05 January, 2010

My daughter..

Just wanted to let the world know that my first born, Myar Jane Arnold, arrived this snowy morning in Worcester. She was 9 lbs 13 oz .. she is beautiful!

Also the geek in me went out immediately and registered www.myararnold.com and secured her email address at google.. Twitter?? of course..

Why? Personal brand! Myar has just entered the world and its her future..

Why Myar? Myar is an anagram of Mary. Both Becky and myself had grandma's called Mary. Beckys nanna passed in June just after Becky told me that she was expecting. My Nan passed a few months later. We believe it's a fitting way to pay tribute to our mothers mothers.. However, neither of us wanted to call our first daughter Mary. So it had to be an anagram.

Why not Myra?? I don't think its fair to call our daughter after one of the Moors Murderers.Why not Mayr? or Ryam? or Raym? In all honesty, only Myra and Mary was found at behindthename.com , and Mya was close. Mya is a variant of Mia , and we just added an R to the end. In fact,  we will still pronounce it My-uh

Anyway, keep your eyes and ears out for more of what Myar is getting up to..

06 August, 2009

11 July, 2009

The best news ever

I have some great news I want to share with you..

I am going to be a dad!

[gallery link="file"]

While we both found out from a pregnancy kit at the beginning of June, it was only on Tuesday this week that we went for the 12 week scan. The antenatal lady who did the scan, said that 'it' was 14 weeks and 4 days old.. and our expected due date is the 1st January 2010. The geek in me immediately thought of 010110 and binary numbers..

  • 0101 1000 X

  • 0101 1001 Y

  • 0101 1010 Z

Perhaps the name should begin with one of those letters??

Its great news, and both us are really happy

29 April, 2009

Google Android and Vodafone..

g1-white When I first heard that Google was bringing out there own Phone Software, I was over the moon! I use Google.. a lot! Not just for search, but email / calendar .. everything! I am what you call a Google Fanboy..

Being a T-Mobile Customer, I was really looking forward to going down to the store and seeing what the G1 was like.. They had a big hype and a great advertising campaign, but when I saw it.. I HATED IT!

I played around for some time, trying to build up some love but I couldn't.. It was the keyboard, and the general clunkiness of the whole thing.  However, I rested in the knowledge that this isn't Googles hardware. They supply the OS - Google Android. HTC had bought the first model out, and there would be more soon.

Christmas came and went, and still only rumour on who would be bringing the next phone out. In February, the Mobile World Congress was over in Barcelona and I heard about the next HTC Android phone ... the G2, and it was exclusively with Vodafone in the UK! GREAT!

htc.magic.frontIt was due in April, so I went over to the Vodafone site to find some information... after all I had looked comprehensively through both o2 for the iPhone, and T-Mobile for the G1. What was Vodafones site like?? Rubbish. they didnt have any info at all..

It wasn't until the beginning of April that they started putting pictures and more info on there minisite http://htcmagic.vodafone.co.uk and I had to wait until near the end of the month, to try and get prices.

Finally, they released pricing and you know what.. I could actually save £5 a month, on the potential £35 a month contract by pre-registering! Free Phone! Free data! What more do I need?

How about the ability to transfer my old number to the new one? Isn't that what most people want to do? Apparently not, according to Vodafone. I phoned for clarification with the number on there microsite, only to be told I had rung the wrong department. I explained my predicament, and they said "No - not possible" i mentioned it to them, that this is going to be quite popular, and they didn't even care.

Now that Samsung have announced the i7500 -  a better phone, with a better camera, an OLED screen, all with a bigger battery! So, now I might just have to wait till June for that to come out.. just need to know who the carrier is! The rumor is currently sitting with T-Mobile, but its just as likely to be o2.. We will find out soon enough!

UPDATE - The ability to bring in your PAC (Port Authorisation Code) has been enabled.. i guess I am going to order!

