Monthly Archives: September 2008

There are things in our house!

Things that will make it all nice again, eventually – hurrah!  Mainly in the form of plaster, plasterboard and bits of flooring by the looks of it… nonetheless, it’s all a welcome edition.

The kitchen is up first for attention, it’s actually mildly exciting that slowly but surely were are edging our way closer and closer to some semblance of starting to put things right!  Hopefully t’will speed by as all other aspects of time seem to, and we shall be habitable downstairs again!

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Sapna warning!

It’s 2am in Nottingham
And we all had the strangest yearning
Let’s go to Sapna’s for a curry
Now my poor old arse is burning

Just ten minutes in the Cookie Club
And soon our fate was sealed
Chutney’s was closed, back down St James
To Sapna’s charms we must yield

Lager brings about amnesia
As I’m sure I’ve been here before
Writing almost these very words
On a uni cubicle door!

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non-Smoking induced stamina

For the first time since I stopped smoking some six-ish weeks ago, I noticed a real difference in my ability to run for longer at football.  I guess my lungs are operating more efficiently given a chunk of time to recover from the abuse over time.

The same can’t be said for my legs, which now ache like hell!  Good signs, though!  Getting three goals past Rich is always a bonus too!

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Jailbreaking 2.1 with Windows for impatient types..

I just followed these instructions and managed to upgrade my iPhone to the 2.1 firmware, and then jailbreak it again to be able to fart around with the themes and install third party applications – woohoo!  Impatient non-Mac users such as myself currently don’t have an easy application-driven solution for jailbreaking within Windows, you see.  Well, it’s quite easy.

* I’ve now fixed the above link so it doesn’t point to a football forum!! Apologies.

I didn’t bother downgrading iTunes back to 7.7, keeping 8 worked absolutely fine.  It had a little wobble after upgrading to 2.1 using iTunes bizarrely, which culminated in my losing patience and restoring to a backup – which wasn’t too arduous.  The biggest drawback was having to reinstall all the non-legit applications – obviously the AppStore ones were backed up neatly in iTunes – not so for the Cydia and Installer ones.  Booo!

Although now I have it jailbroken and working, it’s taking a while to sync all my music and videos back onto it!  Deep joy!  Still, I can have a play with ‘genius’ playlists now!  Fun fun fun!  Hopefully (although I’m not counting too many chickens) Apple have addressed the issue that means my car’s bluetooth kit doesn’t download the addressbook on the phone too.  Works fine on an original iPhone, but since upgrading to 3g it’s not worked.

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Flickr me this, Flickr me that..

I’ve had a Flickr account for ages, but never really used it much; but noticed that I can upload pics to it easily on the go from my iPhone, and can install a handy block over there –> to display some recent ones, which is rather good.. I used to be a big user of photos on t’internet, with regularly updated galleries – and frankly, I’ve been very slack on that lately (although ‘event’ photos do tend to make it onto Facebook!).

So there you go!  A slight change, but a good one I think.  I suppse it depends if I ever use it regularly, hopefully I will, though!

In terms of non-iPhone related things (since that’s all I seem to write about!), the house is still a building site.  With much elbow grease from myself, Cat, Mum and Dad we’ve got the downstairs mostly unpapered.  This week’s been a bit busy in the evenings, so hopefully on Saturday/Sunday I’ll be able to finish off by spongeing down the walls and getting the remaining bits of paper off, clean out the areas that require filling, do the filling and then make use of a power sander (yay, powertools!) to smooth everything off.

Hopefully that will leave us with a surface suitable to paint without reskimming; we shall see!  Either way, we won’t be having wallpaper since our little winged pincers like nibbling it!  The very loud fans the dryers left us are still running; they’re coming on friday to see if we still need them – I’m hoping not, as we can’t really do any work until they’re gone, I’m also needing to get in touch with a plumbing pal to discuss what we can do about replacing our heating with something more practical.

If I didn’t have a pretty hectic day job it would be easy!  Still, no pain no gain.

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Oooh, look what I can do now!

Okay, my earlier comments around the potential pointlessness of jailbreaking an iPhone are null and void after I discovered dTunes, an application which *ahem* allows you to locate music you already legally own and download it, there and then.  It can play it too, unfortunately the music isn’t available in your iPod functionality, but it’s easy enough to listen via the inbuilt music player and then once you’re at your PC or Mac retrieve the music and import it into iTunes as usual.

Very impressed indeed!  And as you can see, it even found a Levellers B-Side, so it’s not doing too badly at all on that front!

It is perfect for those times when you’re out and about and randomly think of a tune (or perhaps hear it, then use Shazam to identify it), but have forgotten it by the time you’re in a position to do anything about it… so anyway, yes, installed, tested, very impressed.  Get yourself on Cydia and install it!

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iPhone 2.02 jailbreak and shenanigans..

I had a while back decided I wasn’t too arsed about jailbreaking my iPhone, but well, as I oft do with technology I got a little bored and decided to do it anyway, having discovered that you could do it with a tool called QuickPWN.  Instructions on doing it are understandably sketchy, as developers tend to specialise, funnily enough, in developing rather than user-friendly instructions – plus their target audience tend to be people who can easy out-geek me.

So, amidst fears that in upgrading to 2.02 I had missed the jailbreaking boat, I duly opened up Google which presented me with this really useful guide.  These are the instructions I followed, and it worked.  The only thing they were not clear on was the length of time it can take for restarts – so it does lead to a few spincter-twitching moments; however, I was spurred on by the (as yet untested for me) claims that even if it went horribly wrong, a simple restore via iTunes would sort it out.

Why would you want to jailbreak your phone?  With the inception of AppStore, third party applications are now available anyway (sometimes for a price), however, Apple are less keen on other applications making it onto their beloved platform.  Video recording, for instance – is something my iPhone can now do, thanks to an application called Cycorder.

The other thing that jailbreaking enables is customisation; now, there is a school of thought that points out – not unreasonably – that the iPhone environment was a rather attractive thing to behold, and thus shouldn’t be tampered with.  And I agree with that, to a point.  But I resent being enforced not to, so I do actually quite like the ability to tamper with things; which as you can see from the screenshot are considerably tampered with.

In the past I used to spend many happy an hour designing themes for Geeklog, given the relative simplicity of iPhone themes I could be quite tempted to try to get into designing stuff again.  As it is so far I’ve restricted myself to hacking apart the work of others into something approximating what I would like – I’ve also been investigating how to achieve transparencies in PNG files, which I think could lead to intriguing results; I like the idea of making the buttons fairly blended in.

Other things I’ve amused myself with is installing an application called ‘Categories’ which allows you to create folders in which to put groups of applications; which has tidied up my ‘Springboard’ (the technical term for the iPhone menu system), I’ve installed pretty impressive NES and Gameboy Advance emulators, as well as a more advanced Camera program, and a Video recorder.  It’s true to get the most out of these things you need to be comfortable using either SSH or WinSCP (for Microsoft-based people such as myself) to get full use out of them.

In an extension of theme type stuff, I’ve also just added a small weather ‘widget’ to the home screen, as well as changing things like the battery colour and changing the slider to a zip, using the ‘Winterboard’ application, and the language to say ‘unzip’ rather than ‘slide- using the ‘Customize’ application (which has also enabled me to change my SMS alert tone to a light saber.. ah, t’was inevitable!).  So yes, a myriad of customisations and changes, many of which I will probably lose when the novelty wears off!

Categories: blog, iPhone / iPad / Mac | 5 Comments

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