a few Euro more, however, not extensively more. When being so close to the buying experience. I really need to be careful not to rush into the shop and just buy anything only to own it.

Luckily, I found the cheapest offer today at my Media Markt in Berlin. 399€! I really didn't expect that. Cheaper than online retailers! Perfect. So I stood there in the market, thought about it, well, and after this whole process, I'm sure, I want it, I got it. I own a Samsung Galaxy SII now. Amazing.

The service was great, they offered me some insurance which I declined and they already had all my details saved because I shopped there before. The seller was friendly and I enjoyed having a quick chat while getting the phone. And the best: In the shop I was also able to buy some extras. A silicon case for example. I think I will also look into screen covers online.

Today is full of suprises: The box in which the Galaxy S2 came was tiny. My old phones always had boxes about three times the size. Anyway, it's all too exciting. I will unpack it now and see what it's like.

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