Technology (english)

Sorry to the readers

I want to say sorry to everyone who is still reading my blog. In the last few month I was very busy with my project and to travel between Beckstown and London. No time to write anything and, to be honest, there was nothing interesting to write about.

Sure there was a lot going in the world, but I don’t want to write about every thing that comes in my mind, especially not about politics or something like that. This blog... the whole page should be something to distract myself a bit, and also readers.... ok if they are any readers. ;-)

I have some spare time at the moment, so I could improve the galleries a bit. Keep on reading and use the RSS function for this blog to keep you informed.

iPod Touch (part three)

I still don’t like that crappy iPod Touch 2G. A few days ago I wrote about the hardware aspects of the reason why I don’t like it. And now I want to write about the software aspects.

iPod Touch (part two)

hmpf... as I wrote already I bought a iPod Touch and I don’t like it.
I just tested my ExtreamMac Micromemo microphone and speaker adapter for the dock connector. And what should I say? It doesn’t works.

Thanks Apple! Do you have a contract with every third party product producer that old hardware should not work on new models anymore, just to sell more of it? Thanks I will remember that for the next time I want to buy something.
Maybe I spend my money for something that is more compatible.

iPod Touch (part one)

Aaaaargs. I bought the Touch only because I needed a new MP3 player and the 16GB Nano was not available in the Apple store in the Regent Street. I don’t like that think. I knew it before I bought it, but I hoped that it will change after some time.
So what are the reasons for this “I don’t like it“? I learned that you have to explain it and it is not finished after you say “I don’t like it“.

First of all I’m using Microsoft based Pocket PCs (PPC) since... hmpf since ages. My first one was a Casio Cassiopeia E-15. Which was a nice device when it came out (somewhen before 2000) and I bought it that early. So I have some experience with PDAs, especially because I had 2 others after that, did some research for my university and my final year project also included a Pocket PC.

So let me start a comparison with my first Pocket PC (or Palm-PC that’s how it was called at that time). My E-15 had two AAA rechargeable batteries. Even all later PPCs had changeable batteries, but not this crappy Touch. If the battery is empty, then you are doomed. There are some third party solutions, but I prefer original equipment.

Buttons. Ok the touch finally got 2 additional buttons for the sound (louder, quieter), an “home button“ and the power button. Good, but something like a joystick would be nice. All PPCs I know had one and sometimes it is nicer to have a button, than to use your fingers (or a pen) on the display.
Oh and it is fare more nicer to work with a pen (optional) on the display, then always with a finger. Just imagine it is cold, really cold or you have sticky fingers. Hey every pen or even a tooth picker would work on a PPC, but not on a Touch.

Memory cards. If you use your digital camera you want to see the pictures on a bigger screen. Good a PPC doesn’t have a screen like a laptop, but it is still bigger than a digital camera (at least if you don’t compare it to a Ricoh RCD-i700). Anyway, there is no way to use your Touch 2G as a display. With a PPC you could simply put the SD card into the PPC and that’s it. Even if you use a Compact Flash Card (Yes I like them!) or something else, there was always a way to use every kind of cards in my Pocket PCs.

Extensions: My Pocket PC had everything. The ability to use USB devices, an external keyboard, 100MBit/s ethernet socket, WLAN, Bluetooth, analog modem and 6GB of exchangeable storage on two cards. Ok that was the final collection of additional stuff for my final PPC (HP iPAQ 2210), but it works. I was also able to use any kind of memory cards, USB thump sticks, PCMCIA cards and I also used a 10GB external hard disk with it. And the Touch? Nothing like that. 16GB memory, WLAN and a proprietary connector. That’s it.

So give me some time to play around with the software, but I guess that is also crap.

Eurostar Fun (part four)

I’m slowly getting peeves. The service is less then crap. Anyway there are some very friendly service personal and they maybe the only reason why I’m not in a local police station for palpabilitys.

Just let me write down the next few things in notes.
The ICE train from Brussels was cancelled. Why don’t know. But I guess it is beause the cancelled eurostars. So we asked how else we could get to Cologne. “With a replacement bus service“. Yeah right, one fuing coach for a whole train!
The service personal in Brussels is absolutly unwilling to help or simply that stupid. Sorry, but I only know one guy from Belgium to rely on and he is not working in that business. (Greetings to you by the way!)

Back to the coach. A driver from germany who has never been in Brussels before, with a normal car navigation system. Perfect combination! The GPS always guided us into the next tunnel, which we won’t be allowed to use. That the whole coach smelled like a chemical toilette and the driver was next to be daef, that was only to make the picture perfect. “And wasn’t the trip with me better than a trip in the ICE train?” sometimes it is better to say nothing!
In Aachen (yepp the coach brought us there) the local service personal said that we could take the Thalis to Cologne in 5 minutes. Oh and yes we meet everyone who couldn’t join the coach trip! So basically 2 hours wasted in that coach.

Then we reached the IC in Cologne back to Beckstown, together with other peoples from London. But they had to go even further (further north in Germany and Denmark). I hope you enjoyed the rest of your trip as well. Greetings to you.

Back in Backstown we drove straight to the Airport and asked, if I could get another ticket or if I could change the ticket for my flight at 11 AM. Oh it was 14:00 by the way. No problem with that. For just 75 Euro instead of minimum 95 Euro for a new Ticket.

