Feet up!

More Nokia Python

It looks like people haven’t been slow to get using Nokia’s Python project, and Matt Croydon has been collating projects and news on his Python for Series 60 wiki page.

Seeing as there’s no central clearing house(other than Forum Nokia) for Nokia Python projects right now, I reckon this is as good a focal point as any.

[Thu, 23 Dec 2004 16:33] | [dev/python] | #

Christmas comes early..

for us mobile Pythonista's anyway!

Nokia have today publicly released their long awaited Python for Series 60 Symbian smart phones. It'd be nice to see it released on Series 80 and Series 90 phones as well as the mass market Series 60 devices, I guess that's Nokia's next step.

It's certainly something to keep me busy over Christmas. I need to catch up with the product since I haven't touched it for a little while, and the release candidate has many more features than the last version of the beta I used. And with Ewan chasing me for a few All About Symbian articles on Python, I'll certainly be busy.

First step is porting WikiLite to my phone :-)

[Wed, 22 Dec 2004 12:55] | [dev/python] | #

Weekend Update: Sweden's not borked

I feel like I'm turning into Martin Little - Mobitopia's resident weekend hero - please tell me if I start losing hair and years! Anyway, last weekend the boss and I went for a weekend trip to Stockholm; I'd heard about Sweden being full of gorgeous blondes, but in a coals-to-Newcastle style move I took Sam anyway. I guess this weekend was one of the joys of being a free man.

Transport and accomodation were provided by the infamous RyanAir and the Hotel Birger Jarl.

I know that RyanAir get a lot of stick for apparently flying to within 100km of most of their destinations but no closer, but in practise this isn't a major problem, if you look at London's 3 major airports, Stansted which RyanAir use is by far the easiest to access for anyone on the East of the country, and is also the one with the best connection to the city of London. It's the same deal abroad, have you ever wondered why your plane has been giving you lovely laps of the French countryside around Paris or a tour around the towers of Frankfurt? Generally it's because you've picked the wrong airline, Air France appear to have a significant advantage into Charles de Gaulle and the same happens with Lufthansa at Frankfurt. Maybe they've paid big money for this advantage, I don't know, but even if you know this "inside" information you still have a long ordeal at the major airports with the multi-mile walks from door to check-in to gate and gate to passport control to baggage reclaim to exit. Whilst you're doing all this slow motion nonsense above or at a major airport the RyanAir customers are happily chugging into town on an airport bus with more money in their pockets. The damp countryside on the ride in from Skavsta made me think of Elbonia though.

The Hotel Birger Jarl rocked, what else can I say. Built apparantly in the 70s and decorated accordingly it was once very drab and uninspiring, but they've got the designers in and gutted it. None of your Llewellyn-Bowen fripperies and frills, just the good, honest, plain, clean designs that has seen the world embrace IKEA and its ilk. The only thing that would have majorly improved our room was a rethink on the heating/aircon (it was both too cold, and too hot and stuffy at various points), and ripping out the bath in favour of a shower to make the bathroom more spacious; both costly and maybe the no-bath option wouldn't be acceptable to some punters. Top place though, and the staff now know how to pronounce Hughes!

So fun and frolics wise, what did we do? Friday: For a late lunch we hit the Tysta Mari in the Östermalmshallen food market, superb fish and very affordable too. After this we did the usual touristy wanderings around and headed for the old town in the Gamla Stan area. A few Glöggs in the Chritmas market and various beers later we eventually headed back to the the hotel for a well deserved sleep.

Saturday saw a trip to the famous Skansen; an open air museum of Swedish buildings and a wonderful record of Swedish life over the years, with a great Christmas market selling many things made of straw that probably had symbolic meanings I didn't understand. I also had my first sighting of a Nokia 9500 phone in the wild too; Swedish history amd Finnish hi-tech, rather an ironic mix. After a quick lunch at Skansen - I had meatballs and a bottle of Julöl (Yule ale) - we took a ferry across to Södermalm for a mini mobi-meet with Gustaf, Joanna, and Viking. Scary English from all three of them, even three year old Viking's sole word of English "Boring" had a perfect Bart Simpson accent; my meagre Swedish just sounded like an Englishman speaking bad German whilst trying to sound like the Muppet's Swedish Chef.

So suitably en-beered, Gustaf's team headed home to put Viking to bed before we could persuade him to buy an N-gage, and Sam and I headed off for a tad more shopping. Next stop food!

I guess this was the piéce-de-resistance of the weekend, after an hour or so of stumbling around the streets of Stockholm - had I mentioned that it was cold? - we came across a cluster of restaurants, a quick perusal of the menus and we dashed into the likeliest looking one.

