I IZ NOT HERE. I HAZ MOVED!

My blog is now at

jofarnold.com

Should really get rid of this one, but… I dunno… nostalgia innit?

Carphone Warehouse 999 Error iPhone Saga

Two weeks!  Two sodding weeks without my iPhone working perfectly as an upgrade.  Apparently (so I’m told this week) the system is giving them a “999 error” every time they try to process the upgrade.  Now, I’m very forgiving when it comes to human errors, but each time I phone and ask about it they say:

Oh, sorry Sir.  The system says its been fixed.

“The system says”?  How about what I say?  How about keeping some transparency and actually phoning me up to ask if it’s working okay?

Last week you were very helpful.  This week you are seriously pissing me off.  Some of the sales/help people I’ve spoken to (Nicola, Shaz, Kirstie…) have been great, but the company itself!?!  Nrgh!  Serious, guys, what the f@#£ are you playing at?

Definitely over-due a very long post about the simple art keeping your customers happy.  Watch this space.

Stop moaning you early-adopting iPhone mactards

I’ll do a post about my experiences of buying an iPhone later, but I feel compelled to point out something obvious:

  • With large complex systems, there will almost always be problems in launch
  • First batches of mass-produced hardware involve lots of manual hand-holding throughout the supply chain.
  • Early adopters are often techie
  • Early adopters go to extremes to get their taste first
  • Early adopters are vocal
  • The rest of the population couldn’t give a shit what the techie early adopters say
  • The rest of the population will wait to get the iPhone

Apple knows this, which is one of the many reasons they (like any other manufacturing company) limit initial stock during ramp-up;

  • Damage limitation
  • Third rule of Arnold (a wry observational poem from my manufacturing days): “Perfect the design; debug with some tests; launch the product; let the customers find the rest”

Yup… we are Apple’s extended test team.  Tis the price of early-adopter kudos, has and always will be; get over it.  Thanks to us, Joe Public will no doubt be happy with his iPhone.

Paintball shortlist

Forums, google, review sites, friends, relatives – you name it, I’ve scoured it in the name of paintball entertainment. I’ve narrowed the list down to five pretty good sites (click on the titles to take you to the sites themeselves, just in case that wasn’t clear in the previous post)

PAINTBALL PARK

LOCATION: Southampton-ish (20mins from soton)
THOUGHTS: Cool looking sets, recommended by a couple of people

CAMPAIGN PAINTBALL

LOCATION: North of guildford. (about 70 mins from soton)
THOUGHTS: Looks really great. Awesome venue. Check out the different game types!

AMBUSH PAINTBALL

LOCATION: Southampton (about 10 mins from soton)
THOUGHTS: Large sets, but a bit basic-looking. Comes recommended though

WEEKEND WARRIORS

LOCATION: Reading (about 110 mins from soton)
THOUGHTS: Well recommended, but hard to see much from the website

HOLMBUSH

LOCATION: Horsham, east sussex. (about 90 mins from soton)
THOUGHTS: It’s no coincidence this Horsham rhymes with awesome. Check out the gallery! It really does look very good indeed.

My thoughts? Well, you ought to bear in mind these are 915am starts! OMG! Yes, srsly. So to get to the east sussex venue for 9am we’d need to get up really early. But it will be worth it, IMO. So for what it’s worth, my favourite sites are Holmbush and Campaign….

Do you know the best paintball in hampshire?

Digg this post for the best paintball in HampshireOk, so here’s the problem. I’m organising Benjie Gillam’s stag party and the consensus is that we should be going for paintball in the south of england. The problem is that:

  1. There’s a million paintball venues in Hampshire/Dorset
  2. Some of them are terrible… but which ones?
  3. The reviews online seem to disagree as to which are best/ok/crap
  4. I’m not able to travel down there and investigate them

So… is it possible to work this all out? I’m hoping so. Here’s a list of locations I’ve found… if you’ve any views on them, please leave a remark in the comments. Beer to the winner, or something ;-)

SOUTHAMPTON AREA

SKIRMISH PAINTBALL GAMES

LOCATION: Address, Skirmish Lasham, Manor Farm Buildings, Lasham, Hampshire, GU34 5SL
COST: Ultimate Package = £49.95
INFO: Useful, well-designed site. Cool games. Heard some bad reviews though?

COMBAT SOUTH

Hard-core BB guns. Definitely NOT paintball, but looks like a hoot.

