Wednesday, 30 September 2009

30k service GTI due / Seat Ibiza Sport 1.4 mpg / i7500 home screens

eeek , the service indicator popped up today !
last service was 20k in march, now thats a bit quick.

From Johns Car Blog

Seat Ibiza 1.4 Sport MPG
used for commuting to work , while Amy uses the GTI !

330 miles @ 42 MPG
(yes thats over 10mpg up on her usual commute , must be the driver lol)

From Johns Car Blog

Samsung i7500 home screen shots
reckoned it was time to show my phone

Main home screen
Note the 'hero' style Weather Widget Donate
as well as the Battery Status Donate
both look great , perform well and dont drain your battery, so well worth paying for.

From Johns Car Blog

and the left swipe screen is
with RSS feed widgets and share price apps

From Johns Car Blog

right swipe screen is just various links for other apps but kept clear.

standard android has 3 screens (Left/Middle/Right) , but you can get more if you root and add a home replacement pack.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

first ever 10k run success !

What a great feeling having completed the 10k run this morning at Tatton Park for Cancer Research UK.

6.16 miles took 01hr:12min:13sec at an average pace of 11:43 min/mile, at a new high average of 5.1 mph woohoo
My best time ever.

Congratulations also to Greg , who did even better and managed 56 minutes !

I'm sure Nicola would have been proud of me today.

Before the run :
From 10k run Cancer Research UK Tatton Park

during :
From 10k run Cancer Research UK Tatton Park

From 10k run Cancer Research UK Tatton Park
and after :

From 10k run Cancer Research UK Tatton Park

heres my total training session summary from the Garmin watch :
note the totals , I have ran 47 times , done over 150 miles and 35 hrs jogging and burned 25,000 calories :-)

Date Distance (mi) Time Avg. pace (min/mi) Avg. speed (mph) Calories
18/05/2009 20:05 1.53 00:26:17 17:11 3.5 207
20/05/2009 19:25 1.49 00:23:26 15:45 3.8 214
23/05/2009 09:42 1.47 00:20:33 14:00 4.3 224
25/05/2009 11:49 1.62 00:46:16 28:32 2.1 225
25/05/2009 13:55 1.53 00:36:04 23:38 2.5 214
27/05/2009 19:03 1.52 00:20:54 13:44 4.4 234
29/05/2009 20:47 1.56 00:21:59 14:04 4.3 244
31/05/2009 11:58 1.62 00:43:03 26:37 2.3 225
31/05/2009 13:55 1.91 00:44:12 23:08 2.6 245
01/06/2009 18:29 1.48 00:19:52 13:24 4.5 255
03/06/2009 18:09 2.07 00:28:10 13:35 4.4 337
05/06/2009 19:06 2.23 00:30:13 13:34 4.4 337
07/07/2009 18:31 1.48 00:21:07 14:15 4.2 232
09/07/2009 18:12 2.88 00:39:32 13:44 4.4 424
11/07/2009 17:52 3.1 00:44:29 14:21 4.2 416
13/07/2009 18:28 1.44 00:19:13 13:20 4.5 245
16/07/2009 18:51 1.49 00:19:17 12:58 4.6 255
18/07/2009 09:19 2.94 00:37:28 12:44 4.7 531
20/07/2009 18:32 1.46 00:18:41 12:47 4.7 254
22/07/2009 18:17 2.19 00:27:57 12:45 4.7 381
24/07/2009 17:25 3.49 00:46:46 13:25 4.5 544
26/07/2009 17:33 2.72 00:36:10 13:18 4.5 430
28/07/2009 18:07 3.76 00:50:33 13:26 4.5 602
30/07/2009 17:53 3.91 00:52:07 13:19 4.5 628
01/08/2009 19:15 1.47 00:20:12 13:44 4.4 249
03/08/2009 17:19 2.7 00:35:33 13:11 4.6 450
05/08/2009 17:03 3.51 00:47:21 13:28 4.5 561
08/08/2009 08:44 4.15 00:53:36 12:55 4.6 722
10/08/2009 17:53 4.13 00:55:23 13:25 4.5 641
13/08/2009 17:14 3.77 00:48:01 12:45 4.7 668
15/08/2009 10:04 4.78 01:04:32 13:29 4.4 785
17/08/2009 17:50 4.93 01:06:34 13:30 4.4 777
20/08/2009 18:07 5.08 01:09:10 13:37 4.4 778
22/08/2009 07:57 2.94 00:39:06 13:18 4.5 515
24/08/2009 16:57 5.89 01:17:38 13:10 4.6 972
26/08/2009 17:33 2.43 00:36:13 14:55 4 396
28/08/2009 17:11 6.32 01:23:14 13:10 4.6 1,034
31/08/2009 16:35 3.75 00:49:42 13:14 4.5 604
02/09/2009 18:29 3.48 00:44:42 12:51 4.7 587
04/09/2009 18:42 3.8 00:50:47 13:22 4.5 629
07/09/2009 18:11 4.78 01:02:09 13:01 4.6 864
10/09/2009 19:34 3.79 00:48:33 12:48 4.7 672
13/09/2009 10:05 4.77 01:01:36 12:55 4.6 863
16/09/2009 17:28 5.11 01:08:52 13:29 4.5 845
18/09/2009 17:02 6.36 01:23:09 13:05 4.6 1,087
21/09/2009 18:03 4.77 01:03:50 13:23 4.5 816
23/09/2009 18:17 3.79 00:50:01 13:13 4.5 665
26/09/2009 10:34 6.16 01:12:13 11:43 5.1 1,210
Total 153.55 35:26:26 13:51 4.3 25,293

