Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Purse wins red card appeal. Hmmm....

Image courtsey of BBC website.

So, City defender Purse wins his appeal against his sending off last Saturday against Burnley, so ensuring that he's available for the FA Cup final on 17th May.

Now call me a cynic, but let's look at a few issues here - and remember I should be on his side as a City fan....

  • Dave Jones (Cardiff City's manager) says it was never a sending off offence, despite Andy Cole needing 10 stitches in a leg wound, but then managers defending (sic) their players nearly always say that - except Arsene Wenger who never sees the offence taking place.
  • Andy Cole says it was a rash challenge and says that he should know because he's spent so long playing at the top level. With the likes of, err, Burnley. Still 10 stitches suggests it wasn't handbags at 12 paces so he might have a point.
  • It's the Welsh FA that hear these appeal cases even though City are playing in the English league system because the Bluebirds are of course currently affiliated to the Welsh FA not the English FA.
  • If this had happened in the middle of the league campaign I'd have rated Purse's chances of winning the appeal at slightly less than never in a million years.....but
  • Oh, Cardiff have an important date on 17th May and surely we wouldn't want to do anything to jeapordise City's chances of putting out the strongest possible squad (even though the chances are Purse would be on the bench)....would we. Surely not.
  • There are those that might say City would be better of with Purse banned as it would reduce the chances of him making a calamitous error, but I think that's unfair. His heart, and effort are in the right place, but on this seasons form he's a poor third behind Johnson & Loovens.

Treo 680 - a bargain at PC World

Flicking around the 'net today came across PC World's site. I see they're flogging the Treo 680 for a penny shy of £150 (GBP). I reckon that's a pretty darned good deal for a decent and unlocked (SIM free) smartphone.

Monday, April 28, 2008

iPhone on your Palm? 2Cool4U

I saw this mentioned over at Palm Addicts so I thought I'd give it a whirl. Metaviewsoft claim that this brings scrolling contacts to your Palm a la iphone, a bold claim indeed.
Anyways, I installed it onto my Centro, and though I've not actually used an iphone I've seen the videos. Not sure if this is quick as slick and smooth, but it does work. Very, very neat and worth installing for the novelty factor alone.

The You Tube video is a bit stern, not much excitement from whomever (I guess the programmer) is doing the demo - I think I'd want to be a bit more "up and at 'em" if I'd programmed this!

Give it a go.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

End of season thiller: Burnley 3 - 3 City

Neither team had much to play for in the League although City players arguably are fighting for their Cup Final starting spot.

Nevertheless, both teams served up an entertaining six goal thriller, with the points eventually shared.

Joe Ledley, Aaron Ramsey and Steve Thompson (at last big man!) found the net for the Bluebirds.

Rather more worryingly, a defence that a couple of weeks ago looked solid as a rock, has now shipped nine goals in three games. I suppose you could argue that the defenders who have played so well are wary of injuries and/or a red card which would make them ineligble for THAT game, but that doesn't seem to have bothered Darren Purse who got himself sent off in the last minutes of the game!

I don't get it with Pursie. He's a whole hearted bloke - you can't deny him that, but sometimes he's just a plain liability. Together with Steve Thompson, who can almost guarantee they'll get themselves booked - it says it all that Johnson & Loovens have been the best pairing this season in central defence. Purse is the club captain, and has continually struggled to get a game.

City will appeal against the sending off, but I wouldn't hold out much hope - especially as it'll be the Welsh FA that the appeal goes to - given the recent slanging between various people and people with Wlesh FA connections about City playing in Europe, I'd suggest Pursie might as well start ironing his smart shirt, 'cause he ain't gonna be wearing a City one on 17th May.

One more League match now next Sunday against the side we beat in the semi's Barnsley - you just know they'll be up for revenge.

C'mon City!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Football, patriotism and common sense

There's always been a bit of antagonism between the Welsh and the English. However, the apparent furore surrounding the FA's decsion to allow Cardiff to play in Europe if (and it's still a big if) either they beat Portsmouth in next month's FA Cup final, or they lose but Pompey finish fifth in the Premiership so guaranteeing then a UEFA Cup spot is amazing, but rather sadly predictable.

The BBC Sport website is reporting that the former Football Association of Wales secretary, one Mr Alun Evans says it's a "backward step" for Welsh football. He says the preferred way is for clubs like Cardiff & Swansea is to have two teams - one playing in the current English FA league structure, and one in the Welsh pyramid, so they could qualify for Europe through that route. Yeah, right.

Presumably Mr Evans would be happier if Welsh clubs left the English FA system altogether. That would help Welsh football wouldn't it? Crowds would plummet. All the best - or even all - the players would move to English clubs because with the greatest respect they wouldn't want to be playing Caersws, Airbus or Llangeffni week in week out. The money would go - no Sky matches. The fans would have no prospect - however distant of reaching the Premiership, or even playing the big sides in the FA Cup, because they'd be in the Welsh Cup, and so on.

