Gadgets Galore #1: Sony Ericsson v600i

Sep 2, 2005 / 0 comments

This past week has been a week of gadgets. My Orange contract ran out a couple of weeks ago, so I was due an upgrade from my SPV E200 (more on that monstrosity later). I've been with Orange for 6 years now and although I've found them fine for voice their data performance has been patchy. I'm not a heavy user, but it's annoying to not be able to rely on it at all. People Who Know seem to rate Vodafone as the best UK data network so I went looking to see what they could offer. At first the Nokia 6230i looked like the best option, but then I noticed the Sony Ericsson v600i (which I think is just a Vodafone branded K800i). This is a 3G phone that isn't a lot bigger than the 6230i and still manages to be smaller than the SPV.

So it arrived Tuesday week ago, but unfortunately as I was porting my number from Orange it only became active this Tuesday. Bit odd as at first it worked for outgoing calls but incoming were still going to Orange, but it sorted itself out within a few hours. Whole process was reasonably smooth except for a complete inability to order online if you want to port a number; I ended up having to ring up. How retro.

Anyway. Kathy disappeared off to her parents yesterday, so I made my first video call last night (she has a phone on 3 as mentioned previously). It's actually pretty neat; jerky, but enough to tell facial expressions that are held for longer than a moment. I dread to think how much it cost and I doubt I'd use it in general, but it's Pretty Cool.

Then, while fiddling with it on the way to London today (a joyous day in the datacentre) I discovered it does IMAPS. And actually checks the cert. I'm impressed. Now I'm on my way home I had a fiddle with getting dialup over Bluetooth working and that seemed relatively straightforward too.

So far the downsides I've found are that it really doesn't want to talk OBEX to the telecom/ directory, which I understand to be how you pull the phonebook and things off the phone. I don't know if this is something I'm doing or if I'll have more luck with SyncML. The other problem is a lack of decent games on it. I want something simple and addictive to pass the time on trains. There are a couple of demo games, but both a bit too complicated for instant addiction. Brett tells me sending Java apps should be a simple matter of an OBEX upload, so I'll try that later and see what I can find.

All in all I'm happy with it so far. We'll see how I feel after the first month I guess, when the bill's hit. :)

Submission

Aug 31, 2005 / 0 comments

So, after 4 years of hard work (honestly, and not several trips to New York, Madrid, Athens, Nice and more) Kathy finally submitted her PhD yesterday. It's a weighty tome (and I confess I still haven't read all of it), and she's glad to have got rid of it I think. Now we just need to wait for her supervisor to sort out a viva for her; last we heard he was having difficulty with getting an external examiner. :(

Which leads nicely onto TFM, who took nearly a year from submission to viva I believe. This happened yesterday as well (is there something in the air?) and he passed with minor corrections. Yay!

Congratulations to both Kathy and TFM!

New windows!

Aug 26, 2005 / 0 comments

I got a phone call just before 5 yesterday afternoon from the window man, saying he had slot free today and as luck would had it my windows had arrived and was I free and if so could they come and fit them today. I'd originally been planning to take the day off when they came to do the fitting, but at such short notice and with Dom on a RIPE course today and Simon in London for an install I didn't really feel I could do that. However it worked out ok; I spent the morning working in the kitchen (after realising that a) I have a laptop, b) I have a wireless card and c) I have a wireless network in my house. Doh!) while they worked upstairs, and then I moved upstairs after lunch. All in all the process was pretty painless, aside from having to make sure I was up and dressed before they arrived. And now I have nice new windows at the back of the house rather than old wooden ones I'm worried about falling out.

And all that means that soon I get to buy a new laptop so time to do some more research and talk to Matthew the God of Laptops about what's likely to be hassle free under Linux. I shall corner him at the Debian UK BBQ tomorrow.

...and a pony.

Aug 25, 2005 / 0 comments

rejs just ask about the origins of "and a pony", usually after a list of other desires which is starting to sound implausible. Anyone any idea where it comes from? I figured it's a reference to whiny teenage girls, but I can't find anything more concrete easily.

No more Compsoc Network

Aug 19, 2005 / 0 comments

[noodles@pot ~]$ ssh -C ox.compsoc.net
Oxford University Computer Society network
------------------------------------------

This machine no longer accepts user logins.

Well, that's that then. It's nearly 8 years since I got my Compsoc account, back in the days when most people didn't have a Linux box sitting on their desk (in fact I think I had a Compaq Aero 4/33 running DOS at the time). Since then I've been a Compsoc Sysadmin, president of the society and more recently an aging hanger on. It's still sad to see it go however. The main problem seems to have been a lack of undergraduates who are interested in actually maintaining the network, probably coupled with the lack of demand from most current members for an account. I believe there are still a reasonable number of events, which is in contrast to Cambridge, where the SRCF seems to be still going strong, while the Cambridge University Computing Society seems somewhat dormant. Odd how these things work out.

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