Nokia N96 what a weird phone

Recently mainly for geek value and the fact I was renewing my contact I
upgraded from a N81 to the new(ish) N96, now i really loved the N81, its was a
fast phone, had plenty of memory (8gig), EXCELLENT build quality, and worked
well as both a phone and a music player, when the N96 came out, it looked a no
brainer to upgrade as both the looks and layout were identical but with more
memory,features and a bigger screen

However…..

its not all roses, to save you all reading the boring stuff I’m just gona do
the normal pro’s and con’s list

Pros

Nice Screen: can watch an Anime with subtitle on it no prob

loud: it can drive a big pair of earphones at ear rupture level

Features: this does everything, I’m still looking for the “make toast” key

Space: loads, it comes with 16Gig and I’ve put in an additional 16Gig M2 card
with no probs

Nice and Open: This ‘aint no Iphone, you can do what you want on this devil.

Data Transfer: proper USB2 (the N81 only had a sub USB1 speed (400kbs)), and an
excellent Bloothtooth

Cons

SLOW: for some god forsaken reason its got a slower processor than the N95, and
the OS speed in comparison to the N81 sucks

Poor apps: both the built in music and movie player quite frankly are bobbins
(the movie player more than the music), i replaced the movie player with Core
Player and the music player with LCG JukeBox from lonely cat games (although i
keep the music player around when i want to play tracks by id3 tag rather than
file/folder layout), replacing these improved the speed no end.

Build Quality: this is objective but it does seem more fragile than the N81 but
that might be just me giving it a hard life.

Headphone socket: this shares the same problem that the Iphone does, in that
people that want a top of the range phone might not want a top of the range
pair of head phones , but in the N96’s case you cant open the phones
slider when a large pair of phones are plugged in and have to get one of those
IPhone extenders/adaptors.

Still crashes!!: this was supposed to not happen post the N95 but i crash mine
once a week at least, although the fact the alarms still work when its either
crashed or has been turned off is an amazing feature.

Large AAC files: This one is a strange un, large aac files (over an hour) that
used to play fine on the N81, report the wrong length (normally much much
shorter) and cut off when this time is reached, a slight work around to this is
to hide the music player just before the time is up, if you do this it carries
on playing (sort of like the music equivalent of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast
of Traal)

conclusion

In the first week i almost went back to the N81, but after i had ripped the
naff apps out (the music player also seems to leek memory and leaving it hidden
while using the media keys is normally what crashes my phone), i have started
to really like it, good hardware let down a bit by poor software.

Feeling the Rush

As a person with a low caffeine tolerance and a love of all sugary things (careful), i have always adored energy drinks, normally i drink Relentless (for the taste, particularly relentless green, and the fact they have nice forms on their website) or redbull for the fact they run notes, how ever one of the developers from my biggest client, brought me back the following from a trip to L.A., a couple of cans from a company called Rockstar.

just look at it, its HUGE!! it contains or the normal nasty chemicals (caffeine, taurine, guarana), plus a few ones i have not heard of, and a few i sure they’ve just made up (milk thistle anyone?), it might be normal stuff to my US readers but it looks like an amazing heart attack in a can to me, just being the same room as it makes my heart rate speed up to the point i cant make out individual beats, I’m going to save it for a project that i have no hope of delivering and need to code at light speed, but mainly I’m touched that a college would think of it on their only holiday in years to bring it back several thousand miles. (thanks Mr Fullwood)

Fancy Dress Party

Thankfully in the up and down that is my strange excuse for a life, there are some ups to counteract the downs caused by D.V. (don’t ask), one up is being persuaded (and by persuaded i mean “do you want to go?”, “hell yess!”) to go to the grand international cos play ball,

now for those who have not had the happy introduction into cosplay its just fancy dress that has 2 basic themes, Japanese animation, and odd fashion such as Gothic Lolita,as complete anime freaks, the love of my live and i went as characters from said cartoons, much as i would like to show you pictures of my lady who went as Yuko from XXXHolic i like my heart in my chest and not ripped out and pulsing in someone else’s palm as a warning to those who post pictures of their girlfriends without permission., so you’ll just have to make do with me.

Heres the character i went as he’s called Gaara

and heres my version of him (but with a double chin apparently)

The hardest part was the gourd he wears on his back, it took over 2 weeks of nightly work, and i have to say I’m as smug with it as a good bit of ajax

An amazing time was had by all, one of the advantage of these kind of themed nights, is that ice breaking is dead easy, as you can always ask about/admire someone’s costume and start any conversation there which is normally much harder to do in a ordinary night club. and the fact the dress code is so strict means the number of assholes/trouble starter in the club are very very small.

