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If technology doesn't seem like magic, it's probably obsolete

I'm finding less time to update my blog these days, but my flickr photostream is often updated.

Playing in my house right now...

At 00:00 GMT on Thursday I was listening to:

More of what I've been listening to

Latest pictures from my phone

www.flickr.com
More pictures from my phone


Friday May 30 2003 at 18:18 GMT [via mobile]

I just added a photo taken with my phone to the latest gallery. You can view it directly by clicking here. My comment about the picture is: My contribution to the MirrorProject AKA Me & My P800..

Friday May 30 2003 at 16:57 GMT

Last night I went to see Jill, for a massage. It's only the second proper massage I've had, and it was lovely. I was very very verrrrrrrrry relaxed at the end of it. HIGHLY recommended.

Get in touch with Jill if you are in need of a massage. She rocks. :-D

Friday May 30 2003 at 00:51 GMT

Unfortunately, I've signed a number of people, including my own family up with a hosting company called BargainHost. They seemed like a great deal when I was looking for a cheap hosting company, however they have rapidly done down the pan. The latest escapade has left two out of their four servers goosed, and lies coming from their support desk. If you're a BargainHost customer too, make sure you check out IHateBargainHost.

Thursday May 29 2003 at 18:37 GMT

Cool - there's a Scottish Blogs site. Unfortunately, to join, you've got to add one of those annoying things to your blog front page. Ah well, I'll just visit it instead.

Thursday May 29 2003 at 17:36 GMT [via mobile]

I just added a photo taken with my phone to the latest gallery. You can view it directly by clicking here. My comment about the picture is: My rock & roll bro got me this t-shirt that I talked about last week! It's only appropriate I post about it here. :-D

Thursday May 29 2003 at 01:31 GMT

After the Star Wars kid got a bit of a pasting online, it would seem that many people who laughed also payed, with over $4000 (Canadian/US) being raised for him. Maybe he could actually get a real light sabre for that much!

Thursday May 29 2003 at 01:29 GMT

Now that I'm (mostly) settled on my new server, I've updated the unwired section and also added an about section, in conformance with all good bloggers. Even before I published, I had comments that it wasn't very good - some people are NEVER happy. ;-)

Thursday May 29 2003 at 01:08 GMT

It looks as if my site has finally moved, which is just as well, as the server I was on seems to have collapsed!

Wednesday May 28 2003 at 01:04 GMT

Hey, I just got a mention on the radio! Last night I mailed JazzFM to thank them for paying a Gotan Project song. Tonight they read out my message. If you're up at 1am-3am GMT, it's a quality, relaxing show. They do have a Web feed, but it's poor quality - 20kb. Mailed them a few weeks ago to ask them to sort it out...

Tuesday May 27 2003 at 19:22 GMT

I'm doing some work that may involve WAP, so was interested to see which handsets supported which standards. It's really great to see Sony Ericsson out there leading the pack. My T68 had XHTML support since about January or February 2002, and yet some phones are still shipping with WAP 1.2.1 support. Poor show.

If you have any corrections or additions to the table, please mail them to me and I'll credit you. I'm going to copy this post over to the unwired section for future reference.

Phone WML XHTML MMS Camera Colour screen Notes
Motorola C300 1.2.1 No No? No No
Motorola C350 1.2.1 No No? No Yes
Motorola T720 1.2.1 No No No Yes
Nokia 3310 1.1 No No No No
Nokia 3410 1.1 No No No No
Nokia 3510 1.2.1 No Yes No No
Nokia 3650 No(???) Yes Yes Integrated Yes No mention of what version of XHTML is supported.
Nokia 5210 1.1 No No No No
Nokia 6100 1.2.1 No Yes No Yes
Nokia 6310 1.2.1 No No No No
Nokia 6800 1.2.1 No Yes No Yes
Nokia 7210 1.2.1 No Yes No Yes
Nokia 7250 1.2.1 No Yes Integrated Yes
Nokia 7650 1.2.1 No No Integrated Yes
Nokia 8310 1.2.1 No No No No
Panasonic GD87 1.2.1 No Yes Integrated Yes
Sagem myX-5 1.2 No No No Yes
Sagem myX-6 1.2.1 No Yes Integrated Yes
Samsung A800 1.2 No No No No
SamsungN620 Yes No No No No
Samsung S300 1.2 No Yes No Yes
Samsung T100 1.1 No No No Yes
Samsung V200 1.2.1 No Yes Integrated Yes
Siemens A55 1.2.1 No No No No
Siemens S55 2.0 Yes Yes Attachment Yes
Siemens SL55 2.0? Yes? Yes Attachment Yes
Sony Ericsson P800 2.0 Yes Yes Integrated Yes WAP 2.0, incl HTML, XML and cHTML
Sony Ericsson T200 1.2.1 No No Attachment No
Sony Ericsson T300 2.0 Yes Yes Attachment Yes
Sony Ericsson T68i 2.0 Yes Yes Attachment Yes The Sony Ericsson T68 (original) with free firmware upgrade also offers WAP2.0.
Sony Ericsson T310 2.0 Yes Yes Attachment Yes
Sony Ericsson T610 2.0 Yes Yes Integrated Yes
Nokia configurator - here.
Sony Ericsson configurator - here.