few more pics can be found by clicking link pic below :

10k run Cancer Research UK Tatton Park

I have also moved the widget link to here as the runs now over...
10k run on 26th Sept 09

Thursday, 24 September 2009

new day , new Wii game : Dead Space Extraction ...

still playing Metroid Trilogy series but heres another one dropping on my mat tomorrow...

Dead Space Extraction

Dead Space Extraction ScreenshotSee More Dead Space Extraction Screenshot at

will let you know how it goes :-)
(after Ive done my 10k run on Saturday!)

battery drops 80% in one day! i7500

well for a while I was getting much more than 36 hrs per charge.
Then today it dropped 10% in each hour WTF!

WHY , well I havent installed anything new , or changed my usage.
What I did do though is put the phone inside a clear gel case......
turns out it was slightly touching the buttons
(I worked this out becuase the home button wouldnt work on several ocassions until I lifted an edge of the gel case .....)

so a word of warning , if you have poor battery life , check the case !!!
May even be worth trying it without for 24 hrs.


samsung i7500 I7500XXII5 firmware source

check it out , a sephail has managed to find out how to get new firmwares from samsung server.

And he's just pulled I7500XXII5 !

you will need one load odin from

and remember to delete the CSC file

I will give it a few days then I'll probably be updating , its just too tempting...

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

aDyno : dyno performance calculator for Android

at last ! iphone users are spoilt with the gorgeous 'Dynolicious' , and up until now there hasnt been anything of note for Android, but now we have


From Johns Car Blog

its free from the market and currently on v0.01 Beta 9.
looks to be frequently updated by the developer and so far looks really slick :-)
hopefully in time it will become perfect.

will try a run later to see how it fares.

Real Time Actual Satellite Tracking

yep , its geeky but truly fascinating at the same time :-)
Wonder whether the International Space Station is overhead?

Select your fave
Then select "Single tracking Track it now!"

Voila , real time satellite tracking in googlemaps??..

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

gti edition 30 mpg update / ibiza 1.4 sport mpg

Edition 30 : 341 miles @ 30.5 MPG

From Johns Car Blog

Ibiza 1.4 : 290 miles @ 33.1 MPG !!!! eeek
(of note I've been running it for work this week and Im already over a 40mpg average , will post up when the tanks dry ...)

