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
More pictures from my phone

Monday June 30 2003 at 00:40 GMT

On Friday, one of our mailmen from work retired. We all headed to the Trav for a beer. After a view G, I tried a beer I hadn't previously heard of, called Summer Beaches, from India. It was really tasty - lovely and fruity and fresh. Unfortunately, I can find no information on it.

Even Anurag, who *claims* to be Indian (although is really from Croydon ;-) knows nothing about it. If anyone has any information, please let me know.

Monday June 30 2003 at 00:35 GMT

I'm now signed on for Raphael's 24 hours moblog on 4th July. Asked Moof: Why 4th July? The answer ... no, not because of THAT, but because it is the day before the first moblogging conference starts.

I'm reading this mail late, and I'm tired, but it looks like I may have some work to do to get me publishing nicely...

Sunday June 29 2003 at 23:15 GMT

Russ just popped me a cool link. There's going to be a Games Festival here in Edinburgh, during August (which is when the city goes crazy with festivals.

Sunday June 29 2003 at 20:56 GMT

These special two days of the week go so much faster than any others! Normally I can only report that I've had many beers, but this weekend I've actually been hardcore productive. I'd been considering going to Glastonbury, seeing as I had a free 'in', but I got lazy or something, and it didn't happen.

What I did do, was buy a kitchen! After ... ooh ... five years(!) of having a few random kitchen-related articles in a room I call the kitchen (some very old pics here - not much has changed in that room), I've finally got my act together and ordered one. My parents came over on Saturday and we kicked about plans and ideas, headed to a few shops, got some more ideas, shook our heads, tried some different things, shook our heads then arrived at as good a plan as we could. Today I took the plan back to the shop and ponied up a whole load of cash, for something which will be delivered in a month or two.

To be honest, I'm not thrilled about the whole thing, because my kitchen is just too small to do too much with, but it will mean that my house is significantly more complete than at present, and I can finally put new carpets down.

The whole process has pretty much knackered me, so I may even have an early night!

Friday June 27 2003 at 17:31 GMT

Some Friday fun, courtesy of Matt: Matrix Reloaded (edit).

Friday June 27 2003 at 17:27 GMT

One of the mails I missed was from Raphael. He's running a moblog for one day - the 4th of July. I've signed up.

Friday June 27 2003 at 16:16 GMT

Wow - T-Mobile in the US have announced unlimited GPRS, for USD20 as an add-on, or USD30 on its own. There doesn't appear to be any further disclaimer on the page - incredible! [Via infosync]

Friday June 27 2003 at 15:57 GMT

My new hosting, for, has been good thus far (touch wood!), but I just found a small fly in the ointment. The default email address configuration is somewhat different to my previous ISP, requiring a full, valid email address, as opposed to just an email box. The result is that over 700 messages have been filed in a random mailbox. Thanks to Diego's wonderful CleverCactus, I managed to pull the 7MB file to my computer and grab the messages. I'm slowly catching up on everything... If you've mailed me recently, and not had a reply, then this is likely why not. Over the weekend I'll get back on track with replies.

Thursday June 26 2003 at 12:20 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: It's cooking in Edinburgh today - 20C!.

Wednesday June 25 2003 at 23:19 GMT [via mobile]

I just added a video taken with my phone to the videolatest gallery. You can view it directly by clicking here. My comment about the picture is: Ruby, Lukester and Baker at All Bar One. Lukester was over from France for a few days, so we met all met up for a drink. .

Wednesday June 25 2003 at 16:36 GMT

Mobitopia3gnewsroom today reports that Carphone Warehouse sales of Three phones has skyrocketed:
Carphone Warehouse is reporting a huge upsurge in its sales of 3G mobile handsets from 3, increased five-fold in the last two weeks.

The news follows drastic price cuts made by Hutchison to its voice tariffs at the beginning of the month in a move, which analysts said amounted to a 50% discount on the average per-minute charge for mobile calls compare to other rivals.

Over a thousand 3 handsets are now reported to be sold each day by the Carphone Warhouse. Last week, in an attempt to stimulate the market further, new 3 UK co-chief executive Bob Fuller attacked his rivals for sitting on the fence, and urged them to stop dragging their feet.