Tuesday May 27 2003 at 19:02 GMT

Well, after quite a while with my previous hosting company, my site is finally on the move. I was notified five times today that the site was down, which is just ridiculous. Hopefully it is not a case of out of the frying pan, into the fire.

If you can see this message, then you are looking at my new location. Welcome.

Tuesday May 27 2003 at 10:20 GMT

I'm not a big football fan, but I did watch the Celtic and Rangers today, to decide the winner of the league. In the end, it came down to one goal of difference, with Rangers coming out on top. Celtic have not had a great week - they got beaten by Porto in the UEFA Cup final, even though they played some really great football. Ah well, there's always next season.

Sunday May 25 2003 at 17:34 GMT

Last Thursday, Allan, Jill, John R, Mahyad, Sandy and I went to see Matrix Reloaded.

Firstly, the cinema. We went 'gold class', which meant we got nicer seats, free popcorn and a more intimate setting. Overall, good value for GBP 7.50. From now on, that's my preferred way to see films.

Now, the actual film... Well, I was certainly impressed by it - there was plenty of action and the story really kicked in, although mostly towards the end. The philosophy stuff was there, too, giving me plenty to think about. Somehow, though, it just didn't quite do it all for me. I heard a quote somewhere - it might actually have been on the Making Of... program that has been on TV nearly continually - that said parts 2 and 3 were really just one film, cut in half.

My plan is to see the film again in a week or so - there was so much to take in, that I want to read a bit and then return. I am also looking forward to the third film! Just in case you forgot to sit through all the credits at the end, you can see the full trailer here.

Sunday May 25 2003 at 17:16 GMT [via mobile]

I just added a photo taken with my phone to the latest gallery. You can view it directly by clicking here. My comment about the picture is: The second Starbucks picture. These were both taken right beside several staff, and AIIan and I were being pretty obvious. Maybe Starbucks in the UK is more chilled out..

Sunday May 25 2003 at 16:51 GMT [via mobile]

I just added a photo taken with my phone to the latest gallery. You can view it directly by clicking here. My comment about the picture is: Me @ Starbucks on Forest Road, Edinburgh. Thanks to Martin Bravo for the t-shirt!.

Saturday May 24 2003 at 08:55 GMT

I'm off to meet Dave this morning to discuss P800 stuff and some other random ideas, so I thought I'd better check out what he's been up to. He's linking to this article by Lawrence Lessig about Starb**ks freaking out about people taking pictures in their coffee shops. Based on the comments, it would seem they are within their rights (at least, in the US).

I think a visit with my P800 may be in order!

Friday May 23 2003 at 21:39 GMT [via mobile]

I just added a photo taken with my phone to the latest gallery. You can view it directly by clicking here. My comment about the picture is: The super Mr Blair and Mr Bleakney-friends of old!

Friday May 23 2003 at 13:52 GMT [Posted by Rich, reporting for thinkThin]

Martin asked me to post if I thought any interesting information came to light. Well I have picked up a large amount of info that interests me as a venue about to deploy wireless within the conference centre.
As for information that is of interest here, I guess the theme that has run through the whole event is; those who have a customer base already in place are the ones who will drive the wireless provision in public areas. That is the mobile phone operators. They are the ones who will drive this market.
This is not perhaps what everyone wants to hear but the facts are that a majority of people will and do want billing to be provided through a mobile phone bill with the options of bundled facilities that this provides.
There is still room for the smaller WISP but roaming is going to be the key and the big mobile operators are well placed to deliver this. A small WISP will need to use the services of an aggregator to achieve this.
For the time being there will continue to be a majority of users buying one off scratch card authentication for acess as and when they need it, at the airport, in a coffee shop, hotel and conference centre. However, invoicing through mobile phone bills is coming... soon.

Friday May 23 2003 at 03:23 GMT

I just saw this on Russ's site - what a great t-shirt! Sometimes this is how my mind is really thinking...

Friday May 23 2003 at 03:15 GMT

  1. Firstly, I have a test RSS feed up and running, which should address the 304 Not Modified issue Jason mentioned. I found a handy download via these guys, but my feed still appears to be sending a 200 response. If anyone has any comments or thoughts...
  2. My blog archiving is nowhere near up to speed, but I think I finally have a solution. I'm posting here so that someone can shoot me down and tell me what's wrong with this plan. I need to have some kind of 'static' page, so that Google will index me. PHP is my kinda language, so I need some pages with 'static' URLs, as I can't pass variables after the .php. My solutions is thus:
    • each archived page is simply a copy of the main thinkThin file; thus if I edit the main template, which is embedded in thinkthin.php, all the other archived pages will use the new template. Yes, I know it is bad to mix content and format, but I control most of the layout via CSS, in a different file. I cunningly feed variables to the page via the filename. Thus, if the file is called 2003_04.php, it will return April 2003 blog posts.
    • for the archives page, I'm going to run a simple script to add a link as and when required i.e. when the month changes. The script will also check the timestamp of the thinkthin.php file, and copy it to, say 2003_04.php if the timestamps don't match. This way, if I change the template in thinkthin.php, it will automagically change across all files. If you think this is stupid or brilliant, leave a comment. In general, archiving seems to be a pain - at least I have some options available to me, since my blog tool is my own. I've posted some sample files to 2003_04.php and 2003_05.php.

