Southampton, iPhones and lying web sites.

Last weekend I updated my iPod Touch to the new version 2.0 firmware which, for the first time, allowed it to talk to the network at work and added the capability of installing extra software. This is basically the same firmware as in the new iPhone 3G, except without the phone, bluetooth and GPS.

I decided this week to use the device at work as a general communications device to see just how useful this and the iPhone would actually be in everyday use.

Well, let’s say that the trial was a success. The week included the annual support staff conference and the iPod Touch was an invaluable tool for keeping up to date with e-mail and all the other tasks I could want, including calendaring and general web surfing (I hate that term). In fact it easily replaced the laptop I’d usually have taken and was a great deal more portable.

It was this, and the number of people at the conference with iPhone 3Gs (:-)) which convinced me that the iPhone would be a very useful purchase for me, despite having about 5 months to go on the T-Mobile contract. Basically, the Sony-Ericsson phone combined with the Nokia N800, although usable, is too inconvenient to use everyday. It’s too bulky (the N800) and is clunky, slow and unreliable. (The latest firmware update (Diablo) for the N800 has much improved the e-mail client’s usability, as long as you have a small number of mail folders and they have a small number of messages. It takes the mail program 15 minutes to open my inbox EVERY TIME it starts up!) The iPod Touch in comparison is small, convenient and fast.

Since I made the decision I’ve been tracking Apple’s on-line store stock page noting the availability of the black 16GB model. Unfortunately, last night I noticed that that model had just sold out at the Milton Keynes shop but that it was still in stock in Southampton, which is only about 15 minutes further travel time (though about 25 miles further). So, this morning I got up at 6:30am and was out the door before 7:30am.

The journey down was uneventful and I managed to get the shop at 8:45am, just as the shutters went up, so I joined the shortish queue (about 10 people) and went in.

After about 20 minutes of waiting a shop attendant came along the line asking what version of the iPhone we all wanted… everyone wanted the 16GB black model, which was a pity as he said that they’d sold the last one yesterday evening. I was a bit narked off seeing as the 9pm evening stock update on the web had said otherwise. If I’d have known I would have had at least two more hour’s sleep and not bothered with the three hour round trip.

Anyway, I’d had the foresight to bring my camera with me so I thought that the trip probably wasn’t totally wasted. So, after grabbing a cup of coffee, I picked up the camera from the car and went for a walkabout.

Well, other than a few reminants of the city wall, there was nothing to see there, not even the sea. Well, at least I know never to visit Southampton again.

Again, the journey back was uneventful. I didn’t go straight home but instead drove over to Witney and got a hair cut and lunch (remind me never to both getting lunch in Norton’s Cafe and Bar, OK).

This afternoon has been spent sleeping, recovering after the lack of sleep caused by the very ate night in the pub after the conference on Wednesday night/Thursday morning. enough said.

P.S. 10:00pm 19th July.

Well, tonight Apple’s iPhone availability checker STILL shows the Southampton store as having the black 16GB. In fact it’s the only store other than Regent’s Street one listed as having stock. You have to wonder about the rest.

Test update using iPod Touch over cisco VPN

Well, both WPA Enterprise and Cisco VPN seems to work pretty smoothly using the new version 2.0 firmware for the iPod Touch and iPhone.

I must admit that typing on the screen is pretty easy if you lay the iPod down. In fact using two fingers I can get quite a high speed. Though the accuracy can be a little low if I try to type too quickly. Typing one handed is not quite as good as I find that I get cramp in the typing hand from the way I hold the hand.

Anyway, this has been a good test.