Friday, 31 December 2010

Golf gti edition 30 mpg update

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Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Console Showdown 2010: Wii wins !

Console Showdown 2010: Part 1 - Wii Feature at IGN

Wii owners always have plenty of exclusives to choose from, but the flipside of that is that they miss out on HEAPS of games that come to both PS3 and 360. Still, in this category the Wii performed well in 2010. The game of the year for Wii – and highest scoring exclusive across all three platforms – was Super Mario Galaxy 2, with perfect 10s from the US and UK teams and a 9.7 from yours truly in Australia. Donkey Kong Country Returns, GoldenEye 007, Monster Hunter Tri and Tatsunoko vs. Capcom round the list out, while the Wii's dominance is a little bittersweet for gamers in Australia, as we're still waiting for Kirby's Epic Yarn (as is Europe), and Sakura Wars won't be coming out here at all.
Even so, the Wii delivered considerably more top tier titles in 2010 than last year. In 2009 only New Super Mario Bros. and Little King's Story scored 9.0 or above. This year? Well, just take a look at the list. It's also good to see first person shooters and fighting games getting a little love, albeit with only a single standout title representing each. The strongest area for Wii was – unsurprisingly - platformers, with a side of action gaming.
WiiWare also delivered a few solid titles – nothing too outstanding, with only 8.0s and 8.5s, but they round out the selection nonetheless.

9.0 or Above
Donkey Kong Country Returns (9.0 US)
GoldenEye 007 (9.0 US)
Kirby's Epic Yarn (9.0 US)
Monster Hunter Tri (9.5 AU / 8.8 US / 9.3 UK)
Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love (9.0 US)
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (9.7 AU / 10 US / 10 UK)
Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Ultimate All Stars (9.0 US)
8.0 - 8.9
Disney Epic Mickey (8.0 US)
Just Dance 2 (8.0 US)
Lost in Shadow / A Shadow's Tale (8.5 UK)
Metroid: Other M (8.5 US)
No More Heroes 2 (8.8 US)
Red Steel 2 (8.4 AU / 8.6 US / 8.5 UK)
Sonic Colors (8.5 US)
Downloadable - 8.0 or above
And Yet It Moves (8.0 US)
Cave Story (8.5 US)
Chess Challenge! (8.0 US)
Chronos Twins DX (8.0 US)
Hoopworld (8.0 US)
The Magic Obelisk (8.0 US)
Rage of the Gladiator (8.5 US)

All three systems had some great exclusives this year, but if we had to choose one winner – and we do – this category goes to the Wii.
This year the system really came through for core gamers, with games like Monster Hunter Tri and No More Heroes 2 leading the charge, backed ably by GoldenEye, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, Sakura Wars, Red Steel 2, Metroid: Other M and Lost in Shadow.
And on top of those titles you have the return of Donkey Kong Country and a second lesson in peerless platform game design in the form of Super Mario Galaxy 2. Bravo, Wii!

Monday, 20 December 2010

seat ibiza 1.4 mk5 : central locking button fail / airbag light on

quick update, car has been in to IMG Warrington.
First off, the central locking button
(down between the seats in front of the gearlever)
no longer lit up when the car autolocked above 10mph, nor would it manually allow you to lock the doors.
Central locking worked ok off the keyfob though.

Then I decided to pull the switch panel out (its a complete unit with lock/unlock/hazards/airbag light/ aux in all together!)
I split it with a knife to reveal what looked like corroded contacts, me thinks something of a watery base has been spilt!
I tried WD40 and put it back together but alas all that managed to do was trigger the airbag warning light!
Also managed to disable the 'autlock above 10mph' , by holding down unlock button for > 10 sec, the only problem being that without a working locking button I couldnt reenable it, pah

So into dealer where they've replaced the switch under warranty and also carried out an engine earth lead modification.

I also seen that a software update for the car is a possibility as some unintended battery drain can happen.

Job done at no expense , although it was a little inconvenient having to drop off the car for a day when you have a baby.

Another good experience from IMG Warrington

new app idea : BaconDroid/ButtyNearMe/FindMeABaconSarny

great idea this morning, an app that means you can call/find a bacon butty as close as possible, for those early morning deployments
pure genius
screen mockups to follow.......

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Snow again!

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Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Golf Gti Edition 30 REVO Stage 1 : 310 miles @ 25.8MPG

change of commute profile for the new job, AND had the heated seats and heating on full during this snowy spell! All considered not a bad figure.

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Tuesday, 7 December 2010

DDMS throwing ADB error since SDK API 9 upgrade - Stack Overflow

trying to install Android SDK onto a new Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit OS today. Thought I had SDK conflicts but turns out its a path issue.

Just add
C:\Program Files (x86)\Android\android-sdk-windows\platform-tools

to the Path variable.

FFS!

DDMS throwing ADB error since SDK API 9 upgrade - Stack Overflow: "Failed to get adb version: Cannot run program 'adb': CreateProcess error=2, The system cannot find the file specified."

Monday, 6 December 2010

Android 2.3 Gingerbread SDK released

its here

Android 2.3 Gingerbread SDK released

so it should be released to the phones in less than 2 weeks time , whoop

HUGE 2.3 users guide pdf

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Friday, 19 November 2010

Golf GTI Edition 30 REVO Stage 1 miles per gallon update: 343 miles @ 29MPG

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mmmm less than expected, but with the cold weather Im using the heated seats much more.
Time will tell if this is the 'norm' with REVO software

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Nexus One from FRG83 to FRG83B

forums indicated new firmware available

forced checkin using dialpad

*#*#checkin#*#*

voila new system update available, its only 1.3MB , its not Gingerbread but maybe some kind of preamble to it :-)

installed no issues (other than needing sywpe reinstalled again)

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Goldeneye Wii Walkthrough + videos

Goldeneye Wii Walkthrough Playlist by Walkthrublazer

Video Games Blogger Walkthrough

Level 1 – Arkhangelsk: Dam
Level 2 – Arkhangelsk: Facility
Level 3 – Arkhangelsk: Airfield
Level 4 – Barcelona: Nightclub
Level 5 – Dubai: Carrier
Level 6 – Severnaya: Outpost
Level 7 – Severnaya: Bunker
Level 8 – St. Petersburg: Archives
Level 9 – St. Petersburg: Tank
Level 10 – St. Petersburg: Station
Level 11 – St. Petersburg: Memorial Park
Level 12 – Nigeria: Jungle
Level 13 – Nigeria: Solar
Level 14 – Nigeria: Cradle & Ending

Fancy Widget / great battery life

2 quick pics

changed to fancy widgets for time/weather icon.






and a pic to show how good my battery life is after moving to FRG83.
that 1day 17hrs with 30% left! I now get at least 2 days from a charge, superb

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Golf GTI Edition 30 REVO Stage 1 remap review

Why
For a long time I have been running APR Stage 1 on my 57 plate manual Edition 30
My original Edition 30 : APR Stage 1 review has all the info for that decision.

