About Me

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Cornwall, United Kingdom
A married Cornishman who still doesn't know what he wants to be when he grows up. I currently work for a charity and am trying to expand my horizons. [See bottom of page for Blog Archive and Links.]

What am I doing?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

N97 - Nokia taking a step back?

Engadget has a post giving the specs of a potential future N97 multimedia phone.

Apart from a 20Gb HDD, it's surely a backwards step compared to the N95?

Sony Ericsson comes out top

Sony Ericsson tops the JD Powers Survey of customer satisfaction for wireless devices.

As a P910i owner it doesn't surprise me in the slightest.

Sometimes the familiar is favourite


Tracy gave me pause for thought with her article on the use of Journal over OneNote or GoBinder

Seeing videos such as with James and Kevin at www.jkontherun.com and Josh at www.tinyscreenfuls.com, I have been suffering a little envy as I came to appreciate more how flexible the umpc really is.

Tracy made me realise that it is as much about what you can do with the technology, as what actual device one might use. I write this, sitting on a sofa beside a glowing coal fire, with my Axim x51v and Stowaway BT keyboard and it is as flexible as any UMPC. I need to use the programmes I have at my disposal more fully, before I need to think about upgrading.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Cornwall and Communication

It's a sad reflection on me I guess, that it takes a television programme to remind me of the great connection this county has with the world of communications.

The beach at [Porthcurno], a little over half an hour from here, was the point at which all the country's telegraph cables came in. 14 cables from places like New Foundland, Gibraltar, India, enabled almost instantaneous communication across the empire where once it would have took as much as weeks or months. I guess it was much like going from sub-light to faster-than-light travel.

[I can't mention Porthcurno without a nod to the Minack, an open air amphitheatre built almost single handedly on the side of a hill by Rowena Cade].

Half an hour in the other direction along the coast, lies Poldhu. It was here that the world's first transatlantic wireless signal was sent, the Morse letter S, by Marconi.

Half an hour inland from here, lies Goonhilly; the site of the world's first earth satellite dish. From this site, a majority of the satellite transmissions from around the world come in and are distributed around the UK from here. The first transmission was as recent as 1962 and look where we're at today.

I am going to make a Christmas pilgrimage this year, and head to Goonhilly for some blogging on the fly. I might even try to head by Porthcurno, opening times permitted and I'll include some pictures then.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Happy Birthday to me

It's been a good day.

We went to Plymouth to help celebrate my birthday. It was a chance to check out the new shopping centre and window shop. I didn't actually end up buying much but enjoyed the chance to hang out with Cathy, have a look at a wider range of products and have a spot of lunch. In the morning we headed to the Canadian Muffin company and grabbed a cup of java and a wholemeal muffin - definitely recommended; it sits next to a Halifax on the corner nearly opposite the Armada centre.

Lunch was going to be in Zeus, a little Greek place at the bottom end of one of the main streets but it turned out too busy. We were given a leaflet for a Japanese restaurant but on the way to check it out, in case it sold bento boxes, we saw the outside area of a Wetherspoons pub. The sky was a brilliant blue, the sun shining and the opportunity to eat al fresco was too good an opportunity to miss. As an added bonus they had wifi, it was The Wifi Zone but I couldn't get to the splash screen, even though I could grab the signal.

While I didn't end up buying anything of note on the day but that's not a bad thing. Since then I came across an illustrated Dan Brown book Angels & Demons at Asda and decided to treat myself. Today I nabbed a copy of Catherine Jenkins' latest cd Serenade in Tesco.

It was good to hang out together.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Naxos Music library

What a find!!

It turns out that as a member of Cornwall (in the UK) County Library, I can access (i.e. listen to) over 8000 tracks online in the Naxos Music Library.

The most valuable piece of plastic I carry in my wallet has always been my library card - now it's gotten even more precious.

Mysterious waves seen in Venus' clouds

I hope this report isn't presaging something out of Kevin J Anderson's Seven Suns saga

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A solitary lesson in winter driving

It's a fine Autumn day, blue sky and sunshine all the way, simply beautiful. It's cold outside, bitterly so and at 6pm quite dark.

Weather like this can lure one into a false sense of security, I won't break down on a fine day like this. It follows that if I didn't breakdown, I didn't need extra stuff in the boot, hats, gloves, fleece, etc.

I didn't break down but I did get turned off the main road partway home and took to a narrow country lane to get around it. I wasn't the only one. Everything went swimmingly, for 10 minutes or so, until I met the people heading in the opposite direction who had the same idea. The lane was narrow and, apart from a couple of gateways, there were no passing places. A general consensus was that there was going to be at least an hour, maybe two, of waiting while one stream of cars reversed back. I shut off my engine and began to wait. It didn't take long to get to the point where I felt the chill. As luck would have it I had a fleece in the back of the car and even a pair of gloves.

I didn't want to put the radio on and run any risks with flattening a battery; OK a car radio shouldn't flatten a radio anytime soon, but, knowing my luck, it would be then that I would discover that I had a borderline faulty battery. No problem there, I got out my Axim and keyboard and composed a few emails and listened to some podcasts. Eventually things began moving and some 20+ cars reversed the mile to a t-junction. Apart from the need to keep the car stocked for any occasion where the engine isn't running, especially when it's cold or wet outside, one thing I learnt was don't head back down to the main road at the first opportunity, you will still meet others coming from that direction. I lost another 20 minutes heading back to the main road, when I should have headed further into the country at the t-junction. Ah well, all was well in the end, I got home warm and not very late; crickey, there are -people who have a far greater commute than the approximate hour or so each way.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Swimming Pool at Sarah's


Swimming Pool at Sarah's 1
Originally uploaded by Phil(hellene).

How could Cathy not swim everyday?

All this and a beach less than 5 minutes away.