Category Archives: Uncategorized


My blog is now at

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)


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


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


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


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


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….

Musicianship v. Entrepreurship

Last year I realized that there was three things about being a corporate slave that didn’t sit well with me:

  1. There’s a poor locus of power and rewards in a pyramid-structured large corporation.
  2. I’d never have enough money to buy a house and a recording studio.
  3. Retiring early to do more interesting things probably wouldn’t be an option.

I figured that to solve all these (plus a dozen other things, broadly-themed around the words “power”, “flexibility” and “rewards”), I had to start [another] business, and that’s how BrainBakery was formed.

However, one thing I thought I’d lament is the loss of my free time to continue my music.  But, one year on, I don’t find I’ve missed it quite as much as I thought I would.  This surprises me, but I think I know why – it’s because entrepreneurship, for me, satisfies exactly the same things I like about playing/writing music, namely:

  • Creating something new/unique
  • Creating something about which people have opinions and ideas
  • Building a band/team
  • Socializing/networking
  • Collaborating with other teams
  • Building success, recognition and fame
  • Having people interested in what your doing

And both of them give me aching fingers at the end of the day.