Footie season starting soon…

Two of the Dons new signings with legend Mark McGhee

Mind you, has it ever been away what with the 4 week soccer fest that was the World Cup. The Scottish Premier League will start ahead of the English one and once again I find myself distinctly un-looking forward to it. It’s hard to get excited about a league where only 2 teams have a realistic chance of winning it and the rest sort of scramble around desperately trying to avoid getting dragged into a relegation dogfight. Aberdeen have been splashing out of late and have brought in 5 players for the princely initial sum of £0, 4 of them are from the lower leagues in England which does not quite warm the cockles of expectation too highly.

Still, it’s a rather depressing indication of our current plight and that of Scottish football too. Rangers, last seasons SPL chumps…sorry champs…have been selling right left and centre and the standard of the SPL can be measured by the fact that their top players from last season have ended up in the English Championship, one step down from their top tier and there was bugger all interest from any of the Premier clubs in the Rangers fire sale. Changed days indeed from when top Scottish players were a staple part of any decent English top flight side….

When we were in CentreParcs I was surprised, nay horrified, to see the amount of Rangers tops around, generally being sported by overweight middle aged men with their similarly attired chavy looking siblings. Why do they do it?  Why do they think it is a good idea to look like a ned? “Look at me, I am a supporter of the most bigoted team in world football”…why not top it off with a pair of authentic Peter Sutcliffe socks from the endorsed “Yorkshire Ripper” range.

Posted in AFC. 1 Comment »

Back on the HTC Legend

Got back from our hols later on this afternoon and immediately got a call from Apple’s courier to arrange collection of my faulty iPhone for tomorrow morning. It was with great sadness that I did a last back up on iTunes then wiped it clear of all info and then packed it all up into the box ready for collection. I then had a quick peruse online to check out availability of a replacement and was pretty devastated to note the still acute shortages at all the phone places and 3 week wait online at the Apple Store. Thing is, with the forthcoming launch in lots more countries scheduled for the next week or so things are not going to improve anytime soon. It could be weeks, in fact it will be weeks, before I can source a new one. That has made my return from holiday and back to reality even worse as I was enjoying using it so much.

I still have the Palm Pre and HTC Legend of course and the latter has been pressed back into service. Unfortunately, having chopped down my main SIM to fit into the iPhone 4 I find that using the micro SIM adapter that came with the  SIM cutter in the Legend is a no go as it won’t click in properly. It works fine in the Pre though but I’d prefer to use the Legend so have reverted back to my older SIM which is still the original size. I then had to inform a pile of folk of the temporary change of number which was a pain but there you go. I’ll revert back to the chopped SIM when I get a replacement iPhone.

It feels a bit odd going back to the Legend. The screen is not as good, the apps are not as good, the camera is mediocre and the video recording is just acceptable. The people that I showed video that I’d shot on the iPhone 4 to all uniformly remarked how sharp it looked, they won’t be saying that about video shot on the Legend. At this point in time I’m struggling to think of anything that the Legend does better than the iPhone and frankly the whole thing just feels like a comedown. I don’t know what it is about Android that feels like a let down but if pushed I’d say it is starting to turn into Windows Mobile what with all that bleating on about “open-ness”, cooked ROM’s, emphasis on specs and general all round smugness of the Android sites. Heck, I might even go back to using the Pre instead as the whole Android scene is starting to feel like something I don’t especially want to be part of anymore.

Soon to be iPhone-less again

Heading home to Edinburgh tomorrow after our week long trip to CentreParcs in Whinfell Forest and a great time was had by all. Apple will be arranging a courier to come and collect my defective iPhone 4 some time this week and it is a bitter sweet state of affairs. I enjoyed using the iPhone 4 these past three weeks and what surprised me is how much of a step up it is from the iPhone 3G that was the last iPhone I used for a concerted period about a year ago. Just after that I moved to the HTC Hero then the BlackBerry Bold 8900 and then the Palm Pre and then onto the HTC Legend. Over the past 8 months I have more or less alternated between the latter two.

