May 30 2009

Should Have Dug

Category: Personal,Windows MobileChrisM @ 6:08 pm

Rather than digging the garden, I took out a fair amount of garden rubbish to the big bin out front. Didn’t think to take the phone out of my pocket. HTC Kaiser (TyTn II) now fubarred. The screen must have been smashed against the buckets.

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Mar 18 2009

Productive Day

Category: Friends,PersonalChrisM @ 7:39 pm

Today was a good day for sorting out things – shoes to replace Ira’s winter boots, Mothers Day shopping, a new tax disc sorted out for the car, lawn mower and strimmer bought for our St Thomas house.
However, I still haven’t combed all the PC’s hard drives for the Jimi wallet, Kaiser / TyTn II car cradle and recent Anna photos. Later tonight or tomorrow. Both Seb and ChrisB are confirmed as coming this weekend to see Anna, we’re really looking forward to seeing them both again.
Please excuse the draft like quality of this post – tea is about to be served and I think I spotted my favourite posh ravioli-like cheese and ham pasta parcels on the side before, so I’m heading downstairs again.

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Jan 12 2009

Belated 2009 Greetings

Category: Friends,Personal,Weather,WiFi,Windows Mobile,WordPressChrisM @ 3:36 pm

Wow, no posts in almost 12 days. That has to be improved upon, sorry. The (somewhat predictable) reasons for my online muteness were recovering from Christmas, seeing in the New Year, travelling around meeting friends and family, some of whom we hadn’t crossed paths with in a couple of years, friends coming over to sunny Wales to see the house for the first time, oh and also maintaining, repairing and improving four different PCs. Getting used to Vista from a technical support point of view has taken time, but I at least no longer involuntarily shudder when I hear the OS’ name 😉
After flashing my TyTn II (Kaiser) to a custom WM6.1 ROM (it was working boringly reliably, something had to be tweaked/modded 😉 ) and getting TomTom, music and voice commands to work whilst in the car, I installed Ubuntu onto Ira’s laptop (dual-boot obviously, didn’t think the love of my life would appreciate me nuking her Windows install), finally got around to properly securing the wireless network at home in Clydach, got the PCs all happily working as far as UPnP was concerned. This needed to be sorted as the internet radio I recvd. for Xmas could also play files on the LAN, and I was having issues just using normal folder sharing on a couple of the Vista machines.
Ante natal classes have been an interesting and mostly informative process, it is hard to believe we are now probably less than a month away from seeing our daughter’s face for the first time 🙂 We now have a lot of the items new borns need, and even the pushchair/pram/car-seat optimus prime styled transforming thingy has turned up. Ira has done some more photo shoots with John, obviously centred around the theme of pregnancy/new life etc. See previous posts for the last published examples – though hopefully John will get around to adding new posts to his blog, and new photos to the gallery soon. Which reminds me, don’t forget to check out ConJoinery if you are in need of carpentry or joinery skills… when Con came over here for a few days, we got around to setting up a quick blog to promote his work, and showcase previous projects. It obviously still need more content, but the basic framework of WordPress 2.7 and useful plugins are in place.
After all that I finally noticed that this site is once again down to a PageRank of 0 (see many previous posts regarding Google and post links-for-money issues. Anyway, I now know why there is a lot less work around again. From n/a to a 2, then up to 4, spanked by google down to a 0, recovered to 2, then back once more to 0. As the only thing this alters for the worse is the potential income for this domain, I’m not crying into my cereal. The unique visitor numbers per day has been steadily bouncing between 250 and 600 a day, even when no fresh content has been added, so I know the search engine traffic, and regular repeat visitors have carried on regardless. It is a little strange to find out which of your posts are popular, and the search terms people googled to get there. If you’ve not already enabled AWStats on your site, it might be worth popping along to your CPanel interface and turning it on…

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Dec 29 2008

Cradle Snapshots

Category: Personal,PicturesChrisM @ 10:47 pm

As a little taster for the review, here are a couple of shots I took whilst checking out John’s new camera. I know the quality isn’t great with the sun glaring down, and that the windscreen is somehow still filthy, despite it being cleaned for a good 1/2 hour or so, but this hopefully will show how the cradle is used right now.

TyTn II Running TomTom In Cradle

TyTn II Running TomTom In Cradle

TyTn II Running TomTom In Cradle Pic2

TyTn II Running TomTom In Cradle Pic2

I have just finished upgrading the HTC TyTn II to Windows Mobile 6.1 (well a cooked up variant of it, anyway), and have been fine tuning the interface in an attempt to have everything I need whilst travelling easily to hand. TomTom has finally been upgraded (the app version that is, the maps are the most up to date available for v6 users) and also had fully 7/8 digit post code searches enabled.

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Dec 24 2008

Last Minute Posting Woes

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 12:30 am

Posting of the parcel kind that is,nothing to do with blogging. Although the vast majority arrived on time, a present for Nick and Mum’s new TV haven’t arrived. Nick is here with his girlfriend Roz until tomorrow early AM, so we just have to hope the courier arrives before they leave. The tale of the television is a little more complex – the original one developed faults very quickly, and the replacement has been delayed by a few days and a lack of communication from the ebayer. I haven’t forgotten about the HTC TyTn II (Kaiser) radio car mount or Jimi wallet reviews – I need to collate my thoughts and check the photos John kindly took.