My history with Smartphones..

alcatel HC800 I love smartphones! Why?? It all started when I damaged my first phone back when I was in the Army. It was an Alcatel, I think! I lost all my phone numbers, and I made it a condition that any phone I get from now on *HAD* to support the ability to back up my phone numbers.

At first it was a manual job. I had a piece of paper I kept in my wallet, with all the numbers, but I knew there should be a way of doing this. I didnt want to do this manually anymore..

I left the Army, and went to University. I discovered the ability to create my own logos and ringtones with a piece of software, but wasn't entrepreneurial enough to make money like a lot of people did back then. I just did it for friends! This software, also allowed me to back up my phone to a database where I could actually adjust the numbers.


I was using Nokias a lot. I had a business grade Nokia for a long, long time and it was a perfect phone. Nokia was clever enough to realise that the Interface had to be intuitive, and tried not to change it to alienate there growing customer base. I remember when everyone had a Nokia 3310 at one point!

However, Nokias still didn't do it automatically. Thats when I discovered Smartphones.. well actually an Orange SPV C500 running the Windows Mobile OS. I could use ActiveSync to sync not just my contacts with Outlook, but also my calendar. It was brilliant, and as a longtime Orange User I was over the moon.. It even allowed me to download programs onto the device, but they never seemd to work that well.

A bonus of this phone, was that the back-up cable was USB to Mini-USB and it also charged the phone. It was a no brainer, to use this lead as the charger. I had this phone for about three years, and its still my backup phone sitting in my drawer just in case it all goes wrong.

When I got back from travelling, I used a friends old Orange SPV C550 for a long time, and I had discovered the ability to surf the web using my phone. I was always hoping that Orange would give me a decent data package, so it wouldn't cost me much but it seemed to be about £10 for 1mb per month. It just wasn't good enough. I switched providers..

When I joined T-Mobile I opted to move away from Windows Mobile, and back to Nokia with the Symbian S60 OS. It was pretty simple, and had an extremely easy to use intuitive OS. I could even download programs onto my Nokia e51. When my business phone came up for renewal, I even chose a black e51.. why?? Well, if the battery died on one then I could swap them out really easy. A 2gb micro-SD card is great to store some music on, and I even discovered th pain of using Bluetooth headsets. I still swear by a single headphone at the end of a wire for my handsfree kit!

Anyway my contract has lapsed about four months ago and I have been on the lookout for a new phone... you are probably thinking the Apple iPhone..

No, I want the Google Android..

21 April, 2009

Red Fridays - Support Our Troops

After reading a blog post by Behind Blue Eyes today, I wanted to re-post.
Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing Red every Friday. The reason? British men and women who support our troops used to be called the ’silent majority’.

We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for Country and home in record breaking numbers. We are not organized, boisterous or over-bearing. We get no liberal media coverage on TV, to reflect our message or our opinions. Many English people, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of Britain supports our troops.

Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that every Briton who supports our men and women afar will wear something red.

By word of mouth, press, TV — let’s make Great Britain on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football team If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, co-workers, friends, and family, It will not be long before Britain is covered in RED and it will let our troops know the once ’silent’ majority is on their side more than ever, certainly more than the media lets on.

The first thing a soldier says when asked ‘What can we do to make things better for you?’ is…’We need your support and your prayers’… Let’s get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example; and wear something red every Friday.



You don't have to. But this country is slowly going south. Its time to stand up, and be counted for what you believe in. Don't be a part of the silent majority. I am not asking you to stand up and shout. Just do something and support our boys.
From an unknown traveller

Last week I was in West London attending a conference.

While I was in the airport, returning home, I heard several people behind me beginning to clap and cheer. I immediately turned around and witnessed one of the greatest acts of patriotism I have ever seen.

Moving through the terminal was a group of soldiers in their uniforms, as they began heading to their gate everyone (well almost everyone) was abruptly to their feet with their hands waving and cheering.

