miss_s_b: DreamSheep/Matrix icon (DreamSheep: Matrix)
You all know whether you're going to need Tumblr or My T-Mobile or Pinterest or Smile banking or Spotify, so I'm not going to bother reviewing those. Nor am I going to go into the ones I hate (although who was it recommended flipboard? It's AWFUL!). But I am going to list some of the optional stuff:

1, Juice Defender.
This is number one for a reason. With this app installed my phone normally loses 1-2% of battery overnight while I'm asleep. The one night I went to sleep and had accidentally knocked it off the phone was at 36% when I went to sleep and my alarm didn't go off in the morning because the battery had run out.

2, Pocket Casts.
The best podcast client I have ever used. Podcasting is an essential thing to me, and this one has a lot of functions that other clients don't have. The one issue I have with it is that it doesn't have a free trial option, so the more expensive and less feature-rich Beyond Pod will get more people using it simply by dint that they try the free trial and find it acceptable. Don't be fooled, Pocket Casts is miles better, and it's worth spudding out the cash for it - and lets face it, if you download the free trial of any of the others you're probably going to end up paying for the full version anyway.

3, Moleskine.
This really is only useful if you have a pokey stick with your phone, it'd be pointless with a finger. HOWEVER my phone DOES have a pokey stick, and I love this app. It's the nearest thing to electronic pen and paper I have seen, and it's great for writing little notes to myself, or sketching little pictures, or for giving to Holly to draw on when travelling.

4, Draw Something
Ridiculously fun little social game. My username on there is miss_s_b too ;)

5, Change4Life Be Food Smart
Yes, I know it's a government mandated healthy eating app. Eurgh, right? Right. BUT if you like variety in your food, the recipes (and there are LOADS of recipes, about half of which are vegetarian) are interesting, cheap, and there's an integrated shopping list function which is really really useful. It's slightly patronising in tone, but I'm a Lib Dem, I'm used to being patronised ;)

6, Tune In Radio
Haven't used (the frankly awful) BBCiPlayer since downloading this so I could listen to Call Clegg a couple of weeks ago. Has literally thousands of worldwide radio stations programmed in to it. Although obviously it has only seen use for radio4, 4extra, LBC for Call Clegg and 5Live for the rugby on my phone. But, you know, it's comforting to know that I could listen to Swedish underground music stations if I wanted to...

7, Bus Scout
Fabulous real-time bus timetables; up to date and accurate for every stop I have been to since downloading it.

8, Hi-Q MP3 Recorder
Record directly to MP3 - saves buggering about transferring to the PC and converting and stuff for quick recordings, you can just upload directly from your phone. How my last tumblr entry was made. Need to do another one of those...

9, Zombies, Run
If you find sticking to an exercise plan hard, perhaps having a story with cliffhangers as you run might help? It's certainly helped me. Also available in a couch-to-five-K version. It works with your own music playlists (although sadly not spotify) to make it like you are starring in your own horror film. Works really well with the soundtrack from Bram Stoker's Dracula ;)

10, Google Sky Map
Point your phone at the sky and it tells you what stars/constellations are there, any time of day or night and whether or not there is cloud cover. Possibly not the most USEFUL thing, but fun and interesting.
miss_s_b: (Mood: Doctorgasm)
OMG YOU GUYS IT'S HERE!!!

New phone

(picture taken on old phone LOL)

Note to self: still have to do laundry and tidying and sorting out computer stuff for James today. Must not spend all day playing with new toy.

* immediately goes to App Rec post to start checking things out *
miss_s_b: (Gashlycrumb Tinies)
So my new phone will be arriving soon, and I will be wanting to do lots of playing with it. The thing is, I'm a little bit late to the Android party, and the ecosystem of Apps is HUGE. So what I want is for you to recommend me an app. Not loads of apps. Just one per comment, the one app you use every day and couldn't cope without. And then tell me why you think it is essential.

Also if you have any tips for powersaving or other such useful hints, they will be gratefully recieved.

Phone is a Samsung Galaxy Note II with a small call allowance but HUGE data allowance, for those of you who were wondering ;)

Things I want to use my phone for:

- listening to podcasts
- social networking
- phoning and texting, obviously

Things I do not want to use my phone for:

- stocks and bloody shares and other forms of gambling.
miss_s_b: DreamSheep/Matrix icon (DreamSheep: Matrix)
These phones are standard in Castle, Bones, NCIS and Rizzoli and Isles, amongst other shows. If someone calls you on one of these phones, and you use the correct code phrase, they act as a teleporter, and I want one. What usually happens is something like this:
  • Brennan and Booth are talking about whatever case they are investigating.
  • Brennan's phone rings. It's Hodgins, who has found something interesting.
  • Brennan asks him what it is.
  • INSTANTLY Brennan and Booth are in the lab, and Hodgins is telling them whatever a normal person would have just said over the phone.
I wonder if you get to set the code phrase yourself? I mean, it usually seem to be something along the lines of:

tell me what you've got *ZAP-TELEPORT*

... but if you can set it to be what you want it to be then I think I'd set mine to be "FLYYYYYY MY BRAVE HAWKMEN!!!"