Friday May 23 2003 at 02:23 GMT [via mobile]

I just added a photo taken with my phone to the latest gallery. You can view it directly by clicking here. My comment about the picture is: Someone sent me this-it appears to be from the next Matrix....

Friday May 23 2003 at 02:22 GMT [via mobile]

I just added a photo taken with my phone to the latest gallery. You can view it directly by clicking here. My comment about the picture is: And this one!.

Friday May 23 2003 at 02:21 GMT [via mobile]

I just added a photo taken with my phone to the latest gallery. You can view it directly by clicking here. My comment about the picture is: Allan not on a Matrix motorbike..

Thursday May 22 2003 at 12:57 GMT [Posted by Rich, reporting for thinkThin]

Well I am at the WLAN event and it is looking good so far. I am mostly taking notes, I will blog more later but the key word for this morning is 'hotzone'.
So it looks like it might be goodnight for the 'hotspot' :-D
Well back to some sessions now I will post details from London later.

Thursday May 22 2003 at 12:00 GMT

Rich is at The Wireless Lan Event today and tomorrow, so I've persuaded him to pop a few entries on here, if he finds some innovative and interesting information. Look out for his posts!

Wednesday May 21 2003 at 16:11 GMT

This site must be checked out for crazy Lego stuff. Very cool indeed!

Wednesday May 21 2003 at 13:16 GMT

After weeks of prodding from Jim, I've finally sorted out a Friend of a Friend (FOAF) file. I used the FOAF-a-matic to create, W3C to validate and this site to explore.

Grant, Eric, DWLT, Diego, Tom, Rich, John Robinson and Graeme Evans - your turns now!

Wednesday May 21 2003 at 01:16 GMT

Consume logoIn my quest for wireless activity in Edinburgh, I've finally entered my node into the Consume.net database. There appears to be a reasonable amount of activity in Edinburgh, although a lot of in testing and speculative nodes. Just in case anyone with WiFi interest reads this, please get in touch. :-)

Tuesday May 20 2003 at 17:44 GMT

Here'a few quick snippets of randomness:
  • I finally joined a gym on Sunday, the Scotsman gym AKA Escape Health Club. Allan and I headed along on Sunday, and had a good chat for ages, which was really great, since we hadn't seen each other properly all week.
  • Grant and Maki were here last night for a flying visit, and we caught up for a few beers in Oloroso. We had a great laugh, and it was a shame they had to scoot off for a plane. Maki took a picture of Grant and I, which I'll post tonight.
  • if you need very tasty sandwiches in Edinburgh, a good place to check is Herbie (I think it is run by the same people as running this one). It is not cheap, but it is good.
  • I didn't manage to change my RSS feed or test clevercactus at the weekend, so more jobs for this week.
  • I set up a Netgear RP614 at the weekend, for a friend on cable broadband. If you need to securely share a cable connection, there is simply no easier way. All products should take plug and play as literally as Netgear!
  • Grant and MakiThe new firmware upgrade on my P800 really seems to have sharpened up photos - this picture of Grant and Maki is supercrisp. I am pleased, indeed.
  • Via Tom, via Mike: PhoneBin - A site where you can send in pictures taken with your cameraphone, and 15 minutes later they are online. I have been thinking about something like this for ages, but localised, so that, say, visitors to Edinburgh could leave pictures and notes for others, on things to do and places to visit. It's interesting to note that the photos of naked females are topping the charts there! Apparently it is similar to WeAreCamera, which is also a neat idea.
  • My fellow Mobitopian and hardcore dude Erik has got himself a weekly column in the Java Developer's Journal Newsletter. Good work Erik!
  • A week tomorrow I am going for a massage, which will be very cool - it's something I've been meaning to get sorted out for ages (yep, another thing). I'm also going to help Jill get her Website online, so that she can advertise her massage business (if you want to contact her now, let me know, and I'll forward any messages for massages). Next week will be relaxing!

Monday May 19 2003 at 18:07 GMT [via mobile]

I just added a photo taken with my phone to the latest gallery. You can view it directly by clicking here. My comment about the picture is: Grant & Maki, both looking happy!.

Monday May 19 2003 at 15:29 GMT

MobitopiaGizmodo is pointing to an interesting article written by a (digital) photographer on using his cameraphone - a mighty P800, of course - and how he thinks this strand of mobile photography is going to weave into the overall fabric of photography.