And saddest of all, it's reinflamed the "I'm Welsh and proud of it and don't want to play in the Engish system anyway" sort of debate - check out BBC 606 website if you're in any doubt. there's Welsh people saying they want nothing to do with England, and English people saying we don't want you anyway, go back to Wales....

Come on, please. Let's be adult and be objective about this - hard I know for some.
  • I'm English and proud of it, but....
  • I'm married to a Welsh girl and proud of it
  • My kids are Welsh and I'm proud of it and them
  • I've lived in Wales longer than anywhere else and I like it
  • I've supported the Bluebirds for years and it makes me cringe when certain sections of the fans chant derogatory remarks about (all) the English teams we play - we haven't got that many Welshmen in the team after all
Cardiff have (rightly or wrongly) being playing in the English League system for tens of years, along with Swansea and at times Wrexham and even Newport County, but no-one's ever worried about it before because no one ever thought any of them would ever a) win the FA Cup (again - remember 1927 lads!) or finish in the top 5 in the Premiership.

Given that, they've won through to the final, and should they win it (please God) then they fully deserve to play in Europe next season. Blimey, after all, few Welshmen that we have in City's colours, there are more of sporting the Cross of St David than there are Englishmen in a Man U or Chelsea or Arsenal shirt.

Palm to Windows

I've installed a trial of ShSh Software's "2Day" program. Basically it "skins" your Palm's calendar app and gives you loads of extra bit's an pieces that you can do with it. It's quite impressive, and you can fiddle an tailor your views in lots of different ways.

However, I can't help but think when I run it....Windows Mobile.

It's trying to be Windows Mobile. Actually the screen shot looks less like WM than my install which is uncannily like one of my WM powered HTC Vox today screens.

Now that's not necessarily a bad thing. After all, Windows Mobile's Today screen has got some decent functions, like....errr....only joking - it has, honest.

But doesn't this rather bump on the head, whilst at the same time exacerbate one of the fundamental differences between Palm and Windows Mobile? Palm is easy and intuitive, WM is less so. And, like the WM OS, after existing the today screen you are dumped into the native interfaces of all the other apps, so it's only skin deep.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking ShSh, or their product. It looks good at what it does, and if that's what you want, then buy it. It's cheaper than buying a WM device after all.

I'm not convinced...yet. I try these things, but usually end up coming back to the simplicity of the native Palm apps, because that works for me, and that's all I want it to do which is why I use a Palm device currently as my No. 1 device of choice, with the HTC Vox sitting in the wings as a back up or when I need wifi.

What the industry should be doing, especially Palm, is looking at apps like 2Day and learning from them what the users want so that their next gen devices - when they eventually appear, give users the best UI seamlessly throughout the OS.

Gizmo update

Gizmo's been with us two days now, and is settling in well. He's already decided the comfiest place is our bed, not his own bed which he's steadfastly ignored so far.

As with all cats in a new home, we have to keep him in at least 2-3 weeks whilst he gets used to his new surroundings, schedules and scents. He doesn't much like that, and spends a bit of time mewing to go out, but he's appears to be getting used to his temporary restriction - slowly! The first night he started mewing at 2am - last night he made it to 4am!

When he's not looking for escape routes, he's lording it up and seems pretty happy. In this photo I'd just interrupted a mammoth washing session that he was conducting whilst stretched out on the conservatory sofa.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


My Dad calls them physio-terrorists and now I know why.
Not because they are harsh drum beating "do it more" and "do it faster", "feel the pain" type of people - though no doubt some are.

No, my physio is actually very nice - she very nicely told me off today for trying to do too much too early in my knee rehab.

I thought I was doing swimmingly well and ahead of schedule and would be ready for an episode of "Strictly Come Dancing" in a week or so, but she's firmly put the muckers on that. Basically she told me the schedule is the schedule and I can't be ahead of it! And...
  • I must do more exercises involving a priceless bit of stretchy green NHS rubber (I kid you not - about the stretchy rubber, not the priceless bit - looks like it's worth about 5p!)
  • I must absolutely NOT try and weight bear yet beyond touching my toes to the floor
  • I must go back in just over 2 weeks for another going over.
I had hoped to be back at work by then. Might still be yet, but we'll have to see what the Consultant says 2 weeks tomorrow.

Back to the crutches - it's really frustrating now!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

That's it then. Wolves 3 - 0 City

City's last whiff of a play off place evaporated at Molineux last night as they lost 3-0 to Wolves, and overall I'm not really enthused enough by it to write any sort of report.

Frankly I wasn't surprised at the result, and reports suggest a lacklustre performance with players having their eyes on Saturday 17th May and the FA Cup Final - really?

