Things I’ve Learned This Week…

Posted by Chris Green on Monday June 30 @ 1:56 pm

Yes, I know its only Monday, but that doesn’t mean I can’t resurrect my favourite list-based rant format. Christ knows I need something to get me motivated today:

  1. That study is not going to tidy itself.
  2. 90 per cent of the world is populated by very nice people
  3. 5 per cent are idiots
  4. 3 per cent voted for Bush – they need to be shot first come the revolution
  5. 1.5 per cent bought Betamax – need I say more
  6. The remaining 0.5 per cent are rude/prickly/overly aggressive/piss people off/don’t appreciate the situation (delete as appropriate). I haven’t decided what to do with these ones yet – might sell them on eBay.
  7. eBay rocks!
  8. I didn’t want a walnut-effect steering wheel, what I really wanted/needed was a new leather one.
  9. I’m sure Euro 2008 was a feast of football, but it failed to do anything for me 
  10. Not enough going on at Frightfest to justify a full festival pass this year, but I’ll be there for at least half the event.
  11. Jeremy Clarkson actually said something useful…when was the last time you just went for a drive……It’s been too long.
  12. Mmmmmmm…….cheese!
  13. Lovefilm sucks! If it improves, I’ll stay, otherwise I’m off
  14. Busy busy week this week.
  15. I need a new phone. I want a Nokia E71, but given my network provider only seems to add new handsets a year after everyone else, and has a hatred of anything with a keyboard, I’m not holding my breath.
  16. Finally did an iTunes movie rental on Saturday – the whole experience was surprisingly good.
  17. Despite being a Tesco loyalist, I am thinking about defecting to Asda.
  18. Not spending enough time blogging or Twittering. Need to sort both out.
  19. Need to find a nice place to stay in Northern France for a long weekend, somewhere that’s big for food and drink would be a huge bonus.

Celebrate the 80s

Posted by Chris Green on Friday June 20 @ 10:59 pm

Celebrate the 80s front cover

It’s the perfect gift for birthdays, christenings, grduation, or just a good read if you are stoned or just miss the greatest decade since we all realised the world isn’t flat.

Written by members of the greatest generation (those of us who grew up in the 80s), and edited by my friend and colleague Simon Brew, this book is the definitive guide to all things 80s – TV shows, music, films and proper computer games (the ones that came on tapes).

You can buy Celebrate the 80s now from Amazon.co.uk.

And yes, I did write some of it.

Seriously, its a brilliant book and it will bring back some fantastic memories, and a few that will make you cringe as well. Find out what all your 80s big and small screen favourites are doing now (not all of them are flipping burgers for a living) and read some exclusive interviews with the people who pioneered 80s entertainment.

WARNING: This book does contain a picture of me, with a mullet!

IT PRO gets a new look

Posted by Chris Green on Monday June 9 @ 11:01 am

New look IT PRO web site - www.itpro.co.uk

Following a huge amount of work by my editorial team and the Dennis web team, the new look IT PRO web site went live this morning.

http://www.itpro.co.uk

The new look site represents an important stage in the progression of IT PRO, and will allow us to do a great deal more in terms of how we produce coverage what format we publish our content in.

There are one or two small kinks that we are working out, so if you find anything that looks like it might be a bug, please let me know.

More mobile phone musings and 3G dongle chat

Posted by Chris Green on Tuesday June 3 @ 5:09 pm

More thoughts on the mobile phone situation:

Current Phone

I’m currently using an Apple iPhone (work thing) and a Samsung SGH-i320 (personal phone). It is the Samsung I want to replace. The iPhone is brilliant, it rocks – let’s just leave it there.

The Samsung is a good phone as well, even though it is Windows Mobile. Unfortunately, its a bit underpowered, its only GSM/GPRS – not 3G let alone HSDPA, only runs Windows Mobile 5, is a tiny bit unstable and the keys could do with being a little bit bigger.

The Options

BlackBerry

I dearly love the BlackBerry platform and devices, or rather I used to love the devices. They’ve ruined them by making them too small, and with it the keyboards too small. The 7230/7290 device keyboards were brilliant – anything smaller is too small, and I hear too many friends, business contacts and readers complaining about their BlackBerry Curves and 8800s because the keyboards are too small.

Also – none of the current crop of BlackBerry devices supports Bluetooth data access. They are fine if all you want to do is use a Bluetooth headset or in-car handsfree system, but if, as in my case, you need your TomTom sat nav to be able to access the connection on your phone so it can download traffic and speed camera alerts on the move, the BlackBerry is useless. Even the recently-announced Bold doesn’t support Bluetooth data – c’mon RIM, get with the programme.

Windows Mobile Devices

I have had a play with several. The Samsung SGH-i600 (the 3G HSDPA version of my 320) is not a nice device, it seems that Samsung regressed from the hardware of the 320 rather than improving on it.

I’ve reviewed various HTC devices, and while they are very well built, they either don’t have a keyboard (deal-breaker), have a touchscreen and a stylus (horrible) or an impractical qwerty keyboard. A shame.

Symbian

The keyboards on the E61 and E61i are pretty horrible, and when I reviewed the E61i, I found it painfully underpowered, though the software set and capabilities are excellent. I’d kill for a Noia E90, but I can’t afford to buy one (and Nokia understandably wanted its review unit back) and my mobile provider doesn’t offer it as an option (in fact, all the phones on offer from my German-owned mobile provider are so old and dated, I don’t think any of them were launched in 2008).

The LG KT 610 looks like the perfect solution. All the features and design of the Nokia E90, same operating system, but a fraction of the cost. Trouble is, it’s not on sale yet and nobody (retailers, distributors, LG’s UK PR company) knows when it’s coming.

Data Cards

On a side note, several people have been asking me about 3G data card and USB dongle options of late, so I thought it would be a good idea to post about what I use.

I currently have a USB dongle from 3, on its £15, 3GB-a-month contract. This is not a review unit, I signed up for this out of my own pocket in December 2007. And I swear by it. Very reliable, seems to get signal where Vodafone and other cards seem to fail, and its pretty quick. I regularly get close to the 3.6Gbps top speed on my tube run into the office (3 actually understates a 2.8Gbps HSDPA maximum on its cards, but they can and usually do more).

I need a new phone…

Posted by Chris Green on Monday June 2 @ 12:23 pm

Ok – here’s the thing. I need a new phone, and need it in a bit of a hurry (just a handset, not looking to change providers or sign up for a new contract etc at this stage).

  • Needs to be a smartphone, rather than a basic phone
  • 3G not essential, but would be nice
  • Must have Bluetooth, so I can use it handsfree in the car
  • Must have a physical (not on-screen) Qwerty keyboard
  • Not fussed about the operating system (Windows Mobile, Symbian, BlackBerry etc)
  • Needs to do email (IMAP)
  • Not too fussed about the quality of the camera, but it should have one

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