It looks like many others are thinking like me and taking the plunge. Assuming other other high street retailers are also seeing significantly increased sales of Three phones, then this must be a huge confidence, financial and publicity boost for Three. Once online sales are included, where it has been possible to pick up better deals on the handsets for a few weeks compared to the high street, it looks like we are seeing some real momentum gathering.

There have been murmurings that this incremental approach has been part of the Three gameplan all along. Initially, keep the cost high to limit the number of subscribers, so that if and when the network falls over, fewer people are upset about it. Now that those teething troubles have been ironed out, it's time to lower the barrier of entry and start building numbers.

Offering tariffs to challenge the established 2G networks is an easy way to get some market share, publicity and most importantly some cash rolling in. Given that Three have a brand new shiny network awaiting, with a stack of capacity, they can afford to take this approach of enticing users in for basic voice calling, before warming them up to parting with cold cash for content and making video calls. A further neat touch on the inclusive minute tariffs is that they are 'anytime minutes' - so no concept of peak and off-peak, until you run out of minutes, and no 'network unavailable' tones as everyone starts dialling the second peak becomes off-peak.

Of course, these may all just be signs of a desparate company trying to salvage something from an otherwise damp start. Hopefully these latest figures will give some confidence to Three and gee up the market.

Tuesday June 24 2003 at 21:48 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: 'Ster & Cormac.

Tuesday June 24 2003 at 16:54 GMT

One of the mailing lists I'm on pointed to a rumour on the esato message boards about the next version of the legendary Sony Ericsson P800, the P810.

The key details seem to be:

  • size - smaller, lighter and considerably thinner
  • speed - faster processors
  • screen - 65k colours tft
  • look
    • dark metal (look?) with chromed buttons
    • stylus sits behind the phone and is made of metal
    • Memory Stick Duo slot is protected like on the Z1010

The original thread is here. Does it have any validity? Maybe, maybe not. The guy, borat, who posted what appears to be the best information yet, also posted about the T610, in January which had a right-on-the-money description.

Looks like I'm going to have to take a second job to feed my phone phetish. ;-)

[Update Wednesday 25th June, 20.35 GMT]: Mobile Burn have some pictures of the P810!

Tuesday June 24 2003 at 00:37 GMT

Graeme using the Mac PlusToday I finally got a cable I'd been waiting for. It was to link a very old-school Mac Powerbook to a SCSI connection ... which would then link to an ethernet connection.

Mr Evans has rocked with the setup, working out what is required and then managing to scan around the Web and downloading it.

The Mac Plus is now able to run Eudora as well as a basic WWW browser! The Powerbook is running Netscape Gold 3. All just for fun!

Monday June 23 2003 at 18:45 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: Microsoft are yet to grasp the full benefit of putting software on DVDs..

Monday June 23 2003 at 00:41 GMT

Throwing new, relatively untested technology right into a situation where it must work is not always a good idea, as I learned at the weekend. I recorded a few short videos of my uncle, to send to relatives overseas. My plan was to email them immediately, but when I came to send them on my NEC e606, I got the helpful error message 'Memory is full'. Initially I thought I'd recorded too many videos, and deleted the downloaded stuff, until eventually I had to get rid of the personal messages. After much cursing and googling, I finally worked out that I should delete sent mails. Grrrr.

Just in case anyone else has the same problem and is not so fluent in Russian (that was the only other site I found when I googled), I'm noting the problem and resolution here, so that when the googlebot next visits, the information will be search-findable. Now if anyone knows how to recover deleted files on an e606, I would be very grateful to know.

Video posting is now working as it should, which is quite cool.

Monday June 23 2003 at 00:29 GMT [via mobile]

I just added a video taken with my phone to the videolatest gallery. You can view it directly by clicking here. My comment about the picture is: Somewhat delayed posting of this video due to handset problems! This is my cousin John with his beautiful wife and his dad, at his wedding..

Sunday June 22 2003 at 22:34 GMT

I just found Unwired via Xeni via Xeni RSS via ScriptingNews.

It would appear that I am not cool enough to join them, as I'm not any of: technologists, entrepreneurs, product designers, journalists, and telecom industry executives from the US, Europe, and Asia. I'm going to drop them a mail, and ask if I can initially participate as a read-only member.

Sunday June 22 2003 at 19:39 GMT

John and Joanna's weddingI'm just back from my cousin John's wedding in The Wirral. Pictures are online here, after some editing in the car on the return journey.

