Saturday, January 31, 2009

Another 3 points: City 2-0 Forest

City earned a hard fought 3 points at Ninian Park today as they continue their push fro promotion to the Premiership. Goals from Paul Parry and late on from Jay Bothroyd did the damage. City though weren't helped by a Forest side who appeared intent on kicking six bells out them at every opportunity, and a hugely incompetent refereeing performance from Mr G.K. Hegley. He must have blown for about a dozen fouls on City players in the first 10 minutes, a theme that continued throughout most of the match, but it wasn't until well into the second half that he produced a yellw card - and that was for a City player. Additionally, he turned down what appear to the Canton Stand supported (me included) a blatant penalty when Joe Ledley was up-ended when on to the keeper. He was very, very, very poor and I hope we never see him again.

City have had three tough matches in a week, and it showed a bit, but they can be proud of their performance. We're now three oints clear of 5th places Sheffield Utd with a game in hand, and just 4 behind Birmingham.

Up the City!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Storm? More like a washout

Got my first close up of a Blackberry Storm tonight. One of my skittling chums has one. I have to say I didn't think much of it at all. It's not intuitive, and it's terrible click screen put me off almost immediately. The fact my mate said that after a week he wanted to throw it against a wall just about sums up how I felt about it after 5 minutes. He was streaming Sky Sports on it though which was quite impressive.


Bluebirds down Sky Blues: Covernty 0-2 City

City overcame a Coventry outfit who had shown some recent form 2-0 away at the Ricoh Arena tonight, moving up to 4th spot in the table with a game in hand.

Managed to catch snatches on BBC's Live Text and a very fuzzy phone radio during our skittles match (which we won!), and by all accounts City certainly had the best of it, especially in the first half.

Goals by Jay Bothroyd before the break, and Ross McCormack in the second period sealed a great win for the Bluebirds, who are looking more solid by the game, and have just come off a great performance against Arsenal. That makes it 10 games unbeaten by City, and another 3 points at home against Notts Forest on Staurday would be just the tonic ahead of next week's FA Cup replay at the Emirates.

Up the City!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Why do things have to be so hard: Part 2

Ref my earlier post, it appears that the Home edition of DocsVault is not Vista compatible. D'oh!
The support team suggest I consider the "Professional Edition". Yeah, I bet they do.

Dead end there then.

An anonymous commenter has suggester I try ABBYY Finereader Pro v9. I'll have a look but I was after something that basically just scanned image files (a la Paperport - which could OCR if you wanted). Actually I have Omnipage Pro 14 lying around somewhere. Maybe I'll give that a go.

iPhone irritants

I love my iPhone. Really I do. It's so much better than my recent Palm offerings and miles better than any "feature" phone I've ever used. But there's a few things that really annoy me.

Tonight for example, I was speaking to someone and after the call finished I wanted to send them details of another contact by SMS. Can you do it? No. The iPhone doesn't support vCards, and it certainly doesn't allow you to send anything remotely as useful as a number or email by SMS like just about every other phone on the planet can. Where are Apple coming from here? SMS is a huge technology, but Apple don't appear to like it (much) and would much rather you sent everything by email - of course that assumes that everyone has email and acceses it all the time. Well maybe in America Stevie, but not here.

So here you have a current, and arguably one of the market leading "smartphones" in use today, and if I want to send details of one of my contacts via SMS, I've got to go to the contact, get a piece of paper, write down all the details on the paper (because I won't remember them - especially if I want to send email and any other details as well as a number) and then type it into the SMS app (why do they have that single line text entry field when you've got a screen as big as that?). This, to my mind is really crass and short sighted. And what makes it worse, is the protectionism they then demonstrate by not opening up the SDK to allow 3rd part developers to build what Apple should have made available in the first place. It all made me get my Centro out of the drawer and lovingly show the blasted iPhone how it should be done.

A couple of other irritants are to do with the calendar, and no ability to use categories or make appointments private. The latter is a particualrly annoying one for me because I sync with my work Exchange, and I don't wish anyone at work (an organisation of almost 800 people who all have access to each other's calendars) to see what I'm up to in my personal life.

OK rant over.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Superb: City 0-0 Arsenal

City put on a brilliant performance at Ninian Park this afternoon against an Arsenal side, who were probably short of their best to be fair.

Arguably, City could, and should have won. They certainly had the better of the first half, with McCormack, Bothroyd, Ledley and Parry all having great gilt edged chances but failing to even hit the target.

It wasn't all City though. Arsenal showed what we saw against Liverpool in the Carling Cup last year - breaking at pace, and several times only resolute defending kept the Gunners out - that and Peter Enckelman who was inspired in the City goal. His first half save against Samir Nasri was outstanding.