Let's hope they can get themselves in gear for that


If it's not one thing it's another!
A couple of days ago my Internet connection was all to pot but mysteriously corrected itself overnight.
Today I can't send email.
Well I can, but only some.
I've sent a load of emails with no problem, but 3 refuse to go. One's a plain vanilla 3 liner, and the other two have smallish Word documents attached.
Never had any problems before and I know all the email addresses are valid. They just sit in the Outbox of my Outlook 2003 and steadfastly refuse to budge.

My Outlook suggests some problem with the POP/STMP servers, as per the message below, but why do some go and these two not?

"Task 'pop.dsl.pipex.com - Sending' reported error (0x8004210B) : 'The operation timed out waiting for a response from the sending (SMTP) server. If you continue to receive this message, contact your server administrator or Internet service provider (ISP).'"

I'm really hacked off by this. Although I'm a long time Pipex user, I reckon their service has gone badly downhill since Tiscali took them over (no surprise there I guess), and experiences like the other day when they professes no knowledge of problems yet I couldn't connect don't help that assumption.

I guess I'll wait and see if the great Internet Fairy clears it all up overnight, but I'm not hopeful.

Whilst I'm on the subject, Outlook 2003 with Vista is a pain as I think I've mentioned before. It won't let me send and receive without forcing me to put my password in every time - a sly ploy to get you to upgrade to Outlook 2007. Well I won't.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


We've got a new addition to our family as from tomorrow. Gizmo is a 3 year old tabby that we're homing from cat rescue centre called SHUA - right on our doorstep actually, though we didn't know it was there until recently.

We've considered getting a cat on and off for years, but there's always been a reason why we didn't - small house, small kids etc, but now the time is right.

Rather than getting a new kitten, we felt it right to re-home an unwanted cat (not unwanted by SHUA I hasten to say, who do a marvellous job). We had a look at those cats needing homes on SHUA's website and Gizmo stood out for us. He's had a rather unhappy past, so we're delighted to be offering him a home here with us.

He arrives tomorrow hopefully, so no doubt I'll be posting some more news about him shortly.

Internet back up

My Internet connect is back up and running.

Very strange.

I haven't done anything - it still wasn't working last night before I went to bed, despite all my efforts (and Pipex's generally unhelpful advice), but booted up this morning and hey presto! Everything's back to normal.

Rather confirms my suspicions of gremlins in the lines somewhere.

Wildcharge - Err...what's the point?

I saw this advertised in the Sunday Times Gadget section this week. By the way, I'm not normally a ST reader, but my wife bought it for me knowing that the multiplicity of it's girth would keep me occupied and away from the trauma that is daytime television for a whole week at least!

Anyway, back to this. It's called the "Wildcharge" and apparently it allows you to charge your phone/gadget without plugging it in. It does this by you putting your "gadget" in a thin jacket connecting it via the suitably provided "adapter" and then just resting your gadget on the base plate. Tiny connections then trickle charge through the jacket into you device, so charging your, err, device. However, I see several flaws with this.

  1. It's currently only available for the iPhone/iPod Touch or Blackberry - lucky I have a Palm and an HTC device then.
  2. It's available from Firebox, and whilst Firebox is a site I've used several times in the past for novelty value, several of the "things" I've bought from there haven't lived up to expectation (or the wild claims of the manufacturer/advertiser). It's important to note that some things have lived up to expectation though....I won't go into them all here
  3. It's selling at £59.99 which would buy you an awful lot of proper spare chargers for any device. One for the house, one for the office, one for the car, a spare one etc....
  4. If you've got to plug an "adapter" into your device from the jacket, why not just plug the bloody thing into it's own charge
  5. It's out of stock
  6. Most importantly, why bother? Why not just plug the device into it's charger (they all come with one) and do the job properly?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Bad day

OK , two things to whinge about today. First and foremost, being virtually housebound (still on the bloody crutches) having access to the outside world via the 'net is great. But my internet connection has been down all day and still is.

I've checked and double checked connections, rebooted and reset everything, even spent 30 minutes on the phone to Pipex tech support (who weren't much help). I suspect some sort of problem at the exchange although the phone works OK or the modem bit of the modem/router is deado. I'll try again tomorrow before resorting to spending money on a new modem router.

Still, I have my smartphone(s) so have been able to retrieve email, check RSS feeds etc.

But long term browsing on the Palm Centro's Blazer browser is a bit of a pain which brings me to whinge number two. To browse the web on my HTC Vox smartphone I needed to get the SIM out of the Centro and put it in the Vox...

...and getting the SIM out of a Centro without some sort of sharp pointy tool is just about impossible. Palm couldn't have made it harder if they'd tried. It looks like it should just slide out but it doesn't. In the end and after about 20 minutes of cursing I resorted to a Stanley knife. How stupid is that to make it that hard to take a SIM out? Another great Palm design blooper.

