Tuesday, 30 May 2006

Bloggers: protected as journalists from revealing sources

I posted before about Apple's attempt to get bloggers to reveal their source of leaked info about an Apple product.

The court has just refused to force the bloggers to give up their source. Hooray for them.

So when it comes to reporting news, it looks like generally bloggers can be protected as legitimate journalists - at least in the USA. Which I think is as it should be.

(Via Wired blog)

Saturday, 27 May 2006

Privacy vs security: Wired articles

If you haven't seen these Wired items, they're worth a read.

I of course am on the side of privacy and civil liberties, which I feel are particularly at risk of unwarranted erosion in the light of the Internet and modern technology, as you'll know if you've read my rants on ID cards.

Bruce Schneier certainly articulates very well my own feelings about the key issues and his book Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Uncertain World is now high up on my "must read" list.

Pearl Jam: free music video "Life Wasted" (Creative Commons licence)

In case you missed the mention in the Creative Commons blog or news release or the Google blog, famed grunge rock group Pearl Jam have made their music video of "Life Wasted" available for free download via Google Video.

It was going to be free only until 24 May, and then you'd have to purchase it after that date - but it's still on the Google Video site for free today, and that page now says "Free until 1 June, 2006", so it looks like they've extended the date.

The video is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-NoDerivs license so you can download it, copy it and send it to your friends legally for free, but you can't exploit it commercially without permission e.g. try to sell it to others. (You can play it online or manually download it - it'll normally be a GVI file in your My Documents, My Videos, Google Videos folder; you'll need to have installed Google Video Player to play it offline.)

If you're a Pearl Jam or grunge fan and haven't heard of it yet, now's your chance to grab the video. (I tried to include it below - to do that you should just be able to click the Embed link on the Google Video page for the code to copy/paste into your blog) and it showed fine in the Preview view. However, you have to add a </embed> after the code given, tick Stop showing HTML errors for this post and cross your fingers before you can get it publish. And it showed up fine on my test blog, but the exact same tweaked code on this blog just gave me a forever at 0% page so I gave up in the end and deleted the code. Not the place for a Google grumble here, but it's another illustration of non-joined up thinking on the part of Google, why can't they just get their products to integrate properly with each other? I feel another post coming on... Edit, tried again, now it's working. Still need the </embed> though.)

What I'd like to know is, have they included any DRM (digital rights management) so that the video stops playing after 1 June, whether embedded on webpages (playing the video file direct from Google's servers) or downloaded onto your own computer? It doesn't look like it. If it doesn't "self-destruct" after that date, will people be willing to pay for it when they can get a copy for free from anyone who managed to download it before 1 June?

I'm not a grunge fan, but I am a Creative Commons fan, and I think this is a clever way to promote the song. It's great that more "name" artists are taking it up; I hope the viral marketing over the Net that should result will actually help them make money, and prove wrong those who argue that providing free promos under CC licences (even a limited time one like this) would hurt rather than help musicians and artists. We'll see what happens after 1 June...

Tuesday, 23 May 2006

BBC programme catalogue: TV, radio programmes from 1937

You can search a new experimental online catalogue of BBC programmes which has info on over 900,000 BBC radio & TV programmes broadcast from as long ago as 1937. The database is updated daily. (More info on the prototype).

While the back catalogue is not fully comprehensive and you can't download the programmes themselves, you can search to see what was aired when, and see some of the details of the programmes, e.g. did you know there were 4096 programmes of Blue Peter between 1958 and 2006, 755 programmes of Dr Who in 1963-2006, 27 programmes of the Clangers between 1969 and 1974, and that the Singing Ringing Tree was first broadcast on 19 November 1964? There are even feeds offered for some items.

Fascinating stuff.

(Via Creative Archive.)

Monday, 22 May 2006

LG Chocolate KG800 mobile phone: camera frameshot fun 3

Having said in my main review of the LG KG 800 Chocolate multimedia phone that frameshot mode for the camera is rather gimmicky, it's still kinda fun, so here are some pics. (And incidentally, for a photo of how Lara Croft might wear this phone, see this post!)

They're only of walls or doors, as all potential human models I approached ran away screaming - odd that, you'd have thought they'd be delighted to have photos of them with pirate hat and eyepatch posted on the Net, but there's no accounting for taste...

Now remember, if you want to use Frameshot mode you need to go to Camera, options (the left soft key, it's a symbol rather than "Options" as in the other menus for some strange reason), pick Size then 176x220 and OK. Then go to the Mode option, pick Frameshot and OK, use the right and left arrow keys to choose the frame shot overlay you want, then - again for some strange reason - as OK doesn't work to select the particular frameshot (it should, a usability minus here), you have to use the Back key (the right soft key) to get back to the main camera, and take your shot in the usual way by holding down the OK.

LG Chocolate KG800 PC connection, ringtones, wallpaper, file transfer: mobile phone review 2

UPDATE Sept 2009: check your LG Chocolate phone's serial number, you could win $10,000!

UPDATE May 2007: if you want info on the LG Shine KE 970 phone - general review, photos, manual and software download, Gmail access and browser tips, and tips on connectivity (including transferring MP3s) and syncing the KE970.

With your KG800 Chocolate multimedia phone you get a USB cable to link it to your PC or Mac plus a CD of PC software (see part 1 of my review of this gorgeous phone for general pros, cons, tips etc. For a photo of how Lara Croft might wear this phone, see this post!). It also has Bluetooth connectivity. But its file storage capacity is limited to 128 MB.
This post is meant for the LG KG800 Chocolate phone but I've heard that a lot of this applies to other LG phones too. I've not tested that personally so if you want to try it do so at your own risk. The software (and manuals) for the main LG phone models in the UK, like the KG320, KG810, KG920 etc, can be downloaded from the uk.lgmobile.com site.

You can:
A. copy to your Chocolate phone MP3 or other audio files for ringtones or for the MP3 player, or transfer pics, videos and text files to it for viewing or as wallpaper
B. backup to PC the photos and videos that you've taken with the phone
C. use the phone as an extra removable drive, to transport files between different PCs
D. use the phone as a modem for your PC e.g. laptop (LG Internet Cube)
E. copy or synchronise contacts, diary and notes between phone and PC (LG PC Sync)
F. get extra ring tones and wallpaper from the supplied software (LG Contents Bank)

But a major source of problems for users is that, when using the USB cable between phone and computer, there are two, yes two, entirely separate methods of connection, reflecting 2 different modes the phone can operate in:
  • as a removable drive, like a USB flash drive or USB key (what LG call "mass storage mode"), or
  • as a modem.