Allan, Fiona and I drove down to Carlisle on Friday night, then completed the journey on Saturday. The wedding was superb - everything went smoothly at the church, then the celebration afterwards was very cool. A marquee had been put up at Joanna's parents house where we had the wedding breakfast, then a dancefloor was opened up. We got a bus home at about two-ish, after some fireworks. All in all, a briliant day and night!

This morning we headed over to my uncle's house for some breakfast, then drove back up the road. We stopped at the Agricultural Hotel in Penrith, where I *ate*. The food was incredible - my 1.5lb lamb shoulder was delicious! Very well recommended if you're travelling on the M6.

Sunday June 22 2003 at 19:26 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: We stopped for food at the Agricultural Hotel on the way back up, and I ate ALL the food, starting with 1.5lb of lamb shoulder. Mmmmm!.

Saturday June 21 2003 at 22:34 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: Lots of cousins..

Saturday June 21 2003 at 22:29 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 cousin John & the gorgeous Jo get married. More photos to come!.

Friday June 20 2003 at 21:18 GMT [via mobile]

I just added a video taken with my phone to the videolatest gallery. You can view it directly by clicking here. My comment about the picture is: Test.

Friday June 20 2003 at 18:32 GMT

The Jolly Judge WiFi story has been generating a nice little bit of interest. This is good, but it kind of forced Ali's hand in getting his revised site online. It's there now. More to come next week. :-)

Friday June 20 2003 at 18:23 GMT

So, my new Three phone does video and email ... therefore, I can blog video (so my thinking goes).

I've edited my mobile photo upload script so that it should now handle videos in .MP4 format, which I can send from my NEC e606 via 3G. The script now appears to be working correctly, but I now have an email issue with mail to my home box. ARGH. Anyway, I've got one test video up. In case you can't see it, you may need a newer version of Quicktime or else software from the Three downloads page.

Friday June 20 2003 at 18:01 GMT [via mobile]

I just added a video taken with my phone to the videolatest gallery. You can view it directly by clicking here. My comment about the picture is: This is my first test of video blogging. Nothing exciting, just me on the bus. .

Friday June 20 2003 at 16:10 GMT

P800 aluminium stylusThere is a neat piece of kit on ebay at the moment - an aluminium stylus for the P800.

I've found the plastic stylus to be fine for my use, but an aluminium one would definitely be sweet. The danger of losing it would be high, though. I'm not planning to enter into the auction for this one. I'm sure there will be more at less cost, soon.

There is a discussion on .

Friday June 20 2003 at 10:36 GMT

[Via Erik] Fun.

Friday June 20 2003 at 03:15 GMT

MobitopiaJim posted a few weeks ago about Bluetooth. I agree with his sentiments - phones talk very nicely to other phones indeed. Bluetooth is about much more than phones though, but it's at this point things often get messy. Trying to bring a computer into the equation (personally, I've tried this with a Windows laptop and a Linux desktop) can be a frustrating task. The array of profiles can be confusing to both the software and end-user.

It doesn't take a genius to note that a huge reason why WiFi 'works', is because it just works. You pop your card in your laptop, find an access point and you're connected. If Bluetooth is to thrive, then simplifying things (or at least appearing to) is surely the way forward.

Over the last few days, it seems that there have been several Bluetooth announcements, so here's a quick roundup:

  • version 1.2 of the Bluetooth spec is in final testing. The new version, backwards compatible with 1.1, specifically addresses improving the user experience (well done!). In addition, security and an improved frequency hopping technology to reduce interference with other devices in the 2.4GHz frequency band, such as WiFi and cordless phones have been improved, among other aspects. Infosync note that a series of implementation guides to make Bluetooth devices be up-and-running with five minutes have a good range of backers, including Microsoft; Apple are not mentioned, but one would have to hope/assume they are actively contributing. This is also covered on vnunet
  • Sony has shown off Feel, which sits on top of the Bluetooth stack, removing the need for users to pair devices etc. The bad news is that it is a Sony proprietary technology, although Sony may licence it.
  • once there is a hacking tool for a technology, you know it is going somewhere. Redfang(!) is now out, and will sit and search for devices over a wide range of addresses, apparently sniffing out a device in about 90 minutes, given a reliable transfer rate. This raises the concept of Bluetooth Wardriving, but someone's going to have to come up with a better name given the short range of Bluetooth
  • several articles compare WiFi and Bluetooth at the hotspot (read: Internet access at a random location) level [which is a whole 'nother story]; thankfully they come to the conlusion that Bluetooth is not the technology for that purpose, at least in most cases. The Forrester report offers some interesting statistics comparing the number of Bluetooth enabled and WiFi enabled devices. By 2008, there are expected to be about 53 million WiFi enabled laptops and PDAs, compared to 286 million Bluetooth enabled phones, laptops and PDAs
  • Qualcomm is to start really pushing Bluetooth as part of the CDMA standard. North America does seem a touch behind on Bluetooth adoption, quite possibly due to the fact that GSM is historically less popular there, and that has been the big driver for adoption elsewhere. From that same article, it is interesting to note that Bluetooth only has a range of a matter of inches.
These stories paint a positive picture of the technology. It is currently going through some growing pains, but the Bluetooth Special Interest Group appear to have been listening to feedback and tackling the tricky issues head-on.