From Johns Car Blog

i7500 on O2 now with new firmware / i7500 update

got mine a few weeks ago and it shipped with H6
now a few users are reporting they have I7500XXII4 !
seems theres a lot of changes and fixes being applied (which is good)

check out
i7500 world article
for the full story and links to android forum.

NPS still doesnt work (cmon Samsung sort this out FFS!) , so it needs to be done by Odin.
Reckon I'll upgrade soon , but Id really prefer to be able to do it directly via NPS...........

Also got some cases off ebay , which seem pretty good so far.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Seat Ibiza Sport Black 1.4 : original info

heres the original spiel to sell the sport black ;-) :

The SEAT Ibiza 5dr Black is an Ibiza that is sure to turn heads. This limited edition is based on the already elegant Ibiza 5dr 1.4 Sport, limited to just 150 cars this newcomer adds a raft of smart extras to the standard supermini?s chic shape.

The limited edition Ibiza Black of course sports the same top notch quality, practicality, safety and equipment as the standard Ibiza 5dr Sport ? meaning a class-leading package of value, as well as style.

The limited edition offering has the ?go? to match its ?show? courtesy of a free-revving 1.4-litre 85 PS petrol engine mated to a smooth and precise five-speed manual gearbox. A top speed of 108 mph and 0-62 mph time of 12.2 seconds sits alongside combined CO2 emissions of just 149 g/km and impressive combined fuel economy of 45.6 mpg.

Combine that with a particularly low insurance group ? 3E ? and it?s easy to see why SEAT is confident the Ibiza Black will appeal to the head, as much as the heart, of today?s cost-conscious new car buyers.

Extensive styling extras at a glance:

17 inch arch filling alloy wheels
Unique front & rear bumpers with side skirts
Striking tailgate roof spoiler
Dark tinted rear windows
Black magic metallic paint finish
Discrete but effective tailgate badging
Full features & specification

The SEAT Ibiza 5dr Black has an eye-catching paint job of Black Magic metallic.
Priced at just ?12,560.
The new SEAT Ibiza 5dr comes with a 3 year/60,000 mileage warranty.

CoPilot Sat Nav for Android / Samsung i7500 Galaxy

well after using TomTom on my N95 (with a seperate GPS bluetooth unit) , it was time to try something new.

TomTom has yet to release an Android version (they have just released Iphone version though)

There are a few free android sat nav apps but by far the (only) paid option is

CoPilot 8 for Android

available from the Android Market for ?25

heres a review of TomTom VS CoPilot (on the Iphone but same really)

so far so good , works well.
Had a few issues initially , as once youve downloaded the app , you need to then download maps.
You can do this via the phone (WiFi only) or using a windows app
I chose to update via WiFi to my home router.
Download was seamless but CoPilot crashed once while loading the maps.
However all is OK now (I only have UK maps 187MB)

clear display , updates quickly , my only gripes are the voices are too late (but I think this is a system setting)
Button presses are slightly delayed while going through the menus but it becomes normal after a while, and the voices themselves are a little 'mechanical' compared to TomTom

One key point is you need a car charger !!!!
because the battery live is shocking at the best of times , but running GPS on it dies very quickly.

so far so good and its nice to have a change.

Belkin N1 Vision Router hidden subsystem menu

on my forum travels I found an 'easter egg' / hidden menu in the Belkin N1 vision modem/router

you must log on as normal then go to that page.
Also, if you type in ls /www/ then a list of menus are shown, look at the wifi.html
as an example

in fact found these , from WiFi forum thread

Line Stats (including dB and SNR readings)







Friday, 18 September 2009

Battlestar Galactica Full box set in blu ray....

From Johns Car Blog
Battlestar-Galactica- Blu Ray Review

just a shame it appears the US version has the cyclon model but us brits dont get one!
If youve never watched this series I thoroughly recommend it :-)

Android 1.6 aka Donut SDK released

From Johns Car Blog

Donut aka 1.6 SDK is released to developers , so that means it will soon be available as a build :-)

Check it out here
1.6 SDK release overview

major improvements for

Android Market ( and it really needed a better UI)
Performance tweaks and a battery tool (although 3rd party apps already provided this)
Connection functionality

more an evolution that a revolution but moving at a great place.