In other news: I am finding this episode of Bones I am watching a bit depressing. They're being very trying-to-hard inclusive of The Gays but there have been two instances so far of bi-erasure :(

Death and taxes

Monday, February 7th, 2011 09:29 am
miss_s_b: (Britishness: Tea)
Yesterday I learned that one of my regular customers at work had passed away when I was off sick. Geoff was in his nineties, but very fit. He would come in every sunday, on his bike; a little unsteady on his pins when walking, but fully at home and at speed when cycling. He was one of the few customers who would get automatic hugs when he was leaving, and I shall miss him.

The other death of note is, of course, gary moore. I'm composing this on my phone, so embedding a load of you tube videos is difficult, but imagine at least Rosin Dubh, Out in the Fields, and Parisienne Walkways here.

And so to taxes... Top of this week's Pravda Golden Dozen is a post by someone earning three times what my entire family does complaining about how he is part of the squeezed middle and being adversely affected by coalition policy. I do actually have some sympathy for him, which is why I'm not linking to the post, but I think he was foolish to post without more consideration of how high his income actually is. The reason I mention his post is that it's a perfect illustration of something which we, as politicians, should bear in mind a hell of a lot more often: most people genuinely believe that they are normal. Thus people who are earning more than 90% of us do can genuinely believe themselves to be part of the squeezed middle, and people who are actually poor will vote for parties who would hammer them. As a liberal, my instinct is to educate so that people are more informed and hopefully this effect will be lessened, rather than exploiting it as, labour and tory do, but as a cynic I'm not sure how effective that would be... And of course, our glorious leader's cack-handed alarm clock britain bollocks was an attempt to exploit this very phenomenon, so perhaps I'm alone in wanting to cure people of misconceptions.

(composed on my n8 with swype keypad, so coding is non-existent, and typos may be rife).

New Phone

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 09:41 am
miss_s_b: DreamSheep/Matrix icon (DreamSheep: Matrix)
I have finally got a replacement for the hated HTC Desire. I has a Nokia N8. Oh god, it's SUCH a relief. The speaker is a little bit tinny, as opposed to unlistenably awful like the Desire's. Podcatcher is a free podcast client that actually works. You can easily set up different notification tones for email, tweet and text message. You can easily rearrange menus, stop and start applications, delete applications, etc.

Contacts (those that I have left, anyway) have synched seamlessly with google, and there is a fabulous contact merge function, as opposed to "linking".

Most important of all, the first battery charge, which is never an optimal charge, with very heavy usage, lasted nearly two days.

I've had it for three days now, and I am so, so, SO glad.

The one downside, the one thing I miss, is the back button. That's a tiny price to pay, given that most apps have the "back" touch area in the same place, for all the upsides.

Anyhew, happy Jennie is happy, and also has a new mobile number. If you have my old number it now no longer works. If you need my new number and haven't had a text from me telling you what it is, you can find it on my friends-only contact details post, or you can leave a comment here letting my know to contact you with it.

Now we just need to think of a name for it... ;)



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miss_s_b: (Default)
When I transferred my SIM to my new phone I also transferred all my contacts via bluetooth as V-cards.

For some reason, after restarting my phone after a software update, it lost all the phone numbers I had transferred. I went to the Bluetooth received files folder, and the list of all the V-cards was still there, but when I clicked on any one of them it said they didn't exist.

Foolishly I no longer have the contacts in my old phone. I thought they would be safe after a successful transfer.

Having googled, it seems a hell of a lot of people have problems with the HTC Desire randomly deleting phone numbers from contacts for no apparent reason.

This, and having to charge it twice a day even after calibrating the battery, the lack of a decent podcast app, the horrendously bad mono speaker, the inability to set different tones for different notifications and the inability to delete pointless apps that came with the phone and stop them from running in the background and eating up precious resources (seriously, who wants shares constantly checked? Sure, some people do, but EVERYBODY who buys the phone? And you can't disable the inbuilt twitter app after installing a replacement. And what the fuck IS Footprints? I wouldn't mind them being there if they didn't all automatically start up and run and could be disabled...) is making me seriously regret getting this phone.

