Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Apple iPhone Orange or o2 - real life experience

After a lot of waiting Orange finally released the iPhone this month.

I've put up with pretty poor reception at home for the past 2 years with my iPhone on o2 but put up with it because the phone is simply brilliant. Places I go worked well on o2, all outside London I have to say, but pretty ood 3G or EDGE whereevere I was spending time at weekends and at work. Packaged with free The Cloud and BT Openzone I was happy with it all apart from the home coverage.

Orange led its advertising on its far superior 3G network coverage. I also knew that Orange coverage at home is full bars. Orange press releases made us all think data would be like comparing broadband to an old 56k modem!

So one week after launch day I have to report its all hype. Orange has significantly poorer reception for calls and data. The data seems to be garden walled too and slower. Some applications dont even update (Sky News shows weeks old news on my Orange iPhone!).

Incidentally, this experience is mirrored by a friend of mine in different coverage areas too.

So I'm running back to o2. All is forgiven. The future isn't bright for the iPhone on Orange.  Its now on Amazon to be sold...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How to find The Lazy Fish

My Tom Tom didn't know the way to The Lazy Fish near Cockermouth.  The directions the website say
Turn left signposted Wythop Mill. After a few hundred metres you will see St Cuthbert’s Church on your left and a private lane opposite. Turn right up this lane and Brook House is the first house on the left. Just over the bridge is a parking area for The Lazy Fish.

So, google St Cuthberts Church gives us a OS Map reference, NY163295.  You can't enter this on your TomTom, so then I found a site to help convert from OS to Latitude and Longitude.

This gives us 54°39′14.69″N  003°17′53.01″W

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Robin Hood Marathon 2009

The official results are in for the Robin Hood Half Marathon in Nottingham 2009. Came 319 with a PB time of 01:33:00 out of 6645 runners!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Migrating Macbooks and iPhones - Part 1

If you've looked at how to transfer your music and videos from your iPhone to a new macbook you'll know how much rubbishware there is out there looking to charge you.  Ive stumbled on Pod to Mac - it works, freely, and out the box.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Google Sync on Iphone for Google Apps accounts

Follow my instrutions for normal google accounts, but you need to follow the steps below after creating the account on the iphoneto configure multiple calendars. If you only have one calendar then you dont necessarilyy need to do this other than to verify the admin for your domain has enabled sync services.

Sync is by default turned off for google apps accounts.  It can be turned on by following these instructions, then follow the steps here to add/manage the calendars that are synced.  If you prefer, jump to the shortcut tip at the end!

1. On your iphone goto use Safari and goto and scroll down to the box "Google Apps user" tap to configure your domain.  In the pop up box enter your full domain name.

2. Now click on the sync icon that is in the highlighted area

3. Now Click on the Sign in with your Google Apps account

4. Enter your user name (not a very iphone friendly sign in screen here but it works...) and sign in

7. You'll now get the manage devices screen and be able to choose your calendars...

** Shortcut **
Steps 1 to 5 seem to be driving the creation of the URL for your apps domain
which is

If you want to enter the above address in Safari on your iphone replacing with yep, your domain name.

Friday, June 26, 2009

How to Setup Push Sync Google Calendar Contacts (Exchange Method)

This is a step by step guide to setting up Google Sync services on iPhones running Apple iphone OS 3.0.  Step by step this is how to link your google calendar and google mail contacts to your iPhone.  2 way syncing is soone yours! Let me know any  problems to make this better for us all.

UPDATED to link to steps for Google Apps accounts (New Post)

So, From the home screen, lets goto Settings>

In Settings, touch Mail, Contacts, Calendars >
Touch Add Account > then choose (yes oddly!) Microsoft Exchange
Enter the exchange information shown (substitute in the following screens for your own google account - especially careful if you have a account typically in Europe).
Enter your Email address, press Next, Enter the username and password, Press Next.
Enter the server as
This often causes a problem, users are unsure what to do... just click on Accept on the unable to verify warning... Then Next...
Now it will show you the following screen, be sure to Turn Off mail push - Google doesnt support it yet and if you leave it on you will get password errors popping up later...
Ok, we're nearly there, you will see your new account all setup now and  your iphone address book will look like the groups screen below.. whilst you're here your iphone is busy talking to the google servers downloading what is needed.
Now if you have multiple calendars, be sure to open Safari on your iphone (this doesnt work from your PC or Mac!) and visit as shown below.  UPDATE: If you have a Google Apps account (not straight forward gmail etc) please follow the steps in this post now.
Sign into  your google account...
You may have one device or more (I've tested 3 different iphones recently so have 3 showing.. the only way to distinguish them is the date and time fields though...)
You will then find your calendars that you have setup on the Web Calendar.  Be sure to tick the boxes of the calendars you want to sync to your phone...
Your'e all done! If you have a lot of data make sure you have a data connection, Wifi is best to start with.  Remember this first sync will only download from google. It wont upload anything here already on your iphone.  New additions on your iphone will push straight up to google though..