Running : damn 'stitch' , how to get rid of it

I have to say apart from my very first runs I have not been bothered by 'getting a stitch' . My general routine is running after work , so there's generally a large gap between my last 'food' and my run (2hrs > +)
but yesterday I had one of my worst runs ever :-(
stitch from 1 mile onwards to the end , I nearly gave up several times! (this was as well as my arm throbbing from cellulitis that Ive also managed to get from a frisky insect bite lol)

So heres some info below which may help alleviate the effects.
Forced exhalation I certainly tried on my run but it didnt work , plus its quite difficult while still running lol

3 stages to this I can see :

1 : preparing for running (dont eat too close etc)
2 : just before a run , stretching etc
3 : things you can do once it happens

from howitworks website some tips

Belly breathe. Most episodes of side stitch come from shallow breathing during exercise. While you exercise, try to breathe deeply and slowly, expanding the belly as well as the upper chest.

Try the "grunt" exhale. Making a grunting sound as you exhale seems to help relieve side stitch, possibly because it forces the diaphragm out of its taught "exhale" position.

Slow down. Being out of condition and exercising too intensely causes you to breathe quickly -- and more shallowly. Build your intensity slowly over the course of several weeks.

Stop. Some people, particularly competitive runners, believe you should "run through" a side stitch. However, unless you're in a race, the best idea is to stop completely until the pain subsides.

Use the "one hour" rule. If you've eaten a meal, wait at least an hour before exercising, because a full stomach does appear to cause problems for some people during exercise.

Massage it. Gently rub the area with your hands. Massage relaxes the muscles and helps increase blood flow to the area.

Use the "poke and blow" technique. One way to relieve diaphragm pressure is to push your fingers deeply into your belly just below your ribs on the right side. At the same time, purse your lips tightly and blow out as hard as you can.

Practice running fast. One of the possible causes of side stitch is weak abdominal and diaphragm muscles. To increase endurance and strengthen the diaphragm, try running fast a couple of times a week or inserting a couple of intervals of fast running during your regular, more moderately paced jog.

Strengthen your abs. Strong abdominal muscles can help prevent side stitch. Try doing bent-leg partial sit-ups (also known as crunches) in which you raise only the shoulders about six inches off the ground (they're less stressful to the back than full sit-ups). Or lie on your back with your legs stretched straight out, lift them a few inches off the ground, and hold for 20 to 30 seconds before lowering them back to the ground.

useful links (text above is from how stuff works)

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

android app : Astro : easy list installed apps and track for new updates

new to this android lark but always wanted a quick way to see what apps i have installed and keep them up to date.

Quick trawl of the interweb and the recomended candidate looks to be aTrackDog (
Reviews all your installed apps and checks if an update is available , then links to store if you want to update! marvellous...
And today I found out if you hit Settings/Export Apps List , you can sent an exported list by txt or email ......
so heres mine.

Exported by aTrackDog at 07:44:17 2009/09/16

Google Maps,3.1.2
OI File Manager,1.0.0
Advanced Task Killer Free,1.4.4
Battery Status,1.2.1
Bluetooth Device Address,1.0.0
Camera Firmware,1.0,1.0.0
Factory Test,1.0
Google Sky Map,1.1
GPS Speedo,2.1
GPS Tracker,1.9.3
imeem Mobile,2.1.6
Locale,0.660 beta
My Tracks,1.0.5
Opera Mini,4.2
Places Directory,1.0.16
Quote Pro,1.2.4
Rehearsal Assistant,0.8.2
Retro Clock,1.1.1
Ringo Lite,1.2.6
SharePrice 1.2.2,1.2.2
SlideME App Installer,1.0
Spare Parts,1.5 Only
Star Tour,1.0
The Weather Channel,2.0.18
Toggle Settings,2.1.2
TSP firmware,1.0
Weather Widget Forecast Addon,1.2
Weather Widgets,2.4.1

Total 62 applications

cool eh? means I can provide feedback on each in my blog.
Astro is a file manager utility , but you can also set up a 'backup' directory (make it the sd card , /sd) in the preferences , then export all apps (.apk) to the card.
Very handy cos I want to update my firmware and I want to be able to re-install my apps quickly.