To do A to C, you can use the phone as a removable drive - just connect it via the USB cable to your PC or Mac (yes this USB drive element works fine with Macs, see these comments), covered below. See the My Stuff section of the manual and also this separate "USB mass storage" manual.

But for D to F, getting a working connection between the Chocolate phone to your PC isn't as straightforward as it should be, because you have to use the phone as a modem for D to F to work, which means installing modem software on your PC (the LG software is PC-only, sorry Mac/Linux users) and taking some other fiddly steps to get the phone to talk to the LG-supplied Contents Bank software. So I deal with the best way (for Windows XP anyway) below.

Basic USB connection - for MP3s etc

If you just want to do A to C above, FIRST make sure the phone is on and in the basic state it's in when you first power on (i.e. on the "home screen", and not in any menu items). Do not at any stage close the phone slider, always leave it open.

Then, connect the phone to the PC or Mac via the USB cable. You should get a message on the phone screen with a yellow background saying "Do not disconnect the cable without the proper operation USB If you use modem select Connectivity-modem". Again keep the phone open.

The KG 800 will appear as an extra "Removable Disk" in My Computer/Windows Explorer (or the Mac equivalent), with a folder called My Media which has some subfolders (your mileage may vary):
  • Music
  • Others
  • Photos
  • Text and
  • Videos.
(It may not work in Windows 98 unless you install drivers - I have XP which doesn't need them, and I don't know if LG provide drivers or not.)

You can then copy music, image or video files etc from computer to phone and vice versa via My Computer/Windows Explorer or other file manager (there's free software to convert 3GP to AVI if you want to transfer videos to your computer and play them there). (I don't know if this works for Windows 98 users or if extra software needs to be installed first for this.)

See the "USB mass storage" manual for useful step by step pictorial info and instructions on this USB removable drive mode.

But some folders on the Chocolate are annoyingly invisible, so you can't transfer e.g. voice recording files from phone to computer, on my system at least.

Also no system files are visible, and there are a few gotchas to watch for:

Folder sensitivity - where to put music files and other files

MP3s and other audio files: you must copy MP3s to the Music folder, video files to the Videos folder within My Media, text files to the Text folder, or they won't play or display. The types of music files the Chocolate can play are listed in Part 1 specifications.

Don't create any subfolders to put your MP3s in, or your MP3s won't be found.

Photos and pictures: Don't copy pics to the Photos folder (which is reserved for pics taken with the Chocolate), you won't be able to view them there - put them in the Others folder. (You can however copy pics from the Photos folder to your computer for backup or viewing.)

The phone won't display JPGs bigger than 460k or GIFs over 100k.

You can use pics you've uploaded into the Others folder as wallpaper, see further below. But if you want to use an image as wallpaper it can't be bigger than a certain size (the official LG info is contradictory, I'm not sure if the limit is 100k as per pg. 6 of the storage manual or 30k as per p.73 of the main manual). See part 1 Specifications and also Images.

Files for transporting

If you're using the phone as a USB key type device, put the files in the Others folder - that's the best place for them.


You shoudn't just unplug the phone or cable when you're through, with a PC at least. Most people will be familiar with the process but if not, in your system tray at the bottom right of the PC screen you need to rightclick the icon, then choose Safely Remove Hardware:

Then you'll get a popup box something like this (depending on your own setup):

You want to choose USB Mass Storage Device, but beware if you've more than one removable drive attached to your PC to pick the correct one for the phone. When you highlight it in the list and click Stop and you see this, you'll have got the KG800 phone:

Click OK and you'll see:

Now you can disconnect the phone or its cable from the PC.

The LG software on the CD

To use the free ringtones and images provided by LG, and also in order to transfer Java games/apps from PC to phone, you have to install the LG software first. (Unfortunately for Mac users, it's PC only.)

The LG software on the CD (also downloadable) comprises:
  • Contents Bank - extra free ringtones and pics (for wallpaper etc) you can download to your Chocolate phone (you can use Contents Bank to transfer Java games to your phone too, after some tweaking - see below)
  • Internet Cube - to use your KG800 as a modem for your laptop to access the Internet
  • PC Sync - to access and edit your phonebook, schedule and memo on the PC
  • USB modem driver.
Contents Bank is the most useful for most people. But to get Contents Bank to work you need to:
  • install the required software including the modem driver, AND
  • follow a very precise order of steps to put your phone in modem mode and connect it to the PC (fiddly, I know, but get it wrong and it won't work).
I repeat: to use the Contents Bank software properly, you have to install it plus the modem driver, even if you don't plan to use the phone as a modem (that's a bit of a misnomer), because you do in fact have to put the phone in "modem mode" in order to for the Contents Bank software to work. (It's easiest and probably best just to install all the software in one go.)

Here's the howto. (Click on any of the pics to get a larger image.)

DON'T try to connect phone to PC yet. (Well you could, but you'll be limited in what you can do with it, i.e. just A to C in the list above, until you finish the steps below. Plus, if you try to use LG Content Bank etc, without installing the modem driver, you'll get Error CME-250 and other things...)

First, do this:

1. Install the software from the supplied CD (or download it from here, unzip then install). It should run automatically when you insert the CD but if not just view it in My Computer or Windows Explorer and doubleclick Setup.exe. I'd skip the intro if I were you... pick the KG800 phone, English seems the only choice on my CD.

Then when you get to the following, make sure EVERYTHING is ticked particularly the last item, even if you aren't planning to use the Chocolate as a modem for your laptop (you'll see why later):

2. Check it's installed properly by inserting the CD again (or clicking Setup.exe) and picking Modify, making sure it's all ticked and trying again. It took me several gos to get the modem to install, go figure.

3. Do NOT try to connect the phone to the computer yet - this is important, Contents Bank and PC Sync won't work if you try to connect the phone to the computer before you do these next things. Switch the phone on. DON'T plug in the USB cable yet. Go to the menu Settings, Connectivity, Modem and pick Yes for "Do you want to activate modem"? Do NOT slide the phone closed, leave it open (and keep it open during the entire process). Do NOT launch Contents Bank or PC Sync on your PC yet, leave them closed.