At the time I decided that the combination of APR and AwesomeGTI suited my needs best using some factors I think you should consider for a map/tuner :

Customer base (size)
customer feedback
type of customer profile
distance from you
cost
development time and resource to produce product
updates
are they VW specific or other makes too?
time in business for this specific car make
dyno plots (both from company and from forums , they differ greatly). shape is as, if not more important than ultimate numbers
AirFuelRatio data, EGR temp data etc
ability and type of switching , stock vs mapped mode
adjustability


all well and good, I was happy until October 2010 when the folllowing bombshell dropped from AwesomeGTI HQ


"For nearly 10 years, Awesome have been responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of all APR software and hardware products in the UK. Over a number of years, Awesome have suffered due to 'internal politics' at APR and we have decided to terminate our business relations. As from 3 PM on Tuesday 12th October 2010, Awesome terminated its partnership with APR LLC and signed contracts with Revo Technik as an approved dealer. "


full AwesomeGTI press release

and heres the carrot.....


28 Day Amnesty starting Monday the 18th of October.
This will allow any existing APR software equipped vehicle to be re flashed to REVO software with no charge


as you can imagine I was over the moon at this :happy2:

Now this puts any Awesome supplied APR owner in a quandry.

3 choices
a) move onto REVO software to ensure continued support.
b) keep APR but have no idea where to get support from or indeed how far away from your location it will be.
c) flash back to stock

For me it was actually very easy, and confirmed that backup and support is worth more than ultimate bhp/map name.
Even if Awesome had moved to a.n.other.software.map Id probably have gone with that to keep the support.
But as we all know REVO is the main player in the UK so to be honest it was a no brainer.
Others I'm sure had slightly different decisions, but for me going to REVO on a K04 is not a worry, but theres lots of other maps out there (K03, early 1.8T cars etc)

Offering free changeover was a masterstroke by AwesomeGTI to keep the customer base. Im sure if it had cost then a much larger % would just have said 'fine,Ill keep APR and do without support'.
Not withstanding that Im sure more than a few SPS units have been sold to go with the 'free' remap ;-)

So here I am full circle, originally considering APR vs REVO, choosing APR, then by a quirk of fate moving onto REVO.

I feel pretty lucky as given the cost of a remap, few of us switch between tuners, we mostly make an informed decision then stick with it.
Having had a few discussions it seems that the support just wasnt there from APR, I have experienced this after having misfire issues, where it became patently obvious that Awesome were spending vast amounts of time logging my car (not at my expense I hasten to add) to eventually find an APR map fault.
I also believe that theres an issue with APR stg1 ED30 file and high flow intakes (Forge Twintake/ITG Maxogen) that APR have no inclination to resolve.

however I digress.

For over 30000 miles I have thoroughly enjoyed the APR stg1 K04 ED30 map, but circumstance means Im now REVO...

timeline for maps on my car
0 - 12,000 miles : OE std map
12000 - 31000 miles : APR stage 1 flash
31000 - 42000 miles : APR stage 1 v2.2 update
42000 - to date : REVO stage 1

Sourcing
well that would be from AwesomeGTI, Manchester

REVO quote the following figures/gains and costs
2.0T FSI 230bhp/221lbsft 300bhp/310lbsft trial=yes £499 (stage1) £549(stage2) £599(stage2+)

for stage 1 the relative gains are 2.0TFSi +35-60 bhp +50-80 lbft torque
if you have stage 1 its £50 to upgrade to stage2

for me the map and logging/setup itself was free under Awesomes offer.

If you are the tweaking kind or want the ability to switch to stock , or want to activate the antitheft feature you also need the SPS switch which is £99.
With APR I could switch maps using the cruise control stalk. With that no longer available I needed to buy the SPS unit to perform the same function
(and allow me to 'play' with the settings)
Best have a look at what the SPS can do


Fitting
Simples, turn up reflash and some on road logging to set the Boost/Timing/Fuel parameters (which are set initially but you can then alter with the SPS)
As it turned out I'd filled with BP Ultimate 97RON which isnt good enough for the usual timing settings.
So mine was pegged back to B6T3F9 (normal on 99RON would be something like B7/T5/F9)
I did not request dyno runs, which I'll get done later once I've tweaked the settings with VCDS AND fitted my new THS engine mounts(now fitted see my other review)

Heres a sample APR vs REVO graph for an Edition 30 (stage 2 I think) that awesome had in recently
http://www.awesome-gti.co.uk/images/mk5ed30_graph.jpg

Alternatives
plenty of choice, just do the research first
APR (lol)
GIAC
Superchips
etc..

APR vs REVO
Ok, so in the morning I drive in on APR , in the afternoon I drive out on REVO (B6T3F9).
Immediately I notice the idle is better, and dont push the car too hard. First impressions are good
I subsequently pottered about and got a full tank of Shell VPower in and SPS'd the settings on Performance Map1 to B7T4F9.
Now for some fun, the throttle modulation feels different much more progressive.
APR improved the throttle control when I got the updated v2.2 map, allowed much better control but REVO improves it even further.
You can actually hold for example a small level of boost e.g. 5psi consistently whilst accelerating (this is actually quite hard on APR)
Acceleration feels 'clean and crisp' is the best way to describe it. The engine inertia feels lighter as if flywheel has been lightened.
I have a DEFi boost guage which has been invaluable for comparison (without which my assumptions and feelings would have been wrong...), I can cross reference butt dyno feel with actual psi.
(yes, I know psi isnt everything but its a reasonable bencmark here)
For a while my APR software had a peak of 20psi (early files had a higher peak) but dropped quickly to 16psi then back up as revs rise
(this is due to APR reducing boost from 3.5 - 4.5krpm for surge they believe occurs),
ironically this means that APR 'feels' faster than REVO but isnt by a long way.
REVO software peaks higher initially (23+psi) AND then holds it higher for a longer rev range.

There are 2 areas where they differ the most
1) 3500-4500 rpm boost levels : APR dips REVO stays put
2) 4500rpm to redline boost levels : APR boost is much lower with an ever increasing psi gap to the redline wrt REVO

in short they are NIGHT AND DAY, when driving the car it feels different but the boost guage also tells a story.
Driving cars back to back you would think "REVO more linear and pulls harder top end", but if you look at the boost levels the gap is even wider than it feels.

