AirPods, finally

I’ve held off getting a set off these for some time but as my current ‘commuting’ in-ear headphones (JLabs Epic BT – discontinued) are starting to show their age, both in terms of wear and tear and in how the diminishing battery life is impacting the Bluetooth connectivity. Although admittedly the latter concern is purely based on my perception, but they do seem to drop the connection to my iPhone far more than they used to, even though I logically know that the science behind that thinking is bunkum. I do have another pair of bluetooth headphones – my wonderful Jabra Revos – but I prefer in-ear for commuting as they let in enough ambient noise to keep me aware …

Continue reading »

X or not

We’ve had a couple of days to digest the recent Apple keynote, and a few more days than that to pour over the leaked data that basically outlined all of the announcements and almost reduced the keynote to little more than a series of (mostly) slick product presentations. Almost, but not quite. There was certainly no hint about the opening video and tribute to Steve Jobs, which was a nice surprise and perfectly handled by an emotional Tim Cook, and it certainly added to the poignancy of the occasion. The new venue certainly looks impressive but I find I’m still stuck between thinking it’s either ‘over indulgent’ and/or ‘inspiring’ but there is no doubt it’s well designed with an incredibly …

Continue reading »

Apple Watch Calendar Events issue solved

Like many Apple Watch users, managing what notifications I get on my Apple Watch is something I keep an eye on. When I first got an Apple Watch one of the early pieces of advice was to cut back on the notifications as much as possible and it’s something I’ve stuck with and now only get notifications of calendar events, emails, and messages (be they SMS, WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger), plus the Activity/Health related ones. And, like many Apple iOS users, I don’t use the default Apple applications; I think Fantastical is better than Calendar, Spark is better than Mail, and Spotify is better than Music. YMMV but these are my choices, and annoyingly there isn’t a way to tell …

Continue reading »

LIFX Cloud and BT Broadband Issue – Solved

LIFX Cloud and BT Broadband Issue – Solved I’ve had LIFX Wifi bulbs since they first appeared on Kickstarter. They are great when they work, but when they don’t you enter the world of Wifi networking and connection issues which is NOT A FUN PLACE. Thankfully the good people at LIFX Support know their stuff, but as I don’t see this nugget of info on their website, I thought I’d share it here. Solution If you have LIFX bulbs and BT Broadband, with a BT Homehub router, check that BT Web Protect (aka BT Smart Protect) is turned off. You can check this by logging in to bt.com and looking at the settings there. You don’t need to make any …

Continue reading »

Why I am not quitting Facebook

Sometimes when I’m writing for this blog, it feels like there is a conspiracy going on to make me think about, and write about, a particular topic. So with that in mind I will happily concede that this post was inspired by Lipstick Lori (who is writing some great stuff at the moment!) writing about How I Quit Facebook, Sort Of, my own ponderings around the question of Which Tech Giant Would You Drop?, and this piece by Jason Kottke (uber-blogger) My Social Media Fast. It’s a slow pull, a subtle trick. It starts with a brief desire and is soon a constant drain. They know what they are doing, they’ve spent a long time designing it to be this …

Continue reading »

An iPad is not a computer

Last year I bought a 12.9″ iPad Pro to replace an ageing 2012 MacBook Air which, like its owner, is noticeably slowing as time passes. I did my usual round of research before making the jump. I love my MacBook, is does everything I need but the screen is a shortcoming, especially these days switching from iPhone/iPad to the MacBook was jarring. I could’ve gotten a retina screened MacBook but that’s when the second consideration kicked in (our old friend money). For a lot less moolah I could get a gorgeous big retina screen, if I switched to an iPad and having seen pictures of the 12.9″ retina screen I was very tempted. I had an iPad Air and a …

Continue reading »

3 Star or bust

Do you believe everything you read? Are you happy to take the opinion of the clearly ill-informed over those who weigh their words and provide evidence both for and against what they are offering? Don’t worry, this isn’t about Trump. I’ll admit that I like to have a sense of whether something is good or bad before trying it and find myself reading reviews on purchases, bars, restaurants, books, movies and, well, pretty much anything I consume or use. It wasn’t something I really considered noteworthy until a friend of mine commented that she always asks me what I think of something because she knows I’ll have researched the shit out of it (she’s classy with words that way). It …

Continue reading »

Evernote 8.0

I ditched Evernote last year as it was bloated and new features were few and far between (unless you were using it in a business environment). The new version is a redesign and returns Evernote to what it was good at, holding and categorising rich data notes. Unfortunately the iOS app is still a bit odd. I like the newly focused landing screen, but I’m not sure why Search deserves two ways to access it on such a small screen (at the top of the screen or at the bottom where it gets an entire tab to itself). It also has a few oddities – try editing the list of shortcuts – which are likely bugs. These two are enough …

Continue reading »

My home is a mess

The coffee machine has burbled into life, the aroma wafts temptingly from the kitchen. In the bedroom my sleep monitor suggests I need to wake up in the next ten minutes and the daylight bulb in the lamp starts to glow into life. A few minutes later a gentle birdsong lulls me from my slumber, followed by the tinkling of the alarm that officially signals the start of the day. Get up, sleepyhead. It’s a cold morning but thankfully the heating has been on for a few minutes to be at just the temperature I like so I don’t have the shock of the cold morning air to deal with. I tell the alarm to stop, get up and walk …

Continue reading »

Compiling Weekend Reading

For those that are interested (OK,┬ábecause one person asked), this is my current workflow for how I capture the links/articles and how they make their way into the Weekend Reading posts. Background I used to do posts like this when I had a separate, professional, blog that focused on technical communications. I would collate interesting and useful articles by hand. It was time consuming and given that a lot of what I was doing was repetitive HTML formatting, I tried a few ways to automate it. That was about 8 years ago and I ended up with a funky Word macro that sort of did the job. Fast forward several years and I've made a concerted effort to read longer …

Continue reading »