PAINTBALLING SOUTHAMPTON

SESSIONS (END TIMES ARE APPROX): 0915 – 1600HRS
COST: £14.99 per person entry: Paintballs £6.99 per 100, £5.99 per 100 if purchased in bulk (2000).
FOOD: BBQ, included I think
LOCATION: Rose Wood, Lee Lane, Romsey, Hampshire. SO16 0AD. Tel: 0800 849 4911

PAINTBALLING HAMPSHIRE

LOCATION: National Paintball Parks (Hants), Street End Copse, Hook Road, Rotherwick, Hook, Hants RG27
INFO: Very generic website

AMBUSH PAINTBALL

LOCATION: Shedfield, Southampton, Hampshire SO32 2HL
COST: £55 – to include all equipment, lunch, hot drinks and 700 paintballs – must be pre-booked/pre-paid.
INFO: Seems friendly. Not sure about how much the facility has to offer

CAMOUFLAGE PAINTBALL

COST: 1000 ball = £39.95
LOCATION: Woodside Farm, Gosport Road, Privett, Nr.Alton, Hampshire. GU34 3NJ
INFO: Very little on the website.

GO BALLISTIC

Also at fareham and portsmouth

PAINTBALL PARK

Not very professional looking – will check out reviews

DELTA FORCE

LOCATION: Lee Lane, Romsey, Hampshire SO16 0AD
COST: Doesn’t state on site, though balls not too much

URBAN PAINTBALL

LOCATION: Hilsea Industrial Estate, 2b Limberline Road, Portsmouth, PO3 5BJ, Portsmouth
COST: £50.00 = 800 balls
INFO: Seems a bit kiddyish and small?

BOURNEMOUTH AREA

CHALLENGE LEISURE

LOCATION: 248 Ringwood Road, St. Leonards, Ringwood, Hants. BH24 2SB
INFO: Not a great website. Nowhere near enough info. Not paintball-focussed.

SKIRMISH PAINTBALL DORSET

LOCATION: Skirmish Paintball Dorset, Oak Cottage, Bere Wood, Bere Regis. BH20 7JJ
INFO: Looks pretty decent… doesn’t have its own website as far as I can tell

BOURNEMOUTH PAINTBALLING

LOCATION: Skirmish Dorset, North Almer Barn, North Almer, Dorset. BH20

DORSET PAINTBALL

LOCATION: Skirmish Paintball Dorset, Oak Cottage, Bere Wood, Bere Regis. BH20 7JJ

DELTA FORCE

LOCATION: Wattons Ford Common, Wattons Lane, Matchams, Ringwood, BH24 2BS.
COST: Doesn’t state on site, though balls not too much
INFO: Is it still going? Heard they had planning permission prob?

MAX EVENTS

INFO: Very little indeed

CAMOUFLAGE PAINTBALL

LOCATION: Christchurch Road, Hurn, Christchurch, Dorset. BH23 6AE
INFO: Very little

NATIONWIDE PAINTBALL

LOCATION: Christchurch Road, Hurn, Christchurch, Dorset, BH23 6AE

PAINTBALL NATION

LOCATION: Hurn
INFO: Very little

GO BALLISTIC

COST: 400 + 1 bomb = £34
LOCATION: Hurn Court Lane
INFO: 12 game zones in firing zone

PAINTBALL SAS

Doesn’t look great TBH

PAINTBALL WARRIORS

LOCATION: Paintball Warriors, Uddens Drive, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 7BQ
COST: £45 = 1000 balls
INFO: Lots of game zones. Simple but decent site
TIMING: Full Days Paintball : 9.15 am – 4.30 pm ( BBQ lunch included )

DORCESTER AREA

MEGA PAINTBALL

COST: £55 for 1000
INFO: Nice site. Indoor version at Poole. UKPSF

SALISBURY AREA

VIRTUAL WARFARE

LOCATION: Virtual Warfare, Units 3&4 Grimsdyke Granaries, Blandford Road, Salisbury, SP5 5RL
COST: 5 games for £30
INFO: Laser-based, but informative website. Looks pretty good

Any thoughts, leave them in the comments… let’s make this a kick-ass event for Benjie!

Shameless plug of something Christmassy

I know this is a shameless plug, but it’s in the festive spirit I promise.  Yesterday BrainBakery.com (my web dev sister company to i-together.com) released a facebook advent calendar application for Sumo.tv.

Apart from giving you a bit of much-needed festive bling to you facebook profile, by supplying you great video clips each day up til Christmas, the top few people who invite the most users win an ipod!  So get inviting!

Find the app at apps.facebook.com/sumoadvent.

Note that I’m not using my personal sumoadvent affiliate code as that would be wrong of me… no point trying to win a competition I created ;)

Woohoo! New version of Blog Friends released

It’s been a huge amount of work, but the end result has been really worth it.  Find all the details at the Blog Friends blog.