Saturday, 29 December 2007

Sony Ericsson W810i & Ubuntu

Straight off, no the Sony Ericsson W810i will not play .ogg music files. If it was a symbian phone then it would be possible with a quick download of an application. So woe was I when I began the process of converting my music library to mp3 format. I know, feel dirty for doing it, but it was a necessary evil.

With that out of the way, which is not the phones fault, all else is going brilliant! As soon as I connected the phone to my laptop Ubuntu detected it straight away. On your desktop, or media folder, you will get two new icons. 'Phone' (for the internal memory of the phone) and 'Phone Card' (for your SD card). As default 'Rhythmbox Music Box' will open to handle the files. Using this you can just drag and drop your music onto the SD card. Though the annoying thing here is that the titles will always come up 'short' on the walkman. For instance, instead of 'The Killers' I get 'The Kill' and so on. This effects all titles. The songs play perfectly though so no issues with sound quality.

What about bluetooth? First make sure you have downloaded 'Bluetooth File Sharing' & 'Bluetooth Analyzer' applications from Synaptic. Once installed setting them up is very straight forward. Then to send a file to the phone (with bluetooth turned on) just 'right-click' a file, select 'sent to' and then choose 'Bluetooth' from the drop-down menu. The phone will then ask you if you want to select the file. Simple. With a few terminal commands you can even use the phone as a remote mouse and media player (link below).

Next, syncing my Evolution Calendar and Contacts with the W810i. This can only really be done with 'multisync'. Others like 'wammu' are better for mobile phone utilities, but 'multisync' will sync with Evoultion. This is not as easy as the software you would get with a Nokia for win-doh's, but I imagine it will continue to improve with time and it seems to do the job with some tweaking. Again, set up is straight forward. Just go through all the tabs and drop-down menus in multisync to set up your connection. Choose what you want to sync and away you go.

I found some very good links to help out:
W810i & Amarok Music Player
Bluetooth Sync with Evolution & W810i
Bluetooth Remote Control
For some cool themes, ringtones and so on:
W810i Themes
LasyK Networks

Personally, I am very impressed with this little phone and have no complaints with any of it's features. I would just like to see more support from the mobile phone manufacturers, none of the PC software that comes with the phone will run on Ubuntu (even with WINE) and the same goes for the downloadable software from Sony Ericsson. This really lets down what could almost be a perfect little package.

Ubuntu, Linux for human beings!

Sunday, 23 December 2007

The Same December

December has been a busy month, hence the lack of posts. With my sister getting married (I gave her away), deadlines and upcoming exams I remain busy over the holiday period well until the end of January.

BUT...I am glad to announce a few upcoming reviews to look forward to in the near future.

1st - I may have finally found a phone that should allow me to sync my calendars and contacts with 'Evolution' without any major problems. This being the Sony Ericsson W810i. So soon I will be saying a goodbye to my Nokia 5140i after almost 3 years. On the plus side I also gain a music player which should play ogg files!

2nd - On the motorcycle side I shall keep you posted on my ongoing honeymoon with Karma (my Kawasaki ER-6F). Though with the winter months here things will start to get dicey! At least it will sharpen the reflexes being on these country roads which seem to have a permanent sheet of ice on them at times. Also, I have just taken delivery of some new gear, a Halvarssons 'Korax' jacket & 'Cobra' pants. So expect a review after I have put a couple of hundred KM's on them.

3rd - Shows, events and trips! I could not believe the sheer positive response from my latest posting of NEC photo's! Thank you for all the comments. With almost 4,000 hits and several invitations to link to other groups I am over the moon. So much so that I shall put my 3 year boycott of the Irish Motorcycle show to one side and will attend this year to get you some photo's. Also I will start planning my trip abroad to one of the MotoGP rounds. Probably Italy (Mugello, June 1st) or Catalunya (Catalunya, June 8th). If I do not make it that far then certainly to UK for a MotoGP or World Superbike round, especially since BSB will not be coming to Ireland this year.