Real world examples are covered as well as some decent conversations with a digital imaging industry exec and a senior photo editor at America Online. It's good to read this kind of stuff from a photographer point of view, as opposed to a techie.

Monday May 19 2003 at 01:07 GMT

(Via Dave) This is a good article on blogging and bloggers. I've had a few instances where people have said "I'd better not see this on your site!" or the reverse. It's good to see that others are having similar issues.

Monday May 19 2003 at 00:40 GMT

Ages ago, at the Mobi meet, Jim told me about a site which is publishing Sam Pepys diary, one entry per day, in blogger style. I just found the site randomly as O was reading an Introduction to RSS (good if you have no idea what it is) article. It's a neat idea - check it out.

Monday May 19 2003 at 00:07 GMT

Last weekend I dissed Swordfish for it's very poor depiction of hacking. It would seem that the makers of The Matrix Reloaded have takne my annoyance to heart, and have included some very valid hax0r (hacker) sequences. Good work.

Friday May 16 2003 at 19:20 GMT

As I was looking for something else completely, I stumbled on this great list of RSS feeds, which I thought I should share.

One of the things puzzling me is how sites that survive on advertising are going to continue, in the face of RSS feed popularity. As with most things, there are plus points and negative points here.

On one side, sites that bank on people mispelling the name of where they are trying to get to, for example news.bbbc.co.uk instead of news.bbc.co.uk are going to notice a drop-off in traffic. Once an RSS feed is set up on a client computer, no more typing an address into the address bar, no more mispellings => no more traffic. As I see it, this is going to make those 'fake' URLs much less attractive to own, so returning those to the great URLpool of domains, where perhaps a company or individual who actually wants bbbc.co.uk can register it and supply a nice RSS feed of information. In this ideal situation, the junk on the Internet decreases and the quality content increases.

The flip side of this, is that sites who actually depend on advertising to stay afloat, may begin to struggle, as page impressions decrease. Either those sites are lost, or subscribers fork out a little cash to keep them online (or pesky ads start appearing in RSS feeds). In this situation, we pretty much win once again - it has been shown that people will pay for good content.

I'd guess tech sites will be some of the first to sink or swim, given the current RSS user community. It's going to be an interesting one to watch!

Friday May 16 2003 at 17:28 GMT

This morning, Jim and I were discussing a few stories, and I was saying that I wished I'd blogged a particular story last night, instead of waiting until this morning (I didn't post, as it happens). He pointed me to a pretty good set of rules for blogging here. If you blog, you should read them.

One of the things mentioned is that being a Fontbitch is bad. I wasn't entirely sure what a Fontbitch was, but luckily there is a handy definition. Parts of my site actually made me a Fontbitch, and since I'm not so keen on that title, I updated my CSS file and got rid of any fixed font-size items. In doing so, I've had a minor site redesign. Hopefully the site is now easier to read. The comments link below is where you can let me know if I've succeeded with the improvement.

Of course, seeing as over half of you never get near the lovely visuals of my site, you'll miss out on those improvements, so I thought I'd better improve the RSS feeds too. I took a small step forward in working out why some links were never showing up, and I'm aiming to implement either an RSS 1.0 or even 2.0 feed over the weekend. I'm still in research mode just now, finding this site to be pretty useful. Again, any comments or experience would be very much welcomed. The 304 Not Modified will be part of the upgrade - it is nearly done.

Friday May 16 2003 at 11:20 GMT

Contrary to what you may think from reading my site, I am not hyper-excited about seeing Matrix Reloaded. Yes, it is fair to say that I am looking forward to it, but I'm not hopping about in anticipation (yet). Films don't really do that for me. New technology, people and food - yes; films - no.

Thanks to Brad Wilson for pointing out that there is a 30 second trailer for Matrix Revolutions (part 3) at the end of Matrix Reloaded. I will be staying in my seat for that.

Rich has had to pull out of the team screening thus far (he's off to London for some fancy WiFi conference - he'll be blogging from it directly to keep us up to date with what's new ), but John is taking his place and Mayhem may join us.

Friday May 16 2003 at 10:59 GMT

Last night Diego IM'd me a super-fresh copy of his latest clevercactus beta.

After a few installation hiccups on my part (I didn't read the message and attempted to use a silly location for the data directory). I soon had a mail account hooked up and a few RSS feeds coming in. Now, I have not had a really good chance to play with clevercactus yet, however it has a really nice feel to it. I'm planning to move over to use it in a fairly fullscale way this weekend. Thoughts and review to come. More information on clevercactus.

Thursday May 15 2003 at 01:18 GMT

When I was at the Science Museum in April, I built my very own Web page, all done automagically for me. I just remembered... Check it out here.

Wednesday May 14 2003 at 12:56 GMT

Via Slashdot, I found this great article about religion and religious references in The Matrix (the article is even on the Christian Science Monitor!). It is REALLY worth a read, and there are some great bits of information at the end.

