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

Tuesday November 28 2006 at 00:02 GMT

My weekend was good fun. Friday was the end of a long week so I needed a quiet night in on my own, but on Saturday a group of us headed over to see a colleague from work who had a baby a few months ago, although it was much more of a social visit. We started at the Hawes Inn, then moved to the Anchor Inn (I think). After a spot of dinner at Orocco Pier, we hit the discotheque at {insert pub name here ;-) } until our taxi took us home, singing all the way. At some point I was definitely co-erced into making up a team for the Tough Guy 2007, and I'm sure Mahyad agreed to do the Loony Dook on Ne'er Day in aid of charity.

On Sunday I was up bright and early to enjoy the dry weather. After I'd completed my housework (really), and was heading out the door, I got a call from Neil saying they were going to demolish some flats in Oxgangs and there was a good crowd watching from a park just up the road. It was too good an opportunity to miss, so I was there. I got a short video from my phone, but Neil captured a much better one with his camera [9MB file].

Hazel and I have turned Sunday evening into Dominion evening. Last night was The Prestige, which was fairly entertaining. Probably OK to wait until it's out on DVD though.

Monday November 27 2006 at 23:39 GMT

After just a few years of nagging, dad finally has a mobile. I almost fell off my chair when I got a text from him on Sunday, especially as it was demanding an answer to an email he's only just sent! Technology is a dangerous thing in the hands of some people... ;-)

Friday November 24 2006 at 13:45 GMT

After just over two weeks on the market, my flat closed yesterday and I got an offer I wanted to accept. In all there were about 35 groups of viewers over the two weeks, creating 11 notes of interest which turned into 8 bids. The surveyor was going to go this morning, so I'm currently waiting for purification of the offer! No Champagne has been opened yet, though. January 19th is looking like a better date for that.

Tuesday November 21 2006 at 00:11 GMT

My home server is off at the moment whilst I sell my flat, so I'm going to use flickr to post pictures from my phone. The latest are online now.

Tuesday November 14 2006 at 00:56 GMT

Prompted by Andy's comment, I thought I'd better knock together a quick Sony Ericsson P990 review.

As with previous phones, I got mine on Orange. Unlike previous P-series phones, the software has been well and truly ripped apart by Orange and badly stuck back together. Several items shown in the Orange-ified instruction book are not on the phone, and Orange are in absolutely no rush to update the firmware to support them. I'm still waiting for my 'return call within 72 hours' on several questions about it. There's some screenshots in this thread. Sony Ericsson don't want to know about the problems either -- they referred me back to Orange.

The biggest problems I've found with the phone or fundamental ones. Looking at messages, viewing the calendar, opening the Web browser and a variety of other basic functions cause the software or phone to crash; both cases need a complete reboot.

Battery life is also abysmal. My P900 would happily run all weekend with serious voice and data usage. Twice I've now had my P990 completely run out of battery well within 24 hours of coming off a full charge. Having the less-powerful battery inside is not helping.

With the flip off, using the phone is a multi step process, far from elegant. I think this may be in large part thanks to Orange and their customisation.

Email, and particularly push email using IMAP IDLE, was one of the big draws of this phone for me. Again, it seems that Orange have managed to mess that up: it works for maybe one or two new emails, then stops completely.

The camera is ... alright. Compared to shots taken on a k800i at exactly the same time in the same lighting conditions etc, the P990 should stay at home.

The operating system is *far* from stable, with a lot of crashes of all kinds of software on a regular basis.

Moving to silent takes is a four-key process, which is a real pain for everyday moving between office and outside.

And did I mention it is slowww, and the constant out-of-memory issues?

OK, so the good side: it looks nice, wifi works most of the time and the screen is nice. Using the QWERTY thumbboard for typing out messages works quite well.

Would I recommend this phone to others? Mmmmmm, if they were either very undemanding users, who wouldn't need a daily reboot, or were techies and might be able to understand just how beta this product actually is. Allegedly there is a new firmware update coming at the end of November, although all the networks will need to first verify that before it can be downloaded and installed, so we could be talking mid-December before this phone gets anywhere near reliable, discounting of course the fact that Orange will most likely add some more of their own bugs at that point.

At the moment, this phone would probably get 4/10. Moving from the P900 which I had for almost three years and probably only had three hard reboots in that time, has not been a pleasant experience. Was it worth the wait and the hype? Not so far. Read some other short reviews here.

Monday November 13 2006 at 14:51 GMT

I've posted some new pictures of my flat, showing all the things I've done to it.

Take a look here to what it was like when I bought it. There's a decent list of changes:

  • some rewiring
  • gas central heating installed
  • kitchen installed (have a look what was there before)
  • all windows apart from the living room window either replaced or refurbished, so they are immaculate
  • new carpet in both bedrooms and the living room; new flooring in the bathroom and kitchen
  • shower installed and bath re-enamelled
  • complete redecoration
  • front door to the stair and my flat repainted

The new place is going to need much of the same done again, although we have the bonus(?) of additional space to move things into whilst work is happening. We're looking at some building work, which will be a first for both of us though. Fun, fun.

Wednesday November 8 2006 at 16:10 GMT

Since we have a new house, I need to sell my current flat. After a few tough and extremely busy weeks making everything shiny (thanks to my parents, Hazel and John) it is on the market. If you'd like a clean, smart two-bedroomed flat in a wonderful location, let me know. The schedule is online, and if you have the link to our new house, use that same address to see my flat schedule.

Tuesday November 7 2006 at 19:36 GMT

When I was growing up, Radio 4 was on all the time, so by default I became an Archers fan. Tonight is the 15,000th episode, making it the longest running soap opera on any medium in the world.

Tuesday November 7 2006 at 00:13 GMT

My sister has safely returned from her travels. It's hard to believe that eight months have passed since she left, but they have. Her blog managed to keep up occasionally, but there will be lots more in the next few weeks.

Thursday November 2 2006 at 23:14 GMT

Really, you'd think I would have got over it, but I've managed to get a place for the 2007 London Marathon, thanks to my brother. We'll both be running ... although it is likely to turn into a fullscale race between us. :-))

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