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Oct 28 2008

Everywhere You Go

Category: WiFiChrisM @ 2:19 am

I have been playing around with a program on my Windows Mobile powered HTC TyTn II. The basic idea of this Heath Robinson particular approach to mobile routers is that your phone uses an 3G/EDGE/GPRS/Dial Up (if necessary) connection to establish a working internet session, and then shares this with others via bluetooth or WiFi. If the other clients (laptops, other mobiles, pdas or even desktop PCs) don’t have their own connection to the internet, in the event of a power cut or not having a SIM card that works in that territory etc., then you can certainly enable them to work on the essentials as long as they stay in range of your phone. Obviously bluetooth connections need v.close proximity, and WiFi signals are very reliant on each device’s antennae, but it is good to know what can be achieved in emergencies. There are other more permanent approaches to meeting this sort of need, so feel free to click the link above.

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Oct 14 2008

More On The Car

Category: PersonalChrisM @ 2:58 am

So, as I previously mentioned, we are now the proud owners of a car, and John very kindly took a couple of shots so we could tell what it looked like exactly.



Interior of the car

Interior of the car

I still have to figure out how I want to mount my TyTn II for GPS and music purposts, and what sort of audio connection to try and setup. The car still has the original Ford 5000 RDS EON tape unit installed, so I need to figure out whether a simple Extended USB > 3.5mm > Tape adaptor will work without overflowing wires everywhere, if I can hardwire in a lead to the existing CD Changer interface on the back of the tape unit, try and setup a bluetooth based system, or whether a short range FM broadcasting adaptor would work well. Any recommendations from readers? I need to remember that I’ll probably need two cigarette lighter sockets, one for charging the phone (using GPS sucks the batteries quite quickly), and one for the audio adaptor I use (in some cases).

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Apr 14 2008

424320 Seconds To Go!

Category: AmsterdamChrisM @ 5:08 pm

Well it is now just 118 hours until Irina and I leave for Amsterdam 🙂
I still have quite a lot to do work to do before we leave, not least is working out what to take with us for both the Netherlands and our subsequent trip to Britain. In terms of lightweight equipment, I am trying to minimize on the gadgets and accompanying power supplies etc., and also working out the minimum amount of clothes we can take, considering we’re not likely to be using a laundry in Holland. So what am I taking? Well my HTC TyTn II is definitely coming along, as it serves as my phone, a PDA (for gaming in between flights, internet browsing whenever I can find a WiFi signal) and it also has a built in GPS device, so there’ll be no excuse for getting lost whilst stumbling from one coffeeshop tourist destination to the next.

(Yes, I know 118 hours does not equal 424320 seconds, but by the time I wrote out this post, a few more minutes had past 🙂 )

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Feb 26 2008

Gilbert Goodmate on a WM6 Device

Category: Personal,Windows MobileChrisM @ 8:29 pm

Just got round to installing all the applications and games I have on my old (mostly broken) iPAQ 2210 over onto my HTC TyTn II (originally known as a Kaiser). I’ve run up against a few problems, with some old games informing me that I need to have a device with at least Windows Mobile 2002 before I’m allowed to run the program. As the device has Windows Mobile 6 (at least 3 major versions more recent), this error message is erroneous 🙂 I have yet to find a way round this issue, however I did manage to sort a problem I encountered with updating some programs. I don’t remember having this problem on the old PDA, so I can only assume that perhaps the WM6 environment has caused things to go wrong. When attempting to update an application, sometimes all files are removed, instead of only those that will actually be updated. When you have separate updates (like having small updates from 1.0 > 1.02 > 1.03 > 1.04) instead of one leap (1.0 > 1.04), this can lead to a lot of critical files dissappearing.
Rather than giving up, I decided to think of a way of having a fully updated program installed. As an example, Gilbert Goodmate (if you’re old enough to remember the Monkey Island series, you’ll know its genre) exhibited this strange behaviour. So, I installed the main program, copied the directory contents to a separate temporary directory. Installing the next minor update caused lots of files to disappear, however it did cause the updated files to be placed in the original installation directory. So, copying this new version of the directory to another new temporary directory, I continued until all updates were installed. I then copied across the oldest temporary directory to the install folder, and repeated until the last temporary folder to be copied across was the latest update. This then left me with a complete, updated installation, at which point I could delete the temporary folders. Hope it helps someone out there…

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Dec 10 2007

GPS Alternative

Category: In The MediaChrisM @ 2:27 am

As you may remember from my previous posts re. the HTC TyTn II, I already use a Global Positioning System device when I am in Britain. Although there are of course the usual horror stories of little old grannies mindlessly following instructions and driving their Nissan Sunny into a pond, or of being taken on 250 mile detours, I find the ability to chill out about exactly which junction I need to exit from on the motorway, or the location of speed cameras very useful. According to an article over at BBC News, Europe is planning the launch of a system to offer an alternative to America’s GPS. The table at the end of the article is the sort of thing I really like from the BBC – a neat summary of exactly what is on the table, and in this case at least, who each section will be aimed at.

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