My new phone

O2 Xda Orbit mobile phone and PDA

This month I come to the end of my 18 month contract with O2, so on Friday morning, while in Edinburgh waiting for my train connection to Glasgow, I upgraded my mobile phone from a Nokia 5140i to an O2 Xda Orbit.

Which I imagine in car terms is a bit like going from a Vauxhall Astra to a BMW X5.

The O2 Xda Orbit has the following features:

  • Windows Mobile 5.0 (Pocket PC Phone Edition) operating system
  • GSM Quad-band (850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900) mobile telephone
  • Wireless LAN 802.11b & g
  • Built-in GPS (Global Positional System) running CoPilot Live
  • Integrated 2 megapixel camera
  • Micro SD memory expansion slot
  • MP3 and Video playback
  • FM radio
  • … and stuff

I’ve still to set it up properly … not least because I needed to restructure the data in my Outlook Contacts as all my phone numbers had an initial “0” and +4401333310140 isn’t a valid telephone number. Five-hundred and ninety contacts later I’ll soon be ready to sync and install the GPS software which arrived yesterday.

Expect a review soon.

Arial or Helvetica?

Arial or Helvetica?

Once there was a typeface called Helvetica.

It was extremely popular.

Later came a software company called Microsoft.

They “borrowed” Helvetica for their operating system and called it Arial.

This inferior typeface is now on millions of desktops all over the world.

Can you tell the difference between the original and the rip-off in these ten examples?

Seemingly, Arial was designed in 1982 by Robin Nicholas and Patricia Saunders — good name! — for Monotype.

Take the quiz.


I got 7/10.

Getting there ... I scored 7 out of 10.

Stig(ma) of the dump

Eddie and Gareth breaking up a bed in the garden.

Well, in the end we had a really relaxed and quite weekend in Selkirk.

Oh, hang on! No! It’s the other one. We had a really busy, emotional but productive day clearing out seven car-loads of “stuff” from the shed.

I even managed to lose my head once or twice.

Eddie sawing off Gareth's head in the garden.

The irony was that most of the stuff that we binned was stuff that Dad had … “salvaged” from skips about twenty years ago.

On our first visit to the Civic Amenities Site (dump!) the attendant was wearing a shirt and high-vis bib. On the second visit he’d abandoned the shirt and was just wearing the high-vis. A couple of hours later, on our third trip he was topless. I can’t tell you how nervous we were on our fourth and final visit of the day.

We’re going back (to Selkirk) in a couple of weeks time for The Clearing of the Box Room. It makes Pandora’s Box feel like Disneyland!