Still I got it out in the end and now browsing and sending this on my HTC Vox.

I've also used the Stanley knife to cut a groove in the back of the SIM so I can get it out of the Centro more easily (or with less difficulty) next time.

Now, where did I put my crutches?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

So that's it then....Scunthorpe 3-2 City

The Bluebirds so often fail to beat sides at the bottom of the division, and so it proved again today.

Despite taking the lead against already relegated Scunthorpe via Jimmy Floyd just before half time, City conceded two shortly after the break before drawing level via Joe Ledley.

It looked like a draw before Glen Loovens foul gave the Iron a penalty in the 90th minute to take the game and points away.

Dave Jones was disappointed with his players, but more disappointed with the ref who he felt didn't protect his players. "...they were out-kicked..." he said.

So that's it. Almost certainly a chance of a play off spot gone.

Just the FA Cup final to come then...

C'mon you Blooobirds!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Perception of value?

There's an interesting post over at PDA247 where the discussion broadly goes along the lines of "...because the Palm Centro is cheaper than most "average new smartphones" people's perceptions of it must be that it is less capable.

Whilst I think there is an undoubted link between price and value - think of the top brands and then think how many of them are cheaper than the competition - not many, I think this view is a bit harsh.

I've said as much in a response to the discussion, and no doubt I'll get lambasted for it by some return posts, but I stand by it.

I also think that PDA247 often seems to give the Centro (rather than Palm) a bad press generally. No other device - perhaps apart from the Treo 680, Treo 650 before it (see a pattern here?) seems to get such a going over, despite the fact that some of the regulars change devices quicker than their (I was going to say underwear, but as I can't prove that....) well, you know what I mean. This seems bizarre for a site that is at least in part dedicated to supporting and discussing the Palm platform.

Yes we know Palm are out of touch, but the Centro's a decent device - great value for the money you don't see sites like Palm Addicts saying how dreadful it is (though they don't post negatively at all I suppose), but loads of people there say how much they like the Centro.

I'm beginning to think it's a British thing......

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Europe? Not yet....

According to the BBC Sports web site, it appears that Cardiff City will be able to play in Europe next season, IF (and it's a very big if) they win the FA Cup on 17th May.

Currently, and technically, City as a side from Wales are ineligible to play in Europe even if the win the FA Cup because although they play in the English pyramid system, they are affiliated to the FA of Wales.

It's all a bit complicated, and rather silly considering they actually play in the English league system and have always done so, and I guess has never been of concern to anyone for donkeys years because no-one would have expected them to be in a position to be winning either the Premiership (not yet) or the FA Cup (maybe....just maybe....). So that's woken all the football beaurocrats up!

Even if we do it'll probably be a wild card place and we'll most likely end up playing a qualifying tie against some East European team no-one's ever heard of. Or Derry City. Still It would still be Europe.

Truth be told there's a long way to go. We have to beat Portsmouth first, although personally I think we can do it.

C'mon you Blooobirds...soaring off to Europe?


Went for my first physio appointment today. Not too - bad - I think she was quite impressed with how far I could bend the knee, but apparently I'm not doing my exercises enough and there's some muscle wasting. She's given me a load more exercises to do and I see her again in just over a week. Hopefully by then I'll be ready to put some weight (just a little) on that leg.

Frankly I can't wait (sic) because I'm totally fed up hopping around on a pair of crutches. I feel totally useless.

I am sleeping better now, and getting very little discomfort from the wound or leg in general, and am pretty much off any sort of painkillers - just back to the standard anti-inflammatories that I was taking for non-related arthritis before the op.

Most of the bruising has disappeared (still a couple of purple/yellow blotches around). On the mend I think! Still not sure it's solved everything though - the knee is still clicking a bit.....

Monday, April 14, 2008

Windows Mobile 6.1

I'm not sure quite when WM6.1 will be generally available, either on new phones or as an upgarde to existing phones. Checking out the video on the MS website suggests that things are moving in the right direction for usability on the WM front - pertinent given previous postings about how I struggle with WM.

6.1 may go some way towards improving this. We'll have to wait and see...

Touch Browser for Pocket PC

Been checking out the info on this new pice of software from Makayama.com which professes to bring the iphone touch browser interface to the Pocket PC platform.

Not owning either an iphone or a Pocket PC I can't say whether this is a decent thing or not - however, the video available on the Makayama website certainly looks impressive. Are we beginning to see the results of the iphone phenomenon crossing over to WM?


Came across this Cardiff City blog whilst googling earlier today. Looks a good read for all Bluebird fans.

Sporting Kicks - great Service

I don't mind giving credit where it's due.

