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Manic Miner on my phone

Story location: Home / Blog /

One of the problems with my new Nokia 6630 is that it came without any games pre-installed. I was looking for games to download when I realised that the phone was probably powerful enough to run a ZX Spectrum emulator. I knew that one had been written in Java so I looked to see if anyone had adapted it to run on a phone. Instead, I found ZX Boy, which is designed for phones which use the Symbian operating system.

The emulator runs surprisingly well - slightly faster than a real spectrum (which makes playing arcade games a bit more of a challenge). The main problem of course is the lack of a proper keyboard. For games with only a few controls, it is possible to redefine the phones keypad, but a text adventure or anything which requires a lot of typing would be too awkward. There is an on-screen keyboard for typing in small amounts of text, but it would be nice to be able to type by using the phone's keypad in a similar manner to texting.

I intend to browse through some of the spectrum archives on the internet to find some more games to download. At the moment, I am playing Football Manager a lot, especially on the train while travelling to and from work.

New Phones.

Story location: Home / Blog /

At the weekend, we ordered some new mobile phones. Yesterday, they arrived. We're now the proud owners of a pair of Nokia 6630s (one for me, one for Emma). Unfortunately I haven't had chance to try the phone properly yet - all I managed to do on tuesday was take a few photos to compare the camera with my old Nokia 3200 - the quality is so much better!

This evening, I installed the software which came with the phone (Nokia Communications Suite) and tried to transfer the contents from my old phone. I managed to copy the pictures to the computer, and used the 'Sync' function to copy the contact list to Outlook Express, but didn't manage to copy anything to the new phone.

The 3200 uses Infra red but the 6630 uses either the data cable or bluetooth. I don't have a bluetooth dongle for my computer and for some reason the data cable wouldn't work. The first time I installed the Nokia software it gave an error saying it couldn't install the cable driver so I tried again. This time it gave no error but the computer still couldn't talk to the new phone. I tried again. Still no luck. I downloaded the driver from the nokia website. When I ran it, it displayed an error message saying that I needed 'XP Service Pack 1' for it to work. If only the main software warned me about that - It would have saved me a lot of wasted time. Nokia really do need to make this more clear and to improve the install procedure.

By now, it was too late to do anything about it, so it'll be another day or so before I get chance to use the phone properly.

Eventually managed to get the cable to work, by reinstalling the software a few times. This seems to be a problem with my aged laptop where drivers seem to struggle to install or work properly.

The joy of reinstalling Windows

Story location: Home / Blog /


After a few weeks of getting fed up with my computer not working properly, I finally decided to re-install windows xp. After about a week of making sure I had all my data backed up (including stuff like email which sneakily hides in the Application Data folders, and things that are easy to forget like the iTunes library), I took the plunge and re-formatted my hard drive.

Getting windows back onto the computer was childs play. Getting everything else to work was the problem. It took a lot of fiddling to get my ADSL wireless Internet connection to start working again. I can now access the web, but AVG can't get to it's servers to run an update... I'll come back to that later. Now it's back to the fun job of re-installing all my applications and getting them configured the way I like them.

Update: 12:15pm
I decided to update AVG by downloading the installer again from their web site. Zone Alarm also demanded an update. Time for re-boot number 4 before I continue...

Update: 1:30pm and re-boot number 5!
Trying to install MS Word... I inserted the Works Suite CD which came with my PC and told it to install Word. It immediately decided to reboot my computer first, without any prompt and with no warning greater than a vague 'may reboot your computer after install'. I only wanted to install Word and Autoroute, but was forced to accept crap like Works and PhoneSync which I never use. About to take the brave step of clicking on 'Exit Setup' and hope I don't have to wait for another reboot...

Update: 2:25pm
Decide to take a break for the rest of the day. I've got Firefox and Thunderbird reinstalled and copied my settings and emails back over, so my computer is just about useable now. I'll install anything else as and when I need it...