Getting Organised

It’s a new year, so I’m making my annual attempt to get more organised. To help me with this plan, yesterday I:

  • Upgraded to Hiveminder Pro (on the basis that if I pay for a product I’ll be more likely to use it)
  • Starting playing with I Want Sandy (a service that I had signed up for months ago but had never really used)
  • Upgraded my N800 to run OS2008 (because shinier toys are more likely to be played with)

The old gits in the audience will realise which of those got me humming an old Bow Wow Wow hit.

Looking in more detail at the N800, it seems that its usefulness grows massively when it’s connected to the internet (I suppose there’s a clue in the way Nokia describe it as an “internet tablet”) and that means I probably need to sign up with a wireless provider.

Nokia have two suggestions for wireless providers. When I bought my N800 it came with literature that was really plugging The Cloud. This gives you a 30 day free trial and then connectivity through any of The Cloud’s access points for £10 a month. The OS2008 upgrade comes with adverts that heavily plug Boingo. This plan will give me access to their access points for £4 a month.

Seems like an obvious choice, you might think. But it’s not as simple as that. Looking at Boingo’s list of locations in London, many of them seem to be run in conjunction with other providers and at some of those you get charged by the minute for using the service – on top of the monthly fee.

Boingo’s international aspect is also appealing. But I spend the vast majority of my time in London. So I need a plan that’s going to give me good access to wireless in London.

So, I’m open to advice. Have any of you used Boingo or The Cloud? Do you have any opinions on the quality of their service? Who should I sign up with?

Update: I’ve received an email (some time ago I must confess) from Christian Gunning, the marketing manager at Boingo. He points out that I badly misunderstood their web site. The plan I should be looking at is called Boingo Mobile and it incurs no extra per-minute charges.

Thanks for Christian for putting me right.


  1. As an alternative, assuming you’re not going to use that much bandwidth, you could connect the tablet to a mobile phone over bluetooth. This, unsuprisingly, works really well with nokia phones.T-Mobile offer so called unlimited internet (really a gig a month) for about 15 quid.

  2. Yeah, I’ve got that set up with my N91. It works well, but isn’t wireless going to be a lot faster than 3G?I’ve got a tiny amount of bundled data transfer with my current O2 plan. I’ll investigate how much it would cost to add a decent data plan to that.But I suspect that if I get used to this way of working I could be burning through quite a lot of bandwidth.

  3. I tried going to the OS2008 page on my N800, and completely failed to find any option to download/upgrade my OS.Upon reading a bit further, I find it’s a fairly hefty change that might break a few things, like the browser most importantly. Also, it looks like I have to be connected to a PC to do the upgrade, which seems bizarre to me on an internet enabled device – the PSP manages it.Is there anything in OS2008 I really need?

  4. Yep, you have do do the upgrade by connecting the N800 to a PC. It’s a huge upgrade that rebuilds the OS and all the applications from scratch. It will return your N800 to its default state, so you’ll have to back up all of your data.As to whether you really need it – well everything has been updated. The system looks a lot nicer. There are also a few new application that (I think) need OS2008 to run. There’s a terminal application that gives you command line access to the system and a mapping application (but I haven’t yet been able to successfully download any of the maps).I hadn’t done anything useful with mine, so I had nothing to back up and the upgrade was a no-brainer. If you need to back stuff up then it might take a bit more thought.

  5. I can’t say honestly that I’ve done anything useful with mine, but it is working OK, so I’m not going to break it until I find an application that requires OS2008, or I get bored, whichever is the sooner :-)

  6. The Cloud does have a £6.99-a-month plan, which appears to work just fine. That’s just for one single device, like your N800, rather than the £9.99 “whatever you like” version.They do also have one which is £3.95 for iPod Touch devices. I’m unclear how they’d know whether your device is a Touch or anything else; you need a MAC address to sign up. I used this, it was good. (I know have an iPhone, so get Cloud access for free).But as others have said, you might just wish to go via Bluetooth to your phone; you might get a better deal that way possibly.

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