Archive for June, 2010


I’ve just been reading about the HTC Evo here: HTC Evo.

It looks pretty good I must say, but I must stop drooling and concentrate on what will be my next phone for real!

There are now 2 people in the office sporting new iPhones and I have phone envy right now, and it’s making me grumpy!

It is getting much harder to choose these days though, and it does beg the question of just how many different types of phone do we need?

Hmmm, a colleague has just appeared with new iPhone in hand, and I have to say, comparing the old and new iPhones side by side, I have to give Apple a point for the design. It looks fabulous to be honest.

In fact, I have to say that the photo’s I’ve seen don’t do it justice, and I confess it has turned my head a bit. Two weeks now until I get my new phone, and although I still think it will be an HTC Desire, I’m having a bit of a wobble right now.

I upgraded to WordPress 3.0 last night, and so far so good. Just be sure to follow the instructions if like me, your automatic upgrade didn’t work.

I think the auto upgrade failure is a permissions thing, but I’m fine with doing the manual upgrade, so I’ll try to fix the auto update next time.

I’ve heard it’s a permissions thing, but since I’m using Windows as a host, there doesn’t seem to be much info on it. Not to worry, I’ll suss it out one way or the other.

I like Chrome as a browser, and thought that as I like it so much I’d add it to my Mac, which I use for browsing mostly, and the odd blog post like now.

Being an iBook G4, I was pretty disappointed to find that Chrome is not supported a) on my hardware and b) on my O/S (Tiger)

I suppose now that Macs are more likely to be Intel, it makes sense to not spend time developing for them, but there must be a considerable number of machines out there which are still useable, and could do with a choice of browser.

I found this article: The Best Browsers For Older Macs Running Tiger.

I have Firefox and Safari, but the above article reminded me of Camino, which I’m off to download and try out now.

So, after a bit of investigation, looks like dead batteries. MDS Battery, my favoured source for these things is quoting about £32 plus delivery, so it look like I’d better get my hand in my pocket again. Bah Humbug……

Hmm, not a happy bunny. Sat working on a customers laptop this afternoon, just reassembling, when suddenly there’s a ‘thunk’ and my office goes quiet.

Basically my main UPS just shut off and wouldn’t power on again. Luckily, I have two spare smaller ones, now pressed into service, so everything is back up again, but what a pain had it happened any time other than the weekend. I’m feeling lucky to be honest.

Anyway, bed time now, up in under 7 hours for the 60 mile trek to where I’m currently working. I can look at what’s wrong with my UPS tomorrow. I bet it’s dead batteries, as I’ve just had to replace 2 others in my spare units. Merde!

So, it’s three nil to HTC, but why?

Well, Apples new OS now has multi-tasking, but articles I’m reading, such as this one here: iPhone Multi-tasking, are all saying that whilst it can multi-task, there are restrictions.

Apparently only Apple apps, and not many at that, will be available in the beginning, and only certain apps will be allowed to multi-task. Add to that, apps that are allowed to multi-task will need re-writing to do it at all. Apple have always been open about these limitations, and in the cause of stability and battery life, maybe they make sense. For me, I want multi tasking, sorry Mr Jobs one for HTC and the Desire.

Point number two? Well, I guess for me it’s the look. I actually like the iPhone look and feel. It is a classic piece of industrial design, even beautiful some would say.  But the new phone just looks (to me at least), like they decided to hand over the design to a generic smartphone designer. Is this just me?

Number three? Well, I’ve mentioned before the ring fence that Apple puts around the iPhone. For me this is just too much. Ultimately, I’m paying for the ‘Free’ phone I get over the term of my contract. Therefore, it is my choice what I do or view on the phone. I don’t want somebody else’s values imposed on me.

Sorry Mr Jobs, so far it looks like my next phone will be an HTC Desire.

Hmm, I’ve spent some time reading about the iPhone 4 and the Desire, and despite the fact that I really do think i’d like an iPhone, the restrictions on iPhone usage seem to be a little bit draconian.

There’s a good story about it here, so I won’t go into it too much, but it’s looking like HTC for me so far.

There I was, convinced Android was going to be my next phone in the form of an HTC Desire, and then the folks at Three go and add the new iPhone 4 to their repertoire!!

I’m going to have to think pretty hard now, because I have a lot of music on iTunes and having an all in one device would be pretty nice. On the other hand……

Well, though I don’t dislike Apple (I own a Mac and PCs), and do know a lot of folks with iPhones, I’m not keen on the way Mr Jobs and his folks are dictating just what can/can’t be run on their devices. I mean, after all, people pay good money for these devices, and they should have the freedom to run what they like when they like. I know this comes with risks, but perhaps people are prepared to accept these.

After all, we don’t live in an Orwellian society, and you can always say to people ‘That bit of software hasn’t been certified for our devices, so it may not run too well, if at all’. I’d be willing to accept that, and I suspect others would too, meaning more sales.

Of course there will always be the two camps, the ones who love Apple’s devices, and those who never will, but maybe there should be more effort to sway those who are in the ‘maybe’ zone.

I have to confess genuine excitement when I heard the announcement, and almost signed up right away, being on Three already, but then I thought of the free will offered by the HTC Desire, and it pulled me back from the brink.

I guess it’s 55% to 45% in favour of the HTC, but since i’m not due for an upgrade for another 4 weeks, I guess I still have some thinking time left.

Having now had some fettling time with MFE 3, I seem to have resolved my folder and speed problems. It came at the cost of a full resync, but it does seem to have done the trick.

You will need to reset some settings afterwards, so if you’re not prepared to do this, or don’t know how to, stop reading now

Here’s what I did.

