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App app hooray…

You shouldn’t need me to tell you by now that I do all this nonsense on my phone (and now my lovely new tablet) because I’m stubborn and I like the challenge.
This has never really been a problem for me, as the nice people at WordPress who host my blog have a very stable and user-friendly Android app that allows me to post pretty much what I like, without any glitches or crashing issues.

However, the same cannot be said for the Blogger platform.

Ever since I’ve been writing guest spots for the esteemed Mr Harvath, over at Ramblings of a semi-mad man, and Lanthie at Life Cherries, I have had to wrestle with Blogger’s incredibly fiddly desktop dashboard, squished down to the size of my four inch phone screen, something that has caused me no end of problems.

Even in tablet form, the site’s lack of any sort of convenient mobile format has resulted in me spending literally hours meticulously constructing blogs, only to have the bloody photos rearrange themselves of their own accord, links vanish into thin air, fonts magically freeze in the italic mode, or suddenly find that I’m writing in bold text for no fucking reason whatsoever. 

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I suppose you would be perfectly within your rights to say “Get with the programme Dale, write your blog on a sodding computer like everybody else you pillock”, which while being slightly impertinent, would be perfectly reasonable to a certain extent.

But why should I have to?
I hardly think it’s a surprise that everyone is mobile these days is it?

We all have mobile phones, i-pads, i-pods, tablets and Kindles, so you’d think that the über-geeks and boffins responsible for developing the software and apps for all these small objects of desire would make sure that they actually did what the bloody things were supposed to do before they went on the market.

But no, despite the fact that the producers of these all-singing, all-dancing marvels of technological excellence cheerfully claim that they’ll enable you to compose the next number one hit single, best-selling novel or award-winning screenplay, whilst they simultaneously mow the lawn, make the tea, wash the dog and cook your dinner, half the time you’ll have enough trouble just installing the useless sodding thing without your phone crashing, your blog disappearing into the ether, or your tablet deciding it’s going to take up speaking Arabic all of a sudden.

In the last two days I have installed (and then unceremoniously dumped) no less than five, yes FIVE, allegedly fabulous apps that are supposedly ideal for the on-the-go Blogger user.
They claim to include all sorts of time saving gadgets, high-tech features and unique selling points, when in fact what most of them boast is an endless supply of malicious ad-ware, viruses and other internet gremlins, meaning that they either simply don’t do the job for which they are designed, or worse, they disable the virtual brain of your device to such an extent that it needs the equivalent of an electronic enema to clear out all the crap that’s been imported into it’s poor defenceless little silicon synapses.

The worse thing about all of this, is that every single one of these so-called helpful pieces of software has come from the official Google Play app store. 
I mean, doesn’t anyone check these things out before allowing them to be offered for installation by the thousands of people who use Android devices? 
You’d think it was in their interest to make certain the widgets and gizmos associated with their own site didn’t bugger up the very hardware they’re trying to sell you, wouldn’t you?
Otherwise, why bother posting all the warning notices about only downloading apps from “recognised sources”?

Maybe their philosophy is; “If anyone’s going to fuck with our hardware, we only want to use authorised rip-off merchants to do it”
Now though, I think I might have actually cracked it.

After battling with the seemingly stable and well behaved fourth variation of blogging application until nearly three yesterday morning, carefully putting together a photo compilation for Lanthie’s blog, I got up, anticipating a trouble-free half hour of easy uploading before I could see the fruits of my labour online.
How stupid of me to be that optimistic.“Upload failed” blinked smugly at me from the screen after ten minutes of vaguely promising, pulsing status bar.

Oh bollocks.

Five seems to be the charm though, as barely fifteen minutes later I found this app (for any of you experiencing similar frustration) which miracle of miracles, does almost exactly what it claims to do in the blurb.

Five minutes after that, Lanthie had her post, steam stopped coming out of my ears and my tablet was no longer in danger of being bounced round the room.
As if that wasn’t enough, I also discovered a special mobile device registration code, enabling me the use of Google Chrome to operate the Blogger desktop dashboard without it resulting in me wanting to bang my head on the wall.

