Inveterate dabbler in business, travel, gadgets & life

iPhone on T-mobile in the UK

If your iPhone contract has run out (or about to) then you can ask O2 to ‘unlock’ your iPhone. Once unlocked you can get a PAC code and transfer your existing number to T-Mobile.


  • The £10 a month unlimited internet and texts for life is a great deal for anyone, like me, who doesn’t make many voice calls.
  • Since its pay as you go when you travel abroad you are no longer faced with a horrendous bill on your return. You can get one of their £5 roaming bundles easily by text whilst you are away.
  • Topping up is a delight, they send a message when you are running low you can send a free text back with the last 4 digits of your previously registered credit card  the amount and three security digits, and away you go.
  • The itemised billing is excellent, totally itemised bills to the last K of data transferred and instantly available on the web.
  • 3G Coverage so far is awesome!


  • If your phone breaks and Apple replace it then according to the local Apple store it will be locked. Will O2 unlock a phone if you have no contract? When I asked at Apple they just said speak to O2 and yes O2 say speak to Apple. Maybe this issue will clear up as more iPhones get legally unlocked and Orange etc come to the market.
  • At the moment  if I put the iPhone in Airplane mode the iPhone asks to be unlocked again by iTunes (to do this you have to remove the SIM, take it out of flight mode, reinsert SIM and then iTunes will unlock it).
  • You get the silly Content Lock screen (in picture) if you access blogs 🙁
  • The iPhone seems to eat the battery in 3G mode. I guess with O2 it never found a 3G mast!

Its great to have an always on internet, even in the depths of cafes and lecture theatres, so I’m sticking with T-Mobile until either I buy a Nexus or the latest toy from Apple.

iPhone unlock problems

I recently had O2 unlock my iPhone prior to me transferring my number to T-mobile. I wanted to test T-Mobiles unlimited internet and texts for a tenner a month.

All went well until….
I’ve now discovered that putting the iPhone into flight mode  locks me out of the iPhone totally, insisting that it has to be connected to iTunes to be unlocked as the SIM card has been changed 🙁

To make it worse plugging it into iTunes  says the iPhone is ‘damaged’ and needs to be taken to an Apple store 🙁 🙁

I’ve now discovered a work around. To get access to the iPhone menu’s, Remove the SIM card. You can then access the General menu and take it out of Flight mode. Replace the SIM and unlock with iTunes if you have remembered to bring a laptop with iTunes on it.

Oh, and iTunes is total bloatware – installing it on my little Eee with its 4GB drive consumed 500MB of space. Windows XP pro by comparison fits in 3GB.

Another annoyance is, away from home,  I cannot do a full iPhone sync. As on any other computer I use it will lose all the music, contacts and applications if I sync.

Now if only I could order that Nexus…..

Live audio interviewing on the web….

A newish UK based service is Ipadio which enables you to record messages from your phone (it has a free iPhone app as well) direct to an embeddable file or a downloadable mp3 . It works well although I cocked up the membership by registering on the iPhone and on the iMac 🙂

I received a welcome email from Giles Bryan a director at Nemisys who obviously run Ipadio. Interestingly each item created is called a Phlog which is the name of a cool blogging photo blogging service created by Alan Bradburne that I used to use.

Here is a tiny interview with Sally of sallyinnorfolk fame,

Be interesting to see how it gets on. I wonder if Fred was an early stage investor….

Many thanks to athinkingman for his twitter:-

athinkingman – The ipadio iPhone app rocks! about 5 hours ago from web


The travellers computer

XP on Eee
XP Pro on the Eee

I finally managed to get my bargain 4GB Asus701 Eee to run with XP professional and for there to be still about 1GB of spare space after installing all my must have programmes for travelling and suffering the SP3 upgrade.

Various points of hard earned wisdom are:-

Use nLite to shrink your XP but be careful what you take out and leave in. I used substanially these notes from i64X

However, make sure you leave the Internet explorer box ticked at the compatability screen and to untick the window sound drivers in the Drivers option. (The windows default drivers seem to screw up the installation of the Asus sound stuff).

Asos Eee in Paramo Taiga fleece

Programmes I’ve installed so far are:-

So of the 3.71GB available I now have 722MB left (although I’m pretty certain Garmin will be getting deleted as its very bloatware like at 200MB).

Now to check out the battery life etc and to find WiFi connections.

And for you Linux geeks out there, I did so try to get GPSBabel running on the Asus Xandros OS but totally failed, although I did manage to get the full Linux desktop installed for a time.

All the above has probably taken about 3 solid days in time although the final nLite creation and installation was about 2 hours! Cold boot time is about 1minute.

Some of you may say what about the iPhone? My answers are:-
Its terribly fragile and as Euan knows not very water resistant!
You can only use its internal GPS / Camera.
Mine is still locked = hideous O2 roaming charges

So the trusty unlocked Treo680 will get another outing!