1. On my PC, I moved any folders that were in my Outlook ‘Inbox’, to the root of my mailbox. i.e they are now at the same level as my Inbox. This solves the problem of the folders coming top of my inbox. Now they are a level above, all I have in my Inbox are emails, and the folders are all in one place. I also had sent emails going back to 2005, so I archived them off, since the ‘Sent’ folder is automatically synchronised without the need for subscribing to the folder, as is the ‘Inbox’.

2.The full resync. I went into the Installations folder of my E71, and selected the Mail For Exchange Application. From ‘Options’ I selected ‘Full Resync’, and followed the on screen prompts. The phone remembered my connection and credential settings, but I had to re-do the Sync Schedule, Calendar, Tasks, Contacts and Email setings.

3. You’ll see at this point, if you go into messaging, there is no Mail for Exchange mailbox. So we now return to the Mail for Exchange app and select ‘Synchronise’ from the options menu. At this point the phone will sort itself out and recreate your Mail for Exchange mailbox, and sync all your folder structure, the contents of your inbox, calender, tasks etc.

4. Subscribe to any folders you want available on your phone, and that’s it. Next time your phone syncs, the folder will also be synced.

After doing all this I found that speed was back to normal, and my inbox was much more useable.

I’ve just installed MFE 3 on my E71, and though it has the ability to use folders, now my initial excitement has worn off, I’m afraid the jury is still out as to whether or not it’s a good upgrade.

The problem? Well it looks fine, but there are two problems for me. One of them I may be able to get around, which is that the folders in my inbox always show at the top, but I want the emails to show first. More fettling needed I think.

The other problem is speed. It seems much slower than the previous incarnations. I’m not currently sysncing any folders, and there is always a pause when swapping between pages.

Could be a config thing again I suppose, especially as it is probably syncing folder lists. Time will tell I guess, but if I sort any of these things out, I will post back again.

It appears that Sony may have competition on the way for the Dell Streak which was launched today on O2. Engadget has reports of a device that could potentially be ready in a few months time.

It is also Android based and runs Eclair, with the possibility of Froyo later.

Original story is here: Dell Streak Competitor

I’ve been involved in the last year or so, with the migration of an Exchange environment into Gmail, or I suppose more correctly, Google Apps.

It’s all complete now, but I thought I’d expand a bit on what I’ve done, how I did it, the tools I used, and some of the problems I ran into.

I’m also using this as a vehicle to test Dennis Hoppe’s post page associator plugin to drive all my posts about this subject onto a page so everything is a bit easier to find.

If it works as planned, I’ll be sending Dennis a donation!!

So keep your eyes peeled for more about my Google adventure.

According to the article here: Dell Streak, Dell’s new baby will be launching on O2 tomorrow, and the tariff’s look reasonable.

At around £429 for a contract free device, it is similar to the lowest priced iPad, but to me, it is a more sensible option than the iPad, since it is much more portable.

Only time will tell if this largerthansmartphonesmallerthantablet format will be a winner.

I’ve just added the Google Analyticator plugin found here: Google Analyticator to my WordPress site.

Google Analytics is free, so why not make the most of what’s on offer, so it’s pretty easy to do.

Google also offer webmaster tools for free too, so there’s lots out there to help you improve and monitor traffic to your sites.

As a follow up to my previous post, there is another issue that I came across. Bit of a gotcha.

Because we were upgraded to Premium SSL certs, we didn’t have the newest intermediate CA certificate on our servers, so whilst the certificate was valid, Firefox users experienced issues because the certificate did not appear to be valid.

It was an oversight really, because we’ve not really used Premium certs, there was no need to update the intermediate certificate.

Well, I have updated it now, and all is well, so I am a happy bunny again.

SSL Hell!

I do sometimes wonder why something that worked perfectly well the last time I did it, now doesn’t and has caused me a morning’s worth of worry.

The problem? A simple SSL certificate renewal. Or not so simple, as it turned out.

Usually, we don’t do certificate renewals, because IIS6 seems to have a problem, meaning it doesn’t work properly. Instead, we use a temporary site to generate a CSR, which we then use to generate our new certificate. Once we have the cert, we finish off the outstanding certificate request.

From there, we export it from certificate manager, and import it to where it is needed, usually by double clicking on the pfx file and running through the on screen prompts.

Next we do a simple certificate replace on our three webservers within our cluster.

The problem is, is that during the export from our original server, the private key got munched somehow, which we didn’t know, so once we deployed the cert on our live servers, the site broke quite badly. Despite the broken certificate, it

I was able to find the problem after I installed and ran Microsoft’s SSL Diagnostic tool, which I’d highly recommend if you find yourself in a similar position.

I fixed it in a roundabout way, though I’m not completely sure why it worked.

First, I went back to the server where the original CSR was generated. I then went to the temporary site, and exported the cert using IIS6, and not the certificate management console.

I then copied the resulting PFX file to the destination, and instead of double clicking to import, I opened up certificate manager, selected my certificate store, then right clicked on the store, and selected the ‘Import’ option instead.

Once imported, I did a simple SSL cert replace on the problem site and all was well again.

I’m frustrated that the original method used to work, and that it now, seemingly, doesn’t, but at least having had this happen, if it does happen again, I won’t be so much in the dark.

Intel has introduced a new 22nm chip, codenamed Knights Corner. They will apparently run alongside each other in HPC systems. 22nm sounds pretty small, but when you consider that 1nm is between 2 and 22 or so atoms (Depending on the atoms used), it’s still quite big on an atomic scale.

It does make me wonder how soon we will be reaching 10 or less nanometers, and how getting so close to atomic sizes will have an effect in the quantum scale of things.

How soon will we get that small I wonder, especially since the first transistors have been made out of individual atoms.