Category Archives: Technology

Eye-fi cards, and field blogging

This week, I’m going for a short break to Amsterdam, and this should be the ideal opportunity to test a few things. While I was in Rome a few months ago, I had a mild annoyance (and on several holidays prior to that). I was using my proper (not expensive, but better for some tasks than my phone) digital camera. So some photos would be on my phone, but some on my other camera.

What’s wrong with this? Well, I like to blog while I’m away. Given my camera doesn’t have wifi or bluetooth, and my phone doesn’t have any slots for the sort of memory card my camera uses, how do I get the photos off my camera, and onto/through my phone, to upload them? If I had a tablet, I could just take the SD card from one, put into the other, and upload photos. But I don’t. I could take a laptop, but that’s extra weight, something else to lose/get stolen, etc. and my laptop is ancient/slow/rubbish anyway. So before taking a photo, I would have to really think about whether I might want to blog/tweet this later that day, or whether it’ll just go into the abyss of “other photos I took” when I get home. In some cases, I took identical photos on two devices, for this reason.

After a lot of research, and various hacks considered, I plumped for what can only be seen as the sensible option (also the cheapest) – an Eye-fi card. Continue reading Eye-fi cards, and field blogging

New iPhone case/cover

I’ve always hated mobile phone covers. Although mobile phones used to be ugly, so it didn’t matter as much. When mobile phones first became semi-popular, and looked like oversized TV remotes with big aerials, then by all means a case is fine, if not essential.

But when they became sexy and shiny, well, it seems like you’re doing a disservice to the designer. Someone has grafted to design something with curves and glass, that gleams in the sun, and then you shove it into a dull square leather box. Continue reading New iPhone case/cover

DAB. What a load of rubbish it STILL is.

I’ve recently bought a new (to me – it’s over 10 years old) car, and I’m struggling to decide if I can be bothered to take out the radio that came in it, and install my old DAB one back in.

The stations I mostly listened to on DAB in my old car, were Nation Radio, Absolute Radio, and XFM. And a little bit of 6music. And sometimes Absolute Radio 90s (but the sound quality is rubbish compared to the other Absolute stations, and it’s off-air for half of Saturday when it becomes Absolute Radio Extra, and broadcasts sport).

However, sadly, MXR Severn Estuary is closing down in a few months on 29th July 2013. Continue reading DAB. What a load of rubbish it STILL is.

I’ve bought an E Ink e-reader

After a lot of thought, I’ve decided to purchase an E Ink e-reader, and done just that.

This is more of a troublesome decision than you might imagine. I didn’t want to spend too much money, although thankfully there’s so few options in this area really (compared to the myriad of tablets available, for example), it’s quite difficult to spend a lot. I narrowed it down to something from Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (The Nook, models of which have just recently become available in the UK) and something from Kobo.

I ruled out the Kobo models almost immediately due to a load of average reviews of the interface, and complaints about the speed of use. It’s apparently the most popular eInk eReader in Canada (but then according to something else I read, apparently you can’t buy Kindles in Canada). It’s about the same price as the rivals, at £59.99 for the base models (either a 5″ “mini” version, or a 6″ version.)

This left the Nook Simple Touch, and the Amazon Kindle. Continue reading I’ve bought an E Ink e-reader

Phishing/telephone scam

I’ve been on the Internet for long enough to know to ignore phishing emails (Paypal has lost ALL my details? What? Again?!), dodgy links (free s3xx0r in MY area!), and anything that claims to have information on my police record (I don’t have one), but something happened today that I’ve never had before. A phishing phone call. (Not sure that’s even the right term as it didn’t happen electronically. Phroning?) And as the various pennies have only just dropped, I thought I’d write about it. Continue reading Phishing/telephone scam

Is it just my bad luck, or is Skype a bit rubbish?

I’m just about to give up with it.

I’m going to start doing a regular podcast, and I thought IF anyone ends up listening to it, and IF they want to give some feedback, they could call us on Skype and leave a voicemail, that we could play back during the next podcast. But it’s not to be with Skype. It just doesn’t work for me. Continue reading Is it just my bad luck, or is Skype a bit rubbish?

IM+ vs imo vs eBuddy – a very short review

Recently I’ve started using an external bluetooth keyboard with my iPhone occasionally. I’ve written lots as a result. Not all of it stuff I want to share publicly, but it is quite nice to be able to sit in the dining room and type away, without faffing about with extension leads to plug my laptop in. Or at a friend’s house at their living room table, without HAVING to bother connecting to wifi (what with 3G for occasional usage, built into the phone, etc.)

Despite how good an opportunity this is to remove distractions, I instantly started looking at MSN-messenger compatible clients to use with this new setup. It isn’t at the height of popularity it once enjoyed, but I still use MSN to talk to a handful of people. I went to the App store/Google, and these seemed to be three quite well recommended ones. So, here it is. A short test of each. Continue reading IM+ vs imo vs eBuddy – a very short review

The laptop replacement?

In the last year, I’ve wanted to leave the house, travel, and do stuff from other locations, occasionally. Fight the cabin fever, or something. My main computer at home is a sexy iMac, and while it runs perfectly, it’s not really what you would call portable, as it’s a desktop computer with a glass-fronted screen and requires a mains power socket. I do have a laptop, but it’s very old, very slow, quite heavy, and has a battery that lasts 80mins. Crucially, NOT 1.5 hours – as I’ve reminded myself several times, while shouting “NO! DON’T HIBERNATE NOW, YOU BASTARD!” Continue reading The laptop replacement?

Oh ffs iTunes!

I’m a Mac user, but I know we’re still in the minority. Consequently, I hear (Windows-using) people bang on about how much they hate iTunes on a daily basis. It’s never been a problem for me on a Mac. Not that is, until now.

When trying to download a (free) bit of software from the App store this morning, after entering my password, I was asked to enter it again and then complete three security questions. Seems a bit overkill from the start – even my bank don’t need this many separate levels of security. Then I got to the questions. Oh dear. It’s my least favourite type of security questions. That’s right – it’s the ones where an American has decided what questions you can pick from. Continue reading Oh ffs iTunes!

Open with Internet Explorer?

Scam/virus failure.


Just received this. Picked up by Gmail as obvious spam/non-wanted-mail and filed thusly.

An email like this, “from” a domain name that I own? How odd is that of the spammer/virus, to spoof my own domain? Pretty much guarantees that no matter how stupid I am, I would know the sender isn’t real.

And “open with Internet Explorer”? Is this what viruses have come to these days? Obviously doesn’t work on a Mac (as I don’t have Internet Explorer) but a browser-based exploit (presumably) which is advertised in such a way that it needs to tell you to open it with a specific affected browser? I can’t decide if – for the average user – that’s a massive clue that it’s not legit (and so would put people off opening it), or really does work to increase the uptake of people opening it, by asking them not to open it in Firefox/Chrome (which presumably it wouldn’t work on).