[update Aug 2010 : this is all now superflous with the arrival of AppBrain (website and android app) , which allows sync between phone and web. The website allows you to link and summarise all your installed apps, as well as queuing for install the next time you sync]

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

post to your blog from igoogle and googlemail / H8 firmware for i7500 / Battery Status Donate

easy peasy !
Posting to Blogger from igoogle and googlemail

all they need is a decent app for android for blogger and Im sorted lol

New H8 i7500 firmware released, however I cannot get the Samsung suite to recognise the phone yet ! (a common problem from reading the forums apparently)
I could do it using an uploader (Odin) but Id rather not for now........

heres what the update page looks like if I ever get to it !

downloaded the Battery Status Donate , another Android Apps widget (I also use the Weather Widget for 'Hero' like clock).
Seems good and doesnt drain battery. Another top app , and different battery skins available. Highly recommended

Golf R20 Mk VI released

first it was the Scirroco R , now its the Golfs turn.
V6 3.2 ditched in favour of a lighter and more powerful 2.0 TSI engine, but it keeps a version of the 4wd...
What a fantastic car :-)

R20 pics

Belkin N1 Modem Router firmware updated

have been doing a lot of surfing after getting my new phone (i7500) and came across THIS blog posting about updating the N1 firmware. Turns out its a cool site with lots of info (including android lol)
Occurred to me that I have never updated mine since I bought it!

So heres the page for my specific router :
Belkin F5D8632 - Pre-Release Firmware Update

I took the precaution of backing up the router setup (theres the ability to do this as one of the router page options) , and belt and braces I took screenshots of the relevant config.

mine was originally 1.00.06 and I was going to pre-release candidate 1.00.09

Its a N spec router (and now confirmed meets the recently agreed N spec , hurray)
but I only need it for B+G so far (laptop isnt N compatible)

Anyways , went to the router firmware upload page and started it off.
Within 5 minutes the router was back up and running (I chose NOT to do a full reset)

The router had already performed well , but it definitely seems faster , only time will tell if its stable.......

Moral of the story : update your firmware

and as if that isnt enough he provides a link to the N1 'secret' menu
N1 secret developer menu links

Monday, 14 September 2009

golf gti edition 30 apr mpg updates

all high octane fuel as usual

353 miles @ 30.1 MPG
362 miles @ 31.1 MPG

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Samsung i7500 HTC Hero clock/weather widget / battery life again! / first ever reboot

HTC Hero look alike home screen clock and weather

any self respecting android user loves the HTC Hero SenseUI interface (a wrapper on Android 1.5)
now the Hero is laggy (although that may be fixed in a new firmware update) and if youre like me youve chosen the Samsung i7500 which has plain ol 1.5.
There are 2 options

1 : flash a custom HERO look a like rom onto the galaxy (i7500), there are some available.
Steps can be found on the web


2: install some cool widgets or home replacements that mimic the effect.

I want to keep a quick ui so I chose the widget option for now.
The key thing is that you have to be careful , as the wrong widget and your battery life will be shot........

I narrowed it down to
Beautiful Widgets
Weather Widget Donate
(which also allows you to get the forecast widget)

I chose the later after seeing a few places state some battery drain for the first one.
Weather Widget Donate works great , I have no lag issues , no increased battery drain and it looks slick.....highly recommended

(although I see that the Beautiful Widgets has just been updated completely and looks just as good, in fact includes 24hr support and hi/lo temp display), very tempting if I hadnt bought already lol

heres its installed, note that its a combined clock and weather skin.
From Johns Car Blog

(note how I also installed the Battery Status - free by them too. Both have free downloadable skins to allow you to customise the battery visuals, check out Lock 2.0 skin gallery
Dont be confused, the site details many things.