4. Go back to the main "home" screen of the phone by pressing Back, Back and Back on the phone (UPDATED 8 Apr 2007: Alan reports that, on his phone anyway, backing up turns his modem off; in his case he connects to the PC straight after activating the modem and it works. Do whatever works for your phone, obviously, and if one way doesn't work try the other ). Leave the phone on (and slider open - don't close the slider at any point during the attempted transfer or you'll kill it). Again make sure Contents Bank and PC Sync on the PC are NOT open. Now you can connect the phone to PC via the supplied USB cable. (If you haven't installed the modem driver properly before, you'll get all sorts of new hardware found etc errors. Just try step 2 again till it works!)

5. Then, and only then, should you fire up LG Contents Bank or PC Sync - there will be shortcuts from your Start menu to those programs, as usual. (I'm not going to cover Internet Cube in this post). Leave the phone open throughout.

LG Contents Bank

The next thing you need to do, after (NOT before) you've installed the software, activated the modem on the phone and connected the phone to the PC as detailed above, is to check the Contents Bank connection is correct - in the Contents Bank's Tool menu, pick Option. Under Setting, click the dropdown list for Port and choose the one that says LG USB Cable (COM something - mine is 9 but yours may differ, the main thing is to pick LG USB Cable):

Baud rate doesn't really seem to matter. Then click OK, and in the main window click the Connect icon in the middle of the window.

You can preview ringtones (menu View, Melody or click the icon) or images (menu View, Picture or click the icon).

Check out the folders on the left for ringtones you can listen to ("Buzz", "Classics", "LG Creations"):

Just doubleclick on a ringtone name to hear what it sounds like:

When you hear a ringtone you want, just click on it on the left (you can hold down Ctrl and click more than one), then click the Download icon in the middle of the window to download it to your Chocolate phone. If you get a Timeout popup dialogue box you may need to click Connect again to make sure the phone is properly connected (as if you connect the phone, then don't do anything for a while, the connection is terminated). (If you keep getting Timeout errors, try disconnecting and turning the phone off and shutting down Contents Bank. Then go through steps 3 to 5 above and then launch Contents Bank again. It may take several tries, be warned!)

Those ringtones are all in MMF format or MIDI format. If you want to use your own MMF or MIDI ringtones, before you connect the phone just copy the desired files to the RingTone subfolder of your Contents Bank folder on your computer (on mine it's C:\Program Files\LGGSM\LGContentsBank\Contents\RingTone\ with subfolders for Buzz, etc). You can even create new subfolders on your computer, as long as they're in the LGGSM\LGContentsBank\Contents\RingTone folder.

For wallpaper, again you can open the different folders on the left (there are different themes like cute animals (kittens, awwww), vegetables if your thing is holding ripe tomatoes in your hand or if you prefer courgettes, etc):

Click on a filename to preview what one looks like on your phone:

Again you can choose more than one file by Ctrl-clicking on them, then click the Download icon in the middle of the window to download them to your KG 800 (they'll go in the My Stuff, Images folder).

And as with MMF or MIDI ringtones, if you want to use your own pics as wallpaper, one way is to save them into the C:\Program Files\LGGSM\LGContentsBank\Contents\Picture\ folder of your computer (including creating subfolders within Picture if you wish) and transfer them to the phone with Contents Bank. See further below.

You can also use Contents Bank to delete any music or photo files that you previously downloaded to your phone - just select the file on the right and click the Delete button in the middle.

To disconnect the phone in this mode you don't need to safely remove hardware, you can just unplug it.

How to use downloaded audio files as ringtones and images as wallpaper

Ringtones. On the phone itself, to use your downloaded ringtones (1) go to the profile you want (menu, Profiles, pick the profile like General which is the default), choose Personalise, Ring tone, My Folder (this method will also let you pick as ringtones MP3 files transferred to your Chocolate's Music folder via the removable drive method) - or alternatively (2) go to My Stuff, Sounds, highlight the one you want, Options, and Set as ringtone. Obviously you'll need to activate the profile to get the ringtone associatd with that profile.

If you've changed a profile to include a particular ringtone and activated the profile, but it still rings with a different ringtone, check who's calling and are they in a caller group. Get to Caller groups via the Contacts menu. After you select a group there's a Group ring tone option. Check what that ringtone is. If there is a different group ring tone for a group, that will override whatever ringtone you set for the profile, so you need to change the group ring tone too.

Wallpaper. To choose a downloaded pic as wallpaper go to menu My Stuff, Images (or Others, if you downloaded the pic via the basic USB removable drive connection), pick the one you want, View, Options, Set as wallpaper (if you want to use an image from the Others folder you may get a "Copy to Images to set as wallpaper. Continue?" message - of course you should pick Yes). Another way is Settings, Display, Wallpaper, My Folder but it's not as good as that limits you to choosing pics in the Images folder. There are size limitations for wallpaper. Both GIF and JPG files will be fine as long as they're not too big - the official LG info is contradictory, I'm not sure if the limit is 100k as per pg. 6 of the storage manual or 30k as per p.73 of the main manual.

Some pics may look cut off in the Preview view in Contents Bank on your PC, but don't worry - after you transfer them to the phone, if you view them and in Options choose Set as wallpaper, the phone will scale them down to fit. The proportions may look a bit odd as a result, but it's better than not being able to use your own pics at all. Perfectionists may wish to scale the pic to the right resolution on their computer before downloading it!

(You'll see that My Stuff now has extra folders not mentioned in the manual - after Text there will be Images and Sounds folders.)

US phones, miniSD cards and music files

US phones have a mini SD card slot, lucky Americans (UK phones don't). Here's some helpful person's tip on how to play MP3s or other audio files from the SD card: create a folder on the card called "my_mp3" and put the music in there and it should work. The music essentials kit also apparently works for transferring sound files to the Chocolate. Thanks for the tips. If only my version took expansion cards!

LG PC Sync - contacts

Once you've done steps 1 to 4 above, IN THAT ORDER (especially step 3 THEN step 4 NOT the other way round), and keeping the phone slider open always, you can also launch PC Sync (click the pic below to enlarge it):

Again you choose the Option menu and pick the same numbered COM port as you did for Contents Bank. The main thing this does is to load your contacts info from your phone (both phone memory and SIM) into your PC.

Now although this program is called PC Sync, and there's an Outlook tab and Express (for Outlook Express) tab, so far I've not been able to read anything into PC Sync from Outlook, let alone synchronise contacts between phone and Outlook 2003 on my PC (the instructions say it's compatible with Outlook 2000 so maybe that's why - though Outlook Express doesn't work either).