Last Thursday I ordered a 5' by 3' Welsh flag from a company called Sporting Kicks so me & and my son Mini Stats can take it to Wembley when the mighty Cardiff City take on Portsmouth in the FA Cup final on 17th May. (I know I'm not Welsh but he is, and I'm proud to be Welsh by association)

I ordered it at 2pm paying via PayPal (so easy) and it arrived in the post the following morning. How good is that?

I really love it when companies provide an excellent service - and there are a few out there who do. This is one. Shame they didn't have any Cardiff City flags. Maybe they will after 17th May......!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Utopian Smartphone

(Image courtesy of PDA247)

What would a perfect mobile device look like? Who knows? It's a very subjective issue and there are countless discussion forums and blogs out there that spend all their time looking for Utopia. So I thought I'd bung my three penn'orth in as well. This wish list doesn't in the main cover software, but rather the hardware although there are a couple of nods towards software here - but in the main that's for another day.

  • It would have a touch screen - but not a recessed one like Palms do - that makes it look dated
  • It would have qwerty keyboard - but here's the catch - it should by default have the functionality that the stupendous KeyCaps program brings to Palm devices almost negating the need for the shift and option keys.
  • It should have the Palm on/off slider switch
  • You should be able to turn the phone off with one key press whilst keeping the PDA functions on - like the Palm's red button
  • It should have a standard mini-usb for syncing and charging
  • When connected to a host PC it should be visible as a removabe drive - including it's storage card
  • It should have access to both storage card and sim without the need to remove either or both of the back cover or battery to enable quick hot swapping of sims and memory cards
  • It goes without saying that it should have the biggest possible screen size the form factor allows
  • The screen should flip to landscape mode easily like the iphone
  • It must have a decent browser like the iphone
  • In apps requiring contact input (email, messaging, phone) like on Palm devices you should just be able to start typing in a name and it brings up a list of matches
  • It must have wifi and bluetooth
  • It should have a 3.5mm headphone jack - that's what most people already have
  • It should have a half decent camera (min 2MP) with a quick access button and as we're on a utopian vision, a flash
  • It must have a battery that will do at least 2 days of moderate - heavy use
  • It should be no bigger than a Palm Treo 680 (my guide point) and preferably smaller
  • It should look "nice" whatever that brings to mind
  • Oh and it doesn't need to make the tea. I'll do that.

Why I struggle with Windows Mobile

There's an excellent post by Murray over at Palm-Mac which wonders why the Windows Mobile home screen, and navigation to often (or not) used applications is the way it is.

This pretty much sums up my experiences and thoughts on WM too. Why does a largely decent enough OS have to be hamstrung by a poorly thought out UI? It certainly explains why I keep coming back to Palm despite dalliances with WM.

Murray - I'm 100% with you on this one.

Still in it - just! City 3 - 1 Blackpool

I managed to make it to City yesterday for the first time since my op, though the walk in completely knackered me and I've got blisters on my hands from the crutch work! Still, I was going stir crazy, so it was worth it - sitting down for the best part of 2 hours unable to raise my leg also left it looking like a balloon again. The things we do for football...

In reality, a spot on the play-offs is unlikely now, with us probably having to win all four of our remaining games, but it's still a possibility nevertheless. Certainly a comfortable 3-1 win against the Seasiders helped the cause, and comfortable it was. Depsite Blackpool playing some neat tidy passing football, they rarely threatened City's goal until we were 3-0 up and took the foot off the gas.

A stunning 25 yard strike from the usually goal shy Stephen McPhail opened the scoring on 7 minutes, but we had to wait until the 50th minutes before Trev "The Rev" Sinclair stabbed home a second. The Bluebirds then started to look like the team they are capable of being and wrapped things up with another good strike from Peter Whittingham on 58 minutes. The only blot was a consolation goal fro the Tangerines when we failed to deal with a ball down the right channel and it was whipped in for a near post header.

I just wonder whether that will be the last time we see Aaron Ramsey, our 17 year old wonder kid at Ninina Park - or even Joe Ledley who was rested for this game. We've got one home game left - the final game of the league campaign, against our semi-final opponents Barnsley. If we can't make the play-offs by that game - or even if we can, Dave Jones might just decide that it's too risk to play his best players for fear of injury ahead of the FA Cup Final (I know - I still can't believe it!). We know that some of the Premiership clubs are looking at Ramsey, and we've already turned down bids for Ledley, but whether we'll be able to keep them come the summer who knows? Of course, if we win the FA Cup and there's a promise of European football (if UEFA agree) then that might change things, but we're getting well ahead of ourselves here.

Still, the global coverage City are going to get from the FA Cup final can be nothing but good.

C'mon you Blooobirds!