And so we get onto hardware protection mapping, basically VW's effort to protect your engine.
Failsafes exist in the OE map, if the exhaust gas temperature levels get too high or maybe the airfuel ratio gets too lean then the ecu overrides any requests and tries to put more fuel in.
Much debate has ensued on various forums with it now into urban myth status, last time I saw any meaningful data was that both APR and REVO have protection mapping still present.
(some early REVO tunes may not but i cant substantiate that)

APR put a lot of emphasis on playing smarter by getting similar power to other tuners but also keeping within AFR and EGT limits.
Whilst I believe them, you also have to balance this with how many REVO cars are out there and havent had issues.
(Also consider that whats relevant in other countries isnt necessarily relevant here, fuel type/RON , climate conditions etc ALL effect a tuners ethos and the results)
REVO have also had issues with some tunes (misfires on certain cars), so neither is whiter then white.
I try to be unbiased.

TODO additional data links
some notes from Arin@APR about tuning philosphy


Plus Points (compared to APR)
software settings are optimised and can be adjusted for each individual car.
idle quality seems better
the way the car revs 'feel' different and almost lightened if that makes sense. throttle response modulation has altered
car seems to spool earlier but ramp rate is reduced (probably effected by the boost setting in SPS)
boost builds then holds in a linear fashion there much less of a torque spike, this also helps the tyres keep grip and doesnt shock them loose as much.
tunable upgrade path to suit your mods
complimentary DSG software is available should you wish it

Minus Points (compared to APR)
you need an external SPS switch to swap maps (as opposed to cruise stalk for APR)
clutch was marginal on APR, on REVO its quite clearly on borrowed time! (although you could argue that linear delivery although higher stresses the plates less than a peaky lower delivery)
fuel economy is slightly worse

Summary
I have ran APR stage 1 ED30 software for 30,000 miles with no issues (few early teething troubles aside!) and good economy to boot.
I would have no hesitation recommending APR again where the individual wants support over ultimate hp for a local APR tuner.
Bottom line is, Ive tried it and it runs well and i loved it, and my car never broke.
(If Awesome switched back to APR I would quite happily switch back for the support aspect and acknowledge I'd lost some performance)

moving onto REVO, I love the new found ability to tweak the settings via the SPS.
I prefer the delivery style and the sheer increase in acceleration, its a great product, my feelings seem to echo just about every other REVO user Ive spoken too.
Is REVO running at safe boost and AFR values? I dont know, I hope so.
Is REVO running so far above safe levels that APR indicate? I doubt it otherwise we would have seen more failures.

My advice at the moment would be

If you want ultimate performance : get REVO
If you live close to a trusted garage that supplies APR : get APR and be happy you have a good tune
If you like to be 'safe' and worry about crossing the road at night : get APR

I'm no REVO or APR fanboi and i hate the forum rubbish that I regularly see spouted about both companies.
Do the research and make your own mind up. Its more likely that some other factor will ruin your car (poor quality oil/low oil/ dont let it warm up etc)

I was happy before, and I'm even happier now.
Based on my experience REVO is a faster, linear tune for a UK ED30 stg1 than APR in the same environment on the same fuel (UK 99RON Shell VPower)
If for some reason it goes bang or REVO is proved to be unsafe in the future this statement would be untrue and APR would have been proved to be right.

you pays your money, you takes your chance ................

thanks for reading :happy2:


future stuff
TODO : add logging new settings
TODO : add actual dyno plots of my own car

[EDIT : Nov 2015 car on 88000 miles : still running REVO Stage1 after all these years, BTF settings slightly reduced to keep the torque ramp up lower to make the clutch last as long as possible.
I have not updated the map version, nor got the 'linear settings' maybe at some point. Still love it, car runs great]

Monday, 8 November 2010

THS Replacement FR3 Engine Mounts Golf GTI Edition 30 : Review

Why

well Im sure most of you already know Ive been incrementally trying to decrease the amount of engine movement I feel my car has had from day 1.
So my cars manual Ed30 'timeline' of incremental actions Ive researched and subsequently tried has been :

0 miles : car delivered with OE mounts
12,000 miles : ECS Lower Mount Insert review
26,000 miles : VWR 'Fast Road' Engine Mount + Powerflex Insert Bush - Review (Note : this replaces the ECS insert with a complete new mount)
44,900 miles : THS side mounts fitted : this review (Note : VWR Lower Mount + Powerflex bush still remain)

I strongly recommend you take a look at the VWR Lower mount review above as it also outlines lots of general detail about the TFSI engine mounts Im not going to repeat here. (as well as links to RedRobins other engine mount reviews)

For a long time now I have endured a broken oil cap / engine cover due to excessive movement that the dealer refuses to agree is a problem! (Note : I am now out of warranty)
Each time I have made changes the situation has improved to a varying degree, but over time either the new modification has 'softened' and/or the other mounts have continued to deteriorate.
This means unless you do a replacement of all items at once, theres a knock on effect.
I definitely felt that fitting the lower VWR mount hastened the demise of the side mounts (or maybe its just the way the OE mounts age past a certain amount of 'flexibility')

So I got to a point where I could face it no longer, my daughter would have to have a few less toys so that daddy can buy some engine mounts (lol).
The horrendous wheel hop and gradually returned and was painful, so much so I rarely 'pushed on'. As well as that deactivating the cruise control resulted in a jolt as the mounts rocked back and forth, very annoying. I have spent

best part of 6 months driving around the inadequacies of my engine mounts.

Having researched all the choices (see below) , and SteveP kindly setting up a very well timed
THS Engine Mount Group Buy, I jumped at the THS side mounts
(remember I already have a VWR lower mount which is the same as the THS lower version to all extents).

Why THS ?
I believe this represents a good halfway house between OE mounts and fully reworked mountings (BSH/VWR etc)
My previous experience with VWR lower mount showed me just how much a small difference can alter the NVH within the car, combined with stokeballons review on BSH mounts
, and the fact he removed them, prudence was required and I knew some compliance would still be required in the mounting system.
I like the concept of taking the OE design and improving it as well. (Although longer term this may also mean the mounts 'age' just like OE, but VWR/BSH mounts may not)
And lastly the price point is appealing, especially as theres a chance I dont like them!


Sourcing

from
THS Performance

"2005-Present (MK5/6 Platform VAG cars)
THS Performance have developed a new engine mounting system for the 1.8T FSI and 2.0T FSI MK5 and MK6 type application.
The outer casing of the mounting system maintains stock appearance, whilst the internal rubber has been carefully re-engineered by means of shape and stiffness to reduce engine/drive train movement. The rubber is 30% stiffer than standard but becasue of the re-engineered shape the engine movement is reduced by over 50% without transmitting any serious engine vibration back into the vehicle unlike polyurethane mounts.
The extra control over the engine and drive train makes for a much more precise power transmission to the road both on 2wd and 4wd applications.
Significantly reducing wheel hop on 2wd cars. Other benefits are reduced stress on the exhaust system."


cost was £160 (£200 normally) via the forums group buy.