Why didn't I play safe and get the N8?

Anyway, the point of this post is that if you don't have your phone number stored on your facebook profile, and/or you're not on my facebook friends list, I no longer have your phone number. Sorry. Yes, this includes my mum.

ETA: because this seems to be causing some confusion, SIM storage was not used at any point. transferring the SIM and transferring the numbers via bluetooth were two seperate actions. Also, yes, it claimed to have backed up my contacts to google, but clearly it was lying.



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miss_s_b: (Default)
Still finding some things frustrating. It's annoying that you really have to plug it in to the computer to do anything substantial managementwise, and having to "root" it to gain permission to get rid of pre-installed apps is bloody frustrating, irritating and pointless - and I still haven't worked up the courage to do it. Battery life is still awful, even after calibration, although extended ones are available... But they make the phone bigger :(

HOWEVER, it has quickly become indispensible; part of the reason why battery life is such a problem is because I am on it constantly. A lot of the things it does I could do anyway on the nokia (Google Calendar, Cricket Scores, news, and Twitter and Facebook were all handled by snaptu, for example, which I still think is a fabulous app) but this just does them better. Things are much more intuitively arranged. And the Swype keyboard app that Andrew recommended is utterly amazing and I love it.

Sound quality for voice recording is much better, and the mike picks up better too, so we're not going to get the problem that thirty centimetres from the mike you can't hear it, but twenty nine centimetres from the mike is distortingly loud - less buggering about in Audacity for the win!

And it still feels pleasing in my hand. And I have found a pleasingly Pratchetesque bingelybingelybeep notification tone on it.

Favourite apps at the moment are the afore-mentioned Swype, last.fm widget, UK Newspapers, Tweetdeck, Google Calendar agenda widget, Google Sky, and Angry Birds. Still trying to sort out a good podcatcher/podcasting app (beyondpod is ok, but functionally crippled once the free trial has run out; am trying RSS Demon at the moment, but if anyone has any recs for a (preferably free) podcatcher...), and would love to be able to get rid of the bastard stocks app, and I neeeeeeeeeeeeed a Dreamwidth app, but am just about surviving without for the moment.

What are your favourite android apps, folks?



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miss_s_b: DreamSheep/Matrix icon (DreamSheep: Matrix)
So I've had the Desire for two and a half days now, and I thought I'd give my first thoughts.

Things I Love:
  • Friend Stream: Facebook and twitter and flickr all in one widget on my home screen

  • Multiple home screens, fully customisable.

  • The size and clarity of the display.

  • Live wallpapers, especially the one I have called Globe Rotation, which comes up on the menu as GlobeRot and you can select from a vast number of planets. My home screen is currently a rotating Borg Sphere on a star field...

  • The predictive text system for words it already knows is amazing.

  • Seamless and easy integration with gmail, google calendar, etc.

  • Google Sky. BeyondPod podcast app. Amazon Kindle app. And, indeed, the number and availability of apps in general.

  • Merging contacts, so that each person has one entry instead of four or five.

  • The back button.

  • The ease of navigating the settings etc. And menus in general are more intuitive and less confusing than on the nokia - things are where you expect them to be, and you don't have to hunt as much (I had two settings folders on the nokia).

  • Firefox on my phone!
Things I Miss From My Nokia:
  • Battery Life - and I never thought I'd say that, because the 5800 Xpress music hasn't got the best battery life in the world.

  • Decent Speakers - the HTC has one, very tinny, speaker. I had got used to listening to podcasts with Mat in bed, and music in the bath, and now neither of us can bear the sound quality. I have fantastic headphones, but sometimes you don't want headphones. Will have to get a little set of portable speakers, I think, or some sort of dock.

  • Difficulty in programming customisable ringtones, alarm sounds and notification tones. I particularly dislike that the notification tone for new text message, new email, and new tweet is the same damn tone. And I haven't yet found how to make the ringtone an MP3; I miss having daleks scream EXTERMINATE!!! when I get a text, and my Dad having Daddy Cool for his ringtone.

  • Various symbols on the alphanumeric keypad - I can't hashtag stuff on twitter, for example, and brackets and asterisks are also conspicuous by their absence. Ok, so they are there, but they aren't in any way obvious.

  • The precision of having a pokey stick for the touch screen. Because it's capacitive rather than resistive, I have to use my finger, and can't even use a nail, which is imprecise and irritating.

  • The camera isn't anywhere near as good for indoor photography (haven't tried it outdoors yet), despite having a better megapixel rating. And actually the camera on the 5800 isn't as good as the one on the 7373 I had before, which is now Holly's.