Good and now I’m back home in my London Flat and want to go to a farewell party. Good night and CU!

Eurostar Fun (part three)

Tja, now we reached Brussels. What a crap! This should be the capital of Europe?
I don’t like this city. It is always the same, if I am here. In this crappy train station with a lousy service. I mean really lousy.
Last time our Eurostar was 5 minutes late, so we missed the connection train to Cologne. The personal in the “Travel Centre” was either not willing to help or not able. Whatever... the result stays the same. Finally and after a lot of intervention we solved the problem and boarded with seventy (yepp 70!) other people the Thalis to Cologne. Oh and the Eurostar personal? Same crap over there. They where totally surprised that their train was late and had to phone there supervisors first to find out they have to give us a confirmation letter for that.
Oh and because of that we also missed the connection train in Cologne and instead of arriving at midnight in Beckstown, we arrived at 6 am. Hey, what a wonderfull world. No train connections between 9 pm and 2 am from Cologne to Beckstown.

But now we are back in this crappy town. Same shit different day. No trains before 4:50 am and no trains to Germany before 7 am. OK I don’t want to lie. No trains to Germany before 6:59 am.
What does it mean for me?

Easy to answer. If that train would go via Cologne, that would be a two hour journey and from there another 3 hours! So overall 5 hours from 7 am, mean arriving in Beckstown at 12. I will definitely miss the 11 am flight to London. Switching the Ryan Air flight is not possible at this time via Internet anymore (by the way, there is no free Internet on this fuing train station) and via telephone would cost more than one Euro per minute from a land line.... and even if I would like to spend that, it is not possible before normal working hours.

So what else, if we book the night flight on Saturday that would cost a fortune. So the only option is the early flight on Sunday. That’s crap, that’s really fuing crap!

Oh and did I wrote already that I have booked the hotel for the nights from Sunday to Tuesday for another 90 Quid?

I can not understand why this happens this way. We are in the middle of Europe. A self called civilised area of the world. And it is not possible to do this short trip without any problems. I have been to countries with a less complex and so called “third world“ countries with a better customer service and travel possibilities.

Eurostar Fun (part two)

So now we are on the other side of the channel. The right side? Don’t care. The problem management is still crap.
Lucky for us we met a tourist group from Swiss. His travel group had also an unexpected diversion via Dover and Calais, so they had a coach with some free places to Brussels.

Our two French mates needed a train to Paris, for a short time they thought to join us. But the problem is the same at that time. No trains to Paris. so they couldn’t join us. So a friendly Bon voyage to the two ladies :-) And a big thanks to our wonderful tour guide!

So let’s find out what happen in Brussels.

Eurostar Fun (part one)

Let’s see what happen so far. Yesterday, just one hour after my parents travelled trough the Eurotunnel, a truck catch fire. So the tunnel had to be closed.
No problem with that, but the information given by the Eurostar company was like.... hmmm sorry to say that, But it was shit.
In St. Pancras they told everyone “You can only get a refund or we will change the tickets for another ticket within 60 days. That’s it.”
Hey perfect crises management guys. If I look for crappy service you get the price!

Seriously it doesn’t went any better while on the move. We had to go to Victoria to buy a ticket, to Dover, on our own. The guy behind the counter told us that we should take the Eurostar if we want to get to continental Europe and he couldn’t sell any international tickets. They will only be sold in St. Pancras. Hey perfect! We just came from there and had booked our connection trains, if the Eurostar guy had told us so. More frightening on that is the fact that it looks like that no one told the guys at Victoria station that their won’t be any Eurostar service for today.
So after getting all the luggage from my flat, we went to Victoria jumped on the Train and arrived in Dover.

There was already some Eurostar personal waiting to catch all the travellers and tell them “Go just around that corner and jump into the P&O busses.”
No P&O busses anywhere, but from another company. They told us to jump in and after giving them the reverence number of the Eurostar tickets and that’s it. No additional tickets needed. The Bus driver brought us directly to the waiting area inside the docks. And there he was informed that there is no one from the company which is now keeping care of us. “She just left, her shift ended.” So the driver told us what he knew.

So we went into the waiting area and tried to get something from the local Burger King. That was also a new record. 15 Minutes to service a 5 meter queue. And let me quote the woman behind the counter, after the messed up the third order in a row. “I don’t know what I am doing here!”
Hell why the fu* do they place a newbie behind the only open till? So that ended up with leaving the BK without getting anything.

To make that journey complete, the ferry arrived on another dock then expected. And the Seafrence company stuff (which is keeping an eye on us) also went confused.

I don’t know, but every time if i see French and British people doing something together it ends up in a mess. Somehow it is working, but ever thing but smoothie. So let’s see what happen if we arrive in Calais.

Rain... typical rain

I don’t know why. But I haven’t seen proper build modern buildings in this country.
I mean if you look around you can see all those old buildings which survived everything since ages, but as soon as the buildings are build in the last... lets say 50 years, than the buildings are crap.
Good not the whole buildings but major parts. Just remember my bathroom in my hall of residence last year.
Anywhy, I thougt that in a country which is famous for its rain, they should be able to build houses which could resist 2 days of heavy rain.
But this is what happened last month.