Nike LunarGlide+ Preview vs Brooks Addiction 8

Arrived by UPS today week ahead of general release in the UK. As always laced up with Nike+ and tracked a short route I do regularly.  They felt great.  Time wise a bit quicker, could be a number of reasons not just the shoes of course but they look good and felt very different on the foot.  Will keep running the next few days and see how I get on!

Nike Lunarglide+ (2009)

Brooks Addiction 8s

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Completely Restore your iphone

Sometimes even a restore is just not enought, I've found some old settings can be buried deep in the iphone operating system.  In these cases you need to do a DFU mode restore.  This can also be used if you wanted (not sure why!) to OS 2 from the latest 3.0.

There's a great article on this over at

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Gmail Iphone 3.0 Exchange Push Sync Problem

The probelm I've found with Exchange Gmail Sync is being looked at by Google now, you can follow it over here:

Using  3.0 on iPhone with Push configured on Calendar and Contacts causes inbound calls to be dropped / not connected.  Diagnosed with o2 in the UK.  Approx 1 in 3 calls dont get through to the handset - its as if the handset is "busy" and cant take the call. Callers are divereted to voicemail etc.  Turn off push on contacts and calendar and all works.Tryed another handset same problem.

Apple iPhone 3.0 Release Times UK

Just to document it for next time; Apple meant 6pm BST when they annouce a date specific release. 

Friday, June 12, 2009

New Itunes Apple Store Account Settings in iPhone 3.0

Some tweaks have been added to the iTunes Store applicaiton on iPhone.  You can now see and change your apple acccount linked to the store and find the redeem option to redeem voucher codes etc.  The settings appear in the apps store and itunes store.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

iPhone 3.0 3GS Googlemail Account problem

Currently there are some problems with google mail accounts on iPhone 3.0.

Functionality as designed should be that when you move a message from the Inbox on the built in mail application it will move it to the correct folder and remove it from the inbox.  I often use this to archive mail to [Gmail]/All Mail folder.

When you move something from the inbox at the moment it does the label part but doesnt move it out of the inbox.  So when you check youre email on the web, or another client, the mail is still in the inbox.  My set-up was working fine on 2.2.

Today I've tryed turning mobile me off, google spanning sync, installing my Gmail Account using the iphone wizzard, manually adding a IMAP account and finally adding Google Exchange support.  No changes anywhere.  My friend also has the same issue. Not sure if its a Google or Apple problem.

New iTunes Options for IPhone 3.0 Backup

Encrypt iPhone Backup is a new option on the summary page on iTunes 8.2 when connected with an iPhone running 3.0

Another minor change is it shows the phone number on summary  pane.

Nike+ released on iPhone 3.0 3GS Hardware

Being a running fanatic you'd think I'd be delighted to hear the new iPhone 3GS handset has built in Nike+ functionality.  Much like the iPod Touch 2nd Generation did last year.

Its just not something I would use.  When I run its one of the only times I am away from my phone - away from calls, texts, emails and the web!  I'll keep to running with Nike+ on my old Nano with Nike+ kit dongle pluged in.

Just to confirm, this new application in 3.0 does need the new handset (3GS).

Iphone 3.0 How Copy Paste Works

Here's how copy paste generally works on iPhone 3.0  Starting with an article on oleophobic coating of the new 3GS iPhone you highlight the word by invoking the magnifying class (finger hold).  Then two markers show the marked text.  Click on Copy which has appeared above the marked out text.  Go to a google search, press and hold and paste will appear now (as you have something in the clipboard).  Click on paste, Hit Google, and heres a definition on oleophobic.

Mobile Me and iPhone Find me - works almost instantly

Already on you can go to account settings and find the new Find My iPhone feature.  I just tried sending a message to my phone "Please call for reward for return".  It appeared within 5 seconds!  I am not sure if this works using Wifi (Internet) or some backend message over the carrier (perhaps specific text message) - but it works.

Theres also an option to remotely wipe your iphone if you really do give up on finding it.