Another giant killing QoS 4 - 3 Aberdeen

So the tale of giant-killings continues north of the border. Despite my support for the 'Dons, after getting support from David of Palmblogging fame for City's games in the FA Cup, they succumbed to Scottish First Division outfit Queen of the South in a 4-3 thriller. They'll now meet either Rangers or Partick Thistle who play next weekend. Give the shocks both north & south of the border, who'd bet against Partick putting one over on the Gers?

I'm sure David was ready to book his tickets for the final. Sorry mate, not to be this year.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Friendliness in adversity

One thing that's struck me since my operation is how much more friendly and interested people are to you when you're lumbering about on a pair of crutches.

Taxi drivers, complete strangers or occasional acquaintances are all far more open and friendly than might otherwise be the case.

Anyway, had my first post op clinic appointment this morning. Consultant is happy with my progress, but nothing's changed in the rehab - another 2 weeks non- weight bearing then a fortnight gentle weight bearing - keep the physio going - see you in a month type of thing.

He did show me the in-operation x-rays showing the extent of the chunk of bone they removed from my shin (quite a lot by the look of it!). There's enough metalwork in there to make me worth a few bob at the scrappy. He couldn't answer with any certainty my key question that my kids want the answer to - "will I beep at airport security checks?". Guess we'll just have to wait and see!

He also showed me the pictures and the degree of damage to the inside of my knee - basically there's no cartilage left on the inner knee - looks just like carpet with holes worn in it!

Anyway the dressing is of now so I can show off my scar. Happy days.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Palm-Mac Podcast coming to a mobile device near you

One of my favourite mobile reads is Murray's blog over at Palm-Mac. Never one afraid to give his opinion of all things mobile, I always find his posts largely to the point, observational and usually with a little humour attached too.

Now though he's expanding into the world of podcasts. His view is that the Palm podcast world is very stale (I don't tend to listen to many podcasts myself, but I'd agree with him from what I have heard), and of course he feels that he could freshen things up a bit with his own contribution.

This sounds like an interesting project, so I'm awaiting his first podcast with bated breath. Good luck Murray!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

More post surgery updates

Well it's closing in on 2 weeks since my high tibial osteotomy & arthroscopy on my left leg/knee. If you're a regular visitor you will hopefully have been following my occasional updates. It's a couple of days since my last post on this subject so where am I at now?

1. Bored. As I've recovered from the effects of the anaesthetic & mind altering painkillers (tramadol is horrible stuff) I've come to realise how boring it is feeling generally "well" but physically incapable of being able to do much.
2. I'm not in much pain thankfully because 1. pain hurts, and 2, taking tramadol to block out the pain works but makes you feel sick, dizzy and on another planet). I'm down to 2x Panadol Extra about twice a day but more for general aches and tenderness than out & out pain. However on a couple of occasions I've accidentally put my foot down on the floor (do you know how difficult it is to move on 1 foot only even using crutches?) it's been very painful sending a shooting pain up my leg - not recommended, which is why I guess I've been told not to weight bear for 4 weeks!
3. Bruising - It still looks like I've been beaten about the leg with a baseball bat.
4. Tired. Doing nothing (or very little) is incredibly tiring. Especially when I haven't had a full night's sleep for 2 weeks (because of the inability to get the leg comfortable at night), though it is getting better, and I'm only waking up a couple of times in the night now.
5. Swelling. My left leg is only about 1.5 times the size of the right one now! Marvellous!
6. Grateful. To my wife especially and kids for being so understanding and supportive whilst I'm so incapable!

FA Cup Final Ticket Scandal

City took about 35,000 fans to Wembley for their semi-final clash against Barnsley. Granted, the "genuineness" of some of these fans considering the average home gate at Ninian Park is about 13,000 must be questioned, but at the end of the day, another 22,000 found enough of a fan within them to make the trip to Wembley. There's no doubt that these 35,000 fans made a hell of a lot of noise and helped the Bluebirds to that fantastic and historic win on Sunday

Mini-Stats of course (pictured) like his old man is a long time season ticket holder and was there, although he had to make the trip without me because of my recent knee op, and I can't even begin to explain how tough it was not to be able to go - but I will be there for the final!

Now I see that because of corporate hospitality demands and ticket allocation to "Cub Wembley" members, City will only get 25,000 tickets for the final. That means 10,000 who forked out a lot of money and made the trip last weekend will be disappointed for the biggest event in City's history for 81 years. Personally I think that's terrible on a couple of fronts.
  1. It reinforces that it's all about money and - not about the people who support the clubs and make everything possible by handing over their hard earned to see 22 men kick a bag of wind about every Saturday.
  2. It means the atmosphere will be less raucous at the final as there'll be close to 20,000 less (I'm assuming of course that Portsmouth will also have a proportionately reduced ticket allocation) "real" fans in the stadium, but proportionately more people imbibing of prawn cocktail sandwiches etc. who aren't remotely interested in Cardiff City (or Portsmouth) but who are just there for the occasion courtesy of some corporate outing.
Bah humbug. Much as it riles me to see an extra 22,000 alleged City fans come out of the woodwork just because the team's got to Wembley who can't be arsed to turn up on a cold Tuesday in January to see us play Scunthorpe at Ninan Park, I'd rather have them at Wembley singing and cheering than a bunch of corporate ne'er do wells who can't give two hoots about the match or what it means to both clubs.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Weather with you....