Fitting

It looks scary but in reality its not that bad, as long as you take your time and have the right tools.
I was quoted by Awesome GTi Manchester around 1.5 to 2 hours labour (£82.50 to £110), but decided to attempt it myself.
SteveP quotes around an hour, it took me around 2.

(install guide copied from SteveP's notes)
Tools Needs: -
19 (maybe 18 mm lol), 13 & 10mm Sockets
16mm deep Socket
Couple of medium and long extension bars
T20 Torx Screwdriver
Jack and a wooden block to support the engine
Also found a magnetic pick up tool very helpful :grin:

On the drivers side mount I removed the bolts/screws for the washer filler neck, charcoal cannister and expansion tank, then unbolted the side support bracket.
Then you can get at the mount, that's unbolted by removing the2 x 16mm bolts and 2 x 19mm bolts.

Pics of the driver side mount: -







This side done: -


For the passenger side mount, the battery and battery tray (3 x 13mm bolts) need to be removed, then unclip the wiring loom tray the rest on top of the mount.
Then unbolt the three 19mm bolts on the engine side of the mount and the 4 x 19mm.
Pics of the Passenger side: -



This side done



my comments
I reused my original bolts
Use a torque wrench! +1/4 turn is a lot.
keep bolts in removal position order by punching holes in boxes new mounts come in to store bolts
fit bolts to chassis side first THEN engine side, if it feels wrong dont force or risk a cross thread!
use a jack to support the engine (THIS IS A MUST), once you see how much it all moves with a mount removed youll wonder why the OE mounts arent twice the size they are.
If you have a map e.g. REVO theres a chance the settings may get lost so have an SPS switch handy

other data
comments as fitted by Gaz
original mounts query thread by me


torque specs





Bolt numbers and approximate costs should you wish to buy replacements

Engine Mount =
2 x N 019 502 13 - M8x25 (£0.51 each)
1 x N 905 969 06 - M10x55x32 (£4.11 each)
2 x N 105 524 02 - M12x1,5x70 (£2.35 each)
1 x N 910 296 02 - AM10x55/M6x12 (£3.94 each)

Gearbox Mount =
4 x N 905 969 06 - M10x55x32 (£4.11 each)
2 x N 105 524 02 - M12x1,5x70 (£2.35 each)

Lower Mount =
1 x N 911 671 01 - M10x75 (£1.65 each)
1 x N 910 661 01 - M10x35 (£1.65 each)

All prices are inc VAT and as a guide only (part list from ETKA for a 2008 Golf).

TODO : describe old mounts
TODO : add pic of old mounts

Alternative engine mounts to consider

Theres a considerable amount of choice out there for engine mount replacements, its just a question of how far you want to go, and how much NVH you are willing to put up with.

BSH mounts
(non OE appearance but stealth like , poly bushing , inc new bolts) 78a durometer bushings
BSH speedshop
stokeballons review
vortex review
golfmkv review

VWR mounts
(non OE appearance, poly bushing)
VWR Racing
RR's lower mount review
my review of lower mount
RR's full set review

VF Engineering
(look the same as BSH version)
VF Engineering

BlackForestIndustries (US)
BlackForestIndustries
supply inserts (passengers side) , preassembled or full items (drivers side) , 3 levels of hardness from 1 to 3
"Stage1 65a poly inserts vs. the stock (45a)inserts are 50% stiffer than stack. Will increase some vibration in cabin - especially during certain rpm ranges"
they have a useful diagram of the collapsed OE mount .....


Use OE new mounts and fill as per TeutonicTamer
TT's thread on modded engine mounts
My only concern is that its still 2 different types of material that may seperate and age differently. Not entirely convinced it will last for very long.

I remember jonnyc also filled some engine mounts for his S3


Specific noise data

Im trying to compare to how I previously reported when the VWR lower was fitted. Now bear in mind that this got quieter over time as both it and other mounts have softened further

idle or idle+aircon
in a previous review I complained that a vibration was existent with air con on once the VWR lower had been fitted, ironically with the 2 side mounts fitted AND new REVO software this is now gone! something has meant the harmonics have changed out of this range. At idle my car is now quieter than it was before.

clutch biting point
I always have moaned that the DMFlywheel and clutch on the GTI is pants. feel is non existent. Immediately after fitting I felt the noise at the biting point was worse, but almost straight away this went, now the

noise at takeup has gone as feels much less harsh (ironic when you consider the NVH increases in all other phases, I would theorise the mounts 'settled' post installation, or maybe Im just deaf from the Grr...)

acceleration mild : feels coarse/harsh, +50% NVH increase. level increases as revs rise

deceleration : feels coarse/harsh, +50% NVH increase. level increases as revs rise

acceleration full : wtf! way more noise, easily +100% or more, when I spoke to Gaz I mentioned its more like an old mk2escort on twin 45DCOE carbs at full chat!
its intake/gearbox + just about any noise you can think of lol. Sounds like I have an intake fitted when I dont.not for the faint hearted or the paranoid.

You can modulate some of the sound with load applied but some still remains even on a flat throttle.
however cruising at 70-80mph is almost identical to before. Definitely lower speeds you notice the noises more.

now that sounds bad but it isnt really. I have now completed over 200 miles and already the noises are improving.
But in reality the car is no longer the paragon of smoothness you hoped for, but for me the benefits FAR outweigh the disadvantages of fitting.
I find it hard to imagine what the full BSH/VWR mounts sound like, if this is the halfway house.

Plus Points

OE look. OE design but better.
Fits just like OE
Warranty friendly
Its an easy to fit modification that looks daunting but isnt (but could be if you get it wrong)
Depending on how they last, I would say good value.
Engine no longer moves at all. Engine Cover/Oil Filler cap are now safe (as are aftermarket intakes if you have one installed re: forge snapping bracket)
Aural improvement if thats your thing. Grrrrr TM according to RedRobin
adds some intake like type noise even with stock engine cover
wheelhop is gone (finally)
clutch bitepoint noise has improved significantly.
THS Performance support seems to so far have been top notch with questions answered quickly and even torque settings supplied.

Minus Points

NVH. not really in keeping with the GTI fast but refined ethos. coming from very worn OE mounts they are a vast difference.
Long term resilience as yet unproven.
May impact if you planned to sell the car, prospective buyer will just compare to OE sounds and reckon your gearbox/engine is fkd
The lower mount (which I didnt fit , as I have a VWR one) is much less of a DIY proposition.


