MIR: The Mobile Geek of Glastonbury: Gadgets

Evening readers, Whatley here, writing this on my laptop en route to Pilton for the festival that is known as Glastonbury.

As you know from my last post, the multitude of tools available to the modern day, festival going Mobile Geek really is quite something… So here, for your pleasure, is a quick rundown of what I am taking with me, starting with the hardware…

Handsets:

I’ve packed my N95, my N95 8GB and my E61i. The E61i is perfect as an emergency, backup handset as the battery on that baby is HUGE and it lasts FOREVER (well, about 5 days). So if it all goes pear-shaped I can resort to using that. The N95s I’m going to tag-team throughout the day/festival. One to carry with me and one to charge. Speaking of chargers…

Power:

When it comes to keeping the batteries fully topped up, I?ve covered all bases with this one. I’ve got a Nokia DC-8 battery charger, bought this today, Β£25. Steep, but I?m a sucker for the branded stuff (and it’s worked OK so far).

I’ve also got a Free Loader Solar Charger (see below). This thing gets kudos just for the fact that out of all of the chargers, this was the only one that came with one for the Nintendo DS. Which has made my friends very happy indeed; Mario Kart for them while I type this passing Stone Henge, (fact).

Finally, I have this ‘GoHello’ wind-up charger and, as Ben Smith so rightly said in a recent Mobile Industry Review podcast – “…they ain’t called wind-ups for nothing”.

Seriously, I’ve got nothing out of this thing yet. Nothing. Boo.

On top of all that lot, I’ve got four (count ’em), N95 batteries. All fully charged before departure so let’s see how long they last shall we?! πŸ™‚

Software:

Well stuff like Qik, Google Maps, VOX, SpinVox, Moblog etc… I kinda covered this last time round. I want to talk about the new stuff. Since writing that original piece I?’ve acquired two pieces of software; both of which have – so far – impressed me much.
First up is ViewRanger. I downloaded this earlier in the week and my thought was: What a load of rubbish!
However…

THEN I downloaded the Glastonbury specific maps – aka Worthy Farm etc, and WOW! Impressed!
Check out this screenshot:

You can see that they’ve pre-loaded the app with the relative points of interest. Which is so awesome; things like cash machines, toilets, stages etc… And on top of that if I hit ‘Lock to GPS’ it’ll tell me where I am.
Rock on. I cannot wait to use this properly πŸ™‚

The other piece of software is from Orange. It’s called GlastoNav and at first I really couldn’t get this to work..

Eek!

A few days after this, once they had ironed out the gremlins and suchlike, this little app has turned out to be very handy indeed. Not only can I look at the (much richer interpretation) of the map, but also I can plan my schedule for the event… and THEN I can share that schedule with my fellow festival-goers!

So far (again), this has really impressed me πŸ™‚

For actual mobile stuff, that’s all.

But, I have also been given some other cool pieces of gadgetry to use/play with. One of which is the Flip video camera. This is something that I think Ewan has spoken about a fair amount – my only problem with it however is that once my hour of recording is up, I can’t upload it until I get to a USB connection.
Bah! We’ll see how I get on with that one…

The other piece of REALLY COOL stuff I’ve been given is this Loc8tor device which, hand on heart, is the best thing yet (in theory anyway).

I attach the small part to something I might lose – i.e. my friends – and then, if I lose them, I switch the big part on and it beeps to tell me how close I am etc…
I had a play before I left the house and it rocked my socks.

So… again, we’ll see how we get on.

That’s it from me, I’m nearly at Glastonbury and my laptop is about to die. Thanks to Ben Smith for editing this for me and putting the media in etc…

You can keep up with my exploits at http://www.glastonblog.co.uk

See you soon!

J.

MIR: The Mobile Geek of Glastonbury: Intro

Greetings readers, your friendly neighbourhood Whatley here;

While some of us are off gallivanting around the Maldives – sorry, ahem – A DESERT ISLAND, other bloggers, like myself, have to make do with the festival season to amuse themselves here back in the UK.

And what better festival other than the Mother of all festivals: Glastonbury!

:)

Yes, it really IS that muddy. I took that photo myself.

Last year, I think I’m pretty safe in saying;

I was the ONLY person to live blog Glastonbury from a mobile phone.

