Saturday, February 28, 2009

Want a brand new Polycom Communicator?

I thought you did. Well, as luck would have it, I've got one going spare, and I've just lumped it on e-bay, so if you're interested, hot foot it over there by following this link to my listing.

You can read all about this device at Polycom's website.

Bummer: Southampton 1-0 City

Damn and blast it. This is NOT supposed to happen. City pushing for promotion, unbeaten in 13 league games and then we lose to the side 1 from bottom. Aaarrghhh!

The only saving grace was that Wolves and Reading lost too and Bristol City drew.

Can even be bothered to write anything I'm so gutted.

Test Post

This is a test post to check the stability of pictures posted via BlogPress

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, February 27, 2009


Whilst I'm promoting local Dinas Powys sport (see post below), here's a shout for my cricket club website (another one I developed and manage - it's a wonder I've got any time left over!).

Regular readers will know I'm pretty busy with cricket having been elected Chairman of the club for my sins last autumn, and the activity ratchets up another gear this weekend as the junior training/coaching kicks off in earnest. I'm look after the Under 15 side this year, along with our Club Captain, but I'll also be helping out with Under 11 and Under 13 nets. Then before you know it, the weather will be warming, the evenings will be light and outdoor training will follow and then the season kicks off in May. It's pretty much going to be cricket every day/night then. If I'm not coaching or managing the juniors, I'll be supporting the other junior/senior sides, and maybe, just maybe even get a few low key games in myself if the knee is up to it (don't tell my consultant and the physio).

You can check out and follow all Dinas Powys CC exploits on our website


I don't post too much about skittles on this site, though I play every week during the season (Sept - April). Probably this is because we have our own web site and I update that every week after our matches so it seems a bit pointless duplicating stuff here.

It's all good clean fun - well good fun anway. I used to be quite good too, but the last couple of years I've had a bit of a 'mare. Not sure if it's the arthritis in my hands, my dodgy knee, failing eyesight or a combination of all three.

Anyhows, this week for some bizarre reason it just all clicked and I hit a 35, my highest score for a couple of years. To put it in context, 25 is about an average roll (or rather it's 5 rolls of 3 balls each aggregated on the night) anything over 30 is classed as a good score, and 35 is pretty darn good (though I say so myself). My highest ever score was 42, but you rarely see a 40 - I've only seen two (including mine) in the 9 or 10 years I've been playing.

Pop on over to our site to read all about it this strange game, and the even stranger people who play it!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Rubbish, but up to 4th: City 0-0 QPR

Just got back from Ninian Park after watching an appalling performance by City, in a 0-0 draw with QPR. How we managed to draw is a mystery. Apart from the first 10 minutes we were truly awful. QPR grew in confidence as the match went on, and the last 30 minutes it was all backs to the wall stuff. City had about 1 shot on target the whole game.

With Bothroyd injured, our front line of Chopra & McCormack, together with Burke on the wing, gave our attacking line up an average height of about 2ft 6in, against some pretty big defenders. But still all we did was hoof the ball up field.

We couldn't string two passes together, and Dimi Konsta-dropalot who gifted Wolves an equaliser on Sunday didn't look at all at home in the City goal.

So, one of our games in hand gone. At least we didn't lose, but how we managed to climb two places to fourth spot is quite frankly amazing. QPR must be gutted they didn't win this one.

The only bright spot, though it did get boring after about 89 minutes, was the constant and vociferous heckling of ex-City loanee Wayne Routledge, who turned his nose up at City earlier this season and walked out (literally by all accounts) to go to money sodden QPR. "What a waste of money" and "You greedy *%*$%^*" were a couple of the more polite offerings, and he was roundly cheered everytime he lost the ball or was tackled.

Oh, and by the way, the ref was a completse waste of space too.

Up the City. Can't be arsed to put an excalamtion mark after it tonight.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Got a Palm? Want WebOS? Try Teal OS

Can't wait for a Palm Pre? Well you can can get an idea about how Web OS is going to look by installing Teal OS onto your Palm device!