Inevitably, in the second half, Arsenal came into it more, and City, as so oftem happens dropped deeper and deeper. In fact, most of the second half we were just kicking the ball away, only for it to come back at us, rather than playing our way out of trouble. Encleman made two further great stops against Van Persie. City's chances were few and far between in the second period, but McCormack first brought a great save out of Fabianski with a long range effort, then clipped the bar from a free kick from distance.

In the end, a capacity 20,000 crowd were hugely satisfied to see City hold on for a draw and a luctrative trip to the Emirates. The only downside was in the last minute, City playing into the corner to wste time, rather than getting the ball into the middle to try and nick it - but perhaps recent memories of late goals conceded against Reading and Birmingham influenced that?

A great game, and every player was superb. My pick for MoM was Gavin Rae who was superb in midfield.

Up the City!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Why do things have to be so hard?

A long time ago, well several years anyway, I bought a PC magazine that had Paperport 6 on the cover disk. This application claimed an end to the clutter of paper by enabling you to scan and archive all that paper you accumulate, and lead us into the paperless world. Yeah, right.

Actually, it was a pretty damn fine piece of software - at least for a home user, and I used it a lot. After a while though, things inevitably started to drop off the radar and I became less robust in my scanning. Perhaps it was bigger hard disks, ease of access to data and information from the Internet or just plain laziness.

A couple of years ago I decided to try again, and started by purchasing Paperport 10. During my absence, ownership of the product had changed hands - it's now owned by Nuance. It worked OK but wasn't quite as "snappy" as the earlier version I had, despite my (by then) far faster XP PC. Anyway, to cut a long story short it fell out of use fairly quickly. This weekend, for some reason, I decided to have another blast - maybe it's all the cricket papers flying around since I became chairman - so I tried installing my copy of v10 on my Vista machine. Here's where the problems started.

My scanner - now several years old used the Scanmaker 5 scanner driver. Vista won't have this, and it falls over every time I install it. There's no update around, and belive me, I've tried looking. I can't find a generic scanner driver that will work either, but at least Vista recognises the scanner, so at least I have the bog standard Vista scanning capabilities, but belive me, they are bog standard.

And so to Paperport. It took me about 5 tries before I got the damn thing installed - fell over at various stages but eventually got it done - or so I thought. Fired it up, and it froze. End task, reboot, start again. Same result. It's telling me the scan manager has stopped working but doesn't enhance with any reason or solution. Bottom line is, it's not recognising the scanner. After about another 3 tries I've given up.

I have tried Nuance's customer support before, but I wasn't going to bother this time. It's appalling.

Googled for Paperport alternatives, and saw a link to a program called Docs Vault, which has a Home version, so I thought I'd have a look at this. So far, I've downloaded the installer, but now I appear to have to downlaod and install the .Net Framework (whatever that is). It's a 39mb download, which I've done, and it's now installing. Gawd knows what it's doing to my PC's innards.

Fingers crossed. Did I create a restore point?

All I want to do is scan in my mortgage statement.......

I installed the .NET Framework (v3.5) and treid to install Docs Vault. It tells me that I have to install the .NET Framework v1.1.4xxx and would I like to go to Micorsoft's website to download it? Aaargghhh!!!

Uninstalled, and though I'd try v2.xxxxx, but my PC is telling me I already have that installed (presumably by default when I bought the bloody thing). Have quietly, and patiently submitted a ticket to the Docs Vault website, asking if they can advise me how I can install their lovely software to give it a try.

I'm going to find something to kick.

Friday, January 23, 2009

FA Cup weekend

Yes footie lovers it's 4th round weekend, when there's still a few chances of some upsets and those that have made it is far are counting the games they'd need to win to make it to Wembley on the fingers of one hand.

Last year of course, Cardiff made it all the way, only to fall at the final hurdle against a lacklustre Portsmouth side (I might have mentioned that games a few times on here).

So far this trip we've beaten Reading, but face a huge test on Sunday when we welcome Arsene Wenger and his young Guns to Ninian Park. It'll be a sellout for sure. Arsenal are bringing about 4,500 down, and the rest of the stadium will be packed by baying City fans.

Aaron Ramsey, who went to Arsenal from City last summer will be back and probably in the starting XI, and Joe Ledley, our current "nugget" will be hoping to impress. The South Wales Echo was reporting tonight that the Bluebirds had slapped an £8m price tag on him, and that West Ham were very interested. We wouldn't want to see him go, but you can't sniff at £8m big ones can you? Anyway, maybe if he has a rubbish match no-one will want him.