Summary
Until someone creates adaptive engine mounts that can be retrofitted to mk5/mk6 golfs the whole area is a compromise of
reduced engine movement VS Noise/Vibration/Harshness levels.
These can be effected by design and nature of the components used to build the engine mounts (contact surface area ,durometer of rubber/poly used etc)

The OE mount does a fantastic job at keeping noise levels low but allows significant engine movement even when new (and gets % wise far worse as they wear more).
I guess if you could get them cheap enough, replacing the OE mounts with new OE mounts every 5-10k miles could be an option but thats not for me, besides even when new they arent that great.

So if like me you can sacrifice some comfort for a fully restrained engine you will have to fit aftermarket mounts using one of the options I listed above.

My advice after doing this incrementally (assuming you place engine restraint over noise levels) would be to

IDEAL SCENARIO : fit all 3 mounts (2 x side + lower) at the same time so that the loads are spread evenly across all stress points.
Doing it incrementally I believe, has greatly shortened the life of my OE side mounts as well as my newer lower mount. all at once or nothing.

COMPROMISE SCENARIO 1 :
less effective (but more cost efficient) maybe to consider 2 x side with the dogbone insert, that way you can fit it all at home without the need for a press.
(I do however feel this is suboptimal and may not last as long as in combination with a 'good' lower mount), I havent tried it but the noise levels maybe reduced too.

COMPROMISE SCENARIO 2 :
fit lower VWR/THS mount and 2 new OE mounts, and replace the OE mounts frequently. that way noise is significantly reduced, OE mounts arent left to age to any great extent.

Its a double edged sword as you want them to hold the engine tight but at the same time soften to reduce noise levels.

At this stage 200 miles since fitting, I am very happy with the THS side mounts and Im quite happy to give them 1000 miles or more to bed in. :happy2:
Ill be sure to update this review as the miles progress........


thanks to everyone for their help and input on all aspects of providing data etc of this review. :happy2:

Monday, 1 November 2010

Nexus One : from VF FRF91 to FRG33 and beyond (FRG83)

I currently own a Nexus One mobile phone bought off ebay second hand, what I didnt realise was that it has a custom vodafone firmware! which means you always wait ages for vodafone to 'agree' a release.
This was kindof ok for a while , as Froyo was delivered quite quickly.

But recently Ive been unable to upgrade the YouTube app , and I wanted to be ready for Gingerbread 2.3 when its released :-)

So I decided to upgrade to free me from the VF shackles.
Its detailed in the post below but basically I went from

VF FRF91 -> stock FRG33 (full passimg.zip) -> stock FRG83 (update.zip)

http://forum.vodafone.co.uk/topic/75512-google-nexus-one-release-android-221/

All seemed to go well, although Ive had to load all apps again. (i used Astro to backup prior to upgrade, then reinstalled using Astro)
LauncherPro allows you to save config which is nice :-)
all stuff on sd card is of course untouched.
Swype needs fully reinstalled.

So far phone seems fab, battery life has improved which i suspect is mostly down to 3G changes.
It now seems to only show '3G' when theres a decent enough signal, most of the time its 2g! round my area.

Now eagerly awai ting Gingerbread :-)

Saturday, 30 October 2010

baby 3d casting kit from www.babyrice.com

with my daughter now over 6 months old, I bought a home 3d casting kit for my wifes birthday.
I have now finally finished it over a month later lol
looks easy but the biggest problem is getting your loved one to stay still long enough!

Bought a nice kit from 3d casting kits at babyrice.com includes frame , white card and everything you need.
Heres after the foot was done ...


and finally the finished article, note its left 'natural' colour. I didnt use the silver paint in the kit, as i think it looks better (and a little less freaky looking lol)




Top notch service from http://www.babyrice.co.uk/, I did in fact drop the glass from the frame which they replaced FOC the next day! Amazing and really something in this day and age.

Top kit , Top business. Get one and try it out for yourself


Thursday, 28 October 2010

Samsung i7500 Galaxy links

still keep an eye on i7500 posts so heres a few more.

Why having a Samsung Galaxy I7500 both sucks and rocks

http://mauweb.blogspot.com/2010/10/why-having-samsung-galaxy-i7500-both.html

Samsung Galaxy i7500
Upgrading Cupcake 1.5 to Galaxo 1.6.3.4 with Recovery 6.4
Step-by-step tutorial

http://mauweb.net/3.0/en/technology/17/106-icon-androidsamsung-galaxy-i7500-upgrade-1634-wrec-64.html

Golf gti edition 30 : 369miles 29.8mpg



Last ever tank on apr map! All further updates will be on revo.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.4

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Golf GTI Edition 30 : switched from APR to REVO stg1 software

I have ran APR stage 1 software for 2 years but Awesome GTI have recently ditched APR and gone with REVO, as the supplying dealer I need backup so I took up their offer for a free swap to REVO.

thanks to the AwesomeGTI and REVO guys for a stunning free 'amnesty' offer.

Car running : Boost 6 Timing 3 Fuel 9
as I have some 97 RON fuel in the tank just now (hence the Timing 3) i foolishly added whilst up in Scotland this weekend, apparently I need 98 RON for Timing 5 or 6.

full review to follow

MOT due : new tyres Michelin Pilot Sport PS3 fitted at 44600 miles

first MOT for the Edition 30 which is now 3 years old !
tyres were well worn down (in fact borderline illegal) as well as having bulges which are an instant MOT failure (besides being dangerous too)

so I decided to fit 4 new matching tyres.

PS2 on front , Pilot Exaltos on rear are now replaced with Pilot Sport 3's , michelins new flagship tyre.

Only time will tell if they live up to the awesome PS2's

BEFORE : PS2's worn down to legal limit

From Johns Car, Bike and Gadget Blog


AFTER : PS3 new boots of lovelyness

From Johns Car, Bike and Gadget Blog

they were fitted at this mileage

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Golf gti edition 30 : 381 miles @ 31mpg

Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.4

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Golf gti edition 30 : 31.4mpg 381 miles


Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.3

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Dragons Lair Trilogy on the Wii

Crikey I remember being a young boy transfixed by the original game, spending all my cash trying to get the next move correct.
Not sure if the game is any good, but it does make me feel nostalgic :-)

http://www.dragonslairtrilogy.com/

Awesome GTI ditch APR and sign with REVO : free months amnesty offered

to quote from Awesome GTI's facebook feed :

As Directors of Awesome we decided that we better produce a formal statement regarding the introduction of REVO TECHNIK to our product line.

For nearly 10 years, Awesome have been responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of all ...APR software and hardware products in the UK. Over a number of years, Awesome have suffered due to 'internal politics' at APR and we have decided to terminate our business relations. As from 3 PM on Tuesday 12th October 2010, Awesome terminated its partnership with APR LLC and signed contracts with Revo Technik as an approved dealer.