The right side of the window shows the contents of your Chocolate cellphone. The left side of the PC Sync window represents your PC.

On the right (representing your phone) in the bottom half there are 2 tabs: Mobile and SIM. Clicking the Mobile tab (after you've correctly connected the phone as described above, of course) will show the contents of the contacts in your phone's memory, and the SIM tab displays the contacts in your SIM card's memory.

On the left (PC), in the bottom half there are 3 tabs: Phonebook, Outlook and Express. Phonebook will be the copy held on your PC of your Chocolate phonebook. The Outlook tab is for the contents of your Outlook address book (e.g. Outlook 2003), and the Express tab for the contents of your Outlook Express contacts. You'll see that if you click the Outlook tab (or if that doesn't work first click the Outlook tab then click the Read button in the top left quadrant), the PC Sync software reads in and displays the contents of your Outlook contacts (I think Outlook doesn't even have to be open for it to do that) - it may flash up "Adding data" and you may get messages like the following (with Outlook 2003 anyway):

You should tick the box in the "Allow access for" line and select a time period in the dropdown (max i.e. 10 minutes is best especially with a large address book), then click Yes. If you don't PC Sync won't be able to read in your contact details from Outlook. And if you have too many contacts it may not be able to read them in either (that's the problem I had when first trying all this. When I moved most of the contacts from Outlook into a separate file, it was fine).

After it's read in the details of your Outlook (or whatever) contacts, they'll show in the bottom left quadrant. Tick the ones you want to copy across to the phone or Select All to copy all of them. Important: if the phone is not already open, slide it open and keep it open throughout! (thanks to Anon). On the right, in the bottom right quadrant, click the Mobile or SIM tab depending on where you want the contacts copied to on the phone.

Then in the middle of the window click the >> button. (It works the other way round to transfer contact details from phone/SIM to Outlook/phonebook, using the <<). PC Sync also provides a handy way to create new contacts and edit existing ones using a larger and quicker PC keyboard. Just use the New and Edit buttons in the top left quadrant. There's a File, Save as CSV file and also Load from CSV file option but I've not been able to get that to do anything yet... Of course ideally I'd like to be able to use this to backup my contacts to my PC, if nothing else. I got "Success to save" on trying to save but I haven't found the file (if it's meant to save as CSV). You can view and edit your Calendar and Memos too, see the tabs at the bottom of the window. Again you can just disconnect the phone in this mode without using Safely remove hardware when you're through.

Troubleshooting PC connection problems, improving connectivity

Timeout..., Initialising please wait..., Other application used this port. Failed to open... - sound familiar? Consider the suggestions in this post. That post also deals with possible ways to improve connectivity e.g. increase size of files transmissible via Contents Bank to the phone in modem mode.

Bluetooth connectivity

You can also connect the KG800 Chocolate to your PC via Bluetooth (Settings, Connectivity, Bluetooth).

I managed to get it to work with my PC's Bluetooth USB adapter (a Belkin F8T008) and even paired the Chocolate with my PC (just type in any number for the PIN, and the same number on the phone).

I got PC Sync to work over Bluetooth, loading contacts from phonebook to PC (in PC Sync make sure under Option you pick the right COM port for Bluetooth, just experiment and see). But note that according to the manual "you can only exchange data within the phonebook" over Bluetooth. I think that means that only PC Sync works properly with Bluetooth.

Certainly I couldn't get Contents Bank to work over Bluetooth, not even when picking the right (I thought) Bluetooth port, and I came to know and hate Error CME-250.

I also managed to transfer files over Bluetooth from the phone to my computer (by drag and drop from my My Bluetooth Places window - yours may differ) - but it just wouldn't work the other way round, I couldn't copy files from computer to phone.

Files of any type, it seems, can be sent via Bluetooth e.g. music, pics, to another phone. You can also receive files via Bluetooth and they should automatically be saved in the right folder, but I've not managed to test that yet.

Some commenters have helpfully posted their experiences with Bluetooth headsets - please see those comments for howtos.

One general warning though - always remember to switch Bluetooth off when you've finished (or in the sub-Settings set Visibility so only paired devices can view your Chocolate), or else you could be "bluejacked" with joke messages or worse.

Java - transferring Java apps to your phone via your PC

If you want to download Java apps e.g. games to your KG800 over the USB cable rather than doing an OTA (over the air) download using the browser on your phone (which costs in data charges), now see this post.

[This post was generally updated on 29 August 2006, mainly to add detailed info about syncing with Outlook/Express, and the Java section - with many thanks to the people who commented. Further updated on 2 October 2006 for the Java post, thanks to Anon! And another update on 1 Jan 2007, mainly to expand on ringtones and wallpaper, and again on 2 Jan 2007 to link to a new troubleshooting post, etc.]

UPDATE May 2007: if you want info on the LG Shine KE 970 phone - general review, photos, manual and software download, Gmail access and browser tips, and tips on connectivity and syncing the KE970.

LG Chocolate KG800 mobile phone review 1: overview, tips

UPDATE Sept 2009: check your LG Chocolate phone's serial number, you could win $10,000!

UPDATE May 2007: if you want info on the LG Shine KE 970 phone - general review, photos, manual and software download, Gmail access and browser tips, and tips on connectivity and syncing the KE970.

This is a review of the LG Chocolate KG 800 multimedia GPRS/GSM slider mobile phone, launched in the UK earlier this month. Part 1 is an overview. Part 2 will deal with connecting the KG800 to your PC, and using the PC software provided including free extra ringtones and wallpaper. (For a photo of how Lara Croft might wear this phone, see this post!)

(UPDATED generally 1 Jan 2007 - LG have moved things round on their sites so many of my links didn't work. Do they want publicity for their products or don't they? I've had to change or in most cases remove direct links as they are broken. Grrrr.)

The quickie


Looks over power - but what looks! For me at least, it's been well worth the effort to get used to some of its quirks. The fashion/design-conscious will probably go mad for this mobile, especially given its great sound when playing MP3s. If it had a decent-sized memory card for MP3s and better battery life when playing MP3s, it would be well nigh unbeatable as a multimedia phone - what a missed opportunity there.


Gorgeous, sexy minimalist design in my favourite colour combo, black and red and shiny. Pioneering heat-sensitive touch keys. Compact (though not tiny), light and slim, yet feels solidly built, including the slider. Lovely, large, clear, easy to read colour screen. Excellent for MP3s, with supplied inline remote control and good sound quality. 1.3 megapixel camera with LED "flash" and other settings; video and voice recorder too. Charges in about 2.5 hrs. Many will grab one for the looks alone, never mind anything else!