Me and Mini-Stats have had our tickets almost since the first day they went on sale, and we can't wait. If you can't make it to the ground, then you'll be able to watch it on TV. Oh. No you won't, it's on Setanta, and no-one subscribes to that.

Up the City!

On or Off?

Half way to work this morning amidst the second of two HUGE traffic jams, saw the motorway sign saying "Junction 30 exit slip closed". As this was my exit, I got off at 32 and went round the houses to get to work another way.

When I got there I realised that it wasn't the exit slip OFF the motorway that was closed but the slip from the roundabout ONTO the motorway.

Is it me or has the meaning for the word "exit" changed. I always thought you exited off a motorway or joined onto a motorway. Even my sat nav says "exit ahead" when I'm on the motorway. D'oh!

-- Blogged From My iPhone

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Centro O2 settings

"Anonymous" commented on my iPhone Update post asking if I could provide the settings that finally allowed me to use the O2 PAYG sim on my Centro to access the 'net/email etc. So, with apologies for those of you who may not be technically minded, here goes:

Under Preferences/Network:

  • Service = O2 Mobile Web GPRS
  • Connection = GPRS
  • Username = payandgo
  • Password = password
  • APN =
  • Fallback = none
  • IP Address = checked (Automatic)
  • Query DNS = checked
And that's it. Works for me. I can access the web via Blazer, and send and receive my POP3 and gmail email.

Hope this helps you "Anonymous", whoever you are.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


BlogPress for the iPhone has had an update. You'll recall that I was quite keen on this blogging app as it allowed me to post photos to this (blogspot) blog, but it did have some issues with some bizarre disappearing text when editing posts.

Anyway, the update professes to fix a couple of issues related to language problems rather than anything more findamental but I updated anyway.

It appears happily that the editing problem, though note documented as a fix is fixed. I've posted two posts containing photos including this one with no strange behaviour. Result.

There are still some things to sort out/add

Default screen text is a small font times new roman which doesn't fit well against the standard iPhone font for just about every other app in existence.

The ability to reposition photos appears not to work.

There's no easy way to add links.

But as work in progress it's getting there.

Out of interest, the photo is the headquarters of the Royal College of Nursing (my employer but not my usual place of work) in Cavendish Square, London.

-- Blogged From My iPhone

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hallo Kids!

Sadly the iPhone doesn't do MMS. So here for the benefit of my kids is a photo of me in my hotel room in London, because my daughter complained that she could only see my socks in last nights post. Hiya Beth & James - and of course my good lady Anne.

-- Blogged From My iPhone


Luca from PDA Thoughts asked me on Twitter if I'm still enjoying the iPhone. The simple answer is yes I am. The more complex answer is that sometimes the iPhone seems so simple to use that I miss the limited amount of fiddling that I did on my Palm devices. The iPhone takes "idiot proof" to another level.

There's no doubt that with this simplicity comes a wide range of functionality and indeed power. For all but the most dedicated of "power users" the iPhone surely meets most user needs. For those needing significant document editing, cut & paste etc it may not - and the Soft keyboard does not compensate for a real hardware job if you do a lot of text entry, though I find it adequate for my needs.

Where the iPhone really wind though is you just fire it up and use it. There was a recent BBC article (I think anyway) that said there is a big problem wit many mobile phones these days requiring so much configuring, that basically people just didn't bother. At least with the iPhone you are spared all that.

Simple? You bet.
Simplistic? No.

Monday, January 19, 2009


So here I am in my hotel room in London watching Yeovil v Leicester on the telly. That's my feet you can see. Some people might think the prospect of 4 days/3 nights in London would be pretty exciting, but they'd be wrong.

I wandered up and down Tottenham Court Road for a while, lusting after numerous shiny gadgets in the multiple computer shops there, had a coffee in Starbucks and eventually dinner in a decent Turkish restaurant. But it ain't much fun on your own. Brought my Asus Eee with me, but no wifi in hotel either. Got the iPhone of course so not entirely cut off from the world - posting this from same.

Fancy a Samsung NC10 actually. Saw a couple in the shops. Very impressed.

-- Blogged From My iPhone

Saturday, January 17, 2009

City frailty: City 1-1 Birmingham

City shoot themselves in the foot again.

After conceding a 6th minute extra time equaliser against Reading over Christmas, they should have learnt their lesson.

Today, after dominating a side pushing for automatic promotion, and having lead since the 61st minute after a goal from Jo Ledley, and looking good to take all three points, City conceded in the 4th minute of added time.

How Dave Jones must be fuming.

How the fans must be fuming.

How the players must be fuming.

City persistently lose late goals when leading, and to do it to twice, to two of the top three teams in the Division takes some beating.

