Monday, December 29, 2008


I normally post to this blog either via the desktop Blogger application when I'm at home, or previously when out and about by email. The problem with using email (any email application from a mobile) I've found, is that is doesn't handle text formating very well. The post looks great in the email app (and I've used Versamail and Snappermail on the Palm platform and the Windows app on the Win Mob platform), but when posted theere are odd line breaks which make the posts look tatty.

Anyway, Murray at Palm-Mac told me he uses iBlogger from illuminex so I thought I'd give it a try.

Downloading was the usual cinch from the App Store, after committing to pay a whopping 59 pence. The app itself is easy to use,m as are most iPhone apps, and all it took was for me to enter my username and password after selecting my Blog platform. All the usual platforms are supported, so if you have a blog, chances are you could use iBlogger if you have an iPhone.

The only downside, and I am frsutrated by this, is that for the Blogger platform that I uses, iBlogger does not yet provide the ability to upload pictures/photos. I can live with this, and the blurb in the App Store does say a future version will support uploading of pictures to Blogger, so fingers crossed this actually happens.

All in all though, a decent app I think.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Cat Update

You'll recall the little blighter pulled a claw Christmas Eve morning and I had to take him to the vet whereupon an operation and 150 big ones lighter he emerged with a bandaged foot and a lampshade collar.

Well, he's much better now. He could still reach his foot with his collar, and after the nurse took his dressing off yesterday, today we've dispensed with the collar as a) he doesn't like it, b) he kept hitting and walking into things all the time and couldn't get anywhere he wanted to, c) he couldn't eat properly with it and d) he's not really interested in his foot anyway. All he wants to do is go out - and that's a no-no for another 8 days at least.

He is cute though isn't he?

Win ugly: City 1-0 Plymouth

A 1-0 win at Ninian Park aainst the Pilgrims lifts City to fourth spot after results around them went their way. This wasn't a classic, classy City performance though. It was a real dogged, ugly, and at times, dire performance from both teams, probably reflecting that this was their second match in three days.

City should have had a penalty early on, when Paul Parry was blatantly clipped in the penalty area, but referee Stuart Attwell (he of the phantom goal at Watford) ruled against City. Apart from that, I can't really recall anything good about the first half. Plymouth played a physical game, and the fact no cards were issued until late in the game was a real surprise.

It took until the 81st minute for Jay Bothroyd, who'd worked hard holding the ball up and being battered to fire City into the lead, and frankly, so poor were Plymouth that one goal was always going to be enough. Still, after the Reading 'keeper scoring to salvage a point for the Royals on Boxing Day in the 96th minute, hearts were in mouths when we conceded a corner in injury time and their 'keeper came up for it. We cleared it though, and Chopra, just about past their last defender on half way was cynically scythed down, and an instant and wholly deserved red card was the only justifiable outcome. That was pretty much it. If we can win when we play so poorly, maybe there's a glimmer of hope for us yet.

On another note, is that the last we see of Michael Chopra? His loan is now up, and with Sunderland losing and looking like they need goals, and rumour has it QPR putting in a bid for him, we may never see him in a City shirt again. Manager Dave Jones and Chairman Peter Ridsdale were making all the right noises in their programme notes about work going on to "resolve" the situation, but the bottom line is we may not have enough money to keep him here. I hope we do, but I'm not holding my breath.

City v Plymouth

Just loaded up iblogger whilst at Ninian Park after reading an email from Murray at Palm-Mac (how easy is this iPhone thingy!), so here's my first iblogger post. Result later.

New home for Palm-Mac

If you visit this site regularly, you'll probably have visited the Palm-Mac blog too, as it's one of my favourite reads and bookemarked in my favourite links on this blog.

My digital mucker Murray has now moved his blog, and you can now find Palm-Mac at the much more logical

Murray tends to focus on mobile gadget stuff (mostly iPhone, Palm with a bit of Mac thrown in for good measure) and Aberdeen football club, but occasionally strays into all sorts of other areas too. His posts are usually incisive, and sprinkled with a decent sense of humour too. Well worth bookmarking or adding to your RSS feeds. A jolly good read.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Any City fan would have probably taken a point away at second placed Reading today, and for 88 minutes it looked the three and a half thousand travelling faithful were going to get that point. Then, Michael Chopra (who else) playing in his last but one game for the club on his loan spell, popped up to give City the lead and it looked, like all three points.

However, deep, deep into injury time - five minutes in it appears, Reading's 'keeper of all people, put the ball into the net from a corner, and Reading saved their blushes.

I'm mortified that City having worked so hard, have yet again squandered a lead late in the game. This isn't the first time this season, and the frailty of their defence at times suggests it won't be the last. I wonder what manager Dave Jones will make of it. I'll bet there's not too many cheery faces in the away dressing room at the moment, and I'm personally getting fed up of saying "a point's a point" when it really should have been three.