I don't know what it is about the British and weather, but we just can't get enough of it. Add in the "mobile" element and trawling around various mobile sites and blogs it's clear to see that a lot of people can't get by with a regular weather "fix".

Up until now I've always relied on the BBC Mobile Weather web site which I find very good.

However, I've also been keeping a weather eye (sorry) on a program called Weather (that's original) by Deluxeware

This is still in beta, so it's free and potentially unstable, although in use I've found it to be rock solid so far. It has a great graphical interface, and can also double up as the keyguard rather than the default Palm keyboard lock which makes things a bit more interesting when you rouse your device from it's slumbers.

You can select from a number of locations worldwide (it has my town of Barry in South Wales in the list so must be pretty exhaustive!), and you can either update the information manually on request or set it to update automatically every 15min, 30min, hourly, 6 hourly or 12 hourly

Forecast views include current, detailed 48 hours, or summary 7 or 14 day forecasts. The "current" display is quite comprehensive with:
  • Name of location
  • Temperature
  • Pressure
  • Textual summary (currently mine says "Scattered clouds: Nippy" so a bit humorous too!
  • Wind direction and speed
  • Humidity
  • Dew point
  • Visibility

I think this is a very neat app, and if you're evern remotely interested in checking weather on your Palm device I'd recommend you give it a try. As it's currently free, it's an absolute steal.

(I must also remember to find my registration key for Screenshot 5 which I used to snap this image, but which I've mislaid as I installed it originally on my Treo 680 a year or so ago...)

C'mon the Dons!

One of my favourite Palm sites, and one that I generally visit daily is Palmblogging. David, the site host is an avid user and fan of all things mobile and especially Palm, not just the current crop of devices as his current step back into using a Handspring device shows.

He has been kind enough to make some very positive comments about this blog which is one of his stop-off's on his trawl through various blogs/rss feeds, and he's also been very supportive on Palmblogging of the Bluebirds cup run as they've been on their road to Wembley As he's also a loyal Aberdeen fan, I feel it only right therefore to reciprocate my support for his team, the "Dons" in their great cup run - they play Queen of the South this weekend in the semi-final of the Scottish equivalent of the FA Cup after bundling out Celtic in the last round.

I can't say I know a great deal about either Aberdeen or the Dons, or Scottish football at all, other than the big two are supposed to be Celtic & Rangers. Nevertheless, here's wishing the Don's the best of luck this weekend, and I hope they and their fans are as happy next Monday morning as I am today!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

YES!!! Barnsley 0 - 1 City: Wembley here we come - again!

The Blooobirds beat the Tykes 1-0 in the FA Cup semi final to book a date against Portsmouth in the final on 17th May - and this time I'll be there (physiotherapy permitting!!).

Tense game today, super goal from Joe Ledley. No fingernails left and emotional beyond words. Rang my 13 year old son who's there with another 36,000 City supporters but it was too noisy and couldn't hear him - I'll catch him later. (He's rung again - sat on a bus in a car park full of buses, so going nowhere at the moment. The noise down the phone was unbelievable!)

A full match report can be found on the BBC website - I'm too drained to type up anything of my own!

Blooobirds!! Do the Ayatollah!


Here's a picture of my leg taken this morning, so you can all see what I've been moaning about for the last week or so.

In particular I'd like to draw your attention to the rather spectacular bruising running from mid-thigh right down to my ankle in shades of yellow and purple. This is much better than it looked mid-week I can assure you, when it was mostly dark purple/blue!

You can see the healing wound from the incision where they did the actual tibial osteotomy. Quite disappointing actually. I expected to be able to show off at least a 10 inch jagged scar for my troubles, but the incision is quite small. Makes you wonder how they managed to get the leg quite so colourful, but it's probably best not to ask!

You can't see the two tiny incisions that are on the actual knee from the arthroscopy that they decided to to at the same time - these have already healed nicely.

I've got the call for phyiso now, so next week no doubt will have to start some real exercise before my leg wastes away. Also have my first appointment with the consulant post op next week, so he'll hopefully be able to let me know how it all went (apart from the painfully obvious!).

FA Cup Semi Final. I'll be there - in mind at least

The biggest day in Cardiff City's history for 81 years, and I won't be there. I was desperate to go to Wembley to see them take on Barnsley in today's FA Cup Semi-Final, but following my knee operation a week lastThursday, discretion became the better part of valour as I decided it was just too much risk/effort to make the round trip of what will be a very long day (the bus left at 8am this morning) on crutches and painkillers.