I've eaten in some of the most highly regarded restaurants in the World - not the umpteen squillion Michelin star jobs that you need a second mortgage to buy a sandwich, but still top-line stuff - and Sam's chefed in a few too, so we know the genuine article when we see it. What more can you say Grodan (the frog), is the real deal. What was surprising was that it was far cheaper than a comparable restaurant in Paris or London, so much for Sweden being expensive. The menu gives you some idea of what they offer; we had reindeer calf fillets for main, succulent, tasty and tender, very impressive.

And so to Sunday, a bit of a lie in, a hearty breakfast at the Birger Jarl, and walk down to Gamla Stan for a few pics and some final bits of shopping, I was really tempted to get some Bundy sticks for the kids, but I didn't fancy getting them onto the plane. Then onto the coach to Skavsta; it's a nice little airport, five or so gates, 10 or so check-in desks, amiable staff, good food (a Jultallric - a Yule plate, meatballs and much more - and Julöl for me), and then a flight back (which I dozed through) with possibly the the heaviest landing I've ever experienced. The captain made some excuse about it being gusty, and it was, but it felt like he was coming in too fast and hard anyway.

So overalll, does Sweden pass the Jim-test? Yep, I'm very impressed, parts of Stockholm are a little grey and boring (a little like many German cities), but overall there's a lot of culture and history, and also a lot of great design. I'm not sure I could live there, I think I need a bit more heat and light (it's dark by 2:30pm currently), but the streets were quiet, the traffic was zero by UK standards, and the famed expensiveness was not dissimilar to say London price levels. Top place.

[Sat, 18 Dec 2004 00:20] | [general] | #

Brave New World

I'm currently a free man, not for long though, a new job starts in 2 hours time. A litle bit more of the same, nutshell description: C++ dev for software house writing trading systems. That's under-selling it though, there's some interesting prospects, the technical challenges look very appealing, and everyone I've met so far have been very friendly. I'm really looking forward to it.

It's a shame to leave the guys at Gissing Software because they're also a good bunch, and they're writing some of the rarest stuff I've seen in the financial marketplace, quality software. But, I need to move on, there's more challenges I'd like to attack. The least I can do is give the guys in Bromley a little Google Juice.

[Wed, 15 Dec 2004 07:07] | [general] | #

The Playlist Meme

1. Open up the music player on your computer.

2. Set it to play your entire music collection.

3. Hit the "shuffle" command.

4. Tell us the title of the next ten songs that show up (with their musicians), no matter how embarrassing. That's right, no skipping that Carpenters tune that will totally destroy your hip credibility. It's time for total musical honesty. Write it up in your blog or journal and link back to at least a couple of the other sites where you saw this.

5. If you get the same artist twice, you may skip the second (or third, or etc.) occurances. You don't have to, but since randomness could mean you end up with a list of ten song with five artists, you can if you'd like.

Here's my list:

Via Rui and Gustaf.

[Tue, 07 Dec 2004 12:36] | [music] | #

Listen with #mobi

I've managed to drag a good handful of the Mobitopians and the #mobitopia "massive" kicking and screaming onto last.fm, you can see what they and I like listening to (some of it's rubbish, some's even worse than that). Maybe I should round up my playlist and herd it into a playlist meme post.

[Mon, 06 Dec 2004 21:35] | [music] | #

New Shiny Shoes

Hi-Tec Repellor shoes This is a bit of a Martin Little moment, I've got some new shoes, so I'm blogging about them. They're nothing too special, but for day to day kick-about sort of usage they should fit the bill nicely.

The main reason I'm blogging about them is to see how long they last, I generally destroy a pair of shoes like this in a year to eighteen months, with somewhere around 3-5 miles walking/running a day. I think my last pair (a different make) failed rather quicker than this, hence the interest in this pair's longevity.

Tech details, they're Hi-Tec Repellor Low X-Terrain - crap name incidentally. First impressions, they're pretty comfy, minor niggles are that the heel cup is slightly deeper (rearwards) than I'd like, meaning a little rub on the achilles, and the grip from the sole is slightly less than sure footed on wet tarmac. The only minor cosmetic flaw is that the tongue is a little over padded (it makes the foot look a bit swollen). I'm also experiencing a little soreness in the left knee after running a few miles in them, although it could be I've just twisted it and it's not the shoes at all.

Final odd point is that Hi-Tec were founded in Shoeburyness in Essex, just across the Thames Estuary, small world!

[Mon, 06 Dec 2004 21:20] | [general] | #

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