As we have many loyal customers who have chosen APR as the preferred product, we want to give these people our continued support.
As it will now be impossible for Awesome to flash APR software to any vehicle, an agreement has been reached with our new partners REVO to allow a 28 Day Amnesty starting Monday the 18th of October. This will allow any existing APR software equipped vehicle to be re flashed to REVO software with no charge. It does not matter how long the car has had APR software fitted, as long as the purchase invoice can be produced. The only cars that this will not apply to is the older chip change vehicles. The FREE conversion to REVO will only allow single programs and if an SPS unit is required, that will be an added cost. These amnesty burns can only be carried out at Awesome and any questions regarding the Amnesty will be answered by our sales staff.

Finally, all of us here at Awesome are looking forward to working closely with everyone at REVO and we have been promised some VERY exciting products are in the pipeline especially some totally new 1.8T software to blow you away. Watch this space!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Regards
Jim cotton (Managing Director)
Mark Ash (Operations Director)

Saturday, 9 October 2010

replace battery (code S920SW) D&G Mens Sandpiper watch white face

my wife wears a Gents D&G watch which just recently stopped working (dead battery).
The estimated costs from 2 places I visited were £10 up to £25, the biggest issue being that 'it cost more so we can certify its waterproof again' , well call me tight,but Im not spending 10% or more of the watches original value on a battery replacement. Daylight robbery, forcing me to go down the route of changing it myself.

heres the watch in question
D&G Mens Sandpiper watch silver strap with white face


I would thoroughly recommend buying the proper tool to remove and replace the watch back.
The 2 choices appear to be

An adjustable 2 pronged tool
MKCLOCKS Pocket Sized Waterproof Screw back Watch Case Opener (ebay)
or
A 'jaxa' tool which is 3 arms on a handle

I bought the former as it was cheaper (£4.99)

An the most important item, the battery code ....
1.55v Silver Oxide Watch battery(SR920SW)
plenty to choose from on ebay. around a £1

voila job done for £6 [UPDATE : Nov 2013 : nearly 3 years from the post above the battery finally stopped, and ireplaced with exactly the same again. top quality]

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Golf GTI Edition 30 : miles per gallon update : 398 miles@31.4MPG

398 miles@31.4MPG

Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.2

Sunday, 3 October 2010

How to network enable a usb printer the easy way : TP-Link TL-PS310U Single USB2.0 Port MFP Print and Storage Server

for a long time the printer has been attached to the main basestation pc upstairs.
Replaced recently (for a another HP), its a non wireless Printer/Scanner/Copier.
When buying I didnt see the need to add the cost of getting wireless, however this week the wife decided that was a requirement!

To the rescue is the item below. so instead of being connected directly to the desktop pc, its now directly 'networked' to the router (also upstairs).
So anyone on the network can now print.
No setup required for my install on the print server itself (its tiny by the way), however you do need to install the print server software onto any pc/laptop that wishes to use the networked printer. (and also the relevant printer drivers too)

So far works seamlessly, only thing we need to do is remember to switch the printer on (as before it was linked to the pc by one of these power management plugs).
I havent tried the scanning functionality as yet.

This version if generic USB so Ive added a usb hub connection, that way I 'could' plug in any portable drives and make them network accessible to through this device.

So in summary, if you have a non wireless printer that you cant bear to throw away then buy this gizmo. If not then go out and buy a wireless printer in the first place ;-)

Incognito Album : Beneath the Surface

1996 ! one of the few Incognito Albums I didnt own, its been on back order for months.
Arrived a few days ago and needless to say it does not dissapoint.
Top notch album with the usual smooth Maysa vocals.

Golf GTI Edition 30 MPG update 403 miles @ 31.4 MPG

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Ibiza sport black mk5 1.4 mpg

Been a while but filling out up today I remembered to take a pic.
Over 38mpg averaged over two tanks by my wife recently. Better than normal tbh. All on cheap 95 ron fuel


From MPG


Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.0

Golf gti edition 30 mile per gallon update


393 miles @ 31.3 mpg
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.0

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Metroid Other M : Walkthrough Guide

Some consider it cheating but I quite like having walkthroughs available when playing a game.
This one is text only , but the linear nature of Other M means that isnt really a problem
(compared to Metroid Prime series which was free flow and very easy to get lost/have no idea where to go next)

Metroid Other M Walkthrough by Daniel Acaba

I'll hunt out a visual walkthrough in due course too

Played a few hours on the game and its better than I thought initially, still crave for nunchuck support and he freedom to move from the spot in first person mode.

full review to follow

Update Oct 2010 : heres a visual walkthrough which helps even more
IGN Metroid Other M Walkthrough

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

new Wii games on preorder : GoldenEye / NFS HotPursuit / COD Black Ops

hope to do some reviews soon, still only played Metroid : Other M once !






what happens if you put your hand in the beam of the Large Hadron Collider?

several scientists attempt to answer
"what happens if you put your hand in the beam of the Large Hadron Collider?"

check out the vid and text at
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/09/21/dont-cross-the-lhc-stream/

Sunday, 19 September 2010

E46 M3 5k !

guy on the golf gti forum just took this car in on part exchange!
bit leggy (nearly 150,000 miles!) BUT how much car for the price of a smart car and its imola red too
(im almost tempted to buy it just to break it for spares....)

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260665784079#ht_1144wt_758

Friday, 10 September 2010

Samsung Galaxy i7500 Updater by drakaz : Easy way to update your phone

having moved on from my bad experiences of the Samsung i7500 Galaxy (its a good phone, just that Samsung seemed to 'forget' it ever existed so it was stuck on 1.6) to a Google Nexus One.

But I still keep an eye on things to see what the community is doing, as many still have the phone and cant afford to change.
Ive got one in my cupboard doing nothing too!

So I was pleasantly surprised to find some great new work by drakaz, making it so easy to root and update to custom ROMS.

There are two roms GOASP and Galaxo which you can choose from. Reckon I'll dust off the i7500 and get it flashed ASAP as a backup.
In fact if this had been available a few months ago I may well have stuck with the Galaxy :-)


Easy Root (required for next step)


Galaxy Updater

will update as to how I get

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Stephen Hawking : The Grand Design


Metroid : Other M Wii : Review

popped through the door while i was on holiday, review to follow :-)


Sunday, 5 September 2010

F1 drivers salary list

http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/20082010/58/absent-raikkonen-third-f1-salary-list.html

Oakley Design Ferrari 458 and matching Ducati 1198 !



http://www.autogespot.com/nl/item/8493/oakley-design-voltooit-ferrari-458-italia.html
http://www.autogespot.com/nl/item/8657/filmpje-ferrari-458-italia-door-oakley-design-klaar-voor-gebruik.html

Friday, 27 August 2010

Golf gti edition 30 miles to gallon update

Published with Blogger-droid v1.5.5.2

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Mothercare My4 Pram puncture : how to repair

Scarcely believable but my wife managed to get a puncture today with the pram!
Needless to say its been quite a while since ive got the tyre levers out and fixed an inner tube.