It's too easy to hang up accidentally when answering a call, till you learn to adjust (if you have my size and shape of hand, at least!). Keys take some getting used to, both touch and alphanumeric (and no gloved operation in the winter). Surface gets ickily smeary within seconds (but a cleaning tool is supplied, see below). Memory is only 128 MB and it won't take memory cards, so usefulness for MP3s is limited (you can store one, maybe 2 CD's worth max). Plus, if you play MP3s, it eats up battery life quite fast even on the lowest volume, and it will die on you without any warning - a major issue for me, as I'd rather stop listening than be without a working mobile, if only I was alerted that the battery was low. No speakerphone (though Carphone Warehouse's web page claims there is - see Spec, Business tab). If you text a lot, the poor T9 implementation may slow you down, drive you mad or both. Seems less robust than other phones (screen, touchkeys seem delicate) so try not to drop it (well I did once and it seemed OK, but still...)


Try before you buy to see if you think you'll be able to get used to the touch keys and operate the awkwardly positioned alphanumeric buttons one-handed, especially if you have a long thumb. See also the Tips, below.

I want one! Where where where?

The Chocolate phone is available e.g. from Carphonewarehouse (you can't have failed to see the posters everywhere). At the moment it's free with a contract from various networks (O2, Orange, T-Mobile) or you may have to pay for the handset depending on the tariff, so it's worth shopping around and having a think about what you need.

You can buy the Chocolate phone without a contract, presumably unlocked to use with your own SIM whether contract or pay as you go, for some £300 from e.g. Expansys.

UPDATE: go to the Buyer's Guide section of the official site, pick Buyer's Guide then Where to Buy, Availability and Retail Price (as indeed is the case for "News and Events") for info on where to get it locally etc.

The long and slow

The LG Chocolate phone, available in Korea for some time, was launched in the UK on 3 May 2006 (sadly I got the invite too late to make the launch party). As part of their LG Chocolate blogger relations programme the Hill and Knowlton boys kindly lent me an unlocked one to play with [update: those sites seem to be down currently]. I've tested it with a Vodafone SIM (contract) and also T-Mobile (PAYG).

This mobile certainly has the ooooh factor. Just seeing it, you want to get your hands on one. The design is near irresistible in terms of looks, though less so in terms of usability or functionality (more later). No, it's not actually chocolate in colour, though it certainly looks good enough to eat. It's a killer combo - shiny, minimalist black, but when you slide it open the touchkeys symbols light up a lovely glowing red. The alphanumeric keys, accessible only when you slide the phone open, are two-tone black, shiny and matte - a nice touch.

For more pics and an animation showing it in 3D (the starburst thing on the phone seems just to be artistic licence though!) see this page, click 2D and 3D - plus there's a WMV video and you can see the TV ad.

The heat-sensitive touchkeys with basic controls are a first - they are just regions on a flat glass-like surface and you operate them by lightly touching them (so sadly you can't use it with gloves on). You don't have to apply any pressure at all, you literally just touch the surface (with "clean and dry" hands the manual says - I've tested it with slightly damp fingers and it still worked, but I wouldn't want to be trying it in a downpour). Press and keep holding a key to get the same result as a repeated press/release, as with most other types of keys. One downside is you can't use them through gloves unlesss they're very thin. But the number keys would be hard to use with gloves too. So in the winter, be prepared to de-glove. No big deal, as with most compact phones you can't use the keys properly with gloves on anyway.

You need to slide the phone open to get at the (non heat sensitive) usual number keys for dialling and texting.

There are also 4 keys on the side, 2 on the left (volume up/down), 2 on the right (End - I have an issue with that, see below! - and MP3/multimedia access).

In the box

The box it comes in is also beautifully designed. Great for a gift. In the box I got these:
  • the slider phone
  • charger
  • manual and quick start guide
  • handsfree kit with stereo earphones
  • inline remote control unit for MP3s and other audio files (the headest plugs into that, which plugs into the phone - and yes incoming calls will interrupt playback, and you can plug in your own earphones) - no LCD display on the remote control though
  • carry pouch - black velvety cloth with strap
  • carry strap with screen cleaner (NB different from the official pics of the strap - I guess they realised they'd better include a screen cleaner quick, and added one to the strap!) - no I haven't managed to get mine on yet, I need to fiddle with some thread as it's virtually impossible otherwise
  • USB cable
  • CD with PC software (yes, it's PC only) - covered in more detail in part 2.
Not in my box, but also worth downloading if it's not in yours - USB mass storage manual (although a lot of the same info is in the My Stuff section of the manual); plus the software is available online.


There seems to be more than one official English site for this phone, e.g. uk.lgmobile.com/, uk.lge.com/ and chocolate.lgmobile.com/. There's no full specs in a single place that I could find, not even in the manual, the geek in me regrets. UPDATE: I used to link to the specs available but LG have moved the pages and it's virtually impossible to link to them direct now so you'll just have to hunt around on those sites for them, sorry. There are also specs on the Carphonewarehouse site (but I'd query the accuracy of some of it e.g. at the time of writing [and still, some months later!] they claim it has a loudspeaker, voice dialling and infrared connectivity, plus some of their info differs from the official specs!).