Again, as with Reading, before the match I'd have probably taken a point away against one of the top three. But you can't win anything if you keep letting sides back in. When you're leading, especially against the best sides and by only one goal, you know they're probably going to throw everything at you in the final minutes. And if we want to be up there with them, you've got to be able to withstand it.

I bet every Championship manager's half time team talk against us goes along the lines of "....if we're one down in the last few minutes, chuck everything at them - they're always vulnerable in the last minutes".

Points win prizes, and if City can't learn to hang on to a lead, then they aren't going anywhere from this league, and certainly not the Premiership.

A very, very, disappointed Statto.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Around Me for iPhone

I was pointed in the direction of this app yesterday by a colleague at work.

Around me use the iPhone location ability to tell you what facilities are close by. It's not perfect - I'm not sure where its sources it's data from, but hey, it is free!

If you have ever found yourself looking for a cafe, ATM or bookstore nearby, you might consider this app a godsend. AroundMe 1.0, a new iPhone app by TweakerSoft, makes it easy to figure what’s nearby. By leveraging (why can't they just say "using" for gawd's sake?) the iPhone’s unique abilities, AroundMe quickly acquires the users location and allows them to choose the nearest bank, bar, gas station, hospital, hotel, movie theatre, restaurant, supermarket, theatre and taxi.

Twitter update problem

I've removed the Twitter updates gadget from my blog. It appears users were getting asked to enter a name/password when visiting the blog - it's happened a few times to me too - but not everytime strangely, so I don't know what's going on there.

Anyway, until I get it sorted, it's coming off, because it's clearly annoying.

Thanks to Luca for flagging this up to me.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Become a follower!

My blog host (Blogger/Blogspot) has just added the ability for users to add a "Followers" list to their blog.

Suitably impressed I've added the gagdet to the right hand pane of the Lentil, so if you'd like to become one of my friends/followers, please add yourself to the list. It'll be nice to have you on board!


I've just attended a seminar for local cricket clubs at which the speaker was Svend Elkjaer, from Sports Marketing Network. The seminar wasn't about how to play cricket, but how to grow your club - and would apply to any club.

The basic principles are that your club has to be viable, vibrant and visible and especially welcoming.

I'm a bit brain dead just now as there were myriads of slides and it's been a long day, but the speaker really injected passion into the presentation, and there's mountains of stuff for me and the club to get our teeth into. Highly motivating and if your involved in a local club in any capacity - or even if you're not but would like to be, a visit to their website is well worth it I'd reckon.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


How many notebooks do you have littered around your house? Loads probably. How many note type applications do you have on your mobile device? One? Two? More?

Murray over at Palm-Mac posted an interesting thought the other day, that actually the basic Palm "Memo" application is still pretty good many years on from it's first appearance. OK, there's not much to it. You can categorise a memo and that's about it, but for many people, that's all they need. certainly for me it was. I used the Memo app a fair bit on my Treos/Centro when all I needed wasto store a basic bit of info. More complicated stuff I used to store in the outliner Bonsai for which there is still no equal on the iPhone.

Since my jump from Palm to the iPhone I've been tryingto find the perfect note application. The iPhone comes with it's own native app, surprisingly called "Notes", and in many ways it replicates the Memo app on the Palm, arguably with a bit more functionality as it allows you to email the note. However, I find the app irritating, 1) because the background is yelly to try and make it look like a legal pad, and 2, the annoying comic type font that's used. Why can't they use the standard san serif font used everywhere else? Minor issues perhaps, but ones that bug me.

So I've looked around, and actually now have 3 different note apps on the iPhone.

YouNote by Sophiacom I've mentioned before. It allows text, photo, sound and freeform notes and potentially could be a great little app.

Notebook by Appigo is a more sophisticated and functional take on the standard app, and allows syncing with the web based "Toodeldo".

Finally, I've just splashed out (only kidding - it's free) on Evernote, which also syncs over the air to it's own web based host. Evernote allows text, snapshot, saved photo and voice notes, and appears huge value for it's free price.

I haven't yet decided which one is my favourite, but Evernote has the nicest icon! I'm probably going to have to choose one eventually, because I like things in an ordered fashion, and having notes/memos scattered across 3 different applications doesn't sit well with me. I'll see how I go, and report back in due course.

Spring is in the air...

I don't know about you, but every now and then I get a "sense" of something. Maybe I'm mad, who knows, but they're just small, often apparently incidental moments that in fact mean much more.

I had one of those moments leaving work today.

As I left the building just before 5pm, I first noticed that the sky was clear (relatively), almost had a blue tinge to it, and it struck me how light it was. Thinking about it of course, it's getting on for a month since we had the shortest day, so the days are drawing out, albeit slowly, but it was really noticeable this evening. The other thing was that it was very still, and I could hear birds cheeping away in the trees - also something I haven't heard on leaving work for a while - at least that I can remember.