Luckily mothercare pram had easy remove wheel spindles.

Wonder if I should for lower profile and wider tyres while I'm at it lol
Just off to halfords now to buy a kit.

Now fixed : thought Id quickly write it up.


Tools required

working area e.g. kitchen table
Halfords Bike Tyre Puncture
Repair Kit £2.99

Wheel levers (optional) or pair of normal dinner knives
soapy water
bike pump

Procedure

1. remove wheel (Mothercare My4 pram makes this soooo each, just a simple tab retainer and each wheel just pops off)
2. scan wheel for the offending article that punctured the casing. (if my case a very small but strong thorn),
if found mark tyre and note location in relation to the wheel valve.
remove the item and dispose of carefully so it doesn’t happen again !
3. Now time to remove the inner tube. For this we need to release one edge of the outer tyre.
Best way is with tyre levers, these are just kinda blunt ended spoon like things. They work well but in reality you dont need them if youre careful.
A pair of sturdy knives is enough (not really sharp or pointed end ones though!)
pick an area opposite the valve on the inside rim of the wheel (that way if you damage or mark the rim it wont be so visible) , insert one knife under the tyre bead edge. Leaver up gently (trying not to 'nip' the delicate inner tube)
You need to hold that in place then come in with a second knife and start levering the same way in small cm increments away from your first knifes position.
Once youve done a small amount it 'breaks free' and the rest can be done by hand.
4.You should now be able to see the inner tube. remove tube valve cap, and push valve out gently, noting position.
Always note orientation then it should be easy to find the leak.
now pull out the inner tube gently.
5. now pump up the inner tube a little, the leak should become obvious. If not you can stick it in some soapy water that always works but gets messy.
If you can find it without doing this its better as you arent getting the tube wet, so any repairs have a better chance of working.
Which ever way you find it use the chalk (from the puncture repair kit) to mark the position
6. release all air from inner tube (press the centre piece of the valve)
7. Prep the working area to match a suitable sized repair patch. lightly rub with the rough area on the box.
8. Open glue and apply to inner tube, wait until it becomes tacky
9. peel off patch backing and apply in one movement , dont try and move it once it touches the tacky glue.
Press down roudn the edges. and maybe place a light item (e.g. cup) over the patch to apply some weight while drying
10. Allow to dry (2 hrs in my case, but its dry much sooner)
11. remove your 'weight' , take the chalk (from kit) and rub against rough bit of box (there are 2 areas on the kit box, 1 for roughing up, 1 for chalk creation).
Then tap this onto the repair around the edges. It gets taken up by any free glue and prevents it possibly sticking to the outer tyre once re-assembled
12. Now refit the inner tube, reverse of the way it came out.
13. You should be able to refit the outer tyre bead for 90% of the rim, with only the knives needed for the last bit.
BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO PINCH THE TUBE WHILE DOING THE LAST BIT IF YOU ARE USING KNIVES
14. If you have time I would pump the tyre up a small amount and leave overnight , if not just go for it ......
15. refit to buggy , confirm tyre pressures same for rear wheels.
16. Enjoy your regained freedom, and a well earned beer/cuppa

Note :
For this type of wheel we only need repair the 'inner tube' , the outer tyre tends to self heal to some extent once the thorn/nail is removed.
If you have a large hole in the outer tyre that remains once the nail is removed, you may want to consider apply a patch to the inside of the tyre itelf.
Normally though its not needed.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Tatton Park Classic Car Show Aug 2010 pictures

took the family on an afternoon out. sun was shining but the battery on the camera was nearly flat pah!
As usual a really good event for all folks from vintage to modern

Friday, 20 August 2010

Simon the wonder snail

noticed him 'catching' the breeze on the way down the motorway this morning!
he then slept all day in the car park after the trauma and got a ride home again at 5pm.
What a snail ;-)

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Android App : Weather Widget Forecast Addon : disable unlock animation

worthy of a post as its one of my bread and butter widgets that Ive had from day one.
Recent update meant that on phone unlock the 'clouds' or other animation would happen, this was delaying me being able to swipe screens or do anything.
very annoying to be honest.

I posted a comment indicating this should be switchable and I couldnt find where.

well lo and behold I found the option today.
click weather icon, then settings wheel (bottom left) then Addon setting.
Voila a checkbox for 'Unlock Animation'
job done , no delay, my apologies to the developer

updated android apps list

used to export my apps list using aTrackDog, but now using the AppBrain app I sync all this data over the cloud, much easier I can tell you.

john_o's Apps on the phone


Phone: Nexus One
64 total, 58 free (90%), 6 paid (9%), 71MB total size, $38.08 total price




View this app list on AppBrain

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

SP Engineering Twin Turbo Lambo LP640

oh my , absolutely stunning.....



SP Engineering Twin Turbo Lambo LP640

DDM screenshot : Nexus One screens with Launcher Pro installed

reckoned I would also try using DalvikDebugMonitor to take screenshots of my current 5 homescreens.

tips can be found
http://www.talkandroid.com/guides/how-to-take-screenshots-on-your-nexus-one
(note : you dont need to download the drivers, they already come in the SDK download under usb-drivers folder)

Nexus One / Froyo 2.2 non rooted
Launcher Pro so i have 5 homescreens centered around the one below.
Theres three to show the scrollable dock (the icons at the bottom) of LP that is sooo useful and cleans up your desktop of icons.
just swipe left or right to get a new set. fully customisable to any apps you want.



these are the other 4 (2 either side of center) of the screen above

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

weeksSinceBirth.apk : first noddy Android Widget

had a counter on my XP desktop at work for how old my daughter is in weeks, reckoned I could do with the same on my Nexus One

Scoured AppBrain /AppStore for any useful countdown/countup timers. But alas some were just applications (not widgets) , others wouldnt count up ! and others wouldnt shows weeks (first yr of life usually has milestones in weeks)
scarcely believable but in the end I gave up and decided to install AndroidDeveloperTools plugin for Eclipse and have a go myself.

really noddy at this stage but a working widget that updates every hr.