You can get skins for
1. Lock screen (I dont use this)
2. Weather + Clock combined widget
3. Battery widget
You use it to find the one you want , then from the phone you can download them now you have a name to use...
Im using the glass one just now , so the background shows through :-)
You can get to the settings by tapping the widget, it now shows the current and 3 day forecast.
Then press the menu button and 'settings' , there are 2 'skin' options , one for weather , one for battery.

Samsung i7500 galaxy battery life update
Now runs for one full day with most toys enabled :-) 3G/Data sync but not GPS. down to 35% by 11pm
Reckon if i turned 3g and sync off I could now get 2 days out of it.

I see the battery has an extended capacity cousin , so it wont be long before someone releases an extended battery and rear cover to improve the life , woohoo

First ever screen lockup and reboot on i7500!
Phones never been off since I got it, but today I tried to unlock it and it went unresponsive on the draw pattern to unlock screen eek!
then the android title came up and it rebooted , then I found the data connection was dead!
In the end I had to switch it on and off again and enter my sim pin code.
(first reboot seemed to not allow me to log into my pin lock)

Monday, 7 September 2009

its here : Wii Metroid Trilogy boxset woohoo

I spent many a long evening playing Metroid Prime (Number 3 out of the series and the only Wii title) bought for a bargain £10 from ebay.

Nintendo have now ported the Gamecube Metroid 1+2 to the Wii with the superb Wii controls and also tweaked it a bit , as well as that they throw in Prime too.

So three games for the price of one.

Cant wait to start playing 1 and 2 now , its gonna be a long month lol
For those new to the Wii or never played any of the Metroid series its a must try.

heres some review scores for IGN :

10 Presentation
All three games scored 10s for presentation and nothing has changed, including the horsepower between GameCube and Wii. The entire series is still slicker in every regard than most Wii titles.
9.0 Graphics
Amazing. The first time you see the snow falling in Phendrana Drift, your jaw will drop. Retro's art and tech combine for an amazing visual experience.
9.0 Sound
Moody and ambient throughout. Some of the voice acting in Corruption could be a little tighter, but otherwise your ears will be happy.
10 Gameplay
Absolutely incredible. The very essence of the 2D Metroid games reborn in 3D. With the new controls, you won't want to put your Wii remote down.
10 Lasting Appeal
More than 80 hours of some of the best interactive adventuring that money can buy. For the price of a regular Wii game.
Incredible OVERALL


Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Golf GTI Edition 30 mpg update / first ever 10k training distance ran / gaggle of fiat 500 abarths

another Edition 30 update : 30.3MPG 372 miles

next image is my first ever 10k distance while training woohoo :-)
6.3 miles took 1hr 23 minutes (83 minutes) which is hardly record breaking pace.
Thats an average of 13.17 minute miles , which is almost fast walking (14 min/mile lol)
However I managed it , so will work on improving my pace over the next few weeks.
The Garmin forerunner and HRM are proving invaluable in determining my pace and recovery cycle.

final images are of 4 Fiat 500 abarths ready for the '59 plate owners....

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

samsung i7500 galaxy new user tips part 2

Unable to send text messages on O2
couldnt send any text messages , could receive them and make calls ....
would always get a 'message not sent' icon in notification bar
turns out the message centre number was wrong and had '61500' appended to the correct number.
edited it to remove the extra numbers and voila its working

Making sure the alarm function works!
Ive already mentioned TasKiller as the ultimate app to save battery life by killing background apps.
However I was a bit zealous last night , set my 6.20 am alarm then killed the process......
The alarm icon was present so i assumed it was gonna be ok........
I was however wrong , it didnt go off at all FFS

so dont kill Alarm process if you want to get up for work (seems obvious doesnt it !)

battery life seems better today after the 4th full charge.
funnily enough its takes AGES to charge from 99% to full.
its now 17 hrs from 100% and its now at 60% , much better.

still loving it :-)