The Christmas Meme

Saw this over at David's Palmblogging, so thought I'd do one for the Lentil!
(For Christmas Day)

  1. What is the first Present you opened today? Some "smellies" (from my stocking - we all still have stockings in our house!)
  2. What's the first Christmas song you have heard today? Oh Come all ye Faithful when we went to Church (I rarely go - Anne and the kids are regulars)
  3. Queen's Speech? Not for me
  4. Who's the first person you spoke to on the phone today? My sister-in-law. My Dad's staying over at my brother's for Christmas.
  5. Stockings? Oh yes - see above.
  6. Do you write thank you letters? No - all verbal as we see most people over the holiday period anyway
  7. Any Breakfast rituals? Vaguely. Breakfast is scrambled egg with smoked salmon, no-one into the living room to attack presents until breakfast done, washed up, turkey in etc.
  8. Any present opening rituals? Watch the kids diving in then ours
  9. Ever spent Christmas day on holiday? No
  10. Favourite ever Christmas number one. Can't recall if it was ever No. 1, but "Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day" by Wizzard has to be up there (D'oh!)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bedlam and the cat

Woke up this morning. A few hours in work I thought, home, feet up, let Christmas begin.

Then I walked into the kitchen and saw the blood all over the floor! The cat had managed to (almost) pulled a claw right out of his hind paw - you'll rmember he's only just back from the vet's a couple of weeks. So off I trundled again. The vet took one look and said "He needs an operation to sort that out".

Left him with vet, went to work, did very little.

Mid-day, vet calls, all ready. Waited until about 1:30pm, then went to pick him up. The vets is in the retail par in Cardiff Bay, and it was utter bedlam. The world and his wife (and most of their kids) were out doing lats minute shopping. Cars parked everywhere - complete mayhem. I just don't get it.
  1. Why leave your Christmas shopping that late?
  2. The damn shops are open again on Saturday, if not Boxing Day!
Anyway, picked up the cat, paid a lovely unexpected bill of £150. Bless him, he's all over the place, disoriented from the anaesthetic, and got one of those "lampshade" collars on he needs to keep on for about 10 days! He can't go out for that long either - he's a real outdoor cat, so this is going to be a seriously annoying time for him (and probably us!).

Anyway, that was my Christmas Eve. Last post now I promise, for oh, maybe a day. A beer cracked, and mince pies beckon.

Have a good one all. Miaow!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Palm memos to iPhone

I've just bought Appigo's "Notebook" fro the iPhone, ostensibly to get my Palm Memos into the iPhone.

Basically, after syncing my Palm with Outlook, I exported the memos (now Notes) as a CSV. I registered with Toodledo, imported the CSV and synced to the iPhone. A few minor tweaks to sort some formatting, but all the data's there. Painless and took less than 5 minutes. Notebook looks like a dceent app, though one of the more expensive at a whopping £2.99. A bargain if ever there was one.

Thanks to Trevor for a nudge towards Notebook

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year

Jingle bells and all that. Christmas comes but once a year, although this year's gone so fast I'd swear we've had two Christmases in the last twelve months...

Anyway, it's almost upon us, and though I've got to go to work tomorrow (Boo!) I doubt there'll actually be much work done, and all being well I'll get a reasonable early finish in.

Then it's a lovely break as I don't have to be back in until 5th January, and boy am I going to make the most of it!

I'm sure I'll get around to the odd post, but they'll probably be fewer and further between than usual, not that they're that frequent anyway!

So, I'd just like to take this opportunity to wish my reader a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. No seriously, both of you. Ha ha! No, everyone of course, and a special mention to a couple of people who I come into digital contact with a bit more often than others. Murray over at Palm-Mac, and David over at Palmblogging - hope you both have a good one, and take it easy come Hogmanay! And Shaun and the crew over at PDA247

And anyone else who happens to drop by.

I'm off for a mince pie and a sherry.....

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas cheer: City 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday

City gladdened the hearts of all their fans after taking all three points from the last game before Christmas in front of 17,600 at Ninian Park.

In truth, the first half was mediocre (again). City should have been at least one up at the break after Bothroyd hoisted a Rojer Johnson nod down high over the bar when he really should have scored. Other than that it was a half to forget - City not attheir best and Wednesday a poor looking side.

Once again Dave Jones must have had something put into the tea at half time, as in the second period City looked a different side. Four minutes in, Johnson had a shot deflected past a helpless 'keeper to put us one up. The Fanzine "The Thin Blue Line" I'd bought had been talking about how many penalties we'd had awarded against us this season, and that 15 was the most any club had gained in a season. We already had 12 to our name before Ledley was brought down in the box to make it 13, and Michael Chopra stepped up to convert from the spot. For about 10 minutes after that, we dominated and could have scored another two or three, but in the end, the two goals proved enough as we saw out the match to take the points.

A couple of other City points of note.

Firstly, we've bought our season tickets for next year. No really. Yes, it's only December, and we're only just half way through this season. But, the tickets for the new stadium went on sale last week, and if we commit to buying before January, we're guaranteed to get the the tickets for the 2010/11 season at 2009/10 prices - irrespective of which division we're in. As we're pushing for the Premiership (no, we really are), and Min0Stats ticket is only £49 as he's under 16, and mine's just over £300, that seems like an absolute bargain - unless of course we were to be relegated two seasons running and we'd be playing in League Two!!

Secondly, although things are looking bright just now and we're in fifth spot, Michael Chopra's loan spell comes to an end at the end of December, Wayne Routledge's in January, and Joe Ledley, our "Crown Jewel" could well be sold to a Premiership side in Januray. If we don't hang on to that lot, or can't replace them with quality players we could be in trouble. Let's hope not.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


The default iPhone notes application is pretty basic, so I've been looking around the App Store for a suitable alternative. And for the moment I might have found one.

YouNote is a free app, so you lose nothing by giving it a go.

You can record several different types of note. The bog standard text note using the on screen keyboard, a photo note ( is a photo as a note with some supporting text, a freehand note using your finger to draw -a bit like Diddlebug on Palm, and a note takes a screenshot of a web page and basically acts as a links back to it.

There's a couple of ways to view your notes on screen too.

Finally, you can back up your notes to your desktop. This seems a bit convoluted because it's an over the air sync via wifi not via iTunes. You don't get an actual straight copy of your notes on your desktop, but a zip file containing your notes as image files. Not perfect I suppose but it is a backup and not a working copy of your notes.

It's certainly got a bit more about it than the standard note app, and I feel has got some potential. Worth a try.

Via my iPhone

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

DVD Catalyst

Although I wasn't an avid watcher of movies on my Palm devices - probably because of the screen size, I did occasionally pass some time watching a movie or two. I use DVD Catalyst to rip my DVDs, which costs around $20 at the moment.

It's fairly easy to use, and although not the quickest, does the job, and neatly, has the ability to rip to a multitude of formats, the iPhone included,

Stupidly, I'd not backed up my Catalyst install file, and ended up downloading a trial before I realised I hadn't got my original install file or a copy of my purchase email.

I emailed Catalyst support last Sunday afternoon, and by 10.30pm UK time had got a response with a link to the right download, and confirming that they'd found my original purchase info based on my email. Superb. I emailed back to say thanks, and got another email saying "no problem and "Happy Holidays". Great customer service.

Anyway, all installed fine, and as a tester for my iPhone I ripped Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith - a bit of a SW fan I'm afraid, ever since seeing the original SW about 10 times in the cinema back in '77.

Worked a treat. Some pixellation in brighter action scenes, but I'm not going to argue the toss about that. For me, to pass a while now and then, it does the job nicely.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Photogene for iPhone

OK, the Apple iPhone's camera is not the best on a mobile device in the world. Not by a long way. But it's there, and for taking occasional snaps it'll suffice. After coming from the Treo and Centro devices from Palm, the iPhone camera is pretty good believe me!

But, it has it's drawbacks. The camera functions are limited, and the snaps will not be that great.

However, I've recently splashed out a whopping £1.79 on an application from the App Store called Photogene and I have to say, for less than two quid it's a steal.

Basically, it allows you to retouch your photos on the go. It offers a number of basic but servicable tools which are:

  • Crop
  • Rotate
  • Sharpen
  • Brightness/contrast levels (histogram)
  • Colour alteration - temperature and saturation
  • Effect - B&W, Infrared and some horrible bright colour thing
  • Add symbols (like speech bubbles type of thing)
  • Border and background
  • Undo and redo
  • Reset
It's not going to make a bad photo into a good photo, but it might make a poor photo into a servicable photo. I've only had it on my iPhone 15 minutes, and I think it's worth every one of the 179 pennies I paid for it.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tractor Boys rolled over: Ipswich 1-2 City

City return from east Anglia having bagged all three points against the Tractor Boys. Goals from Jay Bothroyd and a first for Hungarian central defender Gabor Gyepes were enough to counter Jon Stead's solitary strike for the Ipswich outfit.

This is a good win for City away from home, in what's traditionally been a tough fixture for them. A great early Christmas present for Dave Jones and the team.

Up the City!

PDA Thoughts needs a Phone

Luca, one of my regular blog stop-offs over at PDA Thoughts has come to the conclusion his pocket pc phone just doesn't cut it any more.

Interestingly, this is a view that's becoming more apparent amongst some smartphone users types (me, Murray over at Palm -Mac and now Luca to name just three - ok, it's not scientific is it?) who find the hassle of Win Mob jsut too much bother.

As Luca put's it:

"....I have not installed new software, let alone tweaked something. The only thing that I do know is that I’m fed up with this situation where you have to do all kinds of stuff just to get things working. If you experience the “It just works” feeling (he's an iPhone user too BTW), then it’s very hard to accept anything less I’m afraid. What will happen with the TyTN 2 is still a question, but don’t expect it to linger around much longer…"

Thursday, December 11, 2008


The Mondeo is in for a major service tomorrow. That's fairly bad planning on my part a couple of weeks before Christmas, but it needs to be done. And whilst that's happening, I'll be spending what's left of my money doing my final bits of Christmas shopping. Got a day off on my own tomorrow. Can take my time, take it easy and make sure I get everything sorted.


The iPhone makes a great gaming device. With it's accelerometer, you can use the device itself to "steer" in games like Cro-Mag Rally, a game that shows off the capabilitiies of the iPhone very well.

Unfortunately, it also shows off another side of the iPhone - that it's essentially a computer, and prone to crash from time to time. Neat though Cro-Mag is as a game, every time I've run it, my iPhone has decided to lock up. Quite why this is the case I'm unsure at the moment, which is a shame, because it shows a real "wow" factor to the device.

iPhone Wish List

There are some things that the iPhone isn't good at, or functionality that it doesn't have. Cut and paste for one. Well, here's an interesting web site, where those "wish lists" of things we'd like our device to have is recorded, and you can add your vote. Whether Apple actually takes any notice of things like this is another matter, but hey, it might help.

