Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Communications: Nokia 6630 and IMAP email

3G as well as VoIP

Unfortunately a lot of these early posts are about the tedious things that you have to deal with yourself when you're starting a business. There are lots of exciting things happening on the business side, but they're all early stage and I don't want to write about them just yet. Be patient - those stories will come.

So we're stuck with some boring stories, but hopefully this one might actually be useful to some people.

As well as the Skype / VoIP solution for our landline number, I have a Nokia 6630 3G phone on a Vodafone contract. The idea being that I could check my IMAP email on the move.

Nokia 6630 and IMAP

The specifications and salespeople both assured me that the 6630 could deal with IMAP folders and would let me check my email at blazingly fast 3G speeds. The reality is that it can check IMAP email, but getting to this point involved some headaches.

First of all, I went into Carphone Warehouse (no link because they've been hopeless at helping me) intending to get what I now have - the Nokia 6630 on a Vodafone contract. They told me to get the Nokia 6630 on a Hutchison 3G contract (much cheaper!). I protested that I wanted to check my email and Three keep you in a walled garden and don't let you out into the wider Internet. Carphone Warehouse told me that restriction had recently been lifted. It wasn't until I tried using the phone (and half an hour on hold to Three customer support) that I found out that this was not true and the walled garden was still in place.

Back to Carphone Warehouse, exchange phone for the one I originally wanted. Problems weren't over though.

How to set up IMAP folders on Nokia 6630

Having set up my email account details and being able to send emails and access my Inbox, I tried to subscribe to some subfolders. The process was:

  • Open my email folder
  • Options >> Email settings >> User settings >> Subscribed folders
  • Prompt: connect to mailbox and update folders? Answer: Yes
  • Wait a while then select mailboxes to which I wanted to subscribe
  • Go back to Inbox
  • See below for the step I missed at this point

At this point, I expected to see the subfolders. They were nowhere to be found. I connected to the account and the phone crashed. I tried again and only the Inbox was there.

It was at this point that I called customer support (first Vodafone and then Carphone Warehouse). All I wanted to know was where I should expect to find the folders I had just subscribed to. After a long time on the phone talking to people who didn't know what IMAP was, they eventually told me that the phone was disabled to only allow this functionality when using Vodafone email.

They were wrong (the worst kind of customer support).

The missing step

Luckily I didn't believe them and deleted the email account in order to try again. The steps are as above, but at the end, reconnect to your mailbox, but don't do anything else. Leave the phone until it is finished updating (it's best to limit the number of emails it downloads - I have it set to 30) before trying to enter the Inbox. When it is finally done, you see the subfolders at the same level as the Inbox (where you would expect). If it is interrupted, it does not display the folders here and I could find no way to force it to find them (although it has already found them once to subscribe) without deleting the account and starting again.

...[Read More]

Monday, April 18, 2005

Skype revisited

The story improves

I wrote previously about trying out Skype. It was not altogether a success. Thankfully, the situation has now improved to the stage where we have a landline number using the wonders of voice over IP (VoIP). Our new number is +44 (0)20 7870 9987 - give us a call!

The two problems we were having before appear to have been addressed:

  • Firstly, as you can tell, we have got hold of a London-based number
  • Secondly, the quality issues we were experiencing appear to have been cleared up and the call quality has improved to anything from standard mobile quality up to better than a landline

Let's hope the experience stays good.

...[Read More]

WandD Newsletter

Complementing WandD Uncensored

In addition to the news snippets that get bundled up in our posts here on WandD Uncensored, we wrote the first in a series of newsletters on Friday at the end of the first full week of WandD.

The newsletter is sent out by email, and if you are not already receiving them, you can sign up by contacting WandD. You can read the first newsletter - all about starting up.

Future newsletters will also be posted on the WandD site in the WandD newsletters section.

...[Read More]

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

RSS readers and what WandD is reading

RSS readers

I use the web-based tool Bloglines to keep track of and read the RSS feeds in which I'm interested. I hear that the new version of OS X, Tiger has a number of nice features for reading RSS feeds, so I might move to a local reader, but I like the way Bloglines lets me read feeds from any computer and keep track of what I've read.

Bloglines lets you publish your own blog very easily. I'm not particularly interested in having a personal blog, and this is good enough for WandD, but I am starting to take advantage of the facility allowing you to publish what you are currently reading, or your 'blogroll'.

What WandD (or at least Will) is reading

I have recently taken advantage of the functionality allowing me to publish my blogroll, and so you can see what I'm reading at WandD-reading. It's quite an esoteric mix - the things I read fall into a number of categories:

  • Fun stuff, like Dilbert
  • Technical news, like The Register
  • General news:
    • I try to get news from sources whose editorial content I agree with (no, I'm not going to tell you which those are, email me if you want to discuss it)...
    • well as from those with whom I often find myself disagreeing - I find this keeps me on my toes and also allows me to get a balanced view
  • Other bits and pieces of interest, such as Mark Cuban's blog

Take a look around and drop me a line if you know of anything else I should take a look at.

...[Read More]

Monday, April 11, 2005


It feels good

The sales meeting went well. It's early days - there are lots of steps to come before we get a signed contract and development begins, but it feels good anyway. As the process progresses, I will write more about it. In the meantime, we're just happy that our concept can work.

Maybe this whole thing isn't crazy after all. This is only a short post, I'm afraid - I have to get on with the job of writing documents to discuss with the prospect.

...[Read More]

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Tomorrow's the day

No whooping till we get in the car

I'm expecting that working in a company where I'm a director is going to amplify everything - make all the experiences that bit more. I'm sure the lows will be lower, but it's the highs I can't wait for. I have a sales pitch at 10am tomorrow and now it feels like I have pre-game nerves. Just like before you step on the court (/pitch/track/etc. - pick your sport), when you are buzzing and ready to go, but before you can really do anything to affect the outcome.

Duncan and I used to have a saying when we first started building a business together 'no whooping till we get in the car'. It stemmed from our very first sale, when we left the client's office and had to restrain ourselves from running down the stairs screaming. When we finally got out of the building, into the car and out of earshot, we screamed for a few minutes straight.

It's times like that - they're the reasons we put ourselves through it all and work when it's sunny outside. I have no idea if I'll be able to close this sale tomorrow, but whatever happens, you can bet that in the afternoon I'll be looking for ways to find the next person to pitch to.

...[Read More]

Monday, April 04, 2005


The VoIP revolution

With the buzz surrounding VoIP and my recent experience in telecoms consulting, I thought it was about time I tried out Skype. Offering free PC-to-PC calls and beta services SkypeOut allowing you to call real phones and SkypeIn giving you a phone number for other people to call you on.

I was hoping this combination might make it a useful tool for WandD - allowing all the benefits of a fixed line at the same time as letting us have that fixed line terminate wherever we needed it to (as long as we had a broadband connection).

First the good news - the PC-to-PC quality is excellent - certainly better than mobile calls and probably better than fixed calls, at least as long as there isn't too much other network activity (at least with Duncan and I calling each other - we are with the same ISP, but I have heard that the quality is good generally). We will be using it for this.

The bad news comes in two parts:

  1. SkypeOut has had terrible quality in all the testing I have been able to do so far - akin to mobiles with very poor reception. I'm hoping this improves.
  2. SkypeIn has been a non-starter so far, as there are no UK numbers available, and I'm not keen on only having a number in the US or France. I understand that this service is only beta at the moment, but it would be great if we could have some idea of when more numbers might become available. If anyone has any further information - we'd love to hear about it. Hopefully once the issues are worked out, more numbers will become available and the quality will improve to the level of Skype-Skype calls.

...[Read More]