Wednesday May 14 2003 at 01:35 GMT

Now on to the second part. My replacement Netgear ME102 arrived today (following only a slight courier delivery issue). In my original post, I forgot to mention that in addition to the ME102 breaking, my Linux box lost the network adapter dedicated for the wireless AP and just would not find anything in either of the two PCI slots.

It took me ages on hold before I finally got to speak to someone at Netgear due, apparently, to a new phonecall queuing system. As I was describing my problems (and those of the ME102 ;-) to the engineer, he almost completed my sentence and asked me to check the power supply. Having no spare in my house, I used my trusty voltmeter - which showed a solid 5V output. The guy arranged for a replacement AP to be sent to me...

Tonight, I popped the new power supply into the AP and ... away it went! Radio light on, LAN connection light on, WiFi connectivity available and USB connectivity available. Just for a laugh, I plugged the network cable back into the missing NIC in my Linux box and lo and beyhold, that now works too.

So, as a helpful note to any other ME102 users out there with symptoms of no radio light, no USB connectivity (it was blue screening my computer or giving me the error 'The DFU driver has not been loaded yet.') and/or no LAN/wired port connectivity, it really does look like a PSU problem. The one supplied with my ME102 (model PWR-002-007) is rated at 5V and 800mA; the new one (model PWR-070-511) is rated at 5V and 1A. Comparing the bottom of the APs shows that Netgear have increased the power rating correspondingly. Cost cutting at Netgear, per chance? I'm going to leave it running with some reasonably heavy traffic overnight, but so far so good [touch wood].

[UPDATE May 22nd: My AP has now been running for over a week, with no problems (touch wood, again!). It would appear that others have been having the same issue, and are following my advice to get it fixed, which is great news. In the original post, I forgot to add a link to the Netgear support site, so here it is.]

All this good news means that I've been able to update my NodeDB.com entry to Fully Operational AP status. I am the first, I think, person to have a fully operational AP in Edinburgh, excluding the two Hiltons, who are charging for access.

I'm exhausted will all this frenzied activity! Goodnight.

Wednesday May 14 2003 at 00:59 GMT

Right, lets get this show on the road! Today has turned out to be something of a tech frenzy, by all accounts.

Let's talk P800 first. There has been a firmware upgrade out for a while, and I've been waiting patiently for my local Carphone Warehouse Service Center to manage to co-ordinate a computer, access to EMMA (the upgrade system) and a trained engineer for a while. Today, the magic moment arrived, and I'm now running with the latest and greatest versions. The best bits are better nightime camera operation, SMS receipts and 'widescreen' video (a much fuller list is here).

The upgrade seems to have gone without a hitch, and I've got everything installed once again. I used handy Sony Ericsson Configurator to send all my lost GPRS, MMS, Email and WAP settings to my phone - and they all work!

Someone sent me the Matrix Reloaded trailer that was shown during the Superbowl (apparently), so I can watch that, in widescreen, on my phone. NOW we are talking!

Tuesday May 13 2003 at 00:57 GMT

Over the last few days, I've really started to get RSS. A long time ago, I used to use Feedreader, but it was just too annoying to have it pop up when a new article was available and I got fed up with it.

I installed nntp//rss a while ago after Russ recommended it. To be honest, it sat dormant for a long time, until I realised lots of people were using my RSS feed, so I thought I'd better see what it looked like.

Then I found a few other sample feeds that Jason had left in, and suddenly I was hooked. Having all those feeds right there in whatever mail/news client you used just makes sense; I finally get why Russ was so excited! Grabbing just the new information in a consistent manner makes everything so much more straightforward and so much more efficient in terms of reading, although I am nowhere near Erik, who watches over 400 feeds (that's devotion for you). If you're looking for a news aggregator, I can highly recommend nntp//rss (and already have)!

The thing is, that with all this new information, I've got more ideas that I'd like to implement, which is not always great when I'm actually trying to spend less time in front of a computer. I really need to get on top of the different versions of RSS and find out what RDF and OPML really do. It is great to have access to find articles like these, and their associated comments. The Web really can be a great place.

Somewhere I found a link to Feedster, an RSS search engine. I'm going to punt it as the next Google, even though Feedstering things doesn't ring quite as nice as googling them.

Monday May 12 2003 at 20:19 GMT

Oh, this is a bad joke:

Q: How many Wi-Fi enthusiasts does it take to change a light bulb?
A: 802.11

Monday May 12 2003 at 02:02 GMT

I'm catching up on some old mails:

Monday May 12 2003 at 00:33 GMT

Well, it's hard to believe it's all over again! Why do they only come every 7 days or so??? So, the weekend...

My Friday night was very quiet. I wandered home, picked up some mighty food and went to my local video shop. Overall, I prefer to support the smaller, local guy instead of Blockbuster, but the selection in my local shop is pretty pitiful. I finally picked out Swordfish (thoughts below).