TODO wishlist

allow date/time picker for entering date.
(and laterly pick up DOB from contacts as well)
allow font type/size and colour changing
allow background image toggle/gradient fill
allow configurable update period

of note I did find this which I've also installed and is pretty slick.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Google improve Voice Actions Froyo 2.2

http://www.google.com/mobile/voice-actions/index.html

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Launcher Pro Plus : paid for and rss feed

such an amazing 'home replacement' that I cant imagine life without it.
So much so Ive supported the developer by buying the Plus version for $2.99 (just under £2)

heres the rss feed to keep up with any updates in your favoured rss reader (I use google reader in Chrome, FeedR on my Nexus One)

http://www.launcherpro.com/?feed=rss2

so many new options coming online for this app, you must get it


Sept 2010 : some screen shots at
http://johnoldfield.blogspot.com/2010/08/johns-car-blog.html

Monday, 2 August 2010

improve UK GSM Nexus One battery life.

trying to 'find' a 3G signal is the surest way for your battery to drain super quick.
So heres a handy tip which means the phone doesnt waste excess power finding 3G but retains a lookup table,apparently it means your phone is less likely to try and hunt a 3G connection in low signal/power areas.

Dial *#*#4636#*#* and tap phone information.
Scroll down to 'set preferred network type' to GSM Auto (PRL)

remember that sometimes the setting is lost e.g. after your battery dies.
so you have to re-enter it. (youll probably notice the drop in battery then realise lol)

makes a huge difference to my battery life , as well as automatically switching to wireless network when in range of my home.

http://www.google.ie/support/forum/p/android/thread?tid=6a327a95211ac789&hl=en
http://forum.androidcentral.com/google-nexus-one/13037-wifi-turning-off-sleep-mode.html

Dilbert : Families and IT lol

made me chuckle :-)

Dilbert.com

Friday, 23 July 2010

Golf GTI Edition 30 mpg update


40,000 miles
378miles @ 30.2MPG

Thursday, 22 July 2010

added Buzz posts list to menu items

added a rolling RSS feed for my Buzz posts to the right hand menu --->

easier sometimes to link to things I like in Reader using Buzz rather than Blogger.

(note that all my blog posts automatically get posted to Buzz, as well as public photo uploads to my web albums)

Launcher Pro Beta



Launcher replacement , the bit that fires when you hit the home soft key etc.
Currently on eclair waiting for vodafone to agree to epf30 froyo ota update.  (edit : as of 21st July 2010 I am on Froyo)
Stock eclair comes with just one dock icon that launches the app display, or recycle bin when dragging and dropping widgets to delete.
Lp allows full customization of this without root access. 
Kinda like froyo but with far more options, only three on froyo dock but lp allows up to three scrollable sets! 
Each icon can be set to be link to anything using lp grey icons or default. Can even set blanks.  Love you can remove text from desktop icons. 
Although this means you probably won't have anywhere near the same number as most will have been moved to the lower dock.
HOME screen number defaults can be changed as well as styles and speed. 
number of icons per row/column is also editable so you can squeeze more in
Slick beyond belief getting my phone just the way I want it. As well as running faster for things like opening apps list.
Still in beta but I haven't had a single force close yet.
Home button can be configured too
It really is a must have with no downsides I have yet to discover, along with swype these are the biggest change to my android experience yet.
Unread counts for email sms and missed calls is very useful too

just download and the first time you hit 'home' it will ask which default launcher you wish to use, select 'use this as default tickbox' then LauncherPro. (you can remove this in Manage application defaults area under settings)


Pros

free (but theres now a paid version to support the developer)
customisable , so you can have android just the way you like it, cuts down on needing lots of desktop icons
reliable (no FC as yet)
no root needed

Cons
none found yet

Summary
love it , tried a few other launchers but this gives me what I what.


some more links

other launcher replacements
ADWLauncher
Home++

Swype : Keyboard replacement for Android

an android app (well keyboard replacement strictly speaking) pointed out to me by a recent Buzz post by Giles.

http://www.swypeinc.com/

"Swype provides a faster and easier way to input text on any screen. With one continuous finger or stylus motion across the screen keyboard"



Im running Swype beta version on google nexus one eclair ( as of 21st july 2010 now running Froyo ;-) )
First there was simple text input for sending sms/email etc, then we had the now ubiqitous t9 predictive text. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T9_(predictive_text), which my wife still doesnt use !
Now there are some new players to the game, one of which is Swype

Basically you drag your finger around the keyboard to draw a line between the letter s of a word.
Sounds odd but quickly becomes second nature. Really accurate, it rarely gets words wrong first time, or provides a suggestions pop up.
Spaces are automatically added.
Double letters you just squiggle over the letter twice. Since installing I have used nothing else for sms and emails.
Its such a simple idea but just works, and saves a lot of time when creating lengthy messages.
Ordinary text input is still available if needed but you dont lol.
In fact I wrote this review initially while offline on holiday in Spain a week ago.

I even had a moment of panic this week, when my Nexus One upgraded to Froyo and left my Swype install not working!
Frantically downloaded the new installer but for a few minutes I was back to the 'old days' lol


Plus
---------
Free
Brilliant
Works flawlessly


Minus
---------
Still in beta (if you havent subscribed youre already too late) but released soon I hope.
Needs decent screen size for finger swyping.
You need to be aware of qwerty layout for long words
no easy smiley support

Summary

For me 5 out of 5 , must have application for android users.
I would struggle to do without it now, and theres not many apps you can say that about.


Others

Swift key Android T9
http://www.swiftkey.net/index.html
http://www.appbrain.com/app/com.touchtype.swiftkey.trial

Dragon voice iphone (Iphone but will be ported to Android no doubt , speech to text engine)
http://www.dragonmobileapps.com/


keyboard reviews (lists a few alternatives which includes Swype)
http://www.androidcentral.com/android-centrals-keyboard-roundup

Friday, 9 July 2010

my current app list using AppBrain

easy peasy
App Brain provide an application that can sync from web to phone , so you can manage all your apps online.





john_o's Apps on the phone


Phone: Nexus One
78 total, 73 free (93%), 5 paid (6%), 77MB total size, $41.40 total price





View this app list on AppBrain

Friday, 2 July 2010

Thursday, 1 July 2010

GTI Edition 30 : 3rd service 40k miles and cambelt change

39800 miles (2.5 yrs old),  the 3rd service on the car now completed.
all good, a cool 200 notes again , I mentioned the cold start cambelt sqeak which they couldnt hear.
they also wanted to replace a rusting bonnet catch.
So I took it back in yesterday so they could hear it from cold and do the warranty item

So I got it back today with a new cambelt/tensioners and waterpump.
VW recommend changing the water pump at the same time but wont pay for it!
So it cost me £50 for the pump, rest was done under warranty which is around £600 worth.
All done now and quite as a mouse :-)

Apparently the VW recommended period for the GTI is 4yrs or 120,000 miles !!!!

next up MOT end Sept

heres the 1.2 Polo I had as a courtesy car