The iPhone 4 is much quicker than the 3G, the screen is very good and it has come into its own on my holiday via the very good camera and video recording capabilities. I’m not really looking forward to having to use the Legend again as in comparison the camera is pants and the video recording ability distinctly average too. More importantly, 3rd party software is superior on the iPhone and I’m struggling to think of a single bit of software, that I use on a regular basis, that is better on Android over the iPhone. I hope I can pick up a new iPhone sooner rather than later as I find it suits my needs rather well at the moment. I would not dare to say that it is the best smartphone in the world as I suspect that the likes of the newer Android superphones are technically probably better but for my needs and for the type of software that I use these days, the iPhone is better for me. When I manage to pick up a new one I will probably sell the Legend but keep the Pre as the latter, with its wobbly slider action, may prove troublesome to shift on eBay as I wouldn’t particularly want to pass it on as is to somebody else.

Upset…my iPhone 4 is warping on the side

Warped iPhone 4

Well, I was very pleased with my new unlocked direct from Apple iPhone 4 as it had luckily exhibited none of the antenna signal problems nor was the proximity sensor an issue. I felt like one of the chosen few that is until I went on holiday this week down to CentreParcs in Whinfell Forest. There I was with my iPhone, snapping away and taking some very good quality pictures thanks to the excellent on board camera and shooting the odd hi-res video too. And then I noticed it…well, actually I had sort of noticed it before and it started with a few bits of dust on the right hand side of the phone, near where the small “nick” in the antenna is. I tried to get the bits of dust out by just wiping them away but couldn’t shift them at all. Initially I wasn’t worried and just thought I’d wait until I was back in the house and could then use a card or something to flick them away gently but then when I got back, to my horror, I noticed that there was actually a gap in that corner and that it was starting to push the antenna band out. You can perhaps see it in the attached photo, it’s not very good quality but it does show the slight warping. The phone has not been dropped or banged or anything that could have caused this warping effect and it wasn’t there when I first got it, it has just started over the last few days.

At that point I got that horrible sinking feeling, that nasty feeling in my stomach that just screams “oh shit”. I thought I’d just leave it for a day or so and not panic too much but over the next 24 hours it was constantly on my mind and was becoming depressing. I hate that so much. I’m still in the 30 day refund process stage so I phoned Apple this morning and got through to someone who was very helpful, when I explained that it was starting to separate he got straight down to the refund process and it will be collected next week when I get back to Edinburgh. Darn it…things were going so well with the phone.

I suppose I could have just kept it but to be honest, it’s not the sort of problem that is going to go away and nor would it get any better, if anything it will just get worse so there’s no point in being a martyr, especially when I can just send it back for a full refund and get another one when they are back in stock later on. I may even wait a couple of months to see if the next few batches are any better. This is the first Apple product I have ever returned within the 30 days as it is the first one that has needed to be returned as it was faulty. I do feel a lot better now though, now that I have got it sorted out and it has stopped being a worry. I do get a bit hacked off with this sort of thing and I hate having a device that is flawed in some way as it it is always there, right in front of me and it makes me feel very uncomfortable, I just can’t ignore things like that as it’s not in  my nature to be able to ignore it.

The only problem now is that I don’t want to use it any further whilst I am on holiday in case it gets damaged elsewhere. I did wisely bring a back up phone with me, my Palm Pre but unwisely I decided to forget to bring a charger for it and also forgot to charge it prior to leaving. There are no shops in the resort here selling chargers so I am basically stuck with a phone that will last about half a day at the most and have not been using a phone now since Wednesday morning.

I suppose I am actually quite lucky in that the fault could have materialised outwith the 30 day return period which would have left me in a slightly more tricky situation. Or, it could have been more awkward too had I bought the iPhone from a carrier here in the UK as opposed to direct from Apple as they might have been a bit sticky about it. Still, the bottom line is that it is another high end smartphone that I have sent back quickly because it was faulty in the manufacturing sense and this is starting to become an issue.

Posted in iPhone. 1 Comment »

Apple and their iPhone problems

It’s hard to know whom to believe in all this antenna and proximity sensor stuff. I suspect Apple more a lot more than they are letting on. Frankly, I find it disappointing that they came out with that rather silly we are “stunned” to discover we made a mistake with the signal bars thing as it’s all rather unlikely that they were not genuinely aware that there was an issue. Luckily, it’s not an issue for me and even if it was the iPhone 4 still gives me a much better reception strength than the HTC Legend which I also own. It loses signal completely at least 2/3 times a day for no apparent reason.

When I first started using Apple products they were not the size they are now…the company that is, not the actual products. Back then, in the late 90’s they were best known for making desktops and laptops and I’d just splashed out nearly £800 (in 1998!) for a bondi blue iMac. I think they were patronised a bit by most geeks, regarded as a harmless little niche market company who would always struggle but who produced well built if ultimately overpriced tech stuff. I sort of grew to like Apple then, I liked the quality of the hardware and I felt I was supporting the underdog, railing against the establishment and majority and at the time it fitted in with my slightly rebellious outlook on life.

Twelve years on and things have changed. A few years ago I took my first big steps, nay strides, into the near mythical “comfort zone” and have never looked back. The Comfort Zone is a great place, it’s a place where you don’t give a stuff anymore about what is cool or trendy, where you don’t give two hoots about what anyone thinks about you anymore and just basically do what you want, when you want with the ultimate and overriding goal of making things easier for yourself. Boy, does it feel good. Apple have changed too. Now they are a huge Company, at one point a few weeks ago they were bigger, in terms of market capitalization, than Microsoft which 12 years ago would have been unimaginable.  They makes lots of things and sell lots of things and make heaps of dosh. When you’re that big and doing so much it surely must be inevitable that standards slip now and again and your outlook changes. I’m not sure what exactly I’m trying to say here as I still believe that deeper down, Apple and Jobs are still trying to do the right thing but my concern is that standards may inadvertantly slip and if so, they have to be honest about it and not hide behind all that corporate baloney speak because people will see right through it. And their reputation, carefully built up down the years through goodwill, will suffer big time.

This antenna thing looks bad. How could a company who pride themselves so much on the quality of their products balls up something that must have been tested out in the real world? The guys on MacBreak podcast gave them the benefit of the doubt but only just the other week but I ‘m not so sure that Apple aren’t culpable here.

HTC Superman, Motororola Super Droid, Samsung Best in the Galaxy…SuperSlabs

Yawn. I’m getting all confused and a bit lost by the appearance of all these new superslabs.  Never mind all this “superphone” stuff, they should be calling them Superslabs. Check out the new Motorola SuperSlabDroid….looks great. Well, that’s not strictly true, it sounds great but looks a bit odd to me with that funny sticky out bit on the bottom right hand side and odd lump on the back. And check out the splash bit on the front page of the eXpansys site which proclaims…”plug into your HDTV”. I’m sorry matey peeps but I don’t have a hole big enough on my Panasonic TV  to stick that thing in….wouldn’t a simple HDMI port be easier? boom boom.

The guys on the latest Mobile Tech podcast were singing the Droid X Superslabs praises and well they might, I’m sure it’s a top notch device and the screen is big and no doubt fantastic but it leaves me a little cold.  They’re all so darn big these days, it’s like they’ve all had Jordan screen implants. We’re obviously now moving away from the phone downsizing thing that was all the range a couple of years ago and gradually increasing the overall size. I reckon my new iPhone 4 is about as large as I would like to carry around on a regular basis.

Marty Mobile — inventor of the phone .. Android ‘every bit as good’ as iPhone

Marty Mobile — inventor of the cell phone — says Android ‘every bit as good’ as iPhone | Android Central.

This is down to that silly competitive edge that these ex Win Mo users who have migrated en mase to Android have brought to the platform. They were all keeping a low profile as the demise of Windows Mobile brought much merriment to everyone else but now they have landed, again en masse, on their new homeland, Planet Android, they are once again poking their heads above the parapet and spouting forth loud and proud.

My own view is that Android is not quite every bit as good as iPhone, not in terms of software anyway although the hardware can be a bit tasty. Anyway, who is going to take seriously the views of some old geezer who knows bugger all about modern smartphones? But enough about me…let’s let Marty boy have a word..

“I think that the Android phones are catching up now, and the latest version of the Android phones are every bit as good, if not better, than the iPhone.”

See? It must be true then…