Wednesday 28 November 2007

N95 upgrade!

I finally built up the bottle to upgrade my N95. Last time I tried this it killed the phone and I ended up with a rather expensive brick, which, fortunately Nokia replaced.

This time I wanted to upgrade the phone to get the Assisted-GPS feature. The phone's GPS has been a huge disappointment - I don't think many people would consider an average time of 10min to get a GPS lock to be acceptable.

To get the firmware upgrade I had to use some software to rebrand the phone as a generic since Orange can't get their asses into gear to release the software. I was bricking it hoping the phone would not do the same as changing the code invalidates the warranty. Well Orange can kiss my Scottish ass because it worked!

I now have A-GPS, and I got a lock in my flat in less that 1min. Result!

I also have access to the previews for the new N-Gage games which look like they will be quite cool.

Ref: I used this guide and this guide to update my phone.

I also rather like the look of this iPhone like software.

Saturday 10 November 2007

Saturday 3 November 2007


I've been thinking for a while now that I should maybe give more money to charity. I give £3 a month to Oxfam - the result of being chugged a few years ago in Covent Garden. £3 was the minimum you could give back then and, ok, it isn't much, but it's £36 a year which I probably wouldn't give to Oxfam if I wasn't on a direct debit payment.

I've taken to heart the government advice about not giving money to beggars, figuring it gives me a good excuse to ignore their grubby out-stretched hands. However, I kind of neglected to do the second part of the Government advice which was actually give money to a charity instead. Ho-hum!

So I thought that the next time I see some chuggers from Shelter I would let them have their wicked way with me. Today they were out in force on Cornmarket. I walked up and down the street a couple of times, but none of them would take the bait. Typical! Can't avoid them when you don't want to give any money!

Eventually I just walked up to one of them. I had my spiel ready in my head. I wanted to be all Duncan Bannatyne-like: "I'll give you £3 a month, no negotiations, that's my final offer. Oh, and I want a 30% stake in all homeless people."

Okay so I didn't actually say the second part. I did manage to fairly confuse her anyway. They don't often get people coming up to them actually offering to sign up.

Turns out the minimum you can sign up for now is £6 a month, which made me look a bit stupid. My hobo-investment plan lay in tatters! Damn inflation! I rolled over and signed up, investing 100% more than I had intended.

So now I can ignore homeless people without a guilty conscience! Result!

I figure I'll maybe sign up to CRUK next (seems they're happy to take £2 a month. Hmmm... bums are more expensive than labs). Then I can ignore sick people! Just kidding - I maybe feel I should repay the scientific world for not contributing my genius to academia any more. Ahem. Only thing that holds me back is knowing how it gets spent. New PCR kits anyone?

Closer to the dark side

Today I took a few steps closer to the dark (geeky) side. Walking past Games Workshop in Oxford today, I thought I would pop in and ask the guys in there if they had any idea where I could get a display cabinet for my models. They didn't. However, as usual they asked a bit about whether I played any of the games and as usual I told the guy that I hadn't played for years but occasionally thought about it.

He offered me a chance to play a game, but I turned him down. Thirty minutes later I was back in there commanding my Dwarf army against a horde of Goblins!

Now, hats off to the guys who work in these shops - they are very passionate about the games. However, I have slight trouble handling this enthusiasm when it's coming from strangers. It might enthuse the kids but I get slightly, well, embarrassed. I like the games, but I still can't deny they are a bit... geeky. However, I don't have a problem with being a bit geeky (just a bit mind).

If I was head of GW Marketing I would do two things: have adult only evenings for playing the games. I can't be bothered with getting my ass kicked by a bunch of smelly kids.

Which leads me to point number 2. They need to have some kind of advanced air filtration or freshener system in the shops along with a very strict personal hygiene policy for their staff. Too many over-enthusiastic people spending all day in one confined space does tend to result in a smelly shop. Last time I tried to go in there in Wendy she was straight out the door it smelt so much. I guarantee increased revenues for GW!