On Saturday afternoon, I ended up playing pool with Sandy at my super-handy Angle Club. We seem to be in disagreement as to the overall winner! Then we went to see X-Men2 at the Warner Village. Usually I plump for smaller cinemas and smaller films, but I was interested to see how the experience differed. The sound and vision were pretty tasty and the seat gave great viewing, but when I came out, I could have been ANYWHERE - for some reason I was cast back to San Francisco.

X-Men2 itself was a reasonable film. I'm possibly not the best judge of the film though, as I didn't see all of the first film, and I've never read any of the comic books. Maybe I am the ideal judge though, if they are trying to reach a new audience. It was quite a good story, although a bit predictable in places. Probably a DVD-watch recommendation.

Whilst we were there, I picked up a copy of the free film magazine Unreel, specifcally since it had a Matrix 'feature' (turned out to be a three paragraph 'review', which includes a printed link that doesn't work at time of writing) and information about the remake of the classic Italian Job film, which includes this: The final chase sequence involves a helicopter, five armoured cars and the three Miniis[sic] on the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard... (I'd link directly to it, but that isn't online yet either). The original is one of my favourite films, but I think I'll be giving the remake a wide berth. Almost redeeming feature of the magazine: a link to a cool Italian Job fan site (which DOES work).

I've been meaning to get on and buy tickets for Matrix Reloaded for a while, so I popped into the Warner Village on Sunday morning, selected the row and booked six tickets. If you want to come with us, ask for either F4 or F11 at the 23.30 gold class showing on Thursday 22nd. And wear a black trenchcoat.

Escape health club logoToday I met Allan and went to his gym, which I may well join. We did cycling, running, swimming and ended in the sauna/steamroom/tropicarium. It certainly gave me a mighty appetite and was actually quite good fun. Alarmingly, I seemed to be in the 'losing weight' range as I was exercising. If I join I'll need to be careful not to be in there too often, or I'll disappear. This evening has been domestic stuff and FINALLY getting to read some mails and news ... and prepare for the onslaught of the week ahead. Phew!

Saturday May 10 2003 at 01:12 GMT

Swordfish movie imageBack in the days when I used to actually travel for work, I remember watching the ending of Swordfish several times, and always wanting to see the whole film.

On my way home from work, I went into the video store for the first time in years, and picked up the DVD. This was my first rented DVD since I got my DVD player, so it was kind of exciting for me. The film, though, was quite the opposite. The storyline was OK, but they kept using computing terms, and I had to keep groaning at the cheesiness of it all [note to self: don't watch computing films]. The IMDB rating is 6.3/10, which I'd say is a touch on the high side. The only good thing was Halle Berry, whom I am not a fan of. She did look pretty great throughout. Viewing the other potential endings for the film with commentary from the director was neat. I think I like DVDs.

Friday May 9 2003 at 18:08 GMT

I found this cool online tool: an online pubcrawl generator! It seems to work reasonably well - will need to put it into practice sometime soon.

Friday May 9 2003 at 18:03 GMT

It seems that we now have a Scottish cricket team, the Scottish Saltires. We've even snagged a very well regarded Indian player, Rahul Dravid.

Anurag gave me this file with all the fixtures:
2003 First Class Fixtures:
Sun 4th May Durham away NCL
Wed 7th May Somerset home C&G
Fri 9th May Somerset home NCL
Mon 19th May Middlesex home NCL
Tue 20th May Derbyshire home NCL
Sun 25th May Lancashire away NCL
Sun 1st June Hampshire home NCL
Sat 6th June Pakistan home (venue TBA)
Sun 15th June Somerset away NCL
Tue 17th June Middlesex away NCL
Sun 6th July Nottinghamshire home NCL
Mon 7th July Durham home NCL
Wed 9th July Lancashire home NCL
Sun 3rd Aug Sussex away NCL
Mon 4th Aug Hampshire away NCL
Wed 6th Aug Northamptonshire away NCL
Tues 26th Aug Northamptonshire home NCL
Thu 28th Aug Sussex home NCL
Sun 7th Sept Derbyshire away NCL
Sun 14th Sept Nottinghamshire away NCL
Apparently they will be playing at a ground pretty close to where I am, so hopefully Anurag will take me along and explain how the games is actually played!

Friday May 9 2003 at 15:03 GMT

This morning I was checking the monthly statistics and it would appear that visitors viewing my site vs visitors viewing the RSS feed is almost a 50/50 split!

I thought I'd better check that it is all looking good, so I've made a few changes to it. On the backend, I've replaced my homemade recipe for changing ampersands and greater than signs with the standard PHP htmlspecialchars, which I hadn't noticed when I did my own thing.

On the frontend, I've restricted the feed to the last 15 posts and also added a direct link to the comments page for each post.

If you're reading this via RSS and think I need to add/remove/modify something, or have a suggestion, then either leave a comment or contact me directly.