It seemed to me therefore that I was witnessing the first sign that the darkest days of winter are over, and spring is round the corner. Obviously there's a ways to go yet, but the world is waking up.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


I had an email request to become a "friend" of someone on Facebook today. I was out and about so I downloaded the Facebook App to my iPhone. Quick and simple.

It's actually a very neat app. It's functional and does what you'd expect of it.

To be honest I don't use Facebook that much - the last time I posted anything before today was back on Nov 2nd. It's all a bit of a todo what with email, Twitter and Facebook. I spend so long trying to keep eveything up to date Iit's a wonder I ever get anything done.

Anyway, if you do want to find me in Facebook, I'm there under my proper moniker, Simon Hiscocks.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

City News

City's match against Derby today was postponed at 12:30pm due to a frozen pitch. I heard because I subscribe to a text service for latest breaking news, which was pretty handy, because we were just about to leave the house. Later when out and about I still saw some City fans, flags and scarves hanging from their cars apparently on their way in, so they'll be disapointed when they get there.

It has been pretty cold in Cardiff in the last week, but personally, I don't think it's anywhere near as cold as it was last week when we played Reading.

On the up side, Derby are on a bit of a roll having scraped through the 3rd round of the FA Cup 3-4 against Forest Green, then had Nigel Clough appointed as Manager and then beating Man Utd 1-0 in the 1st leg of the Carling Cup semi-final. Perhaps it's as well therefore we didn't play them today!

On the playing front, the Bluebirds have moved swiftly to replace on loan winger Wayne "I'm off, yah boo sucks to you" Routledge who was sold by Aston Villa to QPR a week and a half ago. They've brought in Chris Burke from Rangers (pictured). Heard of him? I hadn't. It seems he's another of the "fringe" players we seem to be able to attract who's been out a lot with injury. All sounds a bit familiar. Whether any of my Scottish blog visitors (Murray, David etc) know of him I'd pleased to hear. Anyway, let's not cast aspertions until we've seen him perform. Even Rangers "fringe" players should be pretty useful. Having said that we bought Steve "The Tommohawk" Thomspon from Rangers, and after a 2 goal debut he struggled to find the net again, fell out of favour (and off banana boats - it's a long story) and we eventually let him go to Burnely earlier this season (whence he promptly scored against us when we played them).

Cricket lovely cricket

Oh the life of a cricket chairman/young cricketer's dad.

This morning I'm at the National Indoor Cricket Centre, at the SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff for Mini-Stats latest 121 coaching session.

Tomorrow morning I'm here again as the club has a couple of teams playing in an indoor league and I need to see a couple of lads in my Chairman's capacity.

Monday evening I'm back again for Mini-Stats when he's doing some general junior training.

Wednesday I'm back with the club secretary Jason "Fella" Harries for a "Grow your cricket club" seminar.

Then I get a couple of free days befor Mini is back again next Sat morning.



Despite my optimism over BlogPress ok the iPhone, it's proving incredibly frustrating with it's "disappearing text" issue.

Every time I try and write a post the text just randomly disappears. I can't persevere with this app unless this gets fixed, so it's going to be consigned to my App shelf for the moment.

This post is done in iBlogger, which is fine, save it's inability to post photos to blogspot blogs like mine.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Busy, busy busy...

My it's been a busy week. I've hardly posted or Twittered all week.

To start with I've been feeling a bit under the weather (as have lots of people), though not with flu. A trip to the Dr didn't shed much light, and things have gradually improved through the week, though I've had a crashing migraine for nearly 2 days now - happily, it's subsiding a bit. As a result of that little lot, I've been off my food a bit and haven't gone near alcohol, and I'm going to try and continue the trend of less food (I like my food) and keeping off the booze for as long as.

On the cricket front I've had Senior & Junior committee meetings this week, and continue to tweak the revamped website which I'm pretty pleased with I have to say.

On the gadget forn, this has been a momentous week with Macworld Expo and the CES shows.

I'm not a Mac aficionado by any means, but it seems to me Macworld - or rather more specifically Apple's last appearance at Macworld was a bit of a damp squib. Some stuff about losing DRM on music, some other stuff about iLife I done't really undertand and not much else. The much rumoured iPhone Nano didn't materialise, as most of the switched on pundits were predicting.

Over at CES much greater goings on. Palm, in what most commentators, professional and amateur, were predicting as a last ditch attempt to win back favour with a new OS and device appear as if they might have done just that, though clearly it's too early to tell.

The new OS snappily named "Palm webOS" is based around HML and javascript (amongst others) promises to leverage the cloud (my term not theirs), and promo shots look enticing.