As you'll see, the main features are:
  • Available in black and black... [update: now in white and pink too, of course] size 94x48x15.4 mm, weight 83g, with TFT 2.0" LCD display size 176 x 220 mm, 256k colour
  • GPRS and GSM only, no 3G
  • Talk time - supposedly up to 200 mins, I've not tried talking for that long continuously yet
  • Standby time - supposedly up to 200 hrs. For me, from fully charged it's lasted about 3 days with some talking before the battery died. If you're going to be playing MP3s a lot, it's best to keep it charging all the time while you're not using it.
  • Charging time - from my experience, full charging takes about 2 hrs 30 mins
  • Phonebook - stores 1000 contacts, 7 caller groups with 20 members max each, photo caller ID pics can be associated with contacts if taken in 72x72 resolution max
  • 8 speed dials
  • 5 preset profiles you can rename and personalise (general, silent, vibrate only, loud, headset)
  • Alarm clock (5 alarms), calendar, memos, converter, world time, Java games (comes with one game, Sudoku)
  • 128 MB memory total for audio files, pics etc; but no memory card slot
  • Text/SMS - a single text can be sent to up to 6 people at a time
  • MMS (max message size 100k)
  • Audio - plays MP3s and some other audio files (supports audio files with sampling frequency from 8 to 48 kHz, bitrate up to 320Kbps in these formats: MP3 (NOT VBR), WMA, AAC and AAC+ (not VBR), MP4 audio, M4A plus (according to the storage manual but I've not tested its accuracy) MMF, AMR, IMELODY, MID, MIDI, X-MIDI, SP-MIDI, WAV, X-WAV, MPEG, X-MP3, MPG3, MP4, AAC, M4A, X-M4A, X-MSWMA); 64 voice polyphonic
  • Camera - 1.3 MB with zoom, timer and other settings, plus white LED flash (doesn't flash, it's just a bright light like a LED torch that stays on continuously when you activate it, till you turn it off)
  • Video recorder and player - 3GPP, 3GP, MP4 & MPEG formats, each file can be of any size/length subject to the overall memory limit; 15fps; choice of 176x44 or 128x96 with 3 quality options (superfine, fine, normal) (there's free software to convert 3GP to AVI by the way, if you want to transfer videos to your PC and play them there)
  • Voice recorder (seems to be MPEG4 as that's the microphone spec) - 20 voice memo recordings of 20 seconds each max
  • Text - also read text (.txt) files
  • Email max 300k (I haven't got POP email to work yet though)
  • WAP 2.0 browser with GPRS
  • Java MIDP 2.0 - ability to download and run Java games and apps; I've only tried one programme, which worked fine (Opera browser)
  • Bluetooth 1.2, USB connectivity
  • USB removable drive for transporting files (see USB storage guide (PDF))
  • PC software for extra free ringtones/wallpaper, some synchronisation, and using the phone as a modem for your laptop.
  • Operating system Kadak (AMX), whatever that is...


There are a few usability niggles with this phone but some thoughtful touches too.

The End key to end calls is on the side of the phone, exactly where my right thumb goes when holding the open phone to my ear, and several times now I've accidentally hung up while answering a call... I wish End was a touchkey on the screen, like Send is. I'm learning to adjust how I hold the phone though.

The alphanumeric keys which are, in keeping with the minimalist theme, quite flat and placed very low, can be hard to press given the thinness of that section of the phone, especially if your top thumb joint is long. I'm just about OK using nails, but I have small hands - a friend with bigger hands than me (which is most people!) just couldn't dial or text one-handed.

The touch keys also take some getting used to. Often when trying to press the center OK key, the down key is activated instead. You have to learn to be quite precise with your fingertips.

Nails are I find essential for the alphanumeric keys and side keys, again because of the minmalist design - so if yours are non-existent think about growing them! However, as is always the way with sod's law, of course I still find myself sometimes hitting the End key unintentionally during a call, nails or no nails...

There are T9 implementation issues too, which once you get used to handling the phone is probably the biggest bugbear (see Wishlist, below). At least the 1 key works to insert common symbols, and letter followed by the 1 key followed by a letter does insert an apostrophe.

On the plus side, the lovely colour display is beautifully clear with very legible, large text and icons. Very good for those with poor vision.

The onscreen indicator icons are also useful - informative and clear. Helpful onscreen instructions appear at various times too, e.g. on how to wake it up from standby (press any volume key twice - the display tells you to press it then press it again). I also found it helpful in Settings, Display to turn on Home Screen Shortcut which then gives you an onscreen indicator of the functions of the arrow keys. You can always turn it off again once you get used to them. Menu defaults to Messages and writing texts, which is indeed the most useful function to default it to.

Multimedia functionality - further observations

Audio. Very good sound, especially with the supplied remote control and earphones - but note that there are only 5 preset volume settings, from mute to max, with nothing in between. For supported formats see Specs above. Audio files must be stored in the Music folder, no subfolders may be used, otherwise it won't play them - which can make for a long playlist, especially when you have to skip the MP3s that you just want as ringtones (which get bunged into the same folder as your tunes).

When you go to the MP3 function using the MP3 key on the side of the phone it starts playing from the beginning of the last song you were on (assuming the phone hasn't been switched off in between - if it has, it starts playing the first song in the list); if you want to go to the list of songs instead, press the Play key on the remote control instead. Controls on the inline remote (which includes a handy clip, and a Hold switch) include the usual play/pause, stop, previous/next track with a single press, rewind and fast forward (but with no sound cue) when you hold the key down, etc. The Stop only works if you hold it down, and seems to take you out of the MP3 function altogether so I mostly use play/pause. You can also use the arrow keys on the phone - left and right are previous/next song or (if held down) rewind/fast forward; up and down are for volume; and the Back key is like Stop. And the right soft key on the phone mutes the song. It really is very well thought through on the audio front. But playing MP3s does go through the battery...

The equaliser has 4 presets, which you have to set on the handset. You can set the play mode (play all, repeat all, repeat one), set random shuffle on, and the visual effect (3 choices, not including Off, unfortunately). There's an Area repeat function you can set to On, then you use the right soft key to set point A, and again to set point B, to repeat the bit between A and B. If someone calls you during a song it'll ring and you can pick up by pressing the Send/End key on the remote, and hang up by pressing and holding the same key (I can't figure out how to reject a call without answering just using the remote, though). When your call ends it automatically goes back to playing the song you were listening to when it rang, but from the very start of the song. You can also send audio files via Bluetooth.

Camera. 1.3 Megapixel camera with LED "flash" (continuous bright LED light when turned on, rather than a flash as such, but pretty effective), timer (3, 5 or 10 secs). Settings: brightness, size (72x72, 176x220, 320x240, 640x480, 1280x960), quality (normal, fine, superfine), white balance (5 settings), mode (single, multishot, frame shot), effects (colour, night, sepia, black & white, negative - all of whose effects you can see "live" on the screen), zoom (up to 4x, but from what I've found all 4 options only work with 320x240; I can get 2x with 640x480, but no zoom at all with any of the other size settings). Frameshot (only available with 176x220 resolution) is gimmicky - kinda Korean schoolgirly to be honest, but possibly fun nevertheless. You can overlay your hapless victim's face with funny glasses and the like when you take a pic. If you really, really want to. Here's what the available frameshot options look like...

Images. Only photos taken with the KG800 may be viewed on the phone via Photo Album (9 thumbnails possible) or the Photos folder. You can transfer pics of types JPEG, GIF, WBMP, PNG from your PC to the Others folder for viewing, max JPG 460k or GIF 100k. (Wallpaper can't exceed 30k.) More on files and folders in part 2 of this review.