Friday June 20 2003 at 00:47 GMT

Manhattan mobWired have a story about a mob of 200 people or so, who met up in a department store in Manhattan, looked at a rug, then left.

Read the article for the full details. Needless to say, I'd have loved to have been there to take part! Maybe it's time for an Ediburgh Mob. This guy was there, and Wired yoinked his photos for use in their article. Thanks to Mike for permission to use his picture here. :-)

Friday June 20 2003 at 00:18 GMT

Jolly JudgeFinally I can say something about the fun I've been having (or at least part of it)! I had an idea that it would be cool to persuade somewhere in the middle of Edinburgh to offer broadband access to the public, via WiFi/802.11b/wireless, in a not-for-profit stylee. As it happened, I was talking to a friend at work, Ali, who happens to be involved with a pub in town and enjoys some tech action. He was quite up for installing some ADSL and then popping a wireless access point on the end of it.

ADSL was activated on Tuesday, and I went round last night and put the access point in. The walls in the Judge are over a metre thick on places, so we're still playing with the positioning to get maximum coverage for the inside of the pub and the lovely little courtyard outside (at the moment, only the two closest tables to the door have good connectivity), however it is on and available for use.

As far as I can see, this is the first commericially-owned, no-cost-for-access, WiFi access point in Edinburgh! Woohoo! All Ali is asking, is that you buy a drink at the bar, if you use the service.

Once the additional Jolly Judge pages are fully active, there will be a guestbook available and the Acceptable Usage Policy available. For the time being, we ask that you use your common sense AUP, and let me know if you use it (feedback/thoughts/ideas/whatever).

If you happen to find this page because you are interested in WiFi activity in Edinburgh, then please also get in touch - I'm trying to get together a group of like-minded people with the aim of getting some community networks up and running.

I'll leave you with a bit of a teaser: there's plenty more happening at the moment. Watch this space!

Thursday June 19 2003 at 15:32 GMT

The BBC has a short Harry Potter quiz. Fun for five minutes. :-)

Wednesday June 18 2003 at 17:00 GMT

MobitopiaNEC e606Three handsets were finally at a price I could afford - free - so I've signed myself up. I've taken the VideoTalk 750 package, which looks pretty good value and will drop my Orange bill by quite a bit each month, assuming I get coverage (mostly in my flat).

Already I've had requests for a review, but it is a touch too soon for that. Thus far, I have to say:

  • the customer service in the Three shop in Edinburgh has been fantastic, in comparison to what I had heard about in other stores. The people I have dealt with have known a lot about the handsets and the service itself, and have also followed up on information and called me back. They have also been refershing honest about the network.
  • my phone was activated pretty quickly after I bought it. I was told it may take up to 72 hours, but it actually took two.
  • yes, the phone is a fair size, and I'm still not a fan of flips
  • the user interface is nowhere near as bad as I had heard/feared. It is nowhere like the polished style of my P800, but it is certainly quite usable. The phone has a reasonably nice feel to it - the buttons are solid and the screen is very nice.
  • 3G network coverage seems a bit touch-and-go. I work in the middle of Edinburgh, in a building taller than many around it, with lots of windows ... yet the signal still regularly drops back to 2G
More later, once I've had a good play!

Wednesday June 18 2003 at 16:56 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 first photo from my NEC e606..

Wednesday June 18 2003 at 15:43 GMT

Yesterday evening was quite cool, for two good reasons.

First up, I met Fiona (very briefly). She works at Napier University and had managed to wangle two tickets to the Photography Film & Imaging Honours Year Degree Still Show, handily just around the corner from my office. It was good to catch up with Fiona and get her news - her boyfriend of 3.5 years has just moved in, congrats! - and see some cool photography (I'm a big fan). Fiona used to work in a photography place and bumped into a million people; I worked my way round the room. After about half an hour, I had to jet off, but it seems Fiona had a rather interesting time. Ask her, not me. Maybe she'll comment.

The reason I had to leave was to head off with Jams and Rich to see John, who is still in Wishaw Hospital. We thought long and hard what to take for him, and finally decided to grab a DVD player and a stack of discs, some headphones and cables.

After some swift persuasion at the ward, we were let in, and had a chat with John. He's in pretty good spirits considering and had his own little room with (fixed by Jams) TV and (fixed by Rich) radio. He was hoping to get to Edinburgh today, so we ended up not leaving the DVD player, but he hasn't moved yet. It looks like he may be in hospital for a week or two yet, until he is basically able to handle regular tasks himself. I passed on best wishes from everyone - thanks to many many people who have contacted me, asking me to do so.

Tuesday June 17 2003 at 13:32 GMT

I've just spoken to John on the phone. His left arm is in plaster from his knuckles to his armpit, and will be for the next four to six weeks. His right arm is in a sling, so that he can't move it too far as it is almost broken, and movement would push it over the edge. The rest of his injuries are superficial. He did sound in reasonably good spirits and is awaiting information about when he'll be moved to an Edinburgh hospital. As he said, he doesn't like to do things by half!

Tuesday June 17 2003 at 01:19 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: Lunch in the sun - oh what a beautiful day!.

Monday June 16 2003 at 23:56 GMT

I like to check my site stats, to see what people are looking at and how they find my site. The third most popular search term is jimmy chung's edinburgh, a restaurant I visited a while back. I checked to see where my site arrived in the google parade, and I'm first - woohoo! [As a side note, the real Jimmy Chung's site isn't googled at all.]

Herein lies the problem. If you click on the link, it takes you to my front page ... where, the Jimmy Chung's post has long gone. Even clicking the cached version offers no hope, so anyone looking for information is left none the wiser.

Looks like I've got two things to do, but I'd be interested in other viewpoints. Firstly, having the front page of my site spidered is a pointless activity - it changes too often - so it's time for a robots.txt. Secondly, improved archiving. Having all the posts from an entire month makes finding information very difficult. Can't believe my bad site design! Looks like it may be time to learn mod_rewrite. I suppose I should also import all my old blog entries and implement an internal search engine too. So much to do - always good.

Monday June 16 2003 at 22:54 GMT

Well, Mr Robinson is *still* in hospital. He's been rebuilt, but has been kept in. His mom went out to see him tonight. He may be home tomorrow...

Sunday June 15 2003 at 14:43 GMT

Snapped JohnHere's a picture of John at the hostpital, just after he arrived.

For some reason, the operation on his wrist did not take place today so John will be spending another night in hospital. :-(

I've put a gallery here, where the future happy pictures of John's re-organised 30th birthday will be posted.

Sunday June 15 2003 at 01:45 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: Aiii. Jams, Gaz and I at Colours, at the Liquid Rooms.

Sunday June 15 2003 at 00:17 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: Centraaaaaaal.

Saturday June 14 2003 at 21:12 GMT [via mobile]

Well, things didn't go quite according to plan. On the third or fourth lap of quad biking, John took a nasty spill-he hit a jump and landed on the front wheels before being thrown from his quad. We've spent the day at Wishaw hospital and have just left John their. He's got two nasty fractures in his right shoulder and a messily broken left wrist, which requires wire to fix, as well as an array of cuts and bruises. OUCH!

John should be home tomorrow, and we certainly won't forget his 30th birthday...

Saturday June 14 2003 at 17:40 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: Quad biking-the all too predictable outcome. PS Happy Birthday, John.

Friday June 13 2003 at 14:02 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: At lunchtime I took a walk along Princes St - first time in a while. 3 have taken a window in Superdrug, so I took up their offer to 'come in and play'. The e606 and e808 I used both impressed me. I video-called a friend I met there, and was still impressed. Given the great tarifs currently on offer and the assurance of 3G coverage in my house, a purchase may be approaching!.

