Thursday, June 30, 2011

Why #Amazon's #WP7 #Kindle app is a #Fail for me

Having just wasted 54 minutes on the phone to Amazon (albeit at their expense), I am no further forward.
It seems one of the books I have bought (the complete works of Charles Dickens) is one of the biggest in their library (about 22MB).  It has downloaded satisfactorily to the Kindle and the iPad app, but on the Windows Phone 7 app it repeatedly barfs.  After you have requested the download, every time you start the Kindle app (or worse – switch away and then back to it) it restarts the download.  In the wilds on 3G that could get very expensive.
Having bypassed tiers 1 and 2 in technical support by explaining I had already tried turning it off and on again, and also deregistered the device, removed the app, rebooted the phone (on more than 1 cycle) I hit a brick wall.
Firstly, explaining how the app works to technical support strikes me as a bit unprepared of Amazon.
Secondly, repeating the same diagnostics seems unlikely to suddenly fix things (when they admit they are doing nothing on their side of the fence to change the experience).
Thirdly, stating that there are so many variables in the equation that the developers might not be able to sort it out (whilst failing to acknowledge the successful download of the book on devices other than their own Kindle hardware) is not really on.
I’m sure Amazon has deep enough pockets that it could get a UK Orange HTC 7 Mozart, connect it to a Wi-Fi circuit on a 1.5Mb ADSL line (or thereabouts), and attempt to reproduce the problem.
It’s also a bit frustrating that as an IT Pro and an occasional developer they won’t permit a willing customer to engage with the next tier to help them track down and resolve the problem.
Lastly, in the modern era, it really isn’t on for them to say that I’ll “just have to hope that it gets fixed, and a future download attempt will work”.  I want to be told it is fixed, and know my next download of the book will work.
End of.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Windows Phone 7 time

Having had the iPad for some months, I had been pondering the next upgrade to my phone. Since 2000 when the Compaq iPaq was launched (at Microsoft Tech*Ed Amsterdam with a heavy discount)* I have been a fan of the windows mobile platform. The early days of WinMo phones was quite painful (M500, then M600, M3100). But latterly the TyTn II, and finally the Touch Pro2 have overcome that. But I have always valued the proper Exchange integration and management.

The platform had finally got to be good (although some still disagree) and the Touch Pro2 was a phone I felt I could evangelise, and did not feel a need to upgrade from. The interface (having used something similar for years) was easy to use - although it took me a while to stick with the 6.5 upgrade (the failure of apps - especially Twitter ones - to maintain current state properly annoyed me loads). Twice I rolled back to 6.1!

But with the advent of my first Apple device my Twitter life moved there, and the phone suddenly got a better battery life!

In considering a new phone I have been strongly tempted down the iPhone front to get that app experience in the phone - but I also believe that WP7 is going to move along well, and I'm reluctant to miss out (especially now it is really slick). It's just a pity the first generations don't support the Enterprise properly (encryption and management mainly).

In the end I resolved to upgrade to the HTC 7 Mozart. Orange have confirmed that they will support the Mango upgrade to it (I have that in writing as a condition of sale!!) - so now I have the iOS experience in the iPad, and WP7 in the hand.

If I want a smaller iOS device I can always get the iPod Touch when they launch next, as I have quite a few NetGear's Apple vouchers to spend in store.

*I do wonder Microsoft didn't repeat this at Tech*Ed last year. 7,000 delegates ready to be marketed to for a highly discounted Windows Mobile 7 handset - how much (near) free evangelising and support would they have got? Or was it a recognition that the device is not enterprise ready?

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Not art but the unremovable stains from Flag Irises

Don't wear anything important to you when cutting these back.

It's time to do more so we can get to the pond pump to service it.

But first the Syd Barrett introduction CD done by a certain D Gilmour...

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Dublin, day 4 and then home

For our final day, we went to Phoenix Park. W'd have gone earlier, but it had been closed due to the Queen's and the President's visits. We stopped for an early coffee in the tearoom where the board had a curious echo of the Wall gig last night

The Wellington memorial. It's a curious fact that with so much shared history (although not necessarily willingly) monuments such as these crop up to surprise the English visitor,

By way of massive contrast with the day before, having watched Pesident McAleese return to her residence, this was the entirety of her security detail.

Returning to the tearooms for lunch, I spotted some unusual vents for the roofs.

And so it was pretty much over...

Dublin, The Wall, Finale

Comfortably Numb, with Dave Kilminster doing a superb job on the lead.
Finale of Numb

Rog gunning down the crowd

After waiting for the worms...

Here, the exposure is so long, you can see several frames of the animation.  Personally, I think it improves the shot

Pink, about to fall




Ironically, the line "floating down, through the sky" came to when this happened.  The gig concluded with a massive confetti launch from the ceilng with all the bomb types from the bomber section of the video..  The Christian Cross, the Islam Crescent, the Star of David, the Shell logo, the $ etc.  I didn't see any Mercedes though.  If you look carefully, you can see all the draped material over the sound desk to make life easier for the crew.

Dublin, The Wall, Intermission

The wall of the dead

Including Rog's dad

C'mon, hurry up

Things to do!

Dublin, and finally, The Wall

I'll mostly let the photos do the talking!

Crosses as bombs, also falling were the Star of David, the Crescent of Islam, the $, Shell and Mercedes logos

Having projected individual faces across the bricks in the wall, this captures the moment when an animated explosion blows the bricks into the distance.  A stunning visual effect

Goodbye, goodbye,


But don't go away, even the intermission had something to say

Friday, June 03, 2011

Dublin, day 3 - Obama shows up, and a little matter of a gig...

Or progress through Dublin was haped by the heavy Garda presence (many from out of town) for the President's trip. We spent about an hour here (for an alleged 15 minute stop - although the grounding of the Beast was probably to blame). Entertainment was provided by the Garda motorbike which, whilst parked, was blow over by a particularly heavy squall.

We waitee just outside 4 courts, it seemed the legal system was grinding to a halt, as well as the traffic.

In a few swift moments the many vehicles tht made up the Presidential procession whizzed by. Including this one

Later on, after having passed by or through many more cordons (but with the obligatory stops at Bewley's) we made our way down North Quay to the O2 for the gig.

Passing these food warmers in the window of a Thai restaurant. We were attracted to the reflections of reflections of reflections on show.

And then, finally, under the big wheel, we we in the queue for the gig.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

And of course, 16 Spitfires in the air...

The centre of the day was the 4x4 formation of the Spitfires. All remaining airworthy 2 seated Spits were here, and in groups of 4 they took off from the field and took to the air with the glorious sound of the Rolls Royce Merlin (in most cases).

Swooping around the skies the session went by far too quickly and the minute's silence for the dead of the battle (and the war) went widely respected.

It was an excellent tribute, and a great re-creation of some of my childhood memories.