Tag Archives: phones

The Camera is Back

My phonecam developed a spot about a week ago. Ugly, in the way, and depressing. It ruined a number of photos that I really wanted to take.


Taken 1 April 2006

Occasionally, I could get a shot in that it didn’t ruin, but that was rare.


Taken 29 March 2006

Fortunately, my phone insurance covers the functionality of the whole instrument, including the camera. I called Vodafone, and they sent a new phone to replace the old one. So now I have my camera back!

I tried it out on Fiona this morning.


Taken 4 April 2006

Then I was back to taking the pictures I’ve been missing.

Leaf growing through a fence, Newington


Taken 4 April 2006

Shadow of a doorknob, looking like a warmer day


Taken 4 April 2006

Cut-off fence post.


Taken 4 April 2006

Framing the world, one tree at a time (this photo has been cropped)


Taken 4 April 2006

Yay new phone!

Phone Pix 2

I changed my phone a few months ago, leaving my old Nokia for a new Sony Ericsson K750i. The ostensible reason was that the Nokia’s keyboard was wearing out, and I could no longer reliably answer calls. The real reason, of course, was that phone camera technology has moved on. Martin got a better camera phone, and all of a sudden I wanted one.

The new phone coincided with a greater emphasis on my lunchtime walks. The past few years, I’ve tried to be rigourous about going out at lunchtimes, since noticing the effect a midday walk has on my Seasonal Affective Disorder. Between the weather and my work patterns, this autumn has been a particularly good one for walks – possibly one of the reasons I have not sunk so deep into myself thus far this year.

I tend to go along the Water of Leith Walkway, through the local park, across the Botanic Gardens or by whatever other approximations of nature I can find in an hour. These times refresh my spirit, and my new phone has been a good tool to make myself see and appreciate the things I pass.

Here are the best of the bunch:


Taken 19 September 2005


Taken 19 September 2005


Taken 29 September 2005


Taken 17 October 2005


Taken 18 November 2005

Phone Pix

Every workday, I try to walk part of the way home. When the wind is gale-force or the sleet is dripping down my neck, I don’t do so well at it. But the rest of the time, the walk is a good wind-down after work, a chance to adjust to my home life, and an opportunity to immerse myself in a city I love.

Walking through the city has made me want to photograph it. And I have been, with my camera phone. But the pictures have been sitting there, stuck on the phone, until I got it together to get the cable and software together to be able to download them.

So here are a couple from December walks home. If I can get it together, I’ll start a regular column on what I see as I walk, with photos. The picture quality isn’t anything to shout about, but phone shots are better than none at all, which is what I would take if I had to bring a digital camera with me all the time. (I can barely keep track of my keys, some days.)

All of the trees in Edinhurgh’s main park, Princes Street Gardens, are lit up during the holiday season. But instead of going around the trees, the lights go along the trunk and branches. Taken 8 December 2004.

Smily found in chalk on the side of a burnt-out Bank of Scotland building opposite the Museum of Scotland. Connected to the arson attack that destroyed the branch? Probably not. Good use of symbols? Yes. Meaning? Unknown. Taken 8 December 2004.

Unlikely friends

I was mowing the lawn this morning when a survey-taker came by. He caught me at a good moment – just finished in front, but disappointed that the sun wasn’t well out in the back garden yet. Fiona was asleep in her Happy Chair in the porch, while Alex was zooming around and poking the gardening fork into the ground in random places. And I have sympathy for survey-takers who come by in person, having collected signatures for a political cause one summer long ago.

So the long and the short of it was that I was willing to have my brain picked for a quarter of an hour on telephone companies. The survey taker didn’t know by whom he was employed, but the nature of the questions causes me to think it was TalkTalk.

My favourite question: If telephone companies were people, how willing would you be to be friends with (insert phone company name from a list of five or six he was asking about)?

My answers were disappointing, I think – I wouldn’t particularly want to be friends with any of them. Not even the company we get our service from. But it made me wonder, in this era of corporate persons, whether we will ever be pals with companies rather than people? Then what? Could you marry a corporation?

Revised Final Statement – Reader Feedback Please!

I recently changed mobile phone networks, from T-Mobile to Vodafone. Nothing to do with T-Mobile’s service or anything – just that Martin was moving to Vodafone (as part of getting a company phone from his new employers), and it’s cheaper for us both to be on the same network.

Now, Martin’s move was easy. He simply stopped using the old phone, cancelled one contract and signed another. But I wanted to port my number, because it’s fairly memorable, and I don’t want to have to tell everyone that it’s changed.

So I got a “Final Statement” from T-Mobile a little while ago, and the amount on it was automatically debited from my bank account. All well and good.

But today I get a letter from T-Mobile, with a “Revised final statement”. Apparently they charged me £12.80, but the last bill was £11.41. The front page contains the following text (all text formatting original and not my fault):

Revised final statement    cr £1.39


Call charges £0.00
Subtotal £0.00
Credit amount cr £1.39 <- from last bill
Total we will carry forward    cr £1.39 to your next bill

This is your revised final bill. If you do not pay by Direct Debit, please pay any outstanding amount as soon as possible.

So, since I pay by direct debit, if I owe money, they’ll take it from my account. But if I am owed money, they’ll carry it foward to my next bill. Except that was my final bill. Ah, bureaurocracy!

Gentle readers, I want your input. Do I:

  1. Ring them up and request that it be deposited in my account, or
  2. Leave it, or
  3. Something else (you suggest what)

If this is on the up and up, neither option profits anyone.

If I ring them, I have to do it on their “local rate number” and thread my way through their hold queue. Assuming I can get to a real person, I’ll be out the time and phone bill money. Meanwhile, they’ll be paying the person on the other end of the phone, plus bank transfer charges. What do you want to bet that exceeds £1.39?

If I leave it, they get £1.39 of my money, plus any interest it may earn over time, as a free gift. If it’s a snafu, then they’ll quickly spend more than £1.39 keeping me on the books and printing and posting monthly statements saying I have this credit.

On the other hand, maybe it’s more sinister. £1.39 may not look like much, but if they’re doing this systematically, and if they then don’t send any more bills out to customers they do it to, it could add up. Is this the trailing thread of a massive fraud?

Email me or leave me comments…tell me what I should do! I’ll report any results on this blog as they happen.