My new phone/PDA thing arrived at the tail end of last week. I was beginning to give up any hope of ever receiving the damned thing after several fruitless trips to the post room, and the logging of 'negative feedback' on ebay seemed inevitable. But alas, it came on friday and I was overjoyed. This 'joy' quickly turned to abject horror though, when after ripping the box open and putting my sim card in, I discovered that the device wouldn't switch on. Devastation washed through my body as I sat there cradling the thing in my arms like a wounded soldier. All the scene needed was some rain and a muddy field for me to kneel in. I tried various different plugs and USB cables - none of which would charge the thing and even with the battery out and the mains connected there appeared to be no power entering the unit at all.
A little digging around on the internet proved useful though. An ancient forum, long since abandoned by it's members held the answer to my conundrum. Apparently, if the XDA's battery gets to a certain level of, erm, deadness, it simply will not boot at all. So, what you have to do is 'jump start' the battery with a bit of juice. So I stripped down a USB cable to it's four basic wires and blu-tacked the positive and negative power wires to their respective electrodes on the battery...and then plugged the other end of the USB into my laptop. To be honest, I was expecting a spectacular pyrotechnics display that would spell certain death for my laptop, battery and probably the whole electrical infrastructure of the building. But happened. I left the battery 'charging' whilst I made a cuppa and when I came back I slotted it into the XDA. I turned it on. IT WORKED!!! I quickly plugged in the proper USB power cord and it began to charge. The relief was unbelievable.
What I mean to say is that my phone came, I thought it was fucked right out of the box, but then I got it working. And I'm glad I did because it's a storming bit of kit. Sure, it's a bit of a brick and is uncomfortable to put in your jeans pocket, but it's essentially a handheld PC and it does everything it needs to very well. Running Windows Mobile 5 and with features like wi-fi and stuff it's a superb little (massive) phone. I'm sure the iPhone would kick it's ass in terms of features and cool 'apps,' but to be honest I don't give a flying shit. It cost me £40 and I reckon I look like less of a cunt than the average iPhone user when I get it out to text in the street. Obviously, when my upgrade rolls around in January I'll probably get yet another new handset (that new Palm thing looks alright), but until then the XDA Mini S will do for me.
Proton Impian. No, I'd never seen one before either.
Apart from new(ish) phones, this week saw me acquire a new(ish) car. My old one was a Vauxhall Vectra 2.0 SRi, which sounds quite impressive. And it was - it went like shit off a shovel...but unfortunately so did the petrol. So I sold it to a mate and then went off in search of a newer, smaller alternative. What I've ended up with is a Proton Impian. Now, 'Impian' is possibly the worst name I've ever heard for a car - It doesn't really conjure up the same kind of images as 'Mustang,' 'Spyder' or 'Veyron' does it, but like a book, it shouldn't be judged by it's name. Or summat. Now, I didn't know this but apparently Proton is owned and run by the Malaysian government. Strange but true. Also true (I think) is that Proton and Lotus are the same company. Or summat. But I digress. Ultimately, I wanted a car of similar size to the Vectra but with a smaller engine and better fuel economy. And that's what I got with the Impian. It sounds like it's got a fucking hair dryer under the bonnet at times and only has a shitty tape player/radio built in as standard...but it feels really light to drive - totally opposite to the Vectra which was a lumbering beast of Armageddon in comparison, only rearing it's roaring head to devour a star system every now and then. Furthermore, the Proton has a very basic dashboard display. That's something brain-dead Max Power reading chavs may see as a bad thing, but for me it's a godsend - no more fucking messages popping up on the trip computer mithering me to check this or replace that. Now if something's fucked, I can drive on in beautiful ignorance until black smoke fills the cabin and flames spew out from under the bonnet like I'm driving a Nicholas Cage-sponsored stunt-car. Simplicity, people, is what I'm all about. And ignorance. 70/30 split.
Unfortunately, I have no tales of drunken stupidity with which to regale you on this occasion. I did go for a few beverages last Saturday night after watching that pathetic England display against Brazil, but I could feel myself becoming very, very drunk by about midnight. You know you've had enough Strongbow when all you can taste with every mouthful is the bitter-sweet tang of battery acid. So I stumbled out of the club and got a (fucking rip-off £20) taxi home. But not before ordering a big old greasy donner kebab...
Old habits die hard.