I've just installed a demo version onto my Palm Centro, and instantly converted it into a Pre! OK, not quite, but you get the idea. Actually it works quite well. It installs itself as the default launcher, although you can easily get to the standard Palm launcher if you want. Apart from that, it pretty much looks and functions in much the same way as the Pre Web OS videos I've seen.

The Centro's screen size and quality naturally limit some of the schmooze we've seen on Pre videos, but in practice it works quite well. In particualr the Centro's navigation key (something I miss dreadfully on the iPhone because it's just so easy to use) makes using this Teal OS a cinch fro navigating through the "cards". It's actually easier to use than a finger or a stylus, but then the Centro doesn't have a capacitive touch screen like the iPhone, and this does make things like the "wave launcher" that little bit more tricky to use - no doubt this will be much slicker on the Pre.

I've found it quite fun to mess around with Teal OS, and actually, it does freshen up the Palm interface. Like anything different, if you're a die hard Palm OS fanatic this will take some getting used to. But hey, give it a try. This IS the future for Palm, and Teal OS gives you a chance to get a preview before you can get your hands on a Pre.

PDA247 has a You Tube video clip of Teal OS in action

A point gained, or two dropped? Wolves 2-2 City

City failed to capitalise on a poor run by Wolves, despite being 2-1 up with 10 minutes to go. New signing, and debutant keepr Dimi Konstantopolous managed to score an own goal after Wolves had opened the scoring on 11 minutes, only for City to go ahead through goals by Chopra and Rodger Johnson.

The draw lifts City to 6th spot, with a two games in hand over Reading in 3rd, 3 over Bimingham in second, and 4 over Preston and Bristol City (5th and 4th) and Wolves Top. With Wolve 12 points in front and Birmingham 8 ahead, our fate therefore is still largely in our own hands, and it would be nice to get back to winning ways when we host QPR on Wednesday.

Up the City!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Docs to Go for iPhone comming soon? Also Dataviz App Store

The very good "The iPhone Blog" or "TiPB" as it's known has posted a story that will interest all "serious" smartphone users. It seems that they've seen an early version of the superb "Docs to Go" from Dataviz running on an iPhone, including dare I say it, a copy and paste function. You can read their post here.

It's early days of course, and there appear to be issues with the spreadsheet part of the app and the story talks about whether Apple would indeed "let the app" into it's App Store, so it seems it's not necessarily imminent, but TiPB are very enthused by it nevertheless.

So would I be. I've been a long time user of DtG on the Palm platform, and I think it's a brilliant application, and I'd be very interested in getting this on my iPhone

Whilst we're on the subject of Dataviz, they've also just launched their own "app store". Clearly jumping on the app store type bandwagon, it look at first sight just like any other online store, but I guess the key for Dataviz here is that they're moving away from an entirely software based provider standpoint to a whole mobile software and accessories basis. Whether they can compete in an already crowded mobile store marketplace we'll have to wait and see. Bear in mind that being US based, shipping from the States will cost you, so you probably wont want to be buying basic mobile accessories from them if you don't live Stateside.

Mobile weather apps. Are they worth it?

Now I don't consider myself to be a weather junkie, but have got 3 weather apps on my iPhone - four if you include web acess to the likes of BBC weather etc.

The first of course is the standard native and very basic iPhone app. The second is the far more comprehensive WeatherPro and the third is an iPhon eiteration of my favourite Palm weather app, Weather by Deluxeware that has recently made it to the iPhone.

The latter two apps have various bells and whistles, including forecast (up to 14 days in Weather's case), precipitation predictions, nice graphics, and in WetherPro's instance, satellite and radar tracking (not real time).

The bottom line though, is how good are they at accurately identifying the weather?

Well, in my opinion, not very is the answer. Take this morning. At 9am in Barry, South Wales it was bucketing down.