Friday May 9 2003 at 11:38 GMT

MobitopiaT-Mobile in the States has announced that subscribers can now sign up to an unlimited WiFi plan and have it added to their normal monthly bill

BELLEVUE, Washington - 05/08/2003 - As simple as adding a new feature to their existing wireless plan, T-Mobile customers can now easily and affordably get the T-Mobile HotSpot 'Wi-Fi' service included in their monthly wireless voice and data bill, enabling them to use their Wi-Fi enabled laptop or PDA to get a broadband wireless Internet connection at more than 2,300 T-Mobile HotSpot locations across the country.

Consistent with its Get More® promise to provide the best value in wireless, new and existing T-Mobile customers can now add the T-Mobile HotSpot service to their existing monthly bill at a special rate of $19.99 for unlimited access. The special rate rewards T-Mobile's voice and data customers with up to a 50 percent savings over current regular HotSpot rate plans. T-Mobile HotSpot service will continue to be available as a 'stand alone' service on a subscription or pay as you go basis.

This certainly seems like a very logical step forward, and one that may actually be useful, given T-Mobile's WiFi coverage of coffee shops, book shops and airports.

News.com have a story on this too.

Wednesday May 7 2003 at 15:16 GMT

MobitopiaTwo articles in The Feature (free registration required)have just caught my eye.

As a non-developer, this article provides a neat summary of the main platforms involved and what standards are coming to the fore. There is a slight US focus, but overall it made good reading to me.

The second article discusses how many smaller companies are the main providers of mobile applications and how they are surviving and growing in the marketplace, as well as how the market itself is expected to grow.

Wednesday May 7 2003 at 02:11 GMT

A-TeamI was a lucky boy. For my birthday, Polly, John, Robbie and Sophie got me a DVD player. We were out when the courier tried to deliver it last week, but we got it today. It is a super shiny silver player, that appears to play pretty much every flavour of shiny disk ever created and is now safely slotted in beside my digital TV box.

Singles the movieI have managed to accumulate a few DVDs over the years, but last week in London I picked up some I actually wanted. So, first spin on the player was some great A-Team action. As kids, Allan, Viv and I used to watch these guys drive their van, build tanks out of a few barrels and a shotgun and escape from Colonel Decker every Saturday night. Watching it again tonight was fantastic - those old times came flooding back.

One of my favourite films ever is Singles. The story is pretty good, but the music is GREAT and really takes me back to University days. It is one of the very few soundtracks I own, mostly because there is a Smashing Pumpkins track on it. They even drop one of my favourite R.E.M. tracks in there, just for good measure ... taking me back to my days in the Gryffe Valley Brass Band and our great tours. Now I really do have to have my Pavement party.

Tuesday May 6 2003 at 15:45 GMT

Until about a day before I went to London, the network in my flat worked perfectly. Both my brother and I connected wirelessly and everything was fine. Then we started getting 'hardware errors' and now my Netgear ME102 AP has stopped working. The lights come on after a long wait, it appears to do some frantic network activity, and then everything stops. It doesn't even ask for an IP address.

Added to this insult, I can no longer connect to it via USB - it just blue screens the computer I'm trying to attach with. After spending about an hour holding no the phone for customer support (obviously a word used lightly), I gave up and sent an email. Hopefully it is either a basic error that they know how to recify, or else I simply send it back and they fix it. I do have a five year warranty on it, and seeing as the box has basically sat in the same place for the last six months or so, I'm not at all happy it has broken!

I've been meaning to register my node on NodeDB for ages, but never got round to it. I'm on there now, though, with a status of 'gathering components'. Hopefully I can move that back to 'open AP' very quickly.

Tuesday May 6 2003 at 13:47 GMT

I somehow got involved in a discussion over at bent back tulips about whether or not links should open in a new window or not. I am certainly guilty of making links open in new windows, so that people can still see my site, but I am now reconsidering that. My reason for making links open in new windows is to save having to right-click, then open-link-in-new-window, or excessive use of the back button, but I guess it could very well become comfusing, especially since I use the same target name in each post.

As usual, DiveIntoMark has something to say about the situation, saying that forced new windows are the scourge of the Web. I have approached it from a user perspective (my own) but I'd be interested to read what YOU think.

Tuesday May 6 2003 at 09:13 GMT [via mobile]

I just added a photo taken with my phone to the latest gallery. You can view it directly by clicking here. My comment about the picture is: My Memory Stick Duo 128MB card has finally arrived. MP3 time is here!.

Monday May 5 2003 at 00:52 GMT [via mobile]

I just added a photo taken with my phone to the latest gallery. You can view it directly by clicking here. My comment about the picture is: Giovanni sent me this cool image he took at the Symbian Exposium of a 'virtual' keyboard. I've wanted one of thefe for AGES!.

Monday May 5 2003 at 00:39 GMT

Lots of phonesI've just got a few older pictures from the Gotan Project concert and a cool tree here and some pics from my week in London here.

At the Mobitopia meetup, everything went super-Bluetooth for me. Everyone was firing contact information and images around (check out this one courtesy of Giovanni).

If anyone in the London pictures wants better quality images, let me know.

Sunday May 4 2003 at 23:50 GMT

As I was reading Grant's blog and talking to Sandy online, I realised I'd forgotten to mention I went to the Tate Modern. I am getting WAY too forgetful...

Anyway, I think it has improved slightly since my last visit, thankfully. If there was no Rothko room, it would still really suck. I can't put my finger on why I think it is so poor, but I would recommend the Tate Britain, instead.

Sunday May 4 2003 at 14:07 GMT

Now that I've written my own blog tool, it's time to give it some kind of standard interface, so I'm planning to implement the blogger.api using XML-RPC, mostly just to get some experience playing with it. Diego has just written a neat summary of blogger APIs, which is kind of handy.

Sunday May 4 2003 at 00:58 GMT

Whilst I was in London I didn't have anywhere near the 'normal' level of Internet access I regularly enjoy - I had hoped to use Sophie's ADSL connection, but SecureID tags ... drivers ... passwords. As you can see, I did become quite used to posting from my phone, both pictures and a few posts. It's the first time in ... a very long time that I've been without a laptop, and I did actually feel a kind of liberation - not dragging a laptop everywhere certainly helped my shoulders and back, too. Surfing with Opera on my phone is a perfectly do-able thing and I could collect my mail too. The built in client is reasonable, although when quoting replies, it's not the easiest thing to manipulate.

As I've said before, TipicME is a great IM application. On the train down, I was running the Pro version, which managed to hold a connection very impressively as we wound round hills and through valleys. I spent several hours of my journey online; battery life was hit, obviously, but was nowhere near dying, even after some MP3 playing and quite a bit of Web surfing and email checking. Tipic are still sorting out the billing system for Pro and something went wrong with the app on Wednesday, so I had to revert to the vanilla version for my return journey. Somehow, I just wasn't quite as impressed. Hopefully I can get the paid version sooner rather than later.

So, I certainly felt pretty comfortable not having a laptop for a week. I certainly didn't feel disconnected. Perhaps the next generation of phone will allow me to leave the laptop at home without losing any connectivity or functionality.

One question I've been pondering for a while is exactly what the difference between a moblog (mobile blog) and a 'normal' blog is now. It used to be fairly clearly cut when phones had restrictive functions, but now the only big differences are bandwidth and screen size. I'm unlikely to post a big article with loads of links from my phone, simply due to the monetary and time costs of viewing all those pages on my phone and the screen size making editing fiddly. Apart from that, there is very little difference. This is something I need to think and write more on, but for the moment, Joi Ito has some good linkage.

Sunday May 4 2003 at 00:06 GMT

I almost forgot this... I was on a very packed tube, squashed against an overweight bloke, when a middle aged woman said to me "think thin". Oh how I laughed!

[If you've no idea why I laughed, check here and here. Looks like I have some words to eat on where I thought phones were going!]

Friday May 2 2003 at 22:46 GMT

Woops - I forgot to mention the Mobitopia meetup! Russ, Jim, Tom and I got together for some pizza, then headed over to the George where we met up with David, Giovanni, Mal and a bunch of others. The discussion got intense pretty quickly, and some others joined the throng. All in all a very good night, although it would have been good to discuss how to take Mobitopia forward. IM will have to do!

Friday May 2 2003 at 21:37 GMT

I'm back home now after a pretty good train jorney home.

So, Wednesday involved a tasty lunch with Al at Singapura and then on to the mighty Science Museum (my favourite museum, maybe in the world, ever). Then I met up with Sophie and some of her work colleagues at a pub then we headed on for some food at Mildred's. The food was good, but not quite as good as we both thought we'd had there before. We had a good laugh though.

On Thursday, I did the shopping thing, including a visit to Selfridges (hey - their site runs on Notes!) and then met Karen, walked through to Covent Garden and met Grant, Eric and Maki. We decided Covent Garden was just too busy, so headed over to Yelo, which was damn tasty, then Eric, Karen and I headed to the great eastern dining room, which was a great find indeed. We sat in the downstairs bar and had a chat, whilst watching the beautiful people...

This morning, I got up and got my train back up north. The second I stepped back into Waverley Station, I was *completely* hit by just how small Edinburgh actually is. Waverley, the main station in Edinburgh is just tiny compared to ONE of the station in London. It then took me 20 minutes to get from Waverley to my house via bus, at rush hour, in a comfy seat. I'm not sure I could even guess how far I'd have got in London in that time during rush hour on a Friday in 20 minutes.

I didn't end up taking very many pictures on my IXUS, somehow, but I'll get them online later.

Thursday May 1 2003 at 18:26 GMT [via mobile]

I just added a photo taken with my phone to the latest gallery. You can view it directly by clicking here. My comment about the picture is: Not quite Friday....

Thursday May 1 2003 at 12:58 GMT

Tim forwarded this to me - an auction with four geeks.

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