There are for example, 40,357 votes for MMS functionality, down to 1 vote for a Page up/down button for long documents. Add you vote now, and don't say democracy doesn't exist!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Has he just worked this out?

Our esteemed Chancellor of the Purse Strings, according to this BBC story says the UK economy is likely to enter a recession. Excuse me, but where has he been hiding lately if he's just worked this out?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Old boy stops the win: Burnely 2-2 City

It was inevitable I suppose. We finally got rid of Steve Thompson because he could score a goal, he goes to Burnley and when we play them he gets on the scoresheet!

Can't tell you much about the game, I was only getting SMS updates. Burnley went ahead in the first half, and Jay Bothroyd equalised for the Bluebirds before the break. Straight after the turnaround, City went 2-1 up through Wayne Routledge, who's fast becoming a City legend in his short loan spell, before old boy Thommo made sure the points were shared with a 76th minute equaliser.


Up the City!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Palm 247 gets a revamp

I'm a long time visitor and occasional contributor to what was the Palm 247 site run by the venerable Shaun McGill. This site also had sections for Win Mob and Symbian and has been gradually evolving over the years. This weeks it's had a revamp as Shaun has relaunched it as PDA247, with specific sections for Palm, iPhone, Win Mob, Blackberry and Symbian to reflect the widening smartphone/PDA base out there in the real world.

A huge amount of effort goes into making this site one of the number one smartphone/mobile device sites out there (in my humble opinion), and it's well worth bookmarking and subscribing to the RSS feeds. It's a very friendly site. Lot's of regular contributors across a wide range of platforms, but always welcoming to "newbies". Highly recommended.

iPhone cases and alarms

One of the things that's struck me about the iPhone apart from how easily it picks up fingerprints (funny - it never bothered me on the Centro) is that it's quite a slippery device.

Lovely though the iPhone is, it's not a natural shape for the hand, and I've been petrified ever since I've had it about dropping it. My Centro also gradually picked up a scuff mark on the back where it used to lay on a surface, and I don't want the same to happen with the iPhone.

Generally I shun cases for devices. They are either to fiddly, bulky when you need frequent access and I've just never got on with them. If I had a Nokia I wouldn't have a case, so why have one with anything else?

Nevertheless, there are few rubber "skin" type cases for the iPhone, and I found one like the one pictured here on Amazon for just a couple of pounds, so I thought I'd give it a go.

As usual for Amazon it arrived promptly with no-fuss (along with a screen protector which I discarded straight away because it was crap and I don't like screen protectors, and the iPhone screen is supposedly scratch resistant anyway).

It's basically a back only case which slips onto the iPhone with no fuss and adds only minimal girth to the device. It has holes for the connector, mute switch, camera and earphone jack, but none for the volume and on-off switch. However, both of these switches work perfectly well through the case. The cut out holes fit perfectly.

Immediately this case gives the iPhone more "grip" and it feels unlikely to slip from my grasp. Equally I can put it down on any surface knowing I'm not going scratch the back of it. I'm quite impressed considering the cheap price.

The only downside I've found so far, is the "grippiness" makes it a bugger to get in and out of a pocket, so I may use the case selectively, depending on what I'm doing. It's so easy to put on and off, it's hardly going to be a problem doing this. Whether I persist or eventually succumb to my preferred "naked device" approach, we'll have to wait and see.

The other thing that I've found (it's taken me over a week!) is the alarm clock. One of the things that's been bugging me is the lack of a task manager/todo. All the todo's I've seen tend to be list type todo's with the ability (sometimes) to put a due date, but not a due time in (there may be something like this, but I haven't found it yet).

All I want to be able to do (pardon the pun) is put something into the device along the lines of "Pick up kids" with an alert at 6pm type of thing. Well, the alarm clock function fits the bill perfectly (almost).You can create multiple alarms, and importantly give them a custom name as well as an alert time. So almost perfect, except you can't put a future date in - the alarm has to be set in hours and minutes. You can set it to repeat any day of the week (or a combination of days) so there is a partial workaround. For the moment, until I can find a decent task/to do list manager, it'll do for me.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Winter warmer: City 2 - 0 Preston

Preston started this match in 6th spot, one place above City. None of the early exchanges suggested this was a Championship top 6 display, as the first half looked more playground kick and run. City looked the better side (slightly), but still persisted in hoofing the ball forward. McCormack limped off with what looked like a recurrence of his recent hamstring, and Chopra, who was ill yesterday came off the bench. Preston should have been down to 10 midway through the first period, after their 'keeper scuffed a clearance, fell over and Wayne Routledge had only to shoot into an empty net, but was hauled back by a defender. Referee Andy D'Urso saw fit only to issue a yellow. City went ahead just before the break as the excellent Routeldge delivered a pin point cross that Roger Johnson nodded home.