The standard iPhone weather app, which gives you one symbol for the entire day said it was cloudy (no rain). WeatherPro was indicating some cloud and sunny intervals, and Weath was the closest indicating light rain with a 30% precipitation probability.

The BBC weather website wasn't much better, suggesting the predominant forecast was "cloudy".

I know I'm not going to get 100% accuracy on these things, and that local weather conditions can vary significantly, but all these apps identify Barry easily enough and therefore must be attaching wetaher info to that location based on some premise. I'm going to keep an eye on these and see if in the longer term, it's actually worth hanging on to, or setting any store by any of them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Been up into the Brecon Beacons National Park today, for a walk along the "Four Falls" trail. This walk takes you past four pretty impressive waterfalls on the Felte and Hepste rivers.

This particular one pictured, is in my opinion the best of the four, and is called Sgwyd Eira which means "fall of snow". As you can see, you can walk right behind this waterfall from one side of the river to the other. Pretty impressive, and had Bethan grinning from ear to ear. It's a steep old walk down to the bottom, and an even steeper walk back up, but well worth it. You can also see I've tried to be a bit arty farty by slowing the shutter speed to get the illusion of the water flowing a bit.

There's something a bit spooky about the first photo. If you click on it to pull it up full size, and look just above the bottom of the waterfall to towards the right hand side, you can see a face in the water.

This is surely just a trick of light and water, but it makes you wonder and understand how people of olde might have thought places like this were the places of spirits. .

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

HTC Magic

So, the second "android" phone is out - or will be in April. HTC have announced the "Magic" at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, although strangely on Vodafone's website (yes, it's looking like it's going to be tied to one operator - again - at least to start with), the image is named "HTC_Pioneer".

Anyway, it looks like it's going to be stuffed full of all the latest hi-tech stuff we'd expect of a 2009 smartphone, minus a keyboard, unlike it's older brother the G1 which had a slide out qwerty. Other than specs, which appear fairly comprehensive, there's not much else yet available. The image galler is surprisingly sparse (and poor to look at IMHO). I've fiddled with a G1 in a T-Mobile store, and wasn't overly impressed. At first glance, I'm not overawed by this hardware either. The one I'm still looking forward to is the Palm Pre.

No FA Cup glory this year: Arsenal 4-0 City

There'll be no FA Cup glory this year. Last night City went down 4-0 to the Gunners at tehir gaff, the hugely impressive Emirates Stadium.

Along with several thousand other Bluebirds fans me, Mini-Stats and our friend and his son made the trip down the M4 to London. Tube ride in from Cockfosters right to the doorstep of the stadium

The stadium is massive, and personally I think fare more impressive, both inside and out, and Wembley. Sadly, City weren't so impressive. After an enforced two week layoff, they looked rsuty and not match sharp, whilst Arsenal were right up for this, following their unimpressive showing at Ninina Park.

Frankly, it was all one way traffic, and it was a surprise they held out so long, but once Eduardo (inevitably in his comeback game) had opened the scoring, it was only ever going to be a case of how many. The fact that it was only four, was entirely due to the outstanding Tom Heaton, back in goal as Enckleman is injured and the cover brought in (Konstantopulous) was cup tied. Heaton made about half a dozen outstanding close range saves that would have otherwise led to a very embarrassing scoreline.

So that's the FA Cup for another year. The sage amongst us nod wisely and say, well at least we can concentrate on the league, and with the points we've got, plus up to 4 games in hand on some above us, an almost sure fire play-off place (unless something really stupid happens), and an outsdie chance of automatic promotion if we can win those games in hand.

Lets just hope that defeat doesn't start the rot, and we can get at least a point out of our trip to Wolves on Sunday.

Up the City!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

NewsStand update

My preferred RSS reader on the iPhone, Newsstand, has been updated. In my opinion for whatever that's worth, it'scurrently the best iPhone RSS reader app by a country mile. It offered a decent view in portrait, and a "pretty" but less functional "book" type view in landscape.

