Monthly Archives: June 2010

iPhone phwoar!

Okay, despite the previous post I have (as anyone who has had any contact with me will undoubtedly be aware!) end up with an iPhone 4.  And I love it.  A lot.  Before you even use thing thing it just feels nice.  It apparently weighs the same as a 3GS but it feels more solid, with metal and glass rather than plastic it takes the things I really liked about the original iPhone and makes them better.

The press seem to have picked up on the mysterious ‘death grip’ which is something that I’ve not really experienced, although it’s true I have a poor O2 reception at home (considering getting a repeater to boost it – anyone got experience of these?), so more testing will perhaps bear that out some more, but I always had a low signal strength at home on my old iPhones too, so that’s nothing new with this one.

It’s a LOT faster than my poor old 3G, which is now sitting forlornly in an Envirophone bag waiting to be sent away for some cash, and I’m loving the new features – although as yet, because of it only being available on iPhone 4 and whilst on a WIFI connection, I’ve yet to have any ‘Facetime’ with anyone (unfortunately the port it uses is blocked on our work WIFI system).  So that’s something to look forward to, if nothing else because of the innuendo that naturally follows saying ‘Facetime’!!

iPhone OS4 is a big improvement – the pseudo-multitasking might not please the purists, but functionally it works really well, and the ability to but stuff into folders – which has been doable via jailbreaking for ages – is long overdue by Apple.  All in all, very happy – I’ll be happier when my new Gelaskin arrives so I can make the thing as hermetically sealed as possible to limit scratches!

It’s also encouraged me to revisit the AppStore a bit more, which I’d neglected somewhat of late – for those in a similar boat, check out FaceSwap which is really clever – to think how long I used to spend Photoshopping people’s heads onto things, it really is amazing..  I’m currently undecided over the jailbreaking question, I imagine as time goes on I’ll be lured back into it but currently don’t have too much of an urge to go unlegit.

In other exciting news, my brother Rich has proposed to Em and she accepted – this deed apparently took place during the final throes of the Flaming Lips performance at Glastonbury.  Of course, I now need to know the likely speed of events since Rich has also done me the tremendous honour of asking me to be his best man.  Gulp.  At least I can be confident that he won’t schedule anything to clash with the footy!

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I’m quite excited about the iPhone 4.  Having had O2 act like the monopoly-holding arseholes that they were at the time of the 3GS launching, it just wasn’t financially viable to upgrade then.  I’m quite glad I held out now.

Except… it seems impossible, aside from paying for a sim-free phone from Apple direct (which costs a LOT) to actually secure yourself the coveted device.  Promises of pre-orders on the 15th have been broken, and it seems your only option is to basically tap up at a store or hope a call/internet order gets through.  Disappointing.

That said, whilst obviously I would prefer to have the phone on launch day, I think I can probably tolerate being a bit more patient.  Certainly I can’t be arsed to queue up on 24th outside a shop without any guarantee there is a handset reserved for me on the premises (which is what the nice shop near where I work did when the 3G launched).  So I might just order online when I can and see when it turns up.

In other iPhone news, Apple are pushing their new operating system, which I have the release candidate for.  When the new iTunes came out last night I wondered if it would work with it – as it does apparently on the 9.2 beta for Macs.  So I tried, foolishly.  It installed fine, but wouldn’t activate – so I had a tantalising glimpse of the wallpaper for OS4.0 but only the ability to make emergency calls.

Oh well, restore then, huh?  Well… iTunes told me that it couldn’t downgrade a firmware.. dilemma or what? It ended up with my poor iPhone in a ‘Recovery Mode Loop’.  Luckily the PC upstairs hadn’t been upgraded to iTunes 9.2 so I was able to restore to 3.13, then use the iRecovery tool to force the activation through…

It wasn’t the best idea I ever had late at night as I sat there with all my music, settings etc being synced back to my now restored phone into the wee small hours.  So there you go, don’t try it unless you find a more reputable guide than me!

Next week we’ve got a few days off, it’ll be good to have a break from work even for a few days – I think I seem to have reverse-seasonal-affective-disorder, quite content to be there around winter but in summer it’s less fun… feh, I’m sure it’ll all seem much better after a bit of time out and going back with a cleansed mind.  Or something!

One amusing thing at work this week was, as part of a charity day, the powers that be are organising a talent show.  Four of our team have entered (despite having no talent) to do a ‘Stars in their Eyes’ style performance as KISS.. as part of the submission we had to make a video, which – unbeknown to us until someone told us – is now on a loop in the cafe area in our office… because it would seem that nobody else has submitted one.  Could be fun!

Which leaves later this month when I have very exciting plans afoot, which I am sworn to a degree of secrecy over… but it’s almost upon us, which leads to both excitement and nervousness on my part!

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World cup musings..

I keep thinking I should get back in to writing on here really, but then when it comes to it you’re faced with a massive blank white box.  There’s lots of interesting things going off – the World Cup is about to kick off, and that means there’s always lots of people getting offended that somebody might get offended by St George’s flags (in reality I suspect nobody does), largely thanks to the gutter press getting simple people riled up, and the people in questions being – frankly – morons.

Having said that, it’s helped me clear out my Facebook list – a useful filter was to delete people (and there was a depressingly large number of them) who sent me invites to groups devoted to “Stop pubs banning football shirts” or “Stop them foreigners stopping us put our flags up”.  It gets on my nerves something rotten – maybe it’s because I’m not especially patriotic – but then, I don’t begrudge those who are, and don’t think the average ethnic minority on the street does either.

Pah.  I like the World Cup but do struggle to motivate myself quite to the level I do for domestic football – certainly I’ll be watching England’s games and probably a few of the other tasty fixtures too, but, well… it’s just not Forest for me, I’m afraid.  Plus it’s a handy defence mechanism to limit expectations to avoid disappointment, something that being a Forest fan is perfect practice for.  Personally I don’t think England are good enough to challenge really – I predict the customary quarter final exit.

The other inevitable byproduct of an international football tournament is the endless tenuous advertising campaigns hung on the back of them, which is largely tedious and boring – however, the resurrection of the ‘John Barnes Rap’ from the 1990 New Order song ‘World in Motion’ for Mars is a stroke of genuis – although Barnsey perhaps should’ve held out for cash rather than being paid in Mars Bars!  See for yourself:

On the flip side, there has also been a significant crime against music committed by the third re-hash of the Lightning Seeds/Baddiel & Skinner song ‘Three Lions’ – I’m not even going to link to it, because it will make you want to stick knitting needles in your ears and take a cheese grater to your eyeballs.  Whoever thought that was a good idea wants locking up!

The final mood-getter-inner we’ve been indulging in at work – as well as the ubiquitous sweepstake (I got Germany) is collecting the Panini World Cup stickers.  There are 638 of these badboys to gather (might even be 640 if you count 00 and 000).  Six or so of us are sharing an album and having gone on a campaign of purchasing, we’ve entered the ‘swap phase’ and currently have only four stickers left to acquire (I believe – some are in transit).

I can’t say the experience has quite equated to my childhood memories but then I only recall having one domestically based football sticker album as a kid – amongst my peers the vogue was bizarrely World Wildlife Fund stickers, as well as Beano/Dandy ones.  Maybe Star Wars too.  Certainly Google Docs, Facebook and Twitter have made the experience a lot more efficient in tracking down swaps!

Other than that I can think of very little to write about aside from something I can’t go in to details over, but I picked up a phone call earlier in the week which was both a complete surprise and immensely exciting, but I’m sworn to a degree of secrecy about the details.  So, one or two readers who bother their arses to read these posts, you shall have to wait and see what I’m going to be up to…

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