Update:  To allow full mapping location the mobile me setting is on the iPhone under Mail/Contact Settings.  Slider there to turn on find me service.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

iPhone 3.0 Notes Sync

Within iTunes theres a new option to sync notes.  Took me a while to work out but you will find these notes in the Mac Mail application under "Reminders".  Not obvious but at least it syncs now.

If you're looking for my notes on sync for google check out

iPhone 3.0 supports stereo bluetooth

One of the non headline upgrades for 3.0 is stereo bluetooth - I've order my headphones already.  Will post up a review when tested out but think these will sell quickly come next week and the official iphone 3.0 launches

Sony Ericsson HBH-IS800 Bluetooth Stereo Headphones

Upgraded to iPhone 3.0 on o2 - Instructions on how to upgrade

Download the three files for your device (Touch, 2, or 3g) from

[update: the torrent to look for as an alternative is iPhone_OS_3.0_3G_GM_Golden_Master_7A341_[kenfun].4942338.TPB.torrent on somewhere like isohunt.]

Using The Unarchiver ( open one of the Rar files.  This will in turn create a master file.

Save the file iPhone1,2_3.0_7A341_Restore.ipsw

Connect and allow iTunes to sync and backup your iphone.

Now go to your iPhone in iTunes, press ALT (command) key and click your mouse on Update.  The file browser window opens.  Point it at the file you just saved.  Sit back and wait for your phone to be updated to 3.0

On o2 10 minutes later you will get a text telling you MMS has been enabled.  This means you are ready to send and receve photo messages (cost is 4x text).

Friday, May 22, 2009

2,000 Miles with Nike+

I just completed a 5 mile run and synced up to Nike+  and I was presented with my 2,000 miles certificate !

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New Garmin 405 405CX out with enhanced specs.

New Garmin 405CX out with enhanced specs.

Will post up Garmin review very soon.

Bury Bluetooth Iphone Cradle Software

Bury THX have two versions of the bluetooth hands free kit, the CC9060 and the AD9060.  The CC9060 has a software update out with improved support for the iPhone.  The same update will be available for the AD9060 from end of June.

Oracle AIM 3 Download

If you're templates are out of date download the latest ones from here.  Took me some searching, theres a password protected zip file around on the web with some drawn out method of getting the password no one wants to share, but this one works out the box.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Speed Reading

I'm a pretty slow reader and was interested in an article in Wired UK magazine.  Check out  I've already pasted in some article about A View from the Bridge which Sam is studiying for English at the moment.  Seems to have worked!  I set it at 600 words per minute.  Going to try it with some technical documents next week and will update my review.

Monday, May 11, 2009

2000 Miles of Running with Nike+

I've used Nike+ since it was launched and nearly reached 2,000 miles training with the kit.  I run with Brooks Addiction shoes so need a way of holding the Nike Sensor.  I use and recommend Marware Sportsuit Sensor + Case for Nike + iPod Sport Kit.  This is around £7.  Shows no sign of wear so good value.

After buying the kit Nike + iPod Sport Kit  I needed a new sensor after about a year.  There is no way of replacing the battery - I had to buy a complete new set, but you can now buy just the Sensor.

I've also tried the latest Garmin and will post a review soon and my conclusions.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Dell Mini 9 (910) with 3G on o2

All the UK Dell Mini netbooks are tied to vodafone - and mostly available only through Vodafone deals.  PC World have it on offer for £259 to take away, no contract and no mention of vodafone until you get the box. 

I couldn't get an answer on if it was SIM locked to vodafone - I wanted to use o2 so had to chance it!

The machine comes with Vodafone connect on it which wouldnt recognise the o2 sim card. Interestingly the SMS application did and showed previous text messages.  Finally I found some software on the Dell site to use instead of the vodafone software!  Its a generic dell connection manager. 

So - to use any SIM in your Dell netbook with 3g from PC World (at least):
  1. Download Dell Wireless 3G Software and install.
  2. Uninstall Vodafone Connect (Control Panel, Add/Remove Software)
  3. Insert o2 (or other) SIM card

Automatically connects!

 Specification from PC World:

    * Intel Atom N270Processor - Energy efficient
    * Operating System - Windows(R) XP Home
    * Memory & storage - 1GB Memory & 8GB FlashHD
    * Portable - 8.9" Widescreen Display
    * Connectivity - Built in mobile broadband
    * Wireless Enabled
    * Built in speakers
    * Built in bluetooth and webcam
    * (1.6GHz, 533MHz FSB, 512MB cache)