The new device, called Palm Pre (is that Pre or Pray), does indeed look very, very slick. It looks a bit to me like a cross between the iPhone, the Motorola Pebl and HTC Touch - but with gloss. It looks very, very nice. Front sliding hardware qwerty keyboard too! 3mp camera - with flash, wifi - yes wifi!

There's a few caveats of course. It's going to be on Sprint (US) only to start with in one of Palm's famous "tie-ins". It's CDMA only, so no good in the UK - if it ever gets here, though it's possible/probable we'll get a UK/Europe version at some stage I guess. we don't know how much it's going to cost, and it will be available "first half of 2009". That gives a LOT of room for manouvre (or delay).

I'm not clear at the moment whether it'll run all legacy Palm apps. The video on the Palm web site is slick and it looks responsive and slick - but then it would wouldn't it. Let's wait until we see it in people's hands and can assess stability, battery life and all that goes once the first flush of love is past. Still if someone were to give me one, I wouldn't say no....

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

FA Cup News

The good news is we've now got a date and time for our FA Cup tie against Arsenal. It'll be Sunday 25th January, k.o. at 1:30pm. Why so early? Well for TV of course, it's going to be shown live! (We'll be there anyway, but it'll be nice to record for posterity.

The bad news?

It's live on Setanta Sports, who have only three men and a dog subscribing to their channel, and certainly not Chez Statto. Well, at least we'll see it live - really live.

iPhone Update

I thought it's about time I updated you all with my iPhone thoughts now I'm a month or so in. So how's it going?

Well, generally pretty well I'd have to say. I'm very please with the device. I'm not going to go on about a few of the known shortcomings - cut & paste, PIM integration etc, that's been done to death here and elsewhere. What I am going to focus on is how I'm getting on with it in daily use.

It's good. Turning out to be a much better "phone" than my Centro/Treos, with clearer call quality both ways. It is not as easy to hold as a phone though as the Centro. Slightly annoyingly it's also not as easy to operate one handed. Although you can in a lot of the Apps, where scrolling up and down records (RSS feeds for example) developers seem insistent on putting the up/down arrows at the top of the screen rather than the bottom where they'd be much easier to use.

My main uses are email, SMS, Twittering, RSS reading, browsing and now WordPop's appeared playing that! generally it's good in all those areas. I've also listened to more music on this than I ever did on the Palm platforms, and have watched some movies. There's no doubt it's a fantastic media device.

Getting Apps onto the device is easy - perhaps too easy given that you can do it over the air and that in general they're free to cheap - I haven't paid more than £5.99 for anything yet. The quality of Apps varies enormously though, and the reviews can't always be trusted to give an objective opinion, so it can be a bit hit and miss. Here's a list of what I've added so far, in no particualr order, and my very biased opnion of each.
  1. Twitterific. Tha basic Twitter client. Superbly easy to set up and use. Highly recommended.
  2. Newsstand RSS reader. Anything's going to be good after the Palm experience, and this doesn't disappoint. Another highly recommended install
  3. YouNote by Sophiacom. The basic iPhone note App is pretty crummy. This allows you to write text notes, freehand notes, take phot notes and even capture web pages. Prtty useful if you have lots of sporadic notes floating about. Still on the iPhone.
  4. Notebook by Appigo. A much better and rounded note program that uses HTML (I think) to allow bulleted lists, links, folders etc. Another recommneded one
  5. eWallet by Ilium software. My favourite "private/secret" data wallet application - on all platforms - Win Mob, Palm and no iPhone. Superb.
  6. ToDo. Another App by Appigo, that fills the hole left by Apple not including a task manager on the iPhone. Syncs over the air to ToodleDo (web based task manager). Great if you need task functionality.
  7. ABContacts by Andrea Vettori. Supposed to allow better contact management and allows creation of contact "groups". Installed it, but didn't get on with it, so it's no longer there. Might be just me though.
  8. Bejeweled 2. What more is there to say. A classic game and even better on the iPhone.
  9. iBlogger by illumineX. Wanted something to post here. Works fine, but sadly doesn't yet support pictures/photos to blogspot blogs such as this. Still there for text posts though and works a treat for those.
  10. BlogPress by Coollittlethings Studio. Bought because iBlogger didn't do pics to blogspot, and this one said it did. Works, but very buggy. However, having emailed developer I've had several very fast responses on what the problems are, what he's working on and even thanks for some of my suggestions. One to keep an eye on.
  11. Converter by Brendon Royal-Gordon. Everyone needs a converter App, and this does what it says on the tin. very useful.
  12. Cro-Mag Rally. Bought this because I'd heard it shows off the true gaming capabilities of the iPhone and it's accelerometer. It does. Very good, but not really my sort of thing, and it's crashed on me a couple of times.
  13. Google Mobile App. Strange one this, but the killer is voice searching of Google. Just lift the iPhone to your ear, speak your search term and off it goes. Works sometimes! Cool idea.
  14. Mobilelinked IM by Got this one to IM my daughter when I'm away. Works OK. Nothing flashy but does the job.
  15. Photogene by Omer Shoor. The iPhone camera isn't all it could be, but this app allows you to edit photos directly on the iPhone. In a word - Brilliant. Highly recommended.
  16. Sol Free Solitaire by Smallware. Again, everyone needs a slitaire game. Flashy this aint. but it does the job
  17. Things by Werner Jainek. A todo list app. Didn't get on with it, so it's no longer on the phone.
  18. WordPop by Smartbox Design. About my all time favourite game for handheld devices. Out for the iPhone this week. An absolute steal at £1.19
Blimey. I didn't know I'd bought/downloaded so many apps. HAving siad that, only a couple of them were more than a couple of quid, so I haven't broken the bank. And there are so much more to try....