Isn’t technology wonderful?

Sometimes.

 

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Internet Nobody v.2.0…

There’s nothing I like more than a good gadget and at this time of year you can’t move for the stacks of shiny new gizmos clogging up the aisles of supermarkets and electrical shops, so on boxing day I went down to the high street with one particular new toy in mind.

Now, I’ve always made it an idiotically stubborn point of honour that everything you see on Diary of an Internet Nobody got here via the magical silicon circuits of my treasured smartphone, primarily because I didn’t have a computer when I started, and having discovered the wonders of the Android operating system, never found the need for one since.
Fortunately, having consulted the goalpost-moving department, I’ve found that I’ve only ever actually been restricting myself to the operating system, not the device.
That’s handy isn’t it? (making up your own rules as you go along is a useful habit) 

Anyway, the upshot of all this is that I took the plunge and bought an Asus Android tablet in the sales.

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For what is essentially a cross between a larger version of my phone and a small, flat, quad-core computer, I paid the princely sum of £70.
How they even make them for that price let alone sell them is beyond me. But I’m not one to look a gift horse in the microprocessors and I have been very pleased at the increased speed and responsiveness of my lovely new small object of desire.

I’ve spent the last couple of days installing and playing around with the tablet versions of various applications that are duplicates of those on my phone, such as the photo editing software, WordPress app and anything else necessary to publish the blog, and I have to say that I’m extremely impressed with my new toy blogging tool.

We didn’t do an awful lot over the festive period, just popping out for a family lunchtime drink and a few games of pool at a local pub on Christmas day, before returning home to eat too much and slob out in front of the TV for the Dr Who Christmas special and the superb Troll Hunter movie.

But on boxing day – after I’d been tech-bargain hunting – since the weatherman had assured us (accurately for once) that this would be the most sensible day to do anything outside over the holidays, we went to the wildfowl reserve on the The Tarka Trail to feed the ducks, walk off the previous day’s excesses and take some photos of the starkly beautiful winter colours around the lake.
As it turned out, I also got some nice action shots of the ducks feeding, or rather trying to feed, whilst being dive-bombed by the large flock of terns that’d taken up winter residence.

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Oh, and while we’re on the subject of photography I’d like to thank Ho for sending in these shots of me collecting a Golden Face Palm award on behalf of pseudo-political buffoon, Nigel Farage, presented to me by the lovely Emma Stevens.

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Talking of being presented with things, (told you the Tenuous Lynx habit was going to be hard to break) my old friend Chris has been over to stay for the last couple of days, bringing with him an unexpected gift.
Some years ago a sizable chunk of my irreplaceable vinyl album collection disappeared under suspicious circumstances, never to return, including my entire Pink Floyd back catalogue. I have slowly managed to replace a lot of the music I lost with CDs and mp3 files, but as any vinyl collector will tell you, that just isn’t the same.
So imagine my delight when Chris arrived with a vinyl copy of Dark Side of the Moon, complete with gatefold sleeve and original posters, all in practically mint condition.

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What with having to connect up my neglected turntable to play the classic plastic platter, we then indulged in a spot of vinyl nostalgia and you can listen to a few lovingly chosen tracks below.

So welcome to version 2.0 of the blog, bigger, faster and easier to see, (for me anyway, having picked up my first-ever pair of reading glasses a couple of months ago the larger HD screen is far better to work with) but other than that the new year promises more-of-not-the-same eclectic nonsense and ranting that a very agreeable number of people seem to want to continue reading.

Which reminds me, over the holidays my stat counter informed me that Diary of an Internet Nobody has now clocked up the magic number of 20,000 hits (20,114 when writing this) and nearly 270 followers, for which I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude.
I shall endeavour to make your loyalty worthwhile.

Let’s finish with some music then, which I shall dedicate to Chris in paltry exchange for my prog-tastic Christmas present.

And finally;
Chris, this is the album I remember you having when we lived in Crowborough, hope it brings back some (probably fuzzy) memories…

 

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