Thursday June 12 2003 at 12:31 GMT

Thursday June 12 2003 at 01:43 GMT

RobbieI've had a stack of pictures on my camera for a while now, so I thought I'd better get them online! I've put some new pictures of my Godson, pictures of Tan's 6degrees club and a few pics of my parents into the galleries.

My memory of 6degrees is a little ... hazy. Once I've spoken to Tan et al, names will be attributed.

I need to find a way to rotate some of the AVIs I've got. If anyone has a suggestion for a neat piece of software for the task, either for Linux or Windows, please let me know.

Wednesday June 11 2003 at 10:09 GMT

Thanks to Diego, I just found James Gosling's blog. He was one of the founders of Java, way back in the day. It's really great to see people like this having a blog - such great access to their real, (mostly) un-edited thoughts.

On a slightly related note, it's good to see that Gizmodo is opening up to comments, although I agree with Peter in hoping that they don't lower to snipes and infighting amongst readers. If they stay educated and on-topic, it will be a win-win for everyone and it will make the site feel more like a community, instead of a lecture.

Wednesday June 11 2003 at 08:59 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: One of the shops close to my flat has finally been let, after a long time vacant, to Blendz. They sell smoothies, coffee & bagels. I tested the espresso this morning and it was good. I'll try a smoothie in a few days, when I'm sure it won't take too long..

Tuesday June 10 2003 at 17:00 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: Graeme and I met for coffee, but the connection wasn't playing. Strangely, the only way to pay is Visa/Mastercard/Eurocard - no Switch or American Express..

Tuesday June 10 2003 at 14:17 GMT

Ashley Norris at the Guardian went on a little WiFi Safari, to find out how easy it is to get some wireless connectivity. It may be time to do the same in Edinburgh.

Tuesday June 10 2003 at 13:43 GMT

This makes a very amusing read for those of us who read these 'a-list' blogs. Surely they errored by not including Russ!

Tuesday June 10 2003 at 01:24 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: Once the scaffolding for the Tattoo starts going up, Festival feels so much nearer..

Tuesday June 10 2003 at 01:21 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: On my way home tonight, I spotted T-Mobile advertising their WiFi access, called Hotspots, at a Starbucks here in Edinburgh. That's the first time I've seen wireless access advertised here (apart from my own warchalk ;-). I'd love to see what promo material they have in-store, so if anyone has a copy or it's online already, please let me know..

[Update @ 14.38 GMT]: Graeme pointed me to this T-Mobile page. It seems there are three locations in Edinburgh where I can go to surf. I've got a funny feeling that my WiFi Safari will start today, just after 5pm! Anyone care to join me at the Starbucks in Conference Square? Rich? Graeme?

Tuesday June 10 2003 at 00:28 GMT

It would appear that my RSS feed has not been updating correctly, so I've switched back to the old version. I have been posting, but I guess many haven't been seeing it... :-(

Monday June 9 2003 at 11:01 GMT

dwlt have just announced his cool RSS feed of comics, which I've been running for the last few days or so. Having everything fed to me in one place is so nice! There's more information on the feeds here.

Monday June 9 2003 at 10:29 GMT

I was trying to find something on my own site from a while back, so I asked Google for help. After I found what I was looking for, I did a quick check to see that I was still the first martinlittle, which I am. Google asked me if I had missed a space and actually meant to search for martin little, so I tried that, and I'm now the top search there, too. I'm pretty sure this is new for me, but I'm certainly not complaining! Is there an archive of Google, or a way to find past ratings?

Monday June 9 2003 at 02:02 GMT

Cameras are great - I seem to be using both my phone camera and my real camera more and more. What we really need, though, is something that not only records an image, or series or images, but that offers the following functionality:
  • time, location and participant names and contact details (past and present) recorder - basic picture attributes
  • thought recorder - what each person was REALLY thinking when the image was captured to tape/disc/card/(insert your media of choice here)
Yes, all that information could, and no doubt would, be abused by someone, but it could also offer a real step forward in proving crimes, for example, not to mention clearing up who the random bloke at the back that no-one really ever knew but ran away without paying actually was.

Monday June 9 2003 at 01:20 GMT

These days, weekends seem to speed by! Recapping...

Friday I planned to have a quiet night in, but it was Evan's birthday, so I caught a few beers with Evan, Neil and Scott at the Park Hotel in the summer sun, then at the Belfry. After that, Neil and I dropped Evan off at the chip shop and watched some random TV back at Neil's.

