Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Better use of Tagul

More experiments.

I've used the API this time, and that allows me to map each tag to exactly the right target URL without upsetting the appearance of the tag cloud - I was also able to edit the list so that one composer (James Oswald) did not overpower all the others.

The XML is really simple - I generated it from a single SQL statement.

When I have time I will improve it so that composers I want to highlight (e.g. this year's anniversaries) come out in a different colour.

Then it will be time to decide whether this is actually any use to potential website customers or not! But I do really like this technology, it's so simple to use.

What Smartphone?

As mentioned at boring length on this blog in the past, I currently have a Samsung Omnia, running Windows Mobile, with which I am pretty comfortable, especially since Windows Mobile was upgraded on it a few months ago.

However my contract runs out at the end of May & I need to decide what to do next.

I do understand that Windows Mobile is the 2010 equivalent of token ring or OS/2 ...

The easy option is obviously an iPhone.

I think I need the following functionality:

a) Battery lasting at least 24 hours, and easy availability of spare batteries and battery (as opposed to phone) charger
b) Solid build quality (the Omnia is good re this, except for the ridiculous power/headset socket)
c) Ability to sync calendar and contacts with Outlook 2003
d) POP3 or IMAP email, ideally with ability to move emails between accounts, and without Windows Mobile's ability to corrupt account details at awkward moments
e) Good texting capabilities (this is not a strength of Windows Mobile)
f) Easy synchronisation of audio files with Windows XP, plenty of storage, and decent playback quality
g) Good wireless support that does not drain the battery
h) Ability to stream BBC radio (thinking especially of the Ashes this winter)
i) Bluetooth, including support of Motorola Sound Pilot headset
j) Browser with scroll bars (I know Opera Mobile is award-winning and I am a Luddite, but I do like IE on the Omnia, even though I never use it on my PC)
l) Easily managed connections - the Omnia does this really well, never leaving you needing a power off/on to reset a 3G or wireless connection

Less essential:
m) Access to my Hotmail account (the Windows Mobile support is excellent)
n) Access to iPlayer
o) Access to Skype IM and/or MSN Messenger

Realistically I will be using a PC running Windows XP, not Linux or a Mac, for the foreseeable future.

I'll post the results of my researches here, and meanwhile any input would be very welcome!