Colin's Journal

Colin's Journal: A place for thoughts about politics, software, and daily life.

August 21st, 2005

Bluetooth power

St. Albans CathedralI recently bought a Jabra 250v bluetooth headset for use with my mobile phone. For the last few days I’ve been frustrated with the very poor battery life that both the headset, and my phone (Sony Ericsson T610) have shown. Today I finally figured out what the problem was, and I’m sure others have made the same mistake.

After pairing my headset with the phone I selected the headset and then “Connect” to establish the link between them. This was my mistake! After pairing the phone will automatically make the connection to the headset when an incoming or outgoing call is made. When a call comes in you can answer by pressing the headset button, or by using the phone and then pressing the headset button during the call to transfer to the handsfree. When you make a call the phone automatically establishes the connection to the headset if it is in range.

By manually selecting “Connect” for the headset I was using the headset like it was in one long continuous phone call, hence leading to a very short “standby” battery life on both the headset and the phone.

In other respects I’ve been very happy with the Jabra 250v. It’s light, much more stylish than most of the competition, and fits comfortably despite my glasses. Now that I’ve figured out the battery life problem I can get on with enjoying the benefits of it.

I’m sure others have made the same mistake with bluetooth headsets. Hopefully this post will save someone, somewhere, the same puzzlement over the battery life.

The photo is of St. Albans Cathedral.

August 9th, 2005

Bits and bobs

A blue roseLiving in London means I make great use of TFL’s Journey Planner. Although typing in street and station names on a mobile phone is a time consuming exercise, I’ve even had the need to use their WAP based version while out and about. Today I added their Java mobile tube map to my phone. While it’s slow to start on a T610 (nearly a minute!), it’s a useful addition for when you have no phone signal or just want to see the tube map. What I really need however is a mobile London street map. Even one that just allowed searches and didn’t know where I was would be a great boon.

On Sunday I went skating in Hyde Park. Although there were more people milling around than on the Toronto water front, the paths are generally wider and easier to skate on. There were a lot of other skaters around, including a whole group dancing on skates – very impressive. I’m happy to report that my skating skills haven’t deteriorated much in the year or more since I last used them. That’s doesn’t say much though, and my stamina is terrible.

I’ve released a new version of SimpleTAL, the first since February. There’s been a few patches building up that I wanted to get out, and it was about time I implemented Iterator support.

Even without a functioning synchronisation program for my laptop, backing up my phone is still very easy. Just send the whole phone book via bluetooth, and then import it into Evolution so that I’ve got a copy of everyone’s number. It would still be nicer to have synchronisation with the individuals contact details, but I’ve never managed to get that working.

The photo is an old one, taken in a city far far away.

Copyright 2015 Colin Stewart

Email: colin at