I learnt two things on Friday.

  1. apparently, the perfect woman's breast fits into a Champagne coupe glass (note: NOT a Champagne flute - that would just be too weird) [from Scott]. More info on this page - scroll down to halfway. I am offering no comment on this. ;-)
  2. when someone asks what's in the box, the correct answer is 'a flux capacitor'. I had met everyone straight from work, and had a parcel with me, of 'technical stuff'. After explaining several times what it was, Evan assisted me in telling everyone it was a flux capacitor. Everyone seemed happy with this answer.
Due to my cunning strategy of drinking Guinness all night, I had no hangover on Saturday, so I headed to the gym for a pretty serious workout, but not before popping a few pounds on the Derby (horse race, at Epsom). When I got out of my workout, I checked the results, and I had another winner! My stake wasn't big, but all bets were covered, and I was happy.

Elvis - The All Time Greatest HitsOn my way home, I popped into Fopp and picked up my first ever Elvis CD, his All Time Greatest Hits, for a bargain seven pounds. I've never really been a fan, but whenever John and I are playing pool at Diane's Pool Hall, an Elvis track comes on the jukebox. All I have listened to are the tunes I know, but it is quite nice to have.

On Saturday night, I met up with Birte, Deek and Jams, to go to Godskitchen summer ball, in a big warehouse-type place close to the airport. We were all wondering what to expect as we approached, but it ended up being a REALLY great night, with us all dancing for hours. There were something like 6000 people there, in two arenas. The DJs, especially Paul van Dyk and Fergie were very good, although towards 5am it was really emptying out. I had to get to my parent's house later in the day, so I headed then too. Deek gets a special mention for doing such a fantastic job of organising tickets, taxis etc. Like myself, he is organisationally challenged. There's a nice picture directly from the event here.

After getting to bed at 6am, I woke up at 11am and got ready to head over to see my parents, who were having a meal to celebrate their 32nd wedding anniversary. I'd already said I wouldn't go, but, using my extreme willpower, managed to take it easy on Saturday night, so was ready for today.

My aunt and uncle were still there when I arrived, and my rents were pleased to see me. Almost as soon as I walked through the door, my dad was on the case to get me some food, which was superb, as always. Everyone should have parents who are great cooks - the world would be so much happier. My mum had been looking through some old photos, and had found a few amusing moments. There was a particular incident when I was 12, and went pony trekking on Arran. Everyone else got nice, cute little Shetland ponies. Then they led out my steed - a cross somewhere between a Clydesdale and a thoroughbred racehorse. Needless to say it was not an ideal introduction to hosses. Looking at the photos again and recalling the details, had the three of us in tears of laughter. I've got one of the photos in Edinburgh with me, so if you are visiting, remind me to show you it.

Sunday June 8 2003 at 04:19 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: Coming (almost) live from Godskitchen! Quality night & morning with Dietmar, Jams & Birte. Time for sleep now!.

Friday June 6 2003 at 22:18 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: Enjoyable mullet in the Belfry bar. How we laughed..

Friday June 6 2003 at 20:16 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: Evan & Stark. It must be love....

Friday June 6 2003 at 19:00 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: Stark & Scott enjoying a beer in the sunshine, for Evan's birthday..

Friday June 6 2003 at 17:24 GMT

Thanks to Luke (no site, how quaint ;-) for this link to the geek test. I scored a paltry 16.76529%, which makes me a 'Geek'. Post YOUR score in the comments box.

The second quiz of the day is the BBC Seven Days quiz. I managed a fantastic 4 out of 7, which is pretty low for me. It's been a busy week!

Finally, Happy Birthday to Diego, who is 28 today. :-)

Friday June 6 2003 at 12:34 GMT

We've heard a million times that the tech bubble, as we used to know it, has popped, but there is still stacks of innovation that should be going on. As Dave said, we have all the tech we need, we just need to maximise the usage and opportunities offered by it - Java and Symbian on mobile phones is a great example, and once we mix in some Web Services, we're ROCKING.

Business2 is a magazine I've read for a long time, after picking up a copy many years ago to read on my flight back from SFO (ah, the days when I travelled for business). It really seemed to suffer right along with the whole market, but it is good to see it looking strong, with some great articles again. this article makes some great reading. There is still plenty to be excited about!

