iPhone!

I write this from the newest addition to my toy collection – a nice and shiny black 16gb iPhone. It’s a bit weird typing after being used to the little on-screen keyboard of the WM6.1 HTC wizard that was my communications device of choice for the past 2 years…
My first impressions are good enough, I like the feel, and the interface. I’ll get back soon with the second impressions.

Toys for Christmas?

It’s that time of the year again when we start looking at gifts for our friends and relatives, and of course for each other!

I’m thinking of gifts for myself that have a good chance of satisfying the gadget geek and true techie in me.

  • The iPhone 3g, 16gb, Black
  • The Asus EeePC 1000h 160gb w/Linux also in black.

The iPhone looks like a good upgrade for me, as my HTC Wizard with a WM6.1 rom image upgrade, is starting to behave badly. The HTC is losing the SIM card sporadically, losing the connection to the phone network more often, and up to 3 times per text message it white-screens and requires a quick double-press of the power button. It’s still a fantastic PDA but I think that it’s time as my primary phone is soon to come to an end to be replaced by the shininess that is the iPhone. This would be my first iPod as well as my first Apple product. I have enough music that I could use a good mobile player, and I have to say I do like the UI on the phone. I am also fascinated by the nerd possibilities of a jailbreak and openssh server on it, and being able to access all of the files on it for backup or replacement.

The EeePC now, for about €350 via laptops direct, gets me a light sub-notebook that does everything that I am looking for in a laptop. The plan is for viewing of tv shows that I obtained, watching the odd film if I’m travelling for work, communicating with people using the inbuilt webcam and mic via Skype or similar, working on various documents for work when out of the office, doing some online studying for some professional qualifications that I have planned, and for some simple game playing. I have already tested out Quake3 on one owned by Florian at work and it gets a respectable 50FPS timedemo of ‘Four’ with all the shiny switched on. Playing normally gives 80-90fps. I have a lot of games that are Q3 engine derivatives and I would like to play them! Adding in to the mix the fact that the battery runtime is so good, I have to see this upgrade over the Dell Inspiron 4100 that I got upon my graduation as a really good thing!

Wasting the court’s time..

Where to start with this one..

It’s a pain in the ass when a private company that is the sole provider to a state-sponsored monopoly fails in its role. Typical example is the NCTS : They appear to be unable to book a test over email, even though they advertise this service on their website. As a result of their failure, I had a day in court, nothing major, just the waste of time for myself, a garda and the judge.

To top it all off, the NCTS group seem to be unable to provide simple information like “how long did it take to get a booking in this particular centre on this particular date if you used the online (non-email) booking system”! I really do hope that this crowd of incompetents lose the contract to stiff us all of our money and time next year when the contract is reviewed. At least the current review puts them in 2 out of 3 bidders for the contract!

Foglights!

What is it about drivers in this country? People do a ‘test’ that barely checks whether you know which pedal is which, then they get left loose onto the roads. Where they promptly forget all of the rules, recommendations and regulations involved in the act of driving.

A case in point: This morning, there was a bit of mist around, maybe 1km of visibility, more for bright lights. Why on earth would some moron put on their foglight in conditions that really don’t merit it, then refusing to switch it off in slow-moving traffic? Very little more aggravating than a car 3 metres from your bonnet with a pair of high-contrast red lights shining straight back at you because he thinks this make it safer for him to travel.

If you can see the body of the car behind you, you no longer need your rear foglight to be on. If you can count the teeth of the driver behind you, you definitely don’t need it on. If you are the last in a queue of traffic driving in real fog, then you certainly should have the rear foglight on…

Charity cycle

With my shiny new full suspension bike, I took part in the charity cycle that took part yesterday (Sunday 19th) at the Ballyhouras trail centre in aid of the Cancer Care Foundation that is assisting the Mid-West Cancer Centre in the Regional Hospital, Limerick.