Videos. Video files go in the Videos folder, whether recorded or tranferred from PC, see Specs above for more details. You can set brightness, resolution/size, quality, white balance, recording time, effect, flash, zoom, and there's timer recording for the video too. You can send video files via Bluetooth as well as transfer them to/from your PC.

Java. Runs J2ME Java software only, and not all Java apps are compatible. Access downloaded Java apps from Games and Apps in the My Stuff menu. You can download the JAD and JAR files to PC and transfer them to the phone - see this post for how.

Web browsing. The inbuilt WAP browser works well. I also managed to download Opera Mini, the free Java browser for mobile phones (go via the WAP browser on the phone to http://mini.opera.com/ and follow the instructions), which I think is nicer to use, but remember it will cost you for the download even though the browser itself is free. I tried downloading both the high memory and low memory versions and both worked fine (you can access Opera via Games and apps, then Games and apps again, then Opera Mini):

But you need to tweak your internet settings to use Opera. The best way is this: go to the inbuilt WAP browser in the menu, pick Options Settings, Profiles, then your provider's profile (usually the one at the top of the Profiles list). Go to Settings in that and note down the User ID, GPRS settings (particular APN, user ID), Proxy settings (IP address, port number) and DNS settings. Obviously the password won't be visible... and be careful NOT to change those settings, always hit the Back key after you've noted them. Then, in Games and Apps, go to the Profiles item (which will appear after you've installed Opera). Pick a profile to tweak - you get Profile1 to Profile4 but you can rename them. Go to the Settings e.g. for Profile1. Use the same settings as you noted down from the WAP browser, and for the password try the one for your network from one or other of these pages. On my SIM card at least (yours may differ), the following settings worked, whereas the ones from the pages I just mentioned didn't - that's why I suggested you take the settings from your WAP browser, then experiment a bit, or ideally ask your network as I don't know if these may work for you:

Vodafone (contract): Bearer GPRS, GPRS settings APN (access point) wap.vodafone.co.uk, user ID and password both wap, Proxy settings IP address, port 8799, DNS settings left blank

T-Mobile (pay as you go or PAYG): Bearer GPRS, GPRS settings APN (access point) general.t-mobile.uk, username user, password wap, Proxy settings IP address, port 8080, DNS left blank.

You should of course make sure you Activate the right profile in Games and apps before you try to use Opera.

Email. 3 accounts allowed, with limits as to how many messages can be stored and max size. I couldn't get POP email to work, but again I think it's finding the right internet access settings for the Access Point used (menu Messages, Settings, Email, Access Point - you also need to set up Email Account and of course select the right Access Point) - I tried using the info from these pages and this too but either got a message that there was no network connection or that the DNS details were wrong, when I tried to retrieve my Gmail. Anyone know the right details for Vodafone (pay monthly) or T-Mobile (PAYG)? I tried it with both, and no go.


Smear-protection! Consider not removing the clear screen protector until you absolutely must, to avoid a smeary screen/body (the supplied carry strap has a thingy at the end which double as a screen cleaner, according to the Quick Start Guide - use it often!). I've even left on the green plastic over the side End/Multimedia and Volume keys, to help locate them... (they're in different positions of course when the phone is open/closed and I'm not used to that yet).
SIM card insertion. Slide the card downwards from the top to the bottom end of the phone, under the metal bar. Reverse that to remove. The pics in the manual are hard to see, insert/remove look identical! (it's clearer in the PDF manual)
Slide open to answer calls. If it's not preset already, it's handy to fix it so that just sliding open the phone answers a call - menu Settings, Calling, Answer mode, Slide up.
Privacy. If you prefer not to send your number to be visible to the person you call, note that when you remove and reinsert the SIM card it seems to default to displaying your number so you should check it - menu Settings, Calling, Send my number.
SMS texts - delivered messages. Again, if you like to have a message that a text has been delivered, you need to check it, especially after removing/reinserting the SIM - menu Messages, Settings, Text message, Delivery report (also check Validity period is set to max). You don't get delivery reports in your Inbox, though they flash up on screen - go to the Outbox and the icon for the message itself will change to show a ribbon when it's been delivered (or view the message and choose the Information option).
Use the pouch to protect the heat-sensitive screen from scratches etc.
OK key. Often pressing the center OK key does the same thing as the left soft key (usually Options), but not in the Camera (when it will take the picture).
Menus. Menu items are in a numbered list and, while it may be obvious, pressing the number key for a menu item gets you there quickly.
Default security code. Not in the manual, but it's 0000.
Switch off. I've not figured how to switch it off from standby with the slider shut (pressing the volume key twice activates the keys but not, for me anyway, the power key). Slide it open it first, then press and hold the power key to turn it off - that works. Drove me mad at first till I realised!
MP3s. Audio files sound best with the headphones. You MUST put your audio files in the Music folder (no subfolders) or it won't play them.
Onscreen indicator of arrow keys' functions. See the last para of Usability, above.
Favorites. The manual doesn't say it, but you can change the order of the Favorites (shortcuts to certain commonly-used options or settings, accessed by the up arrow key). Just delete the item you want if it's already on the list (it won't let you add it elsewhere, otherwise), go to the place in the list where you want it, then add it there or edit it to change it to what you want.
Camera. When choosing settings, if you want to keep the current setting hit OK while that's highlighted, not the Back key, else you'll have lots of key presses to get to the next option you want to set.
Browser. There's no Exit option in the menu. To exit, close the slide or press the End key. Better still, get the free Opera browser (though there are data costs to download it).
Memory. To check how much storage space you have left for your MP3s or pics, see the menu Settings, Memory status.
Drafts. The first para on drafts on pg. 54 of the manual is wrong (it seems to be to do with MMS templates anyway). You can save more than 5 messages in the Drafts folder.

Free extras

For the "I l-o-v-e my Chocolate phone!" brigade, if you go here and click Item on the left, there are promo videos to play plus a variety of PC wallpaper and a nice PC screensaver depicting the phone which you can download for free. The wallpaper and screensaver only work on a PC, not the phone itself, unfortunately.

LG also run a site where you have to register (for free) your phone and other details, but then can download some free ringtones, wallpaper, games, send SMS messages, use their photo editor etc - I haven't done so yet (general reluctance to give away my mobile number online) so I don't know whether it's worth it - though see their Help page. Check it out though if you want to.