Mini-Stats has gone - he, along with his mate from school and my wife's niece who has kindly stepped into my shoes boarded the Wembley bound bus at 8am this morning. I've had a text already to say they're watching a Soccer AM DVD on the bus! I hope they have a great day!

I'm restricted to watching it on the telly. Still, at least I'll be relatively comfortable, and I'm hoping (quietly, confidently) that they'll beat the Tykes and I can make the trip for the final on 17th May.

C'mon you Blooobirds!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Sorry I don't get it

Here's part of a post someone sen to Palm Addicts.

"Yesterday I had my iPhone checking email over EDGE almost all day. I spent 2 hours and 10 minutes actually talking on the phone. I listened to MP3s for about 5 hours. After all this, I ended the day with 70% of my battery remaining. Granted, I had BT turned off as my headset was at home, but on average, leaving BT on all the time only seems to cut about 20% of my battery life. Compare this to my Treo 680 which under similar circumstances normally left me with only 20% to 30% of my battery at the end of the day."

So, what's the big deal here? His iphone has more juice left at the end of the day than his Treo 680. And...?

I bet he tops both up at the end of the day. It's not as if you get "carry over points" for not using all your battery. D'oh!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Email & web on a Palm device

Much as I love the Palm OS, there are a couple of annoyances.
First up email. Now I know html email is the spawn of Satan, but let's face it, most email these days is html formatted and it's a right pain to try and decipher in the default Palm email app (or Snappermail for that) what's being communicated without having to click on that annoying "view this email as a web page" link. Why? Because secondly, ths opens Blazer - Palm's thought on what a browser should look like, which is frankly terrible compared to Pocket IE or Opera Mobile. And worse, becaue of poor rendering 90% of the time the aforesaid email page is a pain to read in Blazer too.

Tonight for example I received Palm's latest "revamped" newsletter. Looked horrible in text in emial, so opened the view in web page link and guess what - horrible there too. Yes I could see the pretty html but only the left hand 50% of the screen. To see the rest I have to scroll right and even the columns aren't formatted properly for my Palm web bowser.

For a mobile only company like Palm to send out an html email they know user's devices won't display as email, and then display so poorly in their own web browser application is frankly a disgrace.

But perhaps it sums up where mobile computing really is at - caught in the void between desktop "want" and mobile "need".

Sent as a text email from my Centro.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

My knee - update

My knee - update
Originally uploaded by statto1927

Well it's 6 days since my op. The swelling's going down slowly but the bruising is coming out. This is a picture of my left ankle (remember they operated on my shin & knee not my ankle!). The rest of my leg is this nice purple colour as well (too horrible to show on a family friendly blog). Just shows how brutal orthopaedic surgery can be.

I've reduced the painkillers. Not because I'm not in discomfort (I am) but because they were making me feel seriously worse than the pain - light headed, nauseous, drowsy etc. Lovely.

Talking of drowsy, the worst thing is trying to sleep at night. It's still an impossibility for me to get more than about an hour at a time because of the discomfort. I do take the stronger painkillers at night but it doesn't help much - it's the bruising more than anything that makes it so difficult to get in a position of comfort. Hopefully things will subside soon and I'll be able to get a decent night's sleep.

Luckily the kids are at home this week as part of their Easter break so can fetch & carry for me, but next week I'm on my own. I can get about on my crutches, but have you ever tried carrying a cuppa from the kitchen whilst using crutches? Not easy!

Throughout all this my wife has had the patience of a saint (that's why she's such a good nurse), and I'm going to have zillions of brownie points to make up once this is all over - but that won't be for a while yet!
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Ninian stalemate: City 0 - 0 WBA

Again unable to travel to the game my wife stepped into the breech and took Mini-Stats along to see City play out a 0-0 draw with fellow FA Cup semi-finalists and promotion contenders West Brom.

According to my grapevine, big Steve Thompson missed a sitter early on but then he usually does (miss sitters that is), whilst the Baggies had a few chances.

Worse, with Sunday's FA Cup semi final against Barnsley looming was the news on our strikers.
Thompson was subbed at half time for being rubbish for Feeney, who was only on the bench because we didn't have anyone else. Our one bright spark up front Parry then came off injured on 48 mins and then on 54 mins Feeney was himself replaced as Dave Jones suddenly remembered how bad he was (actually I just made that bit up - he was injured....no really).

That left us playing 34 year old utility player (read defender/midfilelder) Trevor " Sincers" Sinclair as the front most man in what Mini-Stats later described to me as a 6-4 formation.

On balance then a point was well earned, although it has probably has buggered any lingering
hopes of a play off place though.
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