Overall then? I can do pretty much everything on my iPhone I could on my Palms - document editing etc still a bit of a hole - still waiting for Dataviz to get Docs to Go sorted for the iPhone. As you can see from this link, they say it's coming, but this page has been here for months.

I have to say though I still miss (a bit) my Centro and get it out of the drawer now and again. Actually used it for sat-nav (Tom Tom) last week, and I'm awiating the Palm Nova/Device announcement this Thursday with interest. Having signe up for an 18m contract on the iPhone just before Christmas though, I certainly ain't going anywhere else yet - nore do I feel the need to.

Monday, January 05, 2009

WordPop for iPhone

Those devilishly clever people at Smartbox Design have ported my favourite Palm game to the iPhone.

WordPop is a game where given a set of random letters you have to make words to clear the board. The longer the word the more you score. Simple. You can rotate the letters if you can't find any words (or any you like) and there are three levels of difficulty. You just keep going, and going, and going...if you can.

The iPhone version available in the App store costs a measly £1.19, and has been given a real makeover compared to the Palm version. It's an absolute steal at that price, and tremendous fun to play, either in a quick 5 minute break or at an extended session. I love it.

For the record, my best attempt on the Palm in the year or so I've been playing it is to get to level 175 with a score of 48,071 (Easy level admittedly) and my best two words were "zippered" at 230 points and "spherical" for 216.

Absolutely, highly, recommended. Really, Go and buy it.

Heady days for gadet lovers...maybe

It's a nailbiting time for gadget lovers everywhere as the next week brings two major events.

First up is MacWorld Expo running from 5th to 9th January in San Fransisco, where despite the absence of Apple head honcho Steve Jobs giving a keynote speech, rumours abound of a new device, maybe an iPhone Nano. Who knows? No-one yet. just have to wait and see.

Then on Thursday this week at CES, Palm (remember them) are set to unveil their latest operating system (Nova) and a device it runs on. PDA 247 has a link to a site suggesting this will be a slide down (or is that up?) keyboard on a portrait screen device. Certainly it's the biggest news coming out of Palm for, oh, well....years. The key questions are though:
  1. Will it have wifi?
  2. Will it be 3g
  3. Have they missed the boat?
Again, we can only wait and see.

More BlogPress news

Had yet another response from Feng, who appears to be the App's developer. He's explained it's Apples implementation of the screen functionality that means he can't apply scrolling where both text and pictures are involved (though I'm not convinced) hence the scroll bar.

He also likes my idea of having a "+" icon for a new post and has told me to look out for this in a later version.

Still buggy, but at least the developer I'd listening! Good for him. Fingers crossed.

-- Blogged From My iPhone

BlogPress update

I've had a quick response from the developer about my problems with BlogPress which is impressive.

What's rather less impressive is all they've asked me is "did I use the right hand edge of the screen to use the scrollbar?"

Of course I did. And in a rather more composed attempt this morning in this post I've found the scroll bar does work but it's vet insensitive and frankly not that intuative given the way every other iPhone app in the world uses the whole screen to scroll.

Perservence required here I think.

-- Blogged From My iPhone

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Back and forth

Talking of Murray, he's been having a few problems since Palm-Mac's moved to the Wordpress platform from Typepad - so much so in fact, he's reverting to Typepad for the time being. I think, therefore, you can catch his Palm-Mac blog at this address until he gets this sorted.