When I saw the soldiers, probably 30-40 of them, being applauded and cheered for, it hit me. I’m not alone. I’m not the only red blooded Briton who still loves this country and supports our troops and their families. Of course I immediately stopped and began clapping for these young unsung heroes who are putting their lives on the line everyday for us so we can go to school, work, and enjoy our home without fear or reprisal.

Just when I thought I could not be more proud of my country or of our service men and women a young girl, not more than 6 or 7 years old, ran up to one of the male soldiers. He knelt down and said ‘hi,’ the little girl then asked him if he would give something to her daddy for her. The young soldier didn’t look any older than maybe 22 years old himself, said he would try and what did she want to give to her daddy. Suddenly the little girl grabbed the neck of this soldier, gave him the biggest hug she could muster and then kissed him on the cheek. The mother of the little girl, who said her daughters name was Courtney, told the young soldier that her husband was a Corporal and had been in Afghanistan for 5 months now.

As the mum was explaining how much her daughter, Courtney, missed her father, the young soldier began to tear up. When this temporarily single mum was done explaining her situation, all of the soldiers huddled together for a brief second. Then one of the other servicemen pulled out a military looking walkie-talkie. They started playing with the device and talking back and forth on it.

After about 10-15 seconds of this, the young soldier walked back over to Courtney, bent down and said this to her, ‘I spoke to your daddy and he told me to give this to you.’ He then hugged this little girl that he had just met and gave her a Kiss on the cheek. He finished by saying ‘Your daddy told me to tell you that he loves you more than anything and he is coming home very soon.’ The mum at this point was crying almost uncontrollably and as the young soldier stood to his feet he saluted Courtney and her mum.

I was standing no more than 6 feet away as this entire event unfolded.

As the soldiers began to leave, heading towards their gate, people resumed their applause. As I stood there applauding and looked around, there were very few dry eyes, including my own. That young soldier in one last act of moment turned around and blew a kiss to Courtney with a tear rolling down his cheek.

We need to remember everyday all of our soldiers and their families and thank God for them and their sacrifices. At the end of the day, it’s good to be an Englishman.

If you a little digging around, you are going to discover the snopes page. I don't care.

Support our troops

03 January, 2009

The Future of Music?

 So here is my take on the future of music.. its probably been spouted out before by someone, but I just wanted to get it out there. 

I own an Xbox 360. I am on my second one now, after the original ones optical drive failed. Oh well.. anyway thats beside the point. I own a few games. I like first person shooters a lot - Call of Duty 4, Far Cry 2, etc etc. I also own two music games.. 

  1. Lips - pretty much a Karaoke game

  2. Guitar Hero - playing Air Guitar to famous tracks.. 

Why do I own these games?? The social aspect.. I can actually get my girlfriend interested in the Xbox if we are playing these games. Also if I have a party, its a great way for some fun to be happening!

Everyone has heard of iTunes. Its the #1 place to get your digital music online. Amazon MP3 is a new service (to the UK) that allows you to download any DRM-free music tracks. Apart from illegally downloading your music, its one of the most popular ways today to get hold of your favourite tracks. Oh, don't forget you can also buy a physical copy!!

Since October 2007, the Official Charts company has allowed these digital downloads to count towards the official number one single. So whats going to be the future?
Let me download the new releases on to my Xbox / Wii / PS3 into Guitar Hero, Rockband or Lips / SingStar and make them count towards the number one single! Simple! 

Also if I am a musician, I want to get my tracks on to these games ASAP. Let me do that! Make it simple.. 

The future of Music.. Its all about being part of it! Let me sing it.. Let me play it.. I don't want to just listen to it anymore..

Losing this big fat belly

I have just spent ten days with my parents and family back home. Do you want to know what every single friend and relative said to me? 
"When you expecting?"

