Up to 5th in the league

Dons v motherwell nov 2008
Since the low of being bottom less than 2 months ago we have picked up since then, three successive home wins and some useful points away from home mean we now sit 5th and have a run of games coming up that should see us consolidate in the top 6.

Today was a scrappy 2-0 home win over Motherwell. After a dull first half we scored twice in 5 mins after an hour or so and ran out comfortable winners. Mind you, being 5th in the living mediocrity that is the SPL is nothing to be too proud of and there's not really a lot of difference between the sides outside the Old Firm. I was surprised to read before the game that it was Jimmy Calderwood's 200th game in charge and he is now our longest serving manager since Sir Alex Ferguson.

We still desperately need a big bruiser at the back as we are lightweight there, somebody with presence and leadership skills in that position would be a bonus and Jimmy should make that his priority during the transfer windows.

Good luck tomorrow for Man City in the Manchester derby…

Posted in Sports. 2 Comments »

iPhone tips

Short but sweet…

Remember, when you are scrolling down in most apps and wish to return to the top of the page then tap the "time" and that will zoom all the way back to the top.

Another new one…pressing the "home" button when flicking through your apps pages takes you straight back to the first page.

Screenshots…open the screen that you want to capture,
hold the home button and hit the power/sleep button. You’ll notice a
momentary screen flash. Bingo, your screen is captured and it is saved to the
Camera Roll.

Browsing….you don't need to type characters while entering a domain in the
Safari. Just hold down the “.com” button for about a second or so and then a list of
common domains like “.net”, “.edu” and “.org” will appear.

FliqNotes for iPhone

This is a new and free Notes style app from MarkSpace. The big advantage of this app, aside from being free, is that it claims to offer the ability to send and receive notes over a wifi network…sounds more than acceptable.

Fliq Notes is the ultimate notes application for iPhone and iPod touch
users. With Fliq Notes, a free app from Mark/Space, you can send and
receive notes with your iPhone or iPod touch over a Wi-Fi network,
including meeting notes, talking points, recipes and addresses,
directions, messages and whatever else you use notes for.

Notes is the only free app of its kind that lets you save, search and
sort all of your notes by name, date or category.  Fliq Notes is easy
to use, reliable and flexible. Simply download and install the app and
start sharing notes with friends, co-workers, classmates and family
With Fliq Notes:
Create, edit and store notes how you want
Search and sort notes by category or date for faster access to the notes you use most
Organize, select and save notes into categories like Work, Home and School
Fliq, or 'beam', notes to and from iPhone and iPod touch devices


Posted in iPhone. 1 Comment »

The Lentil has an iPhone…and more app tryouts.

Congrats to Simon, who now has an iPhone in his possession and hopefully things  will go well for him with it. Like myself, Simon has been a long time Palm user and in such cases the thought of leaving behind all those applications, ones that have been used and loved for years, can be a daunting thought. Still, there is a big brave and exciting world out there to explore and I'm sure that Simon will be able to handle it with minimal disruption.

Handbase for iphone
Talking of the iPhone, my apps splash out has continued unabated of late. i downloaded the excellent MobileFiles which unfortunately can only be used by those daft enough to have paid out for MobileMe. This links up to your iDisk and enables you to view a whole load of different types of files. This is much better than the likes of FileMagnet for mac people and has the huge added bonus of being free. I downloaded it, fired it up, logged in to my mobileme account on the application and 30 secodns later there was my iDisk with all its files…errrr….3 of them….on my iPhone. Wow, and my MBPro wasn't even switched on…how do they do that? Amazing. The developers, who also produce QuickOffice for Palm are promising an iPhone equivalent in the not too distant future. Native onboard Office doc editing is badly needed for the platform.

Next up was an old Palm favourite of mine…HanDBase, which has been out for the iPhone for a good few weeks. This was relatively expensive for an iPhone app at £5.99 but so far I feel it has been money well spent. It looks nice on the iPhone and the big screen adds to that. I've just been playing around with it so far, setting up a couple of dummy databases just to see what it can do  and trying to get to grips with it. It's quite a powerful application and with that power comes a learning curve. Some of the "field" options are a bit badly labelled. For example, the field which allows you to enter numbers is called "integer"…why? Just call it "numbers" and 99% of folk will understand that….the app is confusing enough at times as it is without extra complications like that to contend with. In the sad, continuing absence of ListPro this will need to do.

Mr Ed and Palm

It's been nothing but depressing news coming out of Palm these days…plunging share price now at an all time low & constantly being downgraded & now rumours of Elevation possibly jumping ship. Oh dear, this new operating system is looking more and more unlikely by the day.

It's surprising that Mr Ed has survived this long having succeeded in taking Palm from innovative smartphone pioneers to near the brink of nothingness and no more than a sad passing footnote in the history of gadgetry.

Looking back, how pathetic it all seems when he was up on stage brandishing the new multicoloured Treo 680's 2 years ago as if they were some incredible huge advancement on the 650 rather than a tiny form factor revision with more memory. A sad portent of things to come unfortunately or rather of things not to come. I mean, it was a while since the 650 had come out and they could barely manage to reduce the bulk or do anything to make the 680 a must have upgrade for 650 owners.

Really, how can a company who were right at the frontline of smartphone advancement with a new o/s have done so little over the past 4 years when everybody else has moved on so much? It's frightening yet he is still there talking up the battle ahead. Many many folk hope they can still turn things around, and I include myself in that multitude but it us starting to look a bit desperate.

Mr Ed. He is like Steve Jobs without the good ideas.

Dead Space…update and shitty xboxes…dead annoying

Being basically a shit gamer, I continue to struggle with any game that is remotely not incredibly easy. I need to set these things up on "easy" mode to give myself a chance.

Dead Space is good but I have encountered problems in that my relatively new (and replacement) 360 keeps freezing in that it tells me it cannot read the disc and that it is dirty. It even told me this after about 10 minutes playing Fallout 3 last week…which I'd bought about 2 hours earlier. The discs are perfectly clean so it is a hardware fault. This could be a sign that another 360 is heading on the way out and if so it will be my last dalliance with the console as I will get a PS3 instead. Frankly, the xbox 360 for me has been hugely unreliable as was the xbox before it.

Back to the game. You can power up your weapons and skills by deploying "nodes" which you either find lying around (but not in huge quantities) or buy using your amassed credits. A node is quite expensive to buy and if you do have sufficient credits it boils down to the choice of buying more stuff like ammo or healthpacks or a node or two. The problem is, to deploy nodes to add extra damage or storage capability to a weapon in a quantity that makes an appreciable difference requires about 10 nodes per weapon to get up to about half the maximum settings. It takes a heck of a lot of time to get 10 nodes which is the main problem….especially when there is such a wide choice of weapons. I think the developers ballsed up here.

I decided therefore to concentrate on making one weapon super powerful instead of having 4 weapons that have only been modified to a small extent. Plus, I ensured that my "stasis" power, which enables you to "freeze" the aliens prior to pumping the annoying big buggers full of plasma bullets, was also maxed out. This seems to be working quite well.

After a particularly frenetic mini battle with a group of rather ugly and deeply unfriendly aliens my wife complained about the amount of swearing emanating from the conservatory. My Dad never swore, she pointed out which is undeniably an admirable trait. On the other hand, I pointed out, he was never tasked with saving the planet from maurading aliens.

Needs must and all that……

ListPro for the iPhone delayed…..back to Things

Thanks to Julie at Ilium for pointing me in the direction of this blog post from Ilium.

Obviously for die-hard ListPro users like myself it is disappointing news but that's the way it goes and you have to admire them for their honesty and open-ness. Luckily, I have sort of reverted back to the palm Treo 680 of late and I have full ListPro access through that. In fact, not having ListPro on the iPhone and missing it is one of the main reasons why I am still carrying the 680 around.

Some of the things Marc is saying in his post surprise me though, particularly the bits about concentrating on the Windows platform but that is probably down to me not being entirely au fait with how these things work. I would have thought that the vast majority of iPhone users were also mac, as opposed to windows, users so that makes it hard for me to appreciate why Ilium would regard the windows platform as being more financially important to them. If 80% of the people who are potentially going to be buying your product are mac users then why place such emphasis on the 20% who use windows? Different of course if the iPhone was running Windows Mobile….

Perhaps I am completely missing the point here and there is in fact a huge swathe of windows iPhone users out there but I have to say, not one of the folk I know with an iPhone uses windows. I'm not the expert here of course and Ilium will know far more and far better than I so certainly wouldn't want to doubt they have some jolly good reasons for adopting this strategy.

Anyway, this has forced my hand a bit and having been using the iPhone the last few days I have gone back to using Things as my ToDo and List application. It's not nearly as good as ListPro for the latter option, not by a long shot, but it is very handy for quickly adding stuff that needs to be done and sticking it in different categories. The desktop version also syncs with the iPhone version which is a big bonus. I last tried the desktop version a month or so ago and chickened out of buying it however they seem to have gone back into a free trial until it is officially released next January so I can use it until then. All a bit odd methinks.

Things is actually quite nice and offers syncing options to iCal for todos. I have set it up to sync these with my Entourage ToDos and it works well.

Ewallet nested
I have got into this daft situation where I have applications that I use on my work PC that are windows only and stuff on my home mac that is mac only and never the twain shall meet. This causes hassle. For example I use eWallet on the 680 and I have the desktop version at work. This syncs perfectly to my Treo but the iPhone version has no mac desktop therefore I am trying to keep two mobile versions of the same app in sync and have to do this manually. I have to manually enter on the iPhone new entries made onto the PC desktop version. There is an iPhone desktop version for windows but I can't use that at work as I have no wifi setup there (IT restrictions) and no way of getting stuff from desktop to iPhone.

I need therefore to make a decision…do I start afresh and seek out replacement apps that are mac only and which I can use/sync to the iPhone or do I keep juggling apps around on different platforms? Or do I install one of those windows emulator style apps for the mac that will allow me to run windows apps on my home mac?