Dave Jomes must have said something worthwhile at half time, as City looked a different class after the break. All players suddenly looked confident, and the passing became better and better. Parry who'd looked lacklustre, was beating his defender for fun, Bothroyd worked hard and won a penalty after charging into their box which Chopra converted easily. Routledge continued where he'd left off in the first half, and although Johnson got the MoM, I thought Routledge deserved it - he was outstanding. City then saw out the rest of the match pretty comfortably, moving up to 5th spot. Every player deserves praise for the way they went about their business today.

Up the City!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Yikes it's been busy. So busy I've haven't blogged since Sunday or Twittered today. On Monday it was busy, busy, busy in work, then home, tea and out to see Rob Brydon (pictured) at the Wales Millenium Centre in Cardiff. Very funny man - and, for those "Gavin & Stacey" fans amongst you (if not, why not?), a surprise appearance by "Nessa" (Ruth Jones) atthe end. Brilliant.

Tuesday was busy, busy, busy in work, then home, tea and out for my first meeting as Cricket Club Chairman. Big agenda, but I think it went OK

Today, up with the lark - well 7:15 for a cuppa, and then out Chrimbo shopping with my other (and better) half. My job was to carry the bags. In fairness, we didn't go overboard, and were done by lunchtime - only because she'd already done most of it herself! Nice lunch out, then home for a sleep (I know, I know - I was knackered). This afternoon once I woke up I've been following up some stuff from the cricket meeting (just like being in work really), and now it's almost tea time, and then I'm off out for our latest skittles match. Blimey it's all go.

In between of course I've been fiddling with the iPhone. Couple of things.
Firstly, thr ringtones that come with the iPhone are frankly, well, crap. No really crap. So I;ve been following the tutorial in a message thread here to get some decent stuff on, and it's a cinch. works really well.

The other thing that's happened, is that some of my applications I've added to the device have been failing to open. You click the icon, it opens the app (or looks like it's going to) and then reverts to the home screen. A quick google has suggested that this can happen to apps that are downloaded straight tothe phone, rather than via iTunes. The solution is to ensure they'r in iTunes, delete them from your device and then re-sync. Seems to have fixed my problem, but annolyingly of course you have to set up everything in the app again. C'est la vie.

the other thing that's happened is I've set the device to sync via Exchange to keep my work/iPhone calendar all neat and tidy and in once place. Couldn't believe how easy it was to set this up. I won't leave this on all the time as it'll probably drain the battery quicker, and an occasional sync with my work PC is all that's required. As an aside I haven't set it up to push my work email - that stays at work!!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

All square: Jacks 2-2 City

So, all square at the Liberty stadium after an early morning kick-off. City at least turned up to this game, after the dismal effort in the Carling Cup a few weeks ago.

The Swans looked good in the opening 15 minutes and went ahead through a blatantly offside goal after 18 minutes. City slowly got into the game, which was a typically fierce local derby. Joe Ledley equalised with a cracking shot just on half time that their 'keeper could only half parry into the net.

Just after the break, the ref gave City a penalty for what seemed a fairly innocuous challenge on Chopra, and Ross McCormack duly slotted to give City the advantage.

Then disaster struck as Stephen McPhail, captain for the day in Purse's absence, and already yellow carded, kicked the ball away at a throw in and rightly got a second yellow and the inevitable red. OK, it was a heated and tense derby match, but "yikes" to use a Murray term - you just don't do something that stupid when you're already on a yellow. He's bad enough just passing sideways and backwards anyway, but maybe Jones will now realise he's also stupid - he was also sent of in the Carling Cup match against the Jacks if you remember. Who says lightning doesn't strike twice?

The Jacks then turned the screw, and only resolute defence from City, for who Enckleman between the sticks was in form kept the Swans out in a wave after wave series of attacks.

Then just before the end, Britton, for the Jacks got red carded for a second bookable offence, and in the dying minutes with 10 aside, City looked the more dominant.

After being down to 10 for so long, the Swans will see this as two points lost. I was hopeful before the game, but will take a point on the road any day.

Up the City!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

iPhone update

Posts have been a bit tardy this week, for which I apologise. It's been a very busy week - I've been up to London twice, and when I haven't been in London, it's been skittles or football at City - I've hardly been able to draw breath.

And in the midst of all that, my Christmas present has arrived! Ok, so it's not Christmas now, but we weren't thinking about that hen we ordered it, and before the darn thing arrived, I'd had an email telling me what my first bill was going to be next week! As I'm already paying for the contract, and it would be a rush to have ordered it later, and no end of people will be trying to activate iPhones on the big day, it made sense to open the box straight away......well that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

In addition, I'd made arrangements with T-Mobile and O2 to get my number ported using a PAC code. In a way I'm sorry to be leaving T-Mob. I've been with them for years, and they've been good value and (mainly) faultess in their customer support. But they don't carry the iPhone - O2 do.

And I have to say it's been a pleasure dealing with them. The online ordering was faultless, as was getting my number transferred, which happened exactly as predicted. O2's online "my account" thingy is I think a tad clearer and more professional looking that T-Mob, but that's a subjective opnion.

Anyway, never mind all that....what about the phone?

Well, it is of course early days, but I have to say I'm already smitten. Leaving Palm is a wrench after so many years, and I'll hang onto the Centro as a backup. But compared to the Palm OS, the iPhone's OS is fantastic. It's easy, intuitive, clear, bright, colourful and responsive.