Domino TCP IP out of memory and netstat-B

ok this is a quick one, if you are getting that fun fun fun error message of “The TCP/IP protocol stack reported that it ran out of memory. Consult your network documentation to increase configured memory, or reduce Notes connections by limiting clients (see SERVER_MAXSESSIONS parameter in Notes Admin Guide”, and you have run out of options or are pretty sure its not your domino server,

try “netstat -B” (on Windows XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003 SP1), it shows the exe’s that are making the connections on the box, what you are looking for is a load of connections that don’t come from any notes related task (you will need a few pages of the same one/two to have any effect), you can then pipe this out to a file, hold it up high and hunt down the swine’s responsible for upsetting your server

A traditional Xmas

Ah, i do love a old fashioned Xmas, this year i sent my children’s presents to my solicitor to pass to my children’s solicitor, so that they can formally be informed that their father is thinking about them during the season of good will, as previous years presents have all ‘not arrived’, a fact that i was unaware off until recently….i can just imagine Bing Crosby singing about it with his friends round the open fire.

help for anyone wanting a good pair of headphones

Now i would not have blogged on this but i have been advised to do so, i had a long suffering pair of giant Sennheiser headphones which i loved, however due to me treading on them and the fact they are a legacy from a former person in my life, i really wanted a new pair for xmas, the love of my life tried a couple of companies but they both failed her miserably, so with time running out i did a quick google search, up came http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/, a clean easy website with very clear postal descriptions and times (somewhat important in the run up to xmas), but also a prominent 0800 advice phone number (note to the US reader that a 0800 number is toll free in the UK), thinking i had nothing to waste trying it, i phoned them up, i was quickly answered by a bloke whom i explained my problem to and said i needed a replacement to my old “280’s”, he immediately knew what i was talking about, and presented me with a number of choices and which would be best for which circumstances (including money saving tips on based on performance rather than looks), after the most pleasant 5 minutes of informative customer service i can remember, i told my love what he advised and she dully ordered them from him, they arrived dead on time (even after some credit card fun due to the normal address joys caused by the bank)…the headphones have turned out perfect

People talk a lot about customer service, and competent staff, but its only after you experience them done properly, that you realise everyone else is being rubbish.

Begging Paul Mooney’s Forgiveness

I say Mr Mooney as he is the highest level admin i know, and im hoping he can put in a good word with the gods of notes admins for me before i die.

my crime (or rather sin), is that i have taken to gluing adminP requests together by hand, when the proper process gets on my nerves, the latest one (in this case a change password on a domino directory request, which i wanted to generate immediately but i had already send no to the password change prompt for that day), consisted of me copying out a completed adminP request from the live domain and then over writing fields from a local one i generated on my dev domain, leaving only the security fields in place (i love scanez), then pasting it back into the live domain admin4.nsf

I am prepared to take my punishment(hangs head in shame)

A programmers secret

One of my major client’s developers has been off ill the last couple of days but who despite vomiting, the shits and a very bad back is managing to do a hell of a lot of work, when enquiries were made as to his ability to do so, his response was:

“That’s because I’m channelling the spirit of Xmas past, who, as it turns out, is quite a good programmer”

I tell you, with this office you just cant make it up!

Proof that my colleagues and I need a holiday (and to not be fixing 100 problems at once)

The names of the innocent have been removed:

Ben Poole … Special: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=lBbCvCtkDMY – you must LISTEN 😀
Ben Poole … this will explain my documentation…
Mark Myers … nothing explains your documentation
Ben Poole … No no, this WILL
Ben Poole … Shout if you need the lyrics.
Ben Poole … cough
Mark Myers … question?
Ben Poole … answer
Mark Myers … your wife and children?, do they live in fear of the night?
Ben Poole … it’s the best way to control them
Mark Myers … Address: Bens family, Hidding under the strairs in terror, No XX, South london, england
Ben Poole … 😀
Ben Poole … No, I fill their lives with joy. Like the song says: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=xY03n3QCLes
Mark Myers … your not working at home tomorrow because of a holiday, your at home because its the “time of the change”
Ben Poole … don’t be ridiculous
Ben Poole … It’s not a full moon tomorrow
Mark Myers … quite right, this weekend is the sacred green jelly sabbath
Ben Poole … no, this weekend is when I’m in Elveden forest
Ben Poole … I shall be frolicing naked as the day I was born with the Suffolk elves
Ben Poole … Probably singing the monkey song
Mark Myers … you know the phrase allways worried me “naked as the day I was born” what happens if you were born wearing a hazmat suit,
Ben Poole … Well then “naked as the day i was born” would mean “not that naked”
Ben Poole … i.e., wearing a hazmat suit
Ben Poole … quite simple really
Mark Myers … ah ha, so you admit the crime of hazmat suit breeding!!
Ben Poole … I admit nothing
Ben Poole … I have nothing to declare except my genius
Ben Poole … as the saying goes
Mark Myers … So, nothing to declare then?
Ben Poole … shyte, walked into that one
Mark Myers … its the wood elves they poison your mind, switch to the side of the pizies (they have dental)
Ben Poole … Ah, but sharp teeth: a real no-no with mischievous woodland creatures, esp. if you’re in the habit of dancing in the buff with them

Your Code is in good hands