Tuesday, 20 March 2007

37,000 miles !

First pic is the car , one minute Id just finished washing it and the sun was out...!
Next minute its hailing ....odd pic but fun :-)

miles are slowing but a recent trip up to Glasgow/Ayr means I added another 500+ on Fri. 700 odd miles to an oil service.

Looking at getting the chips and dent sorted before I get the car detailed.
Wheels will also hopefully get done this year.

Tracker renewal £109 , so its almost exactly a year since I bought this car.

27,000 miles in 1 yr , at roughly 27 MPG (which is about right) thats 1,000 gallons of BP or Shells finest. which is 4546 liters x £1 per litre = £4546
holy mother of g*d thats a lot just on a 'consumable' ! food for thought money wise , not to mention the environment.

So thats

£4546 on fuel
£800 on the Inspection 1
£800 on 4 new tyres
£109 on a years tracker subscription
£>1000 for years insurance

thats £7300 just for a years motoring , thats £608 per month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(oh and the small matter that I was running a sports bike last year too)

worth every sodding penny :-) , sob , sob is it really that much!

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

New E92 arrives / Ipod Video ISkin Evo3

E92 M3
Yes , here it is finally unveiled at the Geneva motorshow today...

400bp+ V8 supreme.
Initial impressions are I love it APART from the wheels!
Jeeze all that development and its gets a set of CSL knock offs!
Spoils it for me. I love the wheels themselves but on an E46 not an E92 FFS!
Anyway some nice wheels and it'll look completely diff.

Do I want one ? YES.
Can I afford one? NO , its 50k basic........

Ipod Video ISkin Evo3

Top notch Ipod Video protection.
Albeit very pricey (20 UKP) , but it has a soft rubber case and a perspex front.
The thumbwheel area is also covered by a thin sheet which is brilliant cos thats the bit that gets most dirty.
All connection are accessible.
Only criticism I have is it make the video quite big , but then I have a 60GB model anyway so its no shrinking violet.
Would be a problem for some docking accessories though.

Thoroughly recommended :-)

Monday, 5 March 2007

Etymotic Research ER-6i Isolator Earphones review

Bought from http://www.stoneaudio.co.uk

I have now had 2 sets

Firstly I have used a white set for over a year and they have been outstanding.
The sound quality really is supreme.
I have actually spent a fair bit of money on replacement earpieces and internal filters, which dirty quickly in use (yuck!)
I was however forced back to the std ipod earphones recently when one of the wires had become internally detached causing a loss of signal to one ear.
This seems quite common , not helped by me wrapping them round my ipod inbetween uses!
The connector jack also has a straight exit so that doesnt help.

Anyway I love them so much I decided to buy another pair.
Going back to the normal ipod earphones just showed me how used to the superior performance I had become. The isolation factor just isnt there with normal earphones so you cant appreciate the finer pieces of your acid jazz (or whatevers your poision :-) ).

This time I bought a black pair.
1. Because the jack is right angled to reduce stress on the cable.
2. The ear pieces are grey so might not look so dirty looking after a few months use.
3. I prefer the black cabling :-)

So yes I would recommend them you won't go back.

superior sound quality brings out sounds youve never realised were there (i kid you not)
total noise isolation

Not inexpensive
Not inexpensive replacement tips and filters reqd
A very 'personal' fit in the ear canal , so not to everyone's tastes.

In summary 10/10 , a superb product that defends the belief that quality costs.
Ditch those 'poor' ipod phones and get these .......

This time

Sunday, 4 March 2007

N73 fun / M3 brakes / yet more wireless issues

Nokia N73 upgrade firmware
After much searching the web after getting the N73 it soon became apparent that the software is in a state of flux ! and under continuous improvement to sort out the multitude of bugs with it.
Nokia seem really good in this respect (where the R+D process though?) .

However the biggest issue is that phones are labelled with an identity based on the provider NOT just the phone type. And as such an update has to be released for example for the O2 version to get the newer software via the Nokia software suite.
Sadly this doesnt really happen so either your lucky and your provider has updates , or your phone has not been 'branded' and you can get the latest.
What people see as a poor N73 is actually probably the fact that the phones are being handed out with very old software. The phone itself is excellent BUT only with the latest software.

Mine alas is O2 branded. So if you check for an update it says there isnt one (via Nokia).
Sadly given all the issues seem to be getting fixed in the newer version it makes sense to get those updates.........

You can check the phone version by punching *#0000# into the phone.
Long story short I decided to void my warranty , adjust the id of the phone using
Nemesis Service Suite (NSS) which hooks into the phones internal data.
I chose to use a 'generic' number.
After this is set , and the phone reboots you can try again to see if you can get updates.

Success :-) I was able to get access to the 'unbranded' new updates.
I went from
version 2.0628.0.0.1 to version 3.0649.0.0.1 :-)
lots of fixes.
Worth it ? Definitely just consider carefully before you do so.
However if you want to run software reliably you are gonna have to make sure you have the latest firmware.

(Note another option is to get a service centre to upgrade for you, that way you keep the warranty)
If you have an N73 issue the first port of call is your software version......

Now I could at least get onto the fun stuff........

Nokia N73 sat nav , yep couldnt resist getting tom tom6 on the phone.

SIRF III Bluetooth GPS receiver from

receiver is astounding , superb quick startup and lockon. incredibly small and best of all works in the cubby hole under the light switch in the M3 !!!

2GB mem card from

Installed tom tom , works like a dream.
I also installed the speed camera POI's for the UK.
Sat nav works quickly, and doesnt lag at all.
I even calculated a route to southern france to see how long it would take the N73 's tiny chip. (about 45 secs if you interested :-))

So far i would thoroughly recommend it , even on the N73 its definitely usable. Only thing I need now is a phone holder.

M3 brakes
Well thats a pic of my front and rear brakes above.
After the recent noises I punished them by driving along while applying constant pressure on the brake. Eventually got them to fade , then allowed them to cool down.
Noise seems better but the fundamental problem is that they are f*cked
The cross drillings are so rusty that in some places the holes arent even.
The front discs seem to be OK in terms of pad sweep but as can be seen from the pic t the rears are realling touching in the middle of the swept area.
They work , but in reality it needs new discs and pads.
I guess the lack of miles this car did as a youngster is the reason for this...

Oil service is due in 1800 miles (car around 36700 miles I think)

Goodyear GSD3 tyres continue to shine , I done lots of miles and still very little sign of wear :-)

Alloys are now in poor shape (well in my eyes anyway) , so they will soon be sent off for refurb.

Wireless issues

Well after finally getting my wireless setup stable , it started to play up again recently.
One minute 100% signal , next minute couldnt see it at all!!! mmmmm getting a feeling of deja vu
The reason I suspect , is someone new nearby as gone wireless and theres a conflict.

I tried in vain for hrs again to get a stable signal (remember Ive tried this before and had issues with the DECT phillips home phone).
In the end I have had to drop the linksys router down to standard radio band 20MHZ (i.e. not wide band 40MHZ) on standard channel 12 ( 2.467 GHZ ) , this basically turns my fancy WAG 300N router into a total middle of the road G spec router !
Thats like buying an M3 and using 1 cylinder!

Anyway it works again (connected at 54MBpS).

anyway thats enough for now , more later...