This update adds a landscape view in the feed list as well as an improved story view in the landscape mode. Other changes seem more cosmetic with feed icons being tidied a bit.

It's still highly recommended, but I wish they'd put the next/previous buttons at the bottom of the screen which would make for much easier one handed operation.

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, February 08, 2009

BlogPress update

My preferred iPhone blogging app "BlogPress" has been updated again. This update promises a fix to the known scrolling and disappearing text issues. Strangely, these problems had disappeared for me on the previous update.

Installing - or rather updating this new version seemed to resurrect all those problems again. Not very clever.

However I uninstalled the app completely from my iPhone, and reinstalled the latest version by syncing with iTunes and this seem to have done the trick. Hopefully everything will be stable from now on. I'm looking forward to continued development of this app, as it's the best of the iPhone blogging bunch out there at the moment in my opinion.

-- Post From My iPhone

That's funny. Reinstalling from iTunes after uninstalling from the iPhone hasn't actually updated BlogPress as I thought it had. the Appstore icon is still telling me there's an update to BlogPress. I think I'm going to leave this alone for the moment, as the app's working for me without the update.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


To my niece Elizabeth and her husband Stephen on the birth of their (as yet un-named) baby boy on Friday 6th February, coming into the world at a fine 8lb 2oz in old money.

Arcade Bowl for iPhone

Another great iPhone app is Arcade Bowl costing £1.19. It's a simple recreation of the old arcade game (strange isn't it - the clue's in the title) where you bowl a ball into a set of holes and score points for doing so. You get 9 balls in the classic game to score as many points as you can, and in the Progressive game, you have to score 200 or more points with your 9 balls to progress, then 220, then 240 etc etc.

The graphics are good, the gameplay is good enough to be very addictive. I can't put it down.

Way out man!

Murray over at Palm-Mac posted the other day regarding the "oldBooth" iPhone app that enables you to create an "old style" photo from a modern. one.

Murray's take on it - "Pointless but funny". I have to agree. I downloaded the free version first, but you only get about 4 options. The "premium" version is a whopping 59p, and worth every penny. I've been in stitches messing about with it. The best 59p I've spent for a long time. Highly recommended!

I think I look rather fetching....wish I had that much hair now!

Pocket Informant for iPhone

I found out today via a post on PDA247 about the Quest for an iPhone ToDo app (thanks Alloafan) that Web IS who make the well respected Pocket Informant PIM app for Windows Mobile (and the Blueberry - sorry Blackberry) are not far off releasing a version for the iPhone.

I tried PI on a WM device I had once, and quite liked it. It was certainly very comprehensive. Given the iPhone's generally not very good PIM fucntions (compared to other "smartphones") this could be just the app that a lot of people are looking for.

I'm sure though that they won't have been able to overcome the inherent problems with most PIM apps, caused by Apples reluctance to open the SDK enough to allow background running , but the screen shots on the webiste (see the above link) certainly look refreshing.

The actual app by all accounts is just about ready. What's holding the submission to Apple for ratification is the sync side of things, but the Web IS blog assures us that this too is nearing completion.

I've signed up for email alerts on this, as I'll be quite interested to give it a run. No word on price yet, but I don't suppose this is an app that'll be given away at 59p!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Cheap but slow

It's funny how you notice certain things. For the second time in a couple of weeks I've filled my car up with diesel at a Morrisons's supermarket. For the second time I've been concious of how slow the pump delivered the fuel compared to other garages I use. It's seriously slower. Granted I put 50 litres in, but I usually put about that much in it doesn't take that long!

It was so bad I was getting self concious about the time it was taking.

Back to Asda's next time!