I'd worried about the on-screen keyboard, being a big fan of the Treo and Centro front mounted hardware keyboard. But the iPhone's just takes agetting used to. It's different, certainly, but very uable. I'm already up to using two thumbs to type with, and I don't think I'm making any more errors than I did on the Centro's small spaced 'pad. The auto correct feature works well for me too.

Having so much network connectivity on a device is new for me too. Used to plain old GPRS, I now have Edge, wifi and 3G. The latter does tend to eat battery, but is relatively quick when out and about, and it's easy to turn off and on. I've alreadu signed up to the free Cloud/BT Openzone wifi that comes with the contract when in a train station yesterday. The wifi is set up once then just detecs in future. Don't have to do anything.

Applications are clear and easy to use. I've already added Twitterific for my Twittering, and Newstand for my RSS feeds (thanks Murray). I've stashed a load of albums on there as well.

Safari appears to be a decent browser - after Blazer that's not hard (!) but it really is good, and the ability to zoom in and out and switch to landscape just by turning the device is superb.

I'm very, very impressed and loving it to bits. There'll no doubt be some more soon, but I'm off for another play!

A big thanks to Murray over at Palm-Mac for some hints and tips and pointers to a couple of apps. Nice one mate!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I've succumbed to Apple

Yes I've got an iPhone. Actually it's a very early Christmas pressie,
but you've got to get it set up haven't you?

So far first impressions are staggering. So easy to use, I'm already
getting quite quick on the on-screen keyboard and the quality of the
display is superb.

Safari over 3G after Blazer on Palm PS is every bit as good as I'd

It's amazing. Sorry as I am to be deserting Palm, I feel that I've
moved up another level - or two...

More later

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A game of two halves: City 2-2 Reading

This was a real game of two halves. City started on fire running Reading ragged with pace, with Chopra, McCormack and Bothroyd all starting. They ram angles, got the ball wide, played it on the floor and Reading couldn't keep up. The opening goal was inevitable, Routledge latching on to a great through ball and finishing superbly

Redaing struck back, City getting done by a fast break from our own corner kick for the second time in 3 matches. Them one of the central defenders felled Chopra with an elbow and it was down to 10 men for them.

City went in front again when Chopra was bundled over by 'keeper and defender, McCormack's shot having enough to beat the keepeer who got to it.

Half time, City 2-1 up and the opposition down to 10 men. Looking good.

Second half, City were a shambles. in 45 minutes. The conced after 5 minutes of the second half through shocking defending and I don't think we got a shot on target in the entire half. We gave the ball away aimlessly, and did everything as badly as we'd done well in the first 45. Dave Jones will not be a happy man, and the team were booed off at the end for their inability to kill off a game we should have had the ability and desire to see out.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Up the Dinas!

Played indoor cricket again today - our club, Dinas Powys plays in a league at the National Indoor Cricket Centre in Cardiff, part of the Swalec Stadium, Glamorgan's home ground (formerly Sophia Gardens).

We managed to win, and I did ok - bowled my two overs for 7 runs (no mean feat to go for that few in indoor cricket, and then helped knock off the 84 we needed for victory with an unbeaten 15 or so with the bat. Very satisfying, and proves there's life in the lod dog yet. My knee, wasn't very happy about it though. Don't tell my orthopeadic consultant!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Plymouth 2-1 City

Poor defending just before half time enabled Plymouth to score 2 goals in a couple of minutes that effectively sealed this match. Although Chopra got one back in the second period, and City generally played better after the break, they never looked like dominating this game, and frankly were well off the top of their game.

Wayne Routledge making his loan debut looked good, and you can immediately tell that he's got enough quality to be a Premiership player - as does Chopra, but elsewhere we just looked ordinary.

The early defending was awful - we could have been 2 or 3 dwon inside the first 10 minutes, and that's surely something Dave Jones will need tolook at. We seem to have reverted back to the pass sideways then backwards then hump it up the field sort of football.

Reading at home on Tuesday evening. We'll have to improve if we're going to get anything out of that one.

Still no T-Mobile

Still can't access my T-Mobile account via the web site. Apparently the techies are still working very hard. Two and a half days now (at least) Grrr....

Ashes to Ashes

Mini-Stats is having a 1 to 1 coaching session at the National Indoor Cricket Centre, Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.
I thought therefore, whilst I'm here I'd post some piccies of the ground where the first Ashes Test between England & Australia will be played next year.
As you can see, there 'aint much grass on it at the moment! I also hope the weather will be warmer and drier next summer tha nit is at the moment too!!!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008


Some things really annoy me. No really annoy me.

I've been trying to log into my account on T-Mobile Uk for 2 days, and all I get is an annoying message saying, and I quote:

Sorry, but My T-Mobile is offline at the moment. Our techies are working really hard to sort this out, so please try again in an hour or so..

Well they've got that wrong. Never mind an hour or so, I've been trying for 2 days! And as for "Our techies working really hard", bless their cotton socks, they're obviously not working hard enough.

Actually, all I want to do is check my bills to make confirm that I'm actually getting a better deal than I could with the iPhone on O2....are the cracks starting to show?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


No, don't panic. I haven't got one.

In London today and had a bit of time to kill so wandered into a Carphone Warehouse on Oxford St to play with an iPhone. I've never seen one close up before, and certainly never played with one.

I have to say I was jolly impressed. It felt a bit big and uncomfortable in the hand after the Centro, but that might have been compounded by the fact it was locked to the bench with a huge lump of plastic at the end of a long wire, and I'm sure you'd get used to it once the shackles were off.

Navigating it was a dream, the screen was bright and clear and through the wifi connection you could see how quickly and neatly stuff like mapping worked.

I was particualrly interested to test out the on-screen keyboard. Clearly in this type (sic) of situation I couldn't get close to being comfortable with it, and made loads of errros, but again, I think that would pass with time. My fingers aren't too big, so that would help. Not entirely sure about the lack of tactile feedback though - iPhone users may like to let me know how they fare. Most of my text entry is short emails and SMS messages.

Safari was great - makes you realise BIG time what you haven't got on the Palm.

I think the thing that made the most impression with me was just the overall clarity about the various screens, and the extra real estate over any device I've previously owes also plays a part here, but it was the clarity rather than the size that hit me.

I'm very impressed.

Inevitably fairly soon a bored looked chap cam up and asked me if I needed any help. I said "Not unless you can get me extra minutes on the basic tariff", and he just shrugged and walked away...well not quite, but he didn't even try to "sell" it to me. And he did walk away.

Oh well. Either I'll come into some money and go for the £35pm package, cause I think 75 mins for the £30pm one is pants, or I'll just lust from afar.

I also crossed the road into the T-Mobile shop to look at a G1. Sadly, neither of the models (a white one and a black one) seemed to be working. Still not keen on the form factor. I don't like the "chin", and I've decided as far as keyboards go it's got to be front facing or on-screen - none of this slide out rubbish.

I also though the white one looked like it was made of very cheap plastic (let's face it, most phone are made of cheap plastic, but some just looks cheaper than others). The black unit looked much better on the eye, but I appreciate that's a wholly subjective view. Either way, it didn't look like it could hold a candle to the iPhone, though without seeing it working that's also a subjective statement. And the salesperson was even less interested in me than the Carphone Warehouse one had been when I told them I already had a monthly T-Mob contract.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I don't like cricket - I love it...

Well I've managed to get myself elected Chairman of my cricket club. I can't say I had a burning desire to do it, but there was no one else standing, someone's got to do it, and I think I can do a job.

There will be the inevitable club politicking and back-biting I'd guess, though in the main it's a friendly club, and it'll mean some additional committment, especially during the summer months - what with running the club website (, coaching the U15's it wasn't as though I didn't have enough to do.....there we go.

Christmas lists

More Christmas shopping tonight, though to be fair we didn't do that much. Coming along - not too many gaps on the family list now, but haven't really started on the kids yet!

I'm still not sure what I want. Must be my age. I quite fancy a "Seasick Steve" album. Heard quite a few of his songs this year and I have to say I like them, but it is an acquired taste.

I'd "like" an iPhone, but that's wishful thinking, because I don't want an O2 £30 pm contract - and they're pricey anway. It'll come down in time. That's what I keep telling myself anyway!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Eagles shot down. City 2-1 Palace

This was a tale of 4 penalty decisions. After 30 minutes Chopra cut into the penalty area, and stumbled under a challenge. No-one appeared to think it was a penalty except the ref. Still, we don't mind. Chops stepped up and swept the ball home for a 1-0 lead. Then twice more in the first half, City had good penalty shouts turned down for handball - clear as daylight from where we were sat behind the goal, but the ref waved them away.

And finally, in injury time, after Palace had equalised before half time, and Ledley had put City 2-1 up on 53 minutes, Eddie Johnson was brought down by the last defender when in on goal. The defender saw red, and Chopra saw his shot saved by their 'keeper.

All in all, a satisfying day in that we won all three points, although to be honest it wasn't a classic by a long way, and Palace may feel hard done by. Everyone's man of the match it seems, the fans, the sponsors and me, was the returning Prodigal son, Michael Chopra. They say, a player should never go back, once he's left a club. Well he is back, and we reckon that's a great thing. The only question is for how long....

Up the City!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Spam, spam, spam

Interesting article over at BBC Technology today about the closure of a host provider which has reckoned to reduce the amount of spam (where?) by about 70% - though it's not all good news...they reckon it won't be long before the spammers just move elsewhere.

Interestingly the amount of spam I get has reduced remarkably recently. My braodband supplier is Pipex (I know, I know....) now owned by Tiscali, and since Tiscali took them over the service is much worse. I've been threatening to move for ages, but that's another story.

Anyway, some time ago - a year or so back, I emailed Pipex ranting about the lack of a spam filetr on their services, and they fobbed me off with the usual rubbish saying it was too many technical issues or they just couldn't be arsed. About 3 weeks ago I was browsing the forums at thinkbroadband sad git that I am, and I noticed that the Pipex Forum was referring to a "spam" filter. I duly logged on to Pipex, and lo and behold, there in my email configuration is a spam control checkbox. I checked it and saved - and got an error. Tried about 3 or 4 times andgot an error every time, cursed in frustration and logged out. But my spam count plummeted. I checked in a day or two later, and my spam control box was ticked (hooray) and was obviosuly working.

The amount of crap in my in-box - or rather on Pipex's servers before I check because for several years I've used the rather marvellous "Mailwasher Pro" as a client end spam checker, has reduced from anywhere upwards of 30-40 junk emails a day to no more than 1 or 2, and these are gnereally identified as spam anywayin Mailwasher, so easy to pick out.

I'm dead chuffed, and as spam feree as I've been since about 1998, but why didn't Pipex tell me this option was there?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Blackberries are for eating...

You know, sometimes we just get things into our heads that won't budge. RIM certainly appear to be targetting the more commercial market sector with their BlackBerry Storm - the photos on it's Storm web pages suggest a more chilled out type of phone - images of people playing guitars and so on, but I just can't think of a BB as anything other than an enterprise/business device - and bar the Pearl and Curve a fat one at that.

I know it's wrong. I haven't even held one or seen one up close for months (sort of tells you the sort of people I don't hang around with) even though they're issued to some people in my organisation, but if I was looking for a personal phone I'm pretty sure a BB wouldn't even come into the reckoning because of my perceptions about what sort of device it is. It's very ironic too because most people think my Centro is a BB.

So what does come into my reckoning?

Well, like Murray over at Palm -Mac, one of my regular reads and someone who I think has a very perceptive view of these things, I have come to the conclusion that I don't need an all singing, all dancing device. I certainly don't need Exchange compatibility. I prefer a front mounted keyboard, not because I want people to think I've got a BB, but because I've genuinely found the Treo 650, Treo 680 and Centro by far the most "usable" phones I've ever had.

I don't generally play music or watch videos on my dveice, though have both loaded "just in case".

I don't browse a lot, but that's because 1) the default Palm browser is crap, and 2) the Centro doesn't have wifi - GPRS is OK for RSS feeds, but you don't want to browse graphic intensive sites with a crap browser over GPRS.

Murray recently siad he wants email, a list app, Docs to Go and not much more, and actually, though I've got loads of apps stored on my Centro, that's about all I use too.

So what takes my fancy?

  • iPhone, but I can't get a decent (comparable) tariff to my current T-Mob contract
  • Google G1...maybe. Form factor is not my cup of tea
  • Nokias? Not keen on their smartphone design and not generally a fan of Symbian
  • (see above)
  • Sony Xperia - not at that price!
  • and so on....
Guess I'll be hanging on to the Centro for a does the job

Jingle Bells

Joy of joys, there's 42 days left until Christmas (I think), and No.1 son has just had his birthday, so that means Chrimbo shopping is on the agenda.

My good lady and I both come from large(ish) families - in the numerical sense rather than bodily design, and that can make the shopping a bit of a job. At the last count, with her side (parents, brothers, sisters, spouses and children) there are 19, and on my side 15 (be 16 next year!).

That's before you start chucking in aunties, uncles, close friends, kids friends, teachers etc and the inevitable "secret Santa" at work, and of course pressies for our kids and each other.

Anne's side of the family decided a couple of years ago that they'd have a £5 limit on gifts - not because they're skinflints, but because were (mostly) past the material "wanting" (I'm happy with a pair of socks) and also because of a recognition of Christmas being more about giving than receiving.

My family are going the same way - at least we've cut down from giving everyone in the immediate family a "main" present and a "tree" present - a tradition that started way back, for reasons that pre-dates my knowledge, even though the "tree" present was normally something very cheap.

The kids of course get spoilt rotten.

Anyhows, if we didn't break the back of it last night, we certainly made a start, and will have another go in a week or so.

What's on my list? Don't know really.....I'd like an iPhone (wouldn't we all?) but I can't get a deal as good as my T-Mobile one. The pay monthly starts at £30 for a measly 75mins....

The socks look a good bet...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Rainy days

I've been to Kettering today. Up at just after 6am. It's a 3 hours drive (3.15 with a very quick stop for a coffee) from Cardiff, and most of that was in conditions just like this picture. The weather was truly awful for travelling today.

I used my Centro and Tom Tom to navigate the last few miles, and it was 100%. What a great invention.

The journey home was worse. The rain wasn't too bad (until I hit South Wales where it was if anything even worse than this morning), but there had been an accident on the M42 and we sat for an hour going nowhere, so it was a 4 hour journey back. Almost seven and a half hours in the car today, and then, as soon as I was home, very quick bite to eat, and back down the the National Indoor Cricket Centre in Cardiff for the junior indoor league presentation (our U13's didn't win the league - but they did enjoy themselves) followed by Mini-Stats having a 90 minute training session there. Just got in now - 9:30. Busy old day.

Going to work for a rest tomorrow.

Not out

Well, we played out game of indoor cricket. Our opponents were the "Lahore Warriors", and sadly they were too good for us - but only just. They scored 94-5 in their 10 overs, and we ended up about 15 short - not bad for a team of 6 containing one old crock (me) and 2 U13 juniors!

My biggest contribution was taking a fierce catch about 5 yards from the bat that was hit VERY hard. My hand is still tingling now, 36 hours after - but it stuck!

Bowling was OK off 2 paces (dodgy knee). Batting is best forgotten - I did bat, and wasn't out, but I didn't lay a bat on too many!

Foolishly, I've decided to agree to play next Sunday too.