Well, with those tasty bits to look forward to and the many other surprises around each bend I am sure that 2008 will certainly present many new and exciting challenges. All that is left to be said is thank you for wasting some of your time here in this blog! Happy holidays!

OH...and keep the rubber side down!

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Olympia Gear Review

For the last 5 months now my main motorcycle suit has been the Olympia Moto Sports 'Voyager Jacket' (CLICK HERE) and matching 'Mens Ranger 2 Over Pant' (CLICK HERE). Most outside of the USA will not have come across this brand as it is only available in the USA (as far as I am aware). I was introduced to the brand when my Aunt, from California, brought me over a pair of 'Men's Airglide 2 Mesh Tech Over Pant' (CLICK HERE). I was so impressed by the quality and the price that I placed an order with Bob's BMW Motorcycles (CLICK HERE) whom had the suit to my door within 2 weeks. Final price including shipping and customs was just under €500, but that should be better now with the weak dollar!

Anyway...the Voyager Jacket first. I ordered it in Neon Red/Black to help myself be seen and it does not disappoint. In fact the only drawback is the fact that you can be seen everywhere! And of course the mandatory jokes for the first few days of ownership. Other then that everything is as advertised. The quality is excellent for the money you pay and my only complaint would be the slightly over-complicated vent system. Also, after 5 months of daily usage the neon red is getting very dirty looking. The Nikwax Tech Wash can only do so much. The jacket is still in excellent shape, no fraying or any bits failing. It has never leaked, even after a wet 300KM ride down to Cork! The separate lining I often use as a stand alone jacket is also excellent. Very warm and windproof. Even with the recent cold weather (0c before wind chill) I can still wear just my Berghaus long-sleeve T-Shirts.

The Ranger 2 pants are in black and are of the same quality as above. Yet they still look brand new after a wash...mainly because they are black and the grim from the road just does not show up. With the lining in the only thing I wear underneath are my 'Forcefield Action Shorts' (CLICK HERE). So again the weather protection is top notch. In fact I was still regularly wearing the mesh pants during November, the lining is just so effective. But for 'wet runs' the Ranger 2 is my first choice.

So all-in-all, I have been very impressed by the gear and would happily recommend it to anyone. Especially those heading to the USA, bringing a suit back at the current exchange rate makes huge sense! If you look at the Olympia website you will see that the gear even comes with C.E. approved armour, which is certainly not the norm with other well known USA brands. So no worries on that front!

As I ride all year I need gear I can rely on and have faith in. This gear has yet to fail me and knowing that my personal comfort will not be an issue come the 'cold' months of January, February and March lets me concentrate on the most important surviving the commute everyday!

Keep the rubber side down!

Saturday, 1 December 2007


As promised, if you direct your browser to my Flickr page you will (hopefully) find some 225 photos from the 2007 NEC Motorcycle & Scooter Show, they are in alphabetical order so feel free to skip through to your favourite flavours of motorcycles.

The show itself was great. Too much going on in fact! So much so, that as we left the first thing my partner said was "next year we will need to come for 2 days", though I said a downbeat "I guess", inside I was jumping for joy.

The major difference this year was that all the major manufactures were concentrated in one area, instead of generally through the center of the show area with the various trade stands off either side. Though a good idea in principle,it meant this area was very busy most of the day with other areas staying quiet. I would like to think they will revert to the old layout to keep the crowds moving around.

Also what continues to annoy is going to the show to get gear, only to be told they are not selling but giving us the details of local dealers. In Ireland 'local' dealers usually means 1 or 2 shops and zero deals. Well, at least I tried to buy off them.

My highlight was getting to meet Nick Sanders, if you do not know who he is I insist you go and find out, try his website by CLICKING HERE. I got his latest book and DVD were he takes a group down to Timbuktu, he even signed the book. He is as pleasant as he appears and that alone was worth the flight and entrance fee!

Right, I am sure you can not wait to get off and see what went on at the show. I hope you enjoy the photos and please remember I am quite the novice with the camera!

Keep the rubber side down.