  • The predictive text for adding words is better on the nokia. It's irritating that you have to type a word in three times (once for it to not be recognised, once to program it in, and then AGAIN after you've programmed it in).

  • Knowing whether or not you've exited something, and ease of exiting apps in general. Sometimes pressing the back button exits, sometimes it just makes stuff run in the background.

  • My Doctor Who sticker :(
Obviously some of the niggles I have are just I haven't got used to my new phone yet, but some of them are really rather irritating, especially given the rave reviews the Desire is getting all over the place. I was really expecting EVERYTHING to be better. Still, I think it IS a step up, overall. The speaker really is going to be a problem, though. And I haven't checked the voice recorder yet, but I may have to keep the nokia just for recording podcasts and using as an MP3 player.

Oh yes, naming. I'm going to call her Fenchurch. No points for knowing why ;)



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miss_s_b: (Who: Six (Doctorgasm))
On Monday I shall be ringing my phone company for a new phone as part of my contract. I want an HTC. I am vacillating between the HTC Desire and the HTC Desire HD. The HD is newer, and has a better display. The Desire is phenominally well-regarded. Both have dicky battery life, but the HD is reportedly worse. The Desire has some functions which have been toned down on the HD in order to fit the HD display in... I am genuinely unsure of which one to choose. What do you guys reckon?

Poll #5388 New Phone
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 14


Which one should I get?

View Answers

HTC Desire
7 (50.0%)

HTC Desire HD
5 (35.7%)

I am a special snowflake and want to vote for another phone. You can safely ignore me.
2 (14.3%)



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miss_s_b: DreamSheep/Matrix icon (DreamSheep: Matrix)
Nominations for my blog awards are now closed. Polls will be coming up in the morning. And I have a new Sponsor. Who will have a graphic when he gets back to me on what he wants for his graphic...

And now, back to looking at phones (my phone contract is up tomorrow and if I renew I get a new phone. I want an HTC Desire, but might have to settle for a Wildfire...). Review of Sherlock coming up later.



This blog is proudly sponsored by Voter Speaks

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miss_s_b: (Default)

First, the success:

Mat's netbook is one of those ones with windows 7 starter, which means that (among many other things) you can't change your desktop wallpaper. Unless you download software. There are lots of software packages out there that offer advanced customisation options, but if you just want to change your desktop (and conserve resources) then Oceanis Change Desktop is the way to go.

My desktop is now this: ) which is v cute, I think you'll agree (thanks to the fabulous Dirty Whoers for the image)

Second, the failures

Remember how I had to reset my phone to factory settings? Well, this involved a lot of software updating afterwards, which took up most of saturday morning. I have re-installed lots of things, and resubscribed to all my podcasts, and installed the latest versions of some things. And that's where the problem comes in...

Opera Mobile 10

... is fabulous. The rendering of images is gorgeous, the tabbed browsing and stuff is excellent, the UI is intuitive and pretty... But there is one problem. It won't save my bookmarks/history/start screen. I'm probably missing something very obvious, but I can't find anything in the settings to stop it from doing this, and my google-fu is failing me. Help?

Nokia email client

Again, it's very pretty, and the UI is brilliant, and it beats the google email app for Symbian into a cocked hat... except that after 2 days of use it has suddenly stopped working. When I check the status page, it says it is in offline mode, and nothing I can do can get it to go into online mode. Again google-fu is failing, in that I have found a couple of forum posts from people having the same problem, but no solution. Any ideas?

Please to be noting that funny suggestions like get a different phone or use different software will be met with short shrift. I love my phone, and both of those bits of software are ones that 1, I like and 2, are better than any of the other apps I have found that do the same thing, aside from the bugs I detail above. Anyone recommending that I get a bloody iPhone will be met with extreme violence once I have hunted them down.



My March sponsor is Mark Reckons.
miss_s_b: (Mood: Bugger)
My phone went wiggy last night and I had to do a hard reset. I have therefore lost ALL my contacts. Yes, even [personal profile] matgb. Please, if you can read this and you have my number can you text me, saying who the text is from? And then I can get some of them back, at least.

Number is on my contacts page on DW (f-locked) or my profile page on Faceache.

And now I go to redownload all my apps and resubscribe to all my podcasts...



My March sponsor is < a href="http://markreckons.blogspot.com/">Mark Reckons, and yes, I've lost his number too.

PSA: Voicemail

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009 04:50 pm
miss_s_b: (Default)
Am having problems accessing voicemail on the new phone. At some point I'll get around to phoning the service provider and doing something about it, but probably not for a bit.