Yes. That’s right, I blogged the whole darn thing (well as much as my battery would allow) from my Nokia N95-1 (the original silver one, the one with the REALLY poor battery, y’know?).

In fact the only reason my current blog exists is because of my then(?) obsession with Mobile Blogging.

You can go back and read some of my exploits here, here and here if you’d like.
But really, all you need to know is, at the time, the only way I could do this (AFAIK) was through VOX.

VOX has a neat little application that sits on some/most Nseries phones that you can download and is also available as one of the upload options in the Share Online app, also found on most Nseries phones.

Power wise, again only for last year, I had three N95 batteries (BL-5Fs for the true geeks among you) and these two things below:

That on the left is an independent battery charge-base and that on the right, a portable double AA battery powered phone charger.

The former proved itself to be extremely useful, then and indeed over the past year of ownership too. With that handy little device I can always have one battery in my phone, while another charges. This, of course, is all well and good until you go and lose the damn thing; which is what I did a matter of days ago.

I digress.

The thing on the right, I bought that from Amazon, thing is mind.

It . Was. Rubbish.

In fact I think it actually USED more battery power than it actually gave back. I ended up passing it onto some fellow festival-ite in our circle of tents. It conveniently came with a bunch of other adaptors – not just Nokia; covered SE, Motorola, Blackberry… the lot. You name it. So at least that much was handy about it.

However, for me, it was no good.

And don’t even start me on the quite frankly RIDICULOUSOrange Charge Tent‘.
I mean, who wants to QUEUE for an hour to charge their handset, only to discover that when they get to the front, they then have to wait around for a further two hours to watch their phone charge at an unsecured bar.
Joined up thinking really not their specialty it would seem.

So, how did I stay charged?

Well, while the Orange monkeys were missing out on potentially 3hrs of great music, I managed to find a little store amongst the clothes stalls and falafel vendors, which specialised in phone charging.
You paid a fiver a go and it was kept under lock and key and all was fine. The system the guy had running behind him reminded me a little of chargebox and it wouldn’t surprise me if they were one and the same, I’ll ask them this year and see. Anyway, this little store became a daily haunt for my good self.

In the morning I’d get up, review any content from the night before, write a quick post or two and then upload as much as I could before my battery died. After that I’d mosey on down to aforementioned phone charging establishment, pay my fiver, and then go off and meet friends who I’d arranged to meet at a later time (do you remember when we did that?!).

Later that afternoon I would pick up my phone, liaise with all the folk that had been trying to reach me for God knows how long, and then get off to another stage where upon I’d take more photos/videos that I would later, no doubt upload.

Lovely stuff.
So aside from the not-so-brilliant portable phone charger, last year was a reasonable success.

But what about this year?

Well, my VOX blog is still up and running.
So I’ve got that working just fine, but now look at all the other things I can do!

I can upload via SMS, MMS or Email via Moblog.
I can simply make a phone call and speak a blog post through SpinVox.
I can boot up Qik and stream LIVE content direct to the internet. Not only direct to my QIK page, but if I hit ’55’ while I’m streaming, my 500-odd followers on Twitter will get told about it too!

The plethora of Social Tools now available to the modern, festival-going geek, really, truly, is a spectacle to behold.

I shall be using ALL of those services/apps/tools I’ve listed above, and probably more.

The question is Dear Readers, which ones do YOU think I should be using?

What should your Mobile Geek of Glastonbury be packing in his rucksack to ensure a complete all round mobile performance?

Leave your suggestions below or, if you have anything you want showcased/tested over the coming festival season, email james@whatleydude.com

Cheers! πŸ™‚

Glasto – Aerial Shot

So here’s a photo of that poster that I mentioned previously.

It really does demonstrate the enormity of the festival.. I mean.. Truly HUGE!
I still can’t believe it.

The pink sticky on the right? My tent.
That area at the top left underneath the photo of the yellow flags? The Stone Circle.

God knows how far that is – but I must’ve walked it at least twice a day every day.. Not including walking between stages, getting food & drink, nipping up to camp every now and then..

Just.. Massive!

Oh.. And that diamond shape in the middle?
That’ll be the Pyramid Stage.

Poster courtesy of the Q Glastonbury Review magazine.