-- Blogged From My iPhone

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

It's all Greek to me

We're off to Greece again this summer - though it seems distant at the moment! When abroad I always try to get stuck in with a bit of local lingo. I find it intersting and general the attempt is well received even if it's not very good. However, all that may change. I've just downloaded the talking Greek phrasebook from the App store for my iPhone!

It' gives a wide range of basic but essential (and some not so essential) phrases, the Greek written version and the opportunity to hear the phrase being said in Greek. It's very clever and if I play around enough might get fluent enough to order my beer!

Even better, it's free and there are loads of other languages available too.

The only downside is the volume of the spoken phrases is quite low, something reflected in nearly all the reviews, so hopefully the developer might eventually fix that.

Otherwise, well worth the zilcho asking price!

PC problems

If you've been following this blog for a while, you may remember that I have had intermittent problems with my main PC. I guess if you've had any PC for a while you, or someone you know will have had problems with it, but that's another story...maybe.

Anyway, what happens is that from time to time the thing freezes for no apparent reason. Then refuses to boot, or takes a long time to boot, or goes to the restore get the idea. It's an HP/Compaq machine with 3G ram running Vista Home Premium. I've virus checked it, spyware checked it, etc etc all with no results.

The other day it started again after about 2 months with no problems. Ram a memory test using Memtest a free and comprehensive memory testing tool. No issues there. Got the nmachine back up and running (not sure how) but then noticed that it wasn't recognising my DVD/Re-writer. rebooted, checked the BIOS settings etc, but still no recognition. Got the back off the PC, checked the cables and everything appeared to be plugged in correctly. But I did change the power cable to a new power outlet on the motherboard, and then rebooted.

Voila! Drive recognised. I wonder therefore if I've either got a dodgy motherboard generally, or there's a problem with one (or more) of the power outlets on the board.

Everything seems to be back to normal, so fingers crossed and we'll see how it goes.

As an aside, I'd done some pretty comprehensive googling about Vista boot problems and missing CD/DVD drives, and the nearest thing I've found to my symptoms was recorded here. This recommends fishing around in the registry and deleting some keys - something I'm not averse to, and have done before - and the keys in question are visible in my registry, so there may be an issue, but as everything seems to be working at the moment, I'll leave this and try it if it happens again.

By the way, whatever did we do before Google?

Monday, February 02, 2009

Let it snow

After the rest of the country came to a grinding halt today, it was finally our turn here in South East Wales, as the snow eventually started at about 7pm. As I write at 10pm it's still going (not blizzard like by any stretch) but it's laying and there's about an inch on the ground. Kids are really buzzing (or they were before they went to bed) as the school may well be closed tomorrow.

Chops is a Bluebird - for the 3rd time

Cardiff City have re-signed Michael Chopra - for the 3rd time! After his initial spell ended and he was sold to Sunderland, you'll recall City secured him on a months loan at the back end of 2008. However the managerial regime changed on Wearside, and it appeared his future was back with the Black Cats. Today though came the news that most City fans (myself included) wanted to hear. We've got him until the end of the season, and it looks like, a permanent move in the summer. This little lot comes to £4m, comortably City's biggest spend on any one player, but if he stays, and if he scores half as many goals as he did for us first time round, it'll be a steal.

And what makes it even better, is that we haven't had to sell any of our "stars" to get him. This signals City's intent, and I'm dead chuffed we managed to get him back.

Still on a plus, me and Mini-Stats have got tickets for City's re-arranged 4th round tie against Arsenal at the Emirates. After tomorrows replay was called off because Arsenal don't like the cold (only really I am...) the match was orginally switched to Sat 14th Feb. Great thinks I, a weekend. Don't have to take a day off work and don't have to pull Mini out of school. So I rang up, bought my tickets. 2 hours later, get a text saying they've moved it to the Monday (16th). So I will have to take a day off work, Luckily Mini will be on half term. Why the late switch? My guess is that the Saturday match wasn't going to be on that well used telly channel Setanta whilst Monday 16th will be.

Up the City!