Personal wishlist

What I'd change on this phone, if it were possible, mostly follows on from my Cons, above:
  • T9 predictive text implementation. If only the detailed T9 implementation (which varies with the manufacturer) were more like Nokia's (which is the best T9 implementation I've used so far) - sadly this phone doesn't capitalise the next word after a T9 period inserted with the 1 key or indeed after you insert the period as a symbol; holding down a number key doesn't give you the number in T9 mode (you have to choose the number then a space to fix it, or change to number mode, which is annoying); when you change modes temporarily for one word it doesn't revert back to T9abc automatically for the next word or even give you T9abc and 123 as the logical immediate next 2 options, it takes too many presses to get back to T9abc; going past the last available word in T9 often doesn't give you a Spell option as it should, you have to change mode to add the new word; usually you have to delete the whole word to edit it rather than delete just the last letter to change the T9 result; nor is there any T9 for common names in Contacts, and there's no T9 in the WAP browser either. I wish it would do all of that!
  • It doesn't capitalise the first letter automatically either when you try to add a new contact - it should.
  • [Added later, how could I forget?] Ability to set the volume for text message alerts. You can't hear a new text arriving in a noisy environment e.g. just walking down the street. There's only one volume level for that, unfortunately.
  • Low battery warning well before the end, via a clear audible sound on the headset if you're using it. When playing MP3s, which eats up battery life rather quickly, I've had it just switch off on me. And then I can't turn it back on at all, not even to use the phone. Obviously if I had enough warning I'd stop listening altogether and conserve battery life for calls, or put it on to recharge immediately if I have the charger with me.
  • Speakerphone function. Volume setting 5 is pretty loud, at least in a quiet environment, but still...
  • Camera settings. When you view an option e.g. white balance, and just go back without selecting something, it doesn't take you to the white balance setting but to the default setting, so you have to select the options again then scroll lots to get to the next type of setting. It should remember the setting you were on and just take you back there. Tip: if you want to keep the existing setting, select it rather than hitting the Back button.
  • It vibrates when I turn it on, and I can't stop it doing that! I've set volume to 0 for almost anything I can. I still want vibrating alerts for texts and calls, just not when I switch on the phone.
  • Much more memory, ability to take memory card, ideally both.
  • Clip on remote control for audio - I wish it were bigger, it's fine to clip on to a shirt but not a coat (which is more likely in the freezing UK!)
  • Ability to play MP3s even when in subfolders.
  • Ability to send a text to a caller group.
  • Fix the bug with text messages - if while writing a message you hit the End key, it doesn't discard it as it should, it saves it - but not in Drafts. When you try to write a new message, it's offered as an option Previous (as well as New) and I haven't been able to get rid of it yet even by deliberately saving it to Drafts! I'll try editing it and sending it as a real message sometime, and see if that works...
  • Favorites. An easy way to move items up or down the list. Also, ability to choose as favorites far more menu items than just the few options they've provided.
  • Ability to choose MP3 for text alert tones too.
  • Ability to install Java apps over the USB cable which I've downloaded onto my PC via my broadband connection (as I can with my Nokia 7710), instead of having to incur data costs downloading the file direct onto the phone (I've tried a few now and apart from Opera, none of them have installed properly). UPDATE: there's a workaround which lets you do that. See this post.
  • Handset locking when idle (as I have on my Nokia 7710) - so that after a set time you can answer calls or read texts, but not make calls or send texts etc without entering the unlock code. This is a security measure I think should be on every mobile phone (rather than just requiring a code on switch on), because most people leave them switched on most of the time, but very few seem to have it.
  • There's a cryptic reference in the manual to "You can set an image file as wallpaper as long as it does not exceed 30k in size, for other formats please use the PCSuite." If anyone can enlighten me as to what PC Suite is and how you use it for that, I'd like to know!

And how was it for me?

This isn't really meant to be a business phone or a power user's phone, it's for those who want a great looking phone with some basic multimedia functions particularly MP3s, which is probably the vast majority of people.

I think the Chocolate phone is going to just fly off the shelves based on looks alone, especially as it's free with a low-ish priced contract, provided people can get used to the keys - and to be honest, as a package it's so good I personally am willing to live with occasionally hitting the wrong keys or having to use two hands, myself. I mean, just look at it! A prime example of gorgeous looks trumping minor reservations about usability/functionality. If only there was better T9 texting and more storage space for MP3s and better battery life when using the player...

Part 2 of this review will cover connecting your KG 800 to your PC e.g. to edit contacts and to download extra free ringtones and wallpaper.

[Added 9 June:] For some reason people have been commenting on general issues to do with the KG800 at the end of Part 2 instead of this post - there are some useful comments there including someone else's mini-review which points out some other issues, so do check them out.

UPDATE May 2007: if you want info on the LG Shine KE 970 phone - general review, photos, manual and software download, Gmail access and browser tips, and tips on connectivity and syncing the KE970.

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Wednesday, 17 May 2006

Blogger: categories via d2B - delicious2Blogger

Categories - organising your previous posts under subject headings, usually in your sidebar - is one of the features missing from Blogger that its users most often wish for.

Blogger Categories with Delicious, aka d2B, the brainchild of my Magical Sheep pardner Kirk, is one of the best, neatest, most elegant and powerful ways to have categories in your Blogger blog - and he has recently updated and improved this already fab system. (An excellent list of all sorts of different ways to get categories for Blogger has been produced by John.)

Kirk's d2B categories system works by making use of the little-known Link Field in Blogger, in combination with tagging your post on the free social bookmarks manager Delicious - so you do need a Del.icio.us account, but it's free to sign up. Just check out Kirk's blog for an example of his system in action.

Once you've set up d2B, you'll get an extra Link Field box in your Create Post tab. You just write your post as normal, and in that new box you fill in the categories for that post, separating them with commas. Then you publish the post. Then view your new post, and click a special new link (which only you'll be able to see, and then only when you're logged in to Blogger) in order to post your categories info to Delicious. Add any notes you want to, and then save it, and that's it, your categories list will appear in your sidebar. You can even have a cloud view of your categories. Plus, if you have the time and energy (I fear I don't, that's why I'm sticking with my sometimes out of date manual system), you should be able to go back to your old posts and categorise them too.

It may all seem a bit complicated to set up, but never fear - all you have to do is follow Kirk's excellent step by step instructions precisely (yeah always do exactly what Kirk says, that's the motto...) and you should be fine.

Just take a look at his: