Saturday, March 29, 2008

City 1 - 0 Saints

I wasn't at the game today - a pleasure my wife endured as she had to take James as I'm laid up following my knee op.

I was restricted to listening to the game on the radio, and by all accounts apart from Paul Parry's early strike which gave us the points, I didn't miss much!

Still it's 3 more points and still and outside chance of the play offs. Next up West Brom at home on Tuesday.

C'mon you Blooobirds!
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Knee update

Knee update
Originally uploaded by statto1927

Here's a pic of the knee all bandaged up. The bandage comes off later today so I'll have a better idea about the size of the wound (nice)!

It was another pretty ropey night - not more than about 20 mins sleep at any time, for the second night running on top of a restless nervous night pre-op, so still very tired.

Doing my physio exercises regularly.

More later.
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Friday, March 28, 2008


Well I had surgery on my knee yesterday and came home today. I'm sitting in the consevatory with my foot up and stuffed to the brim with painkillers.

I'm on crutches for about 6 weeks - not allowed to weight bear for 4 weeks, and after that only very lightly for another 2 weeks.

I feel like a right old no-hoper today. Still a bit "woozy" from the anaesthetic and morphine, tired because I've had little sleep in 2 days, and useless because I can't do much for myself.

Luckily having my Centro to hand means I can keep in touch with the world.
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Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I'm in for my knee op (beds permitting) on Thursday, so posts will be sparse for a while.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Video on the Centro

I'm trying to set up my Centro to play video. I've installed the TCMP video player (free) and used a trial version of Pocket DVD to rip a DVD. The file (an .avi file) seems to have ripped OK, and I can load it onto the Centro, however when I play it, the video is fine but the sound is just a random seried of crackles. This must be a codec thing I think as a video recorded with the Centro's own camera plays fine in TCMP.

Try as I might though I can't find a solution. I can find several references on various forums to people saying they're using TCMP with a Centro. so they obnviously don't have this proble.

I've tried a couple of versions of TCMP (0.66 and 0.71) and installed a couple to all the codec plugins available, and there's no difference. Very frustrating. I'll keep going though.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

City's New Stadium

Here's a picture of "Mini-Statto" or "Mini-Stats" as he's known posing outside Nininan Park before today's game against Bristol City, with the framework of the East stand of the new stadium behind him.
Things are moving apace now, and there's also some steel up for the South stand - soon the whole shape of the new stadium will be there for all to see.

You can follow the work and keep right up to date by visiting a new website -

Super City: Bluebirds 2 - 1 Bristol City

A great win for City at home against second arch rivals Bristol City (Swansea of course being the No. 1 chums - not). Denied points in the reverse fixture at Ashton Gate despite outplaying them, City dented the Robins hopes of automatic promotion with a great display in a charged Ninian Park atmosphere.

Peter Whittingham, who otherwise had a very ordinary day, and Roger Johnson, recreated the free kick at Middlesborough in the FA Cup Quarter Final to put our noses in front just before half time. A superb delivery to the back post and a thumping , well directed header from my player of the season, Johnners.

Bristol City had posed little threat, largely resorting to hoofing the ball long. Lee Trundle, formerly of the Borough of Swansea was roundly jeered every time he touched the ball, and quite often when he wasn't near it at all.

After the break the Robins didn't change tactics and City looked to be heading for a comfortable win, until 'keeper Enckleman failed to come for a cross and Adebola nodded the equaliser home. That raised Bristol's tempo and shortly after they had a goal disallowed for offside - I think it was a close call.

But it was to be City's day. Gary Johnson, Bristol's manager was sent to the stands for some contretemps to more loud cheers, and when Stephen McPhail was up-ended in the penalty box, Whittingham took the spot kick and tucked the ball after the keeper saved his initial effort.

So, 2-1 to the Bluebirds. A great display and a great atmosphere, and enough points to safely say we won't get relegated, and only 7 points of the play off spots with up to 2 games in hand over several of the teams above us.

C'mon you Blooobirds!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

QuickNews problems again

I'm not having much luck with QuickNews on the Centro.

First a feed seemed to get corrupt and caused the Centro to reset whenever
I tried to do anything with it. Got that sorted by a reinstall, but now
itls causing Hotsync to hang even if I take it out of the sync options.

So I've deleted it again, and I'll think about whether I'll bother again or
try something else.
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Now I'm not really a person who has deep held or outspoken religious beliefs - I know what I believe in and keep my own counsel on it. My wife and the kids are however practising christians.

I usually only attend church on high days and holidays, which I accept might be seen as a bit of a contradiction, but there you go - I certainly don't deny anyone else their beliefs.

As usual I was shopping for an Easter card for my wife today - could I find one? Oh yes, but they all - without exception - pictured fluffy bunnies, daffodils or teddy bears and talked about spring. There was not one card I could find that mentioned the whole reason that we have Easter - the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Now whether you believe or not, at least we should acknowledge why we have these celebrations - and for those that do believe, it is a celebration, rather than just giving over to rampant commercialism.

I mentioned in a a recent post something I'd read about "The Jameson's St Patrick's Day". It's getting harder to find Christmas cards with a holy theme - give it a few years and there'll be nothing.

Why do we have to do away with tradition and traditional values just for the sake of selling a more "stuff"

I find that very sad.

Smartbox Design - A Great company

I've used Wordpop on my Palm Treo for some time. It's a hugely addictive word puzzle game. When I moved to a Windows Mobile smartphone (non-touchscreen) I contacted Smartbox to see if it was available for WM non-touchscreen devises. Sadly it wasn't but what impressed me was a very quick response from head honcho Todd Sherman.

In moving back to the Palm platform (ah. happy days....) with the Centro I reinstalled Wordpop, only to find I'd mislaid my activation key. I contacted Todd and he very kindly supplied me with a new key, no questions asked.

He's also left a message on this blog in an earlier post where I'd mentioned Wordpop thanking me for using it!

I reckon Smartbox design is just the sort of company we mobile users should be supporting - they produce high quality software at good prices, are friendly and contactable, unlike some companies that are faceless and anonymous.

If you haven't got some Smartbox Design software on your mobile device, get some!

Image courtesy of Smartbox Design

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Knee Op

Quick update - looks like my knee op will be in a week or so. I'll be like the bionic man when they've done......looks like a corkscrew to me.....

More Centro stuff

Ok, things are settling down on the Centro front, and I've had almost a week to get used to my new....well I was going to say "toy", but it's really far more than that.

The problems I had with QuickNews and resetting seem to have been solved by deleting that app and doing a fresh install.

The problem of slow email retrieval using the default Versamail persists which is a shame. I quite like this in-built app. OK, it's pretty basic, but then mostly my email needs are. However, it's not that much of a problem as I've already mentioned that I've installed Snappermail which I'd previously bought, and upgrading the the Premier edition (good rate against the dollar) means I can sync my Googlemail account too. I still think it's a bit off it can't do it with the Standard edition when Versamail can handle GM without any problem.

The issue of the touchscreen feeling not quite as sensitive as the Treo 680 remains. It's not a big issue, but I feel I'm having to press harder to get a response. Which brings me to the toothpick like stylus. It's just about acceptable, no more.

In use, in the words of the great (depending on your point of view) Ronald McDonald "I'm lovin' it". It's neat, stylish and very usable.

I'm getting used to the keyboard which isn't as good as the 680's, but is miles better than a standard keypad or for example the Vox's slide out keyboard, and the free KeyCaps facility makes it even better to use.

I've put Tom Tom Navigator on and that's all up and running OK. I've also installed my other favourite apps which are Bonsai, Diddlebug, eWallet, Resco Backup, Go Treo's Safeguard, Undupe which essential for removing duplicates as I sync Outlook across 2 PC's and Wordpop.

My one remaining bugbear is the included Documents to Go v10 from Dataviz. I love DtG, it's great for managing Office documents. The version pre-installed on the Treo is a trial version which you can register if you decide you want to keep it. There's supposed to be a registration code in the app which you activate- but mine is missing, and I've had no response from Dataviz to my 3 requests to get this sorted yet - the Dataviz support is pretty much web based now - you can't email them, and it'll cost $19 to phone them - I've submitted a web form for help, but it's very hard work to get there - you go round in circles on the web site trying to find out how to contact them with the site pushing you to their knowledge base at all turns - which would be OK if my problem was there, but it 'aint!

I'll let you know how that goes....

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Footy updates: City 1 - 0 Hull: Colchester 1 - 1- City

I've been a bit tardy with the footie updates this week, probably due to the arrival of my Centro with has kept me occupied, and just being busy generally.
So, though down to 18th, we had up to 3 games in hand over teams around us, so a win at home against Hull, fighting for a playoff place in midweek was just the tonic. Stephen McPhail scored a beauty from an overhead kick after 2 minutes and a superb build up. Sadly, it all went downhill from there as City were desperate for the remaining 88 minutes - back to the depths they showed against Leicester. However, they held on, and 3 points is 3 points.

Chance to build further today at layer Road against the Championship's bottom side Colchester was lost as despite scoring early on via Paul Parry, strugglers Colchester managed to snatch a goal to share the points. Worse, JFH saw red for a chalennge on their 'keeper, so we'll be without a striker for a few matches..

Still, we've always got the FA Cup to look forward to, and on 49 points, I reckon we're just about safe from the drop - unless we go into administration of course....

Snappermail on the Centro

Quick update to yesterday. Have installed Snappermail on the Centro and it's very speedy. Much quicker than the default mail app, which suggests Palm have managed to cripple the mail app in the Centro. D'uh!

Downside is, I can access my Googlemail account in the default mail app, but unless I'm mistaken, because I "only" have Snappermail Standard, it doesn't give me the config optiojns I need to access Googlemail - I have to upgrade to the Premier version to get that. Double whammy.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Palm Centro - one day on

I've had the Centro 36 hours now, so are my first impressions (post below) still the same? Well, yes and no.

On the positive side, I love the form factor and look of the device. I was very iffy about the look when I saw initial pictures on the Centro on the web, buut it kind of grows on you, and it actually is a very nice device to look at and hold. And because it's a Palm device, it's easy to use.

On the negative side though, I've found three things in my short time with the device.
  1. Resets: Let's face it, the OS hasn't changed so there's no reason to have believed this old chestnut would have been dealt with. But you like to think it would have wouldn't you? No.
    This morning I had about 6 resets on the bounce - granted it was trying to do the same thing over again. And that was....? Trying to open, edit or read a particular RSS feed in Quick News, my Palm RSS feedreader of choice. It was only one feed - all the others worked fine, so maybe it was a corrupt feed, but it was one I had imported from my Treo and which had worked fine on that device. In frustration and uttering a few choice words, I deleted the whole QN application and will try again at a later date.
  2. Email: Basically the email app seems to have been given a minor upgrade. The config screens have altered a bit from the Treo and you've got that Vista like spinning circle instead of the progress bar -which I preferred, because it gave you an isntantaneous "downloading n of N" type message whereas in this new iteration you don't know how many emails there are coming until they're all down. But worse, the whole download process has slowed to a crawl. It's much slower than on the Treo and even slower than on my Windows Mobile HTC S710. Why make something worse in a new device that worked perfectly well before. I'm a registered Snappermail user though rarely used that app, but I might try it now to see if it's quicker than the default app. Bummer.
  3. Touchscreen: It might just be me and that toothpick like stylus on the Centro, but the touchscreen doesn't seem as responsive as on the Treo. A bit more pressure and precision needed.
  4. Talking of the stylus: Thin, bendy bit of plastic, good as a toothpick. I've noticed Expansys are awaiting a 3rd party stylus which they're expecting in a week or two, which might be a good "upgrade".
However. I'm a Palm user. I come to expect these things. I still prefer the OS over WM, and posisbly some of my reset problems might be sue to a corrrupted file or stuffing too many 3rd party apps on without checking to see which one might cause problems first. I've already added a couple of games, Undupe, Diddlebug, GroupSMS messaging, ewallet and KeyCaps any one of which might be the reset culprit rather than QuickNews.

I still love it to bits and I'm glad I bought it.

Centro update

So, after almost a day with the Centro what are my impressions?
Well firstly, though I've only been Treo-less a week, I feel like I've rediscovered an old friend. Palm OS is just so much nicer and more intuitive than WM. The touchscreen functionality just sets it off. But the OS is old hat. What about the device itself?
It's much smaller and neater than the Treo. Size wise it hits the spot.
The buttons all work well. The QWERTY keyboard is much tighter than the Treo but useable though a little bit harder work than it's older brother. The free KeyCaps utility helps enormously and this was posted from the Centro.

Software wise not much has changed. Versamail now has a spinning circle when downloading email a la Windows Vista. Docs to Go v 10 is a great inclusion though I'm not sure how you register it yet.

There's also the option to download some free games and utilities which is welcome.

So far I'm impressed. Several peopke have commented positively on the looks on day one - something that never happened with the Treo, which most people thought was a Blackberry - though arguably the Centro looks more like the BB Curve/Pearl than the Treo ever did.

So far it's a thumbs up from me.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Well I've got my Centro and first impressions are - Brilliant. Small, neat, keybaord workable. Love it. More later.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

FA Cup tickets

I'm trying hard not to bang on about the FA Cup and Cardiff too much. Oh, all right then I will.

It seems City are guaranteeing everyone who turns up at tomorrow's home match against Hull a ticket for the semi-final against Barnsley at Wembley. I suppose it's one way to ensure a bumper crowd on what's forecast to be a wet and windy Wednesday evening when ordinarily we might expect no more than about 14,000 (oh cynic that I am).

Even better, anyone who buys next years season ticket before 21st March (yes you heard season's season ticket and we're still in early March!) will be granted additional FA Cup privileges. I wonder what those can be? A complimentary prawn sandwich perhaps. Would be nice to know what additional advantages are before I fork out several hundred quid in advance of 14th April (the time I can get my and my son's tickets at the cheapest prices - and even that's early) will bring.

Things I hate the most: No. 4 Wind

Observant readers will know (bottom right of this page if you don't fall into that category) that wind is one of the things I hate most.

You can't see it or touch it, but you most certainly can feel it, and whenever it's windy I always feel like it's trying to make life particularly bad for me. Not anyone else necessarily, just me. It blows doors open/shut just at the wrong moment, careers your recycling box half way along the street and blows your plant containers over (ok so I'm a closet gardener!) and so on.

Rain, well, just rains on you; snow you can have fun in; sunshine....well I like that a lot - but wind?

And haven't we got a lot of it about at the moment? Some of the pictures have been spectacular, but frankly I'll be glad when it's all back to normal, and I can retrieve my recycling box.


Just checked up on the status of my order for my Palm Centro with Clove. I ordered through them because my previous experience with them has been first rate, and delivery has always been next day.

Sadly it appears that they didn't have any in stock when I ordered online - though there was nothing to indicate that - it's coming in tomorrow so won't get it until Friday.

Should have done what Murray did over at Palm-Mac and ordered it through Expansys who list their stock status, and have the things in stock. Bah!


Just checked up on the status of my order for my Palm Centro with Clove. I ordered through them because my previous experience with them has been first rate.

Sadly it appears they didn't have any in stock - coming in tomorrow so won't get it until Friday.

Hould have done what Murray at Palm-Mac did and go to Expansys.

Oh well.....

Monday, March 10, 2008

Wembley, Wembley...

So it's Barnsley in the semi final of the FA Cup. I absolutely don't want to get complacent - after all, look what happened to Middlesborough - but we have got to fancy our chances of beating the Tykes and playing in the final.....

Mind you, that's exactly what their fans will be thinking about Cardiff.

Either way, it's a fantastic time for football, with us, Barnsley, West Brom and Portsmouth in the last 4.

Ooh... I can't wait!

C'mon City!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Blooobirds in dreamland: Boro 0 - 2 City

We're on our way to Wembley, my knees have gone all trembley, la la la la,....

The Bluebirds completely outplayed their Premiership opposition on their own turf to book a place in the semi finals of this year's extraordinary FA Cup.

Goals from Peter Whittingham and Roger Johnson had City 2-0 in front and in dreamland after 22 minutes, a lead they never looked like losing.

Sadly we couldn't get there today, but the City support sounded awesome on the telly and we did see some of our mates - the Marksies and Furby in the crowd.

We will God willing be there for the semis in April.

The competition is wide open with Pompey the only Premiership team left in, plus City, Barnsley and one from West Brom or Bristol Rovers (2-1 to WBA as I write).

Whatever happens next you can't take it away from any of the teams that have made it this far. But of course there's one team that we want to win it.
C'mon you Bluebirds!!!!!!
Image courtesy of the BBC

C'mon City!

Barnsley did it yesterday, so can the Bluebirds do it today? An hour to kick off against' premiership 'Boro at the Riverside.

Bad planning - I have to go and do some cricket coaching at 2:30, so I'll be able to watch the first 30mins, but then have to record it and hope no-one tells me the result before I get chance to get back & watch it!

Come on you Blooobirds!!!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Treo sold....Centro bought

Well, the Treo's gone. Not literally, as I can't post it until Monday, but it's sold on e-bay. I didn't get as much for it as I'd hoped, but it met my reserve price - just.
Someone's got themselves a bargain anyway.

The Centro's on order - hopefully have it by Tuesday latest. I'm all excited - hope it lives up to my expectations. If it looks ok, then the HTC S710 (Vox) will probably end up on e-bay too).

Friday, March 07, 2008

Sponsorship Rights

Has the world gone completely potty? No, don't answer that.....

I've just been reading a snippet in this morning's Independent where a refernce was made to th "Jameson St Patrick's Day celebrations".

Now don't get me wrong. I quite like a snifter, and Jameson's is one of my favourite tipples, but sponsoring a saints day?
What next? Will we have the "PC World Christmas Day"? Now there's a thought. You heard it here first......

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Centro again

I'm still keen to get a Centro - not a red one though! I've had a couple of bids for the Treo 680 on e-bay, here's the link if you fancy a bid! Still a couple of days to go though, and I've put a fairly high reserve price on it at the moment, because it's too good a piece of kit to give away.

Various reports about the Centro coming out around the blogs and forums, and pretty much all of them are universally positive. Given that the OS hasn't changed from the Treo, it's pretty much only form factor that has altered, it's interesting to see just what a little bit of hardware vamping can do to a product line.

On the flip side, something strange has happened. Before I committed to selling the Treo, I continued to "ooh" and aah" between the Treo and the Vox, each device meriting plus points and down sides.

Now I've decided to flog the Treo, it seems to have flicked a switch in my head, and although it's sitting here in it's box on the study desk, it's as though it doesn't exist any more. As a result I'm using the Vox perhaps more aggressively than I ever did before, and do you know what? I'm quite enjoying it!

I still want the Centro, because I think I'm just a Palm person at heart, and I'm desperate for a front mounted keyboard again (oh, and to play Wordpop). And use Doc to Go. Etc, etc.

But it is strange how much more I've taken to the Vox in the last few days.....

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Palace 0 - 0 City

Not much to write about here, although after last Saturday's performance a point away from home must feel like winning the league.

I've had a quick browse of the BBC web site that suggests City had enough chances to win this one. Letters hope it gets the players in a bit of shape for their next match - the FA Cup Quarter final against Middlesborough on Sunday.

I'm posting this from my sofa using my Vox whilst watching the first day of the first test between England and New Zealand with a nice glass of red wine to hand.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Mobile device stability

As a long time mobile device, be that PDA or smartphone user I'm used to the banter on various websites/blogs/forums about systems stability.

In particular, this often focuses on Palm vs Windows Mobile users and frequently invokes the "my device is better than yours because it doesn't require resetting as often" debate.

I was therefore pleasantly and rather smugly surprised when reading the manual of my wife's new Samsung J600 mobile phone (a standard "fashion" phone, not smartphone) to see the "note" in the manual relating to both starting the camera and the MP3 player functions, which says:

"The screen may appear blank due to electromagnetic discharge. Restart the phone if this happens".

Is this just a way of saying there's a manufacturing flaw and we can't be bothered to fix it?

Maybe we shouldn't be to hard on Palm and WM.

One more observation on this phone. It comes with 4 pretty rubbish message alert tones - and you can't add any more - at all. How poor is that for a modern mobile?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Mother's Day

Nice day today. Lots of family round. The kids spoilt Anne with "their" presents, the first time they've bought their own presents for her with their own money and off their own bat - I was actively discouraged by both of them this year in buying a present for them to give her.

Anne's Mum has been poorly, so nice to see her looking a bit better today.

My Dad was here too, and in a quiet moment, we raised a glass to my Mum who passed away in December 2002. She'd have enjoyed today.


I'm being harangued by one of my best chums Mike Baker aka "Stabber" for reasons I'm really unclear about, that I haven't mentioned him in any of my posts since this blog started.

So, much against my better judgment, here is a post about Stabs.

I've known him and his good lady Alison for over 20 years (scary). I first met him in a pub, and that's also where I've normally see him ever since. Unless he's in the bookies (not that I ever go into a bookie).

Here's the admission. He's an estate agent (that's a Realtor for you reading over the other side of the pond).

That's the good bit.

He's also a train spotter (seriously), and allegedly a guru on plate techtonics, although he rather has the gift of the gab (well he is an estate agent) so it's often hard to know when he's telling the truth or taking the Michael (so to speak).

'Twas Stabber that introduced me to the delights of Cardiff City, back in the days when 6 men and a dog used to watch them.

We play in the same skittles team, the Dinas Powys Athletic B, though neither of us can be said to be particularly athletic, though perhaps I shade it, even with my dodgy knees, arthritis and age.

This wholesome young man is also godfather to our daughter Bethan. She knew the difference between evens and 6/4 on and could order a pint of Brains Dark by the time she was three!

To be honest, despite all that he's a great bloke.

OK Stabber? I'll have that tenner now......

Saturday, March 01, 2008

City 0 - 1 Leicester: Shambles

Let's not beat about the bush.
This was a truly awful match.
Leicester are utterly rubbish, but today they were slightly less utterly rubbish than a Cardiff City side who were as poor as they've been all season, and let's face it, they've been poor at times this term. Without Joe Ledley and Glen Loovens they were insipid. Dire. Donkeys. Seriously bad.

It's all so predictable. They defend in their own third, giving the opposition 40 yards of space to play in - our keeper hoofs the ball up field (and today only about 5% of Enckleman's kicks actually went straight - most off them went straight out to touch).
The opposition head the ball back, we pass it sideways (or more often backwards) then do one of two things.
  1. Give the ball away
  2. Hoof it up the field and it all starts again
Why, oh why, oh why does this happen? These are well paid professional footballers. Surely they do something in training (though judging by their efforts on Soccer A.M's crossbar challenge this morning suggests they don't).

Come on, even the most dull of us know that when we control it, play it to feet and get it wide and pressure the opposition we do well. Are we missing something or does Dave Jones know something we don't?

It was so bad, I can't even begin to think who my man of the match was. The announcer gave it to Roger Johnson, one of my favourite players, but he wasn't great today. Peter Whittingham possibly just shaded it, but even he only ranked about 5/10 in my book today.

What made today even worse was the handing out of leaflets before the match urging people to buy their 08/09 season tickets before 14th April to get a discount. Then they serve up that trash. There were 13 and a half thousand inside Ninian Park today, and most of them had left by the end. Those that hadn't booed the players off, and frankly they deserved it.

I appreciate players will have bad days, but all 11 (plus subs) on the same day? No doubt Dave Jones will blame the wind, the fact Leicester were a physical side, the fact he had the wrong marmalade for breakfast - anything but admit we were crap.

I'm angry. Can you tell?

The only consolation is, that if Middlesborough had sent any scouts down ahead of next weekends FA Cup quarter final, they won't be quaking in their boots, and might even be complacent enough to put a second string out against us. If they play to their premiership potential, which occasionally they do, and we play like we did today, it'll be about 15-0.

I'm off for a beer.

Happy St David's Day

Flogging the Treo. Getting a Centro?

Well I've finally decided to do it.

I'm going to sell my Treo 680 - in fact I've listed it on e0bay this morning. If you're interested in making a bid, it can be found here. I'm rather sad about it in a way, because I actually love the device, but reports on the Centro are very positive, and if I can sell it for anything close to what I think it's worth, I'm going to bite the bullet and get the Centro. Then I might flog by HTC Voc (S710) too and be quids in. Then again I might not. Either way, I'll keep you posted.