iOS Apps

I’ve not indulged in a tech/gadget post for a while, so forgive me (or don’t!). The ever changing merry go round I’ve mentioned before my strive for ‘better’. It’s a constant part of my life and, considering that I spend a lot of my life using my iPhone, that means I’m always on the look out for better ways to get things done. Here’s my current home screen: There is some notion to the arrangement of my iOS apps, although it’s the one thing I tweak quite often; ideally I’d be happy if there were an ‘auto-arrange by usage’ option as that’s how I try and group things on my home screen. That said, I do put some apps there …

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Productivity and the clean broom

One for the Mac users who like to have things kept neat and tidy, so they can focus on being productive. TL;DR version: If you are the type of person who is consistent with file naming, you can use an OSX app called Hazel to run rules on files and apply Mavericks tags making it easier to apply them to files currently in use, and legacy archive data. The arrival of tags Like many I upgraded my laptop to the newest version of OSX (Mavericks) when it was released a couple of months ago. There are a few nice features that made it worthwhile and, hey, it was free so what’s the harm? One new feature that Apple seem quite …

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How do you do yours?

It has taken me a while to get the Spotify bug but as I can’t seem to escape it I’ve done my usual and leapt in at the deep end leaving my iTunes library mid-rebuild to explore Spotify and see how it fits with my needs. It’s good! I like a lot of things about it and I will happily admit it’s a much nicer place to be than iTunes which has meant that (as most of music listening is background stuff so I prefer things I’m familiar with) I’ve been going a bit playlist happy. There are a mixture of things that are driving my behaviour, but the ‘availability’ of a large set of music than I have in …

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Getting Organised

I read some advice the other day that suggested that, instead of reading up on how best to be productive, you’d be better served actually doing the things you need to do rather than trying to figure out the best way to ‘be productive’. I guess the premise being that many people spend a lot of time researching methodologies, trying out applications and processes when, for most of the tasks they are tracking, they would be better to just do the damn thing already. I fall squarely into that group of people. I’m very guilty of spending too much time figuring out the ‘best’ way to keep myself organised, sometimes at the expense of just doing things. So, why do …

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iTunes / Airplay issues – FIXED

“It just works”, they said. “Except when it doesn’t” they didn’t say. What follows is a bit of a rambling post about random playback issues I’ve experienced when using iTunes to stream music to an Airplay. Simply put, for no reason I can fathom, iTunes playback across Airplay will stop. The track is still playing in iTunes but there is no sound passed to Airplay. Searching for this issue has helped me narrow it down to the problem being iTunes, beyond that I’m stuck. Read on for some lessons learned…

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Going Paid

Yes, I know, first world problems and all that, shut up… With the news that Instagram can now start selling my photos, something I didn’t agree to when I signed up, I’ve been looking at what services I use the most and wondering if I might be better to switch all my online/digital actions to only use paid for options. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the need for companies to make money and that offering services for free isn’t ever going to be properly scalable until you reach a critical mass (think Facebook and Google). What really irks me about the Instagram change is that I don’t have an option other than to stop using it and delete my …

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How to embed linked images in Microsoft Word

Have you ever shared a Word document with someone only to find the images it included didn’t get sent over? This is probably because the images you had were linked rather than embedded. You now have two options: ZIP the entire folder with the Word document and all the images (and hope that the links are relative and not absolute). I use 7Zip for such things (it’s free). Change all the linked images to be embedded within the Word document. The latter option will result in a larger file size, but means you are only sending one file. But how do you do it? Microsoft haven’t made it very easy but the key is locating the Links dialog. This shows …

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Finding Ada

This should be easy. I work in a software company, I’ve only ever worked in software companies so, in honour of Ada Lovelace Day (what do you mean, who?) I should be able to join in “sharing stories of women — whether engineers, scientists, technologists or mathematicians — who have inspired you to become who you are today”, right? I work directly with many smart and inspiring women and, indirectly, I’ve been lucky enough to get to know many more in my profession, but how many of them have inspired me? When I sat down to write this I did wonder if I would be able to think of any women to which I could assign this claim. But then it’s not …

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What do we want?

At TCUK12 this year, I chatted with several people about authoring tools. Vendors, other technical writers, managers, I asked the same two questions, again and again. What authoring application do you use, and why do you use it? The answers were illuminating, interesting and always useful. There are many, many options out there, catering to many different needs, and all of them have a different set of strengths and weaknesses. Alas, no matter how hard I tried, regardless of how many ways I tried to bend our requirements, all of those conversations led me to the same conclusion. No-one out there builds what we want so we may have to build it ourselves. As part of improvements to our content, …

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