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miss_s_b: (Graph)
Things I love:
  • The fact that she's a proper phone. Louhi is not an iPod with a phone grafted on as an afterthought, she is a phone with other useful features. This means that her primary function - being a phone - is well designed and easy to use.

  • The Satnav. Louhi has a proper GPS satnav in her innards, and once I got the settings sorted, it works really well. If you are driving, I'd recommend downloading and using googlemaps rather than the in-phone one because it's less resource-heavy and updates more quickly. If you're walking, though, the in-phone one is brilliant, and even directs you to the nearest pub :D

  • The MP3 player, and how it integrates with my computer. Having played about with the phone and the software required to sync to my computer, I think I am actually going to end up using Nokia Music rather than any of the other bits of software I have for music playing on my computer. The interface is clear and simple, and the way it works is brilliant.

  • The notes feature. I already have a "notes to self" and a "beers Mat likes" note

  • The camera. I have seen other people online complain about the camera, but I love it. The flash is really bright, the picture quality is grand, and it's easy to use.

  • The resolution of the screen. The resolution is sharp, bright, and clear. It's actually usable for watching videos. For something smaller than an iPhone, this is a big surprise.

  • The screen-lock system. Because it's a touchscreen, it's extra important to lock it securely. The screen lock button is positioned well for one-finger use, but is really difficult to hit accidentally.
Things I am less keen on:
  • The size. I got very used to my little 7373, and much as this phone is far more capable, it is also physically bigger, and takes up a lot more pocket room

  • The touchscreen. There's nothing wrong with the touchscreen per se, it's just odd getting used to having one. It means I have to be much more careful with my phone, because damaging the screen at all will make it unusable, and I can't just close it to protect the important bits as I am used to. I'm sure I will get used to it, but...

  • The handwriting recognition software. While it does a reasonable job of recognising my handwriting, it would be better if you could train it to recognise WORDS rather than just individual letters.

  • Gaps in the databases. The satnav couldn't find John B-M's house until I downloaded google maps, and when you ask it to find the nearest pub, several are missing from the list (including the one I work in)
Over all, though, I am really loving her. I've gone for a new ringtone, too. The 7373 had Phantom of the Opera by Iron Maiden. Louhi is ringing in the changes with Billion Dollar Babies by Alice Cooper.



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Louhi has arrived

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009 11:11 pm
miss_s_b: DreamSheep/Matrix icon (DreamSheep: Matrix)
And she's fab! The coolest bit so far has been transferring all my contacts over via bluetooth in about 3 seconds. No fuss, no mess. And now that the two phones are synchable, I should be able to do that with MP3s too, so no need to swap memory cards about. Also, it'll do internet via WLAN as well as the mobile network, so when I am at home I can connect to the internet via my home broadband.

And she has a GPS and maps, so I can use her as a satnav!

I haven't had any issues with the touchscreen so far (have mostly been using the plectrum thing) and have found doing text messages really intuitive. The battery charged incredibly quickly. The speakers are really good, and the sound is clear. I think I'm going to need a sock for her, though, to keep her clean.

The only tiny problem I have had so far is that there's a sim memory full message that I can't get to go away, but I suspect that's just a matter of playing about a bit.

All in all, though, I am very pleased :D

Name My Phone!

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009 12:14 am
miss_s_b: (Mood: Kill me)
OK, my new phone is on its way. I am checking the tracking obsessively. It's in Northampton! And it needs a name...

It is a Nokia 5800. Perhaps something Viking-y, given the nationality of the manufacturer? The little wrist strap and plectrum combo doesn't half look like a devil's tail, too. Something demonic? Do we know of any Finnish demons?

For reference, other named appliances in this household include my laptop (McGruder) desktop (Frankenputer) and Car (Kaligula).

Suggestions in the comments, please!

ETA: OOOOOOO it's in Tamworth!

Phone Update

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009 06:17 pm
miss_s_b: (geekiness)
So, in my annoyance at losing the charger for my phone, I decided to look at my service provider's website. And... welll... I am getting one of these. It's costing me £2 a month more than I am paying at the moment (including data charges), but I am getting 500 minutes, unlimited texts, unlimited data, and unlimited calls to phones on the same network, rather than 300 minutes and 300 texts and having to pay a daily rate for data. And it's shiny! £2 a month isn't too much, is it? I'm very poor at the moment... Still, it's nice to have something shiny on the way. And I shall still have my 7373 if it breaks, and the new charger will fit both...

About This Blog

picture of Jennie Rigg

Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.






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