Friday June 6 2003 at 08:48 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: Robbie in full construction mode. He's got some great toys now..

Thursday June 5 2003 at 19:01 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: Senor Robbie, rocking down..

Thursday June 5 2003 at 02:00 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: At 3am in Edinburgh, this is as dark as we can make it! Ah, it's nights like these that remind me why I live through such yucky winters..

Wednesday June 4 2003 at 13:46 GMT

The hosting guys at Rackshack had a bit of a fire the other day, when one of their generators caught exploded at their data centre (or center, for Americans ;-) [pics here]. Within a very short space of time they had all kinds of backup procedures in place and running and were posting an almost running commentary for customers on the Web.

Following the huge mess BarganHost got into recently, leaving several of my sites with reponse times of over 2300ms (my fault, apparently, even after getting similar reponse times from seven different and independent networks...) after some hackers got in(!) and offering little 'information' (read: lies), this is such a refreshing attitude. Power to Rackshack!

Wednesday June 4 2003 at 10:13 GMT

My brother is currently heading to Angkor Wat. Yeah, looks pretty rubbish to me too. ;-)

Tuesday June 3 2003 at 17:13 GMT

I've been confused between exactly how a hub, switch and router differ. Thanks to, I now know.

Tuesday June 3 2003 at 13:42 GMT

Tuesday June 3 2003 at 13:25 GMT

Hive[Via Tom] This moblog really is a fantastic example of how and when mobile technology can be used to the maximum. This group/collective of people are all moblogging from the G8 protests (I think - my French is not so hot these days). Really nicely done and keeping people right up to date with what is going on. Fantastic.

Monday June 2 2003 at 23:16 GMT

Six Degrees of Blog Separation Fun
Buy your own aircraft carrier
We really do live in a Matrix
Ridiculous beer cooling
Turbo10, the new google?

Monday June 2 2003 at 17:17 GMT

fotoblogIt seems that there is a meetup for all occasions! I've joined the fotoblog meetup, in the sure knowledge that there are nowhere near five of us (the cutoff for a meetup to go ahead) in the Edinburgh area. Maybe one day...

Monday June 2 2003 at 11:14 GMT

I've got to say that I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed with information at the moment, both electronic and real paper-based. I think I need to take up Jim's suggestion, and learn to speed read.

First up, we have photoblogs. Instead of writing too much, you just post pictures. Personally, I think these work well for people who have cameras on/attached to their phones. The New York Times has a nice article here, and you can view my photoblog here.

Next up, 20six have launched a new blogging service. Somewhat amusingly, they claim to offer mobile blogging as a first (currently on their front page - no permalink, unfortunately). All they are actually offering is blogging via email, which I was doing last August and others were doing before me. Maybe I'm missing something.

Feeling inquisitive, I dropped 20six a mail to their customer services box. It's just bounced. Looks like their service is beta just now.

[Update @ 14.15 GMT]: So, I tried to mail the mobile help address as well and, guess what, it bounced! As I was speeding through some of my other RSS feeds, I found that Dan Gillmor has also covered 20six, and notes that Best innovation is moblogging, made easy. What is going on here? Have I travelled back in time or something? Posting via email is OLD. Photoblogs are not groundbreaking! After reading that article, then following the link to Azeem's (Movable Type) blog, I found that he's been moblogging - possibly for the first time - and had posted some shots, using 20six. It's hardly a breathtaking example of new technology, is it - especially given that it is, at time of writing, the sole example of a moblog on the How to post from your mobile phone help page. A self-portrait, three pictures of newspaper pages and some uncommented shots of furniture. Wow.

I'm not just beating up on these guys for no reason, I just don't get their unique selling point. Maybe they'd care to enlighten me, seeing as I can't contact them.

Sunday June 1 2003 at 22:39 GMT

I've had a fun weekend, but it's been pretty tiring! Friday was Tan's club night. I'd planned to head home straight after work, but accidently got persuaded into beers with Jams and Rich. Tan's club was GREAT fun, and we all ended up back at Tan's afterwards. Pictures to come.

On Saturday, I didn't do a whole lot(!), but today has been pretty hard work. I had my gym induction, so I now have a program of activities when I go. Compared to some running, cycling and swimming it was all REALLY hard work. Allegedly I'll feel benefits at some point... I'm about to have an early night - at least, I think that is how it is spelt. ;-)

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