On the white loop for the first time, and for the first time doing that distance off-road, made it a bit of an epic undertaking. This was the first real endurance event that I’ve undertaken in 2 years, so there had to be a bit of preperation involved. Getting the powergels, energy bars and special drinks was a good idea.

Getting up at 6.30 on a wet sunday morning wasn’t!

Out at the trailhead at 8.30, registered and ready to go, we (myself and 5 other MBUL heads, Mr. Landy, and John the local forest manage) were on the trail at 9.10.

Full-suspension is definitely the way to go. So nice to be able to push and pull up and over bumps, with the knowledge that if you get it right, you feel so good! I’ve started taking risks on manualling over bumps to get both wheels landing flat on the downslope to make for a smoother ride..

New bike.

Last thursday evening I travelled down to Limerick to take a look at a bike that was advertised on IrishDH.com.

Giant Reign 2 frame (2005 design with 6″ travel and the Manitou 3-way air shock), with a nice enough list of other components: RockShox recon 335 air forks, Deore brakes, Avid discs, Deore dual release shifters, XT shadow rear mexh, Deore front mech.

It was a nice price, and I purchased!

Sarah has now got the basis for a fantastic comfortable commuter bike with the Carrera Fury now that she is taking posession of that. I’ll be swapping out the tyres for the commuter tyres I got in France last year if that makes it a nicer bike to cycle. It depends on the grip on wet tarmac..

Committee

It’s so Irish really to have National Socialists on the committee of the local housing scheme who can’t get their teeny little brains around the fact that duplex-over-apartment terraced buildings in suburbia are not the worlds most family-friendly spots in the world. In fact given that they are generally built to rent to young professional couples or single professionals should be a bit of a giveaway to the demographic that resides there. It’s disheartening to see that some of the committee members have bees in bonnets about the fact that there are ‘Tenants’ (ooh such a dirty word) paying money to ‘Absentee Landlords’ (ooh more dirty words).

Notwithstanding the fact that the majority of the population is renting (either from or to) in the estate, these muppets have decided to go draconian on the other people living there, denying them the ability to park, and generally being little hitlers. I’m sure too that these little hitlers are the same ones that are plagueing the clamping company to come out and clamp non-existent cars every night at 2am..

I’d like to see these idiots take a back seat and let the majority of the people that care about living in the estate have their fair say in the day to day running of the estate.

But, this is Ireland after all. When people get a little taste of ‘power’ however ephemeral this may be, they do like to try and hang on like an elderly mangy terrier to a mouldy bone, desperate to have some control over an empty, unfulfilling, lonely life..

By the way, if you *do* read this, I’m not talking about you. You know who you are.

Toys?

It’s Saturday, and I’m going to go to town and buy me some toys..

If there’s an iPhone in stock I’ll be taking a good look at it, also thinking of little things like a new usb-key for the keyring, an external small usb harddrive, a nice large flatscreen tv (I wish!) or something else along those lines.

It’s bad that I have such a love for gadgets and gadgetry – it’s not exactly the toys themselves, but more what went in to them, and the wizardry involved in the engineering, the design, the manufacture and the aesthetics involved. It’s really cool to have little things that are really good at what they do in a really useful little package.

(edit) Nice little usb-connected harddrive, WD Passport 320gb in white for a good price from PCWorld. Now to copy over the contents of that torrent server…

Monday mornings..

I dislike monday mornings. Getting up at ungodly-hours, driving to be on time to meet the NCT guys to show them my shiny expensive tire and getting my little green/yellow window ornament..

I’m knackered! Finishing at 6pm, and getting a run in if it stops raining. I have to get fitter!

Site setup (cont.)

Whahey!

Right, now I’ve managed to get the gallery part working as expected, and I’ve started to migrate my pictures from random directories through to the Gallery2 backend. I’m happy!

People can now register and leave comments, I’ve a few antispam measures in place to make things difficult for the internet unwanted. People can access the gallery from the frontpage. Hopefully I don’t have too much in the way of bad pictures that may make their way onto the frontpage.

So far I like wordpress…