They were'nt talking about children. They were talking about me having a big belly. Now, I have been out the forces now for eight years. I have been to University, and I have been travelling. I now work for the largest IT company in the world as a Technical Consultant. I spend a lot of my time talking on my phone, and sat behind my laptop. On a day to day basis, I generally don't do a lot of exercise. However, I have been saying for the previous three years that I need to Get Fit and Stay Fit

I always thought my Body Fat was over 30%. After all if you take the standard test which is:

  1. Work out your height in metres and multiply the figure by itself

  2. Measure your weight in kilograms

  3. Divide the weight by the height squared (the answer to Q1)

For example, you might be 1.6m (5ft 3in) tall and weigh 65kg (10st 3lb). The calculation would then be: 1.6 x 1.6 = 2.56. BMI would be 65 divided by 2.56 = 25.39.

If I followed this example, I am 1.8m tall, and weigh 100kg. This would currently mean 1.8 x 1.8 = 3.24. 100 / 3.24 = 30.9 . As the BMI Categories are:

  • Normal weight = 18.5-24.9

  • Overweight = 25-29.9

  • Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

I would be classed as Obese. ME?? OBESE! :(

However, I discovered a different site today. The CholestorolNetwork . Here you enter in your height, weight and sex. You then enter in your waist size and hips size. Finally you enter in your forearm and wrist size. After I entered my results in, it comes back with 24% body fat. "You have 52.7 Pounds of fat and 167.3 Pounds of lean (muscle, bone, body water)"

Anyway, I know I have this belly. I have to do something about it. As such, from today and for the next two months, I am on a diet.

I will not drink any fizzy drinks. Eat any chocolate. Drink any alcohol. I will do exercise every day. 

I will let you know how I have done at the end of February..

01 January, 2009

Happy New Year 2009

 Welcome to 2009.. Its traditional to have some New Year Resolutions set on the 1st day, and keep them... well try anyway!

I have published my New Year Resolutions here before - 2006 and 2007 - but I didn't do it last year! I also had some thirtieth birthday resolutions. They were all the same:

  1. No More Smoking! 

  2. Get Fit & Stay Fit 

  3. Manage my cash 

  4. Keep a life journal - keep it simple. The book How to Make a Journal of your Life is useful here.

In 2007 I added to #3 that I wanted to also manage my life better, with a little Getting Things Done, and added to #4 that I was going to keep a photo journal. 

So what am I doing this year? I reckon I'm going to stick to this list.. These are resolutions, and even though I have been attempting to do this for the past three years I think it will soon all come together!

Also going to start the Photo Journal again, but instead of doing it with Vox or Flickr I will do it over at Daily Mugshot instead. Using my phone, I can take a picture of myself daily and send it on over..

01 December, 2008

gOS Cloud

gOS.cloudJust seen something about gOS Cloud -- Anyone know when this is released? I am still on the lookout for my next laptop, and its going to be a Netbook of some sort. The Asus 1000H seems to be drawing me in right now, but waiting for it to drop below £300.

Adding the tiny linux software gOS Cloud to boot into, when I start my machine seems a very clever way of getting what I need very quickly. I can then boot into Windows when needed. 

Now I know someone is going to say, "just get a linux OS like xandros".. sorry, but I dont have the time to learn a new OS. I know windows inside out now, and certain programs ONLY work on Windows, or Macs - Nokia PC Suite, Outlook, iTunes etc etc. This has very few programs, and if its stable then looks like a winner.

According to the few sites that have this written up - engadget / cnet / laptop mag - it seems that gOS Cloud features a browser with a MacOS like dock with shortcuts to favorite apps. It has tabs for multi-tasking between web and rich client apps, and icons that allow it to:

  1. Open gMail

  2. Open Meebo (web based instant messaging)

  3. Open google Calendar

  4. Open google Reader

  5. Open Google Maps

  6. Open Youtube

  7. Open Blogger

  8. Change wireless settings

  9. switch to Windows

  10. and power off

This does look really interesting, and something I need to read a lot more into. 

Anyway, Good OS.. let me download this, and install it on to my new netbook in the new year please! In fact Google, why don't you just go out and buy this company?? ;)