Testing BlogPress from the iPhone

Gosh it's so easy, too easy perhaps to buy/download apps for the iPhone. BlogPress is the second one today and the equal most expensive app I've bought yet at £5.99. I've bought it because I'm still looking for the perfect (or best so far) blogging app. iBlogger's not bad but doesn't yet support photos for Blogspot blogs like this one. BlogPress claims to do the job. Let's see.

Well it does work - to a degree. Although this looks a promising app - certainly the ability to post pictures to blogspot blogs unlike iBlogger rings my bell, there are some bugs in the basic editing part of the app. I'm running an iPhone 3g on the latest firmware. When editing test for a post, the "Write" screen randomly blanks out of all test and the only way out is to hit "Done", then "Manage" whereupon I get a "Save as draft?" message. Hitting "Yes" saves the post, and allows me to go back in to edit, but then the cycle starts again. Can't really recommend this App until this is sorted. I know at least one other user with the same problem, so it's not just me. Have logged this on the developer's website.

It's also bizarre that this is the first App I've used that bucks the trend of using "+" to add a new item (in this case post). I think, you just hit "Write", but that opens up an editing window with whatever you last edited, unless your last post was deleted as a draft or published - effectively there's no "New post" option, which seems very odd. The App info also mentions a "scroll bar" on the right of the screen, but what's the point of this on a device where every other app uses the whole screen to scroll? Odder indeed.

Shame that I have to upfront the £5.99GBP to find this out especially during the credit crunch (actually I should have listened to Murray), .

That last bit was a joke by the way. The bit about the credit crunch, not Murray.

Bring on the big guns.

For the second time in three years City have been drawn against Arsenal in the FA Cup. This time it's the 4th round and this time it's at home!

To be played over the w/e of the 24th/25th of January this guarantees a sell out game. Arsenal, who we beat in the final of 1927 1-0 but lost to 2-1 in the 3rd round in 2006 at Highbury will not be relishing a visit to what will be a hugely passionate Ninian Park. After the silence of the "library" at Highbury (remember that song chaps?) and a not much better atmosphere at the Emirates from what I've heard, the fans will be right on top of them at an intimidating and very loud Ninian Park.

They'll be favourites to win of course - we'd expect nothing less, despite whichever side Arsene Wenger chooses to put out, but then so were Leeds, who were top of the Premiership on that fateful 6th January 2002 when they visited Ninina Park only to fall 2-1 as goals from Graham Kavanagh and famously, Scott Young dumped the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Mark Viduka and Alan Smith out of the Cup.

Whatever happens. it'll be another great FA Cup day in the history of Cardiff City Football Club, and a match fit to witness the last season at Ninian Park before our move over the road later this year.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Here we go again: City 2-0 Reading

It's FA Cup 3rd round day today, and I'm pleased to say that last years finalists Cardiff City are safely through to the fourth rund draw having seen of Championship rivals Reading 2-0 at Ninian Park.

On a cold, clear afternoon, Reading started the stronger, but City gradually came into it and were unlucky not to have a penalty awarded for handball after 30 minutes. Enckelman made a point blank save just after the restart to deny Reading, but eventually City made the breakthrough. From a free kick Reading rushed out and then stood and watched a s Rodger Johnson beat the offside trap and sqaured for Ross McCormack to slot home. That immediately started the chants of "We're the famous Cardiff City and we're going to Wemberly, Wemberly!!!"

The goal opened the game up as Reading pressed, but that gave City more time and space, and late on, Ledley and McCormack combined a neat one two for Ledley to finish off the game and book City's spot in Round 4.

On a sour note, Wayne Routledge the Villa loan player who's been outstanding for us in his spell at Ninina Park, has been sold to QPR, and allegedly left Cardiff without speaking to any of his team mates, the manager or Chairman about his recall and move. Shame really, as he was a great asset in his time here, but from that attitude clearly not the sort of person we want in a City shirt.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Hebden Bridge

We've just returned from 3 days away in West Yorkshire with family and friends for New Year. There were 31 of altogether, and we stayed at a Scout Hostel called Hebden Hay, about 2 miles from the town of Hebden Bridge. It was an everyone muck in sort of do, and we all had a fantastic time. We did a walk each day, round about 5-6 miles.

The scenery was great - what we could see of it, because most of the time it was very frosty and foggy, but the frost on the trees and bushes was really beautiful. Lower down in the vally, there wasn't so much frost, but it was still mighty cold. I saw a kid with a 4 foot icicle not far from where this picture was taken!

As there were several of the scouting persuasion in our midst, it also seemed only natural that we build a camp fire, which we did on the fist night, and it was still going this morning nearly 60 hours later! Drinking mulled wine around the fire on New Years Eve was special, and was a nice started before the fireworks we let off at midnight, which boomed and echoed down the valley.

All in all we've had a great time.