First day+ with the iPhone

So I’ve had my new iPhone for about a day now. Upgrading to this from a Motorola RAZR is like skipping two generations of evolution… wow. The display alone is so crisp, sharp and readable that it makes it a treat to use.

The problems I’ve had so far definitely relate to battery life. Partly because it was my first day I’ve been using it a lot and the battery got low really quickly. But part of it was being in a mix of 2G, 3G and WiFi connections. At home I’ve got a solid 2G and WiFi connection (at least when the wireless router isn’t playing up), at work I’ve got a solid 3G and average WiFi connection. Walking around London I’ve got a great 3G connection and no WiFi, and on the Tube there’s crap for anything.

What I really NEED RIGHT NOW is someone to write an application that will allow me to quickly switch between power use settings. As I leave in the morning I’ll use 3G to download NYTimes stories, switch everything off to get on the Tube, and switch certain bits on at the office. If this could be combined with push e-mail settings (which are great when I’m not in the office, but are unnecessary in the office) it would be IDEAL.

Luckily, because of the Application Store, this is quite likely to be developed in the near term! Anyone volunteering?

Overall, it’s a fantastic phone. I really look forward to getting more adept to it in the coming days/weeks.

Obligatory 3G iPhone post

So, like every other blogger out in the world today, I must post about my experiences with the 3G iPhone.

Specifically: FAIL.

I wasn’t one of those total nutters that queued up hours/days beforehand. I just stopped by the Apple Store after work. (As I’m a new O2 customer here in the UK I could get my phone from an Apple store; if you’re upgrading you have to go to an O2 store.)

As the bus went by I thought it looked a little disorganized inside. I was looking for the queue to buy a phone, and it really wasn’t obvious what the hell was going on. Then I saw that the stairs to the 1st floor (2nd floor to Americans) was blocked off and a ton of employees were standing there. I asked them what I needed to do and was told that essentially the system hadn’t worked all day. Another security guy said that some of the first people in line didn’t leave with a working phone until lunch-time!

The Apple Store employees blamed it on O2’s systems, though I’ve also heard that iTunes was having problems with all the new registrations. I honestly don’t care, but was pretty irritated. Combine this to the problems I’ve been having as a .Mac (and now MobileMe) customer and I’m none too happy with Apple.

In the last couple of days there were simply too many points of failure trying to do EVERYTHING at the same time. (Update iTunes, update .Mac/MobileMe, register massive numbers of new iPhones with a bunch of un-prepared phone carriers, etc.) In the past Apple’s had their shit together… not so much in the past 24 hours.

Slowly reconnecting

It’s been a while since I’ve posted regularly here. Essentially the run-up to Henley Royal Regatta consumed every scrap of spare time I had. If you haven’t heard of it, Henley is one of the top rowing regattas in the world. It’s held on an absolutely beautiful stretch of the River Thames that has a straight section of just over 2km, the standard of international rowing races. Henley Regatta has existed since 1839 and has had a royal patron since 1851.

More importantly, Henley is known for being one of the most exclusive regattas in regards to talent. Virtually all of the best rowers in the world have raced there, and all of the best UK domestic rowers have. To have won Henley is a BIG feather in your cap; to have raced there means that you were at least a fairly serious rower.

Unfortunately, our crew failed to qualify to race at Henley this year. We’ve had some good races and some poor races, and the Stewards didn’t think we were of the standard to pre-qualify. Twenty-seven crews raced for seventeen places in the regatta, and we were the second-fastest non-qualifier. Though we rowed quite well on the day, if we had been just half a second faster (over a seven-and-a-half minute course) we would have competed this year. What’s even more unfortunate is that the conditions changed while the crews were on the course, and our division experienced significantly more headwind than other crews. This inevitably would have cut our time down enough that we would have qualified (in my opinion).

Since we weren’t of sufficient standard to pre-qualify we were subject to whatever happened on the day of qualifying races; this year simply didn’t work out for us. It’s tremendously disappointing for a whole host of reasons, and I was in a very non-sociable mood for several days afterward.

The one benefit of the experience is that it has completely drilled into me the standard of rowing and fitness I need to be at to achieve what I want to achieve in the sport. (See photo at top.) My focus for the next months and years will be to focus on the fitness and technique I need to reach